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Old 06-27-2013, 04:21 PM   #51
Aikeway
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
Not sure where you get the idea that these techniques come from Judo. In the broader sense there are no techniques in Aikido that are not found somewhere else in the realm of jujutsu but what Tomiki did do is bring back some of those techniques into Judo via the Goshin no Kata. Those were clearly derived from Aikido.
"Kano composed many kata in Kodokan judo from old jujitsu. One of these, Kime no kata, includes techniques that are well known in today's aikido. This suggests that the techniques of aikido are basically the same as the techniques of jujitsu……..When Kano visited the dojo in Mejirodai in 1930 and saw Morihei Ueshiba do aikido, he said it was the ideal budo, i.e. judo. He understood it as part of judo because Ueshiba's Daito-ryu was part of jujitsu and judo was created through the development of jujitsu. It was like finding a treasure. In those days jujitsu had almost disappeared, so Kano was very glad to see Ueshiba's aikido. He sent Minoru Mochizuki and Jiro Takeda to Ueshiba's dojo on his behalf and studied Ueshiba's techniques in (the) Kodokan. His attitude was amazing -- he researched and scientifically analysed all sorts of techniques. As a result, he not only developed judo but handed down for posterity the essence of traditional jujitsu."

- Aikido Tradition and the Competitive Edge by Fumiaki Shishida and Tetsuro Nariyama

So Kano incorporated Daito ryu techniques into judo, later Tomiki added more into judo from his study of aiki-jujitsu under Ueshiba from around 1925 and then Tomiki took some of those techniques to form his style of aikido much later.

The point being is that the techniques of aikido are not significantly different to judo techniques and that as shiai or hard randori are necessary to develop effective judo techniques, so too are shiai or hard randori necessary to develop effective aikido techniques, in a modern environment.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:31 PM   #52
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
What did the Japanese that you read mean to you? "Strict prohibition" or something else less strict or prohibitive?
"Strict prohibition" - as I said, I'm not arguing about the translation.

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Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
And if Osensei was a hypocrite, which did you think he thought would do the best for you as an aikidoist and for aikido as an practice, based on his body of writings and teachings? If you think he was just talking out of his a$$ when he said competition in aikido is "strictly prohibited" - why do you really care whether he said it or meant it or whatever? It just mean's he was full of it... Go and test your aikido skill against anyone who will meet your challenge. If it gives you what you are looking for, what does it matter to anyone else, including Osensei? You don't owe him anything do you?
As I said, I don't think that it's such a black and white issue. You seem to be arguing for an either/or - but that's rarely the way that things work out in Japan, no matter that the statement seems to imply that it does.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-27-2013, 04:37 PM   #53
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Corky,

Could you explain why translations of O Sensei regarding this issue doesn't match with the training methodology as described by a direct student of the founder in

http://books.google.es/books?id=SdYD...hizuki&f=false ?

see pages 34-35
I can't!!

I'm not exactly sure which part of the interview you feel points out a discrepancy between Osensei's practice and purported purpose, but then I also can't vouch for whether this honorable interviewee's perception of Ueshiba's practice is accurate from an objective point of view, or if it's being reported after passing through the personal filters of the perception of a person who would not, in the article, claim that what he was doing is Ueshiba's aikido and thought things had taken the wrong turn when Osensei made it clear to him that aikido was about fostering peace!

I also never heard that Kisshomaru Ueshiba expected the interviewee to take over Aikido when Osensei died!!! He must have made quite an impression on the Founder's son! Even more than Tohei I guess! He is said in the article to be at the time the only living person to have received the menkyo-caiden from Uyeshiba - are you his student? If not, how come?
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:52 PM   #54
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
"Strict prohibition" - as I said, I'm not arguing about the translation.

As I said, I don't think that it's such a black and white issue. You seem to be arguing for an either/or - but that's rarely the way that things work out in Japan, no matter that the statement seems to imply that it does.

Best,

Chris
Okay, so where on the spectrum does the issue fall for you?
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:21 PM   #55
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
Okay, so where on the spectrum does the issue fall for you?
Like anything else, competition has its pluses and its minuses. If it matters, I don't really engage in any formal competitions - but I don't have any particular argument if other people choose to (as in arguing that competition makes it not Aikido).

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-27-2013, 05:40 PM   #56
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Like anything else, competition has its pluses and its minuses. If it matters, I don't really engage in any formal competitions - but I don't have any particular argument if other people choose to (as in arguing that competition makes it not Aikido).

Best,

Chris
ha ha! Touche!
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:52 PM   #57
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
the book I hold says Translated from AIKIDO, 1958 & AIKIDO GIHO 1962 - it is a translation of both combined so the "strictly prohibited" matches part might well have been from the 1962 part - but maybe like you said it all stemmed from that televised struggle... lol...
Just to say that I have often wondered why some people find that televised Tohei event with the American guy was something to ridicule or even relate in any way to competition. I myself saw one big guy trying to fight and the little guy trying not to.

When showing it to people they were amazed and interested for everyone I showed it to could see it was different in some way to what they called competing or fighting.

To put it in perspective for most all watching at the time, and listening I might add, they returned admitting they had missed the point of Aikido completely. Then it shows the Master of the art and later him allowing the big guy to test his theory which to him seemed like if he used his wrestling type or grappling skills against the little guy it would be easy. As I recall he was amazed how he couldn't quite do what he thought he should be able to. To me that was quite a demonstration.

Have you ever seen a boxer just inhibiting another from fighting while he virtually refuse to hit the opponent. It is stopped as a no contest. No competition.

I myself have been put in such positions in the past. Once when only a few years into Aikido I was set up by a shaolin style 'friend' of mine. He invited me to come and see his kung fu class and just to join in with some beginners and experience some basics. However, once there and changed he anounced who I was and called me to the centre of the room orderi ng me to bow to his chief instructor. After doing so he just shouted fight. So there I am being attacked by punches and kicks.

At the time all I knew was keep harmony, keep calm and trust in your Aikido. We were taught even back then 'no competition' and suddenly I was confronted with the reality. Anyway after a few minutes the guy stopped and looked at the teacher bemused for he didn't know what else to do. For I was no slouch and found myself parrying and moving with one focus and that was ma'ai. He gave up because he couldn't connect with me. A base level no competition, no match. It probably looked a bit ungamely too, I don't know. Anyway the teacher smiled and had us bow out. No doubt he found whatever it was he was looking for. Me. I learned a lot both pro and con in my mind. I was happy with what I did but found some weaknesses too. I found I wanted to 'end' his competition, his game, and yet found I wasn't confident enough to enter and finish it.

Much later down the line we had a guy who did kung fu and wing chun. He was training with us for a few months but still after class would say what he would do for real though. One day he said it so that the teacher couldn't miss it. The teacher called me and told the guy to use his kung fu etc. against me. Reminds me a bit of that film. He really wanted to, he wanted to knock my head off. Was this a match? To me it wasn't. To him it most certainly was, it was his big day.

The point is and the thing I discovered then was within me. The words competeion or match or even challenge no longer fitted. To me inside it was just 'do' and probably a bit of 'teach'. It didn't seem to matter what he was doing. So a new experience of what no competition meant. No rules, no referee, just do according to the principles of what I would call non competition.

This led to much musing thereafter for as I reviewed what happened over probably the next few weeks actually all I could find were plusses but I wasn't 100% happy because I now wanted to know or rather understand better what those plusses were for I couldn't explain them properly to those who witnessed it.

So even pluses give us much to learn I found.

So basically I have found the path and discipline of non competition a fascinating one myself and found it's all to do with in self and not what appears to be happening by those observing.

Of course now it's even more clear and this as you must know very well brings about a new scene as far as the observer goes for now it is observable to the outside observer (as in your vids) yet to most it thus from the outside wouldn't look real. Yet the reality of no competition in yourself is no doubt crystal clear in self I would guess.

Thus I also found that the communications of Ueshiba just made more and more sense. Wondering what he meant disappearing and being only replaced by understanding. No hidden secrets, just things to understand,

O.K. That's enough from me, I've been a good boy lately and not posted too much.

Peace.G.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:12 AM   #58
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
"Strict prohibition" - as I said, I'm not arguing about the translation.

As I said, I don't think that it's such a black and white issue. You seem to be arguing for an either/or - but that's rarely the way that things work out in Japan, no matter that the statement seems to imply that it does.

Best,

Chris
I tend to agree with Chris here -- and I have quite a few years experience of living here and seeing this for myself. I have discussed this at length elsewhere and so there is no need to repeat it here. However, there are two other translations of the text quoted in Kisshomaru Ueshiba's Aikido and some might like to compare them.

In Kisshomaru Ueshiba's book, the reference is on Page 180. The text I have, the 1973 reprint, prints the quotation as part of a paragraph. Here is the paragraph in full.

"In Aikido we control the opponent's mind before we face him. That is we draw him into ourselves. We go forward in life with this attraction of our spirit, and attempt to command a whole view of the world.
We ceaselessly pray that fights should not occur. For this reason we strictly prohibit matches in Aikido. Aikido's spirit is that of loving attack and that of peaceful reconciliation. In this aim we bind and unite the opponent with the will power of love. By love we are able to purify others."

The Japanese original can be found in Aikido Giho, on pp. 262-263. It is a combination of two paragraphs, but not all of the paragraphs have been translated into English. Here are the two paragraphs in Japanese. The part translated in Aikido is in bold type.

◯ 合気道は相手が向かわない前に、こちらでその心を自己の自由にする。自己の中に吸収してしまう。つまり精神の引力の働きが進むのです。そしてこの世界を一目に 見るのです。今日ではまだほとんどの人ができません。私もできません。

◯ 一国を侵略し一人を殺すことではなく、みなそれぞれに処を得させて生かし、世界大家族としての集いとなって、一元の営みの分身分業として働けるようにするのが、合気道 の目標であり、宇宙建国の大精神であります。これが明治御大帝の大御心であったと、今日なお仰いでおります。絶えずこの祈りによって争いをさせんようにする。だから合気道は試合を厳禁している。がその実は大なる愛の攻撃精神、和合平和への精神である。それがために自己の愛の念力 をもって相手を全部からみむすぶ。愛があるから相を手浄めることができるのです。

The Japanese original is taken almost verbatim from the Takemusu Aiki discourses and there is a note on p. 264 of Aikido Giho to the effect that the Doshu Memoir [道主言志録] consists of selections from notes taken of the lectures given by Morihei Ueshiba that appeared in the Byakko Shinko Kai magazine. The lectures were given from 1958 onwards.

The Japanese original of the second paragraph was also quoted by Kisshomaru Ueshiba in his biography of Morihei Ueshiba and the English translation is given below (from A Life in Aikido).

"It is foolish to invade someone else's country, killing people and achieving the illusion of victory. The objective of Aikido mirrors that of the spirit of the foundation of the universe: for all to have a place to call home, to be part of the same family, to work of children of the same creative source. Even today, I truly believe that this was what the Emperor Meiji had in mind. It is for this that we always pray, avoiding conflict at all cost. For this reason I prohibit competition in Aikido. However, the love which is part of Aikido actively seeks concord and peace. Thus, one should encompass the opponent with the energy of love; in this way you can cleanse him." (A Life in Aikido, p. 43.)

John Stevens has translated parts of Takemusu Aiki and his rendering of the paragraph is on p. 99.

"Aikido is always concerned with the spiritual side of things, not the material. Aikido is meant to bring out the best in people, to lead us along the proper path. Its basis is love. The purpose of Aikido is to help fulfill our mission to bring peace and harmony to this world. That is why there are no competitive matches in Aikido, no contests. We attack with the power of Love, and we wield weapons of harmony and peace. We bind our opponents with the power of Love. We purge our opponents of aggression."

Translation is an art as well as a science and I would consider all three translators highly competent, but there are some differences -- which is why I prefer to have the Japanese original as a point of comparison, if only to see what has been omitted. It is quite clear that Morihei Ueshiba stated that there was no place for shiai, but, of course, shiai is not the only term for 'competition' in Japanese.

Best wishes,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 06-28-2013 at 07:18 AM. Reason: formatting

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Old 06-28-2013, 11:09 AM   #59
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

Thank you , Goldsbury Sensei for sharing your vast knowledge.

It seems to me that the real intention behind wanting to know if and why Osensei prohibited competition (even if competitions exist among aikidoka) is to find an excuse not to refrain from them. If I am wrong please tell me your reason for wanting to know, if that is not it.

Since I believe that all action arises from intention, I look for the intention in entering competition.

Theoretically, in competition, I will no longer be your cooperative uke, nor will you be mine. If you believe your regular training, with partners who want to help you perform aikido optimally, is preparing you for real life conflict (different from competition), then there is no need to prove it to yourself or others that your aikido will function as practiced when real life attackers want to destroy or control you. Competition arises generally from one of two intentions; either to prove to others that you are better than others, or to prove to yourself that you are as good as you think. If there are other intentions you believe lead to competition, please add them.

But you know what? Hang on a sec. I just changed my mind. I used to support the idea of no competitions in aikido but I think I may have actually proven myself wrong about that just now...

I just remembered about 14 or 15 years ago after class, I got into an impromptu "competition" with my teacher, Don O' Bell Sensei, in aikido almost 30 years at that point, who received a dan ranking in ki from Tohei Shihan, who was also the creator of the ACE aikido system and was a student of Roderick Kobayashi Sensei originally. For approximately 20 minutes we struggled around the mat together, me trying to throw him with all the techniques he had taught me and I had been practicing, and him trying to throw me with all the techniques he had been teaching me.

Not one throw occurred in the whole twenty minutes. Every time O' Bell Sensei or I sensed an opening or opportunity for a throw or joint lock and went to execute/employ it, the other would cease whatever energy flow the other was attempting to direct into the throw. In other words, we each instantly, involuntarily, stopped our attack in order to defend.

There is no way anyone watching from outside without prior knowledge would view what we were doing as aikido. If the two of us had been on a battlefield, we both would have been dead in the first minute, the way we were struggling with each other. It was a bit like this the way it must have looked to those standing around: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM_u-cCSPoA except, as in real life - no referee!!!

Without judging whether or not this kind of thing was sanctioned by the Founder, how does it look when compared to what Osensei demonstrated and what you practice every day? If Osensei were to see the video above, dear reader, do you really think he would congratulate each participant with a job well done, convinced they were learning what he was teaching? I can only speak for myself, but in that specific circumstance with O' Bell sensei I couldn't say I was doing aikido, only trying to do aikido.

I had actually had a few physical attacks be directed at me prior to this outside the dojo, and aikido had worked beautifully each time (though no one was hurt or thrown), but this was as close to a relentless real world physical attack as I could imagine because it looked like every fight between two people I had ever seen. Two people going at it trying to get the better of each other while a crowd watched from around a ring they made themselves... a crowd, who if we had been on a battlefield, might have chosen any moment to attack and end the life of the busy opponent of his friend with a handy rock. How can aikido be made for multiple attackers and yet I can't even handle one after 15 years of study myself?

At the end of this I had to ask myself - why couldn't I perform a single technique? More importantly, why can't my teacher throw me???

The answer revealed itself to me when I discarded the technique emulation model of my teachers (which clearly wasn't working for me) and began asking for authentic attack energy from my partners rather than cooperative ukemi, and studying what it meant to extend the same.

My discovery, which is continually proven true in our dojo, was that the intention to throw, which both my teacher and I would embody every time we saw an opportunity, was picked up as an attack by the other's limbic system triggers causing us involuntarily to change our intentions to defense and stability rather than to continue the intention to attack (throw).

Not unexpectedly, the way things would go on a micro-energetic level:
  1. Dynamic tension between partners - what I would call connection - this is the part where no one is trying to throw the other but both are sending a flow of energy to each other's center.
  2. One of us would provide an opening in an attempt to get the other to attack or would find an opening to use to throw the other.
  3. Intentional attempt to throw or to use the attack of the other to throw.
  4. Instant systemic, reflexive recognition of the attack (the aikido technique used as a way of winning), and involuntary rebalancing of the attacker and cessation of the attack energy.
  5. Repeat (and realize that the dynamic tension is actually mutual defense, two shields up against each other until someone used a spear.)

In retrospect, this was totally illuminating for me because it showed me that intention to throw is immediately recognized by the limbic system as a threat and a threat response comes out immediately (regain balance, keep other from negatively affecting the central core) - in other words my attack stopped immediately, making the "aikido" technique attempted an attack rather than a harmonious blending of energy with that of the attack. The only way aikido techniques will "work" (as in producing a resolution in which uke's attack is fully realized and grounded - a throw or fall) with someone not attacking but defending, is by making the technique into an attack, to make the person fall whether he is attacking or not.

Had either my teacher or I consciously transcended that limbic system response and kept up the original intention of the attack, which is what Osensei apparently demanded from his students, I have no doubt either one of us would have landed on the mat from our attack. However, the limbic system response to being attacked (through an intended throw) set us back on our centers involuntarily. If you watch the video linked to above, you will see what I mean a thousand times.

Once you get an idea about how your intention to relentlessly deliver authentic attack energy to your partner's center provides him or her with everything needed for aikido to spontaneously and effortlessly manifest (though not in collusion with nage), you start to see truthfully how much your partner is usually really trying to throw you or escape from you (reflexes of their own limbic system triggers which must be transcended in order to connect in such a way that your attack not be interrupted by your own limbic system's recognition of a counter attack).

The quickest way to that transcendent state that I have yet found is to embody an intention of beneficence. The flow of energy that is generated by beneficent intention never triggers a defense response. The attack can then proceed uninterruptedly until uke is on the ground.

I have yet to be able, with an intention of winning instead of losing, to generate authentic beneficent intention. I believe it is impossible for anyone to simultaneously have beneficent intention towards someone and to want that person to lose to you.

So, here I am reversing myself. Screw what Osensei said. Grab a partner, dare him to throw you before you throw him, and go at it. Don't give up until someone wins and someone loses! Forget all that potentially mistranslated clap-trap from the Founder how aikido is not about winning or losing or felling an opponent - pretend for a minute you never read any of that stuff. It helped me a lot!
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:31 AM   #60
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
Competition arises generally from one of two intentions; either to prove to others that you are better than others, or to prove to yourself that you are as good as you think. If there are other intentions you believe lead to competition, please add them.
- for fun and profit, might even get a t-shirt (definitely no donuts and coffee)
- just to see what that like
- for the rush
- for affection from the opposite sex or same, depends on which way you go
- for stupidity from a dare

do we really need a reason? stand on earth you compete against gravity. in space, you compete against vacuum and solar radiation. life is a competition against death. of course, death always win, unless you are zombie. which remind me, what aikido techniques counter zombies, since there seemed to be lots of movie about zombies of late.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:51 AM   #61
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

Then there is a factor given as a major part of Aikido by Ueshiba. Non resistance. Does not oppose or compete and cannot be competed with or opposed. Yet it is active.

So if non resistance is real then competition is actually impossible.

Peace.G.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:22 PM   #62
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Then there is a factor given as a major part of Aikido by Ueshiba. Non resistance. Does not oppose or compete and cannot be competed with or opposed. Yet it is active.

So if non resistance is real then competition is actually impossible.

Peace.G.
com·pe·ti·tion n
1. the activity of doing something with the goal of outperforming others or winning something
2. an activity in which people try to do something better than others or win something

Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.


I can find only truth in the statement if non resistance is real then competition is actually impossible.

The statement though illustrates the same property in this statement: if resistance is real, then competition is possible.

If the person wants to throw you on the ground (win) and you go along with him, no competition! If he wants to throw you on the ground and you resist (so you win), there is competition!

How do those ideas fit in with your aikido practice?
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:37 PM   #63
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
If the person wants to throw you on the ground (win) and you go along with him, no competition! If he wants to throw you on the ground and you resist (so you win), there is competition!

How do those ideas fit in with your aikido practice?
Not very well, there are other ways of non-resistance (無抵抗) then "going along with him" - and you notice the Morihei Ueshiba was not the one that ended up on the ground.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-28-2013, 02:46 PM   #64
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
- for fun and profit, might even get a t-shirt (definitely no donuts and coffee)
- just to see what that like
- for the rush
- for affection from the opposite sex or same, depends on which way you go
- for stupidity from a dare

do we really need a reason? stand on earth you compete against gravity. in space, you compete against vacuum and solar radiation. life is a competition against death. of course, death always win, unless you are zombie. which remind me, what aikido techniques counter zombies, since there seemed to be lots of movie about zombies of late.
Thanks for the list Phi! But do they really add up to the intention to compete?

Clearly you are speaking about a competitive event in the first couple of examples, in which you mention things you could experience just by forfeiting immediately after the competition begins. You're not really competing by definition of the word in any of these, you are only there to get something other than winning or as a result of winning. When your motivation to get those things you listed makes you need to win first, then the motivation in entering the competition still comes down to proving to yourself and/or others that you can outperform the opponent (even if just for a t-shirt). Maybe you're competing to see what it's like or for the rush, but you would not have either of those experiences if you didn't enter it with the idea of winning or losing.

I don't see any of the things you listed as natural competition. Gravity is a natural force so gravity can not "lose." You don't compete with it, you use it to move around the world and it is not trying to immobilize you. You don't compete with "death" you move in accordance with life. If you go to space you will need to take precautions that would insure your resistance against forces in nature that will destroy your body, but deep space isn't out to "win." You would only be competing with yourself to come up with the best way to not fall victim to the forces of nature that just are...
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:54 PM   #65
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Not very well, there are other ways of non-resistance (無抵抗) then "going along with him" - and you notice the Morihei Ueshiba was not the one that ended up on the ground.

Best,

Chris
Except here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws2Ic...53460E0CAC9F72 (forward to 7:00)

Yes!! so what are we missing in the idea of "non-resistance" that relates to competition?
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:03 PM   #66
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Except here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws2Ic...53460E0CAC9F72 (forward to 7:00)

Yes!! so what are we missing in the idea of "non-resistance" that relates to competition?
I don't think that I'm missing anything in particular - but you obviously have something in mind, so why not just say it?

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-28-2013, 03:08 PM   #67
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

The benefit of competing or having a match/challenge is that it allows you to improve your skills by testing whether they actually work, and if not, allowing you to make modifications so that they do work. Thus you become more highly skilled. The fact that some people may compete for what we may consider are wrong reasons, should not be a valid reason to prohibit competitions or challenges/matches. The remedy for students who compete for the wrong reason is to have an instructor who instils the correct values in their students.
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:44 PM   #68
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

Sensei Ueshiba was very highly skilled at his style and correctly commands a lot of respect. Generally students with far less skills should heed the messages that he has given us. However, when other very highly skilled martial artists such as Takeda or Tomiki have a different point of view (by their actions or verbally) about engaging in matches or competitions, then we shouldn't necessarily follow everything he says simply because he is the founder of aikido. We generally don't follow his "extreme" spiritual beliefs and westerners generally don't accept his non-scientific model of the universe.
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Old 06-28-2013, 04:03 PM   #69
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Talking Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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I don't think that I'm missing anything in particular - but you obviously have something in mind, so why not just say it?

Best,

Chris
If I say it we'll have something to argue about but if you say it we won't... and why argue? lol...

I hope to meet you when (if) I visit Hawaii!

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Old 06-28-2013, 04:22 PM   #70
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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The benefit of competing or having a match/challenge is that it allows you to improve your skills by testing whether they actually work, and if not, allowing you to make modifications so that they do work. Thus you become more highly skilled. The fact that some people may compete for what we may consider are wrong reasons, should not be a valid reason to prohibit competitions or challenges/matches. The remedy for students who compete for the wrong reason is to have an instructor who instils the correct values in their students.
I totally get what you're saying Daniel, but I see that kind of stuff in training as different than competing, don't you? The way you described the benefits are more like what you get in freestyle training. You ask for challenges from your practice partners and they work with you (even if that is "against" you, right?)

But then the whole emphasis shifts, doesn't it, when the purpose of the activity is to see who is better?

Have you ever had a practice session in any sport where part of the time is spent working together as a team or as practice partners and part as scrimmaging, bouting, matching, etc.? In the situations I've been in (fencing mostly) the whole attitude shifts. Your practice partner who used to help you see your weaknesses so that you can strengthen them is now out to exploit them. This is inherent in the nature of contests.

If there is a "wrong reason" for competing (and not saying there is), might it not be because it encourages the exploitation of weakness for the sake of pride/winning? Is that what you meant by "the wrong reasons?" Or was it something else? More about "ego" maybe?
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Old 06-28-2013, 04:56 PM   #71
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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I totally get what you're saying Daniel, but I see that kind of stuff in training as different than competing, don't you? The way you described the benefits are more like what you get in freestyle training. You ask for challenges from your practice partners and they work with you (even if that is "against" you, right?)

But then the whole emphasis shifts, doesn't it, when the purpose of the activity is to see who is better?

Have you ever had a practice session in any sport where part of the time is spent working together as a team or as practice partners and part as scrimmaging, bouting, matching, etc.? In the situations I've been in (fencing mostly) the whole attitude shifts. Your practice partner who used to help you see your weaknesses so that you can strengthen them is now out to exploit them. This is inherent in the nature of contests.

If there is a "wrong reason" for competing (and not saying there is), might it not be because it encourages the exploitation of weakness for the sake of pride/winning? Is that what you meant by "the wrong reasons?" Or was it something else? More about "ego" maybe?
I suppose I take the view that competition is a method of training, a means of improvement. Even when you are just in the dojo "training" in perhaps hard randori with a partner who is strongly opposing you, exploiting your weaknesses etc, it is still generally not quite as hard as when in an actual competition. However, it is still extremely beneficial.

Even if students enter into competitions for the "wrong" reasons e.g. ego, to win trophies etc, then there is still a reasonable chance that with more study, experience or mentoring by the instructor, they will ultimately change for the better. By then, they would have also improved their skills as well due to the competitions, so not only has their character been changed for the better but their skill level is higher.
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:27 PM   #72
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Thank you , Goldsbury Sensei for sharing your vast knowledge.

It seems to me that the real intention behind wanting to know if and why Osensei prohibited competition (even if competitions exist among aikidoka) is to find an excuse not to refrain from them. If I am wrong please tell me your reason for wanting to know, if that is not it.
Mr Quakenbush,

Many thanks for your response. I have been following the discussions in several threads and had a problem of whether to put the post in the Language thread or here. Since it was a response to what Christopher Li stated in Post #52 about what I would call Japanese attitudes to logic, I put it here, but it is relevant to the issues being discussed in the language thread.

If I want to find the reason why O Sensei prohibited competition I would read his discourses and since I can read Japanese, I would read them in the original. As I stated in my post, I found three different translations of the same statements forbidding competition, but was struck by what had been omitted in Kisshomaru Ueshiba’s “Memoir of the Master”, and I cannot find any explanation from Mr Tanahashi and Mr Maurer in their “Translators’Forward” at the front of the book. As it happens, Hideo Takahashi gives an explanation at the end of the Japanese edition of Takemusu Aiki about how the discourses published therein were made and Aikido Giho notes that they were selected from notes made during Morihei Uesiba’s lectures to the Byakko Shinko Kai, which is an offshoot of Omoto-kyou.

In your post, you mention the “real intention behind wanting to know if and why O Sensei prohibited competition” and I assume that by “real intention” you mean something other than the explanations given in the discourses. However, I do not entirely agree with you.

A few years ago I held a meeting with Okumura Shigenobu and Tada Hiroshi, both Hombu shihans, in order to clarify the views of Morihei Ueshiba about competition. The thread in the Language forum was begun many years before this meeting and when I contributed to the thread, I had not read all of O Sensei’s discourses published in Japanese. Since then, I rectified this omission, but was struck by Morihei Ueshiba’s rather disdainful attitude to ‘Western sports’. (His treatment of this can be found in one of Stan Pranin’s articles in the Aikido Journal forum.) The meeting was very fruitful and I learned much about O Sensei’s thinking from two of his close students.

Did I have a “real intention behind wanting to know if and why O Sensei prohibited competition”? Other than trying to clarify for myself why he forbade matches, I do not think so. Was I trying to “find an excuse not to refrain from them”? Absolutely not. I took up aikido many years ago because it was not a competitive sport and have never changed my attitude.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury

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Old 06-28-2013, 06:32 PM   #73
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
Clearly you are speaking about a competitive event in the first couple of examples, in which you mention things you could experience just by forfeiting immediately after the competition begins. You're not really competing by definition of the word in any of these, you are only there to get something other than winning or as a result of winning. When your motivation to get those things you listed makes you need to win first, then the motivation in entering the competition still comes down to proving to yourself and/or others that you can outperform the opponent (even if just for a t-shirt). Maybe you're competing to see what it's like or for the rush, but you would not have either of those experiences if you didn't enter it with the idea of winning or losing.
i had done competing in various events, physical (martial as well as non) as well as non-physical. i usually, not always, didn't give much thought on winning or losing. i just competed. sometimes i won through skill, other time i lost through luck. maybe for you, competition is about winning or losing, but not for me. i don't know you, but believe me, i know me quite well.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:51 PM   #74
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

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Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
com·pe·ti·tion n
1. the activity of doing something with the goal of outperforming others or winning something
2. an activity in which people try to do something better than others or win something

Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.


I can find only truth in the statement if non resistance is real then competition is actually impossible.

The statement though illustrates the same property in this statement: if resistance is real, then competition is possible.

If the person wants to throw you on the ground (win) and you go along with him, no competition! If he wants to throw you on the ground and you resist (so you win), there is competition!

How do those ideas fit in with your aikido practice?
I don't think the dictionary has a word for continuous state of winning.

The second statement I would substitute possible with inevitable.

If the person wants to throw me on the ground his win is ego so he has already lost. I go along with him not his ego. Thus we both win.

If I resist I have already lost and if this prevents him doing so (putting me down) then so has he. That is competition and it's called a draw or from my Aikido perspective..a waste of time.

For me there is NO resistance in Aikido and there cannot be. The way of non resistance is the way and without that there cannot be ki flow and so cannot be Aikido.

No resistance in my Aikido is literal, no excuses or extenuating circumstances.

So the whole 'illusion' of wanting to throw someone on the ground is seen as that...misplaced illusion. When dealing with someone who does I am thus dealing with two things. 1) Their misplaced illusion. 2) The truth beyond that. So always connect to the truth and not be taken or drawn into the illusion.

So those two ideas have no place in my Aikido.

Peace.G.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:28 AM   #75
graham christian
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Re: No Competition in Aikido(excluding Tomiki)

Just to add on from the above we use the rule that it is impossible for resistance to stop Aikido. That's one of our golden rules.

So it is not even seen as opposite to non resistance. It is seen as something which can only be described as a replacement of Aikido. So when thwarted by any resistance the answer is you have somehow entered that game of resistance. It is for the thwarted one to recognize how and why.

To know when you used resistance and when you didn't is the self discipline and honesty needed and so applies to even when successful for being successful when using any resistance to us is failing.

Peace.G.
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