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Old 06-04-2009, 07:59 AM   #26
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

Hey, ya gotta try...

B,
R

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:18 AM   #27
shakou
 
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

Isn't the real jist of the original post getting at the point of syllabus/grading style Aikido and a more progressive/applied style of Aiki? If it is then I think he has a point, everything in life(almost) progresses, it is the natural order so why not so in fighting styles/martial arts? Sure Aikido never started as Aikido and the fashion we at our dojo train in we do encounter a few other forms, Kung-fu, Karate etc and are encouraged to take this on board and actively look out for the crossing over of different styles in different techniques, something I believe Christian Tissier practices.... Also, I may also be missing the original posts point completely but hey........ I am but a spot on the arse of the Aiki world at the moment!

Best
Kris
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:28 AM   #28
John Longford
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

To return to the original statement made by Dan Richards. Are you saying that anyone with 20+ years in Aikido is qualified to create their own style?
I have packed a heck of lot in my 29 years of training/teaching but I am most certainly not in a position to do any more than try to follow my Sensei. Maybe if Science advances enough so that I can live long enough to manage another 50 years or so I can start thinking about it!
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:25 AM   #29
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
I truly believe that Nishio Sensei moved beyond Ueshiba Sensei. And I, in the tradition of all my teachers - whom I truly respect so deeply - that have gone before me, want to move beyond them. How can we - or at least those of us who want to move beyond the boundaries and explore the possibilities - really move aikido and our awareness beyond the level that Ueshiba Sensei was doing?
Well, if you THINK you can't go beyond than you never will!, however, if you FEEL you can, you will.

A good stance and posture reflects a proper state of mind
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:16 AM   #30
Dan Richards
 
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

Quote:
John Longford wrote: View Post
To return to the original statement made by Dan Richards. Are you saying that anyone with 20+ years in Aikido is qualified to create their own style?
I have packed a heck of lot in my 29 years of training/teaching but I am most certainly not in a position to do any more than try to follow my Sensei. Maybe if Science advances enough so that I can live long enough to manage another 50 years or so I can start thinking about it!
Hi, John. I'm not sure what you mean by "style." Although, I would think that anyone with 20+ years of experience would be exploring, and have the freedom to develop their own aikido. I also think it has to do with an individual's mindset - and their own desires. If someone wants to follow another sensei, they should absolutely have the freedom to do that. If someone is in the situation - after many years of training - of wanting to explore on their own - they should absolutely be allowed to do that.

I've been playing music most of my life, and I've got over 30+ years of professional recording and playing experience. What is most important to me, with respect to the art of music, the art of martial arts, and other explorations and practices (writing, cooking, interpersonal relationships, etc) is - "is it effective in daily life?" I do not need a music sensei or a recording sensei in order for me to develop and progress all the time. I also don't need to "follow" a sensei or guru in order to continuously explore and expand my practice of aikido. I don't need a political body to approve or disapprove of what I do.

When I meet with world-class shihan, such as Sugano Sensei or Nishio Sensei, or world-class musicians, such as drummer Terry Bozzio or bassist Steve Bailey, or even world-class spiritual teachers, such as the Dalai Lama - I don't have a bunch of questions for them. I just like to be in their presence - and, if anything, just shoot the shit. Talk to them like normal people. Ask about their families, maybe get some dinner.

I recently had lunch with Victor Moore (contemporary of martial artists like Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris), and the man is electrifying, very friendly and kind. He's also accessible to me, and comes to this area on a regular basis. Mike Sigman is someone who was here last summer, and I'm definitely up for learning more from him. I'm going to get my butt up to Dan Harden's at some point. It's not that I've stopped learning from people. On the contrary. By not cowtowing to other people and/or political bodies, I'm actually completely free to learn and explore from anyone. And that includes students and teachers from any martial art, as well as other disciplines. I am continuously being "peer reviewed" by playing (often full contact, no pads) with and learning from other martial artists - and for that matter, other musicians, recording engineers, music lovers, etc. (again, full contact, no pads.) : )

I spent an hour on the phone last week talking with Pierre Sprey, in one of several conversations I'd had with him - about power, energy, consciousness, vibrations, grounding, science, theology... Quite enlightening, to say the least.

The main technical syllabus or "style" that I train is Nishio Aikido. Even though he passed away a few years ago, I continuously unpack and explore what I was taught personally by Nishio Sensei. If there's any sensei I'm still "following," it's Nishio. His teachings are my foundation. And beyond that, I am free - just as Nishio was - to explore, experiment, and access the highest-level practitioners. Nishio always said to go straight to the top-level people. I've found that to be invaluable in every area of life.

At this point, now, I'm not really interested in learning more and more techniques. Where my development is centered on is core strength, and developing an articulate center. The only "techniques" anyone can show you are dead at the moment they're shown to you. Now, I, through exploration and investigation can discover new relationships and new techniques.

How many times have you had a teacher say to you, "I'm not teaching you anything. I'm just reminding you."

We all have access to higher consciousness - the same consciousness that also heals our bodies - if we have sense enough to allow the higher intelligence in us to work. And we do that by "getting out of the way." Ueshiba Sensei did learn a lot of his technical syllabus from Takeda Sokaku Sensei, but where Ueshiba Sensei's higher learning and larger internal realizations came from was from contemplation in silence; aka when he was "getting out of the way." That is the place of true artistry - spontaneously-generated Takemusu aikido.

So, what if there are those who truly "get out of the way." And take all the things that have put in the way - such as people considered to be "higher," political bodies that are considered to be final-progress authorities, techniques, doubts, belief systems, worries, indecisiveness, ego-level and personality-identification - and chuck all that out the window? Because as Alfred Korzybski so aptly noted for us - "The map is not the territory."

"Row, row, row your boat - gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily - life is but a dream."

Last edited by Dan Richards : 06-08-2009 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:37 AM   #31
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

Quote:
At this point, now, I'm not really interested in learning more and more techniques.
This really resonates with me for a couple of reasons. I can't make the waza I know now work well enough against good resistance...so why bother learning more that will be in the same category or lower? The other reason is I need to change the power behind the techniques. No use learning more until the power has changed over.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:06 PM   #32
Dan Richards
 
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

Questions from Dan Harden:

Well at what point do you believe in Shu-Ha-Ri?

I believed it, and more importantly - began to "realize" it at the time of finding out about Nishio Sensei's passing away.

Or in individual realization?

Absolutely. Realizing is creating/manifesting.

And when and how does that come?

In my case, the Ha part comes, when I look around and do not find anyone or school I wish to follow.

Are you willing to believe that only a shihan can rise above?

No. I've have witnessed "shihan" who, for whatever reason, didn't pick up what I consider to be some very core knowledge along the way

Or that anyone, from any where can rise above?

Yes. Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime. Even J. Krishnamurti got on his "students" for putting enlightenment "out there."

Has anyone, in the art really captured all that Ueshiba was, to rise above him?

Ueshiba is still on his eternal journey, so who am I to say.

Does that matter? Was there something above him that he didn't capture himself?

The greater question might be; was there something inside him he did not reveal.

Would you or anyone know?

I would have no idea, nor do I really have concern about it.

_________________________________________

Comparative values
Are the organizations the measuring device?


In my case. Absolutely not.

Or is there something else? What do you use?

I do go back to the words I heard straight from Nishio Sensei's mouth when he said we should be able to teach aikido to the level of proficiency much faster than most schools do. I have a student who started training aikido 18 months ago. I figured he'd take five years to reach shodan level. He reached it in 18 months. Who was I to deny that. When I was sitting in my chair at home, and suddenly realized the rapid transformation he'd made, with no resistance, I accepted it. I called him on my cell phone, and graduated him to shodan while he was in a nice restaurant eating dinner with his wife. Although, he'd had visions of monks, and temples, and esoteric and mystic rituals in his head, he later said to me that it could have not have happened in a more perfect way. : )

It's 2009. We have access to global telecommunications. Who says - and by what authority - that a student can not be instantly graduated the moment the teacher realizes the student has achieved a certain level? To do anything less - is resistance.

At what point do you or anyone really believe in what he said. Truly? If each person has his own aikido, and you want to follow that and take it beyond Ueshiba then stop taking and testing for rank with anyone and go perfect your aiki. When no one in structured aikido can handle you with their aiki, and you end up handling them, will you care what some organization from Japan thinks? Will they care about you? Very few organizations of men are interested in something greater than themselves, they are in truth - just interested in themselves. There is a great safety net in putting a teacher about you, it means you never have to worry about reaching that goal, while being supported in the effort. Individual pursuit is not for everyone.

Excellent points, Dan! Thank you. In my case, I stopped testing years ago. Even as a musician, the "rank" that I - or someone else might assign to me - is meaningless. There is talk - within an organization that my school is associated with - about graduating me up to a dan grade that more accurately reflects my current level of training. If, and when it's offered, I'll accept it with no resistance - and continue training.
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:21 PM   #33
Dan Richards
 
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
This really resonates with me for a couple of reasons. I can't make the waza I know now work well enough against good resistance...so why bother learning more that will be in the same category or lower? The other reason is I need to change the power behind the techniques. No use learning more until the power has changed over.
Well, Ron, that resonates with me, too. Except I can execute movements with some very heavy resistance from multiple he-men who are physically much stronger than I am.

But you bring up a great point about "the power behind the technique." Where does the power come from and how do we access it?

BTW, I looked on your dojo's website, and saw a most timely quote for this discussion by Yukio Utada Sensei, "Your efforts must focus...on an invisible path, which only you can see and on which you allow yourself no excuses.
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:56 PM   #34
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

Yeah, its the "no excuses" part that is the bugger! I seem to be just full of excuses these days.

I think the power is supposed to come from gravity above and the ground below. The old "heaven and earth" thingy. But realizing that in your waza is not as easy as it sounds.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:18 PM   #35
Dan Richards
 
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Freaky! Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
You can say this in one breath but the next must speak to the absence of any meaningful, recent public video by Mike S. or Dan H. Sure they are out there sharing what they know to those willing to pay - not that I think they should teach for free, but at least Akuzawa has stepped up and put some of his stuff out there for people to see and wouldn't you know it, Akuzawa is 100% Japanese, too.
So, it all boils down to, "absence of any meaningful, recent public video."

Ha! That's up there - but not quite - with the best laugh I've had all day. : ) Hey, Mike and Dan - wake up and smell the video!!

I've got better than a video of Mike Sigman. I stood right next to Mike and was his uke for most of the day during one of his workshops. I've got Mike running through my body/mind electrical system. And can instantly replay - rewind - fast forward - zoom in - zoom out... everything he downloaded to me. I can do that in the present moment with no proprietary technology.

Same with Nishio Sensei. And Yamada Sensei. And Sugano Sensei. And Donovan Waite Sensei. And Hal Lehrman Sensei. And Harvey Konigsberg Sensei. And Stefan Stenudd Sensei. And any one of the many thousands of students and teachers I've touched hands with.

Every time I update my own Operating System, low and behold, there's more upgraded presents from all these teachers - that were there all the time - that become accessible to me.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:14 PM   #36
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

I stopped by my local MA store to pick up a mitsu-domoe patch for my do-gi. I wanted to balance it with the yin-yang on my other shoulder. I asked the highly knowledgeable owner what she feels is the most popular martial art nowadays. She said, MMA, unfortunately. I knew exactly why she said that. With the UFC and its off-shoots gaining so much popularity these days (mind you I own UFC Hits Vol. 1, but I don't pay to watch it live), I feel sad that arts such as Carradine's (RIP) Kung Fu, Daniel san's Karate, and Aikido are not being practiced in their pure forms, with all the discipline and respect that go along with them. Forgive the nightmarish run-on sentence. If someone wants to add non-Aikido moves to his/her Aikido, let this person have carte blanche. But, the person can then claim to study MMA, no longer Aikido. Is five years of semi-weekly Aikido enough to be able to kick everyone's ass? No way. But, the life lessons are profound. Martial artists who have attained them often cannot believe the expansion that has happened to their minds. I feel tremendous gratitude. I don't need a Gracie Jiu-Jutsu arm bar elbow snap in my arsenal. Consciously stay out of trouble and the "civilized" world just ain't that bad.

Drew
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:40 AM   #37
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

Dan R.:

You mean, Pierre Sprey, former associate of the late Col John Boyd?

Drew:
David Caradine is not exactly a model of pure kung fu. If today's martial artists choose to forget the guy, I for one would be very happy.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:58 AM   #38
DH
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:
…Looking at it from this perspective it is more than unfortunate that any hopes of expressing one's freedom or one's individuality in such moments is impossible to the point of absurdity. This is because, any attempt to do so comes only from the result of consideration of the thing you are trying not to be. So instead of creating anything unique or something that is free of the thing you are trying to reject, all you really end up with is a state of "not that" having to refer back to the thing being rejected in the first place. "Not that" is defined as something that is sourced by the inverse of the result. Stating clearly - the thing you are rejecting is always at the source of what you claim is free of that very thing. While this may seem like semantics to some, when one is seeking to achieve something as idealistic as "freedom" simply choosing the opposite of something just does not reach far enough.
Quote:
Dan Richards wrote:
Ueshiba himself said that aikido was formless. So, why do we seem to identify a certain "style" of movement as being what we call aikido?

Ueshiba himself said that aikido was for the world. It's was/is a gift.

Ueshiba, while acknowledged as the founder of aikido, is really just a branch in a continuous lineage of aiki schools. He certainly wasn't the trunk. He - and his direct students - just the closest branch that many of us have come in contact with. And Ueshiba was even a particularly good teacher. Most of his top studios got much of what they feel is the "real stuff" from other teachers completely outside of Hombu dojo.

Anyone who has 20+ years of experience in aikido - no matter what they do in further development - can not "break" a connection. They can only further awareness and development. In the holographic reality, in which we live and have our being, any small part - no matter how many times it is broken down - will still reflect the whole.

The "trunk" grows out continuously - and the eternal-now-moment is our source, and our own souls are our higher teachers. And, even teachers who have "passed away" still continue to instruct us from the many blessings and gifts they gave us. In my own case, I am still unpacking - daily.. moment by moment - the gifts I received from Shoji Nishio Sensei during my time training with him.
Shaun replied: This all just seems like a justification for your above argument. However sincere your feelings may actually be, though are totally canceled out by the mere fact that Shoji Nishio Sensei was 100% old school Japanese. Period.

You can say this in one breath but the next must speak to the absence of any meaningful, recent public video by Mike S. or Dan H. Sure they are out there sharing what they know to those willing to pay - not that I think they should teach for free, but at least Akuzawa has stepped up and put some of his stuff out there for people to see and wouldn't you know it, Akuzawa is 100% Japanese, too.
Hello Shaun
Video may satisfy curiosity, but it will not help you learn. I find little need for producing one. While I appreciate your view about Ark being 100% Japanese, this means absolutely nothing to me.
Your writing demonstrates quite a bit of commentary that is contrary to any of my statements or efforts. So lets examine the contrary side to your view on video.
I happen to know and have trained under two world class Japanese teachers; one of whom will never produce a video, nor do interviews, the other will never produce a training video and both of whom will not allow public video of them teaching a real class. So your comment has just what value to me or the reader?
I have seen some of the worst men imaginable who offer video for all manner of ugly reasons
1. Ego
2. Commercial gain
3. Trying to establish themselves as an authority-this to include real teachers who quite simply suck at what they do.
Less offensive reasons
4. Showboating to make a name in the English speaking market, in an attempt to build a student base for yourself with study groups and fees.

Now, to be clear I am not using any particular person or persons- as you did. These are just some of the reasons that people produce video that tend toward the negative side. I can think of positive ones as well, but I trust you see the point of balancing out your rhetoric. One benefit I have seen recently was with Ark. Years ago Ark was showing the video of Shiko with same side axis work, with follow up seminars teaching same side axis work. Then...with me writing on the web in detail that it is much better done as "Cross-line" body work and telling Rob that grapplers would tune him much easier if he stuck to same side axis work-which indeed happened. It has no merit I can see. Then...a later video comes out from Ark- with him teaching Shiko with…wait…"Cross-line" axis training. Which is my coined terminology for an established means for spiraling and self-turning in line with the Peg and Driveshaft model I hade given on the web and in personal discussion as well. So yes, there is some benefit I can see --if only to keep the record straight.

The other point that seems strident in your many replies is the Japanese Cultural aspects. This is of course an old argument for the Aikikai's rhetoric about aikido as a Japanese cultural identity that can only be "experienced" by the world and not fully realized unless you are Japanese. I have always enjoyed the humor in seeing that view juxtaposed to Ueshiba's statements that "Aikido is formless...," that "Each person has his own Aikido," and "Aiki is for the world," only to see that reigned in and the control of the art explained by the party line-"What he meant was the world can only experience his aikido from a Japanese teacher."
In short, nothing has changed. Of course the real humor comes from reading foreigners talking about it, while the Japanese are winking and nodding as long as he agrees. I know one Japanese teacher who went back home after years here only to be told he doesn't get it anymore either. Group think as validation for reality can be quite compelling on some people. Particularly those raised in it.
It seems quite odd for you to be making an argument for a cultural Japanese influence with an associate argument for deeper spiritual understanding that is missed by modern influences, while making a case for video presentation and stating Ark is 100% Japanese. All very odd.
Then again some serious study and research has suggested Ueshiba was actively trying to become a living avatar for the Gods as he saw them (thus defining a singular reality for multiple Gods) all while teaching the military better ways to kill. Are these your path?
There is and are many misunderstandings of Ueshiba's spiritual practices and end goals. It is interesting to read someone being so definitive in stating he gats it and no one else does due to "his teachers understanding" alone.
I always opt for the spiritual reflected in the physical. If Ueshibas' spiritual ideas were the source for his power and some claim to know, use and follow that path and it has produced power I'd like to see it in its pure form. To date I remain unmoved with the power and Aiki I have seen from those who espouse such things. But I remain open.
Got a video?

If you don't mind, among the replies and counters you are about to offer-care to address any positive values you can find in the counter arguments at all? Do you have any?
Here's a thought. What if we have been on to something all these years; with me- from the Aikido list days- to now? Others with more current offerings in these pages. We now have the arts teachers, one after the other, (last time I counted there are dozens of 3rd to 5th dans 2, 6th Dans and even a Japanese (which seems to matter- to you) shihan who have stepped outside the art to find what was at the core of the art IN THEIR OPINION and see the power for what it is - the Aiki in Aikido, perhaps you can think of something genuinely positive to say about your fellow aikido teachers and students efforts and views? Mind you, nether I, nor they need to hear it, but it would be interesting to read anything resembling an even handed and fair dialogue, since we are supposed to be making an honest attempt to talk about current teachers efforts to bring Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei.
In closing It might be worth noting you continually make a case for us not understanding, yet it seems apparent that you do not know or understand what we are doing or talking about, and thence do not understand the experiences of these teachers and students, and how it is affecting their Aikido either.
As always I appreciate your thoughtful replies
Cheers,
Dan
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:15 AM   #39
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

when you go beyond your thinking you go beyond aikido.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:17 AM   #40
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

aikido has no beyond,it is what it is.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:43 PM   #41
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

Quote:
Tim Fong wrote: View Post
Dan R.:

You mean, Pierre Sprey, former associate of the late Col John Boyd?

Drew:
David Caradine is not exactly a model of pure kung fu. If today's martial artists choose to forget the guy, I for one would be very happy.
I agree with you about Carradine as a person. But I have seen his Taoist/Buddhist/Shaolin character on the old TV series. It gives me a glimpse into an extremely positive mind set and accompanying martial art, in a way that feels realistic. It is all I know about the martial side of Kung Fu (Con-fu-cius). I wish I knew more about karate also, but I am rather limited to "Pat" Morita and Daniel san.

Drew
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:49 PM   #42
John Longford
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

Hi Dan,
I assume that most Aikidoka follow a particular style that emanates from one of the original students of O Sensei. That is to say the way any given teacher interpreted what he was shown which is also dependant on the stage of O Sensei's developement.
In my case I follow the teachings of the late Saito Sensei via my own Sensei, Tony Sargeant.
Whilst I explore my Aikido in my own Dojo I do not invent techniques and I know that there is still a vast amount I have to learn. It is not a question of learning new techniques as much as improving the ones I know.
Hence my original question.
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Old 06-09-2009, 07:46 PM   #43
Dan Richards
 
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Re: Aikido beyond Ueshiba Sensei

Quote:
Tim Fong wrote: View Post
Dan R.:

You mean, Pierre Sprey, former associate of the late Col John Boyd?
Hi Tim, yes, that Pierre Sprey. Actually, in my conversations with Pierre, we haven't gotten into OODA yet. I'll have to pick his brain on that as well, as we've been studying the loop at our dojo.
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