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Old 05-12-2014, 01:18 PM   #76
Gonzalo
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
Perhaps you haven't looked hard enough.
Hi Peter!

Perhaps!! Can you show me one?
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Old 05-12-2014, 01:36 PM   #77
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Gonçalo Alves wrote: View Post
Hi Peter!

Perhaps!! Can you show me one?
I rarely watch videos - but live demonstrations I have seen no particular leaning one way or the other.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:40 PM   #78
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
I rarely watch videos - but live demonstrations I have seen no particular leaning one way or the other.
Ok! I watch videos of Aikido and other martial arts almost everyday and i've never seen a bad Daito ryu demo!


"Why bother keeping Aikido pure" - Why bother walk the Do of Aiki?

Last edited by Gonzalo : 05-12-2014 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:22 PM   #79
Cliff Judge
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Gonçalo Alves wrote: View Post
Ok! I watch videos of Aikido and other martial arts almost everyday and i've never seen a bad Daito ryu demo!

"Why bother keeping Aikido pure" - Why bother walk the Do of Aiki?
There is a surprising diversity of Daito ryu groups, some of them are so strange that they induce cringing.

Among the reputable ones which you most likely saw videos of, they tend to be very formal. Meaning they have kata, and students spend a huge amount of time studying the kata and trying to get them exactly right to the critical eye of an authorized instructor. (The Takumakai doesn't use the term kata for this type of practice but it is what it is.)

That right there is probably why you think Daito ryu looks "better." I presume you mean crisper, cleaner technique, that "looks like it really works." There is just more attention to details that we would consider to be jujutsu or "external" in Aikido. Much less attention is paid to improvisation, spontaneity, protecting your partner, etc.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:47 PM   #80
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
There is a surprising diversity of Daito ryu groups, some of them are so strange that they induce cringing.

Among the reputable ones which you most likely saw videos of, they tend to be very formal. Meaning they have kata, and students spend a huge amount of time studying the kata and trying to get them exactly right to the critical eye of an authorized instructor. (The Takumakai doesn't use the term kata for this type of practice but it is what it is.)

That right there is probably why you think Daito ryu looks "better." I presume you mean crisper, cleaner technique, that "looks like it really works." There is just more attention to details that we would consider to be jujutsu or "external" in Aikido. Much less attention is paid to improvisation, spontaneity, protecting your partner, etc.
Basically what Cliff said.

The problem with video is one often sees what they want to see and our discernment falls by the wayside. I personally get a much better feel of what's going on in a live setting - the closer to the action the better.

I train primarily in well developed kata and am looking for precise powerful technique with good posture and body positioning - I am an Ido rokyo kind of guy. When I see uke doing lots of work my hackles rise and frankly I've seen that both in aikido and daito-ryu. What one calls good or bad often depends on your benchmarks.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:48 PM   #81
kewms
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

There's an old adage in the tech world:

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo."

The quality (or lack of it) of any demo you see online is primarily a measure of the video production and editing skills of the person posting it. It says very little about the practical martial skills of the person demonstrating -- it's a demo, by definition it's not a real situation -- and absolutely nothing about the particular art as a whole.

Katherine
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:43 PM   #82
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
There's an old adage in the tech world:

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo."

The quality (or lack of it) of any demo you see online is primarily a measure of the video production and editing skills of the person posting it. It says very little about the practical martial skills of the person demonstrating -- it's a demo, by definition it's not a real situation -- and absolutely nothing about the particular art as a whole.

Katherine
I think we are talking about embu here - at least I am, and I am pretty sure Peter is. And those are by definition an offering of the true essence of the art to the kami. Mortals are sometimes allowed to watch.
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:35 PM   #83
Mert Gambito
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I have asked Doshu and other Hombu teachers whether Morihei Ueshiba did IP training and the answer was yes, but with the rider that he never taught it: he left this type of training to students who perceived it and wanted to do it. The corollary was (is) that this type of training should be a complement to one's 'kihon' training, but not a substitute for it.
Hi Peter,

I suppose if Morihei Ueshiba did not teach his IP method, then that could account for the eclectic sources for IP training, e.g. yoga, other branches of Daito-ryu, among prominent historical aikidoka -- i.e. it doesn't seem that those prominent folks "who perceived it" simply adopted Morihei Ueshiba's empty-hand and weapon-based aiki-taiso one for one (though why there isn't a single well known case of an IP adept within aikido doing so piques my curiosity, given that Ueshiba openly demonstrated if not expressly taught his method; but perhaps you and others who are well versed in aikido history can address that).

In any case, did Doshu and the other Hombu teachers indicate an acceptance that extant IP training continues via sources outside of the Aikikai (and/or has such a thing as sanctioned IP training expressly designed as a complement to kihon training internal to the Aikikai evolved, even if relatively clandestine and limited to individuals vs. being system wide)?

Mert
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:12 AM   #84
kewms
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I think we are talking about embu here - at least I am, and I am pretty sure Peter is. And those are by definition an offering of the true essence of the art to the kami. Mortals are sometimes allowed to watch.
I don't think that description can be applied to most of the videos one finds on YouTube, though.

And even when it does apply, the kami can see things that mortals not involved in the art cannot.

Katherine
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:21 AM   #85
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
In any case, did Doshu and the other Hombu teachers indicate an acceptance that extant IP training continues via sources outside of the Aikikai (and/or has such a thing as sanctioned IP training expressly designed as a complement to kihon training internal to the Aikikai evolved, even if relatively clandestine and limited to individuals vs. being system wide)?
I think IP training within aikido got tangled up with the politics associated with the Koichi Tohei split. In fact, differences in opinion about how both aikido and ki/IP should be taught were the stated *reason* for the split.

The level of IP skills that Tohei Sensei did or did not have has been debated, but in the context of this discussion I'm not sure it matters. When he left the Aikikai, whatever skills he had went with him, *and* those who remained had a strong political incentive to discount everything he did.

Certainly it didn't help that Ueshiba Sensei himself never formalized this instruction, and so there wasn't an O Sensei-approved methodology to fall back on after he died.

Katherine
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:05 AM   #86
Cliff Judge
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I don't think that description can be applied to most of the videos one finds on YouTube, though.

And even when it does apply, the kami can see things that mortals not involved in the art cannot.

Katherine
Oh, right. Yeah I see what type of video you are talking about. I avoid those.
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:15 AM   #87
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Hi Peter,

I suppose if Morihei Ueshiba did not teach his IP method, then that could account for the eclectic sources for IP training, e.g. yoga, other branches of Daito-ryu, among prominent historical aikidoka -- i.e. it doesn't seem that those prominent folks "who perceived it" simply adopted Morihei Ueshiba's empty-hand and weapon-based aiki-taiso one for one (though why there isn't a single well known case of an IP adept within aikido doing so piques my curiosity, given that Ueshiba openly demonstrated if not expressly taught his method; but perhaps you and others who are well versed in aikido history can address that).
PAG. There are many subjective accounts of how Morihei Ueshiba trained and what he taught, but I do not think that these accounts allow us to state categorically that this or that was how Ueshiba taught or trained. Apart from Doshu, who I think is in a special category, the Hombu instructor with whom I have discussed these issues the most is Hiroshi Tada. Like Tohei, H Tada was a student of Tempu Nakamura, but he seems to have been very careful as to what he taught in the Hombu and what he taught in his own dojo and in Italy. In other words, he seems to have accepted the idea that only certain things were to be taught or practiced in the Hombu, but also that the other things were to be practiced elsewhere. He teaches weapons in Italy, but never in the Hombu, and when I mentioned some details of a certain jo kata that I practiced in Italy to another Hombu instructor, he was very curious and wondered where Tada had learned it. Like other older Hombu instructors, Tada sets great store by solo training exercises and these seem to consist mainly of kokyu exercises of increasing sophistication and complexity. But he has never taught anything like pushing hands etc and I suspect that the occasion for seeing the results of all this kokyu training would be in basic aikido waza, like shoumen-uchi 1-kyou. This issue for me is which bit of Tada's training comes from Nakamura and which bit from Ueshiba -- and whether he could make such a distinction. Add to this Ellis Amdur's theory of Ueshiba's use of his students as ‘crash-test dummies' and you also have to entertain the possibility that he showed different things to different students -- and he showed this by having them take ukemi. You also have to entertain the possibility that the skills that Ueshiba possessed which could be interpreted as IP skills could be acquired by Ueshiba's students in various ways, but not necessarily from Ueshiba himself by a direct transmission.

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Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
In any case, did Doshu and the other Hombu teachers indicate an acceptance that extant IP training continues via sources outside of the Aikikai (and/or has such a thing as sanctioned IP training expressly designed as a complement to kihon training internal to the Aikikai evolved, even if relatively clandestine and limited to individuals vs. being system wide)?
PAG. I am not sure that acceptance is the right word here. Sufferance might be more appropriate. One of the yudansha who trains with the group I look after in the Netherlands attends the workshops of Dan Harden and Minoru Akuzawa when they come to Europe. His aikido comes from another source, of course, but on one occasion a senior Hombu instructor stopped and asked him, "Why are you so strong?" The question was not meant in a negative sense at all and he was not talking about physical strength. The instructor knew exactly what he was seeing and I believe the older generation of instructors in Japan also know this. But, as you say, this knowledge is clandestine and limited to individuals. These individuals are in the Aikikai, but are dwindling in number. Yamaguchi, Tada and Arikawa used to visit our dojo regularly and I once asked an instructor why Doshu (the present Doshu, not Kisshomaru) was never invited. This was a few years ago and the answer was quite blunt: "He's too young and does not know enough."

I think Doshu is an active exponent of a certain interpretation of iemoto, but the great danger here is that aikido is not a koryu and does not have kata in the sense understood in a koryu. There is a sense that the waza can be seen as vehicles for the expression of creativity and this, to my mind, is what Morihei Ueshiba meant by Takemusu Aiki. He always showed waza, as did Takeda Sokaku, but seems to have presented them slightly differently to different deshi. So creativity can be understood in many ways. Unlike the present generation of Japanese martial arts exponents, Morihei Ueshiba also read the Chinese classics and was familiar with all the texts that are the foundation of Chinese internal arts. Recently I came across a scholarly work on yin-yang and its place in Chinese thought and culture. Even a quick read was enough to show that this is a complex and multi-faceted concept. We all know the question that a student asked Morihei Ueshiba and his answer, citing the knowledge of yin and yang. Ueshiba did not give any further explanation and left it to the students to grasp what he meant. The point is that he was probably familiar with the whole breadth and depth of the concept, but his students did not share this familiarity.

Sorry, Mert. The post has become much longer and more diffuse than I intended.

PAG

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Old 05-13-2014, 05:22 AM   #88
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
There is a surprising diversity of Daito ryu groups, some of them are so strange that they induce cringing.

Among the reputable ones which you most likely saw videos of, they tend to be very formal. Meaning they have kata, and students spend a huge amount of time studying the kata and trying to get them exactly right to the critical eye of an authorized instructor. (The Takumakai doesn't use the term kata for this type of practice but it is what it is.)

That right there is probably why you think Daito ryu looks "better." I presume you mean crisper, cleaner technique, that "looks like it really works." There is just more attention to details that we would consider to be jujutsu or "external" in Aikido. Much less attention is paid to improvisation, spontaneity, protecting your partner, etc.
As an example of this diversity, this video of Shogo Okamoto is VERY different from anything you will have seen Katsuyuki Kondo do. I should stress that this certainly isn't supposed to be an illustration of "bad" Daito-Ryu - it just shows a different focus on (high-level) internal skills in this branch of DR.

By the way, I have seen MUCH fluffier Daito Ryu demonstrations which can compete on a level playing field with anything you could pull out on aikido...

Alex

Last edited by Alex Megann : 05-13-2014 at 05:29 AM.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:50 AM   #89
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
There are many subjective accounts of how Morihei Ueshiba trained and what he taught, but I do not think that these accounts allow us to state categorically that this or that was how Ueshiba taught or trained.
I am so angry at this guy right now! Why didn't he bother to actually leave a martial art behind?
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:37 AM   #90
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

It is my understanding that Ueshiba did not teach IP because he believed it was a spiritually derived gift and not a learned skill. He admonished Tohei for drinking because the spirit of aiki would not come into him if he did. My statements are not exact, I am sure the scholars here can probably provide ample correction. I believe the first statement is from the forward of Tohei’s This is Aikido (I don’t have a copy and can’t find a reprint of the forward, 2nd edition apparently), I could be conflating this with information gleaned elsewhere; I’ll check with sensei and provide follow up. Sorry for the lack of scholarly precision and erudition.
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:28 AM   #91
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

Sorry, what means IP training?

About youtube, i know that technology cannot replace experiencing, but unfortunately i'm not living on a particular important country so Aikido demos here are almost inexistent, the only two since start training were the ones i was involved! For me, Youtube, is an awesome tool for research and i learn a lot watching videos!
I practice the so called "iwama traditional style" wich focus mainly in kihon and with a lot of technical detail, so for me watching demos on youtube of lots of Aikidokas doing something i consider to be advanced practices , without a strong basis in the rudiments!! Some Daito ryu videos seem fluffy but even in that case i can see the fundamentals ( similar to all martial arts ). Not the fluffyness issue
This happens not only on Aikido! For me good Karate videos are even harder to find!! It happens when martial arts are highly spread and become trendy!
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:29 AM   #92
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Ueshiba did not give any further explanation and left it to the students to grasp what he meant. The point is that he was probably familiar with the whole breadth and depth of the concept, but his students did not share this familiarity.
There are also accounts of students basically politely ignoring the "crazy old man," either because they couldn't understand him or because they wanted to skip the philosophy and get back to bashing each other around. Or both. So even among his direct students, it's not a given that they were interested in pursuing what was being offered.

Katherine
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:54 AM   #93
Gonzalo
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

Katherine posted a good example of Aikido being like a big tent that accommodates all sort of practices. Kinda hurts me people inside the tent saying things like " why bother keeping Aikido pure?". Keeping Aikido pure is the same as keeping Aikido!

The state of Pure, is something almost impossible to reach! Like perfection!! Everything has a natural level of impureness!! let's call it individuality!! So there's no need for more impurity!! If we hardly can understand all aikido curriculum in a lifetime, why bother bring more new things? For me thats an excuse of someone who from some reason stopped is learning process and now is trying to substitute something he cannot learn, with modern things!

An example: A japanese Sword! The process of making it by tradition looks like something religious!!
Today we have science? Why bother keeping japanese swordmaking pure? Because nobody yet found a way of doing it better!
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:09 PM   #94
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

Quote:
Gon�alo Alves wrote: View Post
Sorry, what means IP training?

About youtube, i know that technology cannot replace experiencing, but unfortunately i'm not living on a particular important country so Aikido demos here are almost inexistent, the only two since start training were the ones i was involved! For me, Youtube, is an awesome tool for research and i learn a lot watching videos!
I practice the so called "iwama traditional style" wich focus mainly in kihon and with a lot of technical detail, so for me watching demos on youtube of lots of Aikidokas doing something i consider to be advanced practices , without a strong basis in the rudiments!! Some Daito ryu videos seem fluffy but even in that case i can see the fundamentals ( similar to all martial arts ). Not the fluffyness issue
This happens not only on Aikido! For me good Karate videos are even harder to find!! It happens when martial arts are highly spread and become trendy!
IP = Internal Power

Since you're an Iwama guy you may enjoy this review (the second one) of an IP workshop in Hawaii from another "Iwamaniac".

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-13-2014, 12:46 PM   #95
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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IP = Internal Power

Since you're an Iwama guy you may enjoy this review (the second one) of an IP workshop in Hawaii from another "Iwamaniac".

Best,

Chris
A giant thank you Chris, wow that review !!.. I wanna try that UFO !!! It explains a LOT!

the very best,
Gonçalo
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:18 PM   #96
Mert Gambito
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
There are many subjective accounts of how Morihei Ueshiba trained and what he taught, but I do not think that these accounts allow us to state categorically that this or that was how Ueshiba taught or trained. . . .You also have to entertain the possibility that the skills that Ueshiba possessed which could be interpreted as IP skills could be acquired by Ueshiba's students in various ways, but not necessarily from Ueshiba himself by a direct transmission.
. . .
But, as you say, this knowledge is clandestine and limited to individuals. These individuals are in the Aikikai, but are dwindling in number. . . .
Sorry, Mert. The post has become much longer and more diffuse than I intended.
Peter,

No apologies necessary, given that the topic at hand is quite a deep rabbit hole.

I should have a follow-up or two for you when I'm not constrained by the length of a lunch break. (In the event that doesn't happen [busy week], feel free to expound regarding Michio Hikitsuchi, who reportedly codified the "Rites of Spring", which includes IP exercises that are somewhat well known in the aikido world, e.g. torifune and furitama (though moreso as "use these as warm up because the founder did 'em so we do 'em" exercises); and whose Shingu Bojutsu solo kata, for which Morihei Ueshiba reportedly provided Hikitsuchi formal documentation, bears resemblance to Ueshiba's documented personal jo solo work, based on video available online.

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
There are also accounts of students basically politely ignoring the "crazy old man," either because they couldn't understand him or because they wanted to skip the philosophy and get back to bashing each other around. Or both. So even among his direct students, it's not a given that they were interested in pursuing what was being offered.
This has certainly been the conventional, general consensus take. All the more it's appreciated that Peter G. has made the effort to ask the questions of Doshu, Tada and others within Aikikai leadership to add necessary shades of gray to what has, unfortunately, often been a black-or-white discussion regarding the existence and acknowledgment of IP within, and influencing from the outside, the primary lineage of aikido.

Speaking of shades of gray, the more I hang out with the historian types among aikidoka in Hawaii, the more the realization has set in that the "split" between Koichi Tohei and the Aikikai wasn't as black and white as discussions today often paint it. There remains a continuum of influence from Tohei, to the point that there are, for example, non-Ki Society schools that faithfully adhere to Tohei's IP training methodologies and philosophies. What Peter, in part, seems to have brought to light is that such an oddity isn't necessarily wholly anathema in the minds of the current Aikikai leadership.

Now, "sufferance" may be the mean among these leaders, but closer to home there are a handful of folks who are reportedly on the same fringe of the bell curve as Tada, and are enthusiastic about whatever flavor of IP training they've undertaken for several decades because it has led them to the power that characterized aikido prior to the hippy movement. Or perhaps, the current generation of bright-eyed Hawaii IP enthusiasts is coloring such folks as similarly "enthusiastic", when to these members of the old guard (some of these guys have been around so long, the hippies call them "uncle"s), it has simply been faithful and successful yeoman's work, which has included some flavor of the oddball tanren that differentiated the disseminators of aikido here from the other quality budoka who tested but couldn't handle the aikido ambassadors when they were all younger men.

In any case, it's interesting that the old guard in Hawaii, and by Peter's account also the Hombu, are recently weighing in: a small sample size of young bucks, representative of a larger contingent who are pursuing modern non-aikido variants of IP training in different parts of the world, are on the right track -- and they're getting "strong".

So, the "pure" tradition of mitori-geiko, whether, for example in the Iwama vein or the IP vein, on which aikido and before it Daito-ryu was founded continues. Thank goodness for the internet and airplanes, regardless of your preferred flavor.

Mert
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:55 PM   #97
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
This has certainly been the conventional, general consensus take. All the more it's appreciated that Peter G. has made the effort to ask the questions of Doshu, Tada and others within Aikikai leadership to add necessary shades of gray to what has, unfortunately, often been a black-or-white discussion regarding the existence and acknowledgment of IP within, and influencing from the outside, the primary lineage of aikido.
Oh, sure. Nothing is ever going to be black and white in an organization as large and diverse as the Aikikai. Inside Japan, you have a large number of people with direct experience of O Sensei, who one might assume are going to prioritize (their interpretation of) what he taught over any guidance from the organization. Outside Japan, you have the practical impossibility of enforcing pretty much any central directive, combined with cultures that value direct experience over received wisdom.

Katherine
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:02 AM   #98
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
Peter,

I should have a follow-up or two for you when I'm not constrained by the length of a lunch break. (In the event that doesn't happen [busy week], feel free to expound regarding Michio Hikitsuchi, who reportedly codified the "Rites of Spring", which includes IP exercises that are somewhat well known in the aikido world, e.g. torifune and furitama (though moreso as "use these as warm up because the founder did 'em so we do 'em" exercises); and whose Shingu Bojutsu solo kata, for which Morihei Ueshiba reportedly provided Hikitsuchi formal documentation, bears resemblance to Ueshiba's documented personal jo solo work, based on video available online.
Hello Mert,

I think it would be profitable to make a timeline of Morihei Ueshiba’s personal training regime (assuming he had one), the other martial artists he met, and also the students whom he taught and when he started teaching them. This would also provide a useful context for discussions concerning the ‘purity’ of aikido.

I think we can make a few rough divisions to begin with:

1. The period from his youth and early dabbling in bujutsu until the time he went to Hokkaido, including his early training in fishing, possibly farming, sumo and other bujutsu, and also including his time in the military and his participation in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 [1883 – 1912].

2. The period in Hokkaido until he returned to Tanabe to see his sick father [1912 – 1920]. Takeda Sokaku is the crucial figure here, beginning a relationship that lasted at least until 1936.

3. The period from the first meeting with Onisaburo Deguchi and his move to Ayabe to join the Omoto religion and to train Omoto followers, including his early encounters with Isamu Takeshita and the military officers from the naval base at Maizuru, until his move to Tokyo. This would also include the early chinkon and kamigakari training and the trip to Mongolia [1920 – 1926].

4. The period from his final settling in Tokyo until he retired to Iwama [1926 – 1931]. Kenji Tomiki became a student at this time, as did Kanemoto Sunadomari.

5. The period of the Kobukan Dojo and the uchi-deshi [1931 – 1942]. This period saw his involvement with ultranationalists, his supposed ‘break’ with Takeda Sokaku and also Onisaburo Deguchi (c. 1935 – 36), and his career as a military teacher at Japan’s army and naval academies. Apart from Tomiki, his students included Shirata, Iwata, Mochizuki, Murashige, Sugino, and, later, Shioda, Kisaburo Osawa, and Koichi Tohei.

6. The period of seclusion in Iwama [1942 – 1950 / 1955]. Senior postwar students like Arikawa, Yamaguchi and Tada joined the Tokyo Dojo, while Saito and, later, Isoyama trained in Iwama. Michio Hikitsuchi and Hirokazu Kobayashi also began regular training in this period.

7. The period from his emergence from Iwama until his death, including his trips around Japan and to Hawaii [1950 / 1955 – 1969]. In this period, we know that he travelled round Japan quite regularly, stopping off especially at Osaka (Abe Seiseki, Kobayashi Hirokazu), Shingu (Hikitsuchi Michio), and Kumamoto (the Sunadomari brothers), and with occasional visits to Wakayama and Tanabe. In this period the postwar deshi joined the Tokyo dojo, such as Tamura, Yamada, Saotome and Chiba.

The point of this chronology is to suggest (1) that the spiritualization of his training would probably begin in Period 3, with Omoto and his chinkon / kishin and misogi training, (2) that it might be possible to map some sort of IP training right from Period 2, if not before, and that (3) the ‘Rites of Spring’ taught to Hikitsuchi in Periods 6 and 7 would be the distillation of intensive personal training of some sort (including what we would call IP), right from the beginning. This training might also include plenty of trial and error, and also include Ueshiba progressively becoming aware of the strengths, weaknesses and pitfalls of this training. Did he ever have a teaching plan?

Best wishes,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 05-14-2014 at 06:05 AM.

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Old 05-14-2014, 06:29 AM   #99
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

EDIT.

I revised the dates and split the period from 1926 to 1942 into two. So Period 4 would be from the move to Tokyo to the opening of the Kobukan in 1931. I split it because 1931 marks the period when he accepted uchi-deshi in earnest and began to think of choosing a successor.

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Old 05-16-2014, 02:06 AM   #100
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
The point of this chronology is to suggest (1) that the spiritualization of his training would probably begin in Period 3, with Omoto and his chinkon / kishin and misogi training, (2) that it might be possible to map some sort of IP training right from Period 2, if not before, and that (3) the ‘Rites of Spring' taught to Hikitsuchi in Periods 6 and 7 would be the distillation of intensive personal training of some sort (including what we would call IP), right from the beginning. This training might also include plenty of trial and error, and also include Ueshiba progressively becoming aware of the strengths, weaknesses and pitfalls of this training. Did he ever have a teaching plan?
Peter,

This is helpful. For example, the chronology helps Illustrate how some but not all elements of what would become the Rites of Spring ended up in Tohei's documented and preserved aiki-taiso.

Would you consider mitori-geiko a teaching plan? I suppose even within that question, it depends on whether or not he primarily intended to teach by example vs. viewed students first and foremost as personal practice tools (I have no idea within that continuum where he placed his intentions -- fortunately, there are still people alive we can ask for input). History shows that the power was profound and distinctive enough that it compelled the "perceiving" group to go all out (and literally "out" of the art, if needed) to develop their respective tanren to unlock that power within themselves. Ellis, for example, provides in Hidden in Plain Sight wonderful details about Ueshiba's shugyo. Ueshiba wouldn't be the first or last Asian teacher who would expect a student to similarly find his/her own way and get immersed in it.

You've pointed out that aikido is not like koryu bujutsu, to which the question of maintaining what's "pure" might better fit. (I study Hakkoryu, which has a decidedly more koryu flavor, despite being a gendai budo contemporary to aikido with many common characteristics.)

So if finding something "pure" within aikido is difficult because of its progressive, eclectic nature (spelled out in your timeline), is there something that's a constant? Of course, that should be aiki. When all of the discussion (i.e. debate) regarding IP as aiki began to simmer toward boiling over during the latter half of the past decade, I never thought I'd view folks like Dan and Ark as part of a pattern of outside influence that has been instrumental to preserving a key aspect of what is central to what makes aikido, and individual aikidoka, "strong" in the general, non-abstract sense. Again, we have hombu and non-hombu senior aikidoka who know this is an inner-door quality inherent to the art, and are acknowledging its presence in the students of these modern teachers -- often times without having encountered the teachers themselves. But what you've laid out in this thread, along with the historical stones others have turned over, point to just such a pattern.

The difference during this historical cycle? This time there are express teaching plans, and there are codified pedagogies via which the power perceived in aikido can be systematically achieved.

Mert
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