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Old 01-26-2008, 07:43 PM   #26
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I've mentioned several times before that the general framework of chinkon kishin ... my observation is that (a.) you can do the same things in different ways that are just as effective and (b.) those exercises actually only represent a small part of a complete solo regimen.
Agreed, which was the point to begin some small catalog of actual varieties of practice in this area.
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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Take your own case, for instance. Twice .. implied that your learning and teaching methodology was part of a full transmission ... your implication is .. that your knowledge is beyond Ikeda Sensei's.
Your strained inference, not my implication. I make clear I view it as a process and a progressive spectrum. You and I disagree in our interpretation of Ikeda's actual statements as to what he is intending in his cooperative enterprise with Ushiro. Unless Ikeda Shihan chooses to offer to elaborate, that's what we are left with.

Ushiro has been rather clear about his sense of what may be mainly lacking -- some aikidokoa just don't learn how to how to strike properly, and if so, I agree a huge heap of necessary skill is lacking there, because whether you choose to actually use striking power in a damaging way or not the principles giving power to strikes are inherent in the concept of aiki, and without which it is not aiki .

Since you brought him up, and I have quoted Ushiro before, his perspective does not seem that far removed from the way I have been taught. Since Saotome, Ikeda and he are seemingly so sympatico in their views and approaches, this is hardly surprising:
Quote:
Kenji Ushiro wrote:
How you respond to a serious attack depends on what your body remembers, which depends on what level of training you've reached, or in other words the degree of usability you've achieved.

If, for example, your body is equipped to "catch" all of the information about the opponent at the moment of contact and use this to formulate a correct response on the fly, then I think you can say you have "usability." At that point you can start using bunkai kumite (step-by-step sparring) based on kata as a system for getting feedback about the usability you've achieved.
Degrees, progressions, feedback. The latter using of "step-by-step sparring" sounds an awful lot like paired Aikido practice regimen to me. I've no doubt missed far more than my teachers intended for me to get, but what I "got" from my experience from them of Saotome's teaching is at least some sense of his purpose, and a glimmer of his methods in the kokyu undo and the waza as generic and specific complements of one another, in a self-generated learning process, once the rudiments are perceived, and practiced with honest observaiton and intent. I have cause to believe he is consciously trying to continue what he perceived O Sensei to be doing, as other uchi deshi have done with their own perspectives, talents and limitations.
Quote:
Kenji Ushiro wrote:
I feel that Saotome sensei is recreating Ueshiba sensei's aikido - aikido that is not about simply defeating opponents.
My attempt at following that purpose lies in trying to get people to elaborate a bit on the variations or evolutions of chinkon kishin and related kokyu undo. That process is also tangentially spoken to by Ushiro:
Quote:
Kenji Ushiro wrote:
... "shu-ha-ri" is about realizing that what you have become is thanks to your teacher and the fundamentals that he originally taught you. The closer you come to ri, the more you realize the importance of shu, and the more you realize how important your teacher is. That, I think, is how "tradition" can be maintained from one generation to the next. ... It's fine for people to have various different ways of thinking. But it's also important to be able to come together as one instantly if the need or opportunity arises. If you're talking about aikido, then Ueshiba Sensei is the point of origin, and I think it would be very good if people were able to gather around that point, that sense of common origin, with a feeling of unity.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:59 PM   #27
Mike Sigman
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
....but the main question about Kisshomaru and his associates at the postwar Hombu is how much of the baby was thrown out with the bath water.
I just looked again at John Stevens' tranlation of Aikido Shintei (1986: Kisshomaru Ueshiba). The English version is called "The Art of Aikido". I noticed when I bought this book (relatively recently) that there was a surprising amount of discussion about Ki. The interesting thing was that (in my opinion) Stevens' translations of the passages seem to fairly clearly miss the point. He translates Ki as he understands it, and quite clearly he thinks of Ki as a generality that is not truly defined in a substantive way. What was fascinating to me was to see the words of Kisshomaru being absolutely correct, yet they were skewed into obscurities by Stevens.

So the question is indeed valid whether Kisshomaru threw the baby out with the bathwater.... but the first question in my mind is how much are we missing because our own translations and views are obscuring things?

I can picture a situation that goes like this: The Japanese (and often the Chinese view) view of Ki and its actions is very vague. It's not laid out in discussions of force vectors, breathing exercises, and so on. So if there is a rather vague and traditional view of what Ki is, the descriptions of it are also going to be vague, etc. First a translator has to know that there is a fish hidden in the water (through his own knowledge) in order to piece together the fish's physical reality and dimensions. A translator who doesn't know this fish exists as a real fish is going to run up against the ill-defined descriptions and report the fish as a concept rather than an actual fish.

So at the moment, as much as I'd like to grab the handy explanation that Kisshomaru may have neglected some important aspect of Aikido, I'm stymied by the evidence of how much he speaks about Ki and how near-accurate the translations are. Granted, Kisshomaru may only know to parrot the old words and phrases, but he does it well enough (and devotes so much space to the topic) that I have to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the problem is simply (I'm just making mouth noises, now) that since Kisshomaru is not as skilled as his father was, it only appears that his knowledge of ki/kokyu things is not so overpowering.

Another possibility is that U. Morihei and U. Kisshomaru disapprove of being so open with the ancient secrets and rituals that are the core of the art. They don't object publicly to that upstart Tohei ( ) showing a few things, but they're not going to give away the lifeblood of the art... the next generation of the family might be negatively affected.

Incidentally, there was another book by Kisshomaru back in the 1970's (I recently gave it to someone, so I can't give the annotations). It didn't mean much to me back in the 70's, but when I looked at it again in the 90's, I could see clearly that Kisshomaru was including the Ki discussion in what he had to say. But the translation obscured it and my earlier lack of knowledge had obscured it.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Now, there was an earlier book that I had back in the 1970's by Kisshomaru and when I
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:36 PM   #28
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I think this is a very good and fruitful discussion, and one that I was not expecting when I wrote this particular column.

Another general peg on which the series hangs is the thesis that Kisshomaru Ueshiba believed that it was his filial duty to disseminate a distinct art, called aikido.

However, whether Morihei Ueshiba saw things in quite the same terms is moot and a similar question could be asked of Sokaku Takeda, concerning his relationship with Ueshiba. Clearly, Morihei Ueshiba trained in Daito-ryu and the interesting issue at the level of waza is the degree to which these were changed by both Morihei himself and Kisshomaru.

Lurking behind the waza is the much more shadowy world of personal training and especially 'internal' training. It is clear that Takeda did this, as did his deshi including Ueshiba, but it is less clear to what extent we can talk of transmission and inheritance here. Morihei Ueshiba had been doing this training well before he met Sokaku Takeda at Engaru, but we do not really know how he conceptualized this at the time, even to himself. We know more about the period after he met Deguchi and Kisshomaru somewhere states that his waza became more powerful as a result of meeting Deguchi. After he met Deguchi, Ueshiba began to read works like Reikai Monogatari and thus found a vehicle to express (to himself as much as to others) what he was doing.

Best wishes to all,
Hi Peter
I am erroneously categorized as a Daito ryu trumpeter when nothing could be farther from the truth. I could care less who is right-rather WHAT is right. In fact I applaud Ueshiba's vision and if I may be so bold, I think I have an understanding of both how and why he changed what he was doing.
I continually bring up DR as I see flaws in logic, and the occasional investigatory *stretch* to fit some theory, and the dismissal of a rather obvious answer.
I think it is a critical error, both historically and in logistics to dismiss both Takeda and Ueshiba’s only known peers; Sagawa, Kodo and Hisa. How ironic that in that place and time there was no one, simply no one, who stood as giants in Budo next to these men. And equally curious, they shared one, single, common entity. The internal methods of Daito ryu.

How perfectly odd to then see Ueshiba separated out *from his peers* as a stand alone or superior figure, when no one who knew them all, considered him to be superior. No one, not a single one. Not even his own students. They just LIKED him better.

So how do we move forward with any credibility here?

Internal skills
Were we to be discussing internal skills and solo tanren and when Ueshiba “improved?” Why would anyone consider with any seriousness- Kissomarus responses to this topic? That you're choosing to look to Kissomaru’s statements about what happened with Deguchi is interesting- I suspect many a reader might seriously question his opinions having much weight or neutrality. Case in point: isn’t this the same fellow who at every, single, turn either reduced, obscured, and/or diminished Takeda’s involvement? Even right up to the current web page with erroneous dates and blatantly false statements of fact about his fathers training. One might be wise to question a mans use as a source of information or impartial conjecture when he repeatedly has trouble getting well proved, documented facts, right. Isn’t this also the same fellow who denied his fathers training history up until the moment he was faced with Takeda’s eimoroku and letters?

A flip side
Here is another take from the Deguchi period and Ueshiba’s increase on power.
1. Takeda showed up stayed with Deguchi and Ueshiba for almost 6 months or so and trained daily. Ueshiba was ready to learn “aiki.”
2. It was after this period that Ueshiba was allowed to teach.
3. Deguchi was so impressed by what he saw -and presumably felt- that that he urged Takeda to change the name of his art to AIKI jujutsu.
4. What is the source of aiki?
What is it Peter?
Internal training.
Does it come to anyone’s surprise that Kissomaru -true to form- finds anyone else as a source? It must be Deguchi right?
1. Deguchi’s influence and internal skills gave Ueshiba power.
Ok
As a plausible and credible argument-I have Takeda, who made Ueshiba, Sagawa, Kodo, and Hisa.

Deguchi made who? ___________________________
He had nothing, and gave nothing, to anyone by way of power.

How do we move the conversation forward?

One cannot escape that in reading articles such as these- that the end is never definitive. They are mostly fashioned from interviews that reveal very little information. By their nature they all too often lead to conjecture, speculation and assertions-and we are left with a mystery. I am fine with that. I think we are all fine with that. But at certain points one should consider following credible, or at least neutral, source materials and consider a mans stunningly obvious, contemporaries in the only art he ever studied in depth to at least…at the very least, consider if there were others doing similar, equal or superior work.

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-26-2008 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:27 PM   #29
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I think it is a critical error, both historically and in logistics to dismiss both Takeda and Ueshiba's only known peers; Sagawa, Kodo and Hisa. ...
Like O Sensei's uchi deshi, and even O Sensei himself, these also were bound by their perspectives, talents and limitations. The last one is only the easiest to overcome. Few want to overcome what they have gotten good at. Even fewer will overcome their point of view. The spiritual aspects of O Sensei's training were his ways of finding the will to do the second, and a way to do the first.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
One cannot escape that in reading articles such as these -- that the end is never definitive.... By their nature they all too often lead to conjecture, speculation and assertions-and we are left with a mystery. I am fine with that. I think we are all fine with that
That's not enough. Mysteries are specifically for wrestling with -- not boxing up for easy storage.

I've read Sagawa's "Clear Power". In his years of training, Terry Dobson recounted asking O Sensei only one question: the meaning of circle-triangle-square. O Sensei's deliberate and considered answer was, "Find out for yourself." :
Quote:
Sagawa wrote:
You become stronger through your own training and innovation. If you lose and die in a fight, then it can't be helped. You must take responsibility for your own actions. Do not rely on others. ... Indeed, most important is that you keep on thinking. If you don't you cease to have any <good> thoughts. If you continue to think, then a new thought will pop into your head! And then you must write this thought down immediately so that you may try it out, otherwise you will forget it later. Writing this down is key.
You (the Author) are always thinking about math, so you should be able to do even better work <as you go one>. The secret is in always thinking about it. The reason no one progresses or gets any better, stronger is because no one thinks. They forget about what they do in between practices. It has to become a part of your life.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 01-26-2008 at 10:30 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:16 PM   #30
DH
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

Eric
I think I find these quotes from Sagawa more relevant to your comments-about finding out for yourself-and on how Dairo ryu's internal methods may have been the overwhelming majority of Ueshiba's methods.

Quote:
You can't get good at something simply by repetition….Many people would say back in the day that all you had to do is practice, and more practice! But after I became able to think for myself I found that this wasn't so. The reason practitioners from some styles are weak and no good is because they do not train (Tanren) their bodies. The true execution of Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training to condition the body (Tanren). Only amateurs think that techniques are enough and that training the body is unnecessary. They understand nothing…
It is not easy to attain. I didn’t teach this myself until a little while ago. I waited for my students to discover this for themselves. Sagawa Yukioshi
I can't find it right now, but of equal worth is Sagawa stating that Takeda told-him- never to reveal it. Maybe in the end, Sagawa, on his way out the door, flipped the bird to the whole "keep it secret idea" and was the most honest of all. Even if it were only to further point the finger at himself and make yet another mark, it at least revealed the core training and the hold back method. FWIW I had someone tell me of another DR Shihan who has an extensive regimen of internal training from.....er, one the guys who trained with Takeda.
I suppose it's just so American to say "We've been had." But...I've watched it happen to students with my own eyes.

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-26-2008 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:51 AM   #31
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Quote:
Sagawa wrote:
You can't get good at something simply by repetition….Many people would say back in the day that all you had to do is practice, and more practice! But after I became able to think for myself I found that this wasn't so.
I think I find these quotes from Sagawa more relevant to your comments-about finding out for yourself-and on how Dairo ryu's internal methods ...
But you see, Sagawa is actually quite clear -- there is no Method to be imparted. There is only a process for discovering the actual methods on your own. That is what is imparted. And the process can only be guided tangentially by a teacher.

Nor is the waza aspect merely repetition of ritual forms, nor would doing them that way be very useful. Waza have a definite place in training -- based on Sagawa's own comments, as I will explain in my own view of the matter.
Quote:
Sagawa, from Clear Power wrote:
See! This is why you are no good. You don't do something simply because so and so said so. If you simply go through life by simply thinking you can copy people you'll never get anywhere. The only person that can do this is you. You must create your own understanding for yourself.
Take Aiki for example. There is no way to really teach this. Even if I could point at something that is Aiki I can't put it into words. You simply think you can learn everything from me, so you don't develop the habit to think for yourself. ... In the end its about accumulating your thoughts and having them act as the foundation for other thoughts. ...<If you decide because> others tell you so, or influence you, then it's no good. You must hold your own counsel. Decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong. ...
This next passage goes to "feel" and "hints" as in Mike Sigman's comment about the vagueness of Japanese and Chinese usage when it comes to ki and kokyu. They seem "vague" when approached from analytic perspective, because these concepts were developed as synthetic forms of knowledge.
Quote:
Sagawa, from Clear Power wrote:
... You must take what you learn, and then innovate it based on your own ideas. ... No matter how much you learn something, if it is simply taught to you, you will forget it. However you will never forget something you acquire for yourself. It becomes you. In other words, teaching is simply a matter of giving the right hints. You must acquire that thing for yourself. Especially in the case of Aiki, it is an internal feeling which must be grasped.
It's not simply a matter of questioning everything either. You mustn't simply think that it's enough to be taught. Everyone's body type is different, so there is no guarantee that things will work out exactly the same way.
... I don't teach everything, and I can't teach everything. What I can teach is the foundation of how the skeletal system works. How your muscles and organs work upon that frame is for you to ponder and discover on your own.
But those who are analytic in their received manner of thought, will have a very hard time on a solely synthetic basis "developing the habit of thinking for themselves ... accumulating thoughts and having them act as the foundation for other thoughts." Nearly all European cultures are analytic. This is an obvious problem.

So there are two options in working with the concepts intellectually, as Sagawa suggests we also need to do. We could steep the learner in the synthetic tradition, but this is a culturally difficult thing to reliably do. Or we could find a way to unbundle the synthetic understanding into more analytically available terms. Then an appropriate analytic process can be used to digest new information and to build up those kinds of thoughts from that foundation. That way a person of an analytic culture will be able to develop their own ideas -- in their own manner, as Sagawa says it is critical to do -- and as my reading of what O Sensei and following him, Saotome, intended to occur.

The unbundling into more purely mechnical terms has been my project as an intellectual challenge, (explicilty NOT in the training hall) only because not many others seem interested in trying. I have made some progress. The criticisms of many have contributed to that task, since criticism and defense of terms and conclusions is very much part of the analytic way of thought.

The process for others need not be overly technical in terms of physics, although physical mechanics is a rigorous approach. There is value in doing that, but it can only be done outside the dojo, and only the result of what it provides returns into the training, not that process in itself.

An equally valid analytic approach is case-reasoning, whereby a basic principle is grasped, and that principle is then extended to another similar but modified contexts to be partially confirmed or negated, and then another following from that, etc.. These can be thought-experiments or what-ifs later tested in the training hall. This is the process of the common law, and it is a process exceedingly concrete in its thinking, vastly preferring to work from real circumstances rather than constructed hypotheticals.

This is basically, in physical terms, how I teach: Starting with a known engagement and application, then extending that principle in operation into fresh territory to explore in a "step-by step" engagement to see how it changes or evolves according to the flow of action in the manner illustrated in the kokyu undo. The waza form an armature from which to articulate those explorations, physically, with a common basis for reference. The kokyu undo provide the "feel" of the action as it should be in operation in all phases of those explorations to confirm or negate, in whole or in part, in the case being examined.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:54 AM   #32
Mike Sigman
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Lurking behind the waza is the much more shadowy world of personal training and especially 'internal' training. It is clear that Takeda did this, as did his deshi including Ueshiba, but it is less clear to what extent we can talk of transmission and inheritance here.
I think this is an important point and it relates to the problem of transimission of so-called "internal" training.

In the first section of the multi-part interview with Koichi Tohei posted on Aikido Journal, Tohei tells an anecdote about how he demonstrated being "unliftable" while Ueshiba was standing there encouraging the Uke's to do it because Tohei had been out drinking all night and of course no kami's would enter a drunk to give him the powers. In other words, Ueshiba's views of "internal" power still had to do with the Shinto version of possession by kami's, not with the simple mechanical explanations of "sink your center" that Tohei was using.

In looking at the transmission of the internal skills in Aikido, this Tantric Buddhist-derived view of internal powers being a religious aspect in the perspective of Ueshiba presents a real problem. Whatever Ueshiba learned functionally from Takeda (or extrapolated), he seems to have fulfilled a lot of his knowledge through Deguchi and wound up with the Tantric/Shinto concept of possession as an explanation of powers. Later in years, in terms of transmitting the internal skills to uchideshi, the possession idea presents a real problem, in comparison to simply transmitting techniques. So perhaps the erratic record of transmission has a lot to do with Ueshiba's perception of what internal skills actually were.

The idea of "possession" is not really far-fetched if someone understands the full range of the "ki" skills and their relationship to the subconscious mind. As a quick example, goose-bumps, shivers, etc., are part of ki. But so are the autonomous movements of "automatic writing" and using a pendulum for prediction, etc. It's easiest to get a feel for the "possession" aspect of the old Ki beliefs if you focus on the example of automatic-writing (which many people can do quite easily). The same micro-muscular/fascia relationship in automatic-writing is also a relationship that participates in the conveyance of jin/kokyu. In other words, viewing ki skills as something to do with possession is not that far-fetched, when you think about it. The fact that there are bona fide strength, etc., skills involved in this Ki of possession makes it tricky to treat as a purely mechanical matter in the martial arts that have religious relationships, as the extensive Buddhist roots in martial arts tend to illustrate.

So to stay on point.... what was Ueshiba to do? He obviously must have learned *some* internal skills from Takeda, but clearly he learned more through Deguchi. Deguchi was to Ueshiba as Tempu Nakamura was to Tohei, apparently. Maybe my chafing over Tohei's lack of clarity in his Ki transmission is slightly overdone... maybe his transmission of ki skills is also, to a degree, stymied by the vague, quasi-religious way that he learned it.

YMMV

Mike Sigman

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 01-27-2008 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:19 AM   #33
DH
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

Ueshiba was undoubtedly taught in a physical manner and one would imagine (after Takeda's stay with him and Deguchi, and Deguchi being so impressed) that he would be astute enough to recognize when Deguchi and everyone else noticed the power increase in him, just where his best training should be. That it continued to grow and lead to an individualized use in him- as it did with the equally unusual and individualized pursuits of Kodo, Takeda, Sagawa, and Hisa does nothing but further add weight to my assertion. None of them looked alike either. Nor did their arts.
You don't have -A- single Daito ryu anymore either. Why? What happened? Why are THEY so different as well? Because they and Aikido are inexorably intertwined. They are all-a common source. The Aiki of Daito ryu
You have five men who learned internal training from one man,Takeda. Training which empowered men to do anything with it. Ironically many of these men stated they themselves moved on in their personal search for Aiki- from Takeda.
Gee sound familiar to anyone?
Who else said the exact same thing?
Morihei Ueshiba did.
So you have five men who were smart, inventive, and like anyone who really learns these skills, can build on them. What were the results? Takeda arrives, we get
Sagawa- individual style and syllabus
Kodo - Kodokai-individual style and syllabus
Ueshiba - Aiki-do-individual style and syllabus
Hisa - Takumakai individual style and syllabus

Five powerful and highly individual expressions of that led to whole groups of men training to find -it. These became arts-joined together by one binding commonality the internal methods of Daito ryu.

With such diverse expressions among his peers, with not one of *them* looking like the other, it remains that there is no credible reason to examine Ueshiba and arrive at a conclusion that he was superior, or had some significant divergence that was supperior to his peers. Indeed I continue to look for anything to prove otherwise. As any case study it would be considered extremely flawed to do so. It was just such a flaw that led Stanley off on this pursuit when no one knew about these connections. 18 years later I would be dismayed to see it happen all over again
When folks go into a subject to research it they can be blinded by their own ignorance and preconceptions
Again with all this "talk"- were Deguchi to have been such a physical impact- where are Ueshiba's peers in that pursuit?
1. Who are Deguchi's other amazing adepts? ___________________
2. Where are they?______________________
3. Where is this "Shinto method" that led to exceptional and recognized power in anyone?________________________
I would love to read it or hear about it. I would be overjoyed. Of course there aren't any. Tthat- line of reasoning is a dead end. Deguchi and Ueshiba's Shinto methods offered little, created nothing significant over what he had and made no one else of power

Takeda made Sagawa, Kodo, Ueshiba, and Hisa
Occam's razor is inconvenient- only to those who are "on a mission." To others it prevents tripping over the obvious- just to wonder and wander.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-27-2008 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:29 PM   #34
Mike Sigman
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

Hmmmmmmm. Dan, you seem to be wandering off the topic and back into another one of your insistent trivializations of Ueshiba.
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:05 PM   #35
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

Whhaat? Trivializing how?
Ueshiba was a giant. Which I have stated repeatedly.
Actually I am directly addressing the topic in a more complete manner than what I have seen, and placing him in an appropriate light- instead agrandizing or trivializing, or looking for things that make little sense.
Try answering some of the questions. Not the least of which is:

1. Where are those other greats who took place in Deguchi's Shinto
training and had amazing results?___________________________
2. How is it his power was noted-curiously AFTER his being trained daily by Takeda and being granted teaching priviledges and Deguchi noting this amazing power called aiki?
3. Explain how his contemporaries in the only art he ever studied- that being Daito ryu... exhibited power as well?

Were smart people to be looking for just what he had and where he got it they might look at the obvious before wondering down dusty roads, that lead off track into the mist.

Form there the topic can move forward to why he did not teach- it- and at least two of his men; Tohei and Shioda going elsewhere to get -it.
Cheers
Dan

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Old 01-27-2008, 02:35 PM   #36
stan baker
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

Deguchi was not a martial arts expert, Ueshiba was. Did he improve his aiki from his religious and meditative training, maybe. He learned aiki from Takeda, that we know for sure.

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Old 01-27-2008, 02:42 PM   #37
Mike Sigman
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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1. Where are those other greats who took place in Deguchi's Shinto
training and had amazing results?___________________________
Takeda had skills, but really all we have are stories, pro and con about what level those skills were. Depends on who writes the book.

I could posit (as an example) that Ueshiba took what he learned from Takeda and melded it with some form of Chinkon Kishin training to take what Takeda had to the real heights. If all you've read is interviews/books that trivialize Ueshiba's position, you might want to argue some other position... but that gets into the waste of time about Ueshiba and Daito Ryu again, the topic that seems to draw you like a magnet for some reason.

Chinkon Kishin training by itself is not the only way to achieve the proper goals of that kind of training (it's actually pretty much a qigong/neigong when you analyse it)... I made that comment to Erick Mead.... but if you have some ki/kokyu skills which are not rounded out by the breath and movement training, then the Chinkon Kishin training is a definite plus. It's quite additive. For all we know, that *may* have been the scenario with Ueshiba Sensei.

The point under discussion, though, isn't how Ueshiba stacked up in everyone's favorite view of Daito Ryu, it's about the transmission of things within Aikido. I agree with you that the "internal training" is a charateristic and critical part of Aikido's transmission, but I don't see any need to go once again into the Ueshiba/Daito-Ryu discussion. Ueshiba had roots in DR... everyone acknowledges that. It's a predecessor to Aikido, but it's not Aikido.

The "internal" component of Aikido is critical as a basis for movement in Aikido and for Aiki itself, but it is not all of Aikido. It's probably worthwhile, now that the point has been made about the "internal" components, to let the ball bounce back into Mr. Goldsbury's court.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:20 PM   #38
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

Gentlemen,

First, let me thank Prof. Goldsbury for beginning this thoughtful conversation and for being an example of willing openness for the benefit of all.

The mention of Tantric Buddhism made my ears perk. Being personally involved, I would hasten to point out that, becoming "spiritually possessed" in thought, word and action is the Tantric aspect, identifying "who, what, where, when and why this can and does take place is the Buddhist aspect. In other words, once one achieves "spirit possession" of even the highest order, the question remains, "Who is it that is possessed?" This inherent self-nullification of practice and practitioner keeps the practice in the real of Buddhism.

Thread drift aside, here is a thought for you all to put through the gristmill: One aspect that all individuals mentioned so far may share in-common to one degree or another is Shinto in general and Shinto ritual practice in particular. Takeda learned ‘something' from his Shinto-Priest relative (whether or not that ‘something' has anything to do with Aiki, I wouldn't know.), Ueshiba, Kodo, Takuma, Sagawa learned something from Takeda. Deguchi was versed in Shinto practice and he recognized something unique in Ueshiba while Ueshiba recognized something unique in Deguchi beyond what he got from Taked. They interfaced on the level of Shinto.

Each individual that "got it" did develop uniquely as individuals. However, one common possible core commonality between the Budoka (Takeda, Ueshiba, Takuma, Kodo) and the Religionist (Deguchi) is the Shinto ritual. Now, I'm not arguing for the ritual alone otherwise the power of "aiki" wouldn't be so unique and deserving of extended conversation. What MAY be true is that the "aiki" may have been taught by those "in the know" within the context of Shinto ritual. (Which BTW is virtually identical with Tantric Buddhist practice with the vocabulary being changed.)
It would seemingly make sense that one enamored with the mystical aspects of Shinto ritual and practice would understand his practice and the results of his practice in this manner and thereby seek to communicate them in the way in which he understands.
It would also seemingly make sense that those more focused on the more (perhaps) expediently/practically developed and applied aspects might consciously or unconsciously dump the more (seemingly) irrelevant esoteric aspects.

This seems to me not so terribly unlikely given many other art's streams giving "the goods" in the context of some for of esoteric practice or another. Also, in common is the phenomena of these "streams" running dry after a while. While the past stream bed remains identifiable and a future stream bed body can be continued the "living water" is gone.

In either case, Budoka or Religionist, the ability to do and ability/willingness to teach, are not necessarily assured.
I had some other thoughts but they are gone now. A sick two year old and a healthy three year old that both need attention will do that to you!

Best,
Allen Beebe

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Old 01-27-2008, 04:26 PM   #39
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Takeda had skills, but really all we have are stories, pro and con about what level those skills were. Depends on who writes the book.
Hmmm why trivialize Takeda?
I think Stanley did his job VERY well when he looked at the evidence and recognized you cannot talk about one without the other. An the later work seems to support this as well. Now here discussing internal aspects and trasnimssion- Stans research proves its worth again.
Well first up it isn't true that all we have are stories. We much factual evidence of his comings and goings 35 volumes of people he met and trained with, interviews and ackowledgements from mayn high levesl people and fmaous artists and even from American sources. Certain schools have some rather surprising material that few will ever see. Along with that we have many, many interviews about his power, even with it compared to Ueshiba. What these various DR schools also *had* were their own very own Ueshibas-well actually some would state Sagawa and Kodo were better. But even as equals it demonstrates the *possibility* that on a physical level -Ueshiba had all he needed from Takeda.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
It's probably worthwhile, now that the point has been made about the "internal" components, to let the ball bounce back into Mr. Goldsbury's court.
Regards,
Mike Sigman
What I was drawn to (like a magnet) were specific points Peter raised-well in keeping within the topic. Which by the way I was previously not replying to.

Quote:
Lurking behind the waza is the much more shadowy world of personal training and especially 'internal' training. It is clear that Takeda did this, as did his deshi including Ueshiba, but it is less clear to what extent we can talk of transmission and inheritance here. Morihei Ueshiba had been doing this training well before he met Sokaku Takeda at Engaru, but we do not really know how he conceptualized this at the time, even to himself. We know more about the period after he met Deguchi and Kisshomaru somewhere states that his waza became more powerful as a result of meeting Deguchi.
There is much conjeture in what Peter wrote-directly addressed by me in my posts. Case in point was his noted power increase. There are reasons why and how this is true beyond the transmission being put forth by his son. There is no plausible evidence or reason to suspect that Deguchi had anything to do with Ueshibas physical skill level.

Quote:
After he met Deguchi, Ueshiba began to read works like Reikai Monogatari and thus found a vehicle to express (to himself as much as to others) what he was doing.
Which I contend was a spiritual change not a physical change.

Quote:
The reason why World War II is so important for aikido is that the old Oomoto formulas were swept away and it is highly likely that the training was also sanitized. Not completely done away with, however, but the main question about Kisshomaru and his associates at the postwar Hombu is how much of the baby was thrown out with the bath water.
Or, as I outlined maybe the bath was empty, and the baby was Takeda who was long gone.
I have no trouble with looking at Chinkon Kishin or any other methods he may or may not have used-in particularly those who claim it came from Deguchi.Great! Where is anyone else with these skills of the hundreds -HE- would have trained______________________________?

Emulation
Ueshiba used the internal skills of DR and changed the approach to cast off and project instead of draw in and pin. This use of more of a projecting force of Aiki-in-yo ho instead if the more magnetic draw in and pin which is the inverse of the cycle remained one of the criticisms he received from his peers for only doing -part- of the art.

IMO the large circular movements were an expression by choice not a lack of understanding or ability. His art was to realize true power, that no longer needed to draw in and cut or pin but rather to let them go.His power as noted by everyone was fearful so men avoided it and took ukemi. THus the downward sprial there as well. Unfortunately, how many folks copy the outer form and miss the positive aspects of aiki-in-yo ho to project/? How much is empty waza, and doesn't *need* to be avoided in the first place?.

Transmission
At any rate I applaud the way Ueshiba found a method to join his skill with his vision of peace. Were aikidoka to get it-they would have a far more effective and even dangerous potential in their art, then many have now. The question is who is going to make it happen and is it going to arrive center stage from the bottom up and from the outside in. Or will the head office finally wake up and realize they are taking a secondary role. What wil happen when a Japanese shihan arrives to meet American 3rd and 4th dans and cannot do anything with them because of the juniors Aiki?

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-27-2008 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:31 PM   #40
Mike Sigman
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
What MAY be true is that the "aiki" may have been taught by those "in the know" within the context of Shinto ritual. (Which BTW is virtually identical with Tantric Buddhist practice with the vocabulary being changed.)
Good point, Allen. This would tie the "transmission" of Aikido and Daito Ryu both somewhat to Shinto/Tantric-Buddhism (Even the hand postures in the "Shinto" Chinkon Keshin are from Tantric Buddhism). Maybe it makes the transmission itself (of Aikido) into a more manageable package to do it that way?
Quote:
It would seemingly make sense that one enamored with the mystical aspects of Shinto ritual and practice would understand his practice and the results of his practice in this manner and thereby seek to communicate them in the way in which he understands.
It would also seemingly make sense that those more focused on the more (perhaps) expediently/practically developed and applied aspects might consciously or unconsciously dump the more (seemingly) irrelevant esoteric aspects.
Exactly. "Where's the Beef?"

Best.

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:39 PM   #41
Mike Sigman
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Case in point was his noted power increase. There are reasons why and how this is true beyond the transmission being put forth by his son. There is no plausible evidence or reason to suspect that Deguchi had anything to do with Ueshibas physical skill level.
What??? Do you understand what Chinkon Kishin does? I can see an extremely valid argument that the Chinkon Kishin training would boost Ueshiba's power, frankly. But what it all boils down to is that we don't know. So one story is as good as the next. All we can go by is results and Ueshiba had some.

You'd like to lay it all at Takeda's feet, but, as has been noted before, there are other possibilities. The more pertinent analysis in this discussion, though, is not the transmission to Ueshiba, but the transmission to the students of Aikido from Ueshiba.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:54 PM   #42
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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You'd like to lay it all at Takeda's feet, but, as has been noted before, there are other possibilities.
Regards,
Mike Sigman
I see why you think that way, but actually no, I don't. I am wide open to possibilites as they make sense and have concurrent evidentiary support. So far I see...nothing. No case worth the having. Present something. I want it to be true. To see what, who, where, and when. It would be great to see someting new that Stan missed after a decade of research. What do I care. It's more to learn about -so we all win.

In that time period we had these giants. They were contemporaries, joined by a common method. It has support.
What else we got?
Theory, guess work, and no real human beings that appear from any other source with any known, documented power. Its all smioke and mirrors.
Deguchi made a real difference in physical power?
Where are the other guys he trained___________________?
No one? Then I contend the real power was what Ueshiba had already, maybe with some personal augmentations that they all had done.

As you said to Alan. Wheres the beef?


We agree about the discussion being the transmission to his students, Mike. I stepped in when people started making erroneous conjecture about where he might have gotten it. Particularly using Kissomaru or the Aikikai as as any type of factual source. They remain highly protective and insular in their views. No ill intent meant
Cheers
Dan

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Old 01-27-2008, 05:02 PM   #43
Mike Sigman
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Deguchi made a real difference in physical power?
Where are the other guys he trained___________________?
I'm not sure why you keep bringing this up, Dan, because it misses the point entirely. Think of it like this: Deguchi was the source of essentially a qigong that strengthens the body... the Chinkon Kishin. A martial artist, Ueshiba, takes that form of strengthening and adds it into his martial art. Deguchi's training has nothing to do with martial arts itself. See the point?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-27-2008, 05:42 PM   #44
Allen Beebe
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

It is interesting to note that many direct students of Ueshiba continued the Chikonkishin practices or Chikonkishin–LIKE practices. Also, many of them continued these practices devoid of Omoto Kyo religious influence. Even Tohei who criticized Ueshiba’s often baffling means of communication kept, and transmitted, practices contained within Chikonkishin ritual. Ueshiba didn’t push his religious views on his students and still these folks obviously thought that there was something there, in the ritual at least, to be had.

What is equally obvious is, that without some sort of toehold, the ritual is very reluctant to reveal the totality of its contents. If this weren’t the case things would be a lot different today (assuming that "Aiki" can be taught via Shinto Ritual.) The outer form is still here (although I don’t think that this is the ONLY outer form that Ueshiba left us. Tomiki, Shirata and Shioda also taught very similar “outer forms” that I think prepare one for practices such as Chikonkishin but also serve to interface between Chikonkishin practice and waza.), the question to my mind in relation to transmission and inheritance is “what happened to the toe hold?”

BTW, I suspect that the in and down vs up and out dichotomy isn't necessarily solely a result of Ueshiba's choice of emphasis. Rather, based on personal experience, I suspect it may be more of a symptomatic result of transmission, inheritance issues.

Last edited by Allen Beebe : 01-27-2008 at 05:46 PM.

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Old 01-27-2008, 06:00 PM   #45
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

Or what about this Mike?

Ueshiba learns a Shinto "exercise" from Takeda who learned it from a family member. Ueshiba visits Deguchi and recognizes a common practice. Deguchi thinks, "Wow! Look at what that guy can do!" "Ueshiba thinks, "Wow! Look at what that guy can do!" They are both impressed by different derivatives of the same practice.

Takeda comes takes a gander at Deguchi and says, "Yeah, OK, whatever. Ushiba keep doing X,Y, and Z!" Deguchi takes a look at Takeda and says, "Yeah, OK, whatever. Ueshiba keep doing X',Y', and Z'!" Ueshiba says, "OK." Does both and eventually leaves both to do his own thing . . . mutually rooted in both sources.

It is a good story, which is all it is, but perhaps it explains a commonality of approach and a commonality of miss-transmission.

Take Tantric Buddhist practices for example. The truth (religious and secular) can be contained in one practice and either transmitted or omitted due to a misappropriation of the antecedents of causality.

I find it both interesting and entertaining.

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Old 01-27-2008, 06:02 PM   #46
Mike Sigman
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
It is interesting to note that many direct students of Ueshiba continued the Chikonkishin practices or Chikonkishin--LIKE practices. Also, many of them continued these practices devoid of Omoto Kyo religious influence. Even Tohei who criticized Ueshiba's often baffling means of communication kept, and transmitted, practices contained within Chikonkishin ritual. Ueshiba didn't push his religious views on his students and still these folks obviously thought that there was something there, in the ritual at least, to be had.
Well, in terms of "transmission", that's an extremely good point, Allen.
Quote:
(assuming that "Aiki" can be taught via Shinto Ritual.)
No, "Aiki" wouldn't be part of the strength training. It's more of a "how to use". You're hitting at the heart of the reason why I tend to separate kokyu/jin from ki/qi. It's also the reason why I object to Tohei's demonstration where he pushed over the sitting monks. They may well have had very strong ki/qi, but they would not necessarily have had the jin/kokyu-strength at all. "Aiki" is a method of blending your kokyu-strength/jin automatically (ki no musubi) with the incoming force of an opponent so that opponent's own force renders him harmless (force goes to zero)... then a technique is employed immediately.
Quote:
the question to my mind in relation to transmission and inheritance is "what happened to the toe hold?"
From this particular discussion about "transmission", I'm beginning to think that the bottleneck may have been the ritual-religious way that O-Sensei understood his own powers.

Good discussion.

Best.

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-27-2008, 06:11 PM   #47
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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I'm not sure why you keep bringing this up, Dan, because it misses the point entirely. Think of it like this: Deguchi was the source of essentially a qigong that strengthens the body... the Chinkon Kishin. A martial artist, Ueshiba, takes that form of strengthening and adds it into his martial art. Deguchi's training has nothing to do with martial arts itself. See the point?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
I swear we would need an interpreter just to say hello.
I don't have an issue with that. That is why I stated *several* times that all those guys claimed to have added to Takeda's work as well. How could I have said that repeatedly and applied it to Ueshiba as well and you missed it?

Once again, I have no doubts as to Ueshiba pursuing power building methods on his own-they all did. I was speaking to specific claims of what happened in certain time periods. I was also addressing the possible *comparative* values to his overall power of aynthing gained from Deguchi over what he had-then. Again though, particularly at certain places and times. The time periods that were mentioned are too coincidental to Takeda making a major shift in Ueshibas training to give credence elsewhere, thats all.
The power building methods and training of all of them were substantial and one can argue that none of them would have been albe to move forward at all without the background training they had firmly in place through Takeda. In other words none of them were adding or starting from anywhere close to zero. They were all accomplished on their own and highly motivated to train and research.
I have no doubt, issues, opinions, or feelings that in the fullness of time Ueshiba-like all his peers in Daio ryu- came into his own with personal pursuits and research.

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-27-2008 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 01-27-2008, 06:20 PM   #48
Mike Sigman
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Or what about this Mike?

Ueshiba learns a Shinto "exercise" from Takeda who learned it from a family member. Ueshiba visits Deguchi and recognizes a common practice. Deguchi thinks, "Wow! Look at what that guy can do!" "Ueshiba thinks, "Wow! Look at what that guy can do!" They are both impressed by different derivatives of the same practice.

Takeda comes takes a gander at Deguchi and says, "Yeah, OK, whatever. Ushiba keep doing X,Y, and Z!" Deguchi takes a look at Takeda and says, "Yeah, OK, whatever. Ueshiba keep doing X',Y', and Z'!" Ueshiba says, "OK." Does both and eventually leaves both to do his own thing . . . mutually rooted in both sources.

It is a good story, which is all it is, but perhaps it explains a commonality of approach and a commonality of miss-transmission.
I think it's a plausible scenario, but the point I made about how you can have ki but not much jin can work the other way, too.... you can have fairly powerful jin, but not have the other half of the equation. Yet the two are intertwined if you want to do the Full Monty. How about the scenario that Takeda had pretty power jin/kokyu, but his ki skills were limited; Deguchi's training has a certain amount of jin/kokyu skills but is mainly ki oriented. So by doing the Chinkon Kishin practices, particularly the breathing parts, Ueshiba's power gets a very noticeable boost, even though his initial exposure to jin/kokyu skills was through Takeda? Again, we're all just making mouth noises, but my attention is still focused on this one bottleneck of the religious practices being intertwined with the skills and how that probably affected the transmission further down the line in Aikido.

One thing I've been watching for a while is how religion (particularly Buddhism, but I suspect it was previously/still in Hinduism, also, to some degree) was an important part of the transmission of these skills from way, way back. In the ancient days these skills were practiced and kept alive by the Buddhists, for China-Korea-Japan.

So what I've learned to do is suspect a practical basis behind a lot of seemingly ritual beliefs/practices. Take for instance the idea of Tanden/Dantien. Westerners tend to interpret it as a "center of gravity" or a ritualistic "field of change" or some obscure belief by Asians that reduces to some primitive belief or magical piece of esoterica. In reality, the tanden/dantien is a nexus of bodily power... in a very functional and demonstrable sense. So is the dantien located at the perineum. So is the dantien in the middle of the chest. And so on. But it takes work to find these things out. The point is that a lot of the things that we hear spoken in a religious or ritual sense are, in reality, discussions about very practical occurences. This was my comment yesterday about what I was reading in the John Stevens translation... like most of us westerners, he heard the ritual/religious things and missed that in reality the discussions were about practical issues. But how is he going to know that when the belief-structure of a Ueshiba (or his son) is about kami doing something, not practical kinesiology?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-27-2008, 06:30 PM   #49
Allen Beebe
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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No, "Aiki" wouldn't be part of the strength training. It's more of a "how to use". You're hitting at the heart of the reason why I tend to separate kokyu/jin from ki/qi. It's also the reason why I object to Tohei's demonstration where he pushed over the sitting monks. They may well have had very strong ki/qi, but they would not necessarily have had the jin/kokyu-strength at all. "Aiki" is a method of blending your kokyu-strength/jin automatically (ki no musubi) with the incoming force of an opponent so that opponent's own force renders him harmless (force goes to zero)... then a technique is employed immediately.
Agreed. (I think.) My present understanding is that Kokyu undo builds Kokyu Ryoku which in turn can be used to Aiki, with the resultant phenomena being those demonstrated by Ueshiba and others. (And BTW if it doesn't result in the aformentioned phenomena, one probably isn't developing Kokyu Ryoku and/or Aiki.) However, do you believe Chikonkishin's sole purpose was to develop Kokyu Ryoku? (I doubt that you do.) Wasn't its original intent also to develop the ability to "AIKI" with Kamisama "X?" Hence the inhearant tendency to obscure the practical causes for the development Kokyu Ryoku and the ability to develop the capacity to Aiki on the more mundane level?

I apologize if my words were misleading.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
From this particular discussion about "transmission", I'm beginning to think that the bottleneck may have been the ritual-religious way that O-Sensei understood his own powers.
This seems very possible considering the transparency with which he transferred knowledge to his primary students.

My wife is about transfer her foot to my backside if I don't help out with the family. Talk to you all later!

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Old 01-27-2008, 06:42 PM   #50
Mike Sigman
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

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Agreed. (I think.) My present understanding is that Kokyu undo builds Kokyu Ryoku which in turn can be used to Aiki, with the resultant phenomena being those demonstrated by Ueshiba and others. (And BTW if it doesn't result in the aformentioned phenomena, one probably isn't developing Kokyu Ryoku and/or Aiki.) However, do you believe Chikonkishin's sole purpose was to develop Kokyu Ryoku? (I doubt that you do.) Wasn't its original intent also to develop the ability to "AIKI" with Kamisama "X?" Hence the inhearant tendency to obscure the practical causes for the development Kokyu Ryoku and the ability to develop the capacity to Aiki on the more mundane level?
Hi Allen:

I'm beginning to see the problem. And I see where Dan's perspective is more kokyu/jin focused, missing what I really mean, too. Cutting to the chase, Chinkon Kishin's purpose is not purely to develop kokyu-ryoku in the strict sense. It embodies both ki and kokyu practices. It's very easy to learn a little bit of kokyu and practice a lot of solo exercises to further it (to a reasonable extent), but ultimately you're going to limit yourself if that's all you know and do. And this gets into the soul of the discussion about the "hard external arts" and the "soft internal arts" (although there are some soft external arts, too) that is so common. Chinkon Kishin was undoubtedly more of a complete-spectrum exercise than just kokyu/jin exercises. Again, I'd caution that we're *way* off into the speculation-zone of what went on in terms of Ueshiba, Deguchi, Takeda, and a number of others.

Best.

Mike
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