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Old 12-01-2013, 12:14 PM   #51
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

In October 2004, I experienced dissonance in a most unexpected manner when I encountered an Army Combatives Instructor and a few students. After spending 15 years in Martial Arts, and 10 years in Aikido, I donned the Spear Suits and proceeded to have my ass handed to me over and over again for the next few hours by Soldiers that had only been training for less than 6 months in Army Combatives.

I learned that I could not fight really and that I had always thought I could fight since I had entered Toughman contest back in the day, done lots of point sparring in TKD, and Karate Tournaments. Faced with an opponent determined to really hurt me, I found that I was lacking.

What I found out was my delivery system had not prepared me for this kinda situation. We implemented weapons and everything....I had no answers really.

So, I had to look hard at what I was doing, reassess, and adapt my training to allow me to train in a manner that provided proper feedback for fighting.

It did not mean that my Aikido training was a waste of time, quite the contrary, there was much I learned that gave me an advantage to learn at a very rapid rate once I adopted a new delivery system. Frankly, there is a lot that I did in AIkido that was very, very good and tactically sound...it was just not delivered in a way that addressed the alive dynamics or elements of fighting.

So, today, I have developed my own delivery system that apportions my time in various ways. I feel today, more so than 10 years ago, I can articulate and demonstrate across a much wider spectrum of conflict and fighting how various things work and don't work. I can better assess, I think, what is worth spending my time on and what is not worth spending my time on.

For me, the delivery system makes all the difference in the world. If it does not deliver what it is supposed to deliver, then you are going to get incorrect feedback and confirm the wrong things. When presented with things that are contrary to what your "confirmed belief system", then you will experience dissonance.

Dissonance is most upsetting as at first, we don't know what to do with it since it has tore down our beliefs and we don't have an adequate adaptive delivery system.

I think this is further complicated, when we have a Narrative that is so strong that what we experience is counter to that narrative.

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Old 12-01-2013, 12:32 PM   #52
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I think a big part of the argument is that Aikido as a deliver system is a big part of the problem. I personally feel that over arching it is a confused delivery system that doesn't necessarily know what it wants to deliver.
That's an argument with the purpose of the delivery system, IMO, and not with the IP-delivery system combination that I'm talking about.

Frankly, any delivery system is just fine, if it takes you where you want to go - but that won't be the same place for many people.

Kyudo, for example, works just fine as a delivery system for IP skills, and many people are quite happy training in it for their entire lives. OTOH, most people would find that delivery system useless in real-life practical applications and are happy to admit it.

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-01-2013, 12:35 PM   #53
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

Chris - I've had conversations about this with several teachers, in regards to their own students. One described how his student abandoned, for the most part, training in the fighting techniques of his school, and after several years, was much harder to throw, but his weapons training had gone backwards, as had his taijutsu. This discussion has always been rife - push hands is not a fighting technique, it's actually a way to hone IS/IT in motion. And some CMA teachers express the same concern - that students assume from solo training and push hands (or 'push tests') alone, that they are able to engage in combat. I know of a number of people who have stopped training in their martial art - and certainly not doing cross-training for testing - focusing solely on IS/IT, and asserting that they are more 'fighting fit.'

Demetrio - I believe that 'contemporary aikido' - which technically does not really appear that different pre-war - is lacking without IS/IT for most people. There are the top-level guys - Nishio sensei, for example or ....oh heck, take your pick - who used aikido as their primary delivery system, and were or are clearly formidable without IS/IT (my take on Nishio sensei is that he clearly saw and experienced what O-sensei was doing, got no instruction whatsoever, and rather than trusting to osmosis, went wherever he could and tried to replicate the effect without IS/IT). My perspective, frequently stated in print and in person is that aikido technique is the delivery system of IS/IT, and without the latter, it is problematic in a number of levels. OTOH, a friend of mine recently went on a dojo tour and had a wonderful time at three different dojos, and then went to a fourth for what was stated was an aikido class, but he grumpily returned to my house saying that all they did for the entire class was push-tests and talk.

Lee -
Quote:
That's building quite the straw man. Can you simultaneously cite Tohei "in his statements that all he paid attention to in regards to Ueshiba was his relaxation, and he ignored the rest", especially as Tohei also claims that he learned his IP regimen from sources other than Morihei Ueshiba in the first place, yet use this to somehow disprove others claiming that there are sources closer to home of esoteric technical skills and that these are vitally important beyond what Tohei taught?
That said, I would like to echo Chris Li, I don't know who is saying the delivery system doesn't matter. It would be more correct to say the delivery system doesn't matter if there is nothing to deliver in the first place, and as most of us are at no loss for delivery systems, what issue needs to be presented to the community more? Hey, I do both IP/aiki and judo, I'd be the first one to admit I'd be absolutely defenseless against my training partners if I didn't have competency in judo, but they're already teaching me the judo, but certainly not that other thing...
I can't believe that you think your statement applies to me. I wrote HIPS, remember? You somehow are now reading that I am criticizing IS/IP training? There is not one statement anywhere that I've written where I "use this to somehow disprove others claiming that there are sources closer to home of esoteric technical skills and that these are vitally important beyond what Tohei taught?"
I train IS/IP every day, and it has transformed my Araki-ryu and Toda-ha Buko-ryu. (as soon as I finishing writing this, I'm going out to my dojo to do just that). The techniques, which largely look exactly like they did before, are the delivery system. it's like I put a turbo-engine into an old Packard (now if I can change out the 'body' to something more connected that doesn't squeak so much on sudden turns, I'd be getting somewhere). And Tohei is not a "straw man," he's an example - of something that has been discussed in martial arts circles for ages- and now I hear it again from various teachers, vis a vis students. I covered the positive side of IS/IT HERE - with full respect to aikido and/or other martial systems. C'mon, too much high dudgeon. I get this too much --I write something and people say, "This doesn't apply to me," but respond as if I criticized them personally. OTOH, maybe that's a testament to good writing I speak to you even when I'm not speaking to you.

Kevin - yes. I agree.

Ellis Amdur

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 12-01-2013 at 12:48 PM.

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Old 12-01-2013, 02:12 PM   #54
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

Ellis, If I am sure of anything it is that no one is as great as they say - except perhaps Mohamed Ali - and no one is ever as great as others claim either. The truth is usually more prosaic and lodged in between the rocks. As far as aiki is concerned, I am inclined to feel (my gut feeling) that, if Sokaku Takeda is to be believed, that he did not show it openly because it was easy. After all, if something is so difficult, then it would not need to be hidden in the first place. It would, by definition, be inaccessible to most people. In my experience the single thing that holds most people back in aikido is their inability to get out of their own way. Why should aiki be any different. BTW I still think you have a sneaky liking for Tohei .
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Old 12-01-2013, 02:29 PM   #55
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
That's an argument with the purpose of the delivery system, IMO, and not with the IP-delivery system combination that I'm talking about.

Frankly, any delivery system is just fine, if it takes you where you want to go - but that won't be the same place for many people.

Kyudo, for example, works just fine as a delivery system for IP skills, and many people are quite happy training in it for their entire lives. OTOH, most people would find that delivery system useless in real-life practical applications and are happy to admit it.

Best,

Chris
I agree....if it takes you to where you want to go. My position or thesis is that Aikido as a delivery system is a confused one. That is, it purports to be a marital art, to deliver martial skill, yet, in many experiences it fails to do that. Okay, some may offer a counter argument that it is NOT about martial skill, but a delivery mechanism for IS/IT skills, I get that, but a survey of the masses would most likely say it is a martial art.

Kyudo I think is a better example, as it is a concentrated practice and provides the person immediate feedback in the form of arrows hitting a target.

Judo is a good system as it also provides feedback.

In both these cases, IP/IT practice complement or are contributory. In the case of Aikido, I am not so sure it does this. I believe it is a confused delivery system for most. Aikido seems to be a concentrated practice to transmit IP/IT skills as a primary practice whereas, Judo and Kyudo it is a secondary or supporting practice. You have an environment which offers you an "honest" measure of your training.

One might offer as a counter that the various "Ki test" such as push hands, pushing on Jo staffs, etc offer an honest measure of training. I say no. IMO those things are fine for creating a feedback environment to improve your IS/IT skills, but it is a carefully controlled feedback process and does not equate to an highly adaptive or constantly changing condition environment that something like Kyudo or Judo would represent. You must be able to make use of your training in an alive situation of some sort.

I think in order to claim success, the ultimate delivery system must be integrative. it must allow you to do something else. Maybe lifting boxes at work, shooting arrows, throwing in a tournament, olympic weightlifting etc.

However, when you take a integrative perspective, the algebra changes. IS/IT skills take a level of priority. That is, "How much time or effort do I spend on this stuff?" What are the gains and how does it ultimately cause me to be better at "X"?

Chris, I suspect we are saying the same thing maybe? I don't support though that ANY delivery system will do. I think there are MANY that do, but there are some that do not contribute much as the practice becomes to diluted or unfocused to really result in any integration into "real life".

I think this is true of many practices such as Aikido and Tai Chi.

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Old 12-01-2013, 02:47 PM   #56
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

Here is a little vignette. I was at a IS/IT seminar of a well respected guy in the business...one of the "big five" back about 6 years ago when alot of this stuff was being heatedly discussed on Aikiweb.

I ran into this guy at the seminar that I knew from the forums and threads on a few sites and he came up and introduced himself to me. He didn't waste anytime and got right to the point. Said that he'd followed my post and discussions over the years, which is always scary for me cause I wonder about what I write sometimes! lol! He asked me what I thought about this IS/IT stuff and really what he was after was trying to determine how much time I thought it was worth investing in IS/IT training.

I told him that I was really impressed with what was being taught at the seminar and I definitely could see some value in it. The hard part for me was integrating it in my training.

What he was really driving at though was trying to affirm his own practice and priorities. So I asked him point blank what he was doing and what did he want as a desired end state.

He said something like "well i want to be somewhat martially effective in the end". I asked him what his primary martial practice was. He said he had none. That his IS/IT coach had told him that it was a waste of time to study a martial system until he'd mastered the IS/IT stuff and in the long run he'd save himself a lot of time and frustration.

At that point, I was kinda at a loss for words as I had no idea how to respond immediately. But, I asked him what he generally thought of me, and if he though I might be able to handle myself martially. He responded that yes, he figured that I was probably good to go in that area.

So, I then asked him if he thought i'd wasted the last 10 years of my life studying what I'd studied without the knowledge of IS/IT, and if I never studied it at all would I still be martially effective 10 years from now?

So I concluded with him "So which one of us is wasting time?" you or me?

There really was no answer to that question other than, I was comfortable with my abilities martially and he decidedly was not. IMO, he was confused as to what he was doing and why.

It had nothing to do with the validity of what was being taught at that seminar as it was some of the best training I had ever received. In the end though, it is all about relative value and priorities and knowing where to spend your time to reach what end state.

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Old 12-01-2013, 04:00 PM   #57
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

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I think I was quite fair in trying to figure out something that has a larger issue - that training internal power is not, alone, a panacea as martial artists. This is relevant because some, in our small renaissance of training in this area, are doing just that. If one wants to be effective as a martial artist, one needs a delivery system - and Tohei, evidently, was incomplete in this area - something he more or less stated himself. (in his statements that all he paid attention to in regards to Ueshiba was his relaxation, and he ignored the rest).
I think this really needed to be said. Ifve only ever trained one evening with a gvettedh IP teacher but I came away with the impression that the focus of the training was on developing graw kokyuh while training the method of deployment was something that comes later and is more personal to the student. This fits in with the gwater being poured into a bottleh and "IP vs. technique" image I get from posts on this forum regarding IP.

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Frankly, any delivery system is just fine, if it takes you where you want to go - but that won't be the same place for many people.

Kyudo, for example, works just fine as a delivery system for IP skills, and many people are quite happy training in it for their entire lives. OTOH, most people would find that delivery system useless in real-life practical applications and are happy to admit it.
Is that place aikido if the delivery system is kyudo?

Carl
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:47 PM   #58
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

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Is that place aikido if the delivery system is kyudo?

Carl
Well...no...but I'm not sure what your point is...

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-01-2013, 04:53 PM   #59
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Chris - I've had conversations about this with several teachers, in regards to their own students. One described how his student abandoned, for the most part, training in the fighting techniques of his school, and after several years, was much harder to throw, but his weapons training had gone backwards, as had his taijutsu. This discussion has always been rife - push hands is not a fighting technique, it's actually a way to hone IS/IT in motion. And some CMA teachers express the same concern - that students assume from solo training and push hands (or 'push tests') alone, that they are able to engage in combat. I know of a number of people who have stopped training in their martial art - and certainly not doing cross-training for testing - focusing solely on IS/IT, and asserting that they are more 'fighting fit.'
Well of course, there are always examples around of students with delusions of some degree or another, internals are hardly immune to that - but if you ask me it's not a major conundrum for most of the folks that I run into.

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-01-2013, 06:26 PM   #60
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Demetrio - I believe that 'contemporary aikido' - which technically does not really appear that different pre-war - is lacking without IS/IT for most people.
And I believe that only with insane amounts of IS/IT prewar aikido was something... and no amount of IP/IS is going to make budoka from dancers. No disrespect for real dancers intended. And yes, technically pre and post war aikido look almost the same, but the practitioners mindset is different: young guys at militaristic imperial Japan are not post 60's counterculture western petty bourgeoises fascinated by the exotic East. This makes great difference.

Quote:
There are the top-level guys - Nishio sensei, for example or ....oh heck, take your pick - who used aikido as their primary delivery system, and were or are clearly formidable without IS/IT
There will be always exceptions to the rule, outliers who probably would have feen formidable even if they had only practised knitting. Interestingly, your example -Nishio Sensei- had a serious background in other arts, he had a delivery system (in the sense Kevin and I understand the term) he could build on. Kuroiwa Sensei also comes to mind as another example.
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Old 12-02-2013, 02:24 AM   #61
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Well...no...but I'm not sure what your point is...

Best,

Chris
No special point. I'm think we're on similar pages. You once wrote:

Quote:
Hi Jun,

I certainly appreciate all of your efforts to keep things peaceful.

However, you must appreciate that many Aikido folks, many of them in your own organization, are of the opinion that this Internal Training is the core of their Aikido training - that it is Aikido - and that it was practiced and taught by Morihei Ueshiba.

You may not agree with that, and that's fine, but by creating a ghetto for all discussion on that topic you are also taking a public stance that you categorically disagree with those opinions. Is that your real intent?

Perhaps we (as in the Aikikai "we") could have a seperate "Ki in Aikido" forum so that we can seperate out all those troublesome Ki Society folks and keep the discussion focused on "real" Aikido.
I just wanted more info on what you think aikido is. We may actually share similar opinions. The devil is in the details though. Osensei had one purpose (and ideally, purpose should dictate form), other arts have other aims (literally in the case of kyudo).

Best regards

Carl
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:07 AM   #62
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
And I believe that only with insane amounts of IS/IT prewar aikido was something... and no amount of IP/IS is going to make budoka from dancers. No disrespect for real dancers intended. And yes, technically pre and post war aikido look almost the same, but the practitioners mindset is different: young guys at militaristic imperial Japan are not post 60's counterculture western petty bourgeoises fascinated by the exotic East. This makes great difference.
On this website, if you click on Q&A, scrolling down, you will find a comparison game of Paul Wollos: daito-ryu aikijujutsu versus aikido.

極傳武塾 - 大東流合氣武術研究會台灣道場
http://www.daitoryu-taiwan.com/buyokan-old/Q&A.htm
If, by and large, one equates the described daito-ryu aikijujutsu with prewar aikido and the described aikido with contemporary aikido, things may take on some additional colour.

Best,
Bernd

Last edited by Bernd Lehnen : 12-02-2013 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:41 AM   #63
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

Quote:
Bernd Lehnen wrote: View Post
On this website, if you click on Q&A, scrolling down, you will find a comparison game of Paul Wollos: daito-ryu aikijujutsu versus aikido.
Lots of debatable statements there.

Regards.
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:17 AM   #64
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

Two things stand out to me that I think are worth debate with respect to the website Bernd posted:

Quote:
Aiki is the goal of Daitoryu research – a technique how to prevent the opponent from using power at the moment of contact. It is the study very similar to Internal Force development. Before one learns more about Aiki, one relies on momentum, leverage, etc
AND

Quote:
Techniques are learned with emphasis on details and precision.
This is just my opinion, but my philosophy on a proper delivery system requires that the system deliver some degree of martial proficiency. That is, the goal of the system is to martially effect something given a set of conditions.

A completely different paradigm than what is offered here with the goal being to learn aiki. Aiki is a means to the end...not the end state itself. This is what baffles me about why people would spend so much time learning a bunch of useless techniques if they never looked at effect as the primary consideration for study!

This mindset, of course, informs the second quote above:
Quote:
Techniques are learned with emphasis on details and precision.
To me this translates to techniques are the path to aiki. How is this ANY different than what the aikido model would represent? There is virtually no distinction in his comparison between what he proposes is Koryu and Gendai forms of the same system!

I thought Koryu systems were all about martial effect. That is, how to be proficient in fighting giving a set of conditions. The systems of study were developed to defeat people on a field of battle. I don't think centuries ago they were confused about that. IMO, this website has revised that drastically, which significantly affects the outcome of training.

For me, techniques are taught solely to gain efficiency or effect. If you approach training in this manner, you still care about detail and precision, but it takes on a whole new meaning when your prime directive REQUIRES you to be evaluated on application in conditions that approach reality in some degree. In actuality what is observed during kata or technique training may not appear to be any different from one paradigm to the next, but the SYNTHESIS of actual application in a non-cooperative environment might differ significantly since the training end states are different.

As I read through the comparison provided, I fail to see any real difference between what he purports to be DRAJJ and Aikido. Again, I anticipated the differences would have been end states. That is, DRAJJ focused on martial efficiency as an endstate and sought to preserve the old methods of training (Koryu), and Aikido focused solely on the development of character, person, and aiki on a more philosophical bend. However, it seems to be no real distinct difference IMO.

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Old 12-02-2013, 08:36 AM   #65
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I thought Koryu systems were all about martial effect. That is, how to be proficient in fighting giving a set of conditions. The systems of study were developed to defeat people on a field of battle. I don't think centuries ago they were confused about that. IMO, this website has revised that drastically, which significantly affects the outcome of training.
Hi Kevin,

You have to consider the effects of peaceful Edo era in the evolution of Koryu bujutsu training and in the warrior class itself.

I'd suggest you to read 'Some Thoughts on the Emergence and ‘Aesthetic Asceticism' of Ryūha-bugei' by Alexander Bennet (Butoku Kiyoo # 26, pg.59. Kojushikan University) and 'The Intangible Warrior Culture of Japan: Bodily Practices, Mental Attitudes, and Values of the Two-sworded men from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-first Centuries' by Anatoliy Anshin (PhD dissertation. UNSW 2009).
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:15 AM   #66
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

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Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
I just wanted more info on what you think aikido is. We may actually share similar opinions. The devil is in the details though. Osensei had one purpose (and ideally, purpose should dictate form), other arts have other aims (literally in the case of kyudo).

Best regards

Carl
Probably another thread - but those kinds of threads rarely go well.

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-02-2013, 09:29 AM   #67
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

Thanks Demetrio, I will do that. Frankly I don't know much about Japanese Koryu. I have my own thoughts about the tensions of maintaining warrior skills and ethos in times of peace. The US military is entering that period now. We are beginning to fight the same battles that have been fought for centuries. For example, there are advocates of marginalizing Army Combatives training to a lower tier of training as well as other types of training that have proven useful over the last decade.

The Bottomline I think is that once warriors are no longer needed, the population simply wants them to go away as they are a reminder of things they don't want to remember and they cost a lot to maintain. Faced with that, I am sure there is a call to revise the narrative to expound upon the "peaceful" benefits both tangible and intangible of the martial training.

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Old 12-02-2013, 09:31 AM   #68
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

I find the idea that Tohei used body skill and movement to fend off the Judo players, rather than aikido techniques as we know them, to be far more impressive. At least it supports the notion that he could use that body skill to power the techniques if needed, at least to some degree. That's more aiki than 99% of the aikido out there, IMO.

As for the old guy, who would want to be in that situation? I've put a shihonage on someone who tried to punch my head off, but then looked like an idiot who can't do anything while playing with friends who want to "see some aikido". Life is an onion.
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Old 12-02-2013, 12:12 PM   #69
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
As I read through the comparison provided, I fail to see any real difference between what he purports to be DRAJJ and Aikido. Again, I anticipated the differences would have been end states. That is, DRAJJ focused on martial efficiency as an endstate and sought to preserve the old methods of training (Koryu), and Aikido focused solely on the development of character, person, and aiki on a more philosophical bend. However, it seems to be no real distinct difference IMO.
You are probably just seeing the guy's bias - he really worked hard to get into the Sagawa line, obviously he was after the magic Aiki experience. If you read more of his page, it seems like he is actually primarily concerned with martial effectiveness.
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Old 12-02-2013, 02:00 PM   #70
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

Thanks Cliff...I'll look closer.

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Old 12-03-2013, 06:50 AM   #71
Rennis Buchner
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Hi Kevin,

You have to consider the effects of peaceful Edo era in the evolution of Koryu bujutsu training and in the warrior class itself.

I'd suggest you to read 'Some Thoughts on the Emergence and ‘Aesthetic Asceticism' of Ryūha-bugei' by Alexander Bennet (Butoku Kiyoo # 26, pg.59. Kojushikan University) and 'The Intangible Warrior Culture of Japan: Bodily Practices, Mental Attitudes, and Values of the Two-sworded men from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-first Centuries' by Anatoliy Anshin (PhD dissertation. UNSW 2009).
Not to derail the thread, but I feel the need to address this point. I have not read Bennet's piece, but his writing is usually pretty solid. Anshin's dissertation (and the book he later released by reorganizing it) on the other hand I would not really recommend. He makes a few claims about Tesshu that are interesting, but the, to put it bluntly, poor scholarship of much of the rest of it make trusting those points very difficult. By all means read it, but read it with a fairly large dose of salt.

We now take you back to your regularly scheduled discussion on Tohei and his degree of aiki-manliness...

Rennis Buchner
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:49 AM   #72
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

Thanks Rennis, I've already derailed it, so no need to apologize. Thanks again for the comments, I plan on digging this up and learning more about it.

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Old 12-03-2013, 10:39 AM   #73
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
especially as Tohei also claims that he learned his IP regimen from sources other than Morihei Ueshiba in the first place,
This issue comes up from time to time and it's a myth that Tohei got his IS chops from anyone other than Ueshiba. In the interviews on Aikido Journal he clearly states that he got it from Ueshiba not other places he studied. Subscription required: http://members.aikidojournal.com/pub...oichi-tohei-2/

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:06 AM   #74
Bernd Lehnen
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
This is just my opinion, but my philosophy on a proper delivery system requires that the system deliver some degree of martial proficiency. That is, the goal of the system is to martially effect something given a set of conditions.

….

I thought Koryu systems were all about martial effect. That is, how to be proficient in fighting giving a set of conditions. The systems of study were developed to defeat people on a field of battle. I don't think centuries ago they were confused about that. IMO, this website has revised that drastically, which significantly affects the outcome of training.

For me, techniques are taught solely to gain efficiency or effect. If you approach training in this manner, you still care about detail and precision, but it takes on a whole new meaning when your prime directive REQUIRES you to be evaluated on application in conditions that approach reality in some degree. In actuality what is observed during kata or technique training may not appear to be any different from one paradigm to the next, but the SYNTHESIS of actual application in a non-cooperative environment might differ significantly since the training end states are different.

As I read through the comparison provided, I fail to see any real difference between what he purports to be DRAJJ and Aikido. Again, I anticipated the differences would have been end states. That is, DRAJJ focused on martial efficiency as an endstate and sought to preserve the old methods of training (Koryu), and Aikido focused solely on the development of character, person, and aiki on a more philosophical bend. However, it seems to be no real distinct difference IMO.
It's debatable wether DRAJJ is a Koryu and, even if it's concerned with great effectiveness, wether the martial aspect is rather limited or restricted on purpose.
BTW, is there any indication that Aiki based arts like DRAJJ or Aikido have proven any martial value in the more recent cross-cultural conflicts from the Falkland war to the conflict in Afghanistan?

Of course, we could also debate wether Takeda revised an old Koryu system or wether he invented whatever he did on the ground of his knowledge of a special body-training-method that may have enabled him to develop Aiki and - combined with his former training in Koryu stuff - to take on contemporary challengers with success and after some time what he did was named DRAJJ.
(Stanley Pranin, Ellis Amdur and recently the revised translations by Chris Li, who obviously informed his translations via his training with Dan Harden and others, should have brought clearer light into all this.)

It is now a widely held belief that O Sensei Ueshiba learned about this method through Takeda and chased this Aiki during his entire lifetime via this DRAJJ.
If we presume that Tohei was able to catch part of this from Ueshiba, then this might have led him to his insistence on Ki and his teaching paradigm and his good command over his body.

Now to the topic at hand:
If we carefully watch the videos of "Rendez-vous with adventure" and the video of O Sensei with Americans on the rooftop, we might suspect that his actions affect these strangers quite less effectively than his own disciples. If now we drew an analogy to Tohei and the five Judoka versus Tohei and Herman the foreigner, we might conclude, that Aiki based arts - without adapting them - are more effective on people who by cultural heritage or otherwise are trained to react in a specific way.
With this assumption and with the additional restriction on Tohei that "the foreign guest" isn't to injure we wouldn't need a bad day for Tohei to see him face those difficulties.

Just musing...

Best,
Bernd

Last edited by Bernd Lehnen : 12-04-2013 at 06:11 AM.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:30 AM   #75
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure by Ellis Amdur

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Rennis Buchner wrote: View Post
Not to derail the thread...
Not to derail it more but, I've pointed to what is (or was, I haven't checked lately) cheap and easily available. Of course Anshin work is not perfect but he is not the only to point how Edo bujutsu ryuha evolved from Sengoku combatives to "flowery swordmanship" (Friday goes even farther in "Off the Warpath"). Of course there are better scholar works about how japanese warriors became, in a relatively short time, paper pushers lacking combative skills.

Of course, and in my experience, when this is pointed to a practitioner of a classical school their answer is usually something on the line of "Yes, Edo era bujutsu schools lost their combative value, except the one I belong to".

Now on topic: I think Bernd makes a good point in his latest post.
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