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Old 09-09-2008, 08:15 AM   #1
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Which Aikido Are You Doing?

From Aikido Journal 103 (Vol 22, no 2)

Stan Pranin replies to a Letter to the Editor from Patrick Lynch

Quote:
Stan Pranin wrote:
The statement regarding Saito Sensei's being the "world's leading technical expert" may seem like a lot of advertising hype, but the words were chosen very carefully and supported with ample historical evidence in the introductory essay of Takemusu Aikido, Vol I. If you have read this essay and are not convinced so be it. Even if all may not agree, still a strong argument can be advanced for the statement that Saito Sensei is O-Sensei's "technical heir." While Doshu is indeed the "Leader of the Way," I consider his role primarily organizational and symbolic rather than technical.

The view that aikido techniques are preserved just as the founder created them at the Hombu Dojo is completely untenable. Vast differences can even be seen in the curriculum today compared with that of thirty years ago in the books published by Doshu and Koichi Tohei Sensei. The number of techniques taught has been greatly reduced and big, flowing movements have been introduced. Did anyone ever see O-Sensei perform iriminage the way it is commonly executed today? This is not to say that any one way of practicing or one type of technique is better than another. But it is clear that both the practice and techniques have undergone great transformations over the years.

Finally, your comment about the ken and jo not being taught at the Aikikai because there is "no room" is off the mark. Saito Sensei taught the ken and jo both in the old Hombu and the new Hombu building for about eight or nine years. O-Sensei forbade the use of weapons because he did not feel that the instructors at that time were competent to teach these weapons.
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:17 AM   #2
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Re: Which Aikido Are You Doing?

From Aikido Journal 103 (Vol 22, no 2)

An Interview with David Lynch

Quote:
David Lynch wrote:
Shioda Sensei, like many other former students of O-Sensei, felt that O-Sensei's teaching was unsystematic, and he therefore devised his own set of basic exercises that were intended to make the art easier for the average person to learn. These basic exercises (hiriki no yosei and shumatsu dosa, for instance) are not found in other dojos.
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:58 AM   #3
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Translated words and meanings

The actual translated meanings might not be what we are using right now. Consider this thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15055

and this one

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15054

So, if taisabaki isn't just body movements and timing isn't about actual timing and feelings aren't about well, feelings ...

If they are about core structural body manipulations, controlling an opponent's ki and intent, then, that changes quite a bit of the translated works ...

and not only that, but it starts to make sense of all these threads about structure and aiki ...

and ties them all into what some of the greats were saying and doing.
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:03 AM   #4
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One Normal Test of Morihei Ueshiba

So, from this thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14991

Where have all those seemingly normal tests that Ueshiba did throughout his life go?

Sure, the Ki Society states that they do "push tests", but do they do the same ones that Ueshiba did? Does uke push so hard that they slide backwards? Do they offer an arm and have uke try *anything*?

Yoshinkan? Shodokan? Iwama? Yoseikan? Any Organization? What happened to this fundamental exercise? Where in your Aikido is it?
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:24 AM   #5
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How Long and What Teaching?

Ueshiba: 1915-1919 and he started teaching. Was being regarded as strong. He only got better. Never any long time frames of training with Takeda.

Tomiki: 1925-1936 and he started teaching ... in Manchuria.

Shioda: 1932-1937 and then sent to China. Supposedly trained on and off for about ten years.

Etc.

Why did it take them so few years to become good? Tomiki had a background before he met Ueshiba and it did him no good. Ueshiba had a background when he met Takeda and it did him no good. If those backgrounds were so solid that they "helped" them get better, why was it that every one of them (Ueshiba meeting Takeda, Tomiki meeting Ueshiba, well, everyone meeting Takeda and everyone meeting Ueshiba) was tossed like a rag doll and treated as if they were children in the hands of a parent? Their prior training counted for nothing. Their prior training could do nothing to stop or counter anything.

So, Ueshiba, with all his prior "training" gets manhandled. But then goes on in less than ten years to become someone who manhandles. Tomiki with all his prior training gets tossed about effortlessly like a rag doll some 63 different ways but then in very little time starts tossing judoka around.

Why?

And then we get to Kisshomaru and Tohei ... Where are their students who turned the budo world upside down? Tossed men as ragdolls? Took on anyone and showed the merit of Aikido?

Who taught what?
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:18 PM   #6
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More Spiritual than Martial

From Aikido Journal 106 (Vol 23 No.1)

Quote:
Stan Pranin wrote:
Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba even goes so far as to state that the main relevance of aikido in modern society is as a vehicle for developing better members of society more so than as a martial art.
More spiritual? You're doing Kisshomaru's ... well, one can't call it a martial art, can one? If it's developing better members of society, it really isn't aiki. Wa would be a better term, I think. Harmony of society? Did I get that right? But, even in the generic sense of the term, I can't really see it described as aikido. Anyone care to comment?
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:38 PM   #7
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Re: How Long and What Teaching?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Ueshiba: 1915-1919 and he started teaching. Was being regarded as strong. He only got better. Never any long time frames of training with Takeda.

Tomiki: 1925-1936 and he started teaching ... in Manchuria.

Shioda: 1932-1937 and then sent to China. Supposedly trained on and off for about ten years.

Etc.

Why did it take them so few years to become good?
Because once you understand how to train your body and the means to move with it. The rest takes care of itself.

Once again for the incredibly brainwashed on the long learning curve track:

Takeda made 5 great men who's arts are drastically different from each other.
One of those was Ueshiba

Ueshiba made just a few greats who's arts are....?
drastically different from each other.

I never bought this 20 yr long learning curve stuff, I and others, and their students are living proof of that. All it proves to me is that teachers don't know how to teach or more importantly WHAT to teach.
That's it. Twenty years to get aiki is either incompetence, ignorance, or a lie.
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:44 PM   #8
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Tohei greatly influenced by Nakamura

Aikido Journal Issue 106

From an interview with Seishiro Endo.

The question was: What was Tohei Sensei's teaching like?

Quote:
Seishiro Endo wrote:
Overall I thought he made things easy to learn. Thinking about it now, though, I realize his teaching methods were influenced a great deal by Tempu Nakamura.
Which had greater influence on Tohei: Nakamura or Ueshiba? Seems like it was Nakamura. So, which aikido is Tohei doing?
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:55 PM   #9
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Re: Which Aikido Are You Doing?

When I started training with Neil he told me that anyone who was any good at teaching could transmit *most* of what they knew in about 5-6 years to a good student. Note that I said *most* not all. I don't think he was talking about specific techniques here, but rather building a really solid foundation that can serve the student going forward. I think there's also a big difference between *mastery* after 6 years or so and having transferred the basic concepts and tools necessary to embody the art and continue their own development and improvement. I think a lot of *teachers* have a real problem with this idea. I know a few schools in town where as a student reaches this point in their training, the mind-games seem to creep in. I think it's the rare teacher who can both acknowledge this rather finite time line where there is a distinct master-student relationship and still remain relevant and supportive throughout the change in the relationship that naturally occurs. Too often it seems to become antagonistic. Like Dan said, 20 years is ridiculous.

Chris Moses
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:57 PM   #10
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Re: Tohei greatly influenced by Nakamura

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Which had greater influence on Tohei: Nakamura or Ueshiba? Seems like it was Nakamura. So, which aikido is Tohei doing?
Don't confuse the art with the teaching style/methodology. Toby Threadgill has talked about how his teaching style very much reflects his European fencing teacher, but the art he transmits is entirely TSYR.

Chris Moses
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:06 PM   #11
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Re: Tohei greatly influenced by Nakamura

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Don't confuse the art with the teaching style/methodology. Toby Threadgill has talked about how his teaching style very much reflects his European fencing teacher, but the art he transmits is entirely TSYR.
I thought about that. And even thought about adding the quote from Tohei about the only thing Ueshiba taught him was to relax. But since I couldn't find the quote, I didn't want to mess with it right now. Sooo, I guess I'll have to dig up the quote and find the context.

Also, it seems Tohei and Ueshiba disagreed on other things as well if you take the Hawaii trip and Tohei out drinking all night example.
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:17 PM   #12
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Re: Which Aikido Are You Doing?

What Chris said

I did want to add one thing.
I have never....NEVER...stopped improving. My training with people who've been here for years has been credited with a series of power and sensitivity *jumps* in the early nineties, late nineties, 2002, 2005, and this very year. All that *they* define and tell me about. Why? I keep experimenting, researching, throwing away, and building on, year after year. My people have power -after three years or so- that is substantial, but I stay ahead of them, even though I continue to show them what I am doing.
So forgetting waza, the creative budoka can continure to grow in power twenty, thirty, forty years later. Mant of the besr aiki men have all said in later years "I am more powerful now than I have ever been."
sadly, most folks have not understand "what" they were saying, and "how" to get there.
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:26 PM   #13
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Re: Tohei greatly influenced by Nakamura

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I thought about that. And even thought about adding the quote from Tohei about the only thing Ueshiba taught him was to relax.
Tohei also was kind of full of himself and seriously downplayed Ueshiba's influence.

Kind of like how Ueshiba was (gonna catch it for this one) kind of full of himself and downplayed Takeda's influence.

And like how Takeda was kind of full of himself and downplayed, er, SOMEBODY's influence. I mean, he downplayed it so much no one is really sure where DR even came from!

Chris Moses
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:35 PM   #14
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Re: More Spiritual than Martial

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
If it's developing better members of society, it really isn't aiki.
It's Judo, as Kano saw it.

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Old 09-09-2008, 01:39 PM   #15
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Re: Which Aikido Are You Doing?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I did want to add one thing.
I have never....NEVER...stopped improving. My training with people who've been here for years has been credited with a series of power and sensitivity *jumps* in the early nineties, late nineties, 2002, 2005, and this very year.
Yeah, I remember feeling a punch from you sometime last year and then another from you earlier this year. Very different. I kept trying to get Chris or Brian to volunteer to feel your "soft" punch, but they wanted nothing to do with the idea.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
My people have power -after three years or so- that is substantial,
Huh. And all I got to learn was to step back. LOL!

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
but I stay ahead of them, even though I continue to show them what I am doing.
Nature of the game. It's why Takeda stayed ahead of Ueshiba and Sagawa. Why Ueshiba stayed ahead of Shioda and Tomiki. Unless one of them completely stops training, they progress.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
So forgetting waza, the creative budoka can continure to grow in power twenty, thirty, forty years later. Mant of the besr aiki men have all said in later years "I am more powerful now than I have ever been."
sadly, most folks have not understand "what" they were saying, and "how" to get there.
That may change sooner rather than never.
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:56 PM   #16
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Re: More Spiritual than Martial

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
It's Judo, as Kano saw it.
Actually most budo that I'm familiar with specifically would either say this is THE goal or a very important aspect of training.

Chris Moses
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:56 PM   #17
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Re: Which Aikido Are You Doing?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Yeah, I remember feeling a punch from you sometime last year and then another from you earlier this year. Very different. I kept trying to get Chris or Brian to volunteer to feel your "soft" punch, but they wanted nothing to do with the idea.
You know, because of my own proclivities- I think I tend to talk more about power delivery than the obverse-sensitivity.
They are one and the same. I don't train one over the other. I train me. What receives-feeds.
It is the sensitivity in touch that creates so many opportunities in grappling to delver that power, the power is just-there.

Last edited by DH : 09-09-2008 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 09-09-2008, 02:02 PM   #18
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Re: Which Aikido Are You Doing?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
You know, because of my own proclivities- I think I tend to talk more about power delivery than the obverse-sensitivity.
They are one and the same. I don't train one over the other. I train me. What receives-feeds.
It is the sensitivity in touch that creates so many opportunities in grappling to delver that power, the power is just-there.
Erg, maybe next time I'm up there, we can discuss this a bit more. I think I'm missing something or it just seems like it.
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Old 09-09-2008, 02:09 PM   #19
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Re: More Spiritual than Martial

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Actually most budo that I'm familiar with specifically would either say this is THE goal or a very important aspect of training.
I don't see it as a goal at all. My goal is to win and defeat. To stop agression and make-safe. Mercy belongs in the hands of the victor sort of thing.

The production of good citizens etc, can be a side benefit, but there are just as many jerks in budo as anywhere else. And in the do arts, the non-tested arts- tend to attract passive agressive and abusive behaviour. Aikidoka seem to want to continually point that out all the time.

The reason I love Grapplers so much is that once you have learned through trial and error and constant failure, victory and falure don't mean sooo much that your personality is affected much by it either way.It's just another day at the office
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Old 09-09-2008, 02:15 PM   #20
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Re: Which Aikido Are You Doing?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Erg, maybe next time I'm up there, we can discuss this a bit more. I think I'm missing something or it just seems like it.
No your not .
Lines go in, lines go out,
What receives-feeds
What feeds-receives
While I am in the middle of me

How I effect change and affect you is what I am doing; negative / positive. I take away or add. And either way just support the opposite while -you- have to deal with the results.
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:13 PM   #21
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Re: More Spiritual than Martial

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
The reason I love Grapplers so much is that once you have learned through trial and error and constant failure, victory and falure don't mean sooo much that your personality is affected much by it either way.It's just another day at the office
Your statement reminded me of when I was a freshman in high school. The wrestling team had no 'heavyweight' at the time. The coach talked me into wrestling at that 'weight.' I decided I would try it as I really enjoyed wrestling. I only won one match that entire year. Interestingly, after the first few beatings, my ego got out of the way and I became a good student of the art. It became more about learning than it did winning or losing. My wrestling skills advanced rather rapidly after that. I always picked more advanced wrestlers to train with at practice as I felt I could learn so much more from them.
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:23 PM   #22
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Re: Which Aikido Are You Doing?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
No your not .
Lines go in, lines go out,
What receives-feeds
What feeds-receives
While I am in the middle of me

How I effect change and affect you is what I am doing; negative / positive. I take away or add. And either way just support the opposite while -you- have to deal with the results.
Treatise Seven perhaps?
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:27 PM   #23
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Re: Which Aikido Are You Doing?

Quote:
Your statement reminded me of when I was a freshman in high school. The wrestling team had no 'heavyweight' at the time. The coach talked me into wrestling at that 'weight.' I decided I would try it as I really enjoyed wrestling. I only won one match that entire year. Interestingly, after the first few beatings, my ego got out of the way and I became a good student of the art. It became more about learning than it did winning or losing. My wrestling skills advanced rather rapidly after that. I always picked more advanced wrestlers to train with at practice as I felt I could learn so much more from them.
I always tell people I had to come home and practice and learn to use aiki in a judo dojo with a bunch friends, students and my wifes wrestling cousins. All of whom's advice to me at the time was "Dan, no offence man, but that fruitcake stuff isn't going to work.'
On any other day rolling and banging-not a problem. Aiki?-fail, fail, fail.
So, how'd I learn to train my body and use aiki? From the flat of my back.
Interestingly enough I still have a grappler training with me from back then-his name's Andy. The guy's from aikiweb who come to train here like him- all 290lbs of him. His opinion of this stuff...changed.
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:39 PM   #24
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Re: More Spiritual than Martial

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I don't see it as a goal at all. My goal is to win and defeat.
Quote:
Today, while the classical martial arts are being made available to the public and their techniques preserved, it is my opinion that the spiritual component - which should form the base of those techniques and give direction to practitioners - is missing.
and

Quote:
I strongly hope that the spiritual component of the classical martial arts can make some positive contribution to our modern materialistic world.
Iizasa Shurinosuke Yasusada
12th Generation TSKSR Headmaster (as translated in the forward to "Katori Shinto Ryu, Warrior Tradition (2007)

and

Quote:
If one were to remove the core element of bushido - the martial virtue of humility - from kobudo, all that would remain would be mere violence. Martial arts imbued with moral or humane sentiments are the only true budo.
Otake Ritsuke (p. 41, same source)

/just sayin'...

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Old 09-09-2008, 04:03 PM   #25
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Re: Which Aikido Are You Doing?

You missed my point Chris.
In that it's not *a goal.*
It is part of the training.
It's an end result that's created through good training with the right mindset. It happens.
Trying to make it a "goal" has for the most part made it an artiface in many places. It's what the do arts have stated as a goal for years, and have failed sometimes to pull off.
I offered the grappler model as a countepoint of modern men who manage to find it uplifting and life affirming in many ways. As Ricky noted as well.

Last edited by DH : 09-09-2008 at 04:07 PM.
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