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Old 12-31-2012, 01:10 PM   #51
Gary David
 
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Re: Vantage points

Folks
It is clear that I can't add anything here or to this site.....so good luck with it....
Gary
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:36 PM   #52
Janet Rosen
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Re: Pertaining to the seeds of rancor

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
Thank you for the above, Matthew. I agree with everything that you wrote.

-- Jun
Yep, me too.

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Old 12-31-2012, 02:28 PM   #53
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Re: Vantage points

Nice post Matthew.

From my perspective (which is basically what I think you are saying, but please correct me if I'm wrong), the IP-crowd is saying something like-

Aiki is this specific thing we know about, and if you haven't touched an IP guy, you can't understand it. So if you use the word "Aiki", we are going to correct you, because we don't believe what you are saying is correct.

When I talk (I will only speak for myself), I am saying that "Aikido" is the way of "Aiki". There is a thing that I call "Aiki" this concept was introduced to me through training in Aikido, given to me by my Aikido teacher, who got the concept from his teacher, who arguably got the concept from his teacher, who was the founder of Aikido.

So to me, it's natural to believe, that this concept, that I learned about through Aikido training, have called Aiki for years, and was told directly came from the founder, is in fact "Aiki". I have not seen enough evidence yet, to change my mind as to whether I am using the word correctly or not. I am however reading more and more historical information every day, trying to understand this problem, because it's important to me. I also find it a real bummer, when I can't use the word to describe the concept, that I believe most people in the Aikido community call Aiki- with out being bombarded with posts telling me I'm wrong. Especially when it comes from the same eight or so people every time, and my email gets loads of emails from quiet supporters who also don't see a reason to believe "Aiki" is something different then they have for years.

On the football video I posted, I wanted to talk about the thing in the video that I call "Aiki". The ability that the ball carrier was using to understand and work with the physical actions of those trying to tackle him. I call that thing "Aiki" I don't know if that's what the founder meant by the word or not, so I simply said what I meant by the word, so we could talk about the thing I was trying to describe with the word. But then the thread got turned into a- you're not using the word correctly- argument. Bummer.

There is not enough "proof"/historical evidence out there yet to say what is, or is not, "Aiki", in my opinion. I'm cool with letting people who practice Aikido call whatever they like Aiki, as long as I can understand what they are talking about, and they will do the same for me.

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Old 12-31-2012, 02:36 PM   #54
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Re: Vantage points

In other words, resort to intrepretive nihilism/relativism and do what you like. Is that what you are suggesting? Are you suggesting that there is no "truth" to the concept of aiki?

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:41 PM   #55
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
In other words, resort to intrepretive nihilism/relativism and do what you like. Is that what you are suggesting? Are you suggesting that there is no "truth" to the concept of aiki?
Nope, I'm just saying that it's going to take a long time to figure out what "Aiki" means. In the mean time I'm willing to call a truce, so we can talk about Aikido again.

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Old 12-31-2012, 03:04 PM   #56
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Re: Vantage points

In 2007 I started a thread on the book translated as "Spirit of Aikido".

One of the main assertions made is that OSensei changed the meaning of "Aiki" thus creating a new art.

The thread is here.

I would assert that his son and many followers definitely changed the definition of "aiki" to be something new and different than how it was used in Daito Ryu. I doubt strongly that OSensei actually changed what he was doing at all.

I try to use the term as it was used, not as the Aikikai, Tohei or the various other modern lines seem to use it (which according to the book was to join ones energy with that of the attacker and the universe). I'll note too that my definition of "Aiki" has changed a lot since I started that thread, but the idea that there was a shift in the meaning of the term seems fairly relevant.

Chris Moses
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:23 PM   #57
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Nope, I'm just saying that it's going to take a long time to figure out what "Aiki" means. In the mean time I'm willing to call a truce, so we can talk about Aikido again.
1) "Taking a long time to figure out what aiki means" sounds a little like orientalism, where you reduce Eastern things into mysterious artifacts that cannot be analyzed and properly studied. I think it takes a little tenacity to get to the truth of things--being passive and avoiding the real core issues of anything has never rewarded anyone with anything, but with delusions. If you look hard enough, and ask the right questions, you will come across information and people (especially those that were close to Ueshiba and even Sagawa and Horikawa) that will point you to the truth of aiki. To be more practical, what is it that initially drew you towards aikido? What exactly are you trying to achieve with aikido? What bodyskills are you trying to gain to help you realize those ideals? Are there people out there that purport to teach these skills? Is aikido really a martial dance that involves co-operative partners? What is it about Ueshiba and the other guys that made throwing other people so easy..almost effortless? What does "harmony" mean in a world of violence and force? Is aiki about meeting the force or is it evading the force? Did the founder and his teachers and peers talk about aiki is evading or was there a more direct dealing of the forces? Why did those around Ueshiba talk about "aiki" as evading? Does it match what the founder talked about or were they missing something? Is it also possible to be that close to the teacher and still miss the mark?

2) A little humility and an being quiet but observant also pays off. Never assume that you know everything, otherwise you may be antagonizing those who are going out of their way to point out the truth of aiki for you; assuming you know everything you will only see those people as "threats" to your worldview, and for that reason you will naturally antagonize and embitter them.

3) How passionate you are about the truth however determines how tenacious you can be to go after it. If you are not passionate about the truth in aiki/bujutsu, then maybe you should just go home and leave aiki/bujutsu altogether. And that's just beginning of the search. If you are not there, then it is impossible for you to even plumb the depths of the truth.

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:46 PM   #58
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Re: Pertaining to the seeds of rancor

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I think many, if not most, people think of "aiki" as Aikido-like behavior; people considering it from an IP standpoint have a much more discrete meaning. In these conversations, rather than accept that people with a different frame of reference will necessarily apply meaning differently, and that most of them are unwilling to change their view of the term "aiki" over the internet, most IP advocates seem to often suggest there is something generally wrong with the understanding of the Aikido world today and give a somewhat formulaic/repetitive response arguing why. I find the points to be compelling on their own, but others do not. This comes up nearly any time someone describes their view of "aiki" (i.e. "I'm considering x, y, and z in my study of Aikido"). In those cases, "x, y, and z" are the intended points, but the threads get turned into reiterations of the same debates surrounding authenticity of the term aiki. I look at AikiWeb and see only a handful of people willing to participate, compared to what I remember from when I first joined several years ago, some of this may be coincidental, but I think most of it has to do with the tone generated by the IP discussions which is itself the product of personality interactions. I get the sense that this is because most people are tired of arguing over what "aiki" means and whether or not they have the right to use it in their posts...I get the sense that if non-IP folks stopped using the term altogether we'd see an improvement, but considering my view expressed in the first sentence, I don't see that happening any time soon.
...now off to read Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett. It's fun and helps me to laugh at the human condition. Take care y'all.
p.s. Sorry, Chris, I confused your remark about accusations in my last response to you. It dawned on me just as I was falling alseep.
Hi Matthew
You do realize that the thrust of your argument assumes there is no right or wrong. Let me say it another way. What if the IP crowd was somehow proved to be exactly correct.
What would change? How would perception of the debate, change?
Aiki is either everything and anything to anybody based on individual teachers or it was and is in fact a given and teachable body technology with a history. Can a million people be wrong? Yes.

I would only add once again my OP and what I raised there. Real results
How and why is it that there were many giants in budo who talked about the exact... same... terminology? How is this even possible if there were not a specific teaching of it?
Why has the number of IP posters grown here?
Why?
Because the number of teachers encountering IP/Aiki have grown and there remains an almost 100% conversion rate. That means the counter argument for what aiki is in modern Aikido, continues to fail when tested.
THAT.....rate of results would make any industry BUT BUDO...sit up and take notice. Sadly, traditional Budo is one place where results are meaningless to many participants.

**This thread was meant to address specific points. It has gone completely off track and into the weeds discussing the discussion and the people behind the posts hasn't it.
Who did that Matthew? Who always does that?**


Again and to the point of the OP
I wanted people to address the actual results and testimonies
Group #1 The IP/aiki crowd
Ueshiba used specific terminology.
It wasn't his, it has a pedagogy (which in itself destroys the argument that it is singular to anyone's individual desires)
The terminology he used was well known for producing power
It existed in India, China and Koryu
It produces power today in those who know what to do with it.

Group #2 The modern aikido people
Defines aiki as evading/blending or anything their individual teacher said it was
Yet when asked, cannot explain what Ueshiba actually said and where it came form and what he did.
And explain why they have no unusual power.

Those who are very good in group #1 keep handing group #2 their ass. On top of that, they can define, explain, and perform what Ueshiba was doing and....they.... possess unusual power.
How does this keep happening?
What does that mean?
Why do the people who go out and feel those who are accomplished in IP/aiki change and adopt Ueshiba's style of moving and training, over and over?

Talking about why we keep talking about it
Discussing the discussion
Talking about the people and their personalities
Targeting ...yes...targeting individuals and what they charge
Talking about their personalities

HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE OP
Dan

Last edited by DH : 12-31-2012 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:56 PM   #59
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Re: Vantage points

Hey Lorel,

I don't know if you read my tone as something other than it was. I think lot's of things take a long time to figure out. I wasn't trying to be tricky or in any other way strange.

Frankly I would like Aikiweb to again be a place where Aikido people with all different ideas can come together and talk. I also realize that I have at times made that difficult. So what I was trying to do was wave a flag.

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Old 12-31-2012, 06:16 PM   #60
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Re: Vantage points

Mathew's post rang true for me because in terms of semantics one word CAN and often does legitamately mean different things AND because one can differentiate the word from one or all of the described phenomenon.
What the IP folks are doing is 100% effective and valuable and yes can be integrated into aikido whether it is named "aiki", "that weird stuff" or "Tsar Nicholas". Yes, I understand that it is being called "aiki because it is seen as the root of what Takeda, Uashiba, etc were doing. But the word cannot be owned.
Many longtime aikidoka are accustomed to using the same word to mean something else. They are not ipso facto wrong. They are indeed using the word to describe something different from the IP folks. But this is not only a martial arts arguement; it is an ages old LANGUAGE arguement in every culture there are those who want to codify and preserve language in amber ignoring that it is a messy changing human artifact.
Apologies for sp errors, my ipod is hard to edit on.

Janet Rosen
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:19 PM   #61
Janet Rosen
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Re: Vantage points

I may not have been as consise as intended. Point was, you can be correct about what you are doing but still there is not a right or wrong on use of a word that has had many common meanings. Two separate issues.

Janet Rosen
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:21 PM   #62
DH
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Re: Vantage points

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post

Frankly I would like Aikiweb to again be a place where Aikido people with all different ideas can come together and talk. I also realize that I have at times made that difficult. So what I was trying to do was wave a flag.
That has never changed. You perhaps just don't like to hear some Aikido teachers opinions.
Aikido people are still talking about their Aikido. Only now you have teachers talking about...their view.....their view....of what Aiki is based on a three thousand year old body technology your founder loved to talk about.

I planned this to happen in 2009 when I came up with the idea to teach teachers. I knew and predicted, and wrote down what was going to happen.
As one well known budo author wrote me privately.
"f___n brilliant!"
Shortest email i ever got from him.
So, here in 2013 Apparently some very credible teachers think its a good thing.
Discussion doesn't mean we always agree. "Iron sharpens iron" and all that. I just wish we could be nicer while debating.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 12-31-2012 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:59 PM   #63
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Re: Pertaining to the seeds of rancor

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Group #1 The IP/aiki crowd
[snip]

Group #2 The modern aikido people
[snip]

Those who are very good in group #1 keep handing group #2 their ass. On top of that, they can define, explain, and perform what Ueshiba was doing and....they.... possess unusual power.
This line of argument that one group is "better" than the other has no place in a discussion forum. Please stop.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Frankly I would like Aikiweb to again be a place where Aikido people with all different ideas can come together and talk.
Agreed.

-- Jun

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Old 12-31-2012, 08:09 PM   #64
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Re: Pertaining to the seeds of rancor

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
This line of argument that one group is "better" than the other has no place in a discussion forum. Please stop.

-- Jun
I find it amazing that the preeminent reason that people trained with Ueshiba was that he martially handed them their ass, as the saying goes. Pre-war students to post-war students were interviewed and most of them said they had no idea what he was talking about when he rambled on spiritually. Yet, there's anecdotes of students first experience with Ueshiba and it was them (them meaning some solid martial artists with a lot of experience) getting manhandled in a way in which they could not understand.

The same was said of Sagawa. The same with Horikawa. As with Takeda. As a group, the only reason men/women trained with them, men/women begged to train with them, and men/women did whatever they could to be accepted was because, as a group, they dominated in a manner in which none could understand.

And now, you say that what the very founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, did, has no place on this forum? Morihei Ueshiba and his peers were far better than most other martial artists. It was their being so different that allowed them to stand out. Some very experienced, very tough martial artists came, experienced, and were converted by being manhandled. And not by just more of the same martial applications they'd already trained for 20-40 years. As a group, people with aiki dominated and students came to study with them exactly for that reason.

Jun, if you want Aikiweb to be a place for just Modern Aikido, all you have to do is state it outright. I'll stop. I'll quit posting about the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, his unusual abilities, his mysterious skills, his aiki, all which are specific things and not something that is everything to everyone. If you want the Modern "aiki" that is everything to everyone, from the receiver dodging defenders to the person wearing a beret, just say so. I'll stop talking about Ueshiba's aiki. I do what I say. If that's what you want, let me know.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:23 PM   #65
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Re: Pertaining to the seeds of rancor

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
And now, you say that what the very founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, did, has no place on this forum?
No, I said no such thing. What I said was, "This line of argument that one group is "better" than the other has no place in a discussion forum. Please stop."

Just because you (the generic "you" in this case) might be able to best someone in a physical altercation does not have bearing to a discussion. That is one line of argument that I do not want to see here on AikiWeb.
Quote:
Jun, if you want Aikiweb to be a place for just Modern Aikido, all you have to do is state it outright.
Please stop putting things into my mouth, Mark. I have never said any such thing.
Quote:
If you want the Modern "aiki" that is everything to everyone, from the receiver dodging defenders to the person wearing a beret, just say so.
On this topic, for the moment, I will say that there is much to be said about bringing up historical information regarding a term and its "original" meaning(s), and I welcome such discussions. And, at the same time, to keep countering its accepted use within the broad, global aikido community as a blunt weapon to seemingly delegitimize the way in which others train is something I do not want to see on my website.

-- Jun

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Old 12-31-2012, 08:32 PM   #66
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Re: Pertaining to the seeds of rancor

Thanks
Dan

Last edited by DH : 12-31-2012 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:49 PM   #67
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Re: Vantage points

Jun
The reason I posted the thread was to discuss how one form of aiki has proven to be effective historically and now in the modern era.
I also wanted to specifically discuss why it has caused just about 100% of those who encounter it to switch to that method. I thought *effectiveness* would place a foundational talking point as a start. It was the one talking point that addressed some of Krystals talking points in the OP.
I don't know how to discuss that now.
The historical aspects are hotly debated and denied. You've seen that.
The translations are denied and debated
I think the real results happening in rooms around the world are worth mentioning although I see what you mean by a blunt instrument, and it''s a fair point. I do not want to put words in your mouth, but I am trying to figure out the guideline. As I stated earlier, the translations, and the historical and cultural connections have been debated into nothing. There isn't a lot left to even add to that argument. Effectiveness and clarity, one form aiki versus the other, certainly is the one and only point that has ended all debate in person. And this while a very friendly discussion over the training model and exercises ensued.
To me effectiveness of one over the other is the one element that should be defining a budo discussion. And it has led to profound changes in peoples careers.

In Judo BJJ, MMA, Karate, and many other arts effectiveness is the actual starting point. I realize that traditional budo people are not as concerned with effective results, but it sure has changed the minds of over a thousand Aikido people from shodan to shihan. Isn't that worthy of discussion? its why I started the thread. I thought so. Why is it a negative?
And I am sincerely asking.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 12-31-2012 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:03 PM   #68
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Re: Pertaining to the seeds of rancor

Hi Dan,
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi Matthew
You do realize that the thrust of your argument assumes there is no right or wrong. Let me say it another way. What if the IP crowd was somehow proved to be exactly correct.
I don't think is assumes there is no right or wrong; certainly, I do not think there is no right or wrong. I tend to assume the IP crowd is pretty much right in their assessment of things in general...so much of it rings true to me and my assumptions about human nature and learning. What I'm saying is that we would generally do better to address the intended meaning rather than the terms; to excuse the fact that "aiki" as Ueshiba Morihei meant it is simply inaccessible to a large number of people (I consider myself to be one of them, based on my relatively low level of personal study) and that we will rarely be able to change a person's mind once they have a working definition developed...particularly when it's corroborated by so many of their peers and teachers. Rather than trying to change this, which is almost impossible in a venue like this, it would be better to read between the lines to whatever it is they actually mean. On the mat, I think framing things in terms of right and wrong (with reasoning provided) is essential. On the internet, not so much. Some might think this is rhetorical dishonesty, but I view it as a kind of etiquette necessary when talking with strangers.

Quote:
Aiki is either everything and anything to anybody based on individual teachers or it was and is in fact a given and teachable body technology with a history. Can a million people be wrong? Yes.
Absolutely a million people can be wrong! However semantics do change over time and geography and social settings. When someone says O Sensei meant this or that, it's a time for saying, I believe you're right or wrong and here is the historical evidence for why. That's not always what these discussions have said though. And really, I'm not talking about who's right or wrong. I'm talking about how rancor can be abated in a conversation over the internet.

Quote:
I would only add once again my OP and what I raised there. Real results
I took your OP to include more than results. I think you are very much an empiricist and that it why I trust your point of view, even though I'm not in a position to understand it like many other people. I think many people mistake your efforts at pointing to empirical evidence (albeit evidence that is inaccessible to most people here and as such is essentially hearsay to their "ears") for bragging. I think that is another cause for the rancor and another reason why I agree with your suggestion that people try to see the best in each other.
I am being pulled away right now before being able to review what I've written so please forgive any poorly written bits. I'll only add for now that I don't think the personalities are the problem; I attribute all rancor to problems of personality interaction; that doesn't mean the personalities are flawed in my mind, only that some personalities have a harder time of interacting with other personalities; both can still be great personalities.
Ok gotta go for now. Thank you for the reply, Dan, sincerely!
I'll try to come back tomorrow and give a better reply.
Happy New Year!
Take care,
Matthew

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:12 PM   #69
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Re: Vantage points

I have to go as well.
I hope everyone has a great new years. Chris Hein, I appreciated both the private and public posts.

Jun
Please don't be too frustrated. Your forum has actually exposed people to new methods and fostered friendships that have changed peoples lives, mine included. Please don't run out of patience with us.
Happy New Year
Dan

Last edited by DH : 12-31-2012 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:37 AM   #70
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Aikistock

Yes, Jun.

Somehow you ended up taking on a Max Yasgur-type role in all this -- or at least that sentiment is an indication of the significance some of us attach to being here and participating, at this time.

Thanks, and Happy New Year!

Mert
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:55 AM   #71
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Re: Pertaining to the seeds of rancor

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
...now off to read Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett. It's fun and helps me to laugh at the human condition. Take care y'all.
.
it's turtle all the way down. *plop*

i found it's amusing to read these threads. it's really like a great big dysfuntional family arguing at a birthday party. it's kinda interesting from the social and psychology point of view. it's like those reality TV shows, some love them, some hate them, some hate and love them, some just watch because nothing else on, some watch them so they can talk to friends and family about it, some watch to see the fashion, the fights, the personalities, and of course some just want to keeping up with the kadashians

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:53 PM   #72
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Re: Vantage points

Reflecting on this post and this topic at the beginning of a new year, I'd like to start with an expression of gratitude.

To Jun, for putting up with the hassles of maintaining a forum like this, without which I never would have met some very wonderful people.

To Dan, for having the tenacity to beat on the aikido world until it listened, and the skills to back up his words when they finally started paying attention.

To the AikiWeb community for beating on Dan long enough and sincerely enough to force him out of his cabin in the woods and share his stuff for real.

To Bill Gleason, my sensei, for having the moral honesty and courage to be still seeking ways to take his aikido to the next level after 40 years of practice.

To Stan Pranin, who really should take the blame for it all, for going out and asking uncomfortable questions and then--quelle horreur--publishing what he learned.

The state of the discussion as I see it is this:

The claim is made that "aiki" was a special and important term to both O-Sensei and to Takeda, his teacher. Given that both chose to use that term to name their arts, this seems self-evident, but it is bolstered by sayings of O-Sensei highlighting the importance of whatever it is he called aiki ("I defeated him because I understood aiki.") I think the evidence that's been presented over the years here and partially collected in Chris Li's blog is very strong on this point.

The claim is also made that the understanding of "aiki" as a special body of skills has been largely lost in the aikido world over time, though artifacts of those skills remain in specific exercises and in the very real abilities of at least some senior aikido teachers. But to the extent they remain they are not articulated as a body of knowledge. Justification for this claim is found in the words of O-Sensei's students themselves, who admit they didn't understand the guy and couldn't reproduce what he did. Justification is also found in the specific teachings and exercises of O-Sensei which have been dropped over time, because they were not understood.

It is certainly fair game to argue that O-Sensei used the term more loosely by presenting other quotes and evidence, and any such evidence needs to be accounted for by the IP crowd.

It's also fair to argue that "aiki" has been used more loosely in this or that lineage. But since part of the argument is that the aiki skills have been lost over time (and are worth recovering) I think it's fair and useful to talk about what should properly be called aiki and what shouldn't. And in that discussion, I think a careful analysis of how O-Sensei and his teacher used the term trump "this is what I think" or "this is what my teacher thinks." We can have that discussion respectfully. But I think we have to have it.

The claim is also made that "aiki" skills will trump other skills on the mat. The evidence provided for this is that so many senior practitioners have taken up studying these skills as soon as they are introduced to them. (There's also the in-person, hands-on evidence of meeting up and finding out what happens--but you can't do that across the web.) This is contentious because we all have ego involved but if we aren't willing to engage at this level and submit our understanding to this test, we have no right to call what we do budo.

One counter to this argument is that "aiki" as the IP/IS crowd define it is not the whole story, that avoiding, timing, blending, and jitsu techniques like wrist locks all have a place. I think it's an argument worth making. Recently someone pointed to the Asahi News video where O-Sense escapes out of a ring of people attacking him with a bo. Was that just avoidance? Timing? What else was going on? I think it's a real question and deserves a real discussion.

Another counter is that aikido is not designed for contest fighting and therefore testing your aikido by fighting in a contest is silly (and counter to the Founder's intent). Which would be a fair point, except that no one is talking about an Old West style throwdown. There are lots of ways, in person, to see who's got what and what they can do with it.

Another counter is that aikido isn't just a martial art--it also has spiritual goals of harmony and peace. Proponents quote the Founder's words on this. I think this is profoundly true, and would be a great area for discussion and inquiry--I only wish it would be pursued with the same intellectual rigor that the IP/IS crowd has pursued their arguments. Go find the original Japanese, make translations that seek to be accurate, rather than understandable to a Western audience. Tie O-Sensei's words and perspective to that of O-Omoto kyo and Deguchi. Talk to people who follow that religion and practice those rituals, practice them yourself, and then come back and tell us what you found out. That's what's been happening on the budo side. That's the standard you have to live up to.

One final claim being made is that O-Sensei's "aiki" is not his invention, or Takeda's, but that it ties into an immensely long martial tradition extending back to China and from there to India. In fact, the discovery of this historical continuity is the really new thing Dan brings to the table--and he brings it by talking to and putting hands on with the people from a variety of arts and discovering that the body skills correlate and the language and imagery correlate with what he learned and with how O-Sensei talked. I myself have had the experience (I posted about it a year or so ago) of walking off the mat having done an exercise and encountering exactly that exercise in the words of O-Sensei, words I never would have recognized without the experience of the body practice.

I haven't tried to corral every thread of evidence in this short post, but that's the outline of how I understand the debate to stand right now. I think it's worthy of vigorous debate--and the debate *should* be vigorous, if we care about our art at all. But the bar for debate has been raised and it was first raised not by Dan but by Stan Pranin, who wouldn't accept what all the teachers taught but instead went out and looked at the real evidence for himself. In this argument, if someone justifies a claim with "O-Sensei said this, and it translates this way, and correlates to other Japanese budo terms this way, and to Chinese budo classics like this, and looks like this in this video of O-Sensei, and is supported by these exercises," you really aren't going to get very far responding with "But I feel this way." Or even, "But my teacher taught me this way."

Finally--these are bloody huge ginormous opportunities on the table in front of us here. Nobody has to respond to them. If you're happy with what you're doing, walk away. Keep doing it with like-minded people. But don't complain if you feel like there's a conversation happening behind your back--because there is. And try not to get too frustrated if every topic you post gets brought back to this new/old aiki/IP/IS. Once you learn to see aikido this way, it's really hard not to see it in everything.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:33 PM   #73
Howard Popkin
Dojo: Popkin-Brogna 大東流合気柔術銀柔会
Location: Long Island, NY
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 641
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Re: Vantage points

Who knew you could write something that good :-)
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:04 AM   #74
Nicholas Eschenbruch
Dojo: TV Denzlingen
Location: Freiburg
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 308
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Re: Vantage points

Awesome post, Hugh, goes straight to my desktop collection of reference snippets...

And the oportunity you mention is really, also, joyful and creative.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:47 AM   #75
Ernesto Lemke
Dojo: Seikokan , Leeuwarden
Location: Leeuwarden. the Netherlands
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 150
Netherlands
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Re: Vantage points

Wow Hugh, great post. To me, it also covers big parts of the thread on "online decline". The points you raise are indeed worthy of vigorous debate. And here I was thinking that most every topic had by now seen the light of day.
I've read Aikiweb nearly from it's inception and it's become a habit since years to check this (and a few other) forums on a daily basis. These days however, only occassionaly do I end up following a thread with any great interest. Many times I catch myself wondering why I keep reading it with the frequency that I do. If it wasn't for my interest in, and I guess also being part of the "IP crowd" (whatever that means) I probably would have been gone a long time ago.

Though I rarely participate, and I still think better minds than mine have more to offer to the discussions, I would hate to see the discussions stop. It was Aikiweb amongst others that put me in touch with many interesting people around the globe. I've made friends as a result and hope to make many more.

Sorry for the thread drift. Let me finish by pointing out the obvious: Hugh's points could form the start of several new threads for those who take an interest....

Ernesto
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