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Old 07-11-2008, 06:41 AM   #1
DH
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

Ron
I'll put something together and tie it into Mark and Robs reply to the Aikido™, aikido...do thread where it belongs. I never discussed Daito ryu in the least when discussing these things. Even though Sankyo is a Daito ryu technique taught to Ueshiba by Takeda and then taught to be executed with aiki, it can be discussed in the manner Aikido chooses to express it since the intent-though not the execution- is exactly the same. For our purposes it is the aiki that is the hot topic, not the waza of one art or the other. And this aiki...is thee aiki they were both meant to share.

Which beings up another point. Why is it that any Daito ryu teacher can walk into any aikido dojo and everyone there can relate and discuss waza. In Japan for years they were considered the same art. As the women who drew all the pictures for Budo Renshu (in the time when Ueshiba was teaching ALL of the giants of Aikido in his dojo) said to Stan Pranin. "I always considered us to be students of Takeda Sokaku"

The two arts are inexorably intertwined.
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:58 AM   #2
MM
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi Rob
I had a long response to Ron talking about how the locks tie into the bodywork on both sides of the coin and what I was doing to him so that he couldn't counter it and I threw it out.
As I said earlier this spin off thread's title is interesting. There are only two men I know of here who I would trust to answer it.
Hmmm ... that would have been an interesting response. Ah well, I'll try to remember to ask you about it offline.

Obviously, you'd have to know Daito ryu. So, really, that cuts down quite a bit of people. Add in that you'd have to know aiki from that first set and ... well, I don't know DR, but if it's anything like aikido, well, the numbers drop way down.

But, from a perspective of someone who has studied aikido and gotten to experience several people from DR, I would have to say that I found a very strong link between "using DR's aiki without harm" and "aikido".

But, that link doesn't necessarily mean that "using DR's aiki without harm" *is* aikido. I do believe that the link between the two very strongly supports Ueshiba's skill and his vision.

I don't know Omoto kyo at all. But, I believe that if I had some experience with it, I would find a strong link between OK and aikido. And that it would strongly support Ueshiba's skill and vision. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't mean "skill" as in what made him a martial art great. I mean skill as in he took the foundation of DR aiki and using OK spirituality, he created his own solo exercises and training to build his own version of aiki. Still the same DR aiki, but personalized for Ueshiba via OK spirituality.

Can someone use "DR's aiki" in a manner that is "without harm"? Of course. It would be silly, illogical, and wrong to think otherwise. The level of skill determines the level of "without harm". That's kind of obvious, too. Quibbling about that is silly. But, I think a minor point is that one could use "DR's aiki without harm" and not be doing aikido.

But, then again, one could be doing aikido and not be doing DR's aiki (which is another thread about if you're doing aikido without DR's aiki, is it really aikido).

For me, I think it is a matter of how one applies DR's aiki skill. If one chooses to follow Shioda, then really, there isn't much spirituality like Ueshiba had. So, it wouldn't be too much of a leap to use DR's aiki skill and do aikido.

But, if you wanted to follow Ueshiba, well, that's a harder road to travel. You'd have to have a base skill of DR's aiki and then modify it to spiritual purposes. But, just having those spiritual purposes without the DR's aiki skillset as a base is really like just having another Ghandi, Martin Luther King, etc. While something great can come from it, it isn't Ueshiba's vision nor Ueshiba's Aikido. If I had to guess (and I'm way out of my league here), I'd say that's more along the lines of Kisshomaru's vision. And that's another thread that Goldsbury sensei is more qualified to post about.

Mark
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Old 07-11-2008, 11:01 AM   #3
Allen Beebe
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Re: Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Which beings up another point. Why is it that any Daito ryu teacher can walk into any aikido dojo and everyone there can relate and discuss waza. In Japan for years they were considered the same art. As the women who drew all the pictures for Budo Renshu (in the time when Ueshiba was teaching ALL of the giants of Aikido in his dojo) said to Stan Pranin. "I always considered us to be students of Takeda Sokaku"

The two arts are inexorably intertwined.
And Takeda sensei would show up at Ueshiba sensei's house and dojo's and he clearly expect to be treated as the honorable sensei, and teach . . . and he was, and he did. And the sign on the dojo wall in at least one photograph of the time read Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu, and the menkyo that were awarded to the students of the time read Daito Ryu, and "menjo" (Budo Renshu) of the time was constituted of easily identifiable Daito Ryu waza . . .

Come to think of it . . . the Asahi Shimbun movie shows Ueshiba sensei performing waza certainly in more of a modern "Aikido" like fashion even though the name Aikido wasn't formally adopted until seven years later, if my math is correct. And this modification wouldn't be reflective of the embodiment of some new pacifistic vision for Daito Ryu or anything else for that matter. I assume this based on Ueshiba's own rhetoric and activities at the time . . . including the rhetoric that is made part of the film. Also, I was taught waza by one of the uke's in the film that was taught at the time and it is far more Daito Ryu like than what is on the film . . . which is reflective of his teacher who did both.

I'm guessing that to Ueshiba sensei's mind it didn't so much matter the kind, or type, or expression waza one did as long as one did it with Aiki. This might explain why he demonstrated what he demonstrated . . . outwardly random, inwardly consistent.

Perhaps he was like a musician that constantly demonstrated a quality of music and the majority that observed him were awed by his performances and then consistently tried to replicate the pieces, passages, or notes he played but few grasped the essence of the quality or "essence" consistently demonstrated.

BTW, Mark when one reads O-sensei's Doka in light of the demands of internal structure don't you find that many (if not all) of the more questionable (fantastic) and seemingly paradoxical Doka seem to magically resolve themselves and make perfect (and even more importantly) practical sense?

The old saws like: Takemusu Aiki, Masa Katsu, A Katsu, Katsu Haya bi, there is no opponent in Aiki, I'm already behind him, and once the opponent develops the mind to attack he is defeated

are pretty much explicit. The hard part (for me at least) is manifesting that consistently.

Masa Katsu, A Katsu, Katsu Haya Bi indeed!

Sorry for the ramble. Just one of those mornings. I have work I'm reluctant to do!

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 07-11-2008, 01:37 PM   #4
DH
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Re: The Relationship between Daito-Ryu's Aiki and Aikido

Hi Allen
I got the email and I'll get back to you when I know a little more about plans.

I think this topic is little understood and I think never debated or looked at from the aspects of expression V internals. I have brought the same thing up many, many times but it goes nowhere. No one really wants, or has any desire to conclude that he was in fact -just- a highly accomplished DR aiki man (which is a rare thing) who chose to change the expression of his aiki, not the internal aspects.
I think the decision to alter the expression to a more peaceful, cast away / roll-away ukemi, instead of the more capturing seizing ukemi was great. Not my cup of tea, but absolutely great!! Add to that his fitting his new change in DR aiki to fit that vision and you have more of a causal factor for the new 'art" form he did.
The internals can and were added to, anyone who trains this way for any length of time starts to individualize and make discoveries. As we have also discussed Sagawa and Kodo both made comments that they built off of Takedas teaching in aiki. But once again the level of aiki being discussed and amazing skills it gives to its adepts just wasn’t a common thin in Japan- not even close. And in their day Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo and...Ueshiba all stood out and were known not for waza but for?
Aiki.
Was it by some bizarre fluke that they all shared a common bond?
The aiki of Daito ryu through one mans teaching.
I don't think so.
I think one need only examine the decision Ueshiba made in expressing it, to make it easier on the Uke, and or the uke's part in making the art look different that were the burgeoning of the marriage of his DR aiki with his religious tendencies. Without DR he would have been nothing more than another Religous zealot with no real physical skills to back up any vision he had. The beauty of it was that he caufght on that he didn't need to sieze-up and cause pain and breakfalls. he could frelly move and allow them to roll or be cast off from his centrally held and internally connected body. Granted he kept several of Takedas locks and his Kajo terminology reduced to singel waza, but sadly either never developed a means to teach the high level Aiki at the heart of his skills or chose not to.
One thing worth noting was that in the midst of all this he was known for his temper and he did hurt people. I don't think that adopting a Takeda was monster Ueshiba was a saint atitude furthers any discussion.
It also wroth noting that Okomoto Sensei, of the Daito ryu Roppokai, on his own as well, chose to remove some of the more damaging expressions of his teachers aiki (Kodo) and adopt a softer albeit effective "finish' to his throws. Typcially his ukes are "allowed" to roll out too. he is worthy of note as well for changes he made- not to the body method- but rather the expression of it. Hmm...he is known for being a sweet heart of a guy...hmm...

Last edited by DH : 07-11-2008 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:25 PM   #5
Allen Beebe
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Re: The Relationship between Daito-Ryu's Aiki and Aikido

Quote:
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No one really wants, or has any desire to conclude that he was in fact -just- a highly accomplished DR aiki man (which is a rare thing) who chose to change the expression of his aiki, not the internal aspects.
Geez Dan you and communication . . . you just called me a "no one!" (Oh wait, that is probably the highest compliment you could give a Buddhist priest . . . OK. Thanks Dan! )

Yeah, as you know I have my doubts about the peaceful martial art thing. Virtually every waza I was taught assumes (follows the principles) that one is either dispatching via pole arm, sword, wakizashi, tanto or small weapon, empty handed, or setting up for the aforementioned dispatch. These normally manifest centripetally for the same reason that one doesn't throw away the nail while readying one's hammer. The readily apparent exceptions to my mind are the aiki no jutsu waza which, from what I have been able to discern from what I was taught, purposefully are reliant solely upon Aiki rather than Jujutsu to be viable in the same manner as the others.

Of course there is the whole one strike can kill idea. Rule number #1 if I remember correctly. Where does that power come from and how does that fit into the whole peace idea?

I'm thinking this stuff was very much viewed in the same manner that we now view Nuclear technology . . . best to try to keep the Genii in the bottle and for those that do have it, "With great power comes great responsibility."

I look forward to hearing from you.

Allen

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Old 07-11-2008, 02:27 PM   #6
Allen Beebe
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Re: The Relationship between Daito-Ryu's Aiki and Aikido

<For those lurkers out there it occurs to me that I should add that I'm not claiming any great power ability myself. I'm more of a One Strike, "Ouch I sprained my wrist!" sort of a guy.>

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:53 PM   #7
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: The Relationship between Daito-Ryu's Aiki and Aikido

I would really like to be a fly on the wall when Allen and Dan get together.
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:57 AM   #8
MM
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Re: The Relationship between Daito-Ryu's Aiki and Aikido

This post was originally posted on E-Budo but I thought it had a lot to do with this thread, so I'm reposting it below:

http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthre...t=20633&page=5

After reading Allen's post, I had a thought which seemed kind of stupid. Stupid in that it seems so obvious. What if Ueshiba's vision of aikido, the martial art, was truly literal? It was the way of aiki. In other words, no jutsu at all. Just pure aiki that he merged with his spiritual foundation. This is the later years, mind you.

And when students wanted to learn his "aikido", he looked at what he knew, Daito ryu, and looked at the thousands of techniques and decided to trim it down because to learn his aikido, you didn't need all of them.

Certainly explains a lot of his rantings and quotes. It's all the same, you aren't doing my aikido, etc, etc. And it'd explain why his son chose a different manner for aikido worldwide. I mean, how do you teach the father's vision? To the masses? Better to just use the core jutsu that his father taught. After all, the jutsu still contained the message of blending and harmony.

And maybe that's why Ueshiba didn't meet with Takeda. He really didn't want to do the break/kill of Daito ryu. He was leaning more and more towards the spiritual version of expressing aiki. And maybe that's why there was a falling out between Takeda and Deguchi. Takeda saw a lot of potential in Ueshiba but also saw that Deguchi's vision would change things. But I'm digressing from my main thoughts.

Ueshiba's vision of a pure martial art built upon aiki (from Daito ryu) but yet weirdly enough, didn't include a version of jutsu. It only included the pared down syllabus of Daito ryu because Ueshiba needed something to demonstrate and teach students with. Maybe it went beyond changing Daito ryu's bring in and down for break/kill to aikido's pass-through? Maybe for Ueshiba it was purely spiritual aiki and that required the pass-through outlook. Not the pass-through outlook for jutsu's sake, but as a byproduct of Ueshiba trying to do pure spiritual aiki in a martial context. And that would be something very different than any other martial art.

As Allen stated, just thinking out loud here.

Mark
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Old 07-13-2008, 10:45 AM   #9
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: The Relationship between Daito-Ryu's Aiki and Aikido

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Maybe for Ueshiba it was purely spiritual aiki and that required the pass-through outlook. Not the pass-through outlook for jutsu's sake, but as a byproduct of Ueshiba trying to do pure spiritual aiki in a martial context. And that would be something very different than any other martial art.
Mark
Maybe.

And, that would.

Jen

Jennifer Paige Smith
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