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Old 07-06-2018, 03:44 PM   #1
mushinaiki
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Ai-nuke

"To become poisoned by secret teachings is something that occurs in Aikido as well. Instead of looking at their feet ("The feet reveal the secrets of the universe."Morihei Ueshiba), people look up and imitate sophisticated movements in a pretentious, empty manner. That is called "to be poisoned by secret teachings". This is quite rife in Aikido."

Hiroshi Tada Shihan.

There is a huge push on the fringe of the Aikido community in regards to the founders Aiki and internal power. Now, before I go any further I want to state that I believe in many of the concepts that have been suggested, including those(especially those) relating to body connection and relaxation. I have also read with great interest in regards to those Shihan that may have inherited this "Aiki". One that is put forward and validated by those that knew him was Koichi Tohei, 10th Dan and heir apparent to the technical Aiki of the founder.

I have no doubt that Tohei was amazingly connected as a martial artist, but I have a different theory as to what it was that gave Tohei his amazing ability, this theory has been built up through transmissions from his senior student, instructor and one time heir, Koretoshi Maruyama, who coincidentally was a student of the founder of Aikido for 13 years.
I posted the above quote for a particular reason, because hidden in plain sight secrets like Aiki have been promoted by men that have a vested interest in convincing you that what they do is what Ueshiba did(without actually knowing him by the way), and constantly accuse those that don't possess what they have(or do) as not doing the founders Aiki.

There is much evidence to say that, over time, the founders idea of Aikido changed. Shirata Rinjiro (who by the way, is a champion of the "Aiki"/IP crowd) stated in his interview with the late Stan Pranin of Aikido Journal that the founders Aikido changed after the war, as did Michio Hikitsuchi, 10th Dan.

The founder himself left this cherry for us to chew on.

"As Ai harmony is common with Ai love, I decided to name my unique budo Aikido. Although the word Aiki is an old one. the word which was used by warriors in the past is fundamentally different to that of mine.
Aiki is not a technique to fight with or destroy an enemy. It is a way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family."

I know this one has also been deflected by those who never actually knew the founder, but, it's pretty clear what is being stated here. He has a new version of Aiki, one that doesn't involve overcoming an opponent, one for not fighting, one that doesn't destroy.

I struggled with this concept for a while, until Maruyama Sensei (and I have since found out he is not the only Shihan giving value to this concept), mentioned the highest level of shinken shobu was represented by the concept of "ai-nuke", mutual passing through, a fight to the death, where both combatants life was spared. Slowly the threads started to fall into place.

I have stated elsewhere I am a student of history, it was my major in Uni, and has been a passion of mine my entire life. Now, the study of history is about creating, or recreating an idea by finding the common thread, looking at the evidence objectively from both, or all points of view, this if you will was my final piece of the puzzle to state my case for Aikido beyond all duality, based on the sword as the founder intended, and not on some ancient internal body function designed to defeat an opponent.

"If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth" - Spock

The concept of ai-nuke comes from Mujushin Ryu(the sword school of no abiding mind) kenjutsu, who's founder, Sekiun Goroemon Harigaya came to understand that the study of the sword for any violent purpose opposed the order of the universe, and so developed a sword style that had as its sole purpose, discovering, or more importantly, rediscovering the truth of no man, no sword, no opponent. Kenjutsu in the Mujuu style is not at all about winning and losing, beating or being beaten, in fact is not about conflict at all: it's a flowing movement of breath, spirit and power. (Does this concept sound at all familiar).
At its ultimate level, the study of the sword was about the study of the spirit of man, not about overcoming an adversary, but about overcoming ourselves(masakatsu agatsu, katsu hayahi…..Morihei Ueshiba).

A few hundred years into the future, and after the demise of the mujuu style of swordsmanship after just a few generations(not a practical sword style for battle hardened Japanese samurai), and we have to look at another great swordsman of peace that trained and followed the ancient ways of sword, Yamaoka Tesshu. Without going into his life story, a student of Itto Ryu(same sword school as Sokaku Takeda, O-Sensei's teacher) came to the realisation, without ever having killed an opponent, that there existed under heaven no sword, no man, no enemy, and named his sword school muto ryu. In a way, bringing back to the world the study of the sword that gives life(katsujinken) in the same style and philosophy as Mujushin Ryu;

"the basis of true training is to forge the spirit(seishin no shugyo).
Our primary purpose is to face our opponents without the slightest openings.
Openings means: wishing to do technique on an opponent while avoiding their technique.
Such a state of mind is delusional..
When confronting an opponent, thoughts of striking or being struck indicate ignorance and illusion...
Maintain the principle of "no-mind" and you will lack nothing.
This is a natural, marvelous principle.
To not use discriminatory thought will result in absolute victory.

Swordsmanship consists of utilizing no-form within form to achieve true victory"

Tesshu Yamaoka

Few were able to follow the severe training(Shugyo) traditions laid down by Tesshu, including many of his students, but one, wishing to continue passing on the essence of what Tesshu had rediscovered in his sword school, but realising most normal men couldn't endure such physical hardship, founded instead an organisation that became synonymous with Aikido Shihan, the ichikukai.

Here is where this theory really starts to gather traction. Famously, 10th Dan in Aikido, and apparent exponent of Aiki didn't study Daito Ryu secret techniques at all, but rather, forged his mind at the crucible of Tesshu Yamaoka, and apparently also found within himself something of the concept of no me, no sword and no enemy, the concept that the founder of the ichikukai so desperately wanted to hand on to his students. The problem we have here is we are not talking about physical technique that can be taught to overcome an opponent, but rather, elevation of the spirit, through arduous physical training so that one can begin to understand the unity of all things, Kiriotoshi the most important concept in itto ryu has as its foundation exactly this principle, one is all, all is one.

Now, I know there will be those that will argue the point here, sure, no worries. But there are stories of Tesshu, who never studied Daito Ryu at all displaying easily such concepts as body of stone, or fudoshin body- immovable body, so there was some concept he gleaned from his years of arduous training that gave him such a power. I would say that no man, no sword no enemy gives one such an understanding.

During the most recent seminar, when Sensei spoke of these concepts such as ai-nuke, Sensei said it's no good just to work on the spirit side of things, but that a warrior, a true warrior had to balance equal parts technical ability, and spiritual awareness, that these things were mutually complementing, not mutually exclusive, that training the body(tanren) and training the spirit were two sides of the same coin - according to the founder.

(…) The work of the internal divinity, making the body an organ of creation will realize misogi by the body. — Takemusu Aiki, Volume II

To unite the world of light, a body of flesh is given.
— Takemusu Aiki, Volume II

Me, Ueshiba, I need to train more. (...) I can not show the way to people if I do not stand on the Floating Bridge of Heaven. I can only teach through practice.
— Takemusu Aiki, Volume III

So we work on technique to elevate and become aware of spirit. Body and spirit together as a path to understanding and fulfilling our purpose as human beings, the very definition of unconditional love.

Coming back to our concept of ai-nuke, it became a very important concept in Zen, so much so that Omori Roshi, under guidance from Daisetz SUZUKI spoke these words.

"Harigaya Sekiun created the term Ai-nuke to describe his condition attained through sword. It is the world of ABSOLUTE PEACE THAT TRANSCENDS WINNING AND LOSING.(sound familiar again……). It is a different dimension from aiuchi.
WE SHOULD CONSIDER IT A CRUCIAL TREASURE LEFT BY A MAN OF ANCIENT TIMES………………….you must transcend dualism and enter into the realm of Ai-nuke.
But there is a problem.
It is no good just to INTELLECTUALISE the concept of Ai-nuke.
This is a very important point.
If you do not have the background and strength of aiuchi, you cannot enter the realm of Ai-nuke………...if you have not mastered aiuchi, it is impossible to learn Ai-nuke"

So here comes the difficult part. Training. The founder stated:

"You have to be willing to accept 99% of the attackers force before the mysteries of AIKI can be revealed" And also "To train in the basics is to practice the very secrets of the art."

So repetition of basic movements, and the ability to not avoid the attack are important to understanding the mysteries of Aikido. Not the ability to regurgitate 300 techniques at a mediocre level, but just the basics, just the simple cuts and thrusts with weapons, and that these basics are executed in a way that we are accepting, into our body/spirit of 99% of the attackers force. Not jumping about avoiding that force, but have trained the mind to the point where, in accord with the universal law, we are accepting of all fate, where there is no me, no sword no enemy…..

There are also concepts that these interactions are suppose to teach us, if as trainees we are able to fulfil our roles seriously, with sunao, earnest respect, such as what kotodama represents in the concept of the founders Aikido, and why it was important,

"Kotodama is mistakenly thought to be sounds, but in Aikido, kotodama is yamabiko no michi (the way of the mountain echo), it is the resonance of ki that precedes the emergence of sound. Subtle changes in these echoes become the mysteries of all creation. When two forms of Ki combine it becomes kokyu."
Shihan Shirata Rinjiro

Here we have mountain echo, another IP concept, reimagined by Shirata as a ki concept, so we start to get an idea of another of the founders concepts, ki-gata.
Here we go again, this quote tying a lot together in what I am saying in this post,

"The aikido which I am doing now is a path that builds people A WAY OF FORGING AND TEMPERING THE BODY AND SPIRIT (this is TANREN).
It is not a way that injures others, nor is it one that wields against them the evil sword of death.

I humbly ask that you, too, give deep thought to these considerations.

The training in Aiki concerns itself most with the practicing of KI-GATA(the forms and movement of Ki) and the method of perfecting them.

The most important element in true Ki-gata is the quality of shinken shobu(quite literally a fight to the death with real swords - it implies a certain seriousness of your attitude whilst training)."

Morihei Ueshiba

Hard training in basic waza leads us to building an Aiki body. Study of the basic movement of the sword teaches us about our spirit, study and continuous practice of ukemi teaches us about death and rebirth, and also gives us a vehicle to misogi harai. All of these together, practiced daily, as the founder intended are tanren, the forging of the spirit through the body. And continuing these basics, such as suburi, kokyu ho and funekogi will lead you to a deep awareness of ai-nuke. Not one concept forsaken, not one moment wasted, a lifetime devoted to overcoming self.

So let's summarise . O-Sensei, a spiritual and martial giant studied many ancient forms of fighting and came to the conclusion that Aikido was a way to achieve spiritual awareness through hard physical training, this is backed up by another martial giant, Yamaoka Tesshu who came to exactly the same realisation.
O Sensei was as deeply spiritual a person as his violent teacher sokaku Takeda was not. O Sensei and his Aikido were profoundly influenced by his spiritual practice, omoto kyo. O Sensei having studied Aiki under Takeda rejects his Aiki as just another way of fighting to defeat an opponent, and with sword in hand, hides himself away in Iwama, and discovers like Tesshu and Harigaya before him that the spirit of true budo is that of love, of oneness with the universe, of no me, no sword and no enemy. This realisation elevates his ability beyond Aiki. He chooses as his successor a man that also has been drilled in this concept, Tohei Sensei, who learnt these very concepts at the foot of the student of Yamaoka Tesshu at the ichikukai. That true Aikido is Ai-nuke, not fighting but passing through, not avoiding the conflict, but with the universe as his ally, controlling space and time, and conflict outside physical parameters.
But that coming to such a realisation takes great work and sacrifice, death even, a willingness to sacrifice all to find this way.

As I stated earlier, I do not reject the ideas that internal power brings to Aikido, the coordination of body that it takes to understand how these things work brings a strong understanding of how we function on a physiological level as efficient human beings, but I would argue that the concept of Aikido that the founder saw in his latter days had more to do with the concept of the spirit than that of an efficient body.

I leave the argument now. In my heart there is no argument, I leave with a quote from Tesshu Yamaoka's master,
"No man can defeat another of superior virtue"

Thanks for your time

"In the past martial artists were serious, their resolution was absolutely sincere, they worked soundly on technique and where neither daunted nor lazy.

Such men believed what their instructors passed on to them, made great efforts day-and-night, tested their techniques, spoke with their friends about their doubts, mastered what they studied and awaken themselves to principles.

For this reason what they acquired penetrated deeply within them.

At first their instructors would teach them techniques but say nothing of the principles that were hidden within them.

They only waited for the students to uncover those principles by themselves.

This is called drawing the bow, but not releasing the arrow.(teaching the way to achieve their own understanding, not the actual understanding)

And it's not that they spoke grudgingly they simply wanted this students to use their minds and to master what they were studying in the interval.

Disciples would thoroughly exert their minds and make great efforts.

If there was something they understood on their own they would still go and confront the teacher; and he would acknowledge their understanding when their minds were in accord.

If the teacher released the arrow nothing would be learned and this was not just in the martial arts. (I.e. The understanding had to come from the student, not be taught to the student)

Confucius said
"I am not going to go on with the fellow who does not respond my lifting up 3 corners when I have already lifted up one"(this means the teacher should only impart one quarter of the puzzle, the student then exerts themselves to discover the other three quarters)(steal the technique)

This was the teaching method of the men of old.

In this way the students were sure to be serious whether in scholarship or in martial arts.

Now a days people are shallow and their resolution is not in earnest.

They dislike the strenuous and love the easy from the time they are young.

When they see something vaguely clever they want to learn it right away; but if taught in the manner of the old ways, they think it not worth learning.

Now days, the way is revealed by the instructor, the deepest principles are taught even to beginners, the end result is set right out in front and the student is led along by the hand.

Even with methods like these students become bored and many of them quit.

In this way, talking about principles takes the high seat, the men of old are considered inadequate, mastery becomes watered down and students only make effort in things that might have them "climb to new heights".

this is again the spirit of The Times ............."

Issai Chonzanshi (1659-1741)

********* I would like to acknowledge a few reference materials, first and foremost the writings of Ellis Amdur, who's rewritten copy of Hidden in plain sight constantly nagged at my subconscious,
Also the truth of the ancient ways, by Anshan Anatoliy
Omori Sogen,the art of a zen master
http://www.spookhouse.net/angelynx/c...ding-mind.html
https://www.guillaumeerard.com/aikid...hiroshi-shihan
http://www.aikidotakemusu.org/en/rubriques/163
Aikido Masters - Prewar Students of Morihei Ueshiba, by Stanley Pranin

We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have virtue or excellence because we have acted rightly.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:34 AM   #2
Patrick Hutchinson
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Re: Ai-nuke

"If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth" - Spock

Sherlock Holmes actually said that several centuries before Spock. Surely a historian would know that?
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:55 AM   #3
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Ai-nuke

Quote:
Patrick Hutchinson wrote: View Post
"If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth" - Spock

Sherlock Holmes actually said that several centuries before Spock. Surely a historian would know that?
Sherlock Holmes first published in 1887, Star Trek first aired 1966. 79 years between the two, not centuries. Surely a nitpicker would know that?

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:05 AM   #4
Walter Martindale
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Re: Ai-nuke

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Sherlock Holmes first published in 1887, Star Trek first aired 1966. 79 years between the two, not centuries. Surely a nitpicker would know that?
Picking at more nits... Both are fiction, however valid the statement may be. I often wonder why we quote the character rather than the author who wrote it.

And... Leonard Nimoy's character "Spock" hasn't actually said it yet - at least not in this timeline.
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:56 PM   #5
Dazaifoo
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Re: Ai-nuke

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Picking at more nits... Both are fiction, however valid the statement may be. I often wonder why we quote the character rather than the author who wrote it.

And... Leonard Nimoy's character "Spock" hasn't actually said it yet - at least not in this timeline.
*Alright putting on my nerd glasses and pocket protector. *

Well Actually, in Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country, Commander Spock states to Scotty "An ancestor of mine maintained that when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." It was after the crew visually confirmed and accounted for all photon torpedoes in the arsenal after having been set up by a cloaked Klingon Bird of Prey, under the command of General Chang. All part of a plot by a fifth column to undermine the Kitimer Peace Accords after the destruction of the Klingon Energy Production facility on Praxis.

Of course, if you're following the JJ Universe (ugh) these events no longer exist, and probably won't ever exist because in the JJ universe Vulcan is destroyed, Spock embraces his human nature and emotions more fully, which means he will most likely never undergo the Kohlinahr ceremony, which does not bode well for earth when V'ger eventually makes it's way there.

*snort. glasses off*
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:28 PM   #6
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Ai-nuke

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Sherlock Holmes first published in 1887, Star Trek first aired 1966. 79 years between the two, not centuries. Surely a nitpicker would know that?
Sorry to nitpick - but Star Trek has not happened yet as it is eons in the future, which therefore means, Sherlock is centuries earlier. Now, once you are centuries in the future, half of history becomes legend, since ... half of history is always based on legend, thus it may be that they view Sherlock as more real than imaginary since it 'has been written', and they will assume that what has been written is often based on some similar event that may have happened. Thus, though Sherlock may not be real to us in our world, he may become more real in the future Star Trek universe. Therefore, if Sherlock can be real and exist in the Star Trek universe of the future, then it must be true that he is real right now in our world. Logical, right?

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Old 07-11-2018, 09:52 PM   #7
Dazaifoo
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Re: Ai-nuke

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
Sorry to nitpick - but Star Trek has not happened yet as it is eons in the future, which therefore means, Sherlock is centuries earlier. Now, once you are centuries in the future, half of history becomes legend, since ... half of history is always based on legend, thus it may be that they view Sherlock as more real than imaginary since it 'has been written', and they will assume that what has been written is often based on some similar event that may have happened. Thus, though Sherlock may not be real to us in our world, he may become more real in the future Star Trek universe. Therefore, if Sherlock can be real and exist in the Star Trek universe of the future, then it must be true that he is real right now in our world. Logical, right?
To quote Commander Data, I find your theory "Intriguing."

Data of course portrayed Sherlock Holmes on a holodeck adventure in Season 2, episode 3 of Star The Next Generation entitled "Elementary Dear Data". That's the one where Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge, by a slip of the tongue, instructs the holodeck to create a Professor Moriarity simulation capable of defeating Data (not Holmes! Yikes!) Captain Picard is able to negotiate a kind of détente with Moriarity, and convinces him to stay put as stored data (no pun intended!) on the ship's computer while Starfleet works out a plan for his existence.

However, Moriarity returns in the season 6, episode 12 "Ship in a Bottle", creating a simulated reality using the Holodeck program to ensnare Picard. Picard in turn creates his own simulation and tricks Moriarity into believing that he has fled into the "reality" of the greater Star Trek universe, when actually he is still safely running on a data storage system. At the end Picard quips, "All this might just be an elaborate simulation running inside a little device sitting on someone's table."

Other possibilities are that Holmes was also a Class 1 supervisor, much like Gary Seven in the Star Trek the Original Series season 2, episode 26 "Assignment Earth", travelling across time solving crimes with the help of his Beta 5 computer and Dr. Watson (probably not played by a young Terry Garr unfortunately). Highly improbable, but it might be the truth! I wouldn't rule out the possibility of a trickster from the Q continuum having fun with us right now, posting long screeds on forums on topics way outside of their subject area.

erm…
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:21 PM   #8
mushinaiki
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Re: Ai-nuke

Surely an intelligent person would know that one that studies history reads non fiction..........
Surely an intelligent person knows that Sherlock Holmes is fiction...........

We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have virtue or excellence because we have acted rightly.
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:55 AM   #9
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Re: Ai-nuke

Excellent article. I normally don't read long posts but this one was well worth it.

The genesis for the Holme's quotation comes from Doyle's medical mentor Dr. Joseph Bell of the University of Edinburgh Medical School.

Surely an avid fan of Sherlock Holmes would know this.

dps
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:44 AM   #10
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ai-nuke

"If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"

Therefore

Fairies are real.
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Old 07-13-2018, 02:13 AM   #11
nikyu62
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Re: Ai-nuke

Kelly Sensei, thank you for sharing your essay.....it is amazing how far off thread the "discussion" has veered. Please contine sharing Master Maruyama's thoughts.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:07 AM   #12
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Ai-nuke

Quote:
Steven Shimanek wrote: View Post
Kelly Sensei, thank you for sharing your essay.....it is amazing how far off thread the "discussion" has veered. Please contine sharing Master Maruyama's thoughts.
Probably because it's easier to discuss Sherlock Holmes than dig in to the meat of what Peter has written.

FWIW I think that the thing Maruyama Sensei was saying about ai nuke is interesting when you put it next to some of the other things we more commonly think about O Sensei having said, such as "the true victory is victory over oneself that happens in an instant". But also that Maruyama sensei has in the past been quite explicit in saying that for O Sensei aikido was misogi, and that the act of throwing uke was ridding yourself of impurities, these impurities then go back to the earth and are reborn. All of which is related to Izanagi and Izanami and Shinto (which I'll leave for a different discussion). True misogi requires performance in the face hardship and austerity, rather than just sitting in an armchair watching netflix and purifying yourself with takeaway pizza. This is why uke must perform a committed attack, the harder the attack is to deal with the better the misogi. Eventually when uke and nage are both performing at the same level with aiki you will get ai nuke.
At least, that's my understanding.

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:53 PM   #13
nikyu62
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Re: Ai-nuke

Most of O-Sensei's uchideshi have confessed that most of what O-Sensei spoke about went over their heads as abstruse philosophy; most of them were young and not educated in the Japanese classical writings necessary to understand what he was saying. I wonder how much of this kind of philosophy is explicable to Westerners raised in a completely different culture?
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:59 PM   #14
neb1979
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Re: Ai-nuke

Thanks for sharing Peter, a great read and one that I will read again and again....
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:49 PM   #15
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Re: Ai-nuke

Quote:
Steven Shimanek wrote: View Post
I wonder how much of this kind of philosophy is explicable to Westerners raised in a completely different culture?
All of it, if you want it. Nobody is really hiding this stuff. In fact they're doing the exact opposite and hoping you'll grab it with both hands and run with it.

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:20 PM   #16
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Ai-nuke

Like Mr Kelly, I studied history at university, but it was ancient history and was combined with philosophy. I first encountered Morihei Ueshiba through the eyes of several of his students, who were actually my own teachers. So I had the advantage of coming at Ueshiba from several sources, so to speak, all of whom presented a different set of impressions. Not completely different, but different enough for this to be of interest.

Two people affected Morihei Ueshiba quite dramatically. They were Takeda Sokaku and Deguchi Onisaburo, but these two repay detailed research in their own right and not merely for how they affected Ueshiba. To do this, however, is no easy matter, especially for someone who does not have deep knowledge of all the various items that are included in the general category of Japanese culture.

So I thank Mr Kelly for his essay, which requires deep and critical examination.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:25 PM   #17
nikyu62
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Re: Ai-nuke

Sensei Haft, it seems you are saying you have mastered this outlook; can you share with us further?
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Old 07-15-2018, 04:33 AM   #18
mushinaiki
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Re: Ai-nuke

Just a little more to add, this interview took place between the late Stan Pranin and Tohei Sensei, I have drawn from that interview what Tohei says about his Misogi training. And Tesshu, many lessons just looking at his life. Backs up why Maruyama says Aikido is Misogi, and when done correctly, maybe this is the transformation we have been looking for......

“One day, my younger sister bought me a book on Tesshu Yamaoka, the famous swordsman. It was My Teacher by Tetsuju Ogura, one of Yamaoka’s top students. The book detailed Yamaoka’s life, and somehow struck a chord in me. One of the things that impressed me most was the idea of doing everything in a way that admits no deception, of oneself or others, and to approach everything with a full-on attitude, even to the point of self-sacrifice. The book mentioned a misogi (purification) dojo, the Ichikukai, that still conducted Yamaoka-style training. Although the pleurisy had forced me to do nothing but go home and rest in bed every day after my university classes, I decided that I would go to the Ichikukai to make myself stronger, even if it killed me.
The name Ichikukai literally means: “The One-Nine Society,” and is so named because the anniversary of Yamaoka’s death falls on the 19th of the month. It also has to do with the philosophy that every individual has at least “the power of one,” and that, through training and effort, that person can add the other nine, for a total of ten. I thought that even I had at least the power of one, and I wanted to increase it to ten.
When I went to the Ichikukai, however, I was told that someone as weak from illness as I was simply would not be able to survive the type of ascetic training they did there. They wouldn’t even let me in the door. They told me the training involved shouting in a loud voice from morning to night and being struck on the back, and that it was hardly to be expected that a Keio student would be able to withstand it. I didn’t give up, though. I had already resolved to make myself strong or die in the attempt, so I persisted in asking them to admit me. Eventually, the head of the school, Tesso Hino Sensei, came out from the back. He said that since I was so determined, they would let me start with zazen (seated Zen meditation), and move into the more difficult ascetic exercises (misogi) later, once I had strengthened my body to a certain degree.
The zazen training was conducted by Josei Ota, head priest of Daitoku Temple in Kyoto. He came all the way to Tokyo to teach for three intensive days each month.
Each time, I sat in meditation all night long. Nobody else was in the habit of sitting in zazen throughout the night, but Hino Sensei said that he would sit with me, if that was what I wanted to do, and so the two of us would sit together until dawn.
After about six months, it was decided at last that I could move into misogi training. The training indeed involved shouting and being slapped on the back, and my chest began to hurt again on the evening of my first day. I assumed the pleurisy had come back, but since I’d said that I was determined to become strong, even if I died trying,

I couldn’t very well complain that my chest hurt and ask to go home. I thought, in any case, that if I collapsed on the floor, they would surely do something to help me. I simply put the pain out of my mind and forgot about it. After that, the pleurisy went away and never returned. I had myself X-rayed later, and was surprised to find there was no trace that I had ever had it. Amazingly, I had gotten better. This was the first experience that showed me the power of the mind.
Although my thinking was somewhat vague at that time, I had a sense that it was my mind and spirit (kokoro) that had motivated my body. I realized that the way you hold your mind is important. Physical illness is okay (if not desirable), but it is unacceptable to allow illness to extend to your mind or your ki.
In Japanese, when the body malfunctions in some way, we call it yamai or byo, which means simply “illness”; but when the failure extends to one’s ki as well, we call it byoki. So although my body may be afflicted with some sort of illness, I don’t let that extend to my ki. If the mind is healthy, the body will follow.
After my recovery, I returned to the judo club, but I couldn’t bring myself to resume training as enthusiastically as before. One reason was that judo inevitably emphasizes conditioning of the body before turning to matters of the mind. My thinking, however, was that the mind moves the body, and that anything you think in your mind you should be able to do with your body as well.
Also, having been away from judo for nearly two years, by the time I got my second dan, everybody else was already ranked fourth or fifth dan. Even many of the third dans had progressed so far ahead of me that they could throw me all over the place. That wasn’t very interesting, and it wasn’t much fun, either.
Hoping to strengthen myself, I went home and started kicking lightly at the support pillars around the house. After doing that a couple of thousand times a day, though, the walls started to come down. My elder sister wasn’t very pleased about that, and made me go outside in the garden instead. After a few weeks, I got so I could move my feet with the same agility and dexterity as my hands. I went back to the dojo and was able to throw everybody.
I vowed not let my strength deteriorate again, even if it killed me. Worrying about my health and living as a semi-invalid did nothing to help with my recuperation, so I just said to hell with it, I might as well throw myself into training, even if it kills me. Aikido was part of that training as well.”........................”At the same time, I was continuing my training at the Ichikukai. I used to stay there overnight and practice zazen and misogi. The training focused on achieving a kind of enlightened state, in which both body and mind become entirely free from restraint. It was exhausting, and afterwards, I would rush to aikido practice, already dead tired. To my surprise, I found that in that state, people who could always throw me before were completely unable to do so! It didn’t take me much effort to throw them, either. Everybody thought it was strange, and kept saying things like, “What’s with Tohei? He skips practice and comes back stronger than ever!” It’s a lot more difficult for someone to throw you if you let go of power, and it also becomes much easier to throw your opponent. I thought about Ueshiba Sensei, and realized that he was indeed relaxed when he did his aikido. It was then that I suddenly understood the real meaning of “relax.”
I tried to put into practice Yamaoka’s teaching that, once you have chosen a teacher, you should follow what that teacher teaches you, whether you think it good or bad. Things that don’t seem logical in the mind can be understood through experiencing them with your body. Once you understand them in that way, you can always stop doing them if you so choose. In contrast, if you start off with the attitude, “I’m going to learn this, but I don’t want to learn that,” you end up missing all of the good things your teacher has to offer. That’s why I know everything Ueshiba Sensei did, including both the good and bad.
At that point I realized that relaxation was an important key, although I also noticed that there were things that I could not do simply by relaxing. I felt that the reason must be something I was doing wrong.”..............”My aikido continued to progress as I continued with my misogi and zazen. After six months or so, I was even sent to teach at places like the military police academy in Nakano and the private school (juku) of Shumei Okawa. No one except Sensei could throw me. It took me only half a year to be able to achieve that degree of ability, so I think taking five or ten years is too slow.
Even now, most people are trying as hard as they can to learn techniques, but I was learning about ki from the beginning.”Tohei Koichi

We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have virtue or excellence because we have acted rightly.
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Old 07-15-2018, 03:51 PM   #19
sorokod
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Re: Ai-nuke

Dear mushinkai

Just do it - whatever it is you think that will move your Aikido forward, misogi, shugyo, ai-nuke, zazen - do it.

And if you feel like it, come back in a week, year or how long it takes you and share your experience.

One more thing, about that fantastic interview with Tohei. Taking it all at face value (dangerous, I know), consider that for a person that is driven to achieve a goal "even if it killed me" , the particular methodology he employs for getting there may be of secondary importance.

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Old 07-16-2018, 04:52 AM   #20
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Re: Ai-nuke

Quote:
Steven Shimanek wrote: View Post
Sensei Haft, it seems you are saying you have mastered this outlook; can you share with us further?
Mastered? Hell no. Studied? Sure. And studied enough to know that it is challenging stuff. If I understood something that was difficult and obscure I'd probably want to pass it on to some willing and eager student if I could. Which is why I don't think anyone is hiding anything.

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:14 AM   #21
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Re: Ai-nuke

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
consider that for a person that is driven to achieve a goal "even if it killed me" , the particular methodology he employs for getting there may be of secondary importance.
Don't agree with that. You can have that drive but be learning from someone who can't give you what you need. In which case your drive to succeed will be wasted.

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:22 PM   #22
nikyu62
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Re: Ai-nuke

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
All of it, if you want it. Nobody is really hiding this stuff. In fact they're doing the exact opposite and hoping you'll grab it with both hands and run with it.
My point was that if even O-Sensei's uchideshi had trouble understanding what he was saying, it is very likely that persons outside of Japanese culture would have even more difficulties. What you think you understand and what is meant may vary; we should remain humble and continue seeking understanding.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:36 PM   #23
Currawong
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Re: Ai-nuke

Peter, I don't think that you disagree as much with the "fringe" as you think.

O'Sensei Ueshiba stated (translated):

Quote:
“I am the universe.” I am never defeated, however fast the enemy may attack. It is not because my technique is faster than that of the enemy. It is not a question of speed. The fight is finished before it is begun.

When an enemy tries to fight with me, the universe itself, he has to break the harmony of the universe. Hence at the moment he has the mind to fight with me, he is already defeated. There exists no measure of time — fast or slow.
When someone asked me the other day what Aikido meant to me, I answered:

"For me, it means (or should mean) a method of self-integration (Aiki) that, with significant daily effort, you would become a person of such physical, mental and emotional integrity that conflict cannot significantly disturb you."

I don't see it as being anything so fantastic that it might "save the world", but with extensive, daily effort, it will transform a person into someone with such integrity as described.

However the traps that one can fall into can lead to delusion very readily.

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Old 07-17-2018, 03:00 AM   #24
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Ai-nuke

Quote:
Amos Barnett wrote: View Post
Peter, I don't think that you disagree as much with the "fringe" as you think.

O'Sensei Ueshiba stated (translated):

When someone asked me the other day what Aikido meant to me, I answered:

"For me, it means (or should mean) a method of self-integration (Aiki) that, with significant daily effort, you would become a person of such physical, mental and emotional integrity that conflict cannot significantly disturb you."

I don't see it as being anything so fantastic that it might "save the world", but with extensive, daily effort, it will transform a person into someone with such integrity as described.

However the traps that one can fall into can lead to delusion very readily.
Identification with God, or the universe, is quite a common feature of what might be called mysticism. This has been analyzed to some extent in the western mystical tradition associated with Christianity by Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross (among others). In the eastern tradition you have Shingon Buddhism and the syncretist blend called Omoto, as can be seen from Onisaburo Deguchi. My time in the Jesuits allowed me to study this in some depth.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:37 AM   #25
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Re: Ai-nuke

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Peter Kelly wrote: View Post
O-Sensei, a spiritual and martial giant studied many ancient forms of fighting and came to the conclusion that Aikido was a way to achieve spiritual awareness through hard physical training, this is backed up by another martial giant, Yamaoka Tesshu who came to exactly the same realisation.
O Sensei was as deeply spiritual a person as his violent teacher sokaku Takeda was not. O Sensei and his Aikido were profoundly influenced by his spiritual practice, omoto kyo. O Sensei having studied Aiki under Takeda rejects his Aiki as just another way of fighting to defeat an opponent, and with sword in hand, hides himself away in Iwama, and discovers like Tesshu and Harigaya before him that the spirit of true budo is that of love, of oneness with the universe, of no me, no sword and no enemy.
First, Ueshiba didn't study that "many ancient forms of fighting", beside daito ryu he studied only Judo for a while and some style of jujutsu during his army time.

Next, I don't think Aikido is the art of higher spirituality, or Morihei Ueshiba is the person with higher morality in opposition to Sokaku Takeda and Daito Ryu.
Many things Takeda, his son or other of his students said or wrote down, sound very similar to the things O Sensei said.

For example Tokimune Takeda:

"The essential principles of Daito-ryu are Love and Harmony"
"The goal of spreading Daito-ryu is ‘Harmony and Love', keeping this spirit is what preserves and realizes social justice. This was Sokaku Sensei's dying wish"

Or Yukioshi Sagawa:

"Aiki is the fitting together of Ki.
Through this harmonious reconciliation all things under heaven and earth in the universe move peacefully without disturbance. This harmonization is Aiki.
As the Ki of Aiki is natural it unifies and reconciles without the slightest ill feeling or resistance.
The harmonious reconciliation that is Aiki must be the basis for the formation of human society.
This is the great circle of harmony (daienwa) of Aiki."

You can find this in the Aikido Sangenkai blog.

Third, the old meaning of "Aiki as warriors used it" has different meanings. For example:
"aiki is originally kenjutu (Japanese sword arts) term and it describes a state where you and your opponent's seichu (central) line is face to face"
...
Therefore, there are broader definition and narrower definition of the term aiki. The broader definition of aiki is the entire methodology of crushing opponent's attack stance through central penetration. This includes atemi (strike) into upper part of the body. Narrower aiki means techniques of neutralising attack from the contact, exemplified in technique, aiki age (aiki lift).

(Yoshimine Yasuo, Budo Free Talk Number 26 )

Sometimes Sogaku Takeda defined aiki as "the ability to defeat an enemy with a single glance."

And Hiroshi Tada: "An Aikidoka should be able to consistently cut down an opponent with the first blow" (Italy, 2002)

So, where are the differences between the spirituality of Sokaku Takeda and Morihei Ueshiba?

Takeda had esoteric training in Tsutsukowake Shrine under Hoshina Chikanori and he spent time at Ryozen Shrine in Fukushima prefecture, it is said he mastered deeply spritual powers.

I don' think he is the "violent teacher" nor is Ueshiba the peaceful saint how you present him here.
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