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Old 06-24-2005, 09:51 PM   #26
Mike Sigman
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
If you read the article you will also recognize this: (snip)
Worse yet is this that has a lot to do with the concept of "paths" and the old idea that "ki does not go through bent joints": "What Tohei was trying to teach was the principal of ki. Ki is like a radio beam, you can direct it," Nonaka says. "Therefore, Tohei sensei's teachings is the waza from Ueshiba O-sensei and the mind part form Tempu. He put it together."

In properly executing aikido movements, you should be creating the ki no nagare, the "flow of ki," which Tohei explained to Nonaka was "Like a river, the flow of water. So there is no sharp angle in the river. It makes a nice curve. So we train not to cut the ki."


Mike
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Old 06-24-2005, 11:21 PM   #27
wxyzabc
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

mmm to be honest after reading this I have to say that I have a lot of admiration for Tohei...sure he said things people dont like but at least he`s being true to himself and saying what he thinks....something that is very rare in modern Japan. People question little things like why he doesn`t have a photo in the dojo?...why should he if as he says he took 30% of what was useful and then reinvented the rest?...do we demand that someone like Bruce Lee should have paid homage to every master of an art he extracted his techniques from? should every variation of Karate be called something else?

To invent something like Aikido is not to become it`s sole owner...indeed he would not have looked kindly upon people lke Nishio Sensei who went on to adapt his own techniques...surely something that must have been apparent at the time of instruction/training. Likewise Tohei would not have been awarded the highest level of 10th dan..this in itself say far more than any pulled apart analysis of a relationship in a culture very few people know much about. Indeed to award 10th dan was saying that Tohei was infact higher than himself imho...or at least achieved some degree of perfection...

True it "seems" somethings being said by Tohei are disresepectful...and perhaps they are... but as someone who was there, he has more authority than any of us in giving an accurate reflection on the past...all be it perhaps a little on sided...but who`s perfect? we seek to critisize and put the microscope on the words of everyone we deem to be in the "spotlight" we ingnore the good and focus on the negative..I have to question what single benefit we derive from doing this?

Last edited by wxyzabc : 06-24-2005 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 06-25-2005, 03:25 PM   #28
Don_Modesto
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote:
It is being frank to say, "I don't understand his teachings." But what Tohei Sensei has said about O-Sensei is more than frank -- it's obnoxious.

I don't have a problem with Tohei Sensei disagreeing with O-Sensei's teaching methods. It is rather over the top, though, to state that O-Sensei's teaching was complete nonsense and the product of an uncontrolled mind. This isn't criticism of a method, but is an unnecessary personal attack on O-Sensei and as such reflects badly on Tohei Sensei (IMO).
If no one could understand him, what was he doing? Pretty self-indulgent having an in-joke that only HE understands. Frankly, I'd guess that a good case CAN be made for much of Osensei's teaching being nonsense. Why is it offensive to have someone say this?

People embracing Osensei's politics got executed in the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal; he was to the right of Attila the Hun. Does he get off scott-free on this in our estimation? Christopher Hitchens marvels at how gullible we are with religious leaders, e.g. Mother Theresa was a friend of brutal fascist dictators who had to escape their own people when they fell from power. He points out that we do things backwards--we judge our hero's actions by their reputations and not the other way around. It has been decided for us a priori that Osensei is some sort of unassailable saint and we take offense at someone who offers vigorous first-hand testimony contradicting the stereotype. Unhealthy, that. As you can see, I think we need more people speaking as honestly as Tohei, not fewer.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 06-25-2005, 04:51 PM   #29
Drew Scott
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
If no one could understand him, what was he doing? Pretty self-indulgent having an in-joke that only HE understands. Frankly, I'd guess that a good case CAN be made for much of Osensei's teaching being nonsense. Why is it offensive to have someone say this?
doesn't offend me, but I also know that understanding a thing and teaching it are vastly different things. it's possible he understood a great many complex things but was just crap as a teacher. the idea that what he taught was percieved as "nonsense" by many of his students could indicate a number of things, only one of which is that he was just spouting nonsense.

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
People embracing Osensei's politics got executed in the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal; he was to the right of Attila the Hun. Does he get off scott-free on this in our estimation?
This is very interesting information. In what way was he "to the right of Attila the Hun"? I'd be grateful for a link or reference to your sources, as I'd like to read about this for myself.

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
Christopher Hitchens marvels at how gullible we are with religious leaders, e.g. Mother Theresa was a friend of brutal fascist dictators who had to escape their own people when they fell from power. He points out that we do things backwards--we judge our hero's actions by their reputations and not the other way around. It has been decided for us a priori that Osensei is some sort of unassailable saint and we take offense at someone who offers vigorous first-hand testimony contradicting the stereotype. Unhealthy, that. As you can see, I think we need more people speaking as honestly as Tohei, not fewer.
I'm happy to take Tohei at his (hopefully correctly quoted) words, and trust that he was expressing his honest "opinion". But opinions are highly subjective. Many of Ueshiba's students have said in one way or another that a lot of what he said was obscure, but opinions seem to vary on the value of those teachings. Besides, an awful lot of "saints", if I recall correctly from various college courses, were rather obscure, anti-social, and bordering on just plain nuts, so I don't see that much of a contradiction. :-)

Speaking just for myself, I find dissenting voices very helpful. Without conflict, there'd really be no need for aikido, which I happen to enjoy!

Regards,
Drew
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Old 06-26-2005, 04:27 PM   #30
Don_Modesto
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Drew Scott wrote:
....understanding a thing and teaching it are vastly different things. it's possible he understood a great many complex things but was just crap as a teacher. the idea that what he taught was percieved as "nonsense" by many of his students could indicate a number of things, only one of which is that he was just spouting nonsense.
Well put.

Quote:
Tis is very interesting information. In what way was he "to the right of Attila the Hun"? I'd be grateful for a link or reference to your sources, as I'd like to read about this for myself.
A man after my own heart:

Budo Training in Aikido by Morihei Ueshiba (the founder of aikido ) $13.97.

Historical counterpoint to people like Stevens for whom the founder was an unblemished avatar of peace. This book has the founder waxing patriotic in the militarist 30's --"This 'way' realizes the genuiness of the Imperial Way.... The main purpose [of Bu, then] is to enhance the prestige of the Empire & to bring to light the whole nation." Intelligent translator's notes.

Dueling with O-sensei: Grappling with the Myth of the Warrior Sage By Ellis Amdur. $20.00 (http://www.ellisamdur.com/DuelingwithOsensei.htm)

This book is an unapologetically critical look at the contradiction & warts of aikido & the implication of aikido for our lives. Sine qua non for the independent thinker. The author is a counselor for kids at risk. See especially the essay with a title something like, "Head in the clouds, feet in the muck" for Ueshiba's unsavory associations.

Touching the Absolute: Aikido vs. Religion and Philosophy by Peter Goldsbury. (http://aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=2)

A rigorous no-nonsense examination of aikido by a philosophy professor (Hiroshima University) and aikido 6 DAN.

The Socio-Political Background Of The 1921 And 1935 Omoto Suppressions In Japan, By Thomas Peter Nadolski. I got and read it through ILL. but you can also purchase it at http://wwwlib.umi.com/dxweb/results for $36, order number 7524107.

This, an unpublished dissertation, is the best material available on Omoto, the New Religion in which the founder felt so at home. Predictably enough, less charitable than Omoto's own materials. It details Deguchi's machinations aimed at getting power and how far to the right he was (and led his followers, Ueshiba among them). There's actually a reference to Ueshiba Kenshi in a Col. Hahimoto's diary. It seems Deguchi had offered Hashimoto a personal bodyguard to insure his safety during the attempted coup for which GHQ executed him.

Aikido Journal Website (http://aikidojournal.com/subscribe.php) $29.75/year.

Cheap at twice the cost and better quality content than you'll find in most works on the subject. You'll find several books' worth of materials in the articles section as well as access to many valuable online videos.

Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II by John W. Dower

He speaks of how the political slogans of the 30's (while the Jpn marauded through China) were so wholesome and brotherly that the Jpn could just continue with them unedited after the war. Puts "the way of harmony" into a different light.

Enjoy.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 06-26-2005, 05:44 PM   #31
Drew Scott
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
A man after my own heart:

[snipped out list of bibliographic sources]

Enjoy.
Excellent! Thank you for taking the time to post your sources. I look forward to reading and thinking about them.

It's funny, but this echoes a conversation I had with a friend after watching "The Last Samurai". She was upset at the end of the movie, feeling like she was set up to like the protagonists only to have them die pointlessly. I said something along the lines of "well, in some ways the samurai were suicidal loonies by today's standards. you have to take into account the basic fatalism and self-denial of the ethos: that the samurai's purpose in life was to die, etc etc." Her response: "but they didn't SHOW you any of that. just these noble people living in their village". But it's similar to the romanticized view of "western" knights and the code of chivalry. I find a lot of inspiration in both eastern and western "knightly ideals", but I try to never forget the ugliness that surrounded them (or in most cases preceded them, since the romanticizing tends to be after the fact). Can't we be grateful that Ueshiba created Aikido, and that it speaks to us in some way, and let the man himself remain a man?

Again, many thanks for the references. I've read, with much interest, the public articles at AikidoJournal.com... perhaps it IS time to subscribe.

Regards,
Drew
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Old 06-26-2005, 06:36 PM   #32
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

In my Jujutsu shodan grading (1987 I think) the teacher asked us lots of questions ranging from health and bodily functions to whatever - no limit. He asked one guy to define 'samurai' and he came up with some romantic nonesense to which the sensei apparently ot mad and bellowed right in his face, "Rubbish, many were barbaric murderers!" Actually, he was shouting more to check the students response to his feinted anger etc. - part of the parcel of the grading - but I thought it was a pretty good counter answer myself.

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Old 06-26-2005, 07:04 PM   #33
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Drew Scott wrote:
Can't we be grateful that Ueshiba created Aikido, and that it speaks to us in some way, and let the man himself remain a man?
Hello,

I believe that this is very desirable, but to reach this position itself requires some training. It has to be remembered that M. Ueshiba created aikido as part of a culture with its own value system, the latter including such important concepts as training and nationhood. Aikido did not happen from nothing and its creation was also a lengthy process, punctuated by a world war.

I think that you are assuming that Ueshiba himself wanted to "remain a man", but was not allowed to. However, the point that comes over very clearly in his own writings is that he was was not able to do this: he had a divine mission to perform. Ellis Amdur's essays on Aikido & Three Peaches puts the issues very clearly.

You are also assuming that aikido can "speak to one", but your addition of "in some way" suggests that you believe that the language of the transaction does not really matter. I personally believe that the language does matter, very much. Perhaps disussing this further would require going well beyond the metaphor you have used.

Thus, another reference that I would add to Don's list is Peter Boylan's master's thesis on Aikido in America. There is also a book, put together by others, with the same title. These books show how certain Americans have incorporated aikido into their own value system.

It is not wrong to do this, of course. In fact, for the vast majority of people, who include aikido as one important aspect of their lives (among many others), there is no alternative. But there are other alternatives, of course.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 06-26-2005, 07:26 PM   #34
Mike Sigman
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
These books show how certain Americans have incorporated aikido into their own value system.

It is not wrong to do this, of course. In fact, for the vast majority of people, who include aikido as one important aspect of their lives (among many others), there is no alternative. But there are other alternatives, of course.
I'm always uncomfortable with people who add Aikido or "The Tao" or whatever to their lives, often insisting that part is correct even though the rest of their Aikido may not be. I suppose my mind just rejects that idea that distorted interpretations or incomplete "philosophies" or "ways to handle conversations", etc., *must* be valid alternatives. In other words, I would stop short of saying "Americans have incorporated aikido into their own value system" without having been convinced that the thing they've incorporated is really Aikido.

Tohei purportedly said (according to the Nonaka article) something to Nonaka Sensei about not trying to interpret what O-Sensei was saying, but to look at what he did. Maybe that rule would apply to a lot of these interpretations of O-Sensei's Aikido and what the philosophy supposedly means? Look at what he did, not what he said.

Mike
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Old 06-26-2005, 07:36 PM   #35
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

We cannot really know what Ueshiba said in his classes on a general basis. The Doka on this site offer a clue to his thinking, and I find them interesting. However, when reading we have time to ponder, and read again and ponder. If someone told me such in an Aikido class it would likely be in one ear and out the other and I would neither understand nor remember anything.

Also, I have no particular problem with the fact that Ueshiba was embroiled in the war-machine - it was a world war and all were caught up in it. It was a martial age. However, it should not be hidden. Because it is, and because it is so obvious, I have always been suspicious of 'Aikido peace chatter.' The 'peace' came after the 'war' so to speak.

Far more compelling - in terms of peace - is the Sergeant York story -- a preacher who considers being a concientious objector finds himself on the frontline in WWI and becomes a hero by absolute necessity, to save the day, killing 28 Germans with 28 shots and capturing over a hundred in a single event. Here, the 'peaceman' status is documented prior to the fact thus is entirely credible, i.e. his peaceful nature is established prior to war. He could have killed more, yet he chose only to kill those he had to. Now that is peace, and might be aiki too. In fact, if he had been an Aikidoka he would have had Sokaku 'godlike' status.

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Old 06-26-2005, 09:44 PM   #36
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Tohei purportedly said (according to the Nonaka article) something to Nonaka Sensei about not trying to interpret what O-Sensei was saying, but to look at what he did. Maybe that rule would apply to a lot of these interpretations of O-Sensei's Aikido and what the philosophy supposedly means? Look at what he did, not what he said.

Mike
That is one approach, of course. Another would be to look at both and see how they match, or not match. I never knew Tohei but I did know one other disciple of M Ueshiba who did this. This was Sadateru Arikawa.

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P A Goldsbury
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Old 06-27-2005, 06:09 AM   #37
Mike Sigman
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
That is one approach, of course. Another would be to look at both and see how they match, or not match. I never knew Tohei but I did know one other disciple of M Ueshiba who did this. This was Sadateru Arikawa.
In the case of Tohei and Ueshiba, both had ki skills, but Kohei has one way of explaining how these work and Ueshiba another. For example, from an interview with Tohei:

On one occasion the prince pointed at Ueshiba Sensei and said, "Try to lift up that old man." Four strong sailors tried their best to lift him but they couldn't do it.
Sensei said of that time, "All the many divine spirits of Heaven and Earth entered my body and I became as immovable as a heavy rock." Everybody took him literally and believed it. I heard him say that kind of thing hundreds of times.
For my part, I have never had divine beings enter my body. I've never put much stock in that kind of illogical explanation.
(snip)
In reality that sort of thing has nothing to do with any gods or spirits. It's just a matter of having a low center of gravity. I know this and it's what I teach all my students.


Tohei has one way of describing how to do a ki-type skill and Ueshiba another. Tohei's is more accurate than Ueshiba's, from a western science standpoint, but it is still lacking in important details. So "comparing" what they say versus what they do wouldn't be necessarily illuminating.

That to which I was referring in my earlier post was this vague idea of an Aikido philosophy which people seem to interpret and attach so whimsically, justifying it with all the fervor of "the word of god". What O-Sensei may or may not have said about the personal (as opposed to the martial, etc.) approach to life should be looked at in light of his personal actions, IMO. Same with Tohei's actions, words, etc., in relation to his philosophical musing. What they actually did was more a reflection of their personalities and traditional Japanese culture than anything else, not an Aikido philosophy. A lot of the so-called philosophy and "using Aikido in daily situations" is really an ad hoc translation that revolves around an arbitrary assumption of what "harmony" means. The Asians tend to mean it (in the context of Aikido 'philosophies' that Ueshiba was using) more in the idea of "the natural order in the universe". When you understand that, IMO, you can focus more on Aikido and less on the ad hoc interpretations that underpin so much of the American Aikido you were earlier referring to. What Ueshiba and Tohei actually DID was not what they SAID, at least not in the off-base philosophical tangent in which so many things are being interpretted. My opinion.

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-27-2005, 08:13 AM   #38
rob_liberti
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

If the Ki-Society is only 30% of the aikido he learned, I wonder why he didn't change the name to Ki no kenkyukai and not use the name "aikido" at all, (other than to explain an orgin of his new art?)
I was initially thinking it was maybe for marketing reasons, but as I considered that it doesn't make too much sense because "aikido" couldn't be some widely known thing in America when he split from hombu.

It is great to have many sources of inspiration for aikido training - especially for how to approach ki and kokyu training - regardless of any politics or of any preference for how to try to teach those things. I don't care if the source wants to talk about things in a spiritual (or overly spiritual) way, or with more of a phychological approach, or simply continuing to work on principles with increasing self honesty in your training, or if valuable things from qigongs or exercises from india or Russia can be used as sources. I wouldn't actually dismiss any of those ways. Growing is important and if any of those approaches helps to any degree, then great. I'm sure that there a various positive aspects of correctly understanding any of those ways, and negative aspects of misunderstanding any of those ways so I'm not sure that any one of them is the "best" way. I think people are different and those dedicated to improving will seek out whatever they can find to help them. It might require investigating and coming back and re-investigating all of those ways - or just sticking to one way. Figuring out the principles and sticking to them (which generally requires re-interpreting them many times) seems like the best approach for me.

Lastly, if Tohei sensei wants to say that one of his teachers was a nut and do it without much dipolmacy, he gets to but then he can probably expect to catch some flack it or he is a nut too - just in a different way.

Rob
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Old 06-27-2005, 09:11 AM   #39
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Rather than saying the vowels of Japanese as ''AIUEO'' we were made to repeat them over and over as ''AOUEI,'' as if this new sequence had a deeper meaning. He would tell us that we should become one with the Ki of Heaven, but not how we were to do this
From Nakazono's book "Inochi", the "Three principles" set of three chanting orders are:
- The Amatsu Kanagi [AIUEO] is the physical order.
- The Amatsu Sugaso [AOUEI] is the spiritual order.
- The Amatsu Futonorito [(Su) AIEOU] is the unified order.

As I understand it, you chant the orders more as an exercise in the demonstration of the feeling created, not as a technique for attainment. "Inochi" says - very flatly - "The reader therefore must use it only as a reference, to help his practice and inner opening. Do not memorize this explanation as a computer would; do not make the mistake of studying in such a stupid way".

Again, as I understand it, it's not a mantra - anyway a mantra itself doesn't enlighten - it just entertains your monkey-mind while the god self gets some space to do the work.

Rob
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Old 06-27-2005, 11:15 AM   #40
Mike Sigman
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
anyway a mantra itself doesn't enlighten - it just entertains your monkey-mind while the god self gets some space to do the work.
What do you think "OM" does?

Mike
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Old 06-27-2005, 11:47 AM   #41
Don_Modesto
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote:
Also, I have no particular problem with the fact that Ueshiba was embroiled in the war-machine - it was a world war and all were caught up in it. It was a martial age. However, it should not be hidden. Because it is, and because it is so obvious, I have always been suspicious of 'Aikido peace chatter.' The 'peace' came after the 'war' so to speak.

Far more compelling - in terms of peace - is the Sergeant York story -- a preacher who considers being a concientious objector finds himself on the frontline in WWI and becomes a hero by absolute necessity, to save the day, killing 28 Germans with 28 shots and capturing over a hundred in a single event. Here, the 'peaceman' status is documented prior to the fact thus is entirely credible, i.e. his peaceful nature is established prior to war. He could have killed more, yet he chose only to kill those he had to. Now that is peace, and might be aiki too. In fact, if he had been an Aikidoka he would have had Sokaku 'godlike' status.
Rupert, two posts in one day that I want to commend you on! Very nicely reasoned. You say it more concretely than I have conceived it. Thanks for this.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 06-27-2005, 11:48 AM   #42
Don_Modesto
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Drew Scott wrote:
I find a lot of inspiration in both eastern and western "knightly ideals", but I try to never forget the ugliness that surrounded them (or in most cases preceded them, since the romanticizing tends to be after the fact). Can't we be grateful that Ueshiba created Aikido, and that it speaks to us in some way, and let the man himself remain a man?
Peter and Rupert addressed this more eloquently than I could. Thanks for the thoughts.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 06-27-2005, 12:06 PM   #43
Mike Sigman
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote:
Far more compelling - in terms of peace - is the Sergeant York story -- a preacher who considers being a concientious objector finds himself on the frontline in WWI and becomes a hero by absolute necessity, to save the day, killing 28 Germans with 28 shots and capturing over a hundred in a single event. Here, the 'peaceman' status is documented prior to the fact thus is entirely credible, i.e. his peaceful nature is established prior to war. He could have killed more, yet he chose only to kill those he had to. Now that is peace, and might be aiki too. In fact, if he had been an Aikidoka he would have had Sokaku 'godlike' status.
Well, to be honest, York was not a preacher, he was an "elder" (which is like 'member in good standing') in his church. He was not a conscientious objector in a clear sense and before the getting into active duty he had already decided that fighting for your country was OK. His "peaceful nature" was a given, but he'd spent some time sowing his wild oats, too. In other words, behind the legend was a normal person who did some unusual things... same as O-Sensei.

Mike
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Old 06-27-2005, 01:12 PM   #44
rob_liberti
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Mike Sigman wrote:
What do you think "OM" does?

Mike
Well, specifically, I'd have to say that it attempts to spell one of the stooges names in a mirror.

I read that the chanting of Om induces the alpha waves state at a frequency of ten cycles per second, corresponding to deep relaxation and awareness free of thoughts. I have also read that "Research shows that each separate part of the sound AUM has a separate effect on the mind." but they did not go on to explain the research.

I read an article a long while ago about how they set up some experiment where they brought in 5 different people who spent a considerable amount of time meditating. The experiment was to measure the brain waves (somehow) while they meditated - but there was a surprise in that they made some huge sound in the middle of the experiment. The graphs for the zen guy was incredible. His showed his mind get into a deep state, then there was a spike when the big noise suprised him, and then it went right back to the meditative state. Most ofthe others took a lot longer time to "recover". Honorable mention to the yogi who was so deep that there was no spike what-so-ever when the big noise happened. Anyone ever see that on the net? I have been looking for it to show people for a while now (I saw it like 8 years ago).

Rob
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Old 06-27-2005, 04:21 PM   #45
Mike Sigman
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Rob Liberti wrote:
I read that the chanting of Om induces the alpha waves state at a frequency of ten cycles per second, corresponding to deep relaxation and awareness free of thoughts. I have also read that "Research shows that each separate part of the sound AUM has a separate effect on the mind." but they did not go on to explain the research.
It's amazing the kinds of BS that are floating around, ain't it? "Research" shows....??? Stop and think a minute about all the 'experts" and the misdirections they can head off to. Look at John Stevens translations which are excellent for translations but which miss the points in the doka because he has no real experience in that area (and I'm not saying my experience is very much, either, BTW). The same thing happens with a lot of the research you're reading, is my point.

OM is indeed composed of 3 sounds. Sort of like "Ah" "Uh" "MMMM". If you hold your hands about 3-4 inches apart, fingers facing skyward and place them slightly above (almost touching) your head and say "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh", you can tweak the distance between your hands so that you feel a sort of harmonic vibration between your hands and at the top of your head. At the best vibration point the "shen", the dantien in the head is supposedly stimulated. You can do the same in front of the throat with "uhhhhhhh" and in front of the dantien with the "mmmmm" (it's actually more like "hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm"). These resonant vibrations are part of the "stimulating" or "awakening" of these 3 centers. You could be more complete and go for the 5 centers using the Chinese, Indian, or Japanese versions of the sounds that best stimulate those centers. Then, if you want to get persnickety, you can start arguing about the best order to awaken those centers.... hence the AIUEO, AOUEI, AIEOU, and so on. Held sounds, whether including sacred phrases (mantras) or not, are meant to awaken parts of the body. The problem is that if someone wants to hold your feet to the fire, it is impossible to separate these "parts of the body" from the development of ki, etc. A lot of the "mysticism" of the Orient is actually based on long-term studies of the relationships of the body, and all these "sounds", like in the kotodama, have relationships to everything else.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 06-27-2005, 05:09 PM   #46
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Mike Sigman wrote:
Look at John Stevens translations which are excellent for translations but which miss the points in the doka because he has no real experience in that area (and I'm not saying my experience is very much, either, BTW).
Have you read the original Japanese? If you haven't, then how do you know that he's missed points?

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-27-2005, 05:26 PM   #47
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Christopher Li wrote:
Have you read the original Japanese? If you haven't, then how do you know that he's missed points?
No, I haven't read the original Japanese and I haven't read the original Chinese texts on these cultivations that go back around a thousand years at least.... but I was clear to say that I was talking about the translations. The doka don't contain just one or two references to the standard and traditional comments on qi development, they contain a number that is too big to ignore. Add that with the impossible-to-ignore -or-to-discount relationship between Japan and China in all things including martial arts and you have a point that can't be ignored... O-Sensei had access to Shaolin martial qigongs and he refers to them in his doka. Then, when you read Stevens' translations and annotations, it becomes clear that he does not recognize the references... probably because he has no background in Chinese qigong studies and doesn't realize that these are common references. Deducing all this doesn't require a literacy in written Japanese. In fact, if you think momentarily about it, a LOT of people with the ability to read Japanese (not to mention "expertise in Aikido") missed this relationship. It's not the literacy in Japanese that is paramount in this case. All you needed was somebody with some familiarity with the qi/ki things that are widespread in Asian martial arts. It's no big thing and it's no big reach..... however, if this no-big-thing is indeed surprising, then what does it say about things within the Aikido (and other martial arts) circle?

Regards,

Mike
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Old 06-27-2005, 05:49 PM   #48
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Mike Sigman wrote:
No, I haven't read the original Japanese and I haven't read the original Chinese texts on these cultivations that go back around a thousand years at least.... but I was clear to say that I was talking about the translations. The doka don't contain just one or two references to the standard and traditional comments on qi development, they contain a number that is too big to ignore. Add that with the impossible-to-ignore -or-to-discount relationship between Japan and China in all things including martial arts and you have a point that can't be ignored... O-Sensei had access to Shaolin martial qigongs and he refers to them in his doka. Then, when you read Stevens' translations and annotations, it becomes clear that he does not recognize the references... probably because he has no background in Chinese qigong studies and doesn't realize that these are common references. Deducing all this doesn't require a literacy in written Japanese. In fact, if you think momentarily about it, a LOT of people with the ability to read Japanese (not to mention "expertise in Aikido") missed this relationship. It's not the literacy in Japanese that is paramount in this case. All you needed was somebody with some familiarity with the qi/ki things that are widespread in Asian martial arts. It's no big thing and it's no big reach..... however, if this no-big-thing is indeed surprising, then what does it say about things within the Aikido (and other martial arts) circle?

Regards,

Mike
I ask because many (most) of the people who criticize the translations have never read the originals and therefore have, IMO, not much of a basis upon which to criticize. I've read many of the originals, and I would still be hesitant to criticize the translations, especially given the nature of the material. Maybe somebody who is both bi-lingual and has more academic depth in that subject would have more luck. Morihei Ueshiba had his own particular slant on things, so I would be careful about making a judgement based upon only "common references" and not on a reading of the original texts.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-27-2005, 06:12 PM   #49
Mike Sigman
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Christopher Li wrote:
I ask because many (most) of the people who criticize the translations have never read the originals and therefore have, IMO, not much of a basis upon which to criticize. I've read many of the originals, and I would still be hesitant to criticize the translations, especially given the nature of the material. Maybe somebody who is both bi-lingual and has more academic depth in that subject would have more luck. Morihei Ueshiba had his own particular slant on things, so I would be careful about making a judgement based upon only "common references" and not on a reading of the original texts.
I don't see your logic, Chris. If a group of writings made repeated references to the point where it was obvious (for example) that acupuncture (and the Chinese viewpoint of it) was being discussed, even through the translations, why would you need to go back to the original texts? When the number of clues passes a certain level, certainty takes over... and that's what is happening because of the number of references in the doka.

The "common references" are pretty darned common and they're easy to spot across a number of translations from Chinese of different texts by different translators. They're easy to spot in this case, too.

Stevens' translations of the doka have too many word-for-word references to Buddhist qigongs to disregard, yet his annotations make zero mention of the obvious relationship to Buddhist qigong trainings, hence I made my comment that he "missed the point".

It's a no-brainer; I'm not saying anything earth-shaking. As I said, the more startling thing is that these references weren't picked up before. I'll bet (without knowing either way) that these references are common knowledge among a number of Japanese that cross this area of study. The question is why it's taking so long for it to get into English-speaking (as opposed to Japanese-speaking) circles.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 06-27-2005, 06:56 PM   #50
Chris Li
 
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Mike Sigman wrote:
I don't see your logic, Chris. If a group of writings made repeated references to the point where it was obvious (for example) that acupuncture (and the Chinese viewpoint of it) was being discussed, even through the translations, why would you need to go back to the original texts?
Because without seeing the originals there would be no way to determine exactly what the author's interpretation was - especially because we're talking about material that is largely interpretive rather than factual.

Best,

Chris

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