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Old 01-03-2013, 03:06 PM   #1
ChrisHein
 
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Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

There is much speculation flying around as to what the word "Aiki" may mean. The ideas that seem to pop up the most are:

A) Aiki, is a term that is describing a way to understand, lead, manipulate or physically blend with the mind and intentions of an attacker.

B) A body ability that gives it's practitioner great physical power, making them seem unmovable and strangely forceful.

I found an interesting passage in Shiro Omiya's book "the hidden roots of Aikido-Aiki Jujutsu Daitoryu, secret techniques of an ancient martial art".

Quote:
Shiro Omiya wrote:
Aiki, the art of negating an opponent's strength, can be demonstrated in many different ways, with varying degrees of accuracy. However, total understanding of all it's subtle dimensions is rare, since aiki has complex spiritual, physiological and physical dimensions.
The spiritual dimension of aiki involves a number of factors: power of suggestion, psychology, and susceptibility, For example, it may be possible to execute a technique in a certain dojo because it's practitioners are accustomed to that kind of training and are susceptible to the seeming effects of that technique- a kind of mass hypnosis. At another dojo the same technique may be completely ineffective. It is undeniable that some people are more suggestible than others, and a charismatic instructor good at reading that sensitivity can perform feats that appear amazing, such as downing an attacker without touching the person, or remaining immobile even with several people shoving him. The relationship between the power of suggestion and true mental power in aiki is very complex, and it is not easy to differentiate between the two.
From this, it would sound like a Daito ryu expert feels as if "Aiki" has a lot to do with the ability to lead someones mind.

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Old 01-03-2013, 03:23 PM   #2
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

Chris Hein wrote :
From this, it would sound like a Daito ryu expert feels as if "Aiki" has a lot to do with the ability to lead someones mind.


Kenji Tomiki in Judo and Aikido
The meaning of "aikido" . The old saying goes, "It is the spirit that carries the mind and controls the body." The people of ancient times believed that man's mind and body and consequently his strenght were under the control of the spirit. Aiki means making your spirit "fit in" with your opponent's. In other words it means bringing your movements into accord with your opponent's. After all it means the same thing as the "principle of gentleness," for it is an explanation of the principle from within.

Quite an interesting remark of someone who believed in the future of martial arts as a sport.

Eddy
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:09 PM   #3
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

There are a number of Daito-ryu schools and people who practice it. Not all of them have and represent Sokaku Takeda's aiki. In the absence of that very genuine, physical skill, understanding of what aiki is and is not will be inaccurate, or at best incomplete. Furthermore, experience time and again has revealed that even those who do have and practice aiki, will provide straightforward facts about it publicly and in books.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 01-03-2013 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:50 PM   #4
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
There are a number of Daito-ryu schools and people who practice it. Not all of them have and represent Sokaku Takeda's aiki.
Can you name those that do?

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Old 01-03-2013, 05:52 PM   #5
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

In the spirit of looking for a way to discuss these things that recognizes the different perspectives...

I think it's clear that, whatever "aiki" may have meant to Takeda and Ueshiba, the term was not used cleanly. You've got here two quotes about "aiki" which certainly seem to go against the IP/IS definition of aiki.

What does it mean for your spirit to "fit in" with your opponent's, to Tomiki? Do you adapt to their intent to hit you? Clearly not. So "fitting in" is somehow reconcilable with taking control. I started out in Tomiki Aikido and I never thought there was any doubt who ended up fitting in with whom.

What about the "principle of gentleness"? If I can counter your power neither by avoiding it nor fighting directly with it, is that "gentle"?

What if I can bring my opponent's movements in accord with mine? Is that "gentle"?

What's the relationship between getting out of the way or fitting in with my opponent, and kuzushi? How do I create kuzushi if all I do is get out of the way?

If I use force against my opponent's technique to move them in the direction they're already going, is that "fitting in"? Or is force force whether applied against my opponent's movement or with it?

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:01 PM   #6
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

EDIT:
Furthermore, experience time and again has revealed that even those Daito-ryu people who do have and practice aiki, will not provide straightforward or complete facts about it publicly and in books.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:07 PM   #7
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
EDIT:
Furthermore, experience time and again has revealed that even those Daito-ryu people who do have and practice aiki, will not provide straightforward or complete facts about it publicly and in books.
Oh ok. Then can you mention just some of the Daito- ryu schools that don't have it? Also earlier you said that you know of some koryu that have aiki. Can you at least name them?

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Old 01-03-2013, 09:48 PM   #8
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

Aiki is evading, aiki is a physical skill that can unbalance the person without over movement, aiki is the ability to lead someone's mind, aiki is a soft ass yellow bird..a rare species, aiki is harmony.

Now choose your definition and train according to your chosen decision. There. Done. Live your life happily.

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 01-03-2013, 10:30 PM   #9
Chris Li
 
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

Shiro Omiya claimed to be a student of Tsuruyama Kozui, who was controversial in his own right, but held a legitimate 8th dan from Takuma Hisa.

I trained with Tsuruyama's dojo in Japan for a number of years - he had already passed away, but most of the senior folks had trained with him for many years.

After seeing the Omiya book I asked the head instructor about Omiya and Omiya's relationship to Tsuruyama. His exact words were "Well, I guess that if you train with someone even once you could call them your teacher".

I know the translator of the Omiya book - he translated it only on the condition that his name not be attached to it. His exact words were "That guy was just making it up".

You have to be careful whose material you're examining.

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-03-2013, 10:43 PM   #10
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Shiro Omiya claimed to be a student of Tsuruyama Kozui, who was controversial in his own right, but held a legitimate 8th dan from Takuma Hisa.

I trained with Tsuruyama's dojo in Japan for a number of years - he had already passed away, but most of the senior folks had trained with him for many years.

After seeing the Omiya book I asked the head instructor about Omiya and Omiya's relationship to Tsuruyama. His exact words were "Well, I guess that if you train with someone even once you could call them your teacher".

I know the translator of the Omiya book - he translated it only on the condition that his name not be attached to it. His exact words were "That guy was just making it up".

You have to be careful whose material you're examining.

Best,

Chris
Man, what I'm going to say is going to sound like an attack, and personal, but it's not. If we're going to look at lineage, and teachers, this becomes valid, because we can't have it both ways. If you're going to claim one guy must be wrong because of his credentials, then you'll have to look at everyones credentials.

You reference Dan all the time Chris Li. Dan's credentials are at least as spotty as Omiya's. I know of one high ranking Daito ryu teacher that Dan studied under. If you ask that teacher directly about Dan, he won't give you a reply, he changes the subject. So if you're going to uphold Dan, and say we shouldn't look at his teachers and lineage as a reference, then you can't turn around and attack someone else's credentials, especially if you don't have the whole story.

I'm okay with looking at lineage, if that's what we want to do, I'm okay with not looking at lineage and just looking at some one's work, but we can't play both sides.

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Old 01-03-2013, 11:17 PM   #11
Michael Varin
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote:
What does it mean for your spirit to "fit in" with your opponent's, to Tomiki? Do you adapt to their intent to hit you? Clearly not. So "fitting in" is somehow reconcilable with taking control. I started out in Tomiki Aikido and I never thought there was any doubt who ended up fitting in with whom.
What do you mean in the section that I bolded? How did you come to that conclusion? What specifically were you noticing?

Quote:
Huge Beyer wrote:
What's the relationship between getting out of the way or fitting in with my opponent, and kuzushi? How do I create kuzushi if all I do is get out of the way?
I feel it is time we begin to address "getting out of the way" or more accurately what exactly is occurring when that happens.

You can get out of the way of a train (In reality, that's about all you can do! Which, I think, is very educational on the relative nature of "force" and "power," but this is for another thread.), but you cannot "join spirits" with the train. What you would be doing is purely based on "timing." You can anticipate the train's arrival in an exact location and simply get out of the way.

This is far from what occurs in human interaction.

If you are in an environment, let's say a sword fight, where you cannot afford to make a single "mistake," where anticipation is too much of a risk, and waiting to see your opponent's physical movement will put you too far behind, what that occurs within human beings could you possibly look at? What would you call that "thing"?

Quote:
Huge Beyer wrote:
You've got here two quotes about "aiki" which certainly seem to go against the IP/IS definition of aiki.
Here are two more. One I just found, and one of my favorites.

From the Aiki News 1986 Friendship Demonstration (video for sale at aikidojournal.com):

Quote:
Minoru Mochizuki wrote:
"What is aiki? Each person has a different theory on this, but in aiki you harmonize your ki with the ki of the opponent. How?... an opponent has ki ready to attack you and you get ahead of him. This is aiki. You harmonize your ki exactly with your opponent's attacking ki. Then you proceed one more step to a rational place to defeat him. In this way the technique is applied in a flash. You perceive his attacking ki quickly and immediately deal with it in an appropriate manner. This is the way of aiki... of aikido."
and from Réminiscences of Minoru Mochizuki:

Quote:
Minoru Mochizuki wrote:
"You fool! What do you mean by such a question? We use kicking techniques or anything else. I even used artillery. Martial arts, guns and artillery are all aikido. What do you think aikido is? Do you think it involves only the twisting of hands? It is a means of war... an act of war! aikido is a fight with real swords. We use the word 'aiki' because through it we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately. Look at Sumo. After the command is given ("Miatte! Miatte!), they stand up and go at each other in a flash. That's the same as aiki. When a person suddenly faces his enemy in an mental state free from all ideas and thoughts and is instantly able to deal with him, we call that aiki. In the old days it was called 'aiki no jutsu'. Therefore, artillery or anything else becomes aiki." "Is that so... I think I understand." "If you still don't understand, come to me again."

Last edited by Michael Varin : 01-03-2013 at 11:22 PM.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:18 PM   #12
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
There are a number of Daito-ryu schools and people who practice it. Not all of them have and represent Sokaku Takeda's aiki. In the absence of that very genuine, physical skill, understanding of what aiki is and is not will be inaccurate, or at best incomplete. Furthermore, experience time and again has revealed that even those Daito-ryu people who do have and practice aiki, will not provide straightforward or complete facts about it publicly and in books.
While possibly true, it is this type of post that will drag this thread down into the dregs. Too many assumptions and opinion stated as fact.

Last edited by Michael Varin : 01-03-2013 at 11:23 PM.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:40 PM   #13
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Man, what I'm going to say is going to sound like an attack, and personal, but it's not. If we're going to look at lineage, and teachers, this becomes valid, because we can't have it both ways. If you're going to claim one guy must be wrong because of his credentials, then you'll have to look at everyones credentials.

You reference Dan all the time Chris Li. Dan's credentials are at least as spotty as Omiya's. I know of one high ranking Daito ryu teacher that Dan studied under. If you ask that teacher directly about Dan, he won't give you a reply, he changes the subject. So if you're going to uphold Dan, and say we shouldn't look at his teachers and lineage as a reference, then you can't turn around and attack someone else's credentials, especially if you don't have the whole story.

I'm okay with looking at lineage, if that's what we want to do, I'm okay with not looking at lineage and just looking at some one's work, but we can't play both sides.
Well, you can think what you like, I was just relating some information. Omiya may be a perfectly nice fellow, once you meet him, but I have my doubts. Since you have even less information than I do about him I'd think that you might find it useful, especially since you're the one that originally brought up "credentials" by citing him as a "Daito ryu expert".

The situation with Dan is completely different - he's here, and accessible, if you haven't been careless enough to slam the door at some point, and he's perfectly open about his lineage if you talk to him in person. Other people have crossed over his lineage and corroborate it. I've seen the same things he's saying and doing come independently from other Daito-ryu and Aikido sources. There's just too much there for it to be "spotty".

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-04-2013, 12:05 AM   #14
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

Folks
What I find so interesting in all of these threads about aiki, what it is, what it was, what it might be, what it might have been, what it could be, what it isn't.......all of this now happening 70 years after Takeda Sokaku passing. Each of Takeda's major students like his son Takeda Tokimune, Takuma Hisa, Tonedate Masao, Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Horikawa Kodo, Yoshida Kotaro, and others, along with Uyeshiba Morihei ...all founded or where the progenitors of separate schools. These individuals all had the same teacher, and differing views along with their own approaches to what was to be taught. Looking at what their students look like today none of these folks had the same definitions for the basic principles, including aiki.....

Considering Aikido my first teacher Harry Ishisaka said the following in a letter back in 1976 talking only about Aikido and O Sensei's direct students......

"The original teaching of O Sensei, Morihei Uyeshiba, were interpreted and applied by his various students….who emphasized in their own schools aspects of (O Sensei's) teachings which they felt to be most meaningful and worthwhile," said Mr. Ishisaka in an April 1976 letter to BLACK BELT (magazine). "Of course, it was inevitable that each disciple would interpret the teachings in his own way," he continued, "and I do not regret each may following his own lights. The Master himself insisted Aikido be dynamic and that its practitioners be willing to apply their insights and experiences to its improvement."

So how many students of O Sensei started their own schools and took their own paths? How many of the direct students who stayed with the Aikikai teach their own version of what they learned?

Considering all of this how many permutations are there?

So my question to all of you is why are we arguing over lineage and who started something and what is the absolute actual whatever? Why are we not taking a clear look at what is being offered?

The tried and true method for confirmation is personal contact.......maybe we should try to get together informally and see what works..........it is really clear that talking about here finalizes nothing...other opens the door.

Gary
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:04 AM   #15
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

Quote:
Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
So my question to all of you is why are we arguing over lineage and who started something and what is the absolute actual whatever? Why are we not taking a clear look at what is being offered?
Part of the argument; "This is what the Founder was doing", is historical by its nature, so questions of lineage are relevant.

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Old 01-04-2013, 01:18 AM   #16
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
Part of the argument; "This is what the Founder was doing", is historical by its nature, so questions of lineage are relevant.
David
Results are relevant.
Gary
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:05 AM   #17
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
There is much speculation flying around as to what the word "Aiki" may mean. The ideas that seem to pop up the most are:

A) Aiki, is a term that is describing a way to understand, lead, manipulate or physically blend with the mind and intentions of an attacker.

B) A body ability that gives it's practitioner great physical power, making them seem unmovable and strangely forceful.

From this, it would sound like a Daito ryu expert feels as if "Aiki" has a lot to do with the ability to lead someones mind.
Here is another remark about "aiki" from an interview with Sugawara Sensei ( http://web.archive.org/web/200212240...kidoTaiji1.htm) :

"Sugawara said the Founder tried to explain about harmonizing ki; and that was the goal of the Founder's Aikido. "To feel partner's feeling and spirit, then to change and flow . . . to catch partner's spirit, this is the aiki situation," he said. Modern martial arts are too stiff, Sugawara feels, and, unfortunately, Aikido is not an exception."

Eddy
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:07 AM   #18
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

@ Michael Varin

I see you quoting Mochizuki Minoru. There is another (I've used google translator for the free version is in French*)

Quote:
After my trip to Europe, other students of Ueshiba Sensei began to visit a foreign country and took Aikido global importance. Frankly, I returned thirty years ago, I had some problems with Ueshiba. By finding I told him: "I went overseas to publicize your work and I have competitions with different people when I was there. I realized it was very difficult to win using only techniques of Aikido. In some cases, I went instinctively to movements of Judo or Kendo and it allowed me to get out of difficult situations. I'm back problem in every sense, I am forced to conclude that the techniques of Daito-ryu jujutsu not sufficient in all situations. The wrestlers are not disturbed by falls and roll after being projected. They returned immediately to the load and use techniques melee. When the French boxing, it goes well beyond the simple techniques of foot and hand Karate. I am sure that the future will spread Aikido throughout the world, but if that is the case, it will expand its range technology to be able to successfully respond to any attack.

After listening to this diatribe O-Sensei told me: "You do not speak as winning or losing. "I went on quickly:" But we must be strong and win. Aikido is now known throughout the world it must be theoretically and technically capable of facing any challenge. "To which he retorted:" All your thinking is flawed. Of course it should not be low, but this is only one aspect of the problem. Do not you understand that we are no longer in an era where we can only mention of victory or defeat? We entered a century of love, you can not understand it? "You should have seen his eyes when he spoke to me!
It seems post-war Ueshiba was not so interested in powerful combative Aikido, and the pre-war teachings didn't deliver when faced western combat sports practitioners.

*http://www.yoseikan-aix.fr/index.php...kan/historique

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 01-04-2013 at 04:18 AM.

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Old 01-04-2013, 04:40 AM   #19
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

The aikido journal version here: http://members.aikidojournal.com/pri...u-mochizuki-2/

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Old 01-04-2013, 04:47 AM   #20
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

Quote:
Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
David
Results are relevant.
Gary
What results do you have in mind Gary?

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Old 01-04-2013, 05:24 AM   #21
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Shiro Omiya claimed to be a student of Tsuruyama Kozui, who was controversial in his own right, but held a legitimate 8th dan from Takuma Hisa.

I trained with Tsuruyama's dojo in Japan for a number of years - he had already passed away, but most of the senior folks had trained with him for many years.

After seeing the Omiya book I asked the head instructor about Omiya and Omiya's relationship to Tsuruyama. His exact words were "Well, I guess that if you train with someone even once you could call them your teacher".

I know the translator of the Omiya book - he translated it only on the condition that his name not be attached to it. His exact words were "That guy was just making it up".
Here is another quote from Omiya's book (http://www.openisbn.com/preview/9784770023278/) :

Quote:
Yukiyoshi Sagawa (1902-1998) was one of Sokaku's earliest students.
You seem to concur with the remark that "That guy was just making it up". Is the information in the above quote "made up"? If not, what process do you (or the anonymous translator) employ to decide what is "made up" and what is not?

You say that Tsuruyama Kozui "was controversial", can you say more in what relevant to this discussion sense was he controversial?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
You have to be careful whose material you're examining.

Last edited by sorokod : 01-04-2013 at 05:27 AM.

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Old 01-04-2013, 06:27 AM   #22
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

Quote:
Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
Aiki is evading, aiki is a physical skill that can unbalance the person without over movement, aiki is the ability to lead someone's mind, aiki is a soft ass yellow bird..a rare species, aiki is harmony.

Now choose your definition and train according to your chosen decision. There. Done. Live your life happily.
how do you train in "soft ass yellow bird"? will it involve feathers? will it tickle?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:38 AM   #23
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
What results do you have in mind Gary?
David
Effectiveness in as wide a range as possible, and at my age ways to compensate for the youth I don't have any longer. IP/IS provides one of those avenues for both.

It is obvious that we are not on the same page in the results we expect, the willingness to seek out these results, and approach to be taken when sources are found. Usually if I can find one positive in book, in a training opportunity, in a conversation.......it was worth while. I can't seem to find that with you, so I think we are done.

Good luck with your actual training.............and please don't ask me what positives I am looking for......
Gary
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:49 AM   #24
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

Quote:
Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
David
Effectiveness in as wide a range as possible, and at my age ways to compensate for the youth I don't have any longer. IP/IS provides one of those avenues for both.

It is obvious that we are not on the same page in the results we expect, the willingness to seek out these results, and approach to be taken when sources are found. Usually if I can find one positive in book, in a training opportunity, in a conversation.......it was worth while. I can't seem to find that with you, so I think we are done.

Good luck with your actual training.............and please don't ask me what positives I am looking for......
Gary
We are definitely not on the same page. My main interest in this discussion lies with the claims of historical accuracy (this is what the founder called "Aiki"). Yours obviously doesn't.

By the way, here is an example of an Akidoka that found a way to intergrate non Aikido influencs into his art. It may have even included aiki.

Quote:
Tamura sensei was both a passionate practitioner and a researcher. I suspect that he was always looking for a way to make things better. Not everything he came up with was worthwhile. He made some changes that he abandoned later, going back to the previous method. Sometimes, he changed to something new yet again. His greatest influence in recent years was, undoubtedly, his discovery of Kuroda Tetsuzan sensei, of the Shinbukan Dojo. It had an incredible impact on his work.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=321271

Last edited by sorokod : 01-04-2013 at 08:01 AM.

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Old 01-04-2013, 08:13 AM   #25
Chris Li
 
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Re: Shiro Omiya Shihan on "Aiki"

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
Here is another quote from Omiya's book (http://www.openisbn.com/preview/9784770023278/) :

You seem to concur with the remark that "That guy was just making it up". Is the information in the above quote "made up"? If not, what process do you (or the anonymous translator) employ to decide what is "made up" and what is not?

You say that Tsuruyama Kozui "was controversial", can you say more in what relevant to this discussion sense was he controversial?

I'm not sure of what your point is - does one true statement mean that other statements must also be true?

Anyway, I've no idea whether or not he was making it up or not - all that I said was to be careful.

Tsuruyama had some disputes with other Takumakai members, and some other folks in the Daito-ryu world, none of which is really relevant here.

Best,

Chris

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