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Old 08-30-2013, 02:31 PM   #176
Chris Li
 
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Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
What does that have to do with it?
Do I really have to go through this?

I said "Because if it's a specific culture - say, the culture of O-Sensei's personal dojo, then you ain't got it."

You said "Which personal dojo?"

I said "The only one that he had after 1942 was Iwama."

You said "So...they weren't practicing Aikido at the Asahi Shimbun or at the Kobukan?"

I said "Those were before 1942."

Which was answering your question.

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Howso? What is different about Saotome Sensei's etiquette exactly?
Never heard anybody clap when they bow into class at Hombu (for one example). There are others, none of which are important, IMO.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-30-2013, 02:43 PM   #177
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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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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Do I really have to go through this?

I said "Because if it's a specific culture - say, the culture of O-Sensei's personal dojo, then you ain't got it."

You said "Which personal dojo?"

I said "The only one that he had after 1942 was Iwama."

You said "So...they weren't practicing Aikido at the Asahi Shimbun or at the Kobukan?"

I said "Those were before 1942."

Which was answering your question.
Actually that's begging the question.

What is the significance of 1942? Did Osensei not have a personal dojo before that?

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Never heard anybody clap when they bow into class at Hombu (for one example). There are others, none of which are important, IMO.
None of these unspecified items would constitute a break in cultural transmission anyway.
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:44 PM   #178
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Lineage from Daito ryu and technical curriculum are both totally culturally contextual!

"Physics" is either universal, or also culturally contextual.
Yes. The "daito" sword - which is the longer katana - is certainly uniquely Japanese. Daito Ryu and Aikido movements as not just based on universal swordmanship, but specifically the katana, and more specifically the daito katana. Daito Ryu....sorta adds up...

Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese Daito Katana?

Evidently, the daito katana can and has been, in some cases - even with Ueshiba - replaced with a bokken. And more specifically, the daito bokken.

Another question: Is it still aikido if you take away the daito - whether katana or bokken - as the initial framework for aikido techniques. In my opinion, and certainly the opinion of Nishio and others, no. If there is not an understanding and execution of movements that are based on the daito sword, then, no, it's not aikido.

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Old 08-30-2013, 02:46 PM   #179
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Lineage from Daito ryu and technical curriculum are both totally culturally contextual

"Physics" is either universal, or also culturally contextual.
Everything is culturally contextual. That doesn't really address what I'm saying, though.

What I am saying is that, contrary to what Christian asserted, it's possible for a definition of aikido to be non-universal without using setting, mode of dress, or social customs as criteria. A definition of aikido based on lineage, physical principles, and technique is still functional and still non-universal.

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Old 08-30-2013, 03:08 PM   #180
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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 that's begging the question.

What is the significance of 1942? Did Osensei not have a personal dojo before that?
I never said that he didn't, whats your point?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
None of these unspecified items would constitute a break in cultural transmission anyway.
Sure they do. The culture and customs at your dojo are different than the ones that were used when O-Sensei was instructing. That's a break. That you consider the break to be insignificant doesn't eliminate that point, if your position is that a change in the reigi constitutes a "break in transmission".

FWIW, I spoke to Saotome about more than twenty-five years ago, and at that time he didn't care whether people bowed or not, didn't think that it was an important question to consider, and seemed sort of puzzled that anybody would even worry about it.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-30-2013, 03:26 PM   #181
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Everything is culturally contextual. That doesn't really address what I'm saying, though.

What I am saying is that, contrary to what Christian asserted, it's possible for a definition of aikido to be non-universal without using setting, mode of dress, or social customs as criteria. A definition of aikido based on lineage, physical principles, and technique is still functional and still non-universal.
I am just pointing out that setting, mode of dress, social customs, lineage, and technique are all entirely of the same class of thing that Christian was talking about. I.e. its Fujis to Galas here. These are all things that are apt to be local to a dojo and handed from teacher to student. Their existence will be, for the most part, not due to a critical process but are more of "that's just how we do it." They are cultural.

Physical principals are possibly not on that list because you haven't defined them - and depending on how you define them, they are also going to be cultural, or they are not going to help you establish a non-universal definition of Aikido.
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:38 PM   #182
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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 am just pointing out that setting, mode of dress, social customs, lineage, and technique are all entirely of the same class of thing that Christian was talking about. I.e. its Fujis to Galas here. These are all things that are apt to be local to a dojo and handed from teacher to student. Their existence will be, for the most part, not due to a critical process but are more of "that's just how we do it." They are cultural.
And I don't disagree. This is a very good explanation of why these thing are a part of aikido, and perhaps even a case for keeping them in aikido. But neither of those things, I think, answer the central question of the thread.
Quote:
Physical principals are possibly not on that list because you haven't defined them - and depending on how you define them, they are also going to be cultural, or they are not going to help you establish a non-universal definition of Aikido.
I think this is another false dichotomy. Physics are universal. They are independent of culture. But that doesn't mean that particular ways of utilizing physics cannot help us identify a martial art.

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Old 08-30-2013, 03:44 PM   #183
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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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I never said that he didn't, whats your point?
Well, Osensei taught different students differently. You seemed confused about that.

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Sure they do. The culture and customs at your dojo are different than the ones that were used when O-Sensei was instructing. That's a break. That you consider the break to be insignificant doesn't eliminate that point, if your position is that a change in the reigi constitutes a "break in transmission".
Well, you don't want to get into detail about how you think etiquette and such are different with my teacher than with Osensei, so we won't delve into that. But in general, culture and customs change all the time without there being a break. It is a matter of how drastic they are, the relative standing of the person or persons initiating the change, and in what faith the change is wrought.
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:46 PM   #184
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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And I don't disagree. This is a very good explanation of why these thing are a part of aikido, and perhaps even a case for keeping them in aikido. But neither of those things, I think, answer the central question of the thread.

I think this is another false dichotomy. Physics are universal. They are independent of culture. But that doesn't mean that particular ways of utilizing physics cannot help us identify a martial art.
To the extent that they do, you are talking about something that is a cultural contextualizer.
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:58 PM   #185
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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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You should have put a smiley on this - some people think you are being serious.
I'm totally serious.

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Old 08-30-2013, 06:05 PM   #186
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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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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I'm totally serious.
So...you know it sounds really crazy to say that a garment that has plenty of identical antecedents in Japan is an import from the West, right?

And your comment that there are no elbow or collar grips in jujutsu is so easily shown to be wrong by a quick youtube browse that I must be misunderstanding it.

So do you have a citation you can share?
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:34 PM   #187
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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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So...you know it sounds really crazy to say that a garment that has plenty of identical antecedents in Japan is an import from the West, right?
Cliff, he's right. Look into trousers. The hakama is Japanese in origin. That's Japanese pants.

The pants on the judogi/karategi/aikidogi are not. They are European.

In AIkido we wear Japanese pants (hakama) over European pants (gi pants).

Look into the history of trousers and pants. Horses are figured into that, too. Learn more about how and why some civilizations moved from wearing robes to pants.

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Old 08-30-2013, 06:46 PM   #188
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

Well, in the loving memory of the horse that has been beaten to death repeatedly in this thread (or would it be the pin-head dancing angels?) I do solemnly swear to wear my rainbow thong under my hakama tonight along with my hello kitty t-shirt. Hold on, wait a minute, I could wear a Japanese school girl outfit under the keikogi and hakama -- that would be "truly" Japanese. So my Aikido will be real! Ooooh, and I can still wear the thong! Yay? Real Aikido because lord knows I've seen a lot of that stuff in true Japanese publications! At least the ones I find when I search for "Japanese Schoolgirl Clothing". But I'm not sure those girls are truly doing Aikido... Wrong costume, eh?

Sorry, back to the angel counting...

All you guys aren't doing it right. Only *my* aikido is the real Aikido (tm, patent pending, etc.) because my wife is genetically Japanese... So there.

Funny how many people have told me I can't polish japanese style swords because I wasn't raised in Japan. So I suppose the japanese kid I met last week with the rainbow hair and body piercings visiting from Tokyo probably has some sort of genetic/collective consciousness of all things Japanese sword. Yeah, I'm sure if I asked him for the difference between okarasu and shinogi zukuri he'd pop right up with an answer... Hmmm, maybe if he's in to anime he would. Ah, hell, I give up... Obviously I need to do something else... Something American. Like making pizza... No, wait, then we'll be arguing New York vs. Chicago style...

"But everyone knows Chicago style is real pizza because that's what I like and have in my area..."

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Old 08-30-2013, 06:48 PM   #189
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

But is it really Aikido if you don't wear geta outside the dojo? Because you have to know how to walk properly in geta to truly appreciate Japanese movement... And the restriction of them traditional robe thingies you guys are always arguing about...

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Old 08-30-2013, 07:06 PM   #190
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

Keith, are you channeling Ueshiba?

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Old 08-30-2013, 09:06 PM   #191
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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To the extent that they do, you are talking about something that is a cultural contextualizer.
Yes, but it still helps us create a non-universal definition of aikido without using setting, clothes, or social customs as criteria, which is my point.

It seems to me that what you are arguing is that cultural context is essential to aikido. I don't think anyone is disputing that point.

Cultural context is inseparable from aikido; it is built right into the technique. And that's kind of my point: even if you take away the dojo, the gi, the bowing, and the clapping, shomenuchi ikkyo is still chock full of cultural context, both generally Japanese context and specific Ueshiba context.

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Old 08-30-2013, 09:23 PM   #192
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Yes, but it still helps us create a non-universal definition of aikido without using setting, clothes, or social customs as criteria, which is my point.

It seems to me that what you are arguing is that cultural context is essential to aikido. I don't think anyone is disputing that point.

Cultural context is inseparable from aikido; it is built right into the technique. And that's kind of my point: even if you take away the dojo, the gi, the bowing, and the clapping, shomenuchi ikkyo is still chock full of cultural context, both generally Japanese context and specific Ueshiba context.
And if you take away the shomenuchi ikkyo, the dojo, gi, and bowingclapping are too.
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:45 PM   #193
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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And if you take away the shomenuchi ikkyo, the dojo, gi, and bowingclapping are too.
Yes, but a building, an outfit, and a set of social customs do not constitute a martial art in the absence of a technical curriculum.

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Old 08-31-2013, 12:31 PM   #194
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

Watching this lovely thread, what I am taking away from the discussion is that maybe there isn't an "Aikido" anymore. It looks like the different lines may have drifted far enough apart that "Aikido" as a proper name doesn't work, and you have to shift to "aikido" as a broad, general class.

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Old 08-31-2013, 12:57 PM   #195
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Watching this lovely thread, what I am taking away from the discussion is that maybe there isn't an "Aikido" anymore. It looks like the different lines may have drifted far enough apart that "Aikido" as a proper name doesn't work, and you have to shift to "aikido" as a broad, general class.
That's probably been true for longer than many of the folks here have been alive.

OTOH, this thread isn't really about anything fundamental, or even important, IMO.

Anyway, it happens in all martial arts, even the koryu, except there they usually change the name.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-31-2013, 02:07 PM   #196
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Watching this lovely thread, what I am taking away from the discussion is that maybe there isn't an "Aikido" anymore. It looks like the different lines may have drifted far enough apart that "Aikido" as a proper name doesn't work, and you have to shift to "aikido" as a broad, general class.
I'm with Chris; I think this is true and has been true for a long time, maybe even going all the way back to Ueshiba's lifetime.

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Old 08-31-2013, 02:40 PM   #197
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

When I read you, I think that the question you are answering can be replaced, "When coming to an opera theatre in shorts instead in a tuxedo, the opera is still an opera or something else?
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:41 PM   #198
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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When I read you, I think that the question you are answering can be replaced, "When coming to an opera theatre in shorts instead in a tuxedo, the opera is still an opera or something else?
Speaking as a former classical voice student, I can assure everyone that opera is still opera, even when it is watched -- and even performed -- outside of an opera house and in casual clothes.

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Old 08-31-2013, 05:04 PM   #199
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

Regarding the development of the judogi, Wayne Muramoto has this to say:

"When I was researching the origins of the white keikogi for an article in Furyu, I found scant historical resources. No one really knows its exact origins, although it's pretty clear that Kano Jigoro, the founder of Kodokan judo, was probably involved in its development. He standardized the white cotton, thickly woven practice outfit used by judo players when he developed judo in the late 1800s, early 1900s. Like his own judo, the judogi was probably an amalgam of what he thought were the best, most logical and most practical points of traditional Japanese wear and Western athletic wear. Instead of hakama, he opted for a simple pair of pants and a jacket that could be grappled and pulled and yanked without tearing apart. The simple white outfit was practical as well as philosophically compatible with his concept of modern judo: a Western-style athletic endeavor that nevertheless contained some elements of traditional Japanese style shugyo, or austere mental, spiritual and physical training."

The whole essay is at http://classicbudoka.wordpress.com/2...ke-the-budoka/

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Old 08-31-2013, 05:08 PM   #200
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Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

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Yes. The "daito" sword - which is the longer katana - is certainly uniquely Japanese. Daito Ryu and Aikido movements as not just based on universal swordmanship, but specifically the katana, and more specifically the daito katana. Daito Ryu....sorta adds up...

Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese Daito Katana?.
This should really be a different thread, but I'll bite here. I have never seen any convincing evidence that Aikido movement is based on any style of kenjutsu. If there ever was a connection, I think it was lost a long time ago. I think Aikido movement is based on what works well with the human body at the ranges that Aikido is practiced.

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