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Old 09-03-2014, 02:28 PM   #326
kewms
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Gerardo Torres wrote: View Post
Those who bow to pictures of Takeda or Ueshiba in class might not want to lose track of the fact that the "aiki" that these two men propounded made them stand out in a martial context: they felt different, and were more powerful and eerily effective than any other guy in the room. Furthermore whatever "aiki" model they followed allowed them to create students of similar skills (i.e. transmission). They didn't exactly become famous for their ability to merely philosophize and theorize about "aiki" at random.
Um, actually the whole reason for this extended discussion of pedagogy is that it's *not* clear that the skills Takeda and Ueshiba had were transmitted to their students. Certainly the list of people who even arguably have those skills is very short compared to the number of people studying aikido.

Katherine
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:58 PM   #327
HL1978
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Might not be a bad idea to start a thread to explicitly hash out various terms.

I probably would not start with the word aiki.
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:11 PM   #328
Bernd Lehnen
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Zoe Botnaro wrote: View Post

...Power from hara/dantian is used to create stability as mentioned here. It is what Dan calls dynamic stability that has such a profound effect on someone trying to push or pull you and they end up off balanced or having to adjust to retain balance. Since any point of contact has this soft power behind it and requires what feel like- as no effort at all- it tends to neutralize their force it then becomes easy to use aiki (In yo ho) to control in whatever way one wants. Throwing away or throwing down is not aiki, it is what happens after aiki, and is merely a choice that defines various arts approaches.
Zoe
Based on this paradigm, Aiki (in yo ho) is nothing else but a practicable skill.

Best
Bernd
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:26 PM   #329
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
Might not be a bad idea to start a thread to explicitly hash out various terms.

I probably would not start with the word aiki.
start with do then work to re and mi?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:29 PM   #330
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Well, my heart is actively "doing" every moment that I am alive. But "alive" is a state of being.

Similarly, for a sufficiently advanced practitioner, the actions needed to create "aikiness" take place continually and below the level of conscious thought.
The former is not true of Aiki, unless Aiki has an independent and autonomic neuromuscular system that acts to effect it .... and as it happens, I actually agree with that statement -- to a point, Lord Copper, to a point. I have a concrete understanding as to the independent and autonomic aspects of such a system, physiologically. But every one born alive has a beating heart without training and which responds to changing levels of exertion and physiological stress without training. Aiki requires a training component to making it more generally useful.

So what are we training? I agree that it occurs below the level of consciousness. That is problematic for if-then modes of voluntary action or decision respsones. Our training is necessary for us to understand and form ourselves to the patterns of these automatic systems -- so that we can essentially surf them and ride them as we please when they arise and break into action -- using feed-forward controls (the much overlooked "implicit control" side loop of Col. Boyd's OODA loop, FWIW).

Feed forward control only works if you have a knowledge of the pattern of the action or system you are feeding forward controls into . The IP/IS crowd have that very real point going for their mode of training, and which is undeniable. But that's a pedagogical dispute-- not a dispute about what is needed, but how to reach it. But looking at Ikeda and Saotome -- I'd say they have a point as well, Saito too, and Yoshinkan as well -- all of which I have had direct experience in.

The failures of the latter in the transmission as it is more widely perceived has been a loss of the knowledge and sight of the goal, not a methodological problem as such. The forms are really there -- but the content of the systems to which they related was increasingly obscured -- if not lost -- like trying to fly the plane by jumping up and down on the ailerons and elevators -- the mistake is not entirely wrong -- but deeply confused, and missing something critical about the system.

Such feed-forward controls in this context serve to modify your structure in ways that shape the oncoming response patterns that are independently acting on a tempo faster than voluntary control -- which this is.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:31 PM   #331
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
start with do then work to re and mi?
We start with tea, a drink with jam and bread.

Who couldn't go for spot of tea and a nice jammy biscuit ?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:53 PM   #332
Gerardo Torres
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Um, actually the whole reason for this extended discussion of pedagogy is that it's *not* clear that the skills Takeda and Ueshiba had were transmitted to their students. Certainly the list of people who even arguably have those skills is very short compared to the number of people studying aikido.

Katherine
I certainly agree with you that pedagogy is worth discussing and improving upon, especially given the small percentage of those who successfully were transmitted "the goods". But seeing the ways these discussions stray I wanted to point out the obvious: that any "aiki" model/language/philosophy/description is of little to no martial use if at the end of the day the originator and followers end up with unremarkable skills feeling like everybody else. So basically, talk aside, "can you do it and can you teach it"?
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:01 PM   #333
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Um, actually the whole reason for this extended discussion of pedagogy is that it's *not* clear that the skills Takeda and Ueshiba had were transmitted to their students. Certainly the list of people who even arguably have those skills is very short compared to the number of people studying aikido.

Katherine
How can you know that?

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Old 09-03-2014, 07:06 PM   #334
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

I believe in aiki in me, before aiki between thee and me. Mostly, I think this is a ordered list of training that emphasizes the individual training necessary to get one's own body under control before endeavoring to bring another body into one's control. I am not sure I would call it a "state" of being, but probably more closely a task list of things to do to prepare the body. Over time, that task list becomes a routine to the point that it appears to be a state of being. Breathing is also a series of things to do, but at some point it is just something your body does (rather than something you think to do). A key note here is that aiki is a perishable skill.

Part of why I like "demonstration" is because it has a tangible inference. At very high levels, our aiki greats are constantly looping through the things that sustain their aiki body and arguably, yes, their action is representative of aiki. It also transcends boundaries. Anyone who has been on the mat with Sensei long enough knows that the party afterwards is still an opportunity to see aiki, even though it is not aikido. Which leads me back to why I think it is important to distinguish someone who uses aiki from someone who choreographs movement.

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Old 09-03-2014, 07:43 PM   #335
Cliff Judge
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

I am not buying this navel-out approach you guys are advocating.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:24 PM   #336
Timothy WK
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
... it's *not* clear that the skills Takeda and Ueshiba had were transmitted to their students.
Takeda did better than Ueshiba, he had at least three students that displayed a similar level of skill (Ueshiba, Sagawa, Kodo).

--Timothy Kleinert

Aikido & Wujifa qigongs
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:53 AM   #337
kewms
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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How can you know that?
There more than a million aikido students worldwide. How many of those have Ueshiba-class skills? Ten? A hundred? Even a thousand would be a tiny fraction of the total aikido population.

Katherine
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:42 AM   #338
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

@ Ron:
You are right. I think that a lot, maybe most of Daoist knowledge of body work can not be correctly translatet into the language of western science by now.
Anatomy Trains of Myers seems to be a step into the right direction. But still a small one ...

@Erick:
From which sources did you get your understanding of kan/li?

@ all:
Don't you think it is helpfull to look at Ueshibas texts. To relate them to his sourroundings and to look for his roots to try to get an image of his understanding of aiki?
How can we expect to get a clear vision of aiki and related terms, if we refuse to investigate into a foreign culture, into the history, into the context of those terms.

@ Markus:
Yes, aiki relates to earlier heaven. This is consistent with the teachings of Oomoto kyo. They/he tried to build that on earth. The body work of aikido, bis spirituality and bis political work are expression of that.
... at least I think so ...

@ Mary:
Thank you for openess and honesty. I think I might understand you a little better now.
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:54 AM   #339
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I believe in aiki in me, before aiki between thee and me.
I disagree 100%
Aiki is meeting and utilising some of your opponent's energy to destabilise and knock him down. It is just a concept that becomes reality at the moment of contact - if you can do it. Before contact - it is in the mind.

Only once you can do this, can you have the remotest idea of how to generate the 'idea' of aiki in yourself. And even then - all it is - is good posture and fine movement, with a little 'mind' - that might be evidenced as you train by yourself in a Taichi kind of way. As an aside, I have met more than a few Taichi guys that look great, and I am sure they feel great to themselves, but most just can't do anything to me in reality - unless I allow them - being the proverbial good uke that we learn to be in Aikido. Why can't they do it - probably for the same reasons most Aikidoka can't do it. We train too much with others, Taichi people spend too much time by themselves (not everyone of course). I suggest a better mix.

I can understand the 'aiki in me first' idea. To me - the teacher knows what he is doing but perhaps has forgotten or did not realise in which order he came to his understanding. If he tries to teach 'aiki in me' first, the students will have no chance of learning it, in my opinion. I think that after you 'get it' - then, you can actually develop and perfect it training by yourself. But not before.

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 09-04-2014 at 06:01 AM.

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Old 09-04-2014, 07:00 AM   #340
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
I can understand the 'aiki in me first' idea. To me - the teacher knows what he is doing but perhaps has forgotten or did not realise in which order he came to his understanding. If he tries to teach 'aiki in me' first, the students will have no chance of learning it, in my opinion. I think that after you 'get it' - then, you can actually develop and perfect it training by yourself. But not before.
question, how do you "get it" in the first place so that you can train "it"? kill the chicken and scramble the eggs?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:21 AM   #341
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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I disagree 100%
Aiki is meeting and utilising some of your opponent's energy to destabilise and knock him down. It is just a concept that becomes reality at the moment of contact - if you can do it. Before contact - it is in the mind.

Only once you can do this, can you have the remotest idea of how to generate the 'idea' of aiki in yourself. And even then - all it is - is good posture and fine movement, with a little 'mind' - that might be evidenced as you train by yourself in a Taichi kind of way. As an aside, I have met more than a few Taichi guys that look great, and I am sure they feel great to themselves, but most just can't do anything to me in reality - unless I allow them - being the proverbial good uke that we learn to be in Aikido. Why can't they do it - probably for the same reasons most Aikidoka can't do it. We train too much with others, Taichi people spend too much time by themselves (not everyone of course). I suggest a better mix.

I can understand the 'aiki in me first' idea. To me - the teacher knows what he is doing but perhaps has forgotten or did not realise in which order he came to his understanding. If he tries to teach 'aiki in me' first, the students will have no chance of learning it, in my opinion. I think that after you 'get it' - then, you can actually develop and perfect it training by yourself. But not before.
For me, I think the phrase "aiki in me" is a directive to first develop unified energy within oneself. I'll let others who have a better understanding speak on that topic. In other words, I need to work on creating opposing energy balanced in neutrality within me - intent manifest through yin and yang as dueling opposing spirals. Is this a unification of energy? I think so. It's a little muddy for me where the transition is between the aiki body (unified body consisting of intent, stability and power) and "aiki" as we express it through our partner at a point of contact. I am not sure I have ever seen anything that requires aiki to be a connection to another person. In fact, most of the stuff seems to imply that the last thing we want to do is "connect" to someone with better aiki.

The "aiki in me" model requires a working knowledge (pre-requisite) of internal power. To Phi's point, I think the pressure is to get the students to feel opposing tension, demonstrate the positive results on stability and commit to the exercises to create 6 directions of energy. Then develop intent. Once a student gets the "feeling" of stability and intent, she then can build on strengthening the feeling and looking to the bigger concepts.

I know Dan is no longer on the forum but he has several posts that talk in his words more about "aiki in me" and his teaching model. It definitely aligns with my distinctions and also gives me clear goals and objectives in training, which is often absent from the less-than-firm philoso-do that many teach.

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Old 09-04-2014, 08:58 AM   #342
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Until the mind and body can be organized so as to work in concert, one will always perform at less than one's maximum potential. How one achieves that state of mind/body coordination is a matter of training methodology, of which there are many.

Ron

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Old 09-04-2014, 09:06 AM   #343
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
For me, ... I need to work on creating opposing energy balanced in neutrality within me - intent manifest through yin and yang as dueling opposing spirals. Is this a unification of energy? I think so. It's a little muddy for me ....

I am not sure I have ever seen anything that requires aiki to be a connection to another person.
If the above is what you think, there is nothing I can say. I wish you a happy journey.

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Old 09-04-2014, 10:17 AM   #344
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Jean Hardy wrote: View Post
I don't want to put gaz on the fire but according to the "IP guys" the aikido that I do for a long time now is not really aikido because I don't have the aikibody, the body that O'Sensei had when he was doing his thing.Is respecting the basics principles enough that I can call what I do aikido ?Is it just jujutsu with love ?
I will probably never put my hands on a person who is using or teaching the famous body, so there is my questioning about demonstrating aiki or aikido on a uke.
The unfortunate truth is that there is no Aiki in mainstream, post-war modern Aikido. As Stan Pranin explains very well here, the Aikido that O-sensei practiced and the Aikido that has been passed down to us are not the same thing.

Why has this happened? Because those who inherited the Hombu dojo after O-sensei, could not (with few exceptions) grasp what O-sensei was trying to teach them, nor could they duplicate his skills. So they changed the art, watered it down to suit them and their own limitations.

Thus real "Aiki" in aikido is very rare today, there are very few dojo that will teach you how to develop an Aiki body. Unless you happen to live in one of a handful of areas these teachings will not come to you. If you are really interested in Aiki you will probably have to move to an area with a dojo working on these skills.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:33 AM   #345
Cliff Judge
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Joshua Landin wrote: View Post
The unfortunate truth is that there is no Aiki in mainstream, post-war modern Aikido. As Stan Pranin explains very well here, the Aikido that O-sensei practiced and the Aikido that has been passed down to us are not the same thing.

Why has this happened? Because those who inherited the Hombu dojo after O-sensei, could not (with few exceptions) grasp what O-sensei was trying to teach them, nor could they duplicate his skills. So they changed the art, watered it down to suit them and their own limitations.
I've got issues with this line of thought.

What is it that you think Ueshiba was doing before his son and senior students decided to throw it all out the window and create Aikido?

You think he was a brilliant teacher with a well-articulated system he was trying to pass on, but his son and senior students ignored him, or did not do things he asked of them, and instead slapped together a useless dancey art form with no special powers and passed that off as something it wasn't?

If Ueshiba had a thing he wanted to teach, he would have taught it. And he would have made sure it was learned. Either he had no idea how to teach, or he didn't really have anything coherent to teach.

Or - maybe - Aikido is actually the art he meant to transmit.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:09 AM   #346
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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I've got issues with this line of thought.

What is it that you think Ueshiba was doing before his son and senior students decided to throw it all out the window and create Aikido?

You think he was a brilliant teacher with a well-articulated system he was trying to pass on, but his son and senior students ignored him, or did not do things he asked of them, and instead slapped together a useless dancey art form with no special powers and passed that off as something it wasn't?

If Ueshiba had a thing he wanted to teach, he would have taught it. And he would have made sure it was learned. Either he had no idea how to teach, or he didn't really have anything coherent to teach.

Or - maybe - Aikido is actually the art he meant to transmit.
Well, there are plenty of accounts of him coming back to Hombu dojo after the war, seeing the practice there, and getting pissed off. And then he would stop the class and a long lecture would ensue. That certainly sounds like someone who wanted to teach.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:53 AM   #347
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Well, there are plenty of accounts of him coming back to Hombu dojo after the war, seeing the practice there, and getting pissed off. And then he would stop the class and a long lecture would ensue. That certainly sounds like someone who wanted to teach.
Right. If I may respectfully submit, the tactic of scolding your students, especially telling them they are not actually doing the martial art they are on the mat to study, is a fairly common tool - not sure if it counts as pedagogical - used by budo instructors. All of my teachers but Ikeda Sensei do it.

So he wanted to teach - the next question is, why do we assume Ueshiba did not want Aikido to be just as it is, at, say, Hombu?

And furthermore, what is the basis for believing Aikido is a different art than what Ueshiba was doing and/or trying to teach?
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:18 PM   #348
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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I disagree 100%
Aiki is meeting and utilising some of your opponent's energy to destabilise and knock him down. It is just a concept that becomes reality at the moment of contact - if you can do it. Before contact - it is in the mind.

Only once you can do this, can you have the remotest idea of how to generate the 'idea' of aiki in yourself. And even then - all it is - is good posture and fine movement, with a little 'mind' - that might be evidenced as you train by yourself in a Taichi kind of way.
I think you're hitting a straw man, here. All of the "aiki in me" teaching methods that I have seen absolutely include partner feedback. They attempt to isolate "aiki" effects from aikido waza -- the idea being to limit the number of variables that the student has to deal with -- and solo exercises are certainly important, but partner practice is seen as a critical part of the process.

Katherine
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:21 PM   #349
Chris Li
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post

So he wanted to teach - the next question is, why do we assume Ueshiba did not want Aikido to be just as it is, at, say, Hombu?

And furthermore, what is the basis for believing Aikido is a different art than what Ueshiba was doing and/or trying to teach?
Asked and answered. Josh provided a link to a very detailed presentation of his argument to which you have not replied. Refuting Stan Pranin's conclusions would be a better start to your argument.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-04-2014, 12:30 PM   #350
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

I think the conversation between Mochizuki Sensei and Ueshiba is worth remembering

Quote:
To tell the truth, I got into trouble with Ueshiba Sensei after my trip to Europe thirty years ago. When I got back I told him:

I went overseas to spread Aikido and had shiai matches with many different people while there. From that experience I realized that with only the techniques of Aikido it was very difficult to win. In those cases I instinctively switched to judo or kendo techniques and was able to come out on top of the situation. No matter how I thought about it I couldn't avoid the conclusion that the techniques of Daito Ryu Jujutsu were not enough to decide the issue. Wrestlers and others with that sort of experience are not put off by being thrown down and rolling away. They get right back up and close for some grappling and the French style of boxing is far above the hand and foot techniques of karate. I'm sure that Aikido will become more and more international and worldwide in the future, but if it does, it's technical range will have to expand to be able to respond to any sort of enemy successfully.

Having said all this, Sensei said to me, "All you ever talk about is winning and losing." "But one must be strong and win. And now that Aikido is being spread throughout the whole world I think that it is necessary for it to be both theoretically and technically able to defeat any challenge," I said to Sensei. "Your whole thinking is mistaken. Of course, it is wrong to be weak but that is not the whole story. Don't you realize that it is no longer the age where we can even talk about whether we are winning or losing? It is the age of "Love" now, are you unable to see that?" This he told me and with those eyes of his!
https://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=584

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