Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-28-2007, 08:34 AM   #1
Aiki Liu
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 40
United Kingdom
Offline
Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Controversial but...
Who would be willing to say that Ueshiba`s Aikido was not the best theyd seen?
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 08:57 AM   #2
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
Dojo: Yoshokai; looking into judo
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 424
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

I don't think that anyone here has any way of knowing directly.

We can look at historical accounts of people being impressed by his aikido, and even taking significant concrete actions (e.g. joining his dojo, supporting him financially, giving him awards, bringing him in as an instructor) as a result. But this is not conclusive proof, because any number of factors (political, personal, etc.) could have motivated those decisions.

There are a smaller number of accounts of him taking and defeating challengers who had proven themselves in other arenas; I don't know them off the top of my head, though, and I'm pretty sure no one has them on tape (leaving us at the mercy of the recollections of, say, some person who now teaches a major style of aikido -- an eminently admirable and respectable individual, but it's hard to show they're free from bias.)

Last edited by Paul Sanderson-Cimino : 06-28-2007 at 09:01 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 09:02 AM   #3
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
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?
By 'Ueshiba' do you mean O'Sensei, Former Doshu, or present?
Domo

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 09:15 AM   #4
ramenboy
Dojo: midwest aikido center
Location: chicago
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 326
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

didn't they say the same thing about jigoro kano? that his wasn't the best judo either...
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 09:16 AM   #5
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
Dojo: Yoshokai; looking into judo
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 424
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
By 'Ueshiba' do you mean O'Sensei, Former Doshu, or present?
Domo
I'm guessing he means Morihei Ueshiba, given his iconic status and legends of awesomeness.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 09:28 AM   #6
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 711
Canada
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

How would we know one way or the other? Why does it matter so much, anyway?
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 09:38 AM   #7
Roman Kremianski
Dojo: Toronto Aikikai
Location: Toronto, Canada
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 404
Canada
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

I personally believe some of O-Sensei's students have outstripped him.
Just my opinion.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 09:42 AM   #8
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,311
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

It is the dream of every teacher to make students better then they are. The same is true of parenthood. If O'Sensei was the greatest, and none have reached his level or greater, then it is safe to say he was a poor teacher.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 09:43 AM   #9
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
Dojo: Yoshokai; looking into judo
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 424
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
How would we know one way or the other? Why does it matter so much, anyway?
I can think of two reasons why people care so much -- one perhaps sensible, the other silly.

1) We're studying a system created by Ueshiba-sensei. If he was lousy, the system is probably also lousy; if he knew what was up, there's a chance our system has some good methods in it.

2) Some people, when their own ability is questioned, mumble something about how they're "still a beginner" and promptly say, "But O-sensei was unbeatable." I consider this to be essentially a blame-shift.


Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
It is the dream of every teacher to make students better then they are. The same is true of parenthood. If O'Sensei was the greatest, and none have reached his level or greater, then it is safe to say he was a poor teacher.
Hear, hear.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 09:44 AM   #10
Roman Kremianski
Dojo: Toronto Aikikai
Location: Toronto, Canada
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 404
Canada
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
If O'Sensei was the greatest, and none have reached his level or greater, then it is safe to say he was a poor teacher.
Well said!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 09:45 AM   #11
Aiki Liu
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 40
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
How would we know one way or the other? Why does it matter so much, anyway?
errrr...... cos you may have seen Ueshibas aikido and someone elses to compare it to? this being an aikido forum and all??
It matters cos this is an aikido forum to discuss aikido issues and im interested in peoples opinions....
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 10:09 AM   #12
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 711
Canada
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
errrr...... cos you may have seen Ueshibas aikido and someone elses to compare it to?
I say 'how would we know' because all we seem to have to go on is a very few very short grainy videos that were done as demonstrations, and half of those are when he's pretty elderly. Mostly we have to rely on hearsay.

Last edited by Basia Halliop : 06-28-2007 at 10:16 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 10:15 AM   #13
Joseph Madden
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 160
Canada
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Is O-Sensei's aikido the best? It all depends on your perspective. Too many aikidoka join a cult of personality wherein one persons aikido is infinitely better the the next. I've seen aikidoka whose flow was something I admired and even aspired to. Then I've seen others whose external power was something to behold. What of internal power. Can it be truly measured? We all owe O-Sensei a level of gratitude that cannot be measured. The same holds true for Takeda. Without daito-ryu, there would be no aikido. Getting hung up on who is the best and who is the worst keeps us from seeking enlightenment in all corners. We can learn from them all.What we choose to do with those lessons can make our aikido better or worse.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 10:20 AM   #14
Aiki Liu
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 40
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
I say 'how would we know' because I've never seen a video of him under the age of about seventy, and even those are short and grainy. Perhaps there are earlier videos out there somewhere? But movies were pretty rare before that, and I would have thought people would be showing them off if there was earlier footage. Mostly we can only rely on hearsay.
hmmmm, fair do`s. I suppose the reason I ask is because many people seem to be intimating that if you dont do "Ueshiba" aikido then youre not doing aikido. I have heard many tales of his prowess but the video footage was less than impressive. Of course all that was, as you say, taken when he was into his 70s. I just wonder if someone did a very different style of aikido to Ueshibas, would anyone be brave enough to say, that is the best aikido theyve seen, including the founders?
Due to the general evolution of aikido as a fighting system, Id feel safe to say that, in this day and age, several people around have better "aikido" than the founders.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 10:27 AM   #15
Aiki Liu
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 40
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Joseph Madden wrote: View Post
Is O-Sensei's aikido the best? It all depends on your perspective. Too many aikidoka join a cult of personality wherein one persons aikido is infinitely better the the next. I've seen aikidoka whose flow was something I admired and even aspired to. Then I've seen others whose external power was something to behold. What of internal power. Can it be truly measured? We all owe O-Sensei a level of gratitude that cannot be measured. The same holds true for Takeda. Without daito-ryu, there would be no aikido. Getting hung up on who is the best and who is the worst keeps us from seeking enlightenment in all corners. We can learn from them all.What we choose to do with those lessons can make our aikido better or worse.
please explain what you mean by "flow" and "internal power" in this context.
cheers
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 10:31 AM   #16
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 711
Canada
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

OK, I forgot, there is some footage of him in the 1930s, when he's in his fifties. But it still seems like very little to go on, at least for me.

I say 'why' because I don't understand why some people seem to go almost to the point of religion about O'Sensei. Isn't it enough that he invented and popularized something we very much respect and enjoy without having to believe that he's some kind of demi-god that no mortal human could ever surpass? (That's what I thought you were referring to when you said it was a controversial question.)

To me that isn't even particularly respectful, in a weird kind of way. I respect ordinary humans who have to work hard for what they get and are less than perfect.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 10:35 AM   #17
Aiki Liu
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 40
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
OK, I forgot, there is some footage of him in the 1930s, when he's in his fifties. But it still seems like very little to go on, at least for me.

I say 'why' because I don't understand why some people seem to go almost to the point of religion about O'Sensei. Isn't it enough that he invented and popularized something we very much respect and enjoy without having to believe that he's some kind of demi-god that no mortal human could ever surpass? (That's what I thought you were referring to when you said it was a controversial question.)

To me that isn't even particularly respectful, in a weird kind of way. I respect ordinary humans who have to work hard for what they get and are less than perfect.
Right question, wrong guy! Im asking this question precisely because I find the religious hero worship of Ueshiba odd to say the least, a serious hindrance to Aikido to tell the truth.....to many people focus on Aikido that was useful 5o years ago, in my opinion
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 10:40 AM   #18
Roman Kremianski
Dojo: Toronto Aikikai
Location: Toronto, Canada
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 404
Canada
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Basia, the earliest video I've seen of O-Sensei was in his 50's also...I can't seem to find it now though, do you know where it is on YouTube?

To be honest, even when he was in his 50's his Aikido wasn't anything radically different. He might have been faster, but he still had the same cooperative ukes, same attacks. It's not like his students hit him harder because he wasn't as old. His challenge matches were also conveniently not taped, so no one will ever know the whole picture.

Last edited by Roman Kremianski : 06-28-2007 at 10:43 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 11:01 AM   #19
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
Dojo: Yoshokai; looking into judo
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 424
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
Basia, the earliest video I've seen of O-Sensei was in his 50's also...I can't seem to find it now though, do you know where it is on YouTube?
http://aikido.magnify.net/item/S5SHCS8VN29SMYJP

Anyway, I continue to believe that a respectful "I don't know" is the best answer to this question.

As for the implicit question of, "OMG DOES AIKIDO WORK?", people should go see if THEIR aikido works, rather than wondering about whether or not they can invent stories about their martial ancestors that might support them thinking they themselves are good.

If someone talks to me about how hardcore Kimura was, and shows me videos of him winning matches, and then they say they do judo too...I'll think, "Okay, this person might be good." If that person then spars with me and throws me a lot, then I'll know they're pretty good. And if someone asks me if judo is good, I can say, "Well, I've met one person who said they did judo, and they were pretty good."
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 11:06 AM   #20
Aiki Liu
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 40
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote: View Post
http://aikido.magnify.net/item/S5SHCS8VN29SMYJP

Anyway, I continue to believe that a respectful "I don't know" is the best answer to this question.

As for the implicit question of, "OMG DOES AIKIDO WORK?", people should go see if THEIR aikido works, rather than wondering about whether or not they can invent stories about their martial ancestors that might support them thinking they themselves are good.

If someone talks to me about how hardcore Kimura was, and shows me videos of him winning matches, and then they say they do judo too...I'll think, "Okay, this person might be good." If that person then spars with me and throws me a lot, then I'll know they're pretty good. And if someone asks me if judo is good, I can say, "Well, I've met one person who said they did judo, and they were pretty good."
Who asked, implicitly or explicitly , OMG DOES AIKIDO WORK>? I certainly didnt...
And what does this last paragraph have to do with my question?
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 11:08 AM   #21
justin
Location: swansea wales
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 249
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
It is the dream of every teacher to make students better then they are. The same is true of parenthood. If O'Sensei was the greatest, and none have reached his level or greater, then it is safe to say he was a poor teacher.
i like that answer a lot very well put
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 11:13 AM   #22
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
Dojo: Yoshokai; looking into judo
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 424
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
James Wilson wrote: View Post
Who asked, implicitly or explicitly , OMG DOES AIKIDO WORK>? I certainly didnt...
And what does this last paragraph have to do with my question?
Sorry, I may have been mixing threads with the "Ueshiba on YouTube" one. My mind, it is not well-organized.

Although it is somewhat relevant -- for a lot of people, when they think about aikido's effectiveness in the small dark hours of the night, one of the first things that comes to mind is, "Well, O'Sensei was REALLY good, wasn't he?" The search for a hero figure.

The last paragraph was a critique of this method of thinking as needlessly indirect. If judoka everywhere discovered that somehow Kano, Mifune, Kimura, and the like were all frauds and couldn't fight worth a darn (this would require a truly bizarre revolution in what we know about them), they'd probably scratch their heads and think, "Gee, that's funny, because my judo seems to work pretty well."

I don't get the impression that was the question you asked; but it is I think a significant factor to consider when discussing O'sensei with other aikidoka. You're asking our opinion of someone whom most of us have, at one time or another at least, viewed as exemplifying the level of skill we aspire to.

Last edited by Paul Sanderson-Cimino : 06-28-2007 at 11:20 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 11:46 AM   #23
JAMJTX
Dojo: Aikibudo Seishinkan
Location: FORT WAYNE, IN
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 106
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Like (probably) most Aikido students today, I never trained with or even met O-Sensei. I only know stories that were passed down and saw some old film clips of him. This is not enough to compare him to others who I have seen.

Even poor Aikido can look good and good Aikido can look fake (especially on video). I've seen some people who look good, but then felt thier technique and it was kind of weak. I've also seen some techniques that looked like they wouldn't work and was surprised when I hit the mat.

In regards to Aikido, I wouldn't want to say that someone was "the best I ever saw". I do know who the best are whose technique I ever felt. But there are also a number of equal reputation that I never have and likely never will get to feel.

I do think that if Ueshiba were not great, not only in technique, but as a teacher, Aikido would have failed and if it still existed would only be a minor school. He never would have been able to produce students like Tohei, Shioda, etc.

Jim Mc Coy
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 11:56 AM   #24
Dewey
Location: St. Louis, MO
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 179
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
I personally believe some of O-Sensei's students have outstripped him.
Just my opinion.
Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
It is the dream of every teacher to make students better then they are. The same is true of parenthood. If O'Sensei was the greatest, and none have reached his level or greater, then it is safe to say he was a poor teacher.
Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote: View Post
As for the implicit question of, "OMG DOES AIKIDO WORK?", people should go see if THEIR aikido works, rather than wondering about whether or not they can invent stories about their martial ancestors that might support them thinking they themselves are good.
From what little I understand and have internalized from my study of Aikido, it is that unless I make Aikido "mine"....it's then just some bizarre retro dance style that I'm learning with little practical application or meaning...no matter how much I choose to philosophize or spiritualize about it, or engage in hagiographical obsessions about O'Sensei.

If my Aikido sucks, it's usually because it's my fault (provided I have a qualified & experienced instructor). As such, my understanding of Aikido's modus operandi is to constantly & relentlessly strive for self-improvement...self-mastery. Mastery of: form, technique, application, awareness, patience, etc.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 12:08 PM   #25
charyuop
Dojo: Ponca Aikikai
Location: Ponca City, Oklahoma
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 130
United_States
Offline
Re: Ueshibas Aikido not the Best

Theorically the 10th Dan is not given because it belongs only to O Sensei. Tho, not formally, a couple of Uchi Deshi of O Sensei were given the 10th Dan, even tho on the records they remained 8th or 9th.
One of those was Shioda gozo Sensei, which in my opinion is one of the few that developed his Aikido to O Sensei's level. Now saying which one is better is something hard to do.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Women and Everybody Else in Aikido George S. Ledyard Teaching 113 03-16-2008 07:27 PM
Aikido: Its Spirit and Technique TAnderson General 0 02-27-2007 07:50 AM
Dilution of aikido eugene_lo General 40 02-07-2006 11:22 AM
Omoto-kyo Theology senshincenter Spiritual 77 12-04-2005 09:50 PM
Propostarganização do Aikido em Portugal kimusubi0 French 0 05-01-2004 02:30 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:32 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate