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Old 08-16-2013, 05:14 AM   #51
Cliff Judge
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Re: Practicing Ki is dangerous?!

Quote:
Jeremy Hulley wrote: View Post
Where did the solo practices of the Sagawa dojo come from?
From Sagawa. It is not like he did anything but train obsessively until his 90s, right?
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:19 AM   #52
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Practicing Ki is dangerous?!

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
I... the era (pre-war, post, etc) that he studied with Ueshiba?
He studied with Ueshiba only in his last tow years.

Quote:
... what context did Ueshiba talk about the Chinese aspect ...
If I got it right, it was during private conversations.

I would not load too much into this, because I don't think it answers the questions we have: I don't think they were talking about technical details of IS or things like that. I just mentioned my conversation and the statement of this shihan as a response to Graham Christian who stated there would be "nothing Chinese in Aikido".
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:26 AM   #53
Bernd Lehnen
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Re: China and the Methods that Drive IP & Aiki

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Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post

It is what it is. Japan is famous for taking an idea and running with it -- look what the Japanese did with cameras and automobiles -- and integrating it into its culture.

The knowledge, in Japan, perhaps became proprietary as a result, and that would explain why it's such a "novel concept" to all but another relative few folks today.
Yes, even electricity has become integrated as sort of "Ki" ( ) via the compound- expression "denki".

Quote:
the two nations were neighbors separated only by water that was navigable by ship, and it even further decreases any possibility that aiki/IP could be uniquely Japanese, with China and its powerful internal method right next door.
Perhaps comparable to the British Isles.

Insularity doesn't necessarily lead to singularity-myths.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:25 AM   #54
Cady Goldfield
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Re: China and the Methods that Drive IP & Aiki

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
What if it wasn't really that secret at all, but was simply esoteric knowledge that made a somewhat clunky, innappropriate fit to martial applications due to steep learning curve and not much usefulness versus the time and resources required for training? Until the Meiji period when there was no longer a caste of professional warriors who needed real combat skills to keep society functioning?
Good question, and one that others have asked, myself included. My conclusion is that it depends on how it was taught and transmitted, and that depends on the teacher. If, say Sokaku Takeda learned it in a very esoteric way from Saigo, but was, as is believed, a genius who was able to extrapolate the essence and apply it to his technical martial skills AND be able to physically transmit it to his (selected) students in that way, then the learning curve is not that steep or long. Sagawa is quoted as stating that he "understood aiki-age" (meaning, he understood the Chinese concept of Peng) when he was 17, from training with both his father (also Takeda's student) and with Takeda himself. The Japanese teaching way is the classical Asian one that is more physical teacher-to-student transmission than verbal instruction.

The available information -- interviews with students/former students, eye-witness accounts, etc. -- indicate that such information is, in fact, quite proprietary and often secretive. That's the way of that culture. The "secret secrets" were taught only to select individuals. Or, through no intention of withholding and more due to the individual students' particular capabilities, focus and needs, the skills were taught to varying degrees so that no two students had exactly the same set of skills, some had more of one thing than another, some were lacking certain aspects, a very small number had the "whole package." Some just plain didn't get it, and went elsewhere (allegedly, Tohei and Shioda, for example). This is evident in Morihei Ueshiba's own pre-war Daito-ryu students.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:35 AM   #55
Alfonso
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Re: China and the Methods that Drive IP & Aiki

in the kingdom of the blind the one eyed man is king

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:01 AM   #56
Dan Richards
 
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Re: China and the Methods that Drive IP & Aiki

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post

Ueshiba's aiki came from Sokaku Takeda...
Didn't Ueshiba mostly credit Sokaku with "opening his eyes?"
Quote:
Even more contemporarily, there are people on these Internet pages, myself included, who have trained both in Daito-ryu aiki/IP and in their Chinese equivalent, in my case I Liq Chuan. I can state quite frankly that they are... the same animal.

And while there of course is such thing as simultaneous and synchronous invention of things in different places, such as the printing press and, possibly, the wheel, something as complex, nuanced and sophisticated as an internal body method is very, very unlikely to be something that two different peoples could event, identically, without any cross-pollination of ideas.
I think the "cross-pollination of ideas" could be looked at in a more general way. What was there around in the environment? Well, everyone is basically built the same. People have a head, torso, two arms, two legs, ten fingers, ten toes, and stand upright. The people who "discovered" these arts also had natural phenomena and forces around them: fire, lightening, wind, water, sky, earth.. And also natural elements such as trees, animals, insects, etc..

It's not too far of a stretch to think that the playing field that all people are on - regardless of their culture - is, ultimately, the same field. And for those who would delve deeper into studies such as movement, strategy, integration, would come out with similar conclusions.

The idea of "Hidden in Plain Sight" is even simpler that what sensei might have said or taught to another, or what culture might have copped from another. The "plain sight" part reveals that anyone of us has direct access to the very forces, elements, and designs that Ueshiba or anyone else would have.

Didn't Ueshiba say that the reason most of even his students weren't "getting it" was because they didn't understand in/yo. And if "yo" could represent what Ueshiba actually did say and did do, then "in" could represent everything he didn't say and didn't do.

To read esoteric texts seems to have a common denominator in that it can act as a sort of alarm clock to wake us up. It's not so much what the texts say. Like Cady pointed out with the "same animal" found in various arts, so there's also the same animal that seems to appear over and over in writings from various cultures and teachers.

I think I probably wound up getting my first taste of the "deep end" by reading Huna texts. Also various shamanic writings. But regardless of whether it's something out of the New Testament, Bhagavad Gita, Sun Tzu and whether the culture is Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, etc.. there's always that same animal.

Ueshiba certainly had to have had his nose in Chinese writings. But it seems that it's the level of consciousness that would, or could, have come from those writings that would have acted as a sort of regular nutrition for a higher-level of fuel to allow him to see deeper into the natural order of things. Including non other the "the universe" - because, apparently, he realized he was the universe. Another one of those "same animals."

The same animal appears to be universal. "I am the universe." is quite a stretch from an identity of "I am Chinese." J. Krishnamurti gives some good insight - and another one of those same-animal alarm clocks - about nationalism equalling violence. And also.. "There are the states of inattention and of attention. When you are completely giving your mind, your heart, your nerves, everything you have, to attend, then the old habits, the mechanical responses, do not enter into it, thought does not come into it at all."

Being attentive and conscious. That would have been that same animal that was the catalyst that Sokaku gave to Ueshiba. Sokaku was the initial alarm clock for Ueshiba to open his eyes. To wake up. To loosen the mechanical responses. That was a big theme of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky and many other western esoterists. Jesus said, apparently, "For those who have ears to hear and eyes to see."

Same animal. Woof.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 08-16-2013 at 10:06 AM.

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Old 08-16-2013, 11:15 AM   #57
jonreading
 
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Re: China and the Methods that Drive IP & Aiki

1. I do not think it improbable that O Sensei was influenced by Chinese arts. In Hidden in Plain Sight, Ellis discusses occassions where O Sensei "observed" without participating in a martial art, later to show some influence reflected in his movement. If I remember correctly, the concept of someone like O Sensei admitting to participating in a art below his station would be inappropriate. I can only imagine the difficulty if that admission was made about a Chinese art... I believe that O Sensei was influenced by Chinese internal training.
2. I do not think it improbable that what Chinese influence existed in O Sensei's aikido was removed for the general art by his students. I think the Aikido curriculum that came from O Sensei is not was we traditionally see in aikido. I think you have a number of Japanese students imitate shapes performed by O Sensei, I think you had Japanese students compile the philosophy expressed by O Sensei, I think you had Japanese students develop the teaching curriculum they felt important to learning what O Sensei demonstrated. It would not be suprising to learn that after a period of time, the Japanese imitation of the Chinese teachings replaced the Chinese teachings.

Anyone can say "Y'all", but only Southerners say "Y'all" right...

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Old 08-16-2013, 11:42 AM   #58
JW
 
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Re: Practicing Ki is dangerous?!

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
One concept that I hear of with regard to Chinese internal arts is solo training. That would seem to be a consistent methodology. If that is a hallmark of Chinese training there is a problem because Takeda didn't teach solo training to any of his students.
OK now the argument is more clear to me. What is the reason to say that Takeda did not show solo methods to a few students (I'm thinking, Kodo, Hisa, Ueshiba, Sagawa)? By inference I think it looks more like he did show some. So these are the specific points of the argument I guess:

1. Did Takeda have solo training methods (a general strategy, as well as specific drills) that created a "core skill" that was of central importance in manifesting aiki?
2. DId Ueshiba also have such a method?
3. Did Ueshiba glean any of that method (training strategy, or specific drills as well) from Takeda?
4. Is such a core skill (and its training methods) something that comes from way back and is thus extant here and there in other arts? (And extinct here and there in different lineages of the same arts, as well)

Cliff, you've read HIPS more than me I guess so I am not going to pontificate. But since there are shared results (peoples' demos and explanations of their arts), parsimony alone suggests that these arts of closely related cultures have shared methods (though you seem to have not liked that argument in this thread). There are specific evidences for 1, 2, and 3 above as well, and I think Ellis' writings are pretty targetted and detailed regarding those. (And Ueshiba's comment that DR has "a great training method" comes to mind, as well as the sudden appearance of solo spear training in Ayabe as to point #3 above.) So the question becomes, do we think the solo methods of Ueshiba are very different from those of Chinese arts, or should we consider all these methods as related attempts to build the same internal "stuffs?"

Again, it mostly comes down to what methodologies one will choose to investigate for oneself -- otherwise this is mostly an academic interest. But to be clear, it sounds like the argument is:
Is "aiki" as expressed in budo (aikido) something unique to aikido or to DR?
vs
Is it just another example of martial artists manifesting a traditional power called "nei jin" amongst combat arts which are known to share cultural ties? (Both horizontal and vertical cultural ties)

Considering similarity of results (evidenced in demos and explanations), and known cultural ties, and what I have experienced as congruent strategies, I personally go with the latter.

Last edited by JW : 08-16-2013 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:51 AM   #59
JW
 
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Re: Practicing Ki is dangerous?!

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I would not load too much into this, because I don't think it answers the questions we have: I don't think they were talking about technical details of IS or things like that.
OK, thanks! Agreed, it's just nice to hear of stories like this in context of this particular argument.

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
From Sagawa. It is not like he did anything but train obsessively until his 90s, right?
So the skill of manipulating an attacker's force (and more importantly, the methodology to train this skill) originated independently in Sagawa, Ueshiba, Takeda, and various Chinese lineages like Taiji?
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:15 PM   #60
Dan Richards
 
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Re: China and the Methods that Drive IP & Aiki

I'd agree with you, JW, on it being the latter. Aiki is no more unique to aikido/DR, than arms or legs are unique to them. Aiki can be seen in cultures all over the world. Solo and pairs training can be seen through dances. Look anywhere: American Indian, Maori, Huna, Kali, Dervishes, even American Hip-Hop. Cultures throughout time and all over the world have displayed this type of training in their arts.

Interestingly enough, the "culture" that's probably lost most of its body/mind arts tradition would be none other than the good ol' modern Western culture of the "white man."

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Old 08-16-2013, 12:28 PM   #61
Cliff Judge
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Re: Practicing Ki is dangerous?!

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Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
OK now the argument is more clear to me. What is the reason to say that Takeda did not show solo methods to a few students (I'm thinking, Kodo, Hisa, Ueshiba, Sagawa)? By inference I think it looks more like he did show some.
Well I will see your by-inference and raise you an I-talked-to-a-guy-who: the students of Takeda wrote stuff, and none of them wrote about solo training methods.

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
So the skill of manipulating an attacker's force (and more importantly, the methodology to train this skill) originated independently in Sagawa, Ueshiba, Takeda, and various Chinese lineages like Taiji?
I remain unconvinced that those are not each unique methodologies, though I have this notion that I got from somewhere that everybody knew Sagawa studied Chinese martial arts at some point.

A page ago, we were talking about how Ueshiba was influenced by Chinese martial arts simply because the whole of Japanese culture was influenced by Chinese culture for centuries. In that light it should hardly be surprising that you would see something like aiki present in pretty much all Japanese martial arts.

(Unless of course it was winnowed out as frivolous or at least not-cost-effective by pre-Meiji systems....)
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:00 PM   #62
Chris Li
 
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Re: Practicing Ki is dangerous?!

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I remain unconvinced that those are not each unique methodologies, though I have this notion that I got from somewhere that everybody knew Sagawa studied Chinese martial arts at some point.
Well I don't know it, so it can't be everybody.

We get that you're unconvinced, and that's fine, but my question is why does it seem so important to you that there not be a connection?

I ask because you've made repeated comments over a period of time that seem to imply this is all somehow damaging (perhaps even purposely damaging) to conventional Aikido.

Best,

Chris

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