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 > Columns

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!

Comment
 
Column Tools
  #101  
Old 09-12-2008, 10:25 AM
Peter A Goldsbury AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
Username: Peter Goldsbury
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,997
 
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Japan
Offline
Peter A Goldsbury's Avatar
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

INTERLUDE
IV: Iemoto and Iwama

An earlier column (Column 5) finished with O Sensei retreating to his Aiki-en (Aiki Farm) in Iwama, leaving his son Kisshomaru in charge of the Tokyo dojo. There are a number of problems relating to Morihei Ueshiba's...
__________________
P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan

Last edited by akiy : 10-20-2008 at 03:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 10:44 AM   #100
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 906
United_States
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Anyway, if someone doesn't spill the beans fairly soon, there won't be anyone left who really knows... I don't think my tolerance for alcohol is up to making that happen on my own. Maybe a team effort...
I often wonder how much an influence Nishio Sensei had over the post war uchideshi. The 'seiki ryu kenjutsu' I learned as part of Kurita Minouru's school was HEAVILY influenced by Nishio Sensei's aiki-toho and the aiki-ken coming out of Iwama. I got the impression that Nishio Sensei was known to the uchideshi as a sort of 'go to' guy for weapons work. The way it was presented to me was that Kurita Sensei would "sneak out" to see Nishio Sensei whenever the opportunity presented itself. I don't know why this was the dynamic, possibly because it was time away from OSensei?

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
TNBBC Blog
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 03:47 PM   #101
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,631
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
I often wonder how much an influence Nishio Sensei had over the post war uchideshi. The 'seiki ryu kenjutsu' I learned as part of Kurita Minouru's school was HEAVILY influenced by Nishio Sensei's aiki-toho and the aiki-ken coming out of Iwama. I got the impression that Nishio Sensei was known to the uchideshi as a sort of 'go to' guy for weapons work. The way it was presented to me was that Kurita Sensei would "sneak out" to see Nishio Sensei whenever the opportunity presented itself. I don't know why this was the dynamic, possibly because it was time away from OSensei?
Hi Chris,
a) I am sure that Nishio Sensei was someone who influenced the younger deshi. Certainly, he was someone who brought outside training into his Aikido while at the Hombu Dojo. As an example for the younger deshi at Hombu, especially at a time when some were choosing not do do much weapons training he stood out. I have never heard Saotome Sensei say that he was directly inspired by Nishio Sensei but I always felt that their two approaches (not the actual technical work) were the most similar of any teachers I've encountered. Mary Heiny told me that it was always Nishio Sensei and Saotome Sensei who would do the tachi dori and tanto dori with live blades at the all Japan demos. I see a lot of Nishio's spirit, if not actual technique, in Saotome Sensei.

b) Nishio's training seems to have been largely well documented. It's hard to say exactly because he saw himself as a creator, someone whose job it was to go beyond what he had been taught. He credited Yamaguchi Sensei and Saito Sensei with equal but quite different influence on his sword work but it is clear that he didn't imitate either one but rather took inspiration to develop his own work. Of course he took his iai work out to the point at which it is a recognized iai style now...

I think it is safe to say that Nishio's work was well developed as a system that could be reproduced, like Saito Sensei's, but was also
the most eclectic in it's influences and, I think, unique to him. No one else looked like Nishio Sensei. I also think that because his work was so integrated into his overall system of Aikido, it makes it difficult to simply take this or that out of context into ones own system. You really need to train with someone doing well versed in his system to get much out of his weapons work.

He was a giant in my opinion...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 04:28 PM   #102
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,631
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I can think of several reasons for tight lips.
1. Someone taught them Koryu without permission to teach
My basic proposition... although I conjecture that it was done by O-Sensei's invitation and with the acquiescence of the senior teachers of these styles, many of whom were friends of the Founder.

Quote:
2. Someone made it all up
They all made it up. O-Sensei made it up, his students made stuff up. There is no question of any of these folks claiming to be doing or teaching a sword style or a jo style but rather a style in which sword and jo were important tools for understanding and developing ones skills in the style.

Quote:
3. An inner self-awareness of their own comparative worth in a very real comparison to truly gifted Koryu weapons experts
To my knowledge, O-Sensei was the only one who engaged in any contests with the sword. I do not believe that the deshi stood around considering what they did relative to the koryu, to the extent that they were familiar with them. Whatever exposure they may have had would have convinced them that there were certainly "real" swordsmen out there who knew far more than they did. I doubt that it bothered them at all. They were doing "aiki" sword, i.e. using sword in their Aikido; I don't think a one of them thought that he was a swordsman.

Quote:
4. Their "sword work" was nothing more that what amounted to an embarrassing acquiescence to foreigners wanting to see "samurai sword techniques?
I think that this is a ridiculous assertion. Weapons training was a part of Aikido from day one. That started back in the thirties when some of the deshi actually had some koryu training but it was still true at the very end of the Founder's life. Saotome Sensei told us that 90% of the time, if you asked the Founder a question about just about anything, he'd grab a sword to demonstrate the answer. He simply did not see a separation between his empty hand and his weapons. If weapons work became optional as part of an Aikido practitioner's understanding of his art, it wasn't while the Founder was still alive. This had nothing to do with trying to impress foreigners... most of these guys a) didn't care if they impressed foreigners and b) if the wanted to do so they usually cranked a nikkyo on them...

Quote:
Of course I offer nothing definitive here-other than decades of many observable demonstrations of some alarmingly lackluster weapons displays in aikido over the years. I just wonder if anyone has even *considered* the possibility that these guys were nothing even close to resembling gifted swordsmen? That they simply sucked at weapons...and were living in a culture that allowed them ample opportunity for self-awareness?
I think any Japanese could have wowed some of these early Gaijin looking to see real sword work-with ease. However,considering just who and what the talent pool around them must have been, I could understand those guys being reluctant to talk about their "weapons work" as well. Maybe that only got worse as time wore on and those gaijin got educated about Koryu.
These discussions always somehow end up with a sort of self congratulatory note in them in that you, of course, are part of the group that knows.

Well, I have done some koryu training, as you know. I also work out regularly with American students of a ryu with which you are familiar, they are also my Aikido students. They are swordsmen, I am not a swordsman. I am an Aikido practitioner. I do not walk around feeling inferior because they know more about swordsmanship than I do. What I do, I can do just fine. It's a pleasure to have well trained people to work with, that's for sure. It makes my training better. But I don't sit around feeling the need to hide what I do, keep silent about where I learned it, or harbor any illusions that what I do is something that it is not. I don't suspect that the folks who trained with the Founder when he was alive felt any different about their weapons work. Despite what we may see on the forums a lot these days, Aikido folks aren't sitting around with a bad case of koryu envy...I've learned a lot from the exposure I've had, no question, but it wasn't Aikido, wasn't trying to be, and I'm fine with that. I do Aikido. I keep training, bringing new things into my art, but I don't sit around apologizing for what I do either. I don't lose any sleep over not doing kenjutsu, and I do know what good swordsmanship looks like; I am good friends with some great swordsmen.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 05:39 PM   #103
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Quote:
They all made it up. O-Sensei made it up, his students made stuff up. There is no question of any of these folks claiming to be doing or teaching a sword style or a jo style but rather a style in which sword and jo were important tools for understanding and developing ones skills in the style.
George
Well, no, they didn't -all- make it up. And that was my point.
There were quite a few swordsman who trained there, who would have been ample reminder to those that did.
You have Kashima, Katori, Itto, and others represented there to remind the fellows who were making it up.
So no, I most certainly do not agree. Some, like Saotome stated he made his swordwork up later in life, others were trained in several koryu.

Quote:
Weapons training was a part of Aikido from day one. That started back in the thirties when some of the deshi actually had some koryu training but it was still true at the very end of the Founder's life. Saotome Sensei told us that 90% of the time, if you asked the Founder a question about just about anything, he'd grab a sword to demonstrate the answer.
Again that brings to question the chicken and the egg. I believe the question was WHAT sort of weapon work was taught and perhaps why they didn't talk about it.
So -what- he was demonstrating
What- his deshi demonstrating, was the question.
Not that he grabbed a sword and demonstrated. BTW Most considered Ueshiba a genius with the sword, so where's the beef compared to Koryu or not even if he DID make it up?
But we weren't talking about him, but rather his deshi.
Next up was the question of why the tight lips-among them.

I asserted there were other reasons beside just any and everyone possibly being sword masters.
Some knew Koryu weapons but maybe were not allowed to teach...seems reasonable for not wanting to discuss it
Or that other didn't know them so well. Which you just agreed to.
Seems the only thing you're stating in counter to my assertion is that their *not* knowing Koryu would not have bothered them at all-hence would not have been a reason for tight lips.
That seems a reasonable counter argument as well.

Quote:
He simply did not see a separation between his empty hand and his weapons. If weapons work became optional as part of an Aikido practitioner's understanding of his art, it wasn't while the Founder was still alive. This had nothing to do with trying to impress foreigners... most of these guys a) didn't care if they impressed foreigners and b) if the wanted to do so they usually cranked a nikkyo on them...
Could certainly be true, but on the other hand the video's that have been out there for years certainly show quite a bt of non-empty hand relevant show boating with bokuto. But again, thats your rebbutal. It seems several people have remarked for years about teaching foreigners and various insider discussion about demos.

Quote:
These discussions always somehow end up with a sort of self congratulatory note in them in that you, of course, are part of the group that knows.
Sorry to see you feel that way George. I don't think you or I or what we may or may not know have anything to do with it and will affect the discussion in any way. Isn't it a discussion about what might have *actually* happened? Wouldn't that be a neutral research point?
And since many of the deshi had experience in many arts, doesn't it make my points all the more relevant. You had a series of guys who taught weapons, but as you wrote were weirdly silent about stating where it came from? My assertions about motive are pretty reasonable.

Examples:
Mochizuki may have been an excellent example. I wonder how comfortable he might have been teaching Katori to outsiders?
Or the guys who studied Kashima while Ueshiba watched? They might have shared and been "weirdly silent like watergate witnessess" about teaching.

This could apply to several other guys who were well versed. Wasn't there also someone who supposedly taught Kendo- no-kata?

In contrast you might have had guys who had been compelled to show something but felt unqualified in front of *those* guys and other outsiders-hence silence. Seems reasonable. You discount it-okay fine.

Then I offered you might have had those who made it up out of whole cloth and didn't want to say it. Seems reasonable as well. You think its ridiculous. Okay. there were of course teachers who did. I guess you are asserting they were all comfortable and or proud of the fact as it was not a point of contention for them. Point taken.

So what other reasons are you offering for why these chaps would be so tight lipped -as was noted here?

Of course there may be other reasons for publicly teaching weapons and not wanting to talk about it. I am sure others will offer some observations and views.

Last edited by DH : 09-22-2008 at 05:54 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 06:26 PM   #104
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

One other point
a friend of mine just P.M.'d me that my first posts read as if I were emphasizing more that -most deshi might not have known weapons work. Far enough. What I was -ineptly- trying to stress is that you don't hear that possibility as much as the continued search for a source for mastery or pedagogy of assumed mastery-similar to what was don with Ueshiba's history. So in trying to stress that point I might have overly stressed the other. Hopefully, my later post clarified my points better.

Research has regularly shown these guys many times had far less training time-in in Aikido, than was thought. Some as little as five years of study before being sent out to teach. This again creates any number of conditions for sourcing weapons work. From koryu study gained from outside teachers, koryu studies in a limited fashion from within the aikikai, on to making things up, to perhaps any combination thereof. If we think of the Dojo as a melting pot of young toughs training there who all had various backgrounds, it is reasonable to think of guys picking up a little of this or a lot of that according to there interest and blending it all together.

Last edited by DH : 09-22-2008 at 06:39 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 07:24 PM   #105
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,997
Japan
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Hello George,

I once asked Yamaguchi Sensei point blank which sword koryu he practised in addition to aikido. His answer was certainly not evasive. He said, None, and added that whatever sword skills he had were eclectic, picked up from watching and stealing.

When I was in England, one of Yamaguchi Sensei's early students, M Sekiya Sensei, urged me to practise 'proper' kenjutsu in addition to aikido. I was doing a lot of aiki-ken/aiki-jo at the time, for Saito's early volumes were coming out and Chiba was teaching this. However, I think Sekiya found this distasteful and, of course, you could see why. Sekiya's stance, the way he handled a bokken, clearly bore the imprint of Yamaguchi, as I discovered later. Sekiya S also taught sword in London--until Chiba Sensei stopped him, with the reason that such training could not be done in aikido classes.

Sekiya S also urged me to seek out and train with two of Yamaguchi's close students: Inaba and Noguchi. Inaba Sensei runs the Shiseikan Dojo in Tokyo and practises Kashima Shin Ryu. Of course, I know him--actually I am slightly his senior in terms of age. He is a real Japanese gentleman, but one who holds extremely conservative views, quite to the right of the political spectrum. His views about the Japanese emperor system and 'pure' Japanese values reminded me of O Sensei in the 1930s, but without the angst. Now it seems to me that Inaba Sensei regards swordsmanship as an essential part of this set of core Japanese values. Just as a young Japanese male should be proficient in sumo and jujutsu, so also he should know how to handle a sword. A corollary of Inaba Sensei's views is that for a foreigner to have these values involves a huge mental and cultural leap--on both sides.

Why do I state this? Because I think there was far more of a 'weapons culture' in prewar, wartime, and postwar Japan than there is now. Many of my ordinary Japanese friends who practise aikido have swords at home, that have been passed down through the family. One friend, descended from samurai and now in his 70s, who trained regularly at the Hombu Dojo, also trained in his family sword art, rather like Kuroda Tetsuzan, but far less prominently. The art was handed down and he was expected to uphold family values by becoming proficient. So when he began training at the Hombu Dojo, he had a body of knowledge to begin with. Of course, never knew this until he told me. I think we were discussing the teaching of weapons at the Hombu.

The more I study aikido, the more I am convinced that the early history of the art needs a cultural context. Thus, the question whether O Sensei 'taught' or sanctioned/condoned the teaching of weapons outside Iwama' also needs a context. I myself do not believe he 'taught' weapons in Iwama and I am not just playing with words. I have written the earlier columns to explain why.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 07:53 PM   #106
raul rodrigo
Location: Quezon City
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 777
Philippines
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Professor:

Just a few questions:

1. Could you be a bit more explicit about what Sekiya found "distasteful" about the Saito version of ken?

2. Despite Chiba's stopping Sekiya from teaching his ken in London, was there ever any influence in Chiba's own ken from Sekiya, who was after all his father in law?

best,

R
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 08:10 PM   #107
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,997
Japan
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Professor:

Just a few questions:

1. Could you be a bit more explicit about what Sekiya found "distasteful" about the Saito version of ken?
Well, it might have been the way we were doing it. There was a makiwara in the dojo and the Yoshinkan background of Minoru Kanetsuka sometimes showed: slow, basic training, with uncooperative ukes. There was lots of tanren uchikomi training at the makiwara. In addition, Sekiya Sensei most definitely did not possess Mito-kishitsu in any way. By profession he had been an engineer with JAL. Personally, I do not think he 'believed' in aiki-ken, at least as an established sword art. Of course, O Sensei trained with the sword in Iwama and this was called 'aiki-ken'. This is part of established aikido doctrine, but Sekiya believed that a sword art as such was kenjutsu, like Katori and Kashima.

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
2. Despite Chiba's stopping Sekiya from teaching his ken in London, was there ever any influence in Chiba's own ken from Sekiya, who was after all his father in law?

best,

R
I do not think so--certainly not at that time.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 10:03 PM   #108
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 812
Offline
Nothing Hidden, Plain Sight or not

As I've written pretty extensively on aikido and weapons, pre-war in my blogs on AJ (and this will be a largely unchanged chapter in HIPS - yeah, yeah, it's coming, it's coming), I will confine myself to postwar. (sort of).
First of all, Dan's thesis re gaijin entertainment and manipulation is unnecessary. Here's why. Up until the 1930's, even, and certainly before in the Meiji period, one could not do idiotic or powerless or inane sword technique publicly. One would be challenged. To give any example, there was a famous untrue legend of Chiba Shusaku setting up a dojo in the Gumma area, and trouncing the country bumpkins of Maniwa Nen-ryu when they tried to throw him out. (The truth was that the Nen-ryu people sent him packing back to Tokyo). In the 1920's or 30's, (I can't remember), Nikkatsu Films made a movie of this episode, which occurred many decades before. Men of the Maniwa Nen-ryu invaded the Nikkatsu offices with bokken, broke up a few things and confiscated the master film. It was, needless to say, never returned and never released.
Postwar, with only a few exceptions, such spirit was gone - and most Japanese had no clue as to the difference. Hence, one could wave a sword or bokken any way one chose, and who would say you nay. I know of a few exceptions to this - but exceptions they are. For the most part, Japanese aikidoka are either incurious or in awe of their shihan's sword methods. Just like non-Japanese.
As to some of the items touched in George's post:
Tohei Koichi made up his sword, based on what he learned from Ueshiba.
Nishio was NOT influenced by Yamaguchi and Saito - he offered them respect. Nishio's weaponry was his individual adaptation of what he learned from several teachers, among them Matsuo Kempu. He learned Shindo Muso-ryu jo, I believe Eishin-ryu and, I also believe, some level of Araki-ryu Gunyo Kogusoku (different from the Araki-ryu I do).
Yamaguchi learned/observed Inaba, who practiced an off-shoot of Kashima Shin-ryu (this version, per KSR shihan, although skilled in it's own way, is devoid of real Kashima Shin-ryu principals, as Dan often says modern-day aikido is of DR).
Saotome "audited." One of his students, I believe, studied a little Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, and Saotome played around and improvised with that and his own insights.
Some might have studied in secret some koryu. But the results indicate that it was secret from themselves too.
Finally, Kuroiwa Yoshio once got up at an all shihan meeting and said, as follows, "I think we should stop doing sword and jo taking exhibitions at the Aikikai demos. There are probably real swordsmen in the audience and it is an insult to them, because they could cut anyone in the room in two." He told me that there was dead silence, and then after a long pause, Doshu just changed the subject. After the meeting, Iimura, who taught aikido at the Budokan, said, "I thought there was going to be a bloodbath. I can't believe you got away with that." More interesting, perhaps, was that Saito Morihiro approached him and said, "Yoku Itte kuremashita." which means, essentially, "You did me/us a real favor in saying that." Of course, nothing changed.
In sum, some people quite respectably use aikido weapons as a means to study or illustrate the principals they are trying to show/study in their aikido. No conspiracy of silence. With few exceptions, no one's interested as to where it came from, what it means, or much of anything else.
Best

  Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2008, 01:48 AM   #109
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,631
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post

The more I study aikido, the more I am convinced that the early history of the art needs a cultural context. Thus, the question whether O Sensei 'taught' or sanctioned/condoned the teaching of weapons outside Iwama' also needs a context. I myself do not believe he 'taught' weapons in Iwama and I am not just playing with words. I have written the earlier columns to explain why.

Best wishes,
Hi Peter,
I find the history to be fascinating but my ability to pursue it in any real depth is limited due to my lack of language skills. As a student and teacher in my own right, these questions are important to me. I know what I have gained personally from my sword training. That continues to be true.

I see the difference between students who study weapons and those who do not. I think that there are many aspects of the principles operating in Aikido which are best studied via weapons, especially the sword.

As foreigners studying the art of Aikido, the cultural context of which you speak is necessarily what we choose to make it since the art has no organic context of its own in our culture. I definitely do not see this as trying to duplicate some aspect of samurai culture or an attempt to be more Japanese than the Japanese. It's simply my own belief that weapons work will yield an understanding of various principles at work in our art better than other methods. I think these principles are universal rather than cultural; we can understand them as well as any Japanese person, even though we have a different cultural context.

I have a great appreciation for the work you are doing. I have learned a tremendous amount from your series. I can only picture some hapless poster on a forum in the far future discussing where all the weird elements of my own sword work came from... It'll be funny to see what they think... what came from where, what I made up, etc... Knowing what the elements have been so far, I defy anyone in the future to make any real sense out of what I do; it's an eclectic mish mash and likely to get more complex as I am still quite actively training with anyone who I think can show me stuff. Id any of the deshi were like I have been, it's no wonder that we can't make much sense out of it.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2008, 04:36 AM   #110
aikilouis
Location: Germany
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 218
France
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Back to the war period.

I noticed that betwen the prewar and postwar pictures, O Sensei's appearance had dramatically changed. His hair had become completely white, he had grown a beard, he looked much slimmer and older. In brief, he became the O Sensei that we mostly remember him by today.

Do we have information on what could have explained this evolution, like health issues ? It seems to me that many people don't change that much between their late 50s and their mid 60s.

  Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2008, 06:28 AM   #111
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,997
Japan
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Quote:
Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
Back to the war period.

I noticed that betwen the prewar and postwar pictures, O Sensei's appearance had dramatically changed. His hair had become completely white, he had grown a beard, he looked much slimmer and older. In brief, he became the O Sensei that we mostly remember him by today.

Do we have information on what could have explained this evolution, like health issues ? It seems to me that many people don't change that much between their late 50s and their mid 60s.
Mr Neveu,

Morihei Ueshiba states in the sections I quoted in Column 7 and 9 that he was quite ill during the time of the second Omoto suppression, to the extent that he had major fears of an interrogation at the hands of the Kempeitai or Thought Police, who were not known for the delicacy of their methods, especially those interrogators lacking in 'kokoro'.

Ueshiba also states that he was quite ill at the time of the visions in 1940, even at death's door, but he then goes on to describe all the things he did for the Japanese government during this time. So it is hard to know how debilitating this illness was. There is an account of an earlier salt water drinking contest, which is supoosed to have a major effect on his health, but we do not know how serious it was.

Kisshomaru Ueshiba's biography is of little help here, since the picture he gives of O Sensei fluctuates between that of a frail person, of weak constitution, and that of a super-human, able to do great deeds right up till he passed way at the ripe old age of 86. Kisshomaru explains the illnesses of the later 30s and early 40s in terms of the burden of the war: O Sensei as avatar, suffering on behalf of the many. As a historian, I believe we need more evidence.

As for change in O Sensei's appearance, well, perhaps you should look at the present Doshu. I know that he has curbed the exuberant drinking habits of his youth, but in a very few years his hair has turned white and he sometimes looks quite haggard in appearance. The burdens of office? Possibly.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2008, 07:40 AM   #112
Josh Reyer
 
Josh Reyer's Avatar
Location: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 644
Japan
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

I don't think the change in appearance was all that dramatic, although it can certainly seem so in that we don't have many pictures of Ueshiba in the 40s. Obviously, there weren't a lot of pictures being taken from his retreat to Iwama in 1942 until after the war ended and budo was allowed by the Occupation. He was 59 when he left for Iwama, and well into his sixties when the post war pictures start appearing.

Here's a picture from the Noma Dojo selection, in 1936 (age 53). The quality isn't good, but if you have the English edition of "Budo", it's clear that his handlebar moustache is graying.

Then you have this picture, one of the latest pre-war, pre-Iwama ones. He's still looking quite hale and bold, but his moustache is all white, and if I'm not mistaken we can see the beginnings of the beard.

Then, one of the early post-war pictures. Early 1950s, and Ueshiba's in his late 60s, but still looking pretty hale. But now he has the full beard. The appearance of the full beard, more than anything else, accounts for the big change, I think.

If you have Budo: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido, and/or the first volume of Saito Morihiro's Takemusu Aikido, I think the pictures show a clear and natural progression.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2008, 07:44 AM   #113
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Ellis
Nice post...er..dissertation.
One small correction ,my comment on Japanese teachers feeling a need to show sword to gaijin shouldn't have been assigned to the 30's, I was thinking more the late 70's to the present
Also I think you know the whole Kashima ordeal from the temple training and them not beng allowed to teach but they kept right on doing so within Aikido, and you just didn't want to elaborate.
_____________________________

This comment from one of the Deshi I found interesting
"I think we should stop doing sword and jo taking exhibitions at the Aikikai demos. There are probably real swordsmen in the audience and it is an insult to them, because they could cut anyone in the room in two."
I am reminded of our recent conversation regarding ippon dori, and my comments then. It's nice to know, (and I probably should have assumed the best) that my comments heres were applicable to these chaps as well.
...An inner self-awareness of their own comparative worth in a very real comparison to truly gifted Koryu weapons experts
and
and what the talent pool around them must have been, I could understand those guys being reluctant to talk about (show) their "weapons work"

This makes me feel even more compassion for their mission and what they had to struggle with. The entire research aspect always plays out much better through the eyes, and in the hands of guys with a broader background of the subject. Case in point, the early deshi (I consider that post war-the prewar guys were doing Daito ryu, plain and simple) are so often venerated and treated as "experts" under Osensei. You two do a much finer job of bringing them to light. I must say seeing their own assessment of their "swordwork" and take-aways, in light of who was in the audience, echo's many conversations and assessments from the Koryu end quite well. It puts a whole knew light on the subject knowing they didn't want to demonstrate that stuff either.
So again, this new information brings about other questions.

Saito, Kuroiwa, Iimura were representative of -I am assuming here-many others who "got it" and were conscripted into doing these displays they themselves wanted nothing to do with. So we are left to assume what?
Kissomaru didn't get it?
Or, he did but didn't care?
What does that mean?
He knew it was false but made a good road show?
He had some supposedly greater vision in mind?
What was the environment or mindset that produced the need to "represent" that stuff in any era? Lest anyone think I am picking on Aikido (George) Sakakibara and Takeda had their own budo road show, that many believe was the nexus that led to Daito ryu's "capturing and pinning five guys at once" displays, and their very own version of teachers admitting in interviews that.. "We really should stop doing those things in public.There could be serious budo men watching."

In light of people who got involved and thought they were learning from Japanese experts in this or that, and that everything they see had a pedagogy in Samurai arts its refreshing to read so much candor, such as
With few exceptions, no one's interested as to where it came from, what it means, or much of anything else.

Then again it makes a strident case for Caveat emptor doesn't it?
Who's to judge the value of anything, and by what standard? Well it worked on me so it must be good stuff right? Who would question the value and bury a waza in the back yard and leave it whimpering when it proved lacking after testing- when facing another kory exponent who's training taught them to cut while stepping back in retreat and therefore undid the waza?
I think I like the mindset of ...let weapon training be weapon training and not trying to morph THEM to body skills and grappling. Think of the inherint errors in that.

Last edited by DH : 09-23-2008 at 07:58 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2008, 08:42 AM   #114
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 812
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Dan - small clarifications. Kuroiwa and Iimura were postwar - as was Saito (albeit, a special case).
I do not think anyone was drafted into doing weapons taking techniques, etc., against their will. All information that I have was that Ueshiba M. was laissez-faire about most things.
He did such techniques (could HE, or Takeda, Horikawa, Sagawa accomplish them against a skilled swordsman? - Were the deshi imitating, ineptly what their forebears COULD do? Or were they imitating what they, too, couldn't do? In Ueshiba's case - and perhaps the others, we do have some accounts from swordsmen suggesting that Ueshiba could - but soon, in this area, we leave even speculation and enter fantasy discussions. )
Anyway, aside from his own research at various centers (Iwama, Shingu, Wakayama, Kyoto, etc., where that particular deshi, who functioned, in my opinion, partly as a "crash test dummy" for Ueshiba to hone a particular aspect of his own studies), I think Ueshiba left each to do as they would. Yeah, there were the emotional storms of "that's not my aikido," and Saito's memories of Ueshiba expressing visible pleasure when the former, amidst all the circus acts, would do a simple demo of aikido basics, but otherwise, people did as they wished. And that included lots of sword taking demos.
And with the exception of challenges to the administration, or in Tomiki's case, the 2nd generations ideology of what aikido was to be, 2nd Doshu's attitude seems to have been that of the Zen proverb, "If you want to keep your cow, give it a huge pasture."
Finally, idealistic martial arts - of which aikido is one - suffer from the "frog in the well" syndrome - [A frog in a well gazed at the sky, and said, "I know what the universe is. It's a black tube ending in a small blue disc." In other words - if such explanation is needed, I think many of these people - even shihan - honestly believe they can bring this stuff off - they become as credulous in their weapons and taijutsu as their students, who are taking the dives for them.
Best

  Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2008, 09:29 AM   #115
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

As you know-I agree with what you've written here just now.
Lets go back to this
Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Dan -
I do not think anyone was drafted into doing weapons taking techniques, etc., against their will. All information that I have was that Ueshiba M. was laissez-faire about most things.
Reconcile that...with the following
Quote:
Finally, Kuroiwa Yoshio once got up at an all shihan meeting and said, as follows, "I think we should stop doing sword and jo taking exhibitions at the Aikikai demos. There are probably real swordsmen in the audience and it is an insult to them, because they could cut anyone in the room in two." He told me that there was dead silence, and then after a long pause, Doshu just changed the subject. After the meeting, Iimura, who taught aikido at the Budokan, said, "I thought there was going to be a bloodbath. I can't believe you got away with that." More interesting, perhaps, was that Saito Morihiro approached him and said, "Yoku Itte kuremashita." which means, essentially, "You did me/us a real favor in saying that." Of course, nothing changed.
What that says to me is that they didn't want to do them. but were compelled to. And not by Ueshiba M., but by Kissomaru.

Quote:
I think many of these people - even shihan - honestly believe they can bring this stuff off - they become as credulous in their weapons and taijutsu as their students, who are taking the dives for them.
While truer words were never spoken, your previous model holds true as well.
Quote:
With few exceptions, no one's interested as to where it came from, what it means, or much of anything else.
I think a lot of guys-maybe most- could care less about really testing to see how effective they are, or how true their martial veracity is. They would never have buried a waza in the backyard simply because it didn't work, if they could have fun with it. Of course you have all the cautions and endless arguments about what effective means, but within the margins there are truths that remain relevant-if only to the few who want to test.

Last edited by DH : 09-23-2008 at 09:40 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2008, 09:57 AM   #116
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 812
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

I think we are down to counting angels dancing on the head of a pin. Particularly as we are - mostly - in agreement. Here's where the nuances of Japanese language come in. First of all, Saito being coerced or leveraged by 2nd Doshu - uh uh. The proof of this is what happened right after his death at Iwama.
But "yoku itte kuremashita" is one of those expressions that can have as many meanings as you want. Here are some alternatives:
1. Thanks for saying exactly what I've been saying. THOSE guys are terrible with weapons. (it can't apply to me).
2. Thanks for calling me on my own b.s. Now that I've said it to you, I will carry on exactly as I have before. (Kuroiwa was the Cassandra of aikido - said the things no one else would say, was always thanked, and then ignored).
3. You sure talk big (metaphoric pat on the head.).
In my opinion, #1 is most likely to be closest to the truth in this case.
But on to other things.
Ellis

  Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2008, 06:21 AM   #117
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,997
Japan
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
As foreigners studying the art of Aikido, the cultural context of which you speak is necessarily what we choose to make it, since the art has no organic context of its own in our culture.
PAG. Yes, I agree. The cultural context is there, however, as a matter of fact: it can be studied and mastered by those who want to do. Those who do not will then need to solve the contradictions posed by the essentially Japanese nature of aikido. Judo has had this problem, also kendo and karate. I know from lengthy conversations with Doshu that the Aikikai do not want aikido to go in this direction, which they fear is likely if aikido is separated unduly from its Japanese cultural context.

However, in some respects Kisshomaru Ueshiba let the genie out of the bottle by deciding to propagate aikido at home and abroad as a ‘popular’ martial art. However, I think he believed that people would accept that it was a good, beneficial, part of Japanese culture, which counterbalanced the negative aspects experienced in the Pacific War. I think that Morihei Ueshiba gradually acquiesced in Kisshomaru’s vision (really, he was not the type to stop it), but still saw himself as an avatar, fashioning ubuya on the Floating Bridge of Heaven, right till the end of his life.

Kisshomaru had a completely different cast of mind from his father’s—and there is good and bad about this. His biography details Morihei’s reaction when he broached the subject of an aikido demonstration, which was held in 1956. Since the English translation has not yet been published in the US, here is a lengthy quote:

“Up until this moment, demonstrations and lectures about aikido were given by O Sensei alone, and exclusively in the setting of existing dojos. The only exceptions were the official Budo enbu (public demonstrations of various arts) in which O Sensei had participated as a guest. He detested the idea of demonstrating for the general public. True budo involved struggle, and invoked the stakes of life and death, so he felt that its inner secrets should be transmitted only to sincere seekers. He believed that to show the secrets freely to outsiders would be immoral, a kind of devaluation or disrespect for the art.
“These feelings were perfectly understandable to us. Yet we also knew that, without greater openness, it would be difficult to propagate the art of aikido as we went forward. Shigeho Tokunaga and I worked very hard on crafting a proposal to O Sensei for a demonstration to the general public—although, to make matters worse, given the lack of appropriate venues, we had to propose that the demonstration take place on the roof of a department store. We expected to be met with thunderous yelling, but we had come to the conclusion that only such a demonstration would enable us to make a decisive leap forward, and expand the awareness and practice of aikido in a way suitable for the times. I made up my mind and went to propose this to O Sensei.
“As he listened, his face gradually turned red and his veins began to pop out with just the anger we had anticipated, and he pursed his lips in a frown. Once he had listened to what I had to say, he closed his eyes and meditated for some time. Then he slowly gave his answer. ‘Very well. Perhaps it is necessary to reach out to all levels of society. If it helps to clear the muddy stream, this old man will do his best to demonstrate the essence of aikido. I have already put you in charge. As long as you follow the path of helping society and helping humanity, I have no objection to what you propose. Make use of this old man to help you reach your goals.’
“Sometimes I think back on this moment and I can see how difficult this decision must have been for O Sensei. It gives me greatest happiness that he chose as he did, and expressed his decision in that way. A person who heard this story said, ‘Perhaps O Sensei accepted this idea because you were his son. After all, O Sensei is a parent and a parent’s love is very great.’
“The five-day demonstration on the roof of the Takashimaya store was truly spectacular.” (A Life in Aikido, pp.299-301.)

Kisshomaru does not explain to what extent weapons featured in the demonstration. However, O Sensei’s main uke was Tamura Sensei and I will meet him next week and ask him. Earlier in his biography, Kisshomaru casually mentions that Shigeho Tokunaga, “helped me develop a new format for demonstrations.” I wonder (I do not know) if this was when the dreaded tachi-dori / jo-dori / tanto-dori format received official baptism.

In this respect, I give a personal anecdote. After I came to Japan, I once gave a demonstration to mark an anniversary in a neighboring prefecture. The shihan had been a deshi of Aritoshi Murashige and was noted for his rough keiko. I think I was around 3rd dan and my demonstration consisted almost entirely of koshi-waza and ganseki-otoshi, in a style beloved of Hiroshi Isoyama. My uke was an agile and flexible university student and it would never have occurred to him to be anything less than cooperative in any waza. However, I heard later that the reaction from Doshu, who saw the demonstration was that I was doing ranbo aikido (乱暴 is violent, rude, wild). So when I gave a demonstration at the big jamboree held every year in May, at the Nippon Budokan, I was required by my Dojo-cho to show only smooth, flowing, basic waza, with big circles: the type of aikido favoured by Kisshomaru Doshu. Needless to say, that was my last demonstration at this event.

In the above quotation Kisshomaru describes an encounter with his father. I will discuss the relations between Kisshomaru Ueshiba and his father in a future column, but I think we need to make a major mental leap, in order to imagine life in the Ueshiba household—or the Takeda household, for that matter. It is hard to think of a contemporary parallel. The Sopranos? Hardly. Morihei was famous for his volcanic explosions; Kisshomaru came to be noted for his glacial stare and abrupt change of subject.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I definitely do not see this as trying to duplicate some aspect of samurai culture or an attempt to be more Japanese than the Japanese. It's simply my own belief that weapons work will yield an understanding of various principles at work in our art better than other methods. I think these principles are universal rather than cultural; we can understand them as well as any Japanese person, even though we have a different cultural context.
PAG. Yes, I agree with you here, also, but I think we need to be what kind of weapons work is in question here. I ask because one of my Dutch students spent some time studying medieval European sword forms, of the type studied by Lichtenauer and collected in various technical manuals (the sword being the straight, double sided, tsurugi type). It had zero influence on his aikido. Sugano Sensei, however, became expert in European fencing before he had his leg amputated. Morihei Ueshiba appears to have trained with the spear, naginata, bo, jo, as well as the sword, but not with the kusarigama, for example.
In my opinion, there are several crucial ingredients to aikido training (in no particular order). Some are solo; some need to be done with a partner:
(1) Training similar to the kind of individual body training practiced in sumo;
(2) Training similar to the kind of grappling practiced in sumo, or ju/aiki-jutsu;
(3) Training with weapons.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 09-25-2008 at 06:23 AM.

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2008, 12:56 AM   #118
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,631
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Sugano Sensei, however, became expert in European fencing before he had his leg amputated.
Interestingly, my wife is a former Nation Champion fencer. We actually met on-line and had an extensive e-mail correspondence regarding the energetics of the two opponents or partners) in a martial interaction. Despite the fact that technically her art, which was the epee, had no similarity at all with our movements in Aikido, the energetic relationship was pretty much the same.

One night in class we were talking about the ability to sense when an attacker makes the decision to attack, which is necessarily before the attack physically initiates. I had my wife stand with her sword in gedan hasso with the instruction to execute a tsuki the instant she perceived I was open. I stood in seigan and projected my attention at her center leaving no opening. Then, without changing anything else, I simply thought about my big toe. The instant I shifted my attention she was coming in. There was virtually no time lag between when I shifted my attention and when she initiated her tsuki.

I think that weapons training, especially sword, works better than empty hand for teaching that aspect of the art. Perhaps because in empty hand there seems to be so much more going on. Or perhaps because empty hand is so much slower than sword, one doesn't actually need to develop that same kind of sensitivity.

Anyway, the aspects of the art which concern projecting the attention, developing a high sensitivity to the others intention, etc is all done better via weapons training I think. Genie, my wife, made it clear to me that this aspect of aiki isn't limited to Asian systems, although Westerners have virtually no vocabulary for talking about it. Genie actually started Aikido to try to find some ways to express what she was already doing in her fencing

- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2008, 08:32 AM   #119
C. David Henderson
Location: Santa Fe New Mexico
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 606
United_States
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Hi Professor Goldsbury,

Could you please say more about this idea:

"The [Japanese] cultural context is there, however, as a matter of fact: it can be studied and mastered by those who want to do. Those who do not will then need to solve the contradictions posed by the essentially Japanese nature of aikido. Judo has had this problem, also kendo and karate. I know from lengthy conversations with Doshu that the Aikikai do not want aikido to go in this direction, which they fear is likely if aikido is separated unduly from its Japanese cultural context."

Are there examples of these contradictions and how they posed problems for judo, kendo, and karate?

And may I address you as Peter?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

David
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2008, 08:35 AM   #120
Allen Beebe
Location: Portland, OR
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 530
United_States
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

I agree George. Although, I think you will further agree that this alone isn't enough. Against the proper opponent the aforementioned ability allows one to ascertain the the precise moment before they die, and there's more . . .

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Interestingly, my wife is a former Nation Champion fencer. We actually met on-line and had an extensive e-mail correspondence regarding the energetics of the two opponents or partners) in a martial interaction. Despite the fact that technically her art, which was the epee, had no similarity at all with our movements in Aikido, the energetic relationship was pretty much the same.

One night in class we were talking about the ability to sense when an attacker makes the decision to attack, which is necessarily before the attack physically initiates. I had my wife stand with her sword in gedan hasso with the instruction to execute a tsuki the instant she perceived I was open. I stood in seigan and projected my attention at her center leaving no opening. Then, without changing anything else, I simply thought about my big toe. The instant I shifted my attention she was coming in. There was virtually no time lag between when I shifted my attention and when she initiated her tsuki.

I think that weapons training, especially sword, works better than empty hand for teaching that aspect of the art. Perhaps because in empty hand there seems to be so much more going on. Or perhaps because empty hand is so much slower than sword, one doesn't actually need to develop that same kind of sensitivity.

Anyway, the aspects of the art which concern projecting the attention, developing a high sensitivity to the others intention, etc is all done better via weapons training I think. Genie, my wife, made it clear to me that this aspect of aiki isn't limited to Asian systems, although Westerners have virtually no vocabulary for talking about it. Genie actually started Aikido to try to find some ways to express what she was already doing in her fencing

- George

~ Allen Beebe
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2008, 11:26 AM   #121
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,631
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Quote:
Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
I agree George. Although, I think you will further agree that this alone isn't enough. Against the proper opponent the aforementioned ability allows one to ascertain the the precise moment before they die, and there's more . . .
Hi Allen,
All of the terminology relating to timing, spacing, initiative, etc. (to the extent that people in Aikido are aware of such) comes from the sword. Go no sen, sen no sen, sen sen no sen, etc...

Weapons work is by far the best way to gain some understanding of the differences between these concepts. Yet, O-Sensei was quoted repeatedly as saying that it Aikido technique wasn't about timing. So, I think the progression in ones training should be to first understand the various manifestations of timing as used traditionally. We simply use the forms given to us by Saotome Sensei as a tool and investigate how changing the timing or initiative changes how everything works.

But eventually we should be trying to go beyond this, as O-Sensei stated. My current take on this comes from my time with Ushiro Kenji Sensei. He talks about your mind already being inside the attack before it even starts. So what happens to the whole notion of reaction time when you introduce the concept of "already".

Whereas this is best practiced with sword, it totally relates to empty hand as well. The issue with empty hand is that people don't really feel that one strike from the opponent will finish them, so issues of who moves first etc, don't quite seem so important. Put a knife in the opponent's hand and people totally change how they treat the interaction.

This is one of the objections I have to comparing mixed martial arts and Aikido. Aikido, in my opinion, is really a weapons based system in terms of all of its logic. If you do not train as if both of you have a weapon(s) then most of what we do doesn't actually make much sense. It certainly doesn't apply in the empty hand sport context very well.

As I've said before, if you gave the two opponents in the octagon knives, we would see an entirely different body type and mindset from what we see currently. So, in my opinion, taking the weapons out of Aikido removes most of the underlying assumptions from which the waza derive. Weapons training doesn't have to be on the par with the true weapons styles of the koryu to be able to teach these lessons but the quality of the weapons training needs to be better than it generally is. Most folks I encounter doing weapons work in Aikido are not training in a way that will reveal anything useful at all; they are blissfully unaware of these issues.

I am really lucky because I get to work with real swordsmen in my own investigations. Of course they are not allowed to show me what they are learning in their koryu practice but I get a kick out of it when I can push one of them hard and some move slips out in the heat of things. I just smile and point out that they just gave away another secret; they always look very embarrassed. They really are very good at not intentionally giving anything away that they shouldn't. Anyway, I have skilled partners to work with on these things and it makes a huge difference in what I get out of my investigations.
- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2008, 11:38 AM   #122
Allen Beebe
Location: Portland, OR
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 530
United_States
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

George! Shhhh!

~ Allen Beebe
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2008, 11:51 AM   #123
Chuck Clark
 
Chuck Clark's Avatar
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Monroe, Washington
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,134
United_States
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I am really lucky because I get to work with real swordsmen in my own investigations. Of course they are not allowed to show me what they are learning in their koryu practice but I get a kick out of it when I can push one of them hard and some move slips out in the heat of things. I just smile and point out that they just gave away another secret; they always look very embarrassed. They really are very good at not intentionally giving anything away that they shouldn't. Anyway, I have skilled partners to work with on these things and it makes a huge difference in what I get out of my investigations.
- George
Ditto, George. This is very true for me as well. I can't imagine a better group of people to train with that continue to give us problems to solve. By the way, you're welcome to sample my group of "problem givers/solvers" any time.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2008, 03:00 PM   #124
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,631
Offline
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote: View Post
Ditto, George. This is very true for me as well. I can't imagine a better group of people to train with that continue to give us problems to solve. By the way, you're welcome to sample my group of "problem givers/solvers" any time.
Hi Chuck,
Thanks so much for the invite... it means a lot to be welcomed by folks like you and your students. I've been so busy... I'm afraid that you are now on the list of local folks whom I dearly love whom I almost never make time to see (Phil Relnick, Bruce Bookman, etc.)

By the way, how's the state of the bod? You've had at least one operation since I last talked to you, no?

- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Budo Bear Patterns - Sewing pattern for Women's (and Men's) dogi.



Comment


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

Posting Rules
You may not post new columns
You may not post comment
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
Column Column Starter Category Comments Last Post
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 6 Peter Goldsbury Columns 35 03-13-2009 06:16 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5 Peter Goldsbury Columns 69 12-31-2008 11:41 AM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 3 Peter Goldsbury Columns 16 05-28-2007 06:24 AM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 2 Peter Goldsbury Columns 3 04-19-2007 04:53 AM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation Peter Goldsbury Columns 7 03-25-2007 02:33 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:22 AM.



Column powered by GARS 2.1.5 ©2005-2006

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