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Old 06-28-2007, 01:00 PM   #26
DonMagee
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Brian Dewey wrote: View Post
From what little I understand and have internalized from my study of Aikido, it is that unless I make Aikido "mine"....it's then just some bizarre retro dance style that I'm learning with little practical application or meaning...no matter how much I choose to philosophize or spiritualize about it, or engage in hagiographical obsessions about O'Sensei.

If my Aikido sucks, it's usually because it's my fault (provided I have a qualified & experienced instructor). As such, my understanding of Aikido's modus operandi is to constantly & relentlessly strive for self-improvement...self-mastery. Mastery of: form, technique, application, awareness, patience, etc.
Not everyone can be great, even with a great teacher. Some people are just not built mentally or physically to succeed in some things. However, a great teacher should produce at least a few great students, hopefully they will go on to surpass the teacher and their students will grow to surpass them.

I'll never be a professional level body builder, even with the greatest coaches in the world. My buddy john will never be a math genius, it doesn't matter if he got private lessons at MIT. But the best body building coaches do produce champions of ever increasing quality, and MIT does produce masters in their fields.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 06-28-2007, 01:13 PM   #27
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

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Gianluigi Pizzuto wrote: View Post
Theorically the 10th Dan is not given because it belongs only to O Sensei. Tho, not formally, a couple of Uchi Deshi of O Sensei were given the 10th Dan, even tho on the records they remained 8th or 9th.
One of those was Shioda gozo Sensei, which in my opinion is one of the few that developed his Aikido to O Sensei's level. Now saying which one is better is something hard to do.
Actually, you may want to research that a bit. Shioda Sensei got his 10th dan from an umbrella organization I believe, not from the founder or the founder's family or organization. I believe the organization in question only gave the 10th dan after Kancho's death.

But don't quote me...I've probably gotten some part of this wrong. But that's ok, cause Chris Li will be along any minute now...

Best,
Ron (Or Peter G., or ...or...or...)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 06-28-2007, 01:55 PM   #28
Joseph Madden
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

By flow I meant aikidoka who had beautiful looking basics with/without a partner. Their connection as shite/uke. As far as internal power is concerned, how much of it is internal and how much is merely external( muscle vs.spirit).
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:06 PM   #29
Basia Halliop
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

[qoute]By flow I meant aikidoka who had beautiful looking basics with/without a partner. Their connection as shite/uke. As far as internal power is concerned, how much of it is internal and how much is merely external( muscle vs.spirit).[/quote]

Kind of shows why there is never going to be consensus on who's is 'the best' . We are all using entirely different scales for comparison, and aiming for different goals.
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:09 PM   #30
Basia Halliop
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
so no one will ever know the whole picture.
Well, technically there are people still alive who knew him and trained with him. Now whether or not we know those people well enough to just take their word for it, they may themselves be convinced of their opinions, and have more informed opinions on the matter than we can.
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:13 PM   #31
Dewey
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
Not everyone can be great, even with a great teacher. Some people are just not built mentally or physically to succeed in some things. However, a great teacher should produce at least a few great students, hopefully they will go on to surpass the teacher and their students will grow to surpass them.
That goes without saying!
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:14 PM   #32
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

no Ueshiba, no aikido.
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:18 PM   #33
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

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Well, technically there are people still alive who knew him and trained with him.
They knew him and trained with him when he was young and in his prime, supposedly accepting challenge matches? Or are you talking about his students?

I don't think anyone who knew O-Sensei as the young, adventurous guy they write about in books would be alive today.

Last edited by Roman Kremianski : 06-28-2007 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:31 PM   #34
Basia Halliop
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

No, you're right, I was talking about his students. Even if they didn't know him when he was young they at least knew him a lot better than any of us here.
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:42 PM   #35
aikilouis
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Ueshiba Morihei never was a young prodige of martial arts. He started training with Takeda Sokaku at age 32.

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Old 06-28-2007, 02:52 PM   #36
Dewey
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

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James Wilson wrote: View Post
Controversial but...
Who would be willing to say that Ueshiba`s Aikido was not the best theyd seen?
Back to the original question:

I suppose I'd be confused as to why Kano would send some of his top students (e.g. Tomiki and Mochizuki) to study under Ueshiba if he wasn't "top shelf" material...leaving aside the famous, but most likely apocryphal Kano quote concerning Aikido: "this is my ideal Budo" (or words to that effect)?

Some may counter by saying that Kano sent out his students to study under various jujutsu schools in order to incorporate their techniques into the Kodokan syllabus, and Aikido was no different or more deserving...which is certainly true. However, why would top Judo men like Tomiki or K. Abbe remain students of Ueshiba for years if he "wasn't that good."

Opinions are always subjective, though, and open to debate. Unfortunately, for the vast majority of Aikidoka and skeptics alike, we only have a few poor-quality films to judge by and the sometimes questionable memoirs of uchi-deshi.
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Old 06-28-2007, 03:03 PM   #37
Basia Halliop
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Well, I think it's actually kind of a jump to go from 'was/is his the best aikido of anyone at all' to 'he wasn't great' or even further, 'he wasn't that good.' The possibility that others could have surpassed him (I don't know whether they did or not, but it's at least plausible) wouldn't necessarily have to mean he wasn't pretty darn great himself.
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Old 06-28-2007, 04:02 PM   #38
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Who knows why people say the things they did, or did the things they did. Maybe Tomiki was looking for a father figure, there could be a million reasons why someone would train with Ueshiba besides him being the best Aikidoka ever.

You can (at this point in time) only go by what you see. Personally I don't think his Ki no nagari techniques or Jiyu waza are any better then any of the other top flight Aikido practitioners of today.

Going beyond what you can see, is just conjecture, and going by what others have said, is hearsay.

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Old 06-28-2007, 04:14 PM   #39
Aristeia
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

It's intersting to see how many people are reacting to the suggestion that some people have developed their Aikido beyond Ueshibas by talking about how Ueshiba must have been good in his day. That's not the issue right? The issue is since Ueshiba has anyone taken Aikido further to the point where they are better exponents of the art than Ueshiba was.

We should all hope the answer is yes. The art will be in one of two places, growth or decline. If Ueshiba was the pinnacle of the art and each successive generation of students is less accomplished as we get further from the source - the art is in decline. If it is in growth then you would expect certain individuals in each generation to supercede their teachers. If it really is being grown properly, coached properly there should be people on this forum, maybe even on this thread who are today better than Ueshiba was.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:09 PM   #40
Aiki Liu
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

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Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
no Ueshiba, no aikido.
No Marquis of Queensbury, no boxing
.........but Muhhammed Ali would still have boxed his ears off....
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:55 PM   #41
DH
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Someone said you can only go be what you see-then they nullified all the other experts in their field as heresy.
Interesting.
A. I think one would have to have experienced and knowing eyes to see what they should have been seeing all along.
b. There were far too many experienced witnesses who did not "start out" as friends or converts who later spoke of Ueshibas' strength and skills.
Having some guys on a list downplay Kano,Tomiki, Tenry, and Shirata as hearsay is really rather sad.
Maybe...just maybe, they are the ones who were in fact experts in their fields and knew in fact just what they were talking about. And the modern guys are the ones who are clueless.
Just maybe.
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:52 PM   #42
Aiki Liu
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Having some guys on a list downplay Kano,Tomiki, Tenry, and Shirata as hearsay is really rather sad.
Maybe...just maybe, they are the ones who were in fact experts in their fields and knew in fact just what they were talking about. And the modern guys are the ones who are clueless.
Just maybe.
Why should we take this as read? I think in terms of judging someones Aikido one guy with experiences opinion is just as valid as the next. I dont think someone is "clueless" because they dont think Ueshiba`s Aikido is the best theyve ever seen....
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:57 PM   #43
Chris Li
 
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Actually, you may want to research that a bit. Shioda Sensei got his 10th dan from an umbrella organization I believe, not from the founder or the founder's family or organization. I believe the organization in question only gave the 10th dan after Kancho's death.

But don't quote me...I've probably gotten some part of this wrong. But that's ok, cause Chris Li will be along any minute now...

Best,
Ron (Or Peter G., or ...or...or...)
I will not!

Well, OK - IIRC, both Mochizuki and Shioda received 10th dans from the Kokusai Budoin (IMAF). Mochizuki received a kind of informal approval for this from the Ueshiba family, but I don't know about Shioda.

Morihei promoted a couple of people (Abe and Hikitsuchi come to mind) to 10th dan directly. Koichi Tohei was promoted to 10th dan by the Aikikai shortly after Morihei died, but apparently the promotion was sanctioned by Morihei. I'm sure there are others that I don't recall at the moment...

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-28-2007, 07:24 PM   #44
DH
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
James Wilson wrote: View Post
I think in terms of judging someones Aikido, one guy with experiences opinion is just as valid as the next. ....
Yes , I know.....I know. The internet has made that all too clear.

Just the other day we sent a guy with a lamborgini to the best place to get it fixed- a motorcyce shop.
Afterall, one mechanics experience and opinion is as good as the next.
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:34 PM   #45
Aiki Liu
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Yes , I know.....I know. The internet has made that all too clear.

Just the other day we sent a guy with a lamborgini to the best place to get it fixed- a motorcyce shop.
Afterall, one mechanics experience and opinion is as good as the next.
Your hilarous analagy is invalid. How is Aikidoka commenting on Aikido like a motorcycle expert commenting on a car? As far as Im aware, commenting on Aikido would fall fairly well into the spectrum of expertise of an Aikidoka (the clues in the title).
Secondly an opinion is subjective so clearly one mans is as valid as the next. If you say you like the music of Mozart but arent a classically trained pianist, is your opinion invalid?
Or are you only allowed an opinion when you get your Shihan status?
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:28 PM   #46
wxyzabc
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

mmm I think O sensei`s aikido was amazing..after all he dedicated his life to it...and aikido does transcend technique as well eh...but true maybe he wasn`t "perfect"...but who is???

anyway here in Japan there are some truly exceptional practioners....some not known at all outside of Japan..and I think they like it that way....true leaders to a small pocket of followers usually in the middle of nowhere : )

Lee
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Old 06-28-2007, 11:50 PM   #47
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Elitism is a great way to keep everyone ignorant!

Make a small group of people. Tell them that only they can understand what you do (making them feel special, and not wanting to upset the cart). Then when anyone outside of the circle questions you, refer them to others in the circle. If they question you further, simply tell them that "it is beyond them" and only if they train with you or one of your elite group could they understand. Once they are on the inside they will likely do the same.

It's a fun little exercise in ego, but it doesn't get us anywhere. Better just to look at something and form a general opinion about it, then go out and find different examples and sources from different places to test your theory.

For me Ueshiba was good, but not better than anyone else around today. That opinion doesn't take anything away from him. He still made a neat system that is practiced all around the world today. That's a pretty great accomplishment, even if he couldn't shoot magic ki balls from his finger tips or wasen't the best Aikidoka to ever walk the earth.

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Old 06-29-2007, 12:13 AM   #48
eyrie
 
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
James Wilson wrote: View Post
How is Aikidoka commenting on Aikido like a motorcycle expert commenting on a car?
What's the difference? I think that is precisely Dan's point.

It's like asking a divorce lawyer for advice in a criminal proceeding in which you are facing the death penalty on murder charges. They're all lawyers right? So one lawyer's opinion is as good as the other, right?

Ignatius
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:18 AM   #49
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote: View Post
I'm guessing he means Morihei Ueshiba, given his iconic status and legends of awesomeness.
Cheeky monkey in danger of breaking basic etiquettes. Best to be a little more formal, just in case.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 06-29-2007 at 08:24 AM.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:35 AM   #50
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

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Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
Cheeky monkey in danger of breaking basic etiquettes. Best to be a little more formal, just in case.
Fair enough. But to clarify, my intent was to mock the outlandish stories of O'sensei, not the man himself.
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