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Old 10-30-2012, 11:51 AM   #26
Cliff Judge
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
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.
You really think that captures what these guys were doing with their lives? Obsessive-compulsive, consuming drive towards training for "martial strength" and power?

Is that why Ueshiba went to Mongolia to help found a utopia? Because he thought it was a path to internal power?

I think in Ueshiba's case, "martial power" was a trivial, childish goal as he got older. His training was aimed at becoming a conduit of the kami, and to that end his aim was to be able to attain a state of open awareness and a totally uncritical non-consciousness.

As to why some Aikido teachers have reputations as brutes, two words: Imperial Army.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:03 PM   #27
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
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.
If someone has a proposition they want to prove, for example, that lots of solo training for aiki-pee leads one to be a kinder, gentler type of antisocial crazy person, then this person would lay out their assumptions and show how they lead to his conclusion.

It is then part of the normal process of logical discourse to examine the premises of the argument and argue for or against them.

Part of that involves challenging the unstated assumptions, such as come with a "worldview." Subjective experiences that are fervently believed to be objective fact are fair game.
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:06 PM   #28
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
Mark started the thread, and is assuming the IP/IS "worldview" as a premise:
  • 1.
  • IP/IS is fundamental and necessary to truly effective budo.
    2.
  • Certain historical "greats" had it.
    3.
  • They didn't or couldn't successfully pass it on.
    4.
  • Almost all current-day aikido is missing it.
    5.
  • It is in the process of making a resurgence in certain circles.
Cheers,
Conrad
I added the numbers. Let me address them first.
1. Not what I believe. You can have effective budo without IP/IS. As Ueshiba stated about religion, IP/IS makes it better. But, just because you have IP/IS doesn't mean you are necessarily great at budo. It all takes training.

2. Yes.

3. Not what I believe. I think they could pass it on. I think that between Takeda making them keep it a secret and the Japanese manner in which they chose to pass it on contributed to it becoming very rare and almost extinct.

4. Yes. A majority. I'm certain that some people in aikido have parts and pieces to some degree or another, though.

5. Yes.

Now, that out of the way, my point about this thread is this:

The aiki greats had to have devoted a great amount of time (solo, paired, etc) to training in some manner. Sagawa pretty much outright states it. I think this bordered on being driven. I know someone else who has been described as a training fiend.

Compare and contrast the top aiki greats with all others and you find that just because these aiki greats were driven, it didn't mean that they were necessarily bad people. There were others who broke more students than them. Sort of boils down to personalities in a different area than where being driven comes from.

For example, some top athletes are nice while other top athletes are cruel and obnoxious. Both sets are driven to becoming top athletes. Having this obs/comp/driven/whatever behavior to become powerful and budo strong doesn't equate to being a nice or not nice individual.

Separate from that is whether or not IP/aiki changed their personalities in the area of nice/not-nice, but that's another thread topic.

Mark
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:09 PM   #29
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
You really think that captures what these guys were doing with their lives? Obsessive-compulsive, consuming drive towards training for "martial strength" and power?

Is that why Ueshiba went to Mongolia to help found a utopia? Because he thought it was a path to internal power?

I think in Ueshiba's case, "martial power" was a trivial, childish goal as he got older. His training was aimed at becoming a conduit of the kami, and to that end his aim was to be able to attain a state of open awareness and a totally uncritical non-consciousness.
Really?
Is that why he personally chose to represent this "conduit of kami" in budo environments like the kodokan as men said "Hey try to throw this old man" and he tossed people and knocked them out, and he trained stabbing trees with a spear, and did endless "power displays" with his people?
This guy was a budo guy through and through. His prayer life and other things were his...OTHER..interests.
a. I contend they did not produce one iota of power
b. No one, anywhere has ever shown anyone who trained these religious methods and only trained those methods, who had any power. All present aikido spiritual people included.

Quote:
As to why some Aikido teachers have reputations as brutes, two words: Imperial Army.
I disagree with this well. War has always been a way for whackos to practice their insanity. Recruiters know this and most responsible military organizations try to catch them and weed them out. People get messed up in a lot of ways. Trying to blame others when sourcing the reason for peoples behavior can be difficult.
Dan
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:15 PM   #30
Cliff Judge
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

No, really, there was a culture of abuse in the Imperial Army.
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:44 PM   #31
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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No, really, there was a culture of abuse in the Imperial Army.
Yes, but when talking about individuals; which came first?
There is a reason to look at Draegers work (hoplology) on various countries behaviors in war. What might be in their cultural norms that would allow certain acts, that would not be in others.

To remain on point, I think that there is no evidence to link the training in internal power to someones behavior. And no three people should be any example of a norm. Nor is there enough evidence to make any causal link to their prior behavior being a causal factor to attain power either. Again, I wonder that this is simply an excuse for those who do not possess any unusual power to explain why they don't; those that had it were unusual, talented, great men, or weird bizarre people who had the time. To me all of this simply avoids the fact that it just wasn't widely taught (hence -they- simply don't know) or when it was taught not all put in the work required.

And yes, I submit that;
a. It was their internal training that made them exceptional. Their spiritual pursuits did nothing to aid in their budo power
b. it can be taught and normal people can become exceptional.
Dan
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:17 PM   #32
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
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
What do we call people who play chess in their spare time? Nerds. Play on a computer? Geeks. Play sports? Jocks. You don not have to be crazy to devote time to a hobby... But when that commitment falls under scrutiny by mainstream society...

Honestly, I am not considering the "what" of what comprised the time they dedicated to training. I am simply outlining the prioritization of time as to allow their training to dominate their life. And, as several of my friends point out my past time of getting thrown around, I must be crazy to do aikido. We tend to forget we already are out of the mainstream just by training in a martial art. Then add maybe more time on the mat than with your kids, maybe your job is teaching aikido, maybe you are single, or maybe you aren't single (ouch) - I would be served divorce papers. But people make these decisions. You don't gotta be crazy, but we sometimes forget that most people think exactly that when they judge our decisions.

Secondly, I am implying that proficiency is correlated to practice. Those who [correctly] practice more will tend to be more proficient than those who do not. I am not arguing the dissemination of any particular knowledge. Again, I am not trying to get into a quality because I think you can balance proficiency with time commitment.

However, I think wading into the "what" of what these guys were doing with there time would be very interesting. I also think a discussion about the realistic time table of disseminating aiki as it relates to understanding the necessary time commitment to become proficient would be interesting.

Thanks for allowing me to clarify.

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Old 10-30-2012, 02:24 PM   #33
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
For example, some top athletes are nice while other top athletes are cruel and obnoxious. Both sets are driven to becoming top athletes. Having this obs/comp/driven/whatever behavior to become powerful and budo strong doesn't equate to being a nice or not nice individual.

Separate from that is whether or not IP/aiki changed their personalities in the area of nice/not-nice, but that's another thread topic.
Mark
I agree with you on both points.

Also, thanks for the "numbers" clarification. Every time I try to re-iterate this "worldview" back I get better clarifications from people like yourself. Not the topic for this thread though, so I won't get into it here.

Conrad
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:19 PM   #34
Cliff Judge
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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a. It was their internal training that made them exceptional. Their spiritual pursuits did nothing to aid in their budo power
Well I submit that Ueshiba, at least, did not see any difference between his internal training and his spiritual pursuits, they were one and the same to him. This raises the question as to whether or not Takeda, Kodo, or Sagawa thought of the goals of their solo internal training in terms that we relate to if we reduce the practice to a means to "martial power." I don't think so but there is not enough data there.

With Ueshiba, though, it's pretty clear, isn't it? "Spiritual pursuits" were what he obsessively spent the last couple decades of his life doing. Or have we all analyzed the text and realized that when it seemed like he was talking about fixing the universe he really just wanted to be able to hold a stick better?
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:42 PM   #35
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Well I submit that Ueshiba, at least, did not see any difference between his internal training and his spiritual pursuits, they were one and the same to him. This raises the question as to whether or not Takeda, Kodo, or Sagawa thought of the goals of their solo internal training in terms that we relate to if we reduce the practice to a means to "martial power." I don't think so but there is not enough data there.

With Ueshiba, though, it's pretty clear, isn't it? "Spiritual pursuits" were what he obsessively spent the last couple decades of his life doing. Or have we all analyzed the text and realized that when it seemed like he was talking about fixing the universe he really just wanted to be able to hold a stick better?
Nobody, except the people not actually involved in the training, has said that internals are all about reducing things to a simple physical practice.

Actually, Ueshiba's view of the unification of his internal training and his spiritual pursuits makes perfect sense to me - you see similar views throughout the history of internal training all the way back to China.

FWIW, I don't really see how you get to the spiritual training at all, practically speaking, without the internals. This blog post may be relevant here.

Best,

Chris

Last edited by Chris Li : 10-30-2012 at 03:45 PM.

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Old 10-30-2012, 03:49 PM   #36
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
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 didn't get that impression, but more to the point, I hope I didn't give that impression too.

Quote:
Jon wrote:
What do we call people who play chess in their spare time? Nerds.
Speaking as a former King Nerd when I was in high school, those chess playing cats aren't generally very normal...and that's part of why I liked them so much.
I don't think "normal" is the issue so much as what causes anti-social behavior.

While it's certainly conjecture, I think there's a validity to the idea that a person like Sokaku Takeda, who experienced some of the most base aspects of humanity from an early age, benefitted greatly from his discipline...even if it was a discipline which fostered considerable personal power.
Anyhow, before I muck up any more threads with distracted thoughts...off to tend to my hungry boys.
Take care, all, and thank you for the great food for thought!
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:55 PM   #37
Cliff Judge
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Nobody, except the people not actually involved in the training, has said that internals are all about reducing things to a simple physical practice.
Dan very clearly bifurcated Ueshiba's pursuits between budo and spiritual stuff, and stated that the spiritual stuff is useless to the attainment of the IS/IP/Aiki/Glow. I think that misses the point in a similar manner to Mark Murray's original post which characterizes Ueshiba, Kodo, Takeda, and Sagawa together as men who trained assiduously for "martial power" to the exclusion of many other things.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:05 PM   #38
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

IMO Ueshiba was simply a man who found something he loved and had the means to make a career out of it. You don't have to be crazy to be good.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:25 PM   #39
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Dan very clearly bifurcated Ueshiba's pursuits between budo and spiritual stuff, and stated that the spiritual stuff is useless to the attainment of the IS/IP/Aiki/Glow. I think that misses the point in a similar manner to Mark Murray's original post which characterizes Ueshiba, Kodo, Takeda, and Sagawa together as men who trained assiduously for "martial power" to the exclusion of many other things.
I think that you'd need to speak to Dan again about that.

In any case, that those folks trained for "martial power" to the exclusion of many other things is hard to dispute. Are you really arguing that this was not the case?

I'd agree that "the spiritual stuff is useless to the attainment of the IS/IP/Aiki/Glow" - that doesn't mean that things don't go the other way.

The engine of internal training, if you understand what we're doing, is also the engine that connects and powers all of the other stuff.

It's not a new model, and it didn't originate with Ueshiba.

Best,

Chris

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Old 10-30-2012, 05:47 PM   #40
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Jon,
I actually don't mean "selfish" to be a negative. It's simply a fact, that to be the top level in any discipline, to be head and shoulders above the rest, an individual most be very self focused and disciplined.

People are who they are, and those who are born with a prediliction for this personality trait will express it in whatever discipline they come into that "speaks" to them. What discipline "speaks" to them, may be heavily influenced by nurture as well as nature,. So, someone who grew up in violent surroundings, such as Takeda, might be drawn to MA/fighty related disciplines, while another who grew up in an academic or musical household might become a scientist, scholar, musician or artist. But the trait for drive is inborn, I believe. Other aspects of personality, such as being "nice" or "unpleasant" are just that -- other aspects or traits. They have nothing to do with the trait of being driven.

I will say again, too, that IME and IMO, aiki/IP are a tool, nothing more and nothing less. They're not some kind of Kryptonite or magical Horcrux that warp all who touch it. But who you are can influence how you use and express it.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 10-30-2012 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:44 PM   #41
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

I will also make a prediction that in ten years those "doing the work" will not have achieved Ueshiba's level...and between then and now many are going to have problems. It's just the nature of the beast.

Go ahead and build a different body and you have no control over some things at all...those that claim to have studied deeply should know better or at least be a little worried...or haven't you been really listening to what was said by those that went before....

You can end up in a right mess and many have...all to feed someone's ego (maybe even you're own) and follow the dream of being a Budo giant...lol...you people have no idea.

It should be noted that out of 10,000,000 people doing aikido only 1000 has met Mr Harden. I would be asking for some kind of insurance and how he will support even the few people he personally knows if things go wrong....

It should also be noted that most enlightened people don't do MA do they? they don't kick or punch anyone? so what have you got? you don't have aikido for sure....

All the best

Lee
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:32 PM   #42
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Hi Lee
Aikido and enlightenment what are you talking about
Like I said before you should get out more.

stan
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:45 PM   #43
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Hya Stan...do you know me?

All the best

Lee
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:06 PM   #44
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

10,000,000 people doing Aikido? where does that number come from ?

Greg
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:56 PM   #45
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Hi Lee
I am just responding to what
you are saying
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:10 AM   #46
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post
I will also make a prediction that in ten years those "doing the work" will not have achieved Ueshiba's level...and between then and now many are going to have problems. It's just the nature of the beast.

Go ahead and build a different body and you have no control over some things at all...those that claim to have studied deeply should know better or at least be a little worried...or haven't you been really listening to what was said by those that went before....

You can end up in a right mess and many have...all to feed someone's ego (maybe even you're own) and follow the dream of being a Budo giant...lol...you people have no idea.

It should be noted that out of 10,000,000 people doing aikido only 1000 has met Mr Harden. I would be asking for some kind of insurance and how he will support even the few people he personally knows if things go wrong....

It should also be noted that most enlightened people don't do MA do they? they don't kick or punch anyone? so what have you got? you don't have aikido for sure....

All the best

Lee
If you want to build a conversation around your topic, please start a new thread. It's the polite thing to do.

If you believe there are mental/spiritual/psychological issues that can be detrimental to IP/aiki training, please open a new thread. I'm sure people will want to know if there are damaging effects to this training. Of course, providing the training exercises in detail with the abnormal effects from them would be required. My guess was that what we detail out as aiki was different from yours, but you seemed to not think so. So, we'll want to see your detailed view of things to compare it to ours to make sure we're talking about the same training.

On the research end of things, please provide in your new thread, the quotes, articles, interviews, and misc material to support your theory, if we are not "really listening to what was said by those that went before". We have done our due diligence in that regard. Please show us yours in this new thread. It would be nice to understand why Ueshiba stated so vehemently that he was a man of budo, and not one of religion. Being a man of budo and being so outstanding in this area, he was a budo giant. I'm sure people would like to see the relevent research that shows how Ueshiba's dreams to become a man of budo were really not that at all.

As for enlightenment, please view the relevant threads here on Aikiweb that people have started regarding aikido leading to enlightenment. Then, in your new thread, please explain how these people are wrong in their views.

Finally, in your new thread, please detail out why Ueshiba was showing atemi on film if there is no punching in aikido, as you suggest?

Overall, though, please start a new thread. Other people have posted that they seem to find some interest in the subject of this thread and I'd rather not derail that for them.

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:55 AM   #47
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Hya Mark

On first glance those would appear to be reasonable requests...however in reality they are not and no I won't give you information concerning much of that. While you seem to think it reasonable to carelessly spread forth your limited information.... I don't. Again I would say it's highly irresponsible when anyone and everyone can read what you advocate....you've made a lot of mistakes already with your understanding of Japan and aikido...what other mistakes are you going to make? I pm'd you about this a while back...egotistically but friendly imho you chose to ignore and felt you were doing or knew something different....mmm...perhaps you are..but maybe you're not.

You don't seem to understand do you? in reality you are just another student my friend...and you don't have a true understanding of a lot of things. We're all just learning...trying to move forward in the best way we know..I understand that. Let it suffice to say that whilst in the morning light everything seems wonderful and rosy... as you progress through the day you can easily find yourself in the darkness. Do you really have a light?

Make of that what you will...or go and consider/study properly....seems you've read quite a lot but in wanting to promote yourself and other things, have given very little consideration to anything you're doing....it's not unusal...you got a bit excited there didn't you : )
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:56 AM   #48
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

I will add something though...while Ueshiba may have been very focussed in certain areas we have no information that his vision for aikido is what you think. Let's think about that...at what point did he speak to the westerners on mass and say...you guys should do what Mark etal says?

When finding his students trying to make things work in real life he stopped them saying basically he spent his whole life doing that so they didn't have to.....were those kind words of protection I wonder.....did you?

And so you see while not a definitive answer by any means you think he wanted you to be the same as him...whilst you don't have any idea what he really went through. And if you don't know how can you say that you are doing his aikido and others should too?.

Now if you start to think a bit more you will see that you generally point to only 3 or more people really with power out of a nation of how many?. So is it a safe thing for the masses to have?....I guess at your stage you don't really know. I've stated you can get very sick...this stuff can mess you up big time...

Practises have to be followed correctly and imho its essential to be be led by someone with true understanding that's been passed down for a long time...do you have that? do others?....even simple things can mess up a person when done wrongly. You're spouting to lots of people who you don't know who can then easily go and get things very wrong...hence I say you are irresponsible.

I have little more to say.

All the best

Lee

Last edited by wxyzabc : 10-31-2012 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:03 AM   #49
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post
Hya Mark

On first glance those would appear to be reasonable requests...however in reality they are not and no I won't give you information concerning much of that. While you seem to think it reasonable to carelessly spread forth your limited information.... I don't. Again I would say it's highly irresponsible when anyone and everyone can read what you advocate....you've made a lot of mistakes already with your understanding of Japan and aikido...what other mistakes are you going to make? I pm'd you about this a while back...egotistically but friendly imho you chose to ignore and felt you were doing or knew something different....mmm...perhaps you are..but maybe you're not.

You don't seem to understand do you? in reality you are just another student my friend...and you don't have a true understanding of a lot of things. We're all just learning...trying to move forward in the best way we know..I understand that. Let it suffice to say that whilst in the morning light everything seems wonderful and rosy... as you progress through the day you can easily find yourself in the darkness. Do you really have a light?

Make of that what you will...or go and consider/study properly....seems you've read quite a lot but in wanting to promote yourself and other things, have given very little consideration to anything you're doing....it's not unusal...you got a bit excited there didn't you : )
Please open a new thread. Please provide some sort of support, research, experience to show that you actually know what you're stating. Otherwise, it's just a nameless, faceless, unknown person on some computer trying to appear as some sort of authority on a subject. Anyone can say "you've made a lot of mistakes". Hard to take any advice, even good, seriously when it's from the unknown. That's the downside to the Internet. At least, I've personally found that to be the case.

So, please open a new thread and detail out your understanding of the subject matter. If there are inherent dangers in the system, it would be good for people to know.

Off topic, personally, I think you assume way too much about me. You have absolutely, and I mean absolutely, no idea what experiences I have had nor do you know all of the training (in aikido and outside of aikido) I have had nor do you have any clue as to the understandings I have of the world (physical, spiritual) and how it works. Now, I have not stated you are categorically wrong, nor that what you are doing is harmful, nor stated you don't understand what you are doing, nor stated that you're promoting your own idea of training. Instead, I have asked you to provide sound experiences, reasoning, research, etc to help bolster your ideas. To do so in a new thread. And I have done so nicely.

Please start a new thread.

Thank you,
Mark
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:22 AM   #50
Cliff Judge
Dojo: Aikido Shobukan Dojo
Location: Columbia, MD
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I think that you'd need to speak to Dan again about that.
I was, in fact, before you responded on his behalf.

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
In any case, that those folks trained for "martial power" to the exclusion of many other things is hard to dispute. Are you really arguing that this was not the case?
I am arguing for the possibility that this is a very myopic view of what these men were after, in the case of Kodo, Sagawa, and Takeda, about which we know comparatively little.

That Taichi guy...who didn't build a house for his family because it would cut into his training time...that's a powerful cautionary image but I don't think it is the proper cookie cutter for the four aiki greats we are discussing.

In the case of Ueshiba, "martial power" was clearly a trivial matter to him in his latter decades. His focus was spiritual. And going back further, what is your explanation for the whole Omoto involvement? Why go to Mongolia? Why get involved in politics? The huge investment in personal time and energy he put into these things, at the expense of training his internal power, really indicates that the martial power aspect was a minor piece of the puzzle.

I would go so far as to say that a solo training / internal power training method cognate to what Ueshiba was doing, followed simply for the benefit of pushing oneself off of walls and avoiding joint-locks and such, is a far more degenerate version of what Ueshiba was doing than Aikikai Aikido.
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