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Old 01-01-2009, 05:37 AM   #26
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

Quote:
Shany Golan wrote: View Post
40 years ago people wanted to train to be like Ueshiba
Nowdays they want to be like Steven Seagal

Seagal's Aikido (when he was really still doing Aikido) was very serious and you could tell he was doing a martial art. I saw a video of him doing tonto-tori with a live blade! Smooth, yet extremely powerful.

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Old 01-01-2009, 10:04 AM   #27
lifeafter2am
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

Quote:
Shany Golan wrote: View Post
40 years ago people wanted to train to be like Ueshiba
Nowdays they want to be like Steven Seagal

Nice, very nice.

"The mind is everything. What you think you become." - Siddhattha Gotama Buddha
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:44 PM   #28
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

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Shany Golan wrote: View Post
40 years ago people wanted to train to be like Ueshiba
Nowdays they want to be like Steven Seagal

Oh no please!!! That means that I would have to get a hair transplant!!!....... and a rubber band....

And as far as Ueshiba was concerned I never heard of him till about 1 1/2 years after I started..... the first time I had heard of him was at the first B.A.A. summer school that I attended..... and the people there kept talking about some bloke called Wusheba? ...... As far as I was aware we were doing Tomiki Style...... Personally I didn't care and just got into a lot of hard wrist twisting and shomenate's and gedans with the sweat just dripping of you and soaking wet dogi's after a mornings randori geiko.....
Followed by kata in the afternoon...... Intensive but good...

Last edited by Tony Wagstaffe : 01-01-2009 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:19 PM   #29
James Wyatt
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

Have only been studying since the mid '90s but my teacher has been studying judo since the early 50s and went to study judo and aikido in Japan in '58 for a 6.5 years (returning to London and the Budokwai in '64). From what he says judo training was very different, back then as they used to practice resuscitation practice once a week by strangling each other out ! No health and safety officers loitering. He also states aikido practice is 50% as uke and the attack must be done properly and the reaction to the atemi must be real. Several of the other students have been practising under him for well over 30 years and they say nothing has changed (no reports of any injuries in the entire time apart from when Chiba Sensei decided to use one as uke).

Good teaching and good aikido does not change with time.
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:43 PM   #30
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

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He also states aikido practice is 50% as uke and the attack must be done properly and the reaction to the atemi must be real.

That's what I'm talking about! This is something that you rarely see in Aikido nowadays.

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Old 01-01-2009, 10:46 PM   #31
raul rodrigo
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

Nafis, if I'm not mistaken, you belong to the Chiba/Birankai lineage. Wouldn't you say that the Chiba folk are doing their best to keep their aikido real? Alive attacks, realistic ukemi and so on?
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:35 AM   #32
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

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Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Nafis, if I'm not mistaken, you belong to the Chiba/Birankai lineage. Wouldn't you say that the Chiba folk are doing their best to keep their aikido real? Alive attacks, realistic ukemi and so on?

Yes, I believe that they are. That is the reason why I joined the Birankai. I saw Chiba Sensei and realized that if I wanted my Aikido to be effective and serious, I needed to learn his style of Aikido. That's not to say that there is something wrong with all of the other styles, but the training and what is emphasized is what caught my attention.

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Old 01-02-2009, 05:32 AM   #33
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

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Thank you Kevin. I totally agree.
I have also noticed how many of the people who I constantly hear talking about the ‘old, rough, days', don't seem to be in very good physical shape today; which seems to indicate that harder doesn't necessarily mean smarter.
Athletes today are by and large bigger, stronger, and faster. Training methods have greatly improved. Access to information is more widely available. All good stuff.
But I happen to believe there's a lot of ‘questionable stuff' being taught- a lot of it by high level people- people who began training in the 60's/early 70's. Style is replacing substance. If you've ever been in a real fight or competitive situation, you'll know this ‘stuff' will not work…period. And the real old timers…those who've been training 50 years or so, seem to be disappointed by this as well.
If people want to practice aikido as merely a movement art or a sociological experiment…I think that's fine. To each his/her own. But there are dojo seriously training and striving to maintain aikido as a progressive MARTIAL art. Those dojo may be off the radar though. But like Kevin said, its up to this generation to define the nature of practice for themselves in order for aikido to move forward.
I think the difference is in the "intent" that people practice today..... Posture (kamae), use of hips and as people are saying, weak attacks...... attacking shomen uchi, yokomen uchi without a bokuto is ridiculous...... grabbing a wrist and then waiting for the waza........In all my experience of real attacks I have never experienced this kind of telegraphed attack which seems to me is where the fundamental problems are!!
I would like to think that aikido can move with the times and adapt to modern methods of attack..... ie practice from grab and punch, learn to grapple from attacks you are more likely to encounter in today's society...... It's pretty obvious that nobody would ever attack with a sword action these days ..... what I call the chopping hand syndrome (which is ridiculous) ok it can be practised this way for posterity and its original use, but for crise sakes get with it and adapt aikido to modern ways ...... absolutely agree on that point.....

Tony
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:07 AM   #34
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

Agreed Tony. That's why I continue to box and grapple. The training is more dynamic. I did an exercise a few weeks ago- ‘what happens after the pin?' It was quite interesting.
But I don't think this is a 60's vs 2009 issue. There were clearly people not using timing, distance, posture, proper body mechanics then as well as now. There's just MORE of it. So I think we have to seek out what we feel is beneficial to our own personal development and not fall into the ‘style' trap…another way to do ikyo, another way to do nikyo, another way to do tenchi nage, etc.

If you attack in my dojo with yourself exposed, chances are you'll get hit. Not hurt, but hit…made aware. At the same time it's expected that you truly attack appropriately for what's being taught.
On the other hand I have no respect or patience for those who abuse authority. Too many times I've seen highly regarded instructors crank on a pin much more than needed, often times hurting uke. What's more amazing to me are those who come back for more abuse…like it's a privilege to be hurt by such and such instructor.

Tony, with regards to ‘intent'. Someone stated to me just the other night that they don't intend to really hit nage when training. They didn't feel ‘right' trying to hurt someone. They thought aikido was about ‘love and harmony'. Again…to each his own but…I think that is really a telling statement and illustrates your point well.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:23 PM   #35
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

Quote:
Asim Hanif wrote: View Post
Agreed Tony. That's why I continue to box and grapple. The training is more dynamic. I did an exercise a few weeks ago- ‘what happens after the pin?' It was quite interesting.
But I don't think this is a 60's vs 2009 issue. There were clearly people not using timing, distance, posture, proper body mechanics then as well as now. There's just MORE of it. So I think we have to seek out what we feel is beneficial to our own personal development and not fall into the ‘style' trap…another way to do ikyo, another way to do nikyo, another way to do tenchi nage, etc.

If you attack in my dojo with yourself exposed, chances are you'll get hit. Not hurt, but hit…made aware. At the same time it's expected that you truly attack appropriately for what's being taught.
On the other hand I have no respect or patience for those who abuse authority. Too many times I've seen highly regarded instructors crank on a pin much more than needed, often times hurting uke. What's more amazing to me are those who come back for more abuse…like it's a privilege to be hurt by such and such instructor.

Tony, with regards to ‘intent'. Someone stated to me just the other night that they don't intend to really hit nage when training. They didn't feel ‘right' trying to hurt someone. They thought aikido was about ‘love and harmony'. Again…to each his own but…I think that is really a telling statement and illustrates your point well.
Asim, I think this is the fundamental problem in most training today....... Many times in the past I have had to admonish my students/ukes when they didn't hit/grab/grapple with intent and purposely did not avoid to make sure they did hit me.... if they did, I say good (and block it at the last possible moment!!)..... my more advance students did hit me!! ..... if they got lucky!! But I didn't complain as this is a reminder that I needed to improve as did they...... so sometimes we got the odd bruise but we just smiled and got on with it...... Its probably why when we did have visitors from other clubs come to train, they did not come back for more?..... I know that when my students have gone to practice at other dojo (which I encouraged) they mostly came back saying that they were disappointed in what they found.... this is not arrogance on their part as I always told them to respect what others/they did at other dojo...... in other words keep "thy trap shut" and see what others had to offer.....
So its no wonder things are as they are now.....
I know that my students will try and do their best to sometime find a place for us to reopen...... but that's all in the lap of the "gods" so to speak.
If they don't at least I know that they know I gave them my best and hope that they will carry on that experience as a positive one....

Tony
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:19 AM   #36
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

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Asim, I think this is the fundamental problem in most training today....... Many times in the past I have had to admonish my students/ukes when they didn't hit/grab/grapple with intent and purposely did not avoid to make sure they did hit me.... if they did, I say good (and block it at the last possible moment!!)..... my more advance students did hit me!! ..... if they got lucky!! But I didn't complain as this is a reminder that I needed to improve as did they...... so sometimes we got the odd bruise but we just smiled and got on with it...... Its probably why when we did have visitors from other clubs come to train, they did not come back for more?..... I know that when my students have gone to practice at other dojo (which I encouraged) they mostly came back saying that they were disappointed in what they found.... this is not arrogance on their part as I always told them to respect what others/they did at other dojo...... in other words keep "thy trap shut" and see what others had to offer.....
So its no wonder things are as they are now.....
I know that my students will try and do their best to sometime find a place for us to reopen...... but that's all in the lap of the "gods" so to speak.
If they don't at least I know that they know I gave them my best and hope that they will carry on that experience as a positive one....

Tony
We don't do the same style, but it sounds like I would have a great time working out with you and your students. After all, Aikido is a BUDO! Better to get hit or a little hurt in the dojo than to really suffer on the street from a real attack. I go to many seminars and it is really sad to see so many Yudansha who can't properly perform techniques. I'm not talking about looking awesome, but I'm talking about how they don't use their hips, don't get off the line or control the center line, don't throw or react to atemi, and almost never take my balance. That's just the short list. Whenever I do find someone who can really train properly, I always wish that we could work out for the whole seminar. But as you know, there is a disadvantage to working out with just one person. All of my research on Aikido and how to train in it as a bido points back to the old days. Not to say that Aikido should not evolve, but it shouldn't evolve at the cost of losing its basic origins. No matter how it changes to fit todays attacks, it should always remain true to form.

Last edited by Nafis Zahir : 01-03-2009 at 12:22 AM.

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Old 01-03-2009, 04:54 AM   #37
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

Asim, it has nothing to do with "style"..... Its all to do with the way one practices..... People talk about soft and hard..... quite honestly getting a balance of the two is important as both are essential in the "effective" practice of aikido...... I think the use of "kuzushi" has been lost in most aikido...... This was paramount in the Tomiki aikido I practised in and one of the things that I look for when I look at people training....... when you can get your uke to "float" you essentially have their balance....
People also talk about "having it" ...... anyone can get it if you know how! When you see how Shioda and Tomiki in their prime execute their waza you can see the unbalancing, but then again they were with Ueshiba pre war when "Aikido" was still aiki jujutsu?
Tomiki was awarded aiki jujutsu scrolls as far as I am aware and then awarded 8th Dan by Ueshiba much later on and the 1st to receive it if my history is correct.....

I think its not so much whether something has been lost but whether its still applied....

Tony
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:08 AM   #38
AsimHanif
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

Asim, it has nothing to do with "style"..... Its all to do with the way one practices.....

I believe when style takes priority over substance....it usually does effect the way one practices.

Have a great New Year.
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:32 AM   #39
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

Quote:
Asim Hanif wrote: View Post
Asim, it has nothing to do with "style"..... Its all to do with the way one practices.....

I believe when style takes priority over substance....it usually does effect the way one practices.

Have a great New Year.
And you to......

Tony
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:25 PM   #40
Robert Cowham
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

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No political correctness then and no litigation either ........ just got on with it!! We were quite proud of the bruises and the like...... just accepted it as being part & parcel of what we did...... a martial art!!
Eh bah gum, Tony lad, you were lucky - when I were a lad we had to beg to be allowed to have bruises... Four Yorkshiremen...
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:26 PM   #41
Robert Cowham
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

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Nafis Zahir wrote: View Post
I go to many seminars and it is really sad to see so many Yudansha who can't properly perform techniques. I'm not talking about looking awesome, but I'm talking about how they don't use their hips, don't get off the line or control the center line, don't throw or react to atemi, and almost never take my balance. <snip> All of my research on Aikido and how to train in it as a bido points back to the old days.
There're ways and means of practising softly but still sharply and with intent. I am researching more and more into a relaxed style these days and how to use my body more efficiently. That doesn't mean I don't value martial effectiveness, but it does mean it is not the major focus of my taijutsu practice (at least for now). However, I also study kenjutsu which is a huge help to "building tanden", understanding pressure, use of kiai etc.

I agree with Diane Skoss: Why women should wield weapons
Quote:
For a number of reasons, unarmed training hasn't been nearly as useful as weapons training in teaching me the skills I'd need to actually defend myself. Today, I am utterly confident that if I were attacked I could and would act, with a reasonable measure of success, to defend myself.
Different strokes for different folks. I think the key is to make sure you know why you are studying, which will dictate what style to study, or with which teacher.

Personally I think there are more options around now than in the 60's, and am very happy with the choices
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:13 PM   #42
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

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Eh bah gum, Tony lad, you were lucky - when I were a lad we had to beg to be allowed to have bruises... Four Yorkshiremen...
Yeh love it!! I do remember watching this when M.P. was all the rage..... still bloody hilarious.....

Showing me age now......

Tony

Last edited by Tony Wagstaffe : 01-05-2009 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:26 AM   #43
Eva Antonia
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

Hello and happy New Year to all,

I'm training only for 2,5 years and am far away from performing well whatever techniques and principles of aikido, but I think I have learnt to observe what teachers and advanced students do, especially as I get around a lot and have trained in different dojos. So just my observations:

My initial teacher, who retired this month from aikido due to old age started training in the 60s and is one of the co-founders of the francophone aikido association in Belgium. He had a sort of minimalist style, never moving one millimeter too much and never accelerating any movement, and he had a way to apply some techniques (for example, irimi nag or tenshi nage) with only a slight touch, but such a precision that you were on the floor before understanding what happened. Still, although his aikido was very smooth and "soft", you always felt that there would be some serious damage done if you resisted too much (I tried that for yonkyo and gokyo...and he made it hurt terribly just using some minimal touch with the fingertips). He ALWAYS tried to make us understand these principles of moving out of uke's line, unbalancing, moving the hips and using atemi, and before having read this thread, I'd have thought these are the basics, and everyone tries to inculcate them to all pupils from the very beginning.

In another dojo, I trained with a guy more then fifty years his junior, in consequence very much "new school", and there the style was much more dynamic, aggressive and "hard", just with everyone accepting that some bruises, sores or sprained bones were normal collateral damages. In that dojo, falls are always high, hard, and make a lot of noise (very much fun), if tori is able to throw you well, obviously. I wouldn't say it was less efficient than the old master's one, but neither more efficient, just very, very different. My son also perceived this, and, being a child, brought it to the point: "If the two of them would fight, which of them would win?" (philosophy of "aikido is without competition" doesn't work for kids).
No need to mention that in that dojo, the same prinicples of unbalancing, atemi, moving the hips etc. were applied. And I'd like to add that we have a shihan here in Belgium, who also started in the 60s, and who has the same dynamic style - no matter of age apparently.

Now we have a new teacher here in Belgium, who is in the middle of these two, and the style is again completely different. Another opportunity to learn new things. Now we learn another type of ukemi (the soft ones that were so much discussed in another thread...I still doubt if they really work in a rapid technique, but we have a shodan who performs them on virtually everything), try to perform techniques without the least hint of hurt (completely new approach for udekime nage...don't break uke's elbow anymore ) - but the principles for unbalancing and moving are still the same. I'd even say they are even more at the core of everything because all tricks like acceleration, twisting until it hurts or whatever you do when a technique doesn't work as you want are not well seen in this style. So it is very soft but again also very efficient.

So, for an aikidoka of the third generation after Ueshiba, it is certainly not possible to compare the old times with the new ones, as we newbies just weren't there, but if comparing only the old and new teachers, I'd say there are so many individual styles that you couldn't just classify them in "old" and "new".

Best regards to all of you,

Eva
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:02 AM   #44
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

There're ways and means of practising softly but still sharply and with intent. I am researching more and more into a relaxed style these days and how to use my body more efficiently. That doesn't mean I don't value martial effectiveness, but it does mean it is not the major focus of my taijutsu practice (at least for now). However, I also study kenjutsu which is a huge help to "building tanden", understanding pressure, use of kiai etc.

Very valid statements here as softness with sharpness and intent is what you will eventually arrive at.......

My own opinion/experience is one can only arrive at this point with experience in how to operate against resistance...... its a matter of knowing when to be "soft" and when to be "hard" or vice versa......
that can only be "felt"
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:23 PM   #45
Robert Cowham
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

See also Aikido Journal Blog - http://www.aikidojournal.com/blog/20...by-gary-ohama/

Quote:
The training is no longer anywhere near as physical as in our younger days. Yet we are more effective, not less. We have proved for ourselves the adage of internal benefits: we are now faster, more balanced, and more powerful than before.
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:44 PM   #46
Lyle Bogin
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

It was easier to get away with less experience back then. Now you need 40 years of aikido to raise anyone's eyebrows.

I think the biggest difference is the loss of Tohei Sensei as a pillar of instructional method.
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Old 01-07-2009, 04:08 AM   #47
Robert Cowham
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

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Lyle Bogin wrote: View Post
Now you need 40 years of aikido to raise anyone's eyebrows.
I don't think it's a question of length of service as much as evidence of progress There are people who can raise eyebrows through what they can do - doesn't need 40 years to achieve that!

Quote:
Lyle Bogin wrote: View Post
I think the biggest difference is the loss of Tohei Sensei as a pillar of instructional method.
Good point - I am more interested in his stuff now through researching internal methods.

As I get older I realise that I don't have so much time left - therefore I get more selective about what I look for in teachers.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:43 AM   #48
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

.

I think the biggest difference is the loss of Tohei Sensei as a pillar of instructional method.[/quote]

As a matter of interest what is the situation as far as Tohei is concerened?...... I know that sadly he is wheelchair bound and now very elderly.......

Tony
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:53 PM   #49
Andrew S
 
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

Ask someone who was there!

At a recent seminar with Asai Sensei, he talked about the injuries that occured back in his earlier days and how we could not train that way today.

Warning: Do not bend, fold or otherwise abuse... until we get to the dojo..


合気道研心会 Aikido Kenshinkai
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:58 PM   #50
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: What's the Difference in Aikido Practice During 60's Compared to Now?

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
.

I think the biggest difference is the loss of Tohei Sensei as a pillar of instructional method.
As a matter of interest what is the situation as far as Tohei is concerened?...... I know that sadly he is wheelchair bound and now very elderly.......

Tony[/quote]

In my opinion, due to the exposure various folks had via the Aiki Expos and other connections that have been made, the instructional method now is far more sophisticated than what was offered then. Tohei's principle based instruction was ahead of its time but there is more out there today for those who seek it.I think that eventually we will recognize that Stan Pranin changed American Aikido on a fundamental level by holding those Expos and allowing teachers like myself to connect with some very high level teachers of aiki who not only could do it but could explain it and teach it.

George S. Ledyard
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