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Old 09-18-2014, 12:31 AM   #476
Gavin Slater
Location: Brisbane
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

I asked Amatsu Sensei regarding solo training in Daito Ryu and he said samurai did not do solo training, they always trained with their teacher. Solo training is a more modern approach developed so that women and children can train.

For example in the Sagawa Dojo (from Merts link) it read 'Aiki Budo is the Way of Human Development', the 'do' makes an important distinction.

In the Tokimune link (from Merts link) it read the following;

- Practice of Daito-ryu Aikibudo : Those who practice the Daito-ryu 'Aikibudo' must learn the 'Aikijujutsu' which is its base.
- Aiki-tanren-ho : It is practiced in couples and when the partner grabs our wrists...
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:00 AM   #477
Mert Gambito
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Mert, I can't find anything to disagree with here, but I think the claims you are making in this post are very general. Japanese culture in general is very steeped in Shinto and pays homage to Chinese philosophy etc.

I have this feeling that Sagawa is the one responsible for the entire solo training in DR concept, as well as any heavily Taoist technology. I do believe these were his innovations and the result of his research.
Cliff,

Specifically, Ueshiba heavily cited the Chinese Classics, as has been documented, and Okuyama's emphasis on traditional medicine as a balance to and component of the martial aspects of Hakkoryu is evident in the use of the traditional Chinese five elements (vs. the Japanese godai). Even then, all these noted students of Takeda grew up at a time when studying the Chinese texts, philosophies and operating systems based on them (using metaphors to draw ki through the body for health and power) was de rigueur. Hakkoryu expressly states on its website that one undertakes the "study of "Inyodo" (the way of yin and yang)" (see paragraph 5), echoing Ueshiba's advice to Henry Kono about what's missing in the study of aikido. Taoism was woven into the fabric of life and how those in East Asian culture in general understood themselves and the world they lived in. But even today, I have conversations with Asian co-workers virtually every day about things that are Taoist in nature but are not martial arts related: it's that ingrained in who we are as representatives of our respective related cultures.

So, you're right: the homage paid to the Chinese roots is inherent. But for that exact reason, I think Sagawa, Ueshiba, Okuyama, Matsuda, Horikawa, Hisa, et al were all out to improve on the centuries-old in-yo-do IP mouse trap, each in their own right. Anyone who's read Transparent Power should have no doubt that Sagawa would've bragged about these other men's successes as extensions of his own, had he disseminated to them his aiki-tanren.

Mert
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:34 AM   #478
Mert Gambito
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Gavin Slater wrote: View Post
I asked Amatsu Sensei regarding solo training in Daito Ryu and he said samurai did not do solo training, they always trained with their teacher. Solo training is a more modern approach developed so that women and children can train.

For example in the Sagawa Dojo (from Merts link) it read 'Aiki Budo is the Way of Human Development', the 'do' makes an important distinction.

In the Tokimune link (from Merts link) it read the following;

- Practice of Daito-ryu Aikibudo : Those who practice the Daito-ryu 'Aikibudo' must learn the 'Aikijujutsu' which is its base.
- Aiki-tanren-ho : It is practiced in couples and when the partner grabs our wrists...
Gavin,

Aiki-in-yo-ho, as described on daitoryu.com infers solo work, and is not expressly done only in paired training (though as the article regarding breath training in the Sagawa dojo states and illustrates, it can be tested with a training partner).

Also, I submit this (finally found what I didn't have time to punch up earlier) from Toby Threadgill, Menkyo Kaiden, Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin-ryu:
Quote:
Toby Threadgill wrote:
Concerning "internal power," this concept is likewise difficult to strictly define. There are as many definitions of this concept as there are schools claiming to teach it. In TSYR we have a series of kata called "Nairiki no Gyo." These kata seek to cultivate specific body skills associated with developing internal energy. But what exactly are these skills and how are these kata employed to develop internal strength? As part of our gokui, I am not permitted to discuss them in detail outside the kai membership but I can give you a general idea of what they constitute. They are solo exercises that inculcate the proper balance, movement and muscular application utilized in our greater curriculum. These types of exercises are actually quite ubiquitous in Japanese jujutsu schools of the Edo Period, although they are rather unfamiliar to those outside the membership of specific Nihon koryu. According to Yoshin ryu lore, this form of body training was introduced to Japan from China in the mid-Edo Period. In the case of Yoshin ryu, the Nairiki no Gyo were specifically created adaptations of Chinese practices intended to augment the study and application of specific body skills required in Yoshin ryu's greater curriculum.

Mert
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:14 AM   #479
dps
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
Also, I submit this (finally found what I didn't have time to punch up earlier) from Toby Threadgill, Menkyo Kaiden, Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin-ryu:
In the same article in response to a question:

"That sounds a lot like aikido's or Daito ryu's definition of "aiki!"

(Laughing) I'm not going to step into the quagmire of what is or is not "aiki." Let me just say that numerous principles of strategy and tactics exist under various names. To conclude that the name or strategy you employ in your particular martial art is unique or unknown by others is rather delusional and demonstrates a weakness that can be exploited. If you always assume that your adversary is as smart as you are, you have a much better chance of survival or victory."

dos
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:33 AM   #480
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

This thread is full of ignorant rubbish.
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:07 AM   #481
Cliff Judge
Dojo: Aikido Shobukan Dojo
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
Cliff,

Specifically, Ueshiba heavily cited the Chinese Classics, as has been documented, and Okuyama's emphasis on traditional medicine as a balance to and component of the martial aspects of Hakkoryu is evident in the use of the traditional Chinese five elements (vs. the Japanese godai). Even then, all these noted students of Takeda grew up at a time when studying the Chinese texts, philosophies and operating systems based on them (using metaphors to draw ki through the body for health and power) was de rigueur. Hakkoryu expressly states on its website that one undertakes the "study of "Inyodo" (the way of yin and yang)" (see paragraph 5), echoing Ueshiba's advice to Henry Kono about what's missing in the study of aikido. Taoism was woven into the fabric of life and how those in East Asian culture in general understood themselves and the world they lived in. But even today, I have conversations with Asian co-workers virtually every day about things that are Taoist in nature but are not martial arts related: it's that ingrained in who we are as representatives of our respective related cultures.

So, you're right: the homage paid to the Chinese roots is inherent. But for that exact reason, I think Sagawa, Ueshiba, Okuyama, Matsuda, Horikawa, Hisa, et al were all out to improve on the centuries-old in-yo-do IP mouse trap, each in their own right. Anyone who's read Transparent Power should have no doubt that Sagawa would've bragged about these other men's successes as extensions of his own, had he disseminated to them his aiki-tanren.
I think I originally thought you meant that the very secret of aiki was itself transmitted through the ages. Now it simply seems like you are saying, Aiki comes from Asia.

I'm not going to deny that.

With regard to the quote from Mr. Threadgill, first of all, thanks for digging that up, and I apologize for making you do that legwork. TSYR is one of the koryu schools to have been confirmed as having some solo work as part of the curriculum. Though you would have to be admitted into that system to really know how central it is to the training.

Yagyu Shingan ryu has some as well, I believe it is taught in both the main lines to beginners, and I hope to have the opportunity to look into it further at some point in the future, will let you know.

Toby Threadgill holds a bunch of different densho in trust of the TSYR and should be taken as a reliable source of information on the history of classical Japanese arts even outside of his own. But to put it simpy, I keep looking around for these crucial solo training systems and I keep coming up with nothing. I've spoken to people who practice all manner of different koryu and scant few of them have been taught solo training.

Most of the koryu schools that exist today were once comprehensive systems, with a grappling component. So you would expect that just about any existing koryu would have some traces of solo training in their curriculum if it was so important to developing martial skill. Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage ryu (really important to the development and dissemination of Daito ryu IMO) has a suburi practice, as well as breathing and walking practice that are distinctly internal, that's about it. And that's the school with the crystal-clear link to China, as the key soke (fourth lineal headmaster?) spent several years in China after Tokugawa took power.

(FWIW Here, on Chris Li's blog, is a diagram that depicts the Jikishinkage ryu suburi, practiced in the Sagawa dojo.)

Well, another thing to look into would be Judo. How prevalent was solo training at the Kodokan while Kano was around? There were dozens of koryu systems known for their strong jujutsu that were absorbed by the Kodokan. Kano was very interested in preserving them. I think if solo training methods were important to these schools, that would have translated into Judo, at least during the early days. I will look into it and let you know.

So how about it guys? Can we start talking about "aiki" as being essentially a "brand" of subtle jujutsu, that has loose cognates in many different systems? And note that in these other systems, paired kata are considered sufficient for developing these skills? Such that, if you choose to purse a solo training regimen, that may be a tremendous benefit to your own practice, but it is clearly not neccessary or integral to development of skill at creating aiki?
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Old 09-18-2014, 12:57 PM   #482
Mert Gambito
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
In the same article in response to a question:

"That sounds a lot like aikido's or Daito ryu's definition of "aiki!"

(Laughing) I'm not going to step into the quagmire of what is or is not "aiki." Let me just say that numerous principles of strategy and tactics exist under various names. To conclude that the name or strategy you employ in your particular martial art is unique or unknown by others is rather delusional and demonstrates a weakness that can be exploited. If you always assume that your adversary is as smart as you are, you have a much better chance of survival or victory."
Yes, that makes total sense. Everyone just trying to build a better mousetrap -- e.g. in China (the various neijia) and in Japan as inherited from China (various ryu/ryuha with IP including aiki).

Mert
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Old 09-18-2014, 01:23 PM   #483
Mert Gambito
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I think I originally thought you meant that the very secret of aiki was itself transmitted through the ages. Now it simply seems like you are saying, Aiki comes from Asia.

I'm not going to deny that.

With regard to the quote from Mr. Threadgill, first of all, thanks for digging that up, and I apologize for making you do that legwork. TSYR is one of the koryu schools to have been confirmed as having some solo work as part of the curriculum. Though you would have to be admitted into that system to really know how central it is to the training.

Yagyu Shingan ryu has some as well, I believe it is taught in both the main lines to beginners, and I hope to have the opportunity to look into it further at some point in the future, will let you know.

Toby Threadgill holds a bunch of different densho in trust of the TSYR and should be taken as a reliable source of information on the history of classical Japanese arts even outside of his own. But to put it simpy, I keep looking around for these crucial solo training systems and I keep coming up with nothing. I've spoken to people who practice all manner of different koryu and scant few of them have been taught solo training.

Most of the koryu schools that exist today were once comprehensive systems, with a grappling component. So you would expect that just about any existing koryu would have some traces of solo training in their curriculum if it was so important to developing martial skill. Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage ryu (really important to the development and dissemination of Daito ryu IMO) has a suburi practice, as well as breathing and walking practice that are distinctly internal, that's about it. And that's the school with the crystal-clear link to China, as the key soke (fourth lineal headmaster?) spent several years in China after Tokugawa took power.

(FWIW Here, on Chris Li's blog, is a diagram that depicts the Jikishinkage ryu suburi, practiced in the Sagawa dojo.)

Well, another thing to look into would be Judo. How prevalent was solo training at the Kodokan while Kano was around? There were dozens of koryu systems known for their strong jujutsu that were absorbed by the Kodokan. Kano was very interested in preserving them. I think if solo training methods were important to these schools, that would have translated into Judo, at least during the early days. I will look into it and let you know.

So how about it guys? Can we start talking about "aiki" as being essentially a "brand" of subtle jujutsu, that has loose cognates in many different systems? And note that in these other systems, paired kata are considered sufficient for developing these skills? Such that, if you choose to purse a solo training regimen, that may be a tremendous benefit to your own practice, but it is clearly not neccessary or integral to development of skill at creating aiki?
Personally, I think we have to accept that "aiki" as used in the general sense, and even within the Daito-ryu-sphere, is not strictly wedded to IP (e.g. as defined by Katsuyuki Kondo, e.g. in the DVD What is Aiki, in which it is described in a tactical vs. body skill sense). In addition, Sagawa went on at length about the inferiority of certain "aiki", relative to other "aiki" (namely Sokaku Takeda's and his own mousetraps).

That said, for the purposes of addressing the theme of this thread, Ueshiba's aiki (like Sagawa's, Tohei's, Tada's and others' known to have uncommonly powerful aiki) was IP based and developed via solo training, per the Aikikai Hombu as cited by Peter Goldsbury. Most aikido doesn't have such aiki today -- ergo, they can be and typically are today, demonstrated as mutually exclusive things.

Cliff, the judo thing is interesting. I'd be very interested to hear about what you find out. Over here, I'm introducing this discussion to senior members of the judo club where my family trains. This dojo, the Shobukan, was visited and named by Jigoro Kano, and is reportedly the oldest extant judo dojo in the west (by virtue of having been a U.S. territory, and now state, if not by geography). So, people at this particular school have an appreciation for the historical aspects of judo, in addition to a mission to take as much hardware as possible at the next state tournament on the schedule. One sempai stated to me that he believes at least one of the judo kata inherited from koryu is designed as paired IP testing, in its ura interpretation. If there's anything more salient that comes out of these discussions, I'll report back as well.

Last edited by Mert Gambito : 09-18-2014 at 01:29 PM.

Mert
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:19 AM   #484
Gavin Slater
Location: Brisbane
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

The 'aiki-in-yo-ho' is not something that is expressly taught. Its not like hey guys come over here and we will do some aiki-in-yo-ho. It is something you live and you have to work out yourself.

If you look at what Amatsu Sensei said 'Samurai did not do solo training, they always trained with their teacher. Solo training is a more modern approach created for women and children'. That is something you have to work out.

Judo had solo training, If you look at basic things like shizentai, that is the foundation of everything in judo.
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:41 AM   #485
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Gavin Slater wrote: View Post
The 'aiki-in-yo-ho' is not something that is expressly taught. Its not like hey guys come over here and we will do some aiki-in-yo-ho. It is something you live and you have to work out yourself.

If you look at what Amatsu Sensei said 'Samurai did not do solo training, they always trained with their teacher. Solo training is a more modern approach created for women and children'. That is something you have to work out.

Judo had solo training, If you look at basic things like shizentai, that is the foundation of everything in judo.
Dear Gavin,
As an ex judoka I was fortunate to meet some great in the Judo world, eg Anton Geesink , Kenshiro Abbe , Saburo Matsushita, Kisaburo Watanabe and my own teacher Tam [Thomas ] Mc Dermott.Mr Mcdermott despite being 90 % disabled was a great judoka.In the 13 years I trained with him I never saw anyone ever throwing him.Now while I accept that shizentai is a very important aspect, imo the key to success in judo/ aikido is where/when /how.By that I mean where - correct positioning of yourself in relation to your partner,When , the correct timing executing the waza again in relation to Uke/How -choosing the appropriate waza suitable for the situation.
I also feel that the unbalancing /destabilising uke is also of major importance.A combination of good posture, a flexible mind and body coupled with a strong spirit gets results.All the best , Joe
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:42 AM   #486
Chris Li
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Gavin Slater wrote: View Post
The 'aiki-in-yo-ho' is not something that is expressly taught. Its not like hey guys come over here and we will do some aiki-in-yo-ho. It is something you live and you have to work out yourself.

If you look at what Amatsu Sensei said 'Samurai did not do solo training, they always trained with their teacher. Solo training is a more modern approach created for women and children'. That is something you have to work out.

Judo had solo training, If you look at basic things like shizentai, that is the foundation of everything in judo.
I've certainly seen Aiki-in-yo-ho taught expressly in at least two lines of Daito-ryu, that may not be true for your line of Daito-ryu.

I think that any argument that starts with "the Samurai did XXX" is going to be problematic - the samurai arts are hardly monolithic, and vary greatly from ryu-ha to ryu-ha.

If you look at what Toby Threadgill said:

Quote:
Toby Threadgill wrote:
Concerning "internal power," this concept is likewise difficult to strictly define. There are as many definitions of this concept as there are schools claiming to teach it. In TSYR we have a series of kata called "Nairiki no Gyo." These kata seek to cultivate specific body skills associated with developing internal energy. But what exactly are these skills and how are these kata employed to develop internal strength? As part of our gokui, I am not permitted to discuss them in detail outside the kai membership but I can give you a general idea of what they constitute. They are solo exercises that inculcate the proper balance, movement and muscular application utilized in our greater curriculum. These types of exercises are actually quite ubiquitous in Japanese jujutsu schools of the Edo Period, although they are rather unfamiliar to those outside the membership of specific Nihon koryu. According to Yoshin ryu lore, this form of body training was introduced to Japan from China in the mid-Edo Period. In the case of Yoshin ryu, the Nairiki no Gyo were specifically created adaptations of Chinese practices intended to augment the study and application of specific body skills required in Yoshin ryu's greater curriculum.
Then it's clear that Amatsu's argument fails, since at least one samurai art did indeed contain solo training. If you believe Toby's statement that such training was "actually quite ubiquitous in Japanese jujutsu schools of the Edo Period", then it was present in much more than one samurai art. Even if it's not "ubiquitous", its documented existence in even one art proves the case that such training was not unknown.

It's really a tossup whether or not one considers Daito-ryu to be a samurai art at all, a very good argument can be made that it is the modern creation of Sokaku Takeda (based on older sources, of course), who was nine years old when the samurai era ended.

I'm not sure what the excitement is about here. We solo train, we also do pair training (quite a lot). Everybody that I am aware of in the IP "crowd" does both. If you don't like solo training and don't think it's necessary - then don't do it, and good luck with that. What's the problem?

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-19-2014, 03:35 AM   #487
Gavin Slater
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Hi Chris,

Im not sure what the issue is either. I am just presenting a particular view point, one that maybe people could consider? You dont have to, just relaying my experience in training at the Asahi Dojo with Amatsu Sensei, I tried to present an example of 'aiki-in-yo-ho', where you are required to put some thought into, and to develop your own conclusion, which IMO is the whole point of aiki.

Hi Joe,

I agree with what you said. I was just passing on some tips from my teacher in regards to Judo and natural posture which were the foundation of everything from Nage Waza, Kappo and Sappo etc.

Gav
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