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Old 08-20-2001, 11:50 PM   #1
Erik
Location: Bay Area
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Lineage

Quote:
Originally posted by L. Camejo
You should be able to trace a path from his/her teacher right back to O-sensei Ueshiba. If you can't, they should not be calling what they teach Aikido.
I was struck by this statement because this lineage issue seems really important to most folks. People get into massive arguments over who studied what, where and when they did it. Yet, if the person does good stuff and they showed up last week on the bus from Pluto, well, so what? They do good stuff. Conversely, if they give great lineage but suck, would you really want to be around them?

Seriously, I don't get this lineage stuff.
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Old 08-21-2001, 12:01 AM   #2
PeterR
 
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Problem is there are a whole bunch of people from Pluto. If you are going to call what you do Aikido there has to be some connection.

Aikido is no longer flavour of the month but just look at the number of Aikijujitsu schools with no connection to any of the main line Daito groups.

If someone is going to claim a connection that claim should be backed up.

I agree that despite the connection if the teacher is no good than it is better to go elsewhere - perhaps to the guy from Pluto to learn what they do there.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-21-2001, 12:23 AM   #3
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
If someone is going to claim a connection that claim should be backed up.
Peter, I don't really disagree with this. At the same time, we get so damned wrapped up around it that it gets almost crazy. You've seen the post where some guy pushes someone's button and pretty soon there's a post saying:

Who is your sensei? How long have you studied? What's your rank? Blah, blah, blah...blah, blah, blah...because I've trained 3,000 years in "blow big wind" style super do. It's just makes me scratch my head a bit.

The first question I'm usually asked when I meet someone on the mat is where do you study and who is your teacher. Ok, sometimes I get, "what style are you", but that usually comes from a specific group of folks. I dunno, maybe it seems safest to ask the hairy kinda big guy who looks like he could get grumpy at times that sort of question I dunno.

To me, it's just not that important but I think I'm way in the minority on this one.
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Old 08-21-2001, 12:46 AM   #4
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Hi Erik;

You are definately not in the minority of one here.

Personally I have a real problem with people that say "I do this style" or "I studied with this teacher" and so "my ability is better".

I consider my teacher one of the best Aikidoists I have ever seen (well the best but some others come close ) but I would be a total fool to believe that somehow this puts me anywhere near his level. I can say however that what I do know, both physically and mentally, is pretty close to the source - with my teacher being the source. His connection to Tomiki and Tomiki's connection to Ueshiba give me relative certainty that one I have learnt is not too far off the wall.

Contrast this to some of the statements I have heard when I returned to the real world. I swear that some people just make things up and then pass it on as gosple. I guess it is just human nature.

So yes - I don't think the quality of Aikido can be defined entirely be lines of decent but too often its like that Boy Scout game where a message is passed from one ear to another. By accident or intent you go from "The corn crop will be ready in September" to "Your mother wears army boots".

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-21-2001, 08:45 AM   #5
L. Camejo
 
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Exclamation

[quote]Originally posted by PeterR

Hello all,

I agree totally with Peter's stance on the subject (and it has nothing to do with me also being a Shodokan Aikidoka) .
I don't think that Lineage has ANYTHING to do with skill or teaching ability, but it has a lot to do with truth and authenticity.

I believe that there are MANY MANY superb martial artists out there, whether from Pluto or wherever and their skills impress me to the very core. Their affiliation or lineage means nothing to me, as long as they let others know that what they are doing is something that they compiled from other forms of MA and their own personal experience. That is why we have the word Gracie in front of Jujitsu in the case of that style.

Suppose one day I decided to go to a far off land who knew nothing about MA and started to teach Aikido techniques and call it Tae Kwon Do or Wing Chun?

Ridiculous, right?

I truly believe, however that the principles of Aikido restrict nothing, so I say "Live and let Live."

The following is what I was referring to in my post. Please allow me to clarify.

I am the instructor of the ONLY known Aikido dojo in my country. I am linked through my instructors to O-Sensei Usehiba by 4 teachers, inclusive of my teacher. This of course is no indication of my ability, which is a totally unrelated entity.

In my country, people tend to copy a lot, and they are MASTERS of it. Because we are the only KNOWN class, we have been searching for similar schools within our nation, the closest of which was an Aikijujutsu school (whose beginning was marked by the elimination of an impostor who was falsesly using their name and the hospitalisation of the ENTIRE fake dojo after being challenged, Kung Fu movie style). The price of using someone's name without permission or actual training from them, in the old days anyway. In business we call it trademark violation.

Recently I have had potential students come to me with suspicion and even violent disbelief that Aikido actually existed within our country. Upon investigation, I realised they had all been students of a couple instructors who "professed" to have taught REAL Aikido, but in fact knew Kung Fu and Jujutsu and only knew a couple Aikido techniques between them,(really variations of JJ techniques) which they learned from their encounters with various aikidoka across the world. They were NEVER students of Aikido. At one time one of these guys even tried to convince me over the phone that a 5th Kyu was instructing the classes and that 5th Kyu was "2 grades below instructor in rank". At that time I had been doing Aikido for 2 years and was 5th Kyu myself. A beginner.

As a result of their falseness, many of my students were pleasantly surprised to finally find the REAL deal and not another copy cat. Many of my students are instructors of other MA and are sickened by this. But it is the REALITY of what I must face every so often in my dojo.

These false Aikido instructors are good teachers of their own styles, but they give the word Aikido a bad name, and that was the reason for my post. I merely tried to save another from the mistakes some of my students made.

I believe that Aikido is truth, where there is falseness, there is no Aiki.

I hope this clears things.

Masakatsu Agatsu
L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
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Old 08-21-2001, 10:28 AM   #6
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by L. Camejo
Snipped!
Hi Larry!

I wanted to say that my post wasn't directed at you. Your post was there and I saw an opportunity to post on a topic that has puzzled me for some time.

You raise some good points though. In my neck of the world, California, this doesn't seem so much of an issue but maybe on the other coast or in other countries it is.

Thanks for the informative post.
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Old 08-21-2001, 10:32 AM   #7
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Well, Erik, I guess you've never trained with me , as my first question is "Hi, my name's Colleen...(with inflection implying I'd like to know yours...)". At a seminar I might toss in (if there's a breakfall needed) "you OK with the fall?", or after the first attack "you want that faster?" (I like to start medium intensity and dial up or down as nage prefers when I don't really know my partners).

I guess it's because I really don't care who anyone studies with, unless I actually know the sensei and so might want to send my regards or ask current dojo gossip

As for authenticity attached to lineage, if being a student of O Sensei makes it more 'real', then why do we argue so much over Tomiki vs Yosinkai vs Aikikai vs Iwama vs Ki...yes, they all look different, so which one is really 'real'. I care about what my teacher is teaching, how he is teaching, not who taught him.
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Old 08-21-2001, 11:14 AM   #8
aikilouis
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But even "who taught who" is not so obvious.
I've recently heard that some guy (reportedly Judo brown belt) taught Yoseikan Budo in my neighborhood, and that he learned it from a book, without a proper instruction. What credibility can you give to such an instructor who DYED his brown belt to make it black !?

Louis R Joseph
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Old 08-21-2001, 01:23 PM   #9
L. Camejo
 
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Cool

Hi all.

Erik: No prob, just wanted to shed some light on the subject from a different perspective. I think this thread raised some questions that we were all wondering about.

CA: I agree that there are arguments about authenticity among styles within Aikido. But upon further investigation we find that those who argue over things like that are missing O-sensei's idea that Aikido was a work in progress, a living martial art, subject to interpretation by those who practice it. He also said however, one must remain true to "the heart of Aikido" which I guess is also up to interpretation.

In my experience, being a Shodokan (Tomiki) Aikidoka I've heard much about the concept that Tomiki Aikido is not "real" aikido. What can I say, we all have freedom of opinion.

Of course it DID appear to be Aikido when I had an opportunity to train with and "teach" some Ki Society instructors (4th Dans) the practical applications of Sankyo . But that's another story.

Masakatsu Agatsu
L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
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Old 08-21-2001, 08:23 PM   #10
PeterR
 
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Larry did we train togeather at Honbu?

Let's say three to four years ago.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-21-2001, 08:49 PM   #11
L. Camejo
 
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Ai symbol

"Larry did we train togeather at Honbu?

Let's say three to four years ago."

Sorry Peter, the first time I'll see Shodokan Hombu may be this year at the festival if I'm lucky.

But my teacher was there 3 years ago, you may have met him.

I am however, planning a trip to Canada next year, who knows we may meet yet.

Regards
L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
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Old 08-21-2001, 08:57 PM   #12
PeterR
 
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Hi Larry;

Your name did not sound right but the area you were from did. I am wracking my brains trying to remember your teacher's name - give me a break and I'll tell you if we have a mutual aquaintence.

If you don't want to do it in public send me a private e-mail.

Bingo - I have it Jerome Chin - please pass on my regards when you see him. It's amazing what a good lunch will do for your memory.

Last edited by PeterR : 08-21-2001 at 10:36 PM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-22-2001, 10:45 AM   #13
L. Camejo
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
Hi Larry;

Your name did not sound right but the area you were from did. I am wracking my brains trying to remember your teacher's name - give me a break and I'll tell you if we have a mutual aquaintence.

If you don't want to do it in public send me a private e-mail.

Bingo - I have it Jerome Chin - please pass on my regards when you see him. It's amazing what a good lunch will do for your memory.
That's it! Small world - check your PM for more info.

L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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