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Old 12-31-2015, 01:52 PM   #26
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

One thought I just had about the video is that it reminds me of when I was 10 and "wrastling" with a 14 year old friend. It was understood through repeated examples that he was far stronger than me, and, ironically, one of the few positions where I felt I had a chance to keep myself from being manhandled was on the ground. As he was engaging me to take hold of me, I would maintain the space between us as best I could; since he was often slightly above me, often that meant me going backward toward the ground in an effort to get my legs forward so I could kick or push away with them. In other words it looked a lot like this no-touch "throw" and my sense was of moving from a position of obvious inferiority to one of slightly better odds...and indeed I was more successful.
Some people see this video and the lack of contact as presuming an invisible magical force (hence the conflation with no-touch knockouts); I see it as an exercise in ma ai and being sensitive to an assumed superior initiative. As Walter pointed out, could uke have slipped under the trajectory of the hand/arm/etc and gone for [insert counter-technique here]? Maybe so, I don't know. But I assume the purpose of this interaction wasn't that.
In my meager opinion, too many people (I'm a people too ) look at things they don't understand and try to find ways that it is invalid, and then based on that, throw out the baby with the bathwater. I think it's better to say, "that's not something I'm interested in," or, "that doesn't make sense to me," than, "that's a load of crap."

Dave, what's your opinion of the article and video?

Last edited by mathewjgano : 12-31-2015 at 01:54 PM.

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Old 01-01-2016, 08:30 AM   #27
Dave Gallagher
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

My opinion is that much of what the MMA post is true only because of the video stuff they see on youtube. Far too many Aikido videos show really bad Aikido and they have only this to go by.
I am sure that many on this forum, like myself, have trained in some excellent dojos where the martial qualities were taught and under some realistic situations. I received a good number of injuries because of it. Looking back I loved that training. The MMA world has only beem exposed to the fluffy soft videos of youtube. I can't blame the MMA people for having this opinion as it is what the Aikido world has shown them.
As to the old video of O'Sensei, I have no idea what was going on or under what circumstances the film was made. I only know that it was not the Aikido I have ever been a part of.

It is the duty of the strong to protect the weak.
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:19 AM   #28
Walter Martindale
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

Quote:
Dave Gallagher wrote: View Post
My opinion is that much of what the MMA post is true only because of the video stuff they see on youtube. Far too many Aikido videos show really bad Aikido and they have only this to go by.
I am sure that many on this forum, like myself, have trained in some excellent dojos where the martial qualities were taught and under some realistic situations. I received a good number of injuries because of it. Looking back I loved that training. The MMA world has only beem exposed to the fluffy soft videos of youtube. I can't blame the MMA people for having this opinion as it is what the Aikido world has shown them.
As to the old video of O'Sensei, I have no idea what was going on or under what circumstances the film was made. I only know that it was not the Aikido I have ever been a part of.
Kawahara Yukio, late shihan in Canada, did not like to be recorded.. There wasn't ANY fluff in his aikido.
Hiroaki Izumi (Rocky), had no fluff in his aikido - we lost him too soon - Training with Rocky required mouthguards, involved a lot of sweat, and the ukemi had to be pretty darned good. We did a demo once where we free-attacked Rocky (four of us) and some in the audience were wondering how we weren't really badly hurt. Again, no video.
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:12 PM   #29
Dave Gallagher
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Kawahara Yukio, late shihan in Canada, did not like to be recorded.. There wasn't ANY fluff in his aikido.
Hiroaki Izumi (Rocky), had no fluff in his aikido - we lost him too soon - Training with Rocky required mouthguards, involved a lot of sweat, and the ukemi had to be pretty darned good. We did a demo once where we free-attacked Rocky (four of us) and some in the audience were wondering how we weren't really badly hurt. Again, no video.
Exactly.....

It is the duty of the strong to protect the weak.
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:39 PM   #30
Hilary
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

First, happy new year all. Second, what video? There is no video specifically linked to the story and the embedded link is a 404 error. Sometime when Jun creates a video post I can't see it, is that happening here? To be clear not talking about the last couple of posts, up thread somewhat a video is mentioned.
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:56 PM   #31
PeterR
 
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

I didn't bother looking at the video at first but now that you mention it I tried again and had no trouble seeing it.

It is a short clip and has a few uke being overly responsive to Ueshiba's actions but there is one really bothersome portion near the beginning where Ueshiba apparently controls his uke (who is not even attacking) by waving his hands. Ueshiba is dressed like some sort of wizard which made me even question whether I was actually looking at the man.

So.... does anyone know where the video comes from. A little background would be useful and interesting.

I have been less impressed by Ueshiba as an old man than some preferring his aikido when he was at his prime and that of his students from that time - have perfect understanding when someone else shows little appreciation when they see what was in that clip.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-01-2016, 06:50 PM   #32
Dave Gallagher
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

The video is about 2/3 down the page.

It is the duty of the strong to protect the weak.
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:12 PM   #33
Sojourner
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

Most articles can easilly be loaded with a point to prove or to win an audience over to. One could easilly write an article along the same lines to state that MMA is a 'fraud' because they 'ban' a lot of the content of the 'self defense' techniques of Krav Maga such as attacking the groin and eye gouging. The author maintains that Aikido is unrealistic for self defence because of its various rules about non striking and suggests that training in it makes it harder for someone to defend themselves on the ever elusive 'street'. Yet clearly MMA has the same problem when contrasted against Krav Maga which is far more effective for self defense.

Still, it can't be overlooked that a lot of what people trian in and call Aikido would likely be of little help in defending themsleves in any real situation. Any techniques which require any form of compliance from your attacker are instantly out the window. Having said that if you train Aikido in a way to use it to defend yourself against a non compliant attacker as many dojo do, then you will soon find techniques that do work very effectivley.

Perhaps it is a good point to ponder on what your goals really are in training Aikido, if your wish is to learn some self defence training then its my view that this is an area where it is quite legitimate to have some training in Aikido and branch out into Jujitsu or perhaps even BJJ to compliment your techniques with aggressive techniques that break joints. I know of a school that teaches both Aikido and Jujitsu and it is suggested that Aikido is great for getting yourself or your attacker into the position that you want to be in to use your Jujitsu training to finish it.

Still conversely what the author of the article may not be fully conversant with, or he does seem to touch on what he thinks Aikido could be is the fact that Aikido comes from the perspective of O'Sensei based in spirituality and perhaps pacificsm towards non violence and the ideal that you might use Aikido to take down an attacker and not cause them harm. To my knowledge Aikido is the only martial art that has that as its core focus and intent. I realise that getting your Aikido to work in that way is incredibly difficult. Yet I agree with the same intent. Being able to defend yourself without particpating in violence is a good thing and I applaud anyone that can do that and think it is a lofty and genuine ideal to strive towards. I also think that if people took that same spiritual intent and applied it in other areas of their lives then our world could be a better place.
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:48 AM   #34
jonreading
 
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Re: Opinions on this please.

Quote:
Hansel Wong wrote: View Post
Entirely agreed with what you say, But how do we spread aikido's worth to other people? Honestly, I think it is a bit weak that aikido isn't taken seriously, and aikidoka, me included, aren't able to defend our own martial art adequately.
I don't necessarily think that is our responsibility. Rather, I think we focus on demonstrating a clear and concise message when visitors inquire. As Aristotle once said, you don't focus your message on those who will not receive your message. The problem is that part of our current message is "self-defense" oriented and we evade the demonstration aspect of that message. In addition, many people who make that claim are not, in fact, able to support it in any way.

In a conversation of self-defense, we are talking about a series of tactics that are elevated to a level of preventing personal harm that gives the defender freedom to "do whatever it takes." A friend of mine once commented on the commitment needed to fight this way, "if you do not think of your teeth as a weapon, you are not ready to use them as one." Most of us have never actually destroyed an eye using a gouge technique, nor survived the personal injury lawsuit that would follow. This is a level of commitment to which most training does not elevate and I do not believe is the ultimate criticism from our sister arts. I do think aikido falls on the lower end of the spectrum of resistance and duress training and that is a stronger criticism and transcends the individualism of instructors. When you claim to debilitate an attacker with a kick to the groin... to a MMA sport fighter who trains under the duress of low blows... that is contrary to their training. When you claim to strike to the throat to debilitate an attacker... when you can't hit a speed bag... When you claim to break wrists with the snap of an arm... to a judo player you can't grab...

If we keep our own house in order, there will be less surface area for our sister arts to criticize. Whether or not our stuff works is for them to find out when we train with them doing our thing. There are a number of great reasons to practice aikido and leave the others arts to do what they do.

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Old 01-04-2016, 02:03 PM   #35
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

I had a conversation along these lines with a friend who teaches BJJ. There are always rules. Aikido dojos, BJJ schools, MMA schools, it doesn't matter. If no one is going to the hospital or jail, it's because there are rules that are being followed to prevent that from happening.

Which is not a bad thing. But just because you brag about how "realistic" your training is, that doesn't make it true. Better to know what the assumptions of your art are than to pretend that they don't exist.

Katherine
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:53 PM   #36
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Re: Opinions on this please.

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I didn't realize it stiffled my innate desire to keep my hands up.
... No kidding. In my original teacher's school, Rule #1 was "Get your hands up and get out of the way."

I agree with both Rupert and Hilary.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 01-07-2016, 03:30 AM   #37
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

I don't think it's fair to say that Ueshiba was a fraud.

It seems like there were no claims linked to the 'no touch knockouts'. A good hypnotist can "knock out" susceptible people right away with little more than what is shown in the video. And certainly, a devoted student strongly believing in his master's skills will be rather susceptible.

True, the technical demonstrations by O-sensei that I have seen here and elsewhere didn't impress me very much. No super human skills - but more or less what one would expect when an elderly master is demonstrating his art on compliant students. Surely, compliance is pretty much the norm in Aikido training. But he may still have been a good teacher, due to his decades of experience (I had an elderly teacher like that assisting in one of the dojos I was training at in Kyoto).

Of course, it would be interesting to see films showing him in his younger days, but to my knowledge, there are none (yeah right, it was long before the advent of smartphone cams).

The stories of Ueshiba dodging bullets etc? I don't know, as I don't remember having been there. I believe things like that to be possible in principle though, and such legends serve as inspiration, in any case.

Now regarding the question of Aikido's effectiveness, that's a whole different, complex topic. Will an advanced practitioner be able to defend themselves in real life? Well, depending on the circumstances, they might! Sometimes, incapacitating a troublemaker by an armlock is not only effective, but the most sensible kind of action to resolve a situation. Other times another course of action is called for.

Does Aikido the way it is generally practised provide an all-round self-defence education? No. But then, few traditional arts do.
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Old 01-07-2016, 04:09 PM   #38
Robert Cowham
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Re: Opinions on this please.

Quote:
John Powell wrote: View Post
... No kidding. In my original teacher's school, Rule #1 was "Get your hands up and get out of the way."
As I recall (I think from his own memoirs), Moshe Feldenkrais devised a self defence method based on natural responses such as the startle response of raising hands. This was his second attempt and it worked in that people trained for a few months were still effective months later after no further training.
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Old 01-18-2016, 04:40 AM   #39
MrIggy
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

There is no point in discussing articles like this. They usually tend to perceive anything from their view and then present that as the only acceptable point of view.
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:49 AM   #40
Currawong
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

Weren't O'Sensei's students avoiding being grabbed by him in those demonstrations? I recall an interview with one or another shihan about it, as well as a story about O'Sensei grabbing Terry Dobson and leaving deep bruising.

In one of the last videos of O'Sensei at Hombu Dojo, possibly one of those recently uncovered, there was a white belt who went to attack him who didn't even fall over for the throw, while the black belts did, so these things lead me to believe that the demonstrations weren't completely sincere.

Last edited by Currawong : 01-18-2016 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:33 AM   #41
MrIggy
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

Quote:
Amos Barnett wrote: View Post
In one of the last videos of O'Sensei at Hombu Dojo, possibly one of those recently uncovered, there was a white belt who went to attack him who didn't even fall over for the throw, while the black belts did, so these things lead me to believe that the demonstrations weren't completely sincere.
Which video would that be?
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Old 01-19-2016, 12:04 PM   #42
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

Two comments here:
1. There are several interviews of deshi speaking about first-hand experience both in receiving attacks from O Sensei and attacking him. Many of the recollections imply the danger of either situation. That someone would not participate in a public demo is probably more a reflection on the participant than the demonstrator. Regardless of the intention of the demo, the presence of uke acting differently suggests that someone did not get the memo.
2. Critically reviewing footage of public demonstrations of O Sensei at an elder age, probably while he was fighting the cancer that eventually took his life, is probably not the most credible evaluation of his skill.

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Old 01-19-2016, 06:37 PM   #43
MrIggy
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Two comments here:
1. There are several interviews of deshi speaking about first-hand experience both in receiving attacks from O Sensei and attacking him. Many of the recollections imply the danger of either situation. That someone would not participate in a public demo is probably more a reflection on the participant than the demonstrator. Regardless of the intention of the demo, the presence of uke acting differently suggests that someone did not get the memo.
2. Critically reviewing footage of public demonstrations of O Sensei at an elder age, probably while he was fighting the cancer that eventually took his life, is probably not the most credible evaluation of his skill.
The problem (of the "MMA people") is that they don't take any of those facts in consideration. The only thing they try to achieve with these articles is provoke Aikido people by claiming the O'Sensei was an old nut who used "brainwashing" techniques into making people think he had magical powers. It's just plain old bs.
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Old 01-23-2016, 09:39 AM   #44
Michael Douglas
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

Well hang on a minute ;
Quote:
Igor Vojnović wrote: View Post
The only thing they try to achieve with these articles is provoke Aikido people by claiming the O'Sensei was an old nut who used "brainwashing" techniques into making people think he had magical powers.
In part. he was!

Surely we can acknowledge this as a side-issue to be aware of when discussing his stuff.
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:19 AM   #45
PeterR
 
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

Quote:
Michael Douglas wrote: View Post
Well hang on a minute ;

In part. he was!

Surely we can acknowledge this as a side-issue to be aware of when discussing his stuff.
Exactly - in part. He was pretty manipulative over a long period - something discussed as far back as his initial Omoto-kyo meeting.

The issue is when you define an entire product by one element.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:59 AM   #46
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

Decades after his death and even more decades after resigning his teaching posts, given the wide ranging disparity among later generations, I don't know that I could say all deviation from absolute truth rests with this one man.
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:19 PM   #47
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
2. Critically reviewing footage of public demonstrations of O Sensei at an elder age, probably while he was fighting the cancer that eventually took his life, is probably not the most credible evaluation of his skill.
From the footage available of O Sensei, ranging from 1935 to 1969, which one would you recommend?
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:01 PM   #48
jurasketu
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

The funny thing about dodging bullets is that you can, but not magically like in the story.

You simply have to dodge away from where the bullets are going to transit. If someone aims a gun at you (usually head, chest or gut) and goes to pull the trigger, you dodge the aimed spot. The committed trigger pull results in a miss. Unless the shooter knows you are going to move - the shooter will be unable to adjust. The dodge/move allows you to then use your weapon or escape to cover (if available). The movement obviously has to occur before the trigger pull, like I said, it is not magic. And obviously, you have to be able to observe/perceive the attack.

I was taught the following techniques by an 82nd Airborne soldier/martial artist when we played paintball together back in the 1980s. The techniques work quite well playing paintball. I used them to spectacular effect many times. Interestingly enough, recently I was reading Meditations on Violence by Rory Miller [HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommended] where he mentions using the side-step in training to show how the shooter cannot change target faster than you can move and counterattack. It is quite dramatic.

The technique has three forms: the drop, the side-step and the body twist.

The Drop

The drop is typically for long range and you simply throw your feet out backwards and drop straight to the ground - hopefully out of line of sight. Otherwise the side-step move is better.

The Side-step

The side-step is good for all ranges. Attacker is going to shoot - you move suddenly off-line, usually at an angle to change the range which affects the shooter's aim on their next shot. If you have a weapon or can grab the shooter, you deploy your weapon and counterattack. If not, better sprint for distance and cover.

The Body Twist

At close range, the body can be twisted to avoid the shot and still get your weapon online to counterattack (or continue the original attack when confronted with resistance).
At the head, flop head to side, twist shoulders and drop center.
At the gut, twist and throw hips back to pull gut offline.
At the chest, twist shoulders and lean by throwing hips forward [and hope for the best].

If you get shot at a lot - you should definitely practice these techniques. It is an amazing experience when they work.

And with proper protection [mainly face + throat], you can do "live" practice with a paintgun or the simulated marking ammo available for real firearms. I've only done it with paintguns. Rory Miller was using the marking ammo.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
AWA - Nidan - Started Aikido training in 2008
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:29 AM   #49
kewms
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

Very interesting.

I suspect there's a much easier explanation of the famous "O Sensei dodges bullets" episode, though. (For those who haven't seen the story, it involved six Japanese soldiers with revolvers.) The soldiers could have simply chosen not to hit him.

Katherine
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Old 01-24-2016, 12:32 PM   #50
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Opinions on this please. (Article: "The founder of Aikido was a fraud")

Also from Shioda:

Quote:
There is another story that relates to the previous one.

One of my acquaintances, Mr. Sadajiro Sato, was a hunter from Yamanashi Prefecture. He was known as a master of gun hunting. For example, hunters usually aim at and shoot pheasants when they are descending to the ground. At this moment it is said that their flying speed is around 200 kilometres per hour. If the pheasant is shot in the head it will drop straight to the ground, but if the bullet hits the body it will fall a long way away. Accordingly, hunters would try to aim for the head, which is not an easy target to hit. The point is the Mr. Sato would hit the head every time he shot--he was the master of masters.

One day I told Mr. Sato the story of Ueshiba Sensei avoiding the six revolvers. "Even if he did that I am sure he won't be able to avoid mine," said Mr. Sato confidently. "A human head is much bigger than that of the birds that I am used to shooting. I cannot imagine missing that." Having said that, Mr. Sato came down out of the mountains to challenge Ueshiba Sensei. I accompanied him to the Ueshiba Dojo land told Sensei that Mr. Sato wished to challenge him. Sensei accepted the proposal.

I watched carefully, and a bit anxiously, as Sensei sat down in seiza at the
far end of the Dojo while Mr. Sato took distance and aimed. And then just as he was on the verge of pulling the trigger, Sensei dropped his head in recognition and said, "Wait! Your bullet will hit me! Your thoughts are undistorted, and clearly you want to hit me. From the beginning you've known that you are going to hit your target. I cannot avoid the gun of such a man, you are a true master!"

Mr. Sato returned happily to his mountains. I was deeply impressed. Mr. Sato was a gun master, and Ueshiba Sensei recognised that and withdrew. It was proof that a master can recognise another master. I was very fortunate to have been able to see two precious masters challenging each other.

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 01-24-2016 at 12:34 PM.
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