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Old 10-19-2006, 02:54 PM   #26
Gwion
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

Quote:
Tomas Grana wrote:
I second Jun's post. This is one of the most un-aiki threads I've ever read on Aikiweb. Right from the title, too. There should be no "vs" in Aikido, especially between aikidoka/aikidoists. As one of my favourite dojo rules goes: "leave your shoes and your egos off the mat".
Actually, Jun is the one who titled it "K. Tohei vs Aikikai"

ww
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Old 10-19-2006, 02:56 PM   #27
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

Which does not excuse our behaviour, nor our monosyllabic rebuttals
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Old 10-19-2006, 03:03 PM   #28
Gwion
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
Mike Braxton wrote:
Kisshomaru was pointed in charge of the Aikikai when he was in High School if my memory serves me correctly so he was in charge for a very long time. He was put in this position by O'Sensei. Aikido follows the iemoto system of transmission so Tohei would never have been in charge, this also explains why there is no rank for Kisshomaru or Moriteru and the same for Waka-Sensei. Tohei Sensei was in charge of the technical instruction only.

The things that Tohei Sensei wanted to introduce to Aikido was not learned from O'Sensei but from the Tempukai, hence the dissatisfaction of this idea from Kisshomaru and the other high ranking Sensei.
Here's a nice interview with Tohei Sensei about it all. If someone can find one with Kisshomaru Sensei, we can get to the bottom of this issue:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=93
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Old 10-19-2006, 03:23 PM   #29
Gwion
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

Quote:
Mike Logan wrote:
Which does not excuse our behaviour, nor our monosyllabic rebuttals
way to be a man and apologize for your behaviour Mike. Good on you.


hey everybody, isn't this a message board? lighten up.
--ww
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Old 10-19-2006, 04:47 PM   #30
aikidjoe
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

I thought Mike made an interesting point that was overlooked by the entertaining bickering. So I'll emphasize it:

Quote:
Mike Braxton wrote:
Kisshomaru was pointed in charge of the Aikikai when he was in High School if my memory serves me correctly so he was in charge for a very long time. He was put in this position by O'Sensei. Aikido follows the iemoto system of transmission so Tohei would never have been in charge, this also explains why there is no rank for Kisshomaru or Moriteru and the same for Waka-Sensei. Tohei Sensei was in charge of the technical instruction only.

The things that Tohei Sensei wanted to introduce to Aikido was not learned from O'Sensei but from the Tempukai, hence the dissatisfaction of this idea from Kisshomaru and the other high ranking Sensei.
Arguing that "because Tohei is more skilled means he should be the leader of the Aikikai" doesn't necessarily hold. The Aikikai is an organization, and the leader of an organization should a) have good, if not excellent, management skills, b) be knowledgeable about the organization. I'm not saying Tohei was a bad at management, I have absolutely no idea, but Kisshomaru did spread Aikido globally quite effectively, and was certainly knowledgeable, and skilled, in Aikido.

No Aikidoka/Aikidoist has ever been the same as O'Sensei. Nor will there ever be. Nor will there be anyone like Tohei, Saito, Yamaguchi, etc.
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Old 10-19-2006, 08:37 PM   #31
Gwion
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
Joseph Montange wrote:
I thought Mike made an interesting point that was overlooked by the entertaining bickering. So I'll emphasize it:



Arguing that "because Tohei is more skilled means he should be the leader of the Aikikai" doesn't necessarily hold. The Aikikai is an organization, and the leader of an organization should a) have good, if not excellent, management skills, b) be knowledgeable about the organization. I'm not saying Tohei was a bad at management, I have absolutely no idea, but Kisshomaru did spread Aikido globally quite effectively, and was certainly knowledgeable, and skilled, in Aikido.

No Aikidoka/Aikidoist has ever been the same as O'Sensei. Nor will there ever be. Nor will there be anyone like Tohei, Saito, Yamaguchi, etc.

Actually, we both have misinformation, until someone can scrounge up Kisshomaru's side of the story, this is probably the closest we can come to the truth:

"Kisshomaru originally intended to maintain a certain distance from aikido. He said, "My father and people like Mr. Tohei have come into this world to do aikido. Although I have been born into this family and its attendant roles, I would much prefer a house on a hill from which I can to go to work in the morning and return in the evening." He had hoped to take a more administrative role as a general director of the organization, rather than be a center of the teachings. When Ueshiba Sensei passed away, Mr. Nao Sonoda came up with a proposal to make Kisshomaru the general director and me the Second Doshu. However, Ueshiba Sensei [on his deathbed] had asked me to do what I could for Kisshomaru, so I made every effort to see that he assumed a role that put him as the center of both the teachings and the administration, which is how it eventually worked out."--Koichi Tohei July 11, 1995

and later:
"Mr. Sonoda suggested many times that I should become Doshu, but I was determined to keep my promise. To allow Kisshomaru to assume a stable role I pushed the idea that he should be both Doshu and managing director. He expressed his gratitude for my efforts then, but about a year later, his attitude changed. It was right about that time that he went to the United States and started taking my picture off the dojo walls there.

Separation from the Aikikai

Around what year was that?

About three years after Ueshiba Sensei passed away, in 1971 or 1972. Before then nearly every American dojo had displayed photographs of both me and the founder, but Kisshomaru started having mine taken down and replaced with his own.

It seems that you enjoyed a good relationship during the time immediately following O-Sensei’s death. Why did that relationship deteriorate later on?

In 1971, I proposed that we specifically teach the concept of ki within the Aikikai. I felt that simply going through the motions of practicing techniques back and forth on a surface level wouldn’t result in aikido, because aikido involves ki. I suggested to Mr. Osawa that we create a class on ki and have people learn that as a basis for their aikido. He rejected the idea on behalf of the Aikikai, saying that the aikido of the Aikikai is the aikido of Kisshomaru, and Kisshomaru’s teachings should therefore form the nucleus of the training. I realized there was no room for me to teach in that environment and asked if it would be okay for me to pursue my suggestion outside of the dojo. That would be fine, they said, so I went out and created a class that focused not on aikido techniques but on teaching about ki.

I think that my teaching of ki has contributed much to the growth of aikido. Simple back and forth practice of aikido techniques is okay for students and other young people, but older people with less stamina tend to drop out after a while. My talks on ki were well received by various types of people, including groups of higher level business executives―managers and presidents and people like that. However, both Mr. Osawa and Kisshomaru viewed what I was doing as something removed from aikido.

In the United States they understood aikido in terms of expressions like "a matter of mind." In Japan, however, aikido was just called aikido, so I thought it necessary to establish the concept of ki in Japan as well.

Mr. Osawa was a very good man and he listened to what I had to say. At that time, however, he was making efforts to support Kisshomaru and tried to prevent people from participating in my training.

They refused to let me teach about ki within the Aikikai, but said I was free to do whatever I liked on the outside. With that understanding I started my class at the Olympic Center. It proved very popular and within three months a hundred students had enrolled. Mr. Osawa was surprised when he heard about that and came to me to ask if I would be interested in doing such a class within the Aikikai! I was pretty irritated and said I thought it was a little late for that.

None of the people coming to my class on ki knew anything about aikido and they weren’t really interested in pursuing it, since that’s not what they had come to learn. That wouldn’t have happened if I had been able to create a class on ki within the Aikikai to begin with. Given the position he was in, I know Mr. Osawa had to refuse me, but I think he always felt bad about it. When the General Headquarters of the Ki no Kenkyukai (Ki Society) was constructed in Tochigi Prefecture in 1990, Mr. Osawa contacted me privately and also made a small contribution."

So I stand corrected. Tohei Sensei stepped DECLINED the offer to become Doshu. Though I think he would have stayed at Aikikai if Kisshomaru had not changed his feelings about Tohei. Again, I wish I had an interview with Kisshomaru to compare notes.
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Old 10-19-2006, 09:45 PM   #32
Fred Little
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
Wayne Wilson wrote:
Actually, we both have misinformation, until someone can scrounge up Kisshomaru's side of the story, this is probably the closest we can come to the truth:

(SNIP)

So I stand corrected. Tohei Sensei stepped DECLINED the offer to become Doshu. Though I think he would have stayed at Aikikai if Kisshomaru had not changed his feelings about Tohei. Again, I wish I had an interview with Kisshomaru to compare notes.
I'd be more interested in a couple of sympathetic interviews with their wives.

Fred Little
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:51 PM   #33
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
Joseph Montange wrote:
I
Arguing that "because Tohei is more skilled means he should be the leader of the Aikikai" doesn't necessarily hold. The Aikikai is an organization, and the leader of an organization should a) have good, if not excellent, management skills, b) be knowledgeable about the organization.
Tohei's skills in aikido are beyond dispute. But his track record as leader of an organization is a bit murky. The five Japanese shihan who left Hombu and followed himImaizumi, Toyoda, the two Maruyamas, and Shiohiraall left him in turn, some only a few years later. Some returned to the Aikikai, like Toyoda. Others set up their own schools. An American student of Tohei, Roy Suenaka, who also left the Aikikai with him and then broke away, wrote a book wherein he describes the internal problems of the Ki no Kenkyukai in the mid 1970s. He said he regrets that Tohei, who he idolized, did not exercise better leadership.

Just a thought in response to the idea that the best aikidoka is necessarily the best leader for the job.


R
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Old 10-20-2006, 12:28 AM   #34
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

Quote:
Tomas Grana wrote:
I second Jun's post. This is one of the most un-aiki threads I've ever read on Aikiweb. Right from the title, too. There should be no "vs" in Aikido, especially between aikidoka/aikidoists. As one of my favourite dojo rules goes: "leave your shoes and your egos off the mat".
What the hell makes something aiki or un-aiki? Can you give us a clear set of necessary and sufficient conditions for what makes something aiki? Anyway threads are not good or bad (if good and bad have something to do with being aiki I don't know but it stands to reason that they are some sort of value judgement), they just are.
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Old 10-20-2006, 01:11 AM   #35
Gwion
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

Quote:
Isaac Bettis wrote:
What the hell makes something aiki or un-aiki? Can you give us a clear set of necessary and sufficient conditions for what makes something aiki? Anyway threads are not good or bad (if good and bad have something to do with being aiki I don't know but it stands to reason that they are some sort of value judgement), they just are.
I second that. I'd say the Ki is meeting pretty well on this thread.
Of course, Japanese people butcher the meaning of English words all the time too.
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Old 10-20-2006, 01:37 AM   #36
stelios
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

A lot of people argued back in the late 60s (and many still do) that the only one most capable of continuing O-Sensei's work was no other than Koichi. He inherited the most out of his teacher AND was capable enough to travel the globe to spread the message. Yet, name it politics, name it Japanese family lineage coultoure, name it as you wish, Kissomaru was granted the crown. We might never ever reach to know why Koichi really split away from them but we can guess one thing or two.
At the end of the day, though, both Kissomaru and Koichi did a lot to establish an Aikido coultoure in many places around the world. Both names should be treated with equal respect and should be visiond only through their work in spreading Aikido around. Whether they were/are technically more or less capable from one another should be left aside as well as with the politics on the respective matter.
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Old 10-20-2006, 06:37 AM   #37
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote:
The five Japanese shihan who left Hombu and followed himImaizumi, Toyoda, the two Maruyamas, and Shiohiraall left him in turn, some only a few years later. Some returned to the Aikikai, like Toyoda. Others set up their own schools. An American student of Tohei, Roy Suenaka, who also left the Aikikai with him and then broke away, wrote a book wherein he describes the internal problems of the Ki no Kenkyukai in the mid 1970s. He said he regrets that Tohei, who he idolized, did not exercise better leadership.
Some of those you've mentioned left circa1990. Maruyama Koretoshi for example did so. Much of this was due to the financial management of the Ki No Kenkiyukai. It was at this time that the Ki Soc HQ dojo was being built:

http://www.ki-society.com/english/renew/mail_001.html

At considerable expense, the way that this was managed as far as I'm aware was what caused so many to leave at that time.

Of course all I've just said is unofficial because I am not a member of the Ki Society nor was I there at the time, so I hesitate to spread rumour over fact but I think that it is pertinent to mention that in the context of the discussion here.

As regards Tohei vs Aikikai. Tohei Sensei received a 10th Dan certificate with the number 1 on it, it was supposedly issued as the only judan formally issued by the aikikai to a living aikidoka, to the best of my knowledge it remains the only one issued to a living aikidoka by the aikikai. Prior to this though Hikitsuchi Sensei received a judan certificate from O Sensei, this certificate was unknown until many years later when Stan Pranin of aikidojournal.com discovered its existence.

Who was the better aikidoka Kisshomaru or Tohei? I would probably say Tohei, O Sensei certainly looked for a successor other than Kisshomaru many times. He adopted his son in law as his designated heir until he and O Sensei's daughter divorced. At one point Tomiki Sensei was considered as a successor (I believe marriage to O Senseis daugther was even briefly considered to be 'a good match' at one point). It was only in the years after the war that Kisshomaru took an active interest in aikido. His efforts to grow and expand aikido worldwide cannot be underestimated in any way.
If Tohei was the best aikidoka at the time of O Sensei's death then Kisshomaru was certainly the best placed to inherit the leadership and make the most of it.

Tohei's aikido was never really the same as O Sensei's, O Sensei even went so far as to say things such as (paraphrasing) "Don't learn from Tohei, aikido is mine" (see aikido journal interview with Tohei Sensei for more info). Tohei himself says that he kept few of the techniques he learned from his teacher.

I don't doubt that the aikido practiced by Kisshomaru was more like the aikido O Sensei wished to see spread, but there is no denying Tohei Sensei's ability. Its a lasting shame that these two men in these two roles could not work out their differences but all that was more than 30 years ago now, there's nothing to be done about it.

With regards to the removal of pictures of ether Tohei Sensei or O Sensei in various dojo after the split occurred I believe that in many ways by asking for these things to be done Tohei was deliberately distancing himself from the aikikai as was only proper, if he was going to go on alone he needed to be respecful of the aikikai and not tread on their toes, as such names of some techniques were changed and other such things (i.e. aikikai iriminage is irimi tenkan kokyunage etc), taigi were created and introduced, and it was asked that pictures of O Sensei were taken down and replaced with pictures of Tohei Sensei, this last act clearly deliniated Tohei's organisation from the Ueshiba family, however it upset many people, one of whom was Roy Suenaka (mentioned earlier), in his book he described this as being what made up his mind to leave the Ki Society. As regards the other difficulties in beginning the Ki No Kenkyukai which caused others to leave, remember that it takes funds to build infrastructure and administer it, the aikikai already had a building in which to practice as well as an administrative body to run it, Tohei had none of these things, only himself.

Just my view on things, make of it what you will. My own experience is that aikikai people are very generally speaking less aware of ki aikido than ki aikido people are of aikikai, I hope that some of what I've written here will help with that. I myself as a ki aikido student take every opportunity to practice with people from the aikikai whenever I can (as I do Iwama, Yoshinkan and so on). It saddens me that often the response I get from some people in the aikikai is that what I do is not 'proper aikido' because its not under the aikikai umbrella when clearly O Sensei and his son Kisshomaru (who encouraged the awarding of both 9th and 10th Dan to Tohei Sensei) believed that it was most definitely 'proper aikido' but that it simply wasn't quite the aikido they wanted to leave to future generations, or spread to the rest of the world (it was Tohei's aikido after all, not really O Sensei's).

Best

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:16 AM   #38
crbateman
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

Although there really does not exist an organizational framework from which one can take the best, most positive and beneficial aspects and teachings of BOTH schools of thought (not to mention those of Shioda, Tomiki, et al.), the student who wishes to take ownership of his own Aikido should strive to achieve a measure of this through experiencing as many perspectives as he can on his own initiative. While the heart seeks out ONE master, the mind can open itself to limitless possibilities, as long as the proper respect can be given to all who would share their knowledge. Ideally, like the attack of an aggressive uke, the negative energy and disharmony of the politics can be avoided or deflected, all the while with a smile on ones face.
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Old 10-20-2006, 08:18 AM   #39
odudog
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

Osensei did try to find a successor for Aikido for Kisshomaru wanted nothing to do with it at first. He wanted to be a regular salary-man. The present Doshu had the same reservations as well as I witnessed on a recent video interview. Maybe Waka-Sensei also feels the same. Any kid trying to follow into the same profession as their famous father feels an extremely heavy burden to be just as good if not better. Most of the offspring are good but fall a little short of the dad for the dad was the original. Just ask the offspring of Walter Payton, Tony Dorsett, Howie Long, Martin Sheen, George H. Bush {although his offspring is a utter complete joke}, and the list goes on and on.
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Old 10-20-2006, 02:07 PM   #40
Tom Fish
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

I also read Roy Sun.'s book as it detailed his personal feelings of the split between Tohei and the Aikikai. It was a distraction from the purpose of spreading Aikido throughout the world. Whatever the whole story was, it should show us all that just showing each other a little respect, even when our opinions differ, will allow us access to a lot of diverse knowledge. This exposure is why I read these forums. I am mostly a "lurker" though because I realize that others are here to entertain themselves by attacking others. Please don't turn this forum into Bullshido.com.
Best Regards
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Old 10-20-2006, 02:26 PM   #41
Ron Tisdale
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

Don't worry...Jun won't let that happen. He'll bounce the M***er first..

Best,
Ron (hope this doesn't get ME bounced...)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 10-20-2006, 06:58 PM   #42
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

This is what Gaku Homma (who is close to a couple of the shihan who left with Tohei) wrote on the reason why Toyoda sensei left Ki Society: "When Toyoda Sensei first came to the United States, I think the last thing on his mind was building his own organization. He came as an innocent, young martial artist who worked tirelessly and loyally for what he believed. Falling victim to leaders who did not appreciate his efforts, he was forced to sever relationships for his own survival. I can completely understand his feeling of not being able to go backwards, of feeling he had to forge ahead on his own. Later on I can remember him telling me that one day he would build a large organization and return to Hombu (Aikikai Headquarters)."

Will this get me bounced, Ron?

R
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:13 PM   #43
Charles Hill
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

Just a suggestion that any public statement made by a Japanese person, especially a martial arts teacher must be understood in a context of Japanese culture. I highly recommend anyone to first read Peter Goldsbury's writings both here and at aikidojournal.com and then look at the various interviews and such. Especially useful would be an understanding of uchi/soto and honne/tatemae.

Charles
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Old 10-20-2006, 08:39 PM   #44
Gwion
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
Just a suggestion that any public statement made by a Japanese person, especially a martial arts teacher must be understood in a context of Japanese culture. I highly recommend anyone to first read Peter Goldsbury's writings both here and at aikidojournal.com and then look at the various interviews and such. Especially useful would be an understanding of uchi/soto and honne/tatemae.

Charles
Charles, as a guy who lived in japan for 4 years, I don't really agree with your statement. Especially when Tohei spent so much time abroad and dealing with westerners, and since he was giving the interview with westerners, you can pretty much take what he said at face value. Don't let japanese people fool you into thinking their culture is all that different from ours. It's all smoke and mirrors for the exact same politics, spite, grudges, hopes, desires, and loves.
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Old 10-20-2006, 09:14 PM   #45
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

Quote:
Daniel Nishina wrote:
Something of a tangent:
There are these 3 clips of Tohei sensei on Youtube at the moment, and in one of them he shows striking a bokken corectly and incorrectly. (7:30 in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfpTU6ZiaK4)

I can't believe it, oh my, it can't be true....... what is that?

Nagababa

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Old 10-21-2006, 08:59 AM   #46
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

NagaBaba,
Perhaps this site will help you express yourself more clearly.
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Old 10-21-2006, 04:09 PM   #47
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote:
This is what Gaku Homma (who is close to a couple of the shihan who left with Tohei) wrote on the reason why Toyoda sensei left Ki Society: "When Toyoda Sensei first came to the United States, I think the last thing on his mind was building his own organization. He came as an innocent, young martial artist who worked tirelessly and loyally for what he believed. Falling victim to leaders who did not appreciate his efforts, he was forced to sever relationships for his own survival. I can completely understand his feeling of not being able to go backwards, of feeling he had to forge ahead on his own. Later on I can remember him telling me that one day he would build a large organization and return to Hombu (Aikikai Headquarters)."

Will this get me bounced, Ron?

R
Toyoda Sensei did not leave the Ki Society. The Ki Society left Toyoda Sensei. Gaku Homma is misinformed.

It was Toyoda's ouster that promoted my sensei to chief instructor and created the Chicago Ki Society. Apparently Toyoda Sensei did not mention anything to anyone. For weeks after the the word came from Ki Society headquarters, my sensei was fielding calls from Toyoda's students that had one main question, "Are we still members of the Ki Society?" Of course the answer was, "No".

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Old 10-21-2006, 07:01 PM   #48
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

Toyoda was ousted? On what grounds, if I might ask? The inherent problems with breakups of this sort is the "he said, he said" phenomenon. ("I quit!" "No, you're fired!") The same event can be spun in different ways and because of Japanese reticence, its hard to determine what actually happened.
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Old 10-21-2006, 09:48 PM   #49
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

I don't think anyone on this side of the Pacific knows all the reasons. Those orders came directly from Japan. Toyoda Sensei had been in running arguments with Japan for several years over everything. People were complaining directly to Japan about him. It was not a happy time. This was the impression I got, not only from the Ki Society, but also from members who later rejoined Aikikai.

There is no Japanese reticence in Chicago. Those people were there and they're all singing the same song.

Last edited by tedehara : 10-21-2006 at 09:53 PM.

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Old 10-21-2006, 10:30 PM   #50
raul rodrigo
Location: Quezon City
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Re: K. Tohei vs Aikikai

Thanks for that information. Its good to get another perspective from with Ki Society. What I have read is largely the account of Homma (writing in separate pieces) about Shuji Maruyama and Toyoda leaving (or being ousted from) Ki Society, and Roy Suenaka explaining in Complete Aikido why he left Tohei. Would you have any more information about the reasons for the departure of Koretoshi Maruyama, Shiohira, and Imaizumi? They have been reticent, not having been raised in Chicago.


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