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Old 11-04-2015, 05:25 AM   #1
Sojourner
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Post Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Greetings all,

I have put together a few thoughts on martial arts taken in a sporting context and devote some space to observations on Shodokan Aikido.

https://dontmakemeangrymrmcgee.wordp...ems-as-sports/
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Old 11-04-2015, 08:51 AM   #2
rugwithlegs
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

O Sensei and/or the leaders at the Aikikai ordered Tomiki to stop teaching or break off. O Sensei was very much against competition, and drew parallels between competition and war between nations.
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:12 AM   #3
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Martial arts and sports do not mix.
Competition ultimately implies rules.
Rules will disallow certain techniques because they are considered too dangerous (for sports).

This is exaclty what happened to Judo.
Kano, founder of Judo, said to Ueshiba that Aikido is what Judo should have been. In this statement he basically admits his mistake...

Tomiki was convinced that students would see the competition as an incentive to work harder. In their competition also several techiques have been removed.

Ueshiba never incorporated striking from striking of Daitu Ryu to remove the opposing forces and duality.
"How can you be one when you want to destroy the other?"

BTW I left a reply on the blog, but it did not show up???

Last edited by Tim Ruijs : 11-04-2015 at 09:14 AM.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:19 AM   #4
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Tomiki's aikido is more than competition. Maybe only 10% of all Tomiki aikido people are involved in shiai. It is a mistake to consider Tomiki aikido as solely competitive sport.
A part of the training is devoted to kata training like most of the Japanese Martial Arts.
Kenji Tomiki is well known for the competitive side of aikido, but he was also a great educator and created a logical training system understandable for everybody, not only for competitors.
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:14 AM   #5
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
Eddy Wolput wrote: View Post
Tomiki's aikido is more than competition. Maybe only 10% of all Tomiki aikido people are involved in shiai. It is a mistake to consider Tomiki aikido as solely competitive sport.
A part of the training is devoted to kata training like most of the Japanese Martial Arts.
Kenji Tomiki is well known for the competitive side of aikido, but he was also a great educator and created a logical training system understandable for everybody, not only for competitors.
As a side note, Kodokan Judo is also much more than competition.
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:59 AM   #6
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
Martial arts and sports do not mix.
Competition ultimately implies rules.
Rules will disallow certain techniques because they are considered too dangerous (for sports).

This is exaclty what happened to Judo.
Kano, founder of Judo, said to Ueshiba that Aikido is what Judo should have been. In this statement he basically admits his mistake...

Tomiki was convinced that students would see the competition as an incentive to work harder. In their competition also several techiques have been removed.

Ueshiba never incorporated striking from striking of Daitu Ryu to remove the opposing forces and duality.
"How can you be one when you want to destroy the other?"

BTW I left a reply on the blog, but it did not show up???
We impose rules on our aikido all the time. I am not sure "rules" are the reason that aikido can't have competition. We certainly leverage that perspective, but I think good aikido people do just fine exhibiting their aikido. Back to another thread on which I posted, I think we maybe over-estimate our ability to damage people and the severity of the real outcome of that commitment. If you're a "win at all costs" kinda girl, then maybe sport comp shouldn't be your thing for a number of reasons.There are people who do need to be careful about how they interact with others; I don't think we want to hide those people among those that are just giving lip-service.

Second, I think a number of judo people would say that while sport judo is different, judo is a big art with room to understand some techniques have less applied functionality in competition but have value to train. While the founder of judo once commented on Ueshiba's aikido, it is unclear whether he meant what he said or was simply giving Ueshiba a polite compliment. Not to discount the comment, only to say that judo has their own perspective of aikido people.

Third, Ueshiba did not use striking because his striking was devastating. For anyone who has been hit by those who train in aiki-striking, it is a different way of being hit. Ueshiba literally could [severely] injure people by hitting them and so he made a choice to limit that aspect of training. Most of us do not have that kind of power, so the quote has less meaning for us.

Competition can be a distraction and it can occlude why we do what we do. I think both are valid reasons to limit competition in training. If you can't play randori without scratching someone's eyes out, you got a problem. If you have to punch someone in the face to make a wrist twist happen, you got a problem. The people who can't sport fight are a different crowd than the people who *can't* sport fight...

For me, O Snesei did not want the focus of training to center around competitive success. I think this is good advice and the general principle behind giving "participation" trophies to kids for playing athletics. It is neither advice unique to aikido, nor is it original. That doesn't demean it's value, but it sure shines a different light on us when we say, "I can't fight you because I'd kill you." Given the early crowd that Ueshiba managed it probably helped to keep people in the dojo from actually killing each other.

Last edited by jonreading : 11-04-2015 at 12:02 PM.

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Old 11-04-2015, 12:27 PM   #7
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Third, Ueshiba did not use striking because his striking was devastating. For anyone who has been hit by those who train in aiki-striking,
What history are we inventing now?
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:26 PM   #8
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
Martial arts and sports do not mix.
Competition ultimately implies rules.
Rules will disallow certain techniques because they are considered too dangerous (for sports).

This is exaclty what happened to Judo.
Kano, founder of Judo, said to Ueshiba that Aikido is what Judo should have been. In this statement he basically admits his mistake...

Tomiki was convinced that students would see the competition as an incentive to work harder. In their competition also several techiques have been removed.

Ueshiba never incorporated striking from striking of Daitu Ryu to remove the opposing forces and duality.
"How can you be one when you want to destroy the other?"

BTW I left a reply on the blog, but it did not show up???
Wow - all the old canards.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:48 PM   #9
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
What history are we inventing now?
No inventing, just framing. There are interviews, documentaries and written commentary about the sensation of being attacked by Ueshiba. You also have video evidence of Ueshiba performing uke waza as well as first-hand recollections of Ueshiba performing techniques. I don't think it's a stretch to conclude that Ueshiba had something. Nor is it a stretch to conclude that regular training at that level of physical abuse would be harmful.

The invention, as it were, is the assumption we are doing aikido and that aikido has a relation to the aikido that O Sensei did and that we can re-use his comments and postulations about his aikido in our aikido... and expect them to have the same meaning.

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Old 11-04-2015, 02:24 PM   #10
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Tomiki was a brilliant man, and one of the old guard students that learned from O Sensei. Most of the Aikido world could benefit from revisiting his legacy IMO.

1. He was the one who became a trainer for the military under O Sensei
2. He was the one who became a university instructor

I see some teachers now going to run a university Aikido club and being unsure how to approach a student you have for limited hours a week for a semester. Or, how to bring Aikido to a law enforcement agency in a set period of time. Tomiki was the main teacher who chose to provide an answer to this as a professional. His techniques are more combat oriented, and more likely to be found in self defense classes.

Like other martial arts, he was asked to set up competition if he was to be funded. Most Aikido has since relented and has some form of competition. No competition, in Canada that meant no funding from the Ministery of Sports and Recreation.

My objection is with the assertion that O Sensei gave his blessing publicly in the blog entry.
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Old 11-04-2015, 02:58 PM   #11
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
John Hillson wrote: View Post
Tomiki was a brilliant man, and one of the old guard students that learned from O Sensei. Most of the Aikido world could benefit from revisiting his legacy IMO.

1. He was the one who became a trainer for the military under O Sensei
2. He was the one who became a university instructor

I see some teachers now going to run a university Aikido club and being unsure how to approach a student you have for limited hours a week for a semester. Or, how to bring Aikido to a law enforcement agency in a set period of time. Tomiki was the main teacher who chose to provide an answer to this as a professional. His techniques are more combat oriented, and more likely to be found in self defense classes.

Like other martial arts, he was asked to set up competition if he was to be funded. Most Aikido has since relented and has some form of competition. No competition, in Canada that meant no funding from the Ministery of Sports and Recreation.

My objection is with the assertion that O Sensei gave his blessing publicly in the blog entry.
Well there seems to be a lot of regurgitating selected readings in ones own form. The blog (which does this also) did not say anything about a public blessing just that Ueshiba M. did not seem to mind. Certainly he had his view about what competition meant to Aikido but just as certain he did not demonstrate the virulence that was expressed after his death by some. Tomiki certainly was not banned during Ueshiba's lifetime and even taught and was included in Aikikai events afterwards.

There is a whole raft of writing on this subject on aikiweb and interested parties can do the searching themselves. I will only say that I found it interesting where and from whom Tomiki got his support. He was not nearly the pariah that some would like to think.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-04-2015, 03:30 PM   #12
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
BTW I left a reply on the blog, but it did not show up???
I see you wrote there:

Quote:
...many martial arts almost demand you to rid yourself of ego. Competition only induces that.
I'd say there's no better way to have one's ego in check than participating in sports.
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Old 11-04-2015, 04:27 PM   #13
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I see you wrote there:
I'd say there's no better way to have one's ego in check than participating in sports.
Agree - best way to check ones delusions and they do creep in.

Randori is a training method that teaches all sorts of valuable lessons. Eddy commented quite correctly about how much randori is used in training and actual shiai (competitive randori) is only a part of that. Its frustrating to hear people pronounce with very little understanding of what is actually involved.

Eddy by the way needs to be congratulated for organising a very successful event in Switzerland.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-04-2015, 05:01 PM   #14
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
Well there seems to be a lot of regurgitating selected readings in ones own form. The blog (which does this also) did not say anything about a public blessing just that Ueshiba M. did not seem to mind. Certainly he had his view about what competition meant to Aikido but just as certain he did not demonstrate the virulence that was expressed after his death by some. Tomiki certainly was not banned during Ueshiba's lifetime and even taught and was included in Aikikai events afterwards.

There is a whole raft of writing on this subject on aikiweb and interested parties can do the searching themselves. I will only say that I found it interesting where and from whom Tomiki got his support. He was not nearly the pariah that some would like to think.
I do believe Tomiki offered and offers benefits to all Aikido students. I believe he was the superior educator. I meant no offense and I hope I gave none.

From Stanley Pranin's The apologetic martial artists: (Similar stuff appears often in his writing)

"Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba forbade competitions in aikido in the strongest possible terms. Kenji Tomiki, the man who did introduce a form of competition for aikido, became a persona non grata at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo for having taken this egregious step. He also became estranged from the Founder from that point on."

I am aware that Kobayashi sensei cooperated with Shodokan and invited Tomiki to his dojo. This was, to my understanding, an uncommon position for an Aikikai teacher to take. Stanley Pranin is quick to refer to Tomiki Sensei as a true gentleman and not given to any vitriolic dialogue. Pranin never met O Sensei. Ultimately, having only been born in 1970 I was not alive when Morihei Ueshiba was alive, nor did I ever meet Tomiki Sensei. I can only read about events. O Sensei himself was allegedly marginalized himself after the mid1940s.

I am interested in these events if you have better sources that you recommend? I am from an Osaka based lineage myself. I will concede that your criticisms of my comments may be warranted.
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Old 11-04-2015, 05:43 PM   #15
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
John Hillson wrote: View Post
I do believe Tomiki offered and offers benefits to all Aikido students. I believe he was the superior educator. I meant no offense and I hope I gave none.

From Stanley Pranin's The apologetic martial artists: (Similar stuff appears often in his writing)

"Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba forbade competitions in aikido in the strongest possible terms. Kenji Tomiki, the man who did introduce a form of competition for aikido, became a persona non grata at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo for having taken this egregious step. He also became estranged from the Founder from that point on."

I am aware that Kobayashi sensei cooperated with Shodokan and invited Tomiki to his dojo. This was, to my understanding, an uncommon position for an Aikikai teacher to take. Stanley Pranin is quick to refer to Tomiki Sensei as a true gentleman and not given to any vitriolic dialogue. Pranin never met O Sensei. Ultimately, having only been born in 1970 I was not alive when Morihei Ueshiba was alive, nor did I ever meet Tomiki Sensei. I can only read about events. O Sensei himself was allegedly marginalized himself after the mid1940s.

I am interested in these events if you have better sources that you recommend? I am from an Osaka based lineage myself. I will concede that your criticisms of my comments may be warranted.
I use quotes as a platform - not necessarily a direct response.

I understood that Tomiki was actually teaching at Aikikai honbu on occasion until the 1970s and there are certainly pictures of him at events from this time. My point was only that Ueshiba M. did not ban him - and although he had his views - there was more to this story than a difference in opinion and I think very much to do with power and control after his passing.

I also met neither Tomiki or Ueshiba but my own teacher spent years as uchi-deshi to Kobayashi in the truest sense and on more than one occasion I have run into people that remember being introduced to the randori method even though they were and still are Aikikai. Shodokan honbu is still being used by certain Shihan and not all those old men at the guest table at events come from our little thing - not to mention certain participating clubs. My own place in Himeji had a few interesting visitors in its own right. Frankly I get confused when I hear how ostrasized Shodokan is.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:10 PM   #16
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
BTW I left a reply on the blog, but it did not show up???
Hi Tim, I have to approve comments before they appear, being in Australia a lot of the comments can happen overnight here, so I may not always get to them until the morning, in any case thankyou for your thoughts and both should be published on there several hours ago.
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Old 11-05-2015, 02:59 AM   #17
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I'd say there's no better way to have one's ego in check than participating in sports.
I am not sure I agree completely. When participating with a sincere heart one can humbly check his ability in competition. However, with different heart it can be seen as means to display ego....

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 11-05-2015, 04:36 AM   #18
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
Wow - all the old canards.
Really? Enlighten me, please.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 11-05-2015, 05:18 AM   #19
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
Really? Enlighten me, please.
Frankly no matter what ones opinion is on the benefit or detriment of competition your list displayed a clear lack of understanding. Its like you read a little bit hear and there and grabbed and distorted what you wanted to make a point.

Do a little searching on aikiweb - you will find this has been discussed a number of times in quite some depth.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:44 AM   #20
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

I made several statements, I assume you disagree with all of them.
After being impressed by Ueshiba, Kano send (one of his best student) Tomiki to go practise with him. This can hardly be verified.
Kano could not invite Ueshiba himself (both being Soke). Presumably Kano has said that Aikido is ideal budo, true Judo.
What does this mean exactly considering Kano spent a lot of time developing his 'true' Budo?
To me it says that Aikido (allthough only being developed at that time) had already progressed further than Judo had. In a sense Ueshiba created a better Budo in view of Kano.
You could read this as Aikido being what Judo should have become...

The amount of respect Kano showed by sending his best student Tomiki signifies that, at least to me.
He basically says: I taught this man all I know, please teach him more (for I cannot).

but like you said I am wrong, do not understand, so have a laugh and skip my comments.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:10 AM   #21
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
However, with different heart it can be seen as means to display ego....
And this ego is going to be smashed down. Hard and fast.

OTOH

Quote:
After being impressed by Ueshiba, Kano send (one of his best student) Tomiki to go practise with him. This can hardly be verified.
Kano didn't sent Tomiki to study under Ueshiba. Kano sent, amongst others, Mochizuki Minoru (as an european aikido practitioner surely the name results familiar to you). Tomiki started training with Ueshiba way before Kano sent anyone to train in Ueshiba's version of Daito Ryu.
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:24 AM   #22
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

It even says so on tomiki website...they are wrong too???

https://tomiki.org/tomiki-aikido/history

"In 1926, Ueshiba Sensei arrived in Tokyo, and asked to meet with Kano Sensei, that Kano might be shown the new art form that Ueshiba was developing (and which he would a decade later christen “Aikido”). Kano was much impressed by both Ueshiba himself, and by the system of budo that he was formalizing. In fact, he was so impressed that he offered his top Judo student to Ueshiba, urging Ueshiba to take that top Judo student under his wing and teach him the new art form. That top Judo student was Kenji Tomiki."

Some glorification of their 'Founder' aside, some truth must still be in there right?

Last edited by Tim Ruijs : 11-05-2015 at 07:28 AM.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:30 AM   #23
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
And this ego is going to be smashed down. Hard and fast.

OTOH

Kano didn't sent Tomiki to study under Ueshiba. Kano sent, amongst others, Mochizuki Minoru (as an european aikido practitioner surely the name results familiar to you). Tomiki started training with Ueshiba way before Kano sent anyone to train in Ueshiba's version of Daito Ryu.
Exactly - and Kano's statement about Aikido being true budo in no way implies that Judo was not. It was nothing more then a compliment. Kano liked what he saw and at that point was making no statement regarding the place of shiai.

One interesting aside is Kano never regretted randori or shiai but he did wrestle (pun alert) with the correct balance between that and other forms of training. Tomiki also addressed this question - after all randori is a tool to improve all of your aikido and teaches lessons that can not be obtained in other ways. Same with kendo and any other martial art with a competitive component.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:04 AM   #24
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
It even says so on tomiki website...they are wrong too???

https://tomiki.org/tomiki-aikido/history

"In 1926, Ueshiba Sensei arrived in Tokyo, and asked to meet with Kano Sensei, that Kano might be shown the new art form that Ueshiba was developing (and which he would a decade later christen "Aikido"). Kano was much impressed by both Ueshiba himself, and by the system of budo that he was formalizing. In fact, he was so impressed that he offered his top Judo student to Ueshiba, urging Ueshiba to take that top Judo student under his wing and teach him the new art form. That top Judo student was Kenji Tomiki."

Some glorification of their 'Founder' aside, some truth must still be in there right?
Not sure who wrote that but the dates and events are a little off - I suspect they were also confused with Mochizuki.

From Aikido Kyogi and its English translation written by at the time the two Shihan of the JAA (Shodokan). I think you can find the same with Stanley Pranin's interviews with Tomiki.

1925 Tomiki was introduced to Ueshiba by Hidetaro Kubuta and started training.

1930 was Kano's visit to Ueshiba's Meijirodai dojo where the Budo statement was made. I understand that to be the first time Kano saw Ueshiba's technique and it was after that that Mochizuki and Jiro Takeda were sent to study with Ueshiba.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:32 AM   #25
ewolput
Dojo: Shobukai
Location: Antwerpen
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Re: Martial Arts (Including Aikido) as sports.

More historical data on Tomiki : http://study-group-tomiki-aikido.wik...y+Kenji+Tomiki
In the biography of Tomiki written by prof F.Shishida (Waseda Univ.):
In 1926, a friend from the Judo Club, Hidetaro Nishimura, introduced Kenji to Morihei Ueshiba….
In 1934, just before leaving for Manchuria, Kano said to Tomiki : The kind of techniques you learned from Mr; Ueshiba are very necessary…..The problem, however, is how to incorporate them into training. That is the real difficulty…….

The year and the name seems to be different, but maybe the reason for this is a different reading of the name (like Morihei or Moritake) and the year taisho or showa (25dec1926-1987)?
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