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Old 11-01-2006, 01:13 PM   #26
Erick Mead
 
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Re: what is aikido

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote:
Unfortunately I suspect it's pretty hard to know "what Ueshiba meant" without knowing Japanese --

... Even then, I've always heard that even his own students (who were Japanese and worked with him one on one for years) found it hard to know what he was trying to say a lot of the time.

... if you've ever looked at translations of non-concrete concepts, poetry, theology, political ideas, etc even between two fairly similar languages with a lot of common cultural background... it can be extremely hard to pinpoint things without really really knowing both languages. A translator's job is difficult and sometimes quite subjective. Even the best translation is rarely a substitute for the original.
Translation is inadequate, because Ueshiba spoke very much in terms of in myth. His own uchideshi, native speakers nearly all, frequently failed to grasp it and they understood every word he said, if not every bit of what it meant. Many of them tended, to a greater or lesser degree, to disregard that aspect of his teaching of aikido.

To grasp O-Sensei's meaning you have to unfold the ideas and concepts embodied in those myths into an immediate given circumstance. That particularized expression will then point to other meaning in the myth that you did not see going in at first. Then you find particular application or expression of that new meaning, and then see new meaning in the myth from that expression, etc. etc. ...

Takemusu aiki, it seems to me is much the same process in physical form. Thus, O-Sensei's mythic model of teaching, his mode of physical instruction, and his ultimate goal in training were really all of one piece -- implicate information, holographic, in a sense.

Becasue it is mythic in form it has inherent connection other mythic knowledge (some would say there is only one such body of knowledge and just many different accounts of it). There thus comes to be a common basis for very often divergent individualized expressions. This is a different means, a more subcsonscious means, of "translating" that information from one system of particularized references into another, quite apart from the system of conscious translation of language.
Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote:
For me at this point it's much more _physically_ fascinating than anything else, but to each his own .
It's all there in the physical training, I agree, but the process to follow in that training had better be consistent with the mythic model, if it is to have assurance that it is the same thing O-Sensei was teaching. Having said that, the mode of instruction may differ widely without offending the underlying model.

Some follow teachers who assure their students that their methods are thus faithful, even if the modes of their physical instruction differ markedly from other teahcers who assert precisely the same thing. Neither is necessarily wrong in itself, according to O-Sensei's own model of teaching. Proof is in the pudding, and I do not quibble.

Neils Bohr, the quantum physicist, once recounted his father to have said: "There are great truths and small truths. The opposite of a small truth is a lie. The opposite of a great truth is also true."

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 11-01-2006, 01:29 PM   #27
chadsieger
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Re: what is aikido

Hmm, maybe your answer would have to depend on your audience? If I were addressing a martial artists from a particular style I would have a reasonable explanation to fit their style. ie. My answer would be different if they were in kickboxing vs. Tai Chi.

If they were ignorant of all martial arts I would simply say, "Aikido is a Japanese defensive art that uses an opponent's energy." You dont need to get esoteric or overly demonstraive, just the facts ma'am. Ive said this many times. Sometimes they inquire more, but nine times out of ten they simply say, "Oh, thats nice."

Of couse, as some have said, your answer also depends on your stage of training. The earlier I was in my training the longer my answer was. Then I discovered most people dont care to hear about it, so dont overextend and keep it simple but accurate.

Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is exactly the place to train-
M. Ueshiba
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Old 11-01-2006, 01:31 PM   #28
Roman Kremianski
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Re: what is aikido

Quote:
We say that aikido is the way to a meeting with ki, but what is ki? Until you understand it, you cannot begin to study aikido.
So he's saying I have to understand a deep and virtually endless concept that no one can prove anyway before I can actually get out on the mat and do tenkan? <_<
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Old 11-02-2006, 10:03 AM   #29
tedehara
 
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Re: what is aikido

Quote:
Goran Bogdanovic wrote:
Does anybody out there really uderstand aikido? Please, answer me!
Isao Takahashi reported that he was walking down a country road near Iwama Japan when his companion remarked, "I'm really beginning to understand what this Aikido stuff is all about."

His companion was Morihei Ueshiba.

Last edited by tedehara : 11-02-2006 at 10:09 AM.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 11-02-2006, 11:29 AM   #30
SeiserL
 
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Re: what is aikido

Please define what part of the spectrum of understanding being referred to.

I do think that Aikido changes according to one's understanding and practice of it.

In all arrogance, I do think I understand Aikido from where I am at on the journey. And I know the journey is far from over.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-03-2006, 09:04 AM   #31
gogab
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Re: what is aikido

Firs of all, I would like to thanks all answers and discussions post on this subject. This was rhetorical concerning where Aikido is now days. My idea was to see what people all around the world think about what Aikido is. All of us have some opinion on this subject ether I support some, or some I do not, but this answers or discussions are status what Aikido represent and how people see Aikido.
I have lucky to learn aikido from Sensei Kenji Shimizu, directly and from his students who are very close to my posture what Aikido is.

Best regard to all,
Goran Bogdanovic
Jagodina, Serbia.
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Old 11-03-2006, 03:55 PM   #32
Jorge Garcia
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Re: what is aikido

I liked this answer. It seems to me it is what the Founder and his son said it was. Most seem to have the attitude that Aikido is what it means to them personally but I think that's too subjective. What I think it is to me is Mekido. Aikido is what the Founder said it was.
If I create a new kind of cake, that's what it is. If you create your version of that cake, that's a different cake. It may be that only O Sensei could practice Aikido if I am correct and that's my idea. All the rest of us should be trying to do what he did to find what he found. If we just do some forms and then say, " Aikido is..." That would be plainly incorrect. We must discover what it was to him since he named it. Even if it's impossible, that would still be true. We may have to say, " My Aikido is...". That would be more accurate.

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:51 PM   #33
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: what is aikido

Rupert Atkinson wrote:
Quote:
If that's from Aikikai then God help us. How the hell are you gonna learn that?

For me, Aikido is the Way of Aiki. Not ki, not harmony, not love, not peace, nope, none of that. I now think the Ai and the Ki of Aikido are inseparable, as one word, just as it is 'one action'.
Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
well that is very Daito Ryu party line, you will make the Daito Ryu crowd happy.
Not exactly. Bruce Lee abandoned his traditional approach and advised us to search for the essence. I think Ueshiba did the same thing but without saying so, instead wrapping it up in peace talk. In my mind, he abandoned the traditional (Daito Ryu etc.) and concentrated on what he thought to be the essence - the Way of Aiki. I think he chose techniques that highlighted the aiki aspect but somewhere along the way, that 'essence' got hijacked and the aikiness transformed into the techniques that we now learn. So now, we have people tyring to find that essence in a bunch of techniques that 'were' the essence.

I also do Wing Chun so and like the ideas of Bruce Lee, but don't agree exactly. What he abandoned - the traditional - probably contains more of the essence of what he sought ...

I've been hammered for saying the above in various places and I am used to it ... so feel free to hammer away.

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Old 11-05-2006, 08:01 PM   #34
eyrie
 
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Re: what is aikido

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote:
Not exactly. Bruce Lee abandoned his traditional approach and advised us to search for the essence. I think Ueshiba did the same thing but without saying so, instead wrapping it up in peace talk. In my mind, he abandoned the traditional (Daito Ryu etc.) and concentrated on what he thought to be the essence - the Way of Aiki.
There is an old expression in the Martial Arts. It is like an onion. You can peel off the layers to reveal the core or you can cut the onion down the middle to reveal the core.

Some of us prefer the Alexandrian approach to Gordian's Knot....

Ignatius
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Old 11-05-2006, 09:26 PM   #35
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: what is aikido

Yes, inisde the onion you find the core. Unfortunately, sometimes, in some places, there is no core, nor an awareness that it is missing. In such a case, the skin becomes the core. And the smarter ones, perhaps, who have the idea to search for the core, find nothing there ... but name it, and label it, yet, still cannot find it, because it is not there ... but they think it must be, so they keep looking, trusting faith, two words that are wise kept apart ...

Been There Done That

Perhaps still ...

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 11-05-2006 at 09:29 PM.

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Old 11-05-2006, 09:30 PM   #36
eyrie
 
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Re: what is aikido

Ah yes, the trick is finding the GOOD onions...

And many a tear are shed peeling and chopping onions...

Ignatius
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Old 11-06-2006, 06:08 AM   #37
crbateman
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Re: what is aikido

If someone gives you lemons, make lemonade.

If someone gives you onions, make... onionade???
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Old 11-06-2006, 07:12 AM   #38
Ron Tisdale
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Re: what is aikido

Nope, a nice chopped salad...or a bloomin' onion.

MMMMMmmmmm bloomin' onion. Can't eat those any more, gives me too much gas.

Sad,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 11-06-2006, 01:38 PM   #39
crbateman
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Re: what is aikido

Gotta BLEND with it, Ron... Keep weight underside, keep onion INSIDE...
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:37 AM   #40
Mark Uttech
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Re: what is aikido

I don't think that O Sensei ever said "keep weight underside", That was K. Tohei's style of teaching, his attempt to steal his teacher's technique and systemize it.

In gassho,
mark
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:56 AM   #41
crbateman
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Re: what is aikido

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote:
I don't think that O Sensei ever said "keep weight underside", That was K. Tohei's style of teaching, his attempt to steal his teacher's technique and systemize it.

In gassho,
mark
I know it was Tohei... Still think it's good advice, even though I used it in the context of a joke.
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Old 11-13-2006, 08:06 AM   #42
Janet Swisher
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Re: what is aikido

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote:
For me, Aikido is the Way of Aiki. Not ki, not harmony, not love, not peace, nope, none of that. I now think the Ai and the Ki of Aikido are inseparable, as one word, just as it is 'one action'.
Well, then the question is, what is "aiki"?

The following quote from O-Sensei indicates to me that he intended something more than just "the way of aiki", whatever that is, and did intend some measure of love/harmony/ki stuff.

"As ai (harmony) is common with ai (love), I decided to name my unique budo Aikido, although the word Ďaiki' is an old one. The word which was used by the warriors in the past is fundamentally different from that of mine."
From http://www.laaikikai.com/aikido/teachings/ (but I've seen it elsewhere in the past)

(BTW, I've heard that punning is held in especially low regard in Japanese culture, because the language has so many homonyms that it requires absolutely no cleverness to make a pun. Yet, this quote seems to indicate that the founder intended the name of the art as kind of a pun.)
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Old 11-13-2006, 08:23 AM   #43
Ron Tisdale
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Re: what is aikido

Good luck getting one concrete answer to that one.

I'd suggest searching the articles on aikidojournal.com as a good starting place...enter "aiki " to get a good list of hits.

Best,
Ron (I tend to agree with Rupert, but the reasons are little to many to get into here)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:16 PM   #44
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: what is aikido

Quote:
Janet Swisher wrote:
Well, then the question is, what is "aiki"?
Well, I see you have asked the right question. Now you can start to learn (just my opinion, not personal). But asking won't help. Find someone ... I am still looking. But the 'key' is to look ... not wait.

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