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Old 06-30-2007, 11:32 AM   #76
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote: View Post
I should clarify - Jennifer and company are free to believe that O'sensei had magic powers. (There's nothing wrong with personally choosing to believe something without evidence; that's faith, and it can be a very good thing indeed. Though also dangerous.)

I only draw the line when they start claiming that their beliefs are substantiated by evidence, without presenting anything that might qualify as evidence.

"The lights turn on because when I flip the switch, a little purple monster scampers up inside the wall and uses her magic to make the bulb glow."
"That's a pretty interesting idea. Do you have any evidence?"
"Well, DUH. Everytime I flip the switch, the bulb glows! I even put video of it on YouTube, under 'Proof of Tiny Purple Monsters'."
My life is my evidence.
Someday, it may be yours too.
Until then, lets be friends.

Jennifer Paige Smith
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Old 06-30-2007, 11:55 AM   #77
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

As long as you don't present your belief in O'sensei's superhuman powers as anything but your personal non-scientific belief, I don't see any cause for conflict. At worst, I might think you're a little silly.

Last edited by Paul Sanderson-Cimino : 06-30-2007 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 06-30-2007, 12:36 PM   #78
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote: View Post
As long as you don't present your belief in O'sensei's superhuman powers as anything but your personal non-scientific belief, I don't see any cause for conflict. At worst, I might think you're a little silly.
I don't operate in a sibling society where the convictions of youth are considered equal to a lifetime of experience. But I am definitely silly and you do carry on a fairly good conversation. So thanks.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 06-30-2007 at 12:42 PM.

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Old 06-30-2007, 01:23 PM   #79
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

The extraordinary events of O Sensei's life described with the words "superhuman, supernatural, magic" could also be explained as the manifestation of extreme skills he developed through long training. They are based on an incredible level of control of his body and perceptive abilities, not unlike those demonstrated by yogi for example.

When people say something like "we attacked him all at once, and the next moment he was somewhere else", they mostly express the fact that they don't find any explanation to what happened before them. The rational explanation exists, but their perceptions have been fooled, the same way a sleight of hand artist does with a card trick.

When O Sensei described his mystical experiences, he explained them from his own point of view : "[I felt as if] my body was covered in gold" (for example). This is how he felt, and he didn't claim to escape the laws of nature, quite the contrary. He used to say the key of his invincibility was to attune himself to the Great Nature.

Now, regarding the question of knowing if someone surpassed O Sensei, I'd say that it is as meaningless as knowing if Mozart was surpassed by Beethoven or Wagner. After a certain level in mastery, the scale stops. You can't go further north than the North Pole.

I believe Takeda Sokaku and O Sensei had reached the North Pole, and probably several others in other martial traditions.

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Old 06-30-2007, 02:35 PM   #80
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Paul Sanderson-Cimino,
you've really had some great posts, thanks for your input!

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Old 06-30-2007, 03:06 PM   #81
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Back to the start:
Quote:
James Wilson wrote: View Post
Controversial but...
Who would be willing to say that Ueshiba`s Aikido was not the best theyd seen?
Living in Asia for 15 years I heard all kinds of stuff after training. A recent thing is to say the above. Basically, with the rise in popularity of Daito-ryu and other similar arts, some people are now saying that such and such a student of Sokaku (or other) was better than Ueshiba, or, such and such has managed to pass on the 'tradition' (= skill) to one or two students, so, he must be better than Ueshiba etc. It may be true, I do no know, but the people I heard such from always had a drum to bang - their own school's. I have met some poeple who can do interesting things, but nothing that really makes me think it's magic or something.

Basically, I have learned that if someone can do it, then everything is learnable, and you have to learn it. You won't be taught it, even if your teacher knows it. Typically he doesn't know how he learned what he knows so can't teach it you. You have to watch, feel, and find our own way.

And I wonder, what was the origin of the original question? Just curiosity, or a laced question? Curiosity is the only way to progress.

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Old 06-30-2007, 06:14 PM   #82
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
A good exercise would be to talk to (and train with) the living students of O'Sensei. If you don't believe them and the experiences they express from their lives with O'Sensei, tell them. If you believe them to be dillusional or liars, let em know. If you would like to try out your 'martial arts' on them, let it rip. Do some good scientific investigating, roll up your sleeves, and take it on. Kato Shihan may be a good place to start, he's pretty available.
Seems like this would clear up opinions and ideas. Give you some relative ground to speak from, as it were.
Let me know how it goes.

Until then, call liars liars. Just be sure you know that they are lying, first.
Aw c'mon, why are you giving me the "The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence" lecture? I'm not talking about some faint idea of there being nuclear weapons hidden in Iraq, I'm talking about outrageous folklore stories.

I have no interest in fighting some Aikido instructors. Who I am interested in rolling with are people who make ridicules claims such as the stuff discussed (and joked about) in this thread. I *know* there is no evidence to suggest these stories *didn't happen*, but do we really need to be so principled about it? Doging bullets, throwing people 50 feet through the air with ki, taking out 6 marines at once, or whatever bs that has been mentioned in this thread doesn't really need evidence.

I'm not a very big guy. I'm 5"10, 130lbs. I would be more then happy to experience any of these phenomenons that apparently everyone's great grandpa or teacher has seen. And I would of course be more then humbled to be able to put them to the test. You want me to fight Kato Shihan? Why? Has he ever sprouted any bullshit about his skill level? Obviously not.

Sorry if this all seems harsh or negative, but I believe us Aikidoka have to be our own worst critics. The absence of competition in Aikido is sometimes a double edged sword. It makes Aikido the unique thing it is, but on the other hand it makes people believe some crazy stuff.

Last edited by Roman Kremianski : 06-30-2007 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 06-30-2007, 06:42 PM   #83
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Paul Sanderson-Cimino,
you've really had some great posts, thanks for your input!
Well, thank you, that's very flattering.

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
The absence of competition in Aikido is sometimes a double edged sword. It makes Aikido the unique thing it is, but on the other hand it makes people believe some crazy stuff.
Nomination for thread-win!

I suppose it depends on the definition of competition -- I'm not sure that Shodokan-style shiai is what aikido necessarily needs -- but some sort of "alive training" is probably a good next step for aikido. My hunch has long been that the old school people did this type of training all the time, but we're just imitating their kata.

But yes. The lack of alive training in aikido does, I think, generate all kinds of wacky neuroses. The sheer groundedness and sanity that a bit of live training provides is astounding.
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Old 06-30-2007, 06:52 PM   #84
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Hi bud, relieved to see someone shares my thoughts!

On a slightly different topic, an interesting vid of "alive" training if you hadn't seen already:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVbS0xHCerw
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Old 06-30-2007, 07:21 PM   #85
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

It's funny Roman, but sometimes in our own dojo we talk about the mysterious powers of ki (usually when someone breakfalls before they've been broken), or how people can dodge bullets. These stories are perpetuated from the highest levels of Aikido of all schools. Maybe some of them are true and by true I mean as true as an embellishment can be. Within all myths there can be a shred of something extraordinary. Some of the founding fathers of Aikido are reputed to have done these things. Keeps people in the dojo, even if they don't believe it. But then again....If you read Kancho's book "Aikido Shugyo", he states that any real fight is 70% atemi (I personally believe its higher). He often started many of his first "fights" with atemi. In Yoshinkai we are taught atemi and believe me there have been times when I've had a lip bloodied or forehead punched because I wasn't fast enough with my blocking. I've also hyper extended someone elses elbows and blackened eyes (although I would discourage such behaviour as normal and such occurences are accidental in our dojo). Just the other day a fellow student was wondering if any of this would really work. In Shioda's and O-Sensei's time you just went down to the local tavern and picked a fight. In a modern city like my own Toronto I wouldn't recommend it unless you want to be shot. We sadly no longer live in a world where a fight could be honourable.

Last edited by Joseph Madden : 06-30-2007 at 07:33 PM. Reason: Additions
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Old 06-30-2007, 08:12 PM   #86
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote: View Post
I should clarify - Jennifer and company are free to believe that O'sensei had magic powers. (There's nothing wrong with personally choosing to believe something without evidence; that's faith, and it can be a very good thing indeed. Though also dangerous.)

I only draw the line when they start claiming that their beliefs are substantiated by evidence, without presenting anything that might qualify as evidence.
I suppose a little "hero worship" isn't bad, provided it remains rooted in reality. A very traditional & time-honored literary method of establishing one's credentials is to "expound" upon the qualifications of your teacher. All cultures of whatever generation share this phenonemon (e.g. look how us modern Americans idealize the Founding Fathers). The better your teacher looks...the better you look for having studied under him. Personally, I take with a grain of salt all of the (literally) in-credible stories about O'Sensei. There is no doubt that he was a highly skilled, talented martial artist who inspired greatness in his students. However, I choose to leave it at that....

Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote: View Post
I suppose it depends on the definition of competition -- I'm not sure that Shodokan-style shiai is what aikido necessarily needs -- but some sort of "alive training" is probably a good next step for aikido. My hunch has long been that the old school people did this type of training all the time, but we're just imitating their kata.

But yes. The lack of alive training in aikido does, I think, generate all kinds of wacky neuroses. The sheer groundedness and sanity that a bit of live training provides is astounding.
Exactly! However, in my opinion, it's more a matter of recovering & rediscovering what Aikido is as it was conceived, rather than simply injecting the current MMA training philosophy into it. Competition (friendly or otherwise) is not what is needed.
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Old 06-30-2007, 08:13 PM   #87
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

To be honest with you Joseph, I'm really tired of the topic and don't think I will be writing anything new, so I'll just leave it at that.

Go out and experiment. Train in different styles. Try a striking style. Try to wrestle and grapple. Try to spar with a friend who can be honest with you. Believe in your abilities, but do not mistake the word "believe" for "blind religious faith".

And most of all, don't let anybody simplify anything for you. Martial arts can't be simplified I'm afraid.

"Budo cannot be learned from other people. It has to be exercised by oneself.""

- Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 06-30-2007, 08:37 PM   #88
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Brian Dewey wrote: View Post
Aikido is as it was conceived, rather than simply injecting the current MMA training philosophy into it. Competition (friendly or otherwise) is not what is needed
And yet....
Here we have dozens, if not hundreds, of the classic men in budo- who founded schools, whom thousands follow- all with.....
1.MMA backgrounds
2.Competitions
3.Real fighting backgounds including fatal violence
The very things many modern budoka? Despise.
The ugly truth is most Budo men would not be worth following at all were it -not- for the experiences of MMA training and ugly, violent, enounters.

The age of real Budo has long been over. The means to get there MMA, real fighting, and stressful competion, subject to open dersision from those who earstwhile admire the budo men who did those very things.
Founders of
Katori,Kashima,Takenouchi, Sho sho, Judo, Kito ryu, Sosuishitsu, Araki, Daito, Shindo Muso, Muso shinden, Tenshin shin yo, Yagyu, Judo and....Aikido
All experienced fighters.
All Mixed martial artists.
With many of us"followers" having...little worth following into the next generation. Just more words.
It is very common, very pedestian, to denounce a background. To dismiss ugliness of everything that gave some things, or some people, substance. Then re-write the past.

Then you have Budo men of substance who could do substantial things with skills modern hobbyists have no clue or hope of understanding in any real way. Who now deride the stories and written accounts of many witnesses in order to substantiate the limits of their own understanding.
Ho hum

Last edited by DH : 06-30-2007 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 06-30-2007, 08:58 PM   #89
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Edit time ran out
Perhaps there is more to hope for in Aikido then what you now see or know or have the ability to see in both Ueshiba's Skills and his vision..
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Old 06-30-2007, 09:00 PM   #90
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
On a slightly different topic, an interesting vid of "alive" training if you hadn't seen already:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVbS0xHCerw
Thanks for the link! That's really interesting. I was going to protest that his student isn't getting any throws or submissions in ... but then again, assuming he's not a professional fighter, it's not unreasonable to think he wouldn't be able to pull much with DeLucia.

I noticed he seemed to be using mostly "body throws", like iriminage or various judo-esque methods.
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Old 06-30-2007, 09:17 PM   #91
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

I believe it's just an example against a typical boxer. The uke doesn't go for any shoots or throws himself, instead he gives Jason a chance to do techniques from jabs and crosses. (Which don't go to well)

It's martial arts on a totally different plain.

Quote:
I noticed he seemed to be using mostly "body throws", like iriminage or various judo-esque methods.
Probably because Aikido done on a struggling opponent looks like Judo...
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Old 06-30-2007, 09:36 PM   #92
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
Probably because Aikido done on a struggling opponent looks like Judo...
ACK! NOES!11
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Old 06-30-2007, 09:41 PM   #93
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
Probably because Aikido done on a struggling opponent looks like Judo...
Perhaps a more optimistic answer would be that entering in deeply is the best strike defense. Whereas grips lead to higher-distance throws? Maybe? Maybe? We can hope?

Or possibly, it's evidence for what Chris Hein and others have been arguing -- that the distinctive aikido techniques are most sensible when trying to retain a weapon.

Last edited by Paul Sanderson-Cimino : 06-30-2007 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 07-01-2007, 08:20 AM   #94
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

How can we really know.... Has anyone ever seen Ueshiba Sensei in real live combat? All the things that you hear about from his direct students are all heresay and it seems that they all swear by him so thats all you have!
Demonstrations are exactly that..... no more!
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Old 07-01-2007, 09:17 AM   #95
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
Aw c'mon, why are you giving me the "The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence" lecture? I'm not talking about some faint idea of there being nuclear weapons hidden in Iraq, I'm talking about outrageous folklore stories.

I have no interest in fighting some Aikido instructors. Who I am interested in rolling with are people who make ridicules claims such as the stuff discussed (and joked about) in this thread. I *know* there is no evidence to suggest these stories *didn't happen*, but do we really need to be so principled about it? Doging bullets, throwing people 50 feet through the air with ki, taking out 6 marines at once, or whatever bs that has been mentioned in this thread doesn't really need evidence.

I'm not a very big guy. I'm 5"10, 130lbs. I would be more then happy to experience any of these phenomenons that apparently everyone's great grandpa or teacher has seen. And I would of course be more then humbled to be able to put them to the test. You want me to fight Kato Shihan? Why? Has he ever sprouted any bullshit about his skill level? Obviously not.

Sorry if this all seems harsh or negative, but I believe us Aikidoka have to be our own worst critics. The absence of competition in Aikido is sometimes a double edged sword. It makes Aikido the unique thing it is, but on the other hand it makes people believe some crazy stuff.
This is what I wrote.
Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
A good exercise would be to talk to (and train with) the living students of O'Sensei. If you don't believe them and the experiences they express from their lives with O'Sensei, tell them. If you believe them to be dillusional or liars, let em know. If you would like to try out your 'martial arts' on them, let it rip. Do some good scientific investigating, roll up your sleeves, and take it on. Kato Shihan may be a good place to start, he's pretty available.
Seems like this would clear up opinions and ideas. Give you some relative ground to speak from, as it were.
Let me know how it goes.

Until then, call liars liars. Just be sure you know that they are lying, first.
The rest is simply too disrespectful on too many levels to respond.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 07-01-2007, 03:29 PM   #96
Dewey
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
And yet....
Here we have dozens, if not hundreds, of the classic men in budo- who founded schools, whom thousands follow- all with.....
1.MMA backgrounds
2.Competitions
3.Real fighting backgounds including fatal violence
The very things many modern budoka? Despise.
The ugly truth is most Budo men would not be worth following at all were it -not- for the experiences of MMA training and ugly, violent, enounters.

The age of real Budo has long been over. The means to get there MMA, real fighting, and stressful competion, subject to open dersision from those who earstwhile admire the budo men who did those very things.
Founders of
Katori,Kashima,Takenouchi, Sho sho, Judo, Kito ryu, Sosuishitsu, Araki, Daito, Shindo Muso, Muso shinden, Tenshin shin yo, Yagyu, Judo and....Aikido
All experienced fighters.
All Mixed martial artists.
With many of us"followers" having...little worth following into the next generation. Just more words.
It is very common, very pedestian, to denounce a background. To dismiss ugliness of everything that gave some things, or some people, substance. Then re-write the past.

Then you have Budo men of substance who could do substantial things with skills modern hobbyists have no clue or hope of understanding in any real way. Who now deride the stories and written accounts of many witnesses in order to substantiate the limits of their own understanding.
Ho hum
True enough. I had in mind commercialized MMA like the UFC and such...where showmanship is as important as athletic prowness and fighting skill (sometimes more so...$$$). Many of the greatest martial artists of history could be classified under the broad definition of "MMA practitioner." O'Sensei himself could be considered as such, with his broad background in various styles of jujutsu, as well as sword and staff arts.
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Old 07-01-2007, 05:28 PM   #97
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
The rest is simply too disrespectful on too many levels to respond.
What exactly did I say so that was so disrespectful?
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Old 07-01-2007, 08:26 PM   #98
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
James Wilson wrote: View Post
Controversial but...
Who would be willing to say that Ueshiba`s Aikido was not the best theyd seen?
Quite an interesting thread.

Since Ueshiba M. founded the particular Budo known as Aikido I guess he gets to set the gold standard for his own art, in which case he might probably be the best to be seen within "Aikido".

If we broadened things a bit and asked if Ueshiba's "Aiki" was the best to be seen then he'd be placed in a larger group with people like Takeda S., Sagawa Y. and other Daito Ryu adepts at least. I'm not sure how well he'd fare in this sort of company imho.

Of course, in order to debate the original question a common or working definition of "best" and "Aikido" would at least be required.

Just some thoughts.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 07-01-2007, 08:45 PM   #99
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
And yet....

The ugly truth is most Budo men would not be worth following at all were it -not- for the experiences of MMA training and ugly, violent, enounters.

The age of real Budo has long been over. The means to get there MMA, real fighting, and stressful competion, subject to open dersision from those who earstwhile admire the budo men who did those very things.
It is very common, very pedestian, to denounce a background. To dismiss ugliness of everything that gave some things, or some people, substance. Then re-write the past.
Then you have Budo men of substance who could do substantial things with skills modern hobbyists have no clue or hope of understanding in any real way. Who now deride the stories and written accounts of many witnesses in order to substantiate the limits of their own understanding.
Ho hum
Dan, I thought this post was insightful and then, with the last paragraph you ruined it!
The founders of any art all had to test it time and time again in real combat. This "skill" is often derided today by many aikidoka. Instead of seeing cross training, testing technique, competing and fighting as useful, they see it as contrary to the beliefs of Aikido but then hypocritically talk about how "unbeatable" their Sensei is and talk with glee about how Shioda or Ueshiba beat 10/15/30 guys in a bar fight etc.
Theres no doubt these men were fighting men and Im sure they all had rum backgrounds. When I hear stories of their fighting prowess Im sure - as with any handed down stories there is plenty of embellishment. This I dont mind, theres nothing wrong with a bit of tall tale telling, when its based on fact. When I hear stories about Ueshiba dodging bullets, thats when its gone a bit far. The fact that there are people who actually believe these stories suggests that these people probably have entirely the wrong goals for their training.
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:10 PM   #100
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Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
JenniferSmith wrote:
Thanks for the funny joke, Xu. It kept the thread light
So sad... only one poster see has the light-heartedness to see the humour. My career as a comedian will be short-lived indeed.

Quote:
James Wilson wrote: View Post
Whats the point of this post? If youre trying to be sarcastic and insinuate that my choice of topic is inappropriate then firstly Id ask what is an appropriate choice of topic for posting on the aikido forum if not asking whether the founder of aikido`s aikido was the best aikido youve ever seen? And secondly Id ask you to be funnier next time.
If youre not trying to be sarcastic then you have issues.
Either way, please try to contribute to the post next time.
PS Neither I or my Sensei wear hakama, Im shodokan....
James, there are no good or bad post. Only those that can be made fun of or not. IMO, your topic falls under the former catergory.

M. Ueshiba once said, when training in aikido, trained with a happy heart. So lighten up my Shodokan friend, it'll do your aikido and cardio-vascular health some good.

In case you are implying that I don't contribute good posts, with 800++ post to my name, I am sure not all are rubbish; I hope anyway.

Boon.

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