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Old 02-28-2001, 05:08 AM   #1
Sam
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Like probably almost everyone here, I have read 'Abundant Peace' by John Stevens. It is an excellent book and I love the imagery some of the anecdotes supply. However do you believe that O'sensei had the power to dodge bullets, upturn cars with a kai and read minds?
I have had experiences which have made me more open minded toward the idea of super-normal technique so I'm like to think I'm pretty open minded, but dodging bullets?
How about throwing someone without touching them - is this just the power of suggestion? Can anyone here do it?
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Old 02-28-2001, 05:49 AM   #2
andrew
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Quote:
Sam wrote:
Like probably almost everyone here, I have read 'Abundant Peace' by John Stevens. It is an excellent book and I love the imagery some of the anecdotes supply. However do you believe that O'sensei had the power to dodge bullets, upturn cars with a kai and read minds?
I have had experiences which have made me more open minded toward the idea of super-normal technique so I'm like to think I'm pretty open minded, but dodging bullets?
How about throwing someone without touching them - is this just the power of suggestion? Can anyone here do it?
This all got pretty well beaten to death in some thread a few months ago...

I think you can throw somebody and have them THINK you haven't touched them, but you'd want to be awful good. (and them not so..) Rather, I think that might be possible.

andrew
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Old 02-28-2001, 07:23 AM   #3
ian
 
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I couldn't dismiss them just because I have had no experience of them; I thought that ki was just a way of explaining mechanical advantage for many years whereas now I definately think it has a physiological aspect.

There definately are things that we aren't currently able to explain with our current logic/science.

As far as throwing someone without touching them - I've seen it done myself, but it is really due to uke's reaction to something coming towards there head (usually), whilst ukes body is actually moving forwards. Its the equivalent to you swinging back on the back to legs of your chair then someone pretending to hit you in the face and you instinctively move backwards and fall off your chair. I think this can work during a set of techniques or if the opponent is used to moving their head backwards with a blow; also it takes excellent timing and very good observation of the ukes balance (and drawing them out of their range of balance). I think in many ways it is an ideal in aikido, but usually people do not react always as expected, nor do they attack as recklessly as we would hope.

Ian
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Old 02-28-2001, 07:42 AM   #4
ian
 
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Also, when Ueshiba talks about seeing a 'spiritual bullet', I wonder if he means psychologically. I often visualise ki; it makes me more in tune with the opponents body movement and also helps you to react to an attack at the same time the attack occurs. However I do not actually see the ki, and I think a simultaneous response comes through getting better at reading body language.

I think we have to remember that when we hear about 'spirit' in the east we don't necessarily mean the same thing as spirit in the west. We tend to seperate the mental, spiritual and physical. When he said 'spiritual bullet' I wonder if he really meant 'his intension (spirit) to shoot him'.

Ian

P.S. John Stevens often emphasises Ueshibas religious/spiritual aspects, possibly due to his own religious beliefs. From what I've heard from people that trained with Ueshiba, he never talked about his spiritual beliefs (though experiences with Ueshiba do vary), and felt that his religion was seperate from his aikido.
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Old 02-28-2001, 07:51 AM   #5
Jim23
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Quote:
Sam wrote:
Like probably almost everyone here, I have read 'Abundant Peace' by John Stevens. It is an excellent book and I love the imagery some of the anecdotes supply. However do you believe that O'sensei had the power to dodge bullets, upturn cars with a kai and read minds?
I have had experiences which have made me more open minded toward the idea of super-normal technique so I'm like to think I'm pretty open minded, but dodging bullets?
How about throwing someone without touching them - is this just the power of suggestion? Can anyone here do it?
But could he send messages through cyberspace?

I have an open mind, however, I don't believe any of those things beyond just good aikido. Otherwise, with a bunch of good students, he could have changed the outcome of the war.

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 02-28-2001, 08:34 AM   #6
andrew
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Quote:
Jim23 wrote:
Otherwise, with a bunch of good students, he could have changed the outcome of the war.

Jim23 [/b]
Oh no.....
I hope you're joking. I doubt he was that interested in that war. (After all, the Japanese government had clamped down strongly on his religion...) He went rural at the time to get away from the administration hassles that came with the war, did he not?
I recall reading that he felt intense guilt that he had taught people how to fight for that war.
Anyhow, the people who fight in modern wars are pretty much children.
Joke or not, I think your comment is going to make a lot of people angry here. Giving you th benefit of the doubt, I won't bother pointing out the flaws I see with it.

good luck,
andrew
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Old 02-28-2001, 10:15 AM   #7
BC
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I recall reading in a number of articles and interviews that these tall tales were just that. A number of sources have debunked much of the tales John Stevens discusses in his book. Additionally, even the late Nidai Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba denied these events and discouraged belief in them.

Another explanation offered by historical researchers was that O Sensei expressed himself very much in terms of his view of the world through his spiritual beliefs - those of Shinto and Omoto. Therefore, O Sensei's verbal expressions reflected the kinds of imagery consistent with these spiritual beliefs, and shouldn't be taken literally or out of context. This is how I have decided to regard and interpret such tales. I believe O Sensei was, in the end, just a human being. A very gifted martial artist and highly spiritual person, but a man nonetheless.

Robert Cronin
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Old 02-28-2001, 11:26 AM   #8
Jim23
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Quote:
BC wrote:
I recall reading in a number of articles and interviews that these tall tales were just that. A number of sources have debunked much of the tales John Stevens discusses in his book. Additionally, even the late Nidai Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba denied these events and discouraged belief in them.

Another explanation offered by historical researchers was that O Sensei expressed himself very much in terms of his view of the world through his spiritual beliefs - those of Shinto and Omoto. Therefore, O Sensei's verbal expressions reflected the kinds of imagery consistent with these spiritual beliefs, and shouldn't be taken literally or out of context. This is how I have decided to regard and interpret such tales. I believe O Sensei was, in the end, just a human being. A very gifted martial artist and highly spiritual person, but a man nonetheless.
Robert, this is the most sensible thing I've read in a while!

I think that people who believe in the myth are a bit naive. Great people can do great things, but magic or superhuman feats?

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 02-28-2001, 11:39 AM   #9
Matt Banks
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Hi

I have trained with people who have trained with osensei. They said that they couldnt lay a finger on him. The thing with aikido at that level, is that it is so good it looks fake. Until you get on the recieving end, when trying to kill him with a live sword. (so im told). I dont know about him upturning cars etc, but his tecnique seemed supernatural but real ''say the sensei's I train with''. He was an incredible person. He did order his students to shoot at him,whether they all aimed of target nobody knows but he was prepared to go through with it. Im told about how some of the people I trained with tryed to attack him, in tokyo on the train etc but to no avail. There must have been something spectacular about him, for what has been said since. He is universally thought to be one of the (if not the) best martial artist who ever lived.



Matt Banks

''Zanshin be aware hold fast your centre''
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Old 02-28-2001, 12:19 PM   #10
Erik
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Quote:
Sam wrote:
How about throwing someone without touching them - is this just the power of suggestion? Can anyone here do it?
I threw a 5 year old this way. She was trying to grab my hand and I just led her in a circle until she fell. It was a pretty committed attack though.
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Old 02-28-2001, 02:13 PM   #11
Guest5678
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No touch throw.

Too many tall tales about this subject. Someone previously posted the truth on this, in that it's uke's awareness and commitment to the attack that allows this to work.

I've been on the receiving end of this technique on more than one occasion. Dennis Hooker sensei or Chuck Clark sensei are two I know of that can demo this if you ask them to. It's no big mystical secret. But I'll tell you this, you better be aware of the possible responses prior to attacking them.

It's more about timing and projecting your intent than some "unseen power". Leave that crap to the hollywood versions.

Don't misunderstand me here, I'm not saying this is an easy technique, far from it for it takes many years of experience to get this timing right.

Also, it's not actually "throwing" uke either, it's taking away uke's option and ability to remain standing. If uke goes into a "throw" it's because uke doesn't want their head or some other vital body part removed...... the result is the same, you end up on the mat and you were never physically touched.

Just trying to keep things in the "mortal" world here.

Regards,

Dan P. - Mongo
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Old 02-28-2001, 02:17 PM   #12
DiNalt
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Quote:
Erik wrote:
Quote:
Sam wrote:
How about throwing someone without touching them - is this just the power of suggestion? Can anyone here do it?
I threw a 5 year old this way. She was trying to grab my hand and I just led her in a circle until she fell. It was a pretty committed attack though.
Speaking of hands - take a look at this
http://www.judoinfo.com/images/bellerud/belleru4.jpg

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Old 02-28-2001, 02:41 PM   #13
Erik
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Re: No touch throw.

Quote:
Mongo wrote:
Too many tall tales about this subject. Someone previously posted the truth on this, in that it's uke's awareness and commitment to the attack that allows this to work.
Bingo!

Sometimes we fool ourselves with this one. I used to have a teacher who did this to me pretty regularly until one day it dawned on me that I was actually "King Tank (no relation to Mr. Abbot), master of tankology". It only worked because I bought into it. It was actually pretty crappy technique all things considered. On the other end, there are those where the answer is to find the ground and find it really quick like, even quicker than that if you can. Them folks I do buy into.

Gaku Homma wrote an article on this subject and how O'Sensei used deception and the like to get an advantage (I'm paraphrasing here). Maybe someone could point to the article on a web site somewhere as he did a really good job with it. I'm thinking it was in a magazine that I saw it though.

[Edited by Erik on February 28, 2001 at 01:52pm]
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Old 02-28-2001, 07:02 PM   #14
Mike Collins
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Aikido is a martial art. It utilizes timing, distancing, focus, body movement, and leading of intent.

It is absolutely possible to throw someone without touching them. It helps if you've ever hit 'em a good one before. It helps make them believe you're gonna do it again. I don't know about you, but I'll give up my feet in a heartbeat to keep my head.

My teacher has never really clobbered me, but I've very little doubt that if I chose to stand there like a dolt, I'd soon learn that some choices are painful.

Osensei had some very advanced martial artists for students. People who fully realized that this old master was fully capable of applying the correct amount of focus at exactly the right time, in exactly the right place to cause just such an epiphany for them as well.

Hell yes he could throw without touching. He could probably hit hard too, and he probably would have built quite a mythology around that too, if these people wouldn't have kept flying when he was trying to hit them.

Or, maybe I'm wrong.
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Old 03-01-2001, 10:07 AM   #15
BC
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I agree with you Mikey. All it takes sometimes is one fat lip or a bloody nose to teach you to take the fall rather than resist, just like learning not to resist a sankyo or kotegaeshi. At least, that's all it took for me! Pain can be a very effective teacher sometimes, hmm?

Robert Cronin
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Old 03-01-2001, 01:28 PM   #16
tedehara
 
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Quote:
Sam wrote:
Like probably almost everyone here, I have read 'Abundant Peace' by John Stevens. It is an excellent book and I love the imagery some of the anecdotes supply. However do you believe that O'sensei had the power to dodge bullets, upturn cars with a kai and read minds?
I have had experiences which have made me more open minded toward the idea of super-normal technique so I'm like to think I'm pretty open minded, but dodging bullets?
How about throwing someone without touching them - is this just the power of suggestion? Can anyone here do it?
This is from the interview with Stan Pranin(SP) and AikiWeb(AW).
Quote:
AW: I'm sure you've heard these kinds of legends of O-sensei of his seeing the flash of the bullets before they were fired or jumping up onto the roof rafters and scurrying away like a ninja. What's fact and what's fiction?

SP: I think you're alluding to a certain book there. As far as seeing the spiritual bullets, O-sensei said things like that. Obviously, I'm not inside his head, but he was a very spiritual person. We can look at him from the 20th or, now, the 21st century viewpoint, but we have to put him into a historical context. This was a man who was involved heavily in the Omoto religion, a Shinto-based sect. His viewpoint took this as the basis. You need to refer to books like the Kojiki and the Nihonshiki to understand this thinking. It was these symbols and metaphors that people of this religion used to think about and how they understood the relationship between the universe and nature.

O-sensei would explain that he was a kamigakari (divinely-possessed person) or a vehicle for the expression of the kami, almost like an incarnation, that these superior spirits would take over his body and express himself through his aikido. That was how he explained all of the marvelous things he was doing. That was his cosmology.

As for him jumping up to the rafters and things like that, I don't know where that particular one came from. Doshu dismissed that kind of story and expressed disdain for that sort of silly thinking. And, to my knowledge, O-sensei did not tell that kind of stories.
As for No-Touch Throws, besides having someone who really knows a technique, the secret is having an uke who is totally commited to the attack.



It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 03-01-2001, 08:02 PM   #17
Aiki1
 
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No touch etc.

"No touch" throws are mostly done by leading the mind. It can be done, that way is no mystery, although the concept is sometimes abused by wishful-thinking instructors and students. There are other explanations of how O Sensei may or may not have done it, having to do with Ki as an actual force, and the ability to connect with and lead the energy-body. These latter concepts are very esoteric, and obviously are not for general consumption.

Larry Novick
Head Instructor
ACE Aikido
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Old 03-17-2001, 03:33 AM   #18
gadsmf@aol.com
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Cool The sum of the parts.....

Possibly some of the miraculous feats
ascribed to Ueshiba can be atributed to
incredibly good technique.
Compared to O'sensei
my sensei is a mere freshman with only
over thirty years Aikido experience. He
constantly amazes me with techniques that can look like a half-hearted shrug
but can throw you across the dojo. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole....my sensei isn't defying physics
but his Aikido is so complete, it flows
out of him so effortlessly that oftentimes it looks like something was
caused by nothing.
Now Ueshiba was
practicing for 60 plus years and happened to be the inventor of Aikido.
Imagine what his Aikido would have looked and felt like.
I hope this makes sense.


DL Gadd
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