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Old 08-27-2013, 07:08 AM   #101
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Like what do you mean specifically? Could you list some examples?
Since starting aikido, I have revised my pronunciation of the spoken terminology, I have refined the definition of many of the terms themselves (life-taking sword, connection, "aiki", "Sensei" to name a few), I have added terms from judo, karate, and jujitsu, I have taken teaching concepts and exercises from other arts, I even wear my gi differently than when I first started. In these few examples, most of the original content was not the "best" and has since been refined. That does not necessarily mean it was wrong, only that I have worked diligently to improve my understanding and in that effort changed my information.

To be more elaborate, I think some of the new pieces published by Ellis, Chris, and others that are reworking some of the original translations from O Sensei are improving our understanding of aikido. This are/should be natural learning evolution points as we increase the depth and breath of our knowledge.

To my point, I am advocating caution in accepting cultural and historical lessons in aikido as fact. I think for example, John Stevens made some translation mistakes in his works, many of which I own and have read multiple times. Some more grievous than others and some that changed the way I thought about aikido. Same thing for Pranin sensei. I think even these two individuals have remarked than given what they know now, their translations from earlier were not the best. But, they did the best they could at the time and I am grateful for what they did.

Hope that clarifies things.

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Old 08-27-2013, 07:13 AM   #102
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
But that doesn't really answer the question with regards to the subject of this thread. Suppose the ground had been soft enough for us to train taijutsu: would that have been aikido?
Actually no. You would have been training taijutsu. Particularly of this was a long term thing without son periodic Aikido training.
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:15 AM   #103
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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How would it ruin aikido?
IMHO aikido practice has few goals. It's like a tool to do something. If someone uses aikido to reach different goal it near by ruin the tool. For example it's like to cut steal bar with chain saw. One of it breaks faster.

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Old 08-27-2013, 08:14 AM   #104
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Since starting aikido, I have revised my pronunciation of the spoken terminology, I have refined the definition of many of the terms themselves (life-taking sword, connection, "aiki", "Sensei" to name a few), I have added terms from judo, karate, and jujitsu, I have taken teaching concepts and exercises from other arts, I even wear my gi differently than when I first started. In these few examples, most of the original content was not the "best" and has since been refined. That does not necessarily mean it was wrong, only that I have worked diligently to improve my understanding and in that effort changed my information.

To be more elaborate, I think some of the new pieces published by Ellis, Chris, and others that are reworking some of the original translations from O Sensei are improving our understanding of aikido. This are/should be natural learning evolution points as we increase the depth and breath of our knowledge.

To my point, I am advocating caution in accepting cultural and historical lessons in aikido as fact. I think for example, John Stevens made some translation mistakes in his works, many of which I own and have read multiple times. Some more grievous than others and some that changed the way I thought about aikido. Same thing for Pranin sensei. I think even these two individuals have remarked than given what they know now, their translations from earlier were not the best. But, they did the best they could at the time and I am grateful for what they did.

Hope that clarifies things.
You aren't saying that, because your understanding of these things has evolved, that you cannot accept anything about Aikido?

A minor point, but....because your understanding and opinion on these matters has changed, does not mean "we" were "wrong" about them.

We have some new and different translations available to us now, but they have not proven the older ones to be "wrong."

jujutsu
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:36 AM   #105
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

I'm confused. Sincerely. Cliff and maybe a couple of others seem to be saying that if we are training outdoors in street clothes it isn't aikido but some kind of jutso.

Does this mean that the intent and principles are not important, but the clothing and the building are? I cannot accept that.

I've participated in aikido camps and seminars where the weapons training and even some of the empty hand training was done outdoors. I think the shihans and other instructors would be very surprised to discover they were not teaching or doing aikido.

And I've been at one seminar where a high ranking instructor taught in street clothes because his luggage was lost. He would be very surprised to discover that he was not teaching or doing aikido.

And if I were to do Tohei Sensei's 8 basics, exactly as I do in the dojo, in a city park in street clothing, and then have a little randori and a little of Saito Sensei's jo practice, I would be very surprised to be told that what I'm doing is not aikido.

So I would like to know precisely HOW and WHY this is not aikido.

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Old 08-27-2013, 10:54 AM   #106
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I'm confused. Sincerely. Cliff and maybe a couple of others seem to be saying that if we are training outdoors in street clothes it isn't aikido but some kind of jutso.

Does this mean that the intent and principles are not important, but the clothing and the building are? I cannot accept that.

I've participated in aikido camps and seminars where the weapons training and even some of the empty hand training was done outdoors. I think the shihans and other instructors would be very surprised to discover they were not teaching or doing aikido.

And I've been at one seminar where a high ranking instructor taught in street clothes because his luggage was lost. He would be very surprised to discover that he was not teaching or doing aikido.

And if I were to do Tohei Sensei's 8 basics, exactly as I do in the dojo, in a city park in street clothing, and then have a little randori and a little of Saito Sensei's jo practice, I would be very surprised to be told that what I'm doing is not aikido.

So I would like to know precisely HOW and WHY this is not aikido.
Do you practice this way all the time? Did Kuroiwa Sensei continue to teach and train in a suit from that point on?
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:55 AM   #107
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Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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The following link will take you to photos of an embu at Shiramine Shrine, near my home in Kyoto. The Shiramine embu has practitioners from koryu like HNIR kenjutsu and kusarigama-jutsu. Note from the photos that the koryu practitioners do not wear keikogi. I am (tabun) sure kendo's indigo uwagi is adopted from Kano's design. Kano designed a keikogi. If you wear it for judo, it is is a judogi. If you wear it for kendo, it is a kendogi. If you go into Tozando, they are selling different things for different arts, but the differences are recent and pretty insignificant, like where the seam is.

http://www10.ocn.ne.jp/~siramine/page041.html
Actually in those photos only the karate and aikido people are wearing judo dogi. I will say that I know a lot of HNIR folks who train in neither judogi no hakama. They like samue.

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Old 08-27-2013, 11:25 AM   #108
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Do you practice this way all the time? Did Kuroiwa Sensei continue to teach and train in a suit from that point on?
1. It was a different instructor.

2. You have not answered my direct question: at what defined point in time, would it no longer be aikido, and WHY?

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Old 08-27-2013, 12:13 PM   #109
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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1. It was a different instructor.

2. You have not answered my direct question: at what defined point in time, would it no longer be aikido, and WHY?
The point at which it became your standard way to train, because that's the point where you severed your link to the cultural transmission of Aikido.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:32 PM   #110
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Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Actually in those photos only the karate and aikido people are wearing judo dogi. I will say that I know a lot of HNIR folks who train in neither judogi no hakama. They like samue.
The jujutsu guys on the bottom row of embu pics look to be wearing judogi and hakama.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:51 PM   #111
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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The point at which it became your standard way to train, because that's the point where you severed your link to the cultural transmission of Aikido.
While I have no intention of traing that way ongoing, clearly we are going to have to agree to disagree.

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Old 08-27-2013, 01:07 PM   #112
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Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

Usehiba, M. - "One does not need buildings, money, power or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train." The Art of Peace, John Stevens, p. 14

I haven't seen anything related to Aikido as a vehicle for the transmission of Japanese culture. In 25 years with Maruyama sensei he never once indicated that cultural transmission was in any way relevant to our training. The dojo, clothing and rituals provide a cultural context in which training takes place but I don't see how they contribute, or their lack detract, substantively from one's ability to coordinate mind and body and get on with the business of studying Aikido.

Ron

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Old 08-27-2013, 01:35 PM   #113
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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While I have no intention of traing that way ongoing, clearly we are going to have to agree to disagree.
Why?
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:39 PM   #114
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Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Usehiba, M. - "One does not need buildings, money, power or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train." The Art of Peace, John Stevens, p. 14

I haven't seen anything related to Aikido as a vehicle for the transmission of Japanese culture. In 25 years with Maruyama sensei he never once indicated that cultural transmission was in any way relevant to our training. The dojo, clothing and rituals provide a cultural context in which training takes place but I don't see how they contribute, or their lack detract, substantively from one's ability to coordinate mind and body and get on with the business of studying Aikido.

Ron
I agree that Aikido would be a poor vehicle for the transmission of Japanese culture.

Hmmm...25 years is a really long time to train under a teacher. Question: can you bring to mind everything you have learned from training under Maruyama Sensei?
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:00 PM   #115
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Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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The jujutsu guys on the bottom row of embu pics look to be wearing judogi and hakama.
The only ones I see doing that are labeled are an Aikido group.

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Old 08-27-2013, 02:03 PM   #116
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Why?
Our positions are irreconcilable.
I do NOT believe that the cultural issues of indoor dojo and keikogi are in and of themselves essential to Aikido.

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Old 08-27-2013, 02:03 PM   #117
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Why?
I posted this, then i was like, wait, that is really sneery and I don't really want to have a conversation with that kind of tone. And then I lost power and the edit timer ran out!

So when I say "Why are we going to agree to disagree" I mean...to what extent do you think the traditions of Aikido (your Aikido) can be changed by students without transforming the practice into something else?
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:06 PM   #118
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Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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The only ones I see doing that are labeled are an Aikido group.
These guys?

http://www10.ocn.ne.jp/~siramine/img159.jpg

They are not labeled as anything, but they are in the Kobudo section of photos, and I'm thinking they are one of the Takenouchi ryu descended schools.
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:43 PM   #119
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Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Question: can you bring to mind everything you have learned from training under Maruyama Sensei?
Specifically? No. The gist of his message as to what Aikido is and how to train, especially how it relates to the topic of this thread? Yes.

Ron

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Old 08-27-2013, 02:57 PM   #120
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Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Specifically? No. The gist of his message as to what Aikido is and how to train, especially how it relates to the topic of this thread? Yes.

Ron
Well if you went and changed things drastically from the way you were taught, there is a good chance you'd fail to transmit a lot of stuff you learned.
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:42 PM   #121
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Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Well if you went and changed things drastically from the way you were taught, there is a good chance you'd fail to transmit a lot of stuff you learned.
So?

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Old 08-27-2013, 05:24 PM   #122
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Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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These guys?

http://www10.ocn.ne.jp/~siramine/img159.jpg

They are not labeled as anything, but they are in the Kobudo section of photos, and I'm thinking they are one of the Takenouchi ryu descended schools.
I thought they were all wearing hakama, but I could be wrong.

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Old 08-27-2013, 05:29 PM   #123
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Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Well if you went and changed things drastically from the way you were taught, there is a good chance you'd fail to transmit a lot of stuff you learned.
Cliff, again, not meaning to be snarky in my questioning but sincerely asking - I believe there is room for a variety of opinions:

Do you think we each owe it to our students to be mere transmitters of what came before?

I don't and the reason became manifestly clear to me many years ago:
After returning to training after a long break from knee injury/surgery/rehab, I decided to check out a small independent dojo pretty close to home. They were very welcoming, they seemed technically sound, but....something was lacking. And what it was: the man who founded the dojo had died some years ago and his sr. students felt obligated to teach only what he taught, as he taught it. They may or may not have gotten out to the many other dojos and seminars available in the SF Bay Area, but nothing else was permitted to affect the training inside.

Frankly it was stifling. It was Aikido as a museum piece, not as a living thing. Even the koryu change - not from below, of course, but via the head of the ryu continuing to think and learn and refine things. And certainly the other dojos I've been part of (I only lasted a month and a half at this one) have been continually cross-pollinated as dojocho and sr. students keep learning, train with others at seminars, etc.

I don't have advanced rank but do have a lot of yrs and pretty wide experience (aiki-mutt) and when I lead my Low Impact Aikido I bring in a variety of things I've learned from different teachers, within and without aikido, plus things that come to me spontaneously in training, as long as they are congruent with the principles adhered to within the dojo I'm a member of.

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Old 08-27-2013, 05:30 PM   #124
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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I posted this, then i was like, wait, that is really sneery and I don't really want to have a conversation with that kind of tone. And then I lost power and the edit timer ran out!

So when I say "Why are we going to agree to disagree" I mean...to what extent do you think the traditions of Aikido (your Aikido) can be changed by students without transforming the practice into something else?
Thank you for clarifying.

I probably don't have time to address this right now - I gave a long reply to another post and my work break is now over - but your longer question here merits a reply and I will get to it. Thank you for maintaining a cordial tone!

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Old 08-27-2013, 07:30 PM   #125
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Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Usehiba, M. - "One does not need buildings, money, power or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train." The Art of Peace, John Stevens, p. 14

I haven't seen anything related to Aikido as a vehicle for the transmission of Japanese culture. In 25 years with Maruyama sensei he never once indicated that cultural transmission was in any way relevant to our training. The dojo, clothing and rituals provide a cultural context in which training takes place but I don't see how they contribute, or their lack detract, substantively from one's ability to coordinate mind and body and get on with the business of studying Aikido.

Ron
I think this is spot-on. When Ueshiba himself explains what aikido is all about, he doesn't say anything about clothes, buildings, or rituals -- at least as far as I have read. These things are nice to have as a cultural context, and I'm certainly not suggesting we get rid of them, but they are not aikido.

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