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Old 12-12-2001, 08:25 PM   #26
Edward
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<You don't need to convince me, I am only wondering exactly what the word means to you in this context. >

We should respect each other's opinions no matter how different from ours they might be.

<There are many "Easterners" who reject Confucian thinking to some degree, regardless of its cultural permeation. You put quite a bit of spin on your comparison of loyalty in the east and west, and it is not fair or accurate. I am not offended by it personally, but you may suffer by such a limited understanding. >

Only those born in the west. I used to share your opinion before I came to live in Thailand 6 years ago. I have travelled all over Eastern-Asia ever since. Asian society is very conservative compared to the west, and people who do not believe in the system are considered outsiders, and they cannot survive. Needless to say that they are a very tiny minority. As for my "limited understanding", I advise you to stay away from such provocative wording. This is a public forum and you will give an ugly impression about yourself.

<Poetic license. Or are you your teacher's slave? Or are you advocating a return to slavery? This is what many of us in the west could consider a "cult mentality". >

You guessed it right. Poetic licence. No other comments .


<Personally, no. Unless I pay first with that understanding, in which case withholding information might fairly be considered theft, fraud, or dishonesty. >

I'm sure your Sensei would like to hear your opinion about this matter.

<That model works well, for a perfect teacher and a worthless student. In any other case, you can expect mutual growth. Neither one can repay the other, and neither becomes a slave to the other, literally or figuratively.>

So you mean that all the Shihans who are our role models are or were worthless students. Are you an outstanding student? Or maybe your teacher is just mediocre? Are you mistaking respect and loyalty for slavery?

<How significant is significant? In combat, the difference between life and death may easily be less than an inch. >

You make me laugh with your combat stuff. Do you see too many Seagal movies? I have been practicing MA for over 17 years now, and I was never involved in a fight. The recent poll on Aikiweb shows that I am not alone. In a state of law, you fight means you go to jail.

<Was Ueshiba loyal to Takeda Sokaku? To Onisaburo Deguchi? Not by your definition, I think.>

I said:"As for the proliferation of schools, I see that it is not justifiable in as long as these schools are not offering any significant technical novelty." Now if Aikido is not a significant novelty, what is? Did you see the most recent book from Daito-Ruy? The title is something like " the origin of Aikido". It's like saying, "hey, I'm the president's father, or wife".


<They were no more important in the past then they are now.>

They were very important in the past, as they should be now. Osensei required 2 introductions in order to accept anyone in his dojos. Gozo Shioda like all others had to do that. Takeda used to teach to strictly chosen students. Even now, the original Daito-Ryu hombu dojo in Tokyo will not accept you if you have practiced any MA in the past.
You should be very thankful to the recent decadence in MA, because with your way of thinking, you would only get the chance to practice Kung Fu.
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Old 12-12-2001, 08:59 PM   #27
Jim23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury


Form precedes function ...
I was taught that form follows function -- my own view has always been that they go hand in hand.

Function following form??? Hmmm.

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 12-12-2001, 09:39 PM   #28
Peter Goldsbury
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim23

I was taught that form follows function my own view has always been that they go hand in hand.

Function following form??? Hmmm.

Jim23
I distinguish between the order of being and the order of knowledge. It is true that form and function are two aspects of the same thing, the same technique. However, this is not always obvious, especially to a beginner.

In my own case, I had three different teachers during my first six years of training, each of whom did the basic techniques somewhat differently. In addition, my teachers always stressed the importance of correct form right from the very beginning. Grasping the functionality of the forms, why they were correct, what the underlying principles were, was a more gradual process.

This is what I meant in my earlier post.

Yours sincerely,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 12-13-2001, 09:26 AM   #29
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It seems to me that principle does not change. Form can change and still demonstrate principle. Everyone must, at some point, develop their own style.

Regards,

Chuck Clark
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www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 12-13-2001, 09:48 AM   #30
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Techniques and principles.

Techniques or forms are like shells, without the principles within them, they are empty and easily cracked. Do not be blinded by techniques.

We all will develop our own style, our own techniques, our own forms. This is caused by our posture and physical abilities. As long as we stay true to the principles within those techniques, it wouldn't matter.

Our sensei always reminds us that we have to be who we are. To do the technique like how it was shown might not always be possible. This is caused by physiological differences. I am very happy with Aikido, at least the way it is taught in my dojo.

As for different schools or the splitting of schools go... politics... politics... politics... oh, and... politics.

Learn in depth of one principle, and you will be able to develop infinite techniques.
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Old 12-13-2001, 01:59 PM   #31
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In the west, young people are in bad terms with their parents, they never care for them (the state does), there is no respect for teachers (I even read often in newspapers that in the US students shoot at their teachers and other students), there is no hierarchy except for money.
...
As for my "limited understanding" [of Western loyalty], I advise you to stay away from such provocative wording. This is a public forum and you will give an ugly impression about yourself.


I will take my chances, as you have.

<Personally, no. Unless I pay first with that understanding, in which case withholding information might fairly be considered theft, fraud, or dishonesty. >

I'm sure your Sensei would like to hear your opinion about this matter.


I am not known for holding my tongue, inside or outside of class. Surprised?

<That model works well, for a perfect teacher and a worthless student. In any other case, you can expect mutual growth. Neither one can repay the other, and neither becomes a slave to the other, literally or figuratively.>

So you mean that all the Shihans who are our role models are or were worthless students. Are you an outstanding student? Or maybe your teacher is just mediocre? Are you mistaking respect and loyalty for slavery?


My teachers have made mistakes. I have made some of these mistakes apparent. It does not upset me, and it does not upset them, because there is a sincere and mutual desire for improvement. I don't know why this upsets you, maybe it has something to do with wacky Confucian ideals.

As an aside, what do you think Confucius would say about women teaching martial arts? Or even practicing martial arts beside men? Do you agree with him?

<How significant is significant? In combat, the difference between life and death may easily be less than an inch. >

You make me laugh with your combat stuff. Do you see too many Seagal movies?


One, you mean? Actually, I thought Exit Wounds was really funny. Anyway, the inch comment is quite literally true, and it can be proven easily.

I have been practicing MA for over 17 years now, and I was never involved in a fight. The recent poll on Aikiweb shows that I am not alone. In a state of law, you fight means you go to jail.

Do you know how many people are killed in fights each year? If not, go look it up. None of THOSE people are in jail. They might wish they were, though.

<Was Ueshiba loyal to Takeda Sokaku? To Onisaburo Deguchi? Not by your definition, I think.>

I said:"As for the proliferation of schools, I see that it is not justifiable in as long as these schools are not offering any significant technical novelty." Now if Aikido is not a significant novelty, what is?


If Ueshiba had put Takeda's interests before his own, who would be practicing Aikido today? Takeda is the teacher, Ueshiba is the student, and Confucius say "that is wrong behavior".

You should be very thankful to the recent decadence in MA, because with your way of thinking, you would only get the chance to practice Kung Fu.

Horrors!

If not for the recent decadence in MA, we would not be having this discussion, because you would already know better.

Your move.
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Old 12-13-2001, 11:40 PM   #32
Edward
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Well, Chris,

I suspect you have been sent to me by Osensei to test my faith in Aikido

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 12-14-2001, 04:02 PM   #33
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The answer to this whole thread was, I believe, already given by O Sensei himself:

"Though there are many paths at the foot of the mountain, all those who reach the top see the same moon."

Each of us favors a style that suits him/her best, but we must all remember it's the end that counts.



Mona
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Old 12-15-2001, 07:14 AM   #34
Mares
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mona

Each of us favors a style that suits him/her best, but we must all remember it's the end that counts.



Mona
I wouldn't agree with that statement. Is it not the journey that develops your character? Whilst the end or the goal helps to encourage the undertaking of the journey, I believe it is the journey that is more important.

Just as s loose analogy, studying for exams. If two people say get 80% on an exam, one student studied hard did all the necessary problems etc, and the other cheats and discovers the answers through various means, which student is better off? Is it the end that counts or the journey?
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Old 12-15-2001, 01:07 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mares


I wouldn't agree with that statement. Is it not the journey that develops your character? Whilst the end or the goal helps to encourage the undertaking of the journey, I believe it is the journey that is more important.

Just as s loose analogy, studying for exams. If two people say get 80% on an exam, one student studied hard did all the necessary problems etc, and the other cheats and discovers the answers through various means, which student is better off? Is it the end that counts or the journey?
I never said the journey was not important. I never even mentioned the journey. What I meant was: it doesn't matter what path YOU CHOOSE AT THE BEGINNING, since the end in the same. Annd this is applicable only in the context of this forum, i.e. in Aikido, or any budo for that matter. That analogy that you made was totally irrelevant. It would have only been relevant if I said something like:

"The end justifies the means."

Make sure you read carefully between the lines and in the right context before jumping to conclusions.

Mona
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Old 12-15-2001, 10:52 PM   #36
Edward
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mona


Make sure you read carefully between the lines and in the right context before jumping to conclusions.

Hi Mona,

I agree that Mares misunderstood the meaning of your post. But your reply is not exactly very much in the spirit of Aikido.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 12-16-2001, 06:29 AM   #37
Mona
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward

I agree that Mares misunderstood the meaning of your post. But your reply is not exactly very much in the spirit of Aikido.
Wasn't being agressive (unlike SOME!), just slightly sarcastic.

Cheers,

Mona
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Old 12-16-2001, 01:58 PM   #38
deepsoup
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Mountain, schmountain!

Quote:
Originally posted by Mares

I wouldn't agree with that statement. Is it not the journey that develops your character? Whilst the end or the goal helps to encourage the undertaking of the journey, I believe it is the journey that is more important.
<applause>
Bang on!

All ways up the mountain are not the same, just ask a mountaineer. (You know, the guys who sometimes risk their lives toiling up the steep side of the mountain while there are tourists pushing prams up the other side.)

If two people take different paths up a mountain, yes they arrive at the same summit, (assuming they both make it - some paths are more dangerous than others) but they aren't quite the same two people who set out.

Arriving at the summit of a mountain, or looking up at the moon are subjective experiences. We all experience the world through the filters of our previous experience and our personality. So two people, who may be observing the same satellite, are not necessarily looking at the same Moon.

Now a journey, especially an arduous one, changes the person who undertakes it. So when you set out to go somewhere, depending on which route you take, it is a different person who arrives there.


Quote:
Mona retorts:
I never said the journey was not important. I never even mentioned the journey. What I meant was: it doesn't matter what path YOU CHOOSE AT THE BEGINNING, since the end in the same. Annd this is applicable only in the context of this forum, i.e. in Aikido, or any budo for that matter.
Surely which path you choose to follow determines, more than anything else, which way your journey takes you.

Maybe you'll say I'm taking the 'mountain' analagy too literally. Perhaps arriving at the summit of the mountain is a metaphor for achieving total enlightenment. Since that involves a total destruction of the ego, you might argue, it is not possible to experience the Moon subjectively, as the metaphorical mountaineer is at one with the Universe (including both the mountain and the moon) and has no ego with which to colour the experience. He simply is!

Good point. But if that total enlightenment is really the destination we're all journeying towards, how many of us, sitting around playing with our computers, are going to arrive there?

If you acknowledge that you're unlikely to arrive at you destination, or even get more than a few miles along the road in your lifetime, does it still not matter which way you choose to go? I think it does.

Sean
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Old 12-16-2001, 02:15 PM   #39
PeterR
 
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Re: Mountain, schmountain!

Quote:
Originally posted by deepsoup
Good point. But if that total enlightenment is really the destination we're all journeying towards, how many of us, sitting around playing with our computers, are going to arrive there?
My turn to <applause>.

It may be the destination but the tao at the very basic is - if you think you are you're not. One of the most interesting concepts is the idea that you can never be absolutely sure of the destination itself. The closer you get the better your understanding of where you are going becomes but even so it is still subject to change.

That is true for me and observable even within my personal limited experience. Ask yourself - is the reason you do Budo now the same as when you started?

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-16-2001, 07:35 PM   #40
Mares
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mona


I never said the journey was not important. I never even mentioned the journey. What I meant was: it doesn't matter what path YOU CHOOSE AT THE BEGINNING, since the end in the same. Annd this is applicable only in the context of this forum, i.e. in Aikido, or any budo for that matter. That analogy that you made was totally irrelevant. It would have only been relevant if I said something like:

"The end justifies the means."

Make sure you read carefully between the lines and in the right context before jumping to conclusions.

Mona
Dear Mona

I didn't appreciate the 'tone' of your response, but none the less I still don't agree with what you say.

But you did say "It's the end that counts" to me it imply's that the journey is less important than the end/destination, and that I don't agree with. You reinforced this in your most recent post by saying 'it doesn't matter what path YOU CHOOSE AT THE BEGINNING, since the end in(is) the same'. Again i read between the lines and I understood it mean that the end is more important than the journey or path you take. I believe the journey/path is more important. In today's modern world the vast majority of people are so busy and caught up in this modern society that they continually rush to get to the destination and they forget that perhaps the journey contains more experiences and knowledge than being at the destination itslef. But that is my humble opinion and I am just a beginner in this game.
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Old 12-17-2001, 01:15 AM   #41
Jon Hicks
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Cool

So the question here is between the end and the journey. I never knew there was an end.

Sorry, just my two cents.

Jon
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Old 12-17-2001, 03:54 AM   #42
mj
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Ahhh.....

But don't most people think that the path they took is the best one?

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Old 12-17-2001, 04:53 AM   #43
Mares
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jon Hicks
So the question here is between the end and the journey. I never knew there was an end.

Sorry, just my two cents.

Jon
That's actually quite an interesting point. I believe you set your mind to reach an end. And that is what drives you to undertake and continue along the path. However as you travel along the path your end/goals change. What I hope to gain from doing aikido has changed over time. What i want from aikido now is different to what I wanted from it when i started. Maybe I took the right fork in the road instead of the left and now my destination has changed, or perhaps my Sensei guided me to take the right fork in the road.
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Old 12-17-2001, 06:29 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally posted by mj
But don't most people think that the path they took is the best one?
I think that's one of those 'half full or half empty glass' kind of things. Being pessimistic by nature I usually expect that every body else has chosen a better path than I have. (which explains my slow progress much better than the fact that I'm kind of lazy )

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 12-17-2001, 06:49 AM   #45
Edward
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mona
The answer to this whole thread was, I believe, already given by O Sensei himself:

"Though there are many paths at the foot of the mountain, all those who reach the top see the same moon."

Each of us favors a style that suits him/her best, but we must all remember it's the end that counts.



Mona
Guys, no matter what Mona said, it was to comment on Osensei's words. And Osensei was not speaking about Aikido. He meant Budo practice in general, which according to him, should have as purpose to reach harmony with Ki and the universal order of the universe. So if you really seek this ultimate target, it doesn't matter whether you seek it through Zen, Yoga, MA or any other practice, as long as this harmony is what you seek. Once you have accomplished this purpose, if it's ever possible to realize, the view is the same, as is universal truth and harmony with Ki.

Hope I didn't confuse you even more
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Old 12-17-2001, 07:30 AM   #46
Aikilove
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Aikido in Sweden

Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury
(c) My understanding about the Aikikai in Sweden is that they had some problems with their resident Japanese instructor and that this had led to a reluctance to keep all their eggs in one basket.
Dear Goldsbury sama.
In the light of your uptaking about Aikikai in Sweden, I would like to compile a brief historical version of what happend in Sweden and the development of Aikido therein.
  • 1961 A couple of judoka finds a book about aikido and tries to mimik the techniques. (therefore Sweden Aikido this year celebrates 40 years, with the distinguished visit of Doshu Ueshiba.)
  • 63 Jan Beime ask Nasahiro Nakazono in France for a Japanese Sensei. Nakazono in turn ask Hombu, who finds and apoint the 24 year old Toshikazu Ichimura Sensei as swedish head instructor. Ichimura was a student of Shoji Nishio since 1957. Ichimura settled in the capitol Stockholm
  • 69 Judo clubb of Gothenburg ask Ichimura for another Japanese sensei. In August the same year Takeij Tomita arrive. The then 27 year old Tomita Sensei had been a student of Nishio since 62 and later Saito Sensei. Specially Saito Senseis teachings shines through Tomita then.
  • 70 Tomita moves to Stockholm.
  • There was little or none interaction between Tomitas and Ichimuras students. The swedish aikidoka finds the Japanese way of teaching (at least these two senseis) too severe and harsh, and turbulence within starts to grow.
  • 83 Eeringly coincidently, within a week apart, top students under both Tomita and Ichimura, totaly unaware of the others doing the same, each sends a letter to their respective Japanese Sensei, describing their unease with them. In Ichimuras case, his students complain about his "violent behaviour" etc, and in Tomitas case him wanting to break free and start his own Takemusu Aiki among other things, to his students disagreement. Alot of students separates from both senseis.
  • 86 The letter, turbulence and the financial situation finaly makes Ichimura to go back to Japan. Now Hombu Dojo is put in a unique situation, since Sweden now officialy is without an, from Hombu Dojo apointed, head instructor. In Sweden however there is no worries, since there is since long well established colaborations with senseis such as Sugano, Nishio and Kobayashi, to name a few. Hombu Dojo didn't think so easy of it however and 1988 they suddenly declared that NO Japanese instructurs was to give exams and seminars on Swedish grounds until there had been a agreenment with the swedish organization. And so, same year two represantatives from Sweden went to Hombu Dojo and an agreement, unique in the world then, was made, saying that any intructors from Japan or from elsewere was allowed to instruct and hold exam in Sweden, providing of curse that they already was granted that right from Hombu Dojo.
Today Swedens Aikikai branch, by far the biggest, has with the blessing of Hombu Dojo, an Aikikai grading commitee, that by itself can apoint dan grades up to 4th grade.

Moreover there is an Iwama ryu branch lead by Shihan Ulf Evenås 7th dan second biggest after Aikikai and a Ki Aikido branch affiliated with Toheis Ki Society.

Takeij Tomita Sensei's still lives in Stockholm. He has since long started his own organization - Takemusu Aiki, which now stretches out apart from Sweden to UK and other Europeen states and he hold the rank of 8th dan (within his organization, 7th dan Aikikai) and he is a wonder to see and feel in action.

Everything written is from my own readings and learnings of the history of Swedish aikido. This is a very shortened version and if there is anything wrong I beg for forgivness.

Last edited by Aikilove : 12-17-2001 at 10:21 AM.

Jakob Blomquist
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Old 12-17-2001, 10:17 AM   #47
Edward
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I found this quote of Koichi Tohei Sensei on the website of creature_of_the_id (Thanks Kev!).

I think it is worthwhile reading: "The martial arts begin and end with courtesy, not in form alone, but in heart and mind as well. Respect the teacher who taught you and do not cease to be grateful especially to the founder of aikido who showed the way. He who neglects this should not be surprised if his students make light of him."

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 12-17-2001, 01:02 PM   #48
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Devil's Advocate

Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
I found this quote of Koichi Tohei Sensei on the website of creature_of_the_id (Thanks Kev!).

I think it is worthwhile reading: "The martial arts begin and end with courtesy, not in form alone, but in heart and mind as well. Respect the teacher who taught you and do not cease to be grateful especially to the founder of aikido who showed the way. He who neglects this should not be surprised if his students make light of him."

Cheers,
Edward
I hear much gnashing of teeth. Since I am a member of the style Tohei started, let me give some possible arguements that others might give.

WHAT??? ARE YOU NUTS???
You're quoting someone who would split Aikido in two, to start his own style. Not the best example!

Actually, I believe that Koichi Tohei didn't really have a choice in leaving Aikikai. He wouldn't have developed at least 85% of his curriculum if he didn't have full control of the organization.

I was looking at recent scholarship in early Christianity and comparing that to Aikido. In both cases there was a wide variety of groups immediately after the founder of the movement had died(?). Social or religious movements can't be tied up into a neat package. Everyone has their own way of doing things.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 12-17-2001, 04:20 PM   #49
Creature_of_the_id
 
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Question

Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
I found this quote of Koichi Tohei Sensei on the website of creature_of_the_id (Thanks Kev!).
??? what someone actually looked at my website??
I forgot I had one ot be honest, it has been so long since I updated it.
thanks for the reminder. and I am glad you got something from it.

Kev

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Old 12-17-2001, 07:55 PM   #50
Edward
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Re: Devil's Advocate

Quote:
Originally posted by tedehara


I hear much gnashing of teeth. Since I am a member of the style Tohei started, let me give some possible arguements that others might give.

WHAT??? ARE YOU NUTS???
You're quoting someone who would split Aikido in two, to start his own style. Not the best example!

Actually, I believe that Koichi Tohei didn't really have a choice in leaving Aikikai. He wouldn't have developed at least 85% of his curriculum if he didn't have full control of the organization.

I was looking at recent scholarship in early Christianity and comparing that to Aikido. In both cases there was a wide variety of groups immediately after the founder of the movement had died(?). Social or religious movements can't be tied up into a neat package. Everyone has their own way of doing things.
We all know how Tohei Sensei separated from Aikikai, and it was really a very unfortunate matter. I am sure that there was no way to avoid it. Great Senseis such as Tohei and Shioda commend respect whether they separated or not, and they should be role models to every Aikidoka. Their morality and ethics was exceptional and their gratefulness to Osensei never stopped. If you re-read well my posts with this in mind, you will understand better my position.

Cheers,
Edward
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