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Old 06-07-2009, 10:45 AM   #26
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

I'm still waiting for someone to respond to Ellis' points in post #13. Takeda got his stuff somewhere, but I don't see any great worry about that aspect.

Another thing I'd point out is that the topic of these skills in the West is pretty new and people are sometimes a little quick in thinking that their newly-found understandings represent all there is to know. The assumption seems to be that Takeda was the only available source of these kinds of skills, yet all the koryu 'secret' practice methods I see, Kendo, Iaido (caveat: I mean *when* these arts are done at a high level), and so on all had different aspects of these skills. Look at Kuroda's present-day stuff.. that didn't come via Takeda.

There's more than just the basic jin/kokyu skills. There are areas of these trainings that we have no indication whether or what Takeda knew, although we have written indications that some of the Misogi training from different groups *did* provide these skills. So the totality of Ueshiba's skills is still a question that is and probably always will be unknown to some degree.

Frankly, when I came into Aikido in the 70's, I was aware that Ueshiba got some of his stuff from Daito Ryu. Big deal.... everyone gets his stuff somewhere, as did Takeda. I still fail to see why there is this constant importance to some people that Takeda be mentioned whenever Ueshiba's name is mentioned. What's the importance?

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:53 AM   #27
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Discounting the spiritual side, can you elaborate on why you believe Takeda and Daito ryu are only a major factor? Was there another martial art that was a major factor in Ueshiba's training?
I'm not Peter, but I'll throw in my 2 cents on this particular question. There is another major factor that has to do with how things are trained and it's equally critical. In fact, if you'll think back to some of my posts in the last year or so, you'll see that I've cautioned several times about how things are trained in Aikido and how not all training methods are the same... that has to do with some of the training which I would suggest would more probably have come from some relationship within Omoto-kyo. I see some interesting "aiki" in what Horikawa does/did, but I also see somethings that appear to me to be quite different from what Ueshiba did. It may not be apparent to someone without a lot of experience, though. The point, though, is that there are differences and if there are differences, discussions about "a major factor" and "the major factor" are pretty relevant.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:59 AM   #28
Dan Rubin
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
Oops! Dan can you post what section heading or location those quotes are in and I'll check my editions and see if I need to amend what I posted. Maybe there is mention of Daito Ryu in the books I posted and I missed it. I'd hate to inadvertently give false info.

Thanks,
Allen
I apologize. I should have included that information:

1961 (revised edition) Tohei "Aikido, The Arts of Self-Defense":
"He practiced almost all the existing martial arts, beginning with Kito-ryu Jujutsu, Yagyu-ryu, Aioi-ryu Hozoin-ryu and finally Daito-ryu." "Chapter III, Professor Morihei Uyeshiba", page 51.

1962 Tohei "What is Aikido?":
"He practiced almost all the existing martial arts, beginning with Kito-ryu Jujitsu, Yagyu-ryu, Aioi-ryu, Hozoin-ryu and finally Daito-ryu." "Professor Morihei Uyeshiba", page 100.

1968 Tohei "This is Aikido":
"He first trained in the Kito school of jujutsu and later went on to study Yagyu, Aioi, Hozoin, and finally Daito jujutsu." "Chapter I Fundamentals, section 7 Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido", page 17.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:18 AM   #29
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

FWIW:

Here is the late fifties Tadashi Abe - Jean Zin book previously mentioned.

On the other hand, I haven't found references to Takeda/Daito-ryu in Mochizuki Minoru - Jim Alcheik book "Ma MÍthode d'Aikido Jiu Jitsu" from the same era.

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Old 06-07-2009, 11:28 AM   #30
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
The assumption seems to be that Takeda was the only available source of these kinds of skills, yet all the koryu 'secret' practice methods I see, Kendo, Iaido (caveat: I mean *when* these arts are done at a high level), and so on all had different aspects of these skills. Look at Kuroda's present-day stuff.. that didn't come via Takeda.
No assumption, Mike. I'm not talking about Takeda being the only source at all. I'm talking about Ueshiba's training and how it was painted in the early days of Aikido, especially here in the US. I really don't care, at this point, about other sources. Ueshiba had only one - Takeda.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Frankly, when I came into Aikido in the 70's, I was aware that Ueshiba got some of his stuff from Daito Ryu. Big deal.... everyone gets his stuff somewhere, as did Takeda. I still fail to see why there is this constant importance to some people that Takeda be mentioned whenever Ueshiba's name is mentioned. What's the importance?

FWIW

Mike Sigman
Well, you just detailed the importance. As you just posted, "I was aware" and "got some". That's wrong. Ueshiba's major, main, the only martial influence in his skills was Daito ryu.

The importance is relevant in today's changing environment, which I'll get to below. In the early stages of Aikido, it was printed that Ueshiba studied many forms of martial arts, that Ueshiba was a self made man, etc, etc, but the truth is that Daito ryu was the main martial influence on Ueshiba. Most of us know that now. Not many did back then. But we know that Ueshiba's Daito ryu changed, was altered, whatever (again, I am NOT saying this is a bad thing. I think it was profound and a good thing) and he trimmed, or changed, the Daito ryu syllabus on his way to creating Aikido. Most people acknowledge this, too.

And now, in our current round of "changing" history, people are slowly beginning to realize that Daito ryu "aiki" was the underlying power behind Takeda and Ueshiba.

Just because people and books state one thing about "history" (as we can see from most of the English version books of early Aikido) doesn't mean that it's right. As most of the early English Aikido books got it wrong, so, too, do most of the current thoughts about the true power behind aikido have it wrong.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:30 AM   #31
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
FWIW:

Here is the late fifties Tadashi Abe - Jean Zin book previously mentioned.

On the other hand, I haven't found references to Takeda/Daito-ryu in Mochizuki Minoru - Jim Alcheik book "Ma MÍthode d'Aikido Jiu Jitsu" from the same era.
Not just references. Most books referenced Daito ryu. But, how did the book portray Daito ryu in relation to Ueshiba's training and abilities? Was Daito ryu merely one of many that Ueshiba studied? Was Ueshiba a self made man? Or does the book show that Daito ryu was the main influence on Ueshiba's martial skills?
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:38 AM   #32
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
And now, in our current round of "changing" history, people are slowly beginning to realize that Daito ryu "aiki" was the underlying power behind Takeda and Ueshiba.
Well, my suggestion is that as you and some others "understand power", you're mainly seeing what you call "aiki" power. There's more to it than that and there are even choices within that "aiki" power. Ueshiba almost certainly got part of what he understood from Takeda.

First of all, as I've said in the past, we don't really know for sure on just the "Aiki" part. Think of it like this: Tohei, it could be argued, got his "aiki" skill from Ueshiba, but since this is such recent history, we actually know that Tohei actually got his understanding *of what Ueshiba was doing* from Tempu Nakamura and what Tohei was able configure himself. As I see it, you'd argue that everything Tohei got he got from Ueshiba, but in reality it's a lot more complex than that.

Secondly, there's another part to this that I feel very sure you're not taking into account because if you did, you'd acknowledge the problem. But take my word for it that there is an additional complexity that's pretty important and our "current round of changing history", as you put it, isn't over yet. I.e., I think all this worry about Takeda getting his due is not only a little over the top, it's also premature. I would advise patience.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:39 AM   #33
Allen Beebe
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
I apologize. I should have included that information:

1961 (revised edition) Tohei "Aikido, The Arts of Self-Defense":
"He practiced almost all the existing martial arts, beginning with Kito-ryu Jujutsu, Yagyu-ryu, Aioi-ryu Hozoin-ryu and finally Daito-ryu." "Chapter III, Professor Morihei Uyeshiba", page 51.

1962 Tohei "What is Aikido?":
"He practiced almost all the existing martial arts, beginning with Kito-ryu Jujitsu, Yagyu-ryu, Aioi-ryu, Hozoin-ryu and finally Daito-ryu." "Professor Morihei Uyeshiba", page 100.

1968 Tohei "This is Aikido":
"He first trained in the Kito school of jujutsu and later went on to study Yagyu, Aioi, Hozoin, and finally Daito jujutsu." "Chapter I Fundamentals, section 7 Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido", page 17.
OK, not that this is necessarily related to the thread anymore, but I hate to have printed misinformation:

DOES mention Daito Ryu in some capacity:
1961 (revised edition) Tohei "Aikido, The Arts of Self-Defense"
1962 Tohei "What is Aikido?"
1975 (revised) "This is Aikido" [Preface p.5]
BTW Daito Ryu is mentioned in juxtaposition to Aikido in Saito Sensei's origianl series in the last book of the series. It may be mentioned in elsewhere but I just gave a cursory look, found it mentioned and stopped looking.

So, once again, I doubt this influences the present discussion one way or another. Still, it is best to keep the facts straight. Thanks Dan for checking and correcting!

Allen

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:10 PM   #34
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Not just references. Most books referenced Daito ryu. But, how did the book portray Daito ryu in relation to Ueshiba's training and abilities? Was Daito ryu merely one of many that Ueshiba studied? Was Ueshiba a self made man? Or does the book show that Daito ryu was the main influence on Ueshiba's martial skills?
My French is poor but I'd say Daito ryu is portraited as a very influential art in the developement of Ueshiba's Aikido in the book I linked.

Go to pg. 5 (pg. 10 of the book).

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Old 06-07-2009, 02:17 PM   #35
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Well, my suggestion is that as you and some others "understand power", you're mainly seeing what you call "aiki" power. There's more to it than that and there are even choices within that "aiki" power. Ueshiba almost certainly got part of what he understood from Takeda.
"Aiki" is another thread. I really am trying to stay away from that subject. I'm sure there's quite a bit in there to talk about. I'd rather not drag it into this thread.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
First of all, as I've said in the past, we don't really know for sure on just the "Aiki" part. Think of it like this: Tohei, it could be argued, got his "aiki" skill from Ueshiba, but since this is such recent history, we actually know that Tohei actually got his understanding *of what Ueshiba was doing* from Tempu Nakamura and what Tohei was able configure himself. As I see it, you'd argue that everything Tohei got he got from Ueshiba, but in reality it's a lot more complex than that.
Actually, I think it would be hard to argue that Tohei got his skills from Ueshiba. And, no, I wouldn't argue that he got everything from Ueshiba. In fact, I'd argue the opposite, that Tohei got most of his skills from elsewhere and possibly some skills from Ueshiba.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Secondly, there's another part to this that I feel very sure you're not taking into account because if you did, you'd acknowledge the problem. But take my word for it that there is an additional complexity that's pretty important and our "current round of changing history", as you put it, isn't over yet. I.e., I think all this worry about Takeda getting his due is not only a little over the top, it's also premature. I would advise patience.

FWIW

Mike
You're completely missing all the points I've posted. I've tried to stay away from "aiki" and I've posted actual facts in regards to printed material from the 1980s that doesn't deal with "aiki" at all, but with Ueshiba's martial training history.

I don't care about "Takeda getting his due". That's something that you seem to have picked up somewhere and keep interjecting it into threads. Dunno, Mike. This thread isn't about Takeda getting his due, it's about the main martial training of Ueshiba, how the books had it wrong, and how it's possible that there was a cover-up.

Now, as per Peter and Ellis, it's unlikely that there was a cover-up. Okay, I can look at it that way. But, then, it brings up the question of how did all those books get the information that wrong? We're not just talking little things here, but complete misinformation at times.

What happened that the facts were skewed to make Ueshiba's training history seem like either he studied a multitude of martial arts or he was a self taught genius?
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:29 PM   #36
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Now, as per Peter and Ellis, it's unlikely that there was a cover-up. Okay, I can look at it that way. But, then, it brings up the question of how did all those books get the information that wrong? We're not just talking little things here, but complete misinformation at times.

What happened that the facts were skewed to make Ueshiba's training history seem like either he studied a multitude of martial arts or he was a self taught genius?
Well, back to Ellis' post at #13. If you read the stuff about Takeda he was a self-taught genius, too, according to his followers/sychophants. And they don't really go out of their way to mention that Takeda got his stuff somewhere else, either.

What it boils down to is less of a conspiracy of any sort and really it's just the same type of adulation and admiration that you find in just about *every* martial art. In most cases, if you examine the records pretty closely, the Big Cheese of any martial style sort of becomes more human. In the case of Ueshiba, there seems to be a concerted and recurring effort to deflate his image... which to me is OK, but I don't see the point in bringing it up, time after time. It's just a puzzling thing to do.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:44 PM   #37
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Well, back to Ellis' post at #13. If you read the stuff about Takeda he was a self-taught genius, too,
And acknolwedged as such

Quote:
In the case of Ueshiba, there seems to be a concerted and recurring effort to deflate his image... which to me is OK, but I don't see the point in bringing it up, time after time. It's just a puzzling thing to do.

FWIW

Mike
He has only been lifted and discussed for his power and abilities by Mark.

You can keep saying it over and over but your lacking citation and proof. Marks many positve contributions about Ueshiba contradict your words at every turn.
Care to cite________________

Dan
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:06 PM   #38
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

There is also mention of Ueshiba training under Takeda in Black Belt magazine: Feb 1963, pgs 46-47

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Old 06-07-2009, 05:36 PM   #39
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
There is also mention of Ueshiba training under Takeda in Black Belt magazine: Feb 1963, pgs 46-47
Yes, and it mentions that he spent 5 years training and received a certificate of mastery. And it does it without really degrading anyone. Noteworthy is that they state that during those 5 years of training, 90% of the training was done alone.

On page 66, it also mentions that Ueshiba dedicated his life to religion for 6 years, from 1919 to 1925. But no mention of training with Takeda throughout that time, or teaching Daito ryu.

Overall, though, I think the writer did a better job of trying to remain neutral than the books I've cited.
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:45 PM   #40
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Well, Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training, isn't it?

BTW, I think the writer could have been Tohei K.

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Old 06-07-2009, 09:53 PM   #41
Keith Larman
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

I'm not nearly as "connected" as many in this thread, but it strikes me that most of the accounts we have in English were never written to be all-inclusive histories. Rather the parts written on the training history of Ueshiba Mirohei were relatively superficial as they were somewhat secondary to the larger purpose of most of those works. There was a lot to talk about and these things were not intended to be scholarly biographies.

So we read them as snapshots in time and we cannot ignore the larger purposes of most of those books -- and the larger purposes usually didn't include listing the qualifications and training records of O-Sensei.

This is always an issue when you're talking about recent or contemporary history. Most around someone like O-Sensei likely had a great deal of "common knowledge" that was assumed. When you do research there are often times when you ask a pointed question that you think is "controversial" or "outside the box" and the person just looks at you and say "yup" without even a hint of surprise or controversy. Kind of the "well, duh" reaction. Those sorts of things don't get discussed much because there is simply no need to. So that sort of stuff doesn't always get communicated or discussed. And considering we're really talking about a 40-50 year stretch of time with few people who were along for the entire ride you're going to see different versions of the man's history.

Now move a few generations away from the "source" and that common knowledge becomes less common. Misconceptions arise and history is in a sense lost. A new mythology of sorts arises. But beware of going too far the other way -- assuming that the loss of information was somehow intentional hiding of relevant stuff. Or even being examples of hero worship or whatever. It is simply what happens with all traditions and histories.

I remember many years ago talking with a guy who studied daito ryu who quietly told me that he had this radical theory that Aikido had evolved from Daito Ryu and wasn't really some divinely inspired magical art that had sprung complete from the spirit of O-Sensei. He was surprised that my reaction wasn't one of righteous indignation. My response was "Well, yeah, of course. It didn't appear out of nowhere, but he did put his own imprint on it." Seemed like a no-brainer thing to me.

How much credit you want to give O-Sensei for what he did with what he learned from Takeda (and elsewhere) is an interesting discussion, but I seriously doubt any of the first generation of students had any misconception that what they were studying had at the very least been greatly influenced by what Ueshiba had learned in his time with Takeda.

To me it is like my other passion -- Nihonto. There are many ways to look at the history of the Japanese sword in terms of the smiths. There were "lines" of smiths. There were sword making periods. There were regional variations. There were variations that were a result of the swordsmanship schools that were local (Satsuma for instance). We tend to talk about the 5 major schools of the "old school" in Koto times but that is very general. So it all depends on how closely you look and for what purpose you're looking. There was cross pollination. There was copying of good ideas (which is what you should do, right?). We insist on putting things in little boxes to classify them but often the world is just not quite so cut and dried. So you'd have guys working in some tradition doing really good work. But every now and then someone comes along that takes things in a new direction. They don't appear out of nowhere doing things never seen before. You see the reflections of their teachers in their work. But you also see a new flash of genius or insight. You still see the past within their swords. But they make some changes, some shifts, and eventually a new bifurcation is recognized. So in other words every now and then someone comes along and for whatever reason they create what we consider (and classify as) a new tradition. Not everyone may agree. And it often takes the passage of time for those things to become more clear. Sometimes it is more hype than substance. And sometimes those with the substance are quiet in their lifetimes and it takes a long time for their true contribution to become obvious.

We're now far enough removed from the time of O-sensei to need to look more deeply to better evaluate his place in the bigger picture. And work by guys like Stan Pranin, Dr. Goldsbury, Ellis Amdur, et al is critical in putting it into some sort of perspective. Some will still see Aikido as nothing more than watered down and fluffied up Daito Ryu with silly philosophy attached with duct tape. Others will see it as a complete transformation of a tradition into a new, transcendent thing. Me, well, I see it as something in between.

But hey, what do I know?

I'm sure some felt that what they saw O-Sensei do was revolutionary and came from another world. They may dismiss the daito ryu influence as a major part of the thing he "created" due to the shift they perceive in where he took it. Others may not agree with such a strong case. But regardless, O-sensei was clearly influenced on that road by Daito Ryu (obviously).

Okay, sorry, I'm probably way out of line given my lack of standing and authority. So that's just my take on it as a guy who spent a lot of years doing research and who truly appreciates those who were there, those who ask the questions, etc. Heck, even this discussion is good. But we should be listening closely to those who were around when they seem to have an almost visceral reaction to the use of the word conspiracy.

Back to huddling in the corner for me...

Last edited by Keith Larman : 06-07-2009 at 10:00 PM. Reason: Clarification

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Old 06-07-2009, 10:20 PM   #42
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Good post Keith. Thanks.

Best regards,

Chuck Clark
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:33 PM   #43
Ellis Amdur
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The Heathers - Why the Butokukai called "it" aikido

Gather round, boys and girls, it's a warm night and my belly is full of oysters and lobster and good red wine, and I'll tell you a tale: The true story of why the Butokukai (BTK) made a new section called Aikido. The BTK's function was to function as part of the overwhelming fascism (not a pejorative, a description) in which the state was the main organizing and controlling principal of society. Martial sports/modern budo allowed people all over Japan to practice the same art - without factional rivalries and/or an inability to compete due to different rules. Naginata, for example, lagged behind this trend, and different ryu were taught in different schools until the Mombusho kata were created, largely under the influence of Tendo-ryu and Jikishin Kage-ryu, and imposed on all school curriculum.
Kenjutsu schools, for the most part, continued to subsume themselves in kendo - and those that did not were provincial schools indeed. At the same time, there were no illusions - the only competitive outlet was kendo - it was unlikely indeed that kenjutsu ryu would come into physical conflict in the modern era outside of their representatives entering kendo tournaments.
Judo seemed to have the grappling side of things covered - along with sumo, of course. But there were still a number of jujutsu schools with very large enrollments. . And despite participating in judo tournaments, they did not extinguish themselves, as might have been hoped, and maintained themselves as separate ryu, with separate kata. On the one hand, this was kind of cool, but it was a divisive energy within martial arts societies.
The next problem, however, was the Heather issue. Entitled backbiting bitchiness is not confined to the aiki world, though it is endemic there: misrepresentation of history, denial by teachers that they ever taught a student, or denial by students that they owed a debt to a teacher, gossip as a way of life - this seems to be a criteria within the aiki world. But Heather Ishiki ("consciousness") is rife in the koryu world. Basically, as soon as these arts BECAME koryu, the bitchiness started. I'm talking Japan, here, the homeland! It was exemplified when a rather notorious individual of my acquaintance appeared at a funeral, and two prominent Heathers - I mean koryu teachers, the heads of their respective ryu, blanched, and one said, "Who invited him!!!!" And the other said, "I don't know. I don't know!" And I said, "Oh, I did. "
Let us contrast the koryu world to that of genuine men-at-arms (albeit this can include practitioners of koryu). Recently, I went to dinner with three guys I didn't know that well, after training in combative stuff together - the best way to put it is we didn't know each other well enough to joke around: all three were not only hugely credentialed as fighters - they WERE fighters. All were scary good. So the four of us were talking and the subject of religion, Darwin, and a variety of such topics arose, and we, around the table had quite divergent opinions. But it was a very polite conversation, among the most enjoyably polite debates I've participated in a long time. We all knew that each of us could cause any of the others painful regrets if offended, and thus, despite strong differences of opinion, we treated each other with courtesy.
Before koryu was koryu, that was surely the norm. But once it became an antique in which people were proud of the fighters who USED to be in the ryu, or of the kata, the history, lineage,etc., then all sorts of arguments arose as to who was legit, whose line was more mainline, etc. Clear? Koryu in the 20th century already had a lot of wankers, of which Daito Fighto Almighto Always Righto & Aikido-bunnies & Bliss-ninnies are merely variant new developments.
OK, so the Butokukai wanted a new section for the jujutsu guys. But here's the problem - what to call it? Koshi no mawari, kogusoku, torite, habaku, kempo, jujutsu, yawara???? Had they chosen any one of those, 3/4 of the other schools who didn't have that name would throw hissy fits and quit - or, the more red-blooded might say to the "victor" - "So I'm supposed to be in the Yawara section? OK, Mr. Yawara man, show me what you can do against a Torite man!" Quelle Horror! Conflict among martial artists. How could this be? What to do?
Now, among the Heathers was Daito-ryu, a most obscure ryu, exemplified by an itinerant instructor who came and went, sort of an unpredictible Oscar the Grouch, with the ability to hit you upside the head with his garbage can lid any time he chose. And another - one never knew what to call it - Daito-ryu/Aioi-ryu/Aikibudo/Ueshiba-ryu - every six months a new name-ryu - associated with a traitorous religious sect. These two teachers, although prominent, were just two among many. And compared to, for example, the prestigue of Takenouchi-ryu's headmaster(s), not that important either. They were New - and in Japan, Old is king.
Well, it's a guarantee they wouldn''t call their new section the Daito-ryu section - or any other ryu name. And they aren't going to call it the aikijutsu or aikijujutsu ryu, even if they knew such names, because that was the trademark of aforementioned Oscar the Grouch, and if they called it by "his" appellation, that would be charming, wouldn't it? He would have license to drop by every school, and either humiliate them all, now with gov't sanction, or someone would take him out - or try to, anyway. And there was no way that they would call it aikibudo, because Ueshiba's stuff was not representative of any of the other schools, and that would be a politically unfortunate move - to subsume all the jujutsu schools in a box labeled with the appellation of the newest kid on the block.
So, this terrible dilemma!!!!!! And here appears Hirai Minoru, a bright young man, licensed with menkyo in Togun-ryu (Tradition!!!!!), the creator of his own modern school (Kogado, later called Korindo), and associated with the more eccentric wing of jujutsu through Ueshiba. And he proposes an idea - let's call it something that NOBODY owns. It'll have "do" on the end of it - kendo, judo, naginata-do, iaido, etc. And, by implication, at least, it hightlights something unique that is allegedly, in one form or another, in jujutsu - a less material, more spiritual, intangible thing - which is NOT judo. Aikido!!!!!!!!!
And the powers that be said, "Eureka! We have a name!"
So it was not a section for aikidobunnies and Daito-ryu happy crampers, neither as a special area or a ghetto. It was the grab-bag area to place all jujutsu that was not judo - with a name that, if it meant little to most, wasn't offensive to any. So it wasn't about Ueshiba and Takeda at all. It was simply politics.

Best
Ellis Amdur

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 06-07-2009 at 11:47 PM.

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Old 06-08-2009, 02:06 AM   #44
jss
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
But, then, it brings up the question of how did all those books get the information that wrong? We're not just talking little things here, but complete misinformation at times.
Poor research, because of lack of effort, lack of resources, lack of access to the right sources, etc.
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:50 AM   #45
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

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Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
Poor research, because of lack of effort, lack of resources, lack of access to the right sources, etc.
That and Sturgeon's law : 90% of everything is crap. -- And the Hofwitz Writer's Corollary -- Every leaves out 90% of what he really needed to say; of what he DID say 90% need not have been said, and 90% of that is in some form of serious error or critical omission.

So, of the non-crap history (10%) that somebody actually remembered was important (0.1%), and managed to fit in edgewise in his turgid prose, (0.001%) and was not in serious error (0.00001%): information quotient is about 1/100,000th of what was available.

Oh, and 90 % of what there ever was originally is irretrievably lost - So -- one in a million, baby!

Anyone looking for the well had best forget the bucket, and never mind the spoon -- get the sponge ...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:12 AM   #46
DH
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Ellis
No lobster for me, but a nice coffee break.
Thanks for a more detailed answer to that nagging classification issue. It was another of those things yet to be more defined. Can we take it to the bank or is it based on some speculation was well.
I mean, do I get the the bucket, spoon, or sponge-or forget about it and just go read a book...wait..then I'm back to more trouble. I guess the Tee Vee will have to do. I'll watch fact based media-the news!

Hey, here's a thought. You have a way. with words; witty, acerbic, jaded with cause, and informative as well. If you have a strong enough stomach, YOU should consider writing a book about this stuff!!

Great wrap up too.
So how about them Nicks...?
Anyone see the new Star Trek?

Dan

Last edited by DH : 06-08-2009 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:52 AM   #47
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

Thanks to all who posted. While I still have questions (who doesn't), I learned quite a bit.

Nicks? Is that like the Boston baseball team or something?

Star Trek was awesome!

Mark
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:20 AM   #48
Amir Krause
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Re: The Heathers - Why the Butokukai called "it" aikido

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Gather round, boys and girls, it's a warm night and my belly is full of oysters and lobster and good red wine, and I'll tell you a tale: The true story of why the Butokukai (BTK) made a new section called Aikido. The BTK's function was to function as part of the overwhelming fascism (not a pejorative, a description) in which the state was the main organizing and controlling principal of society. Martial sports/modern budo allowed people all over Japan to practice the same art - without factional rivalries and/or an inability to compete due to different rules. Naginata, for example, lagged behind this trend, and different ryu were taught in different schools until the Mombusho kata were created, largely under the influence of Tendo-ryu and Jikishin Kage-ryu, and imposed on all school curriculum.
Kenjutsu schools, for the most part, continued to subsume themselves in kendo - and those that did not were provincial schools indeed. At the same time, there were no illusions - the only competitive outlet was kendo - it was unlikely indeed that kenjutsu ryu would come into physical conflict in the modern era outside of their representatives entering kendo tournaments.
Judo seemed to have the grappling side of things covered - along with sumo, of course. But there were still a number of jujutsu schools with very large enrollments. . And despite participating in judo tournaments, they did not extinguish themselves, as might have been hoped, and maintained themselves as separate ryu, with separate kata. On the one hand, this was kind of cool, but it was a divisive energy within martial arts societies.
The next problem, however, was the Heather issue. Entitled backbiting bitchiness is not confined to the aiki world, though it is endemic there: misrepresentation of history, denial by teachers that they ever taught a student, or denial by students that they owed a debt to a teacher, gossip as a way of life - this seems to be a criteria within the aiki world. But Heather Ishiki ("consciousness") is rife in the koryu world. Basically, as soon as these arts BECAME koryu, the bitchiness started. I'm talking Japan, here, the homeland! It was exemplified when a rather notorious individual of my acquaintance appeared at a funeral, and two prominent Heathers - I mean koryu teachers, the heads of their respective ryu, blanched, and one said, "Who invited him!!!!" And the other said, "I don't know. I don't know!" And I said, "Oh, I did. "
Let us contrast the koryu world to that of genuine men-at-arms (albeit this can include practitioners of koryu). Recently, I went to dinner with three guys I didn't know that well, after training in combative stuff together - the best way to put it is we didn't know each other well enough to joke around: all three were not only hugely credentialed as fighters - they WERE fighters. All were scary good. So the four of us were talking and the subject of religion, Darwin, and a variety of such topics arose, and we, around the table had quite divergent opinions. But it was a very polite conversation, among the most enjoyably polite debates I've participated in a long time. We all knew that each of us could cause any of the others painful regrets if offended, and thus, despite strong differences of opinion, we treated each other with courtesy.
Before koryu was koryu, that was surely the norm. But once it became an antique in which people were proud of the fighters who USED to be in the ryu, or of the kata, the history, lineage,etc., then all sorts of arguments arose as to who was legit, whose line was more mainline, etc. Clear? Koryu in the 20th century already had a lot of wankers, of which Daito Fighto Almighto Always Righto & Aikido-bunnies & Bliss-ninnies are merely variant new developments.
OK, so the Butokukai wanted a new section for the jujutsu guys. But here's the problem - what to call it? Koshi no mawari, kogusoku, torite, habaku, kempo, jujutsu, yawara???? Had they chosen any one of those, 3/4 of the other schools who didn't have that name would throw hissy fits and quit - or, the more red-blooded might say to the "victor" - "So I'm supposed to be in the Yawara section? OK, Mr. Yawara man, show me what you can do against a Torite man!" Quelle Horror! Conflict among martial artists. How could this be? What to do?
Now, among the Heathers was Daito-ryu, a most obscure ryu, exemplified by an itinerant instructor who came and went, sort of an unpredictible Oscar the Grouch, with the ability to hit you upside the head with his garbage can lid any time he chose. And another - one never knew what to call it - Daito-ryu/Aioi-ryu/Aikibudo/Ueshiba-ryu - every six months a new name-ryu - associated with a traitorous religious sect. These two teachers, although prominent, were just two among many. And compared to, for example, the prestigue of Takenouchi-ryu's headmaster(s), not that important either. They were New - and in Japan, Old is king.
Well, it's a guarantee they wouldn''t call their new section the Daito-ryu section - or any other ryu name. And they aren't going to call it the aikijutsu or aikijujutsu ryu, even if they knew such names, because that was the trademark of aforementioned Oscar the Grouch, and if they called it by "his" appellation, that would be charming, wouldn't it? He would have license to drop by every school, and either humiliate them all, now with gov't sanction, or someone would take him out - or try to, anyway. And there was no way that they would call it aikibudo, because Ueshiba's stuff was not representative of any of the other schools, and that would be a politically unfortunate move - to subsume all the jujutsu schools in a box labeled with the appellation of the newest kid on the block.
So, this terrible dilemma!!!!!! And here appears Hirai Minoru, a bright young man, licensed with menkyo in Togun-ryu (Tradition!!!!!), the creator of his own modern school (Kogado, later called Korindo), and associated with the more eccentric wing of jujutsu through Ueshiba. And he proposes an idea - let's call it something that NOBODY owns. It'll have "do" on the end of it - kendo, judo, naginata-do, iaido, etc. And, by implication, at least, it hightlights something unique that is allegedly, in one form or another, in jujutsu - a less material, more spiritual, intangible thing - which is NOT judo. Aikido!!!!!!!!!
And the powers that be said, "Eureka! We have a name!"
So it was not a section for aikidobunnies and Daito-ryu happy crampers, neither as a special area or a ghetto. It was the grab-bag area to place all jujutsu that was not judo - with a name that, if it meant little to most, wasn't offensive to any. So it wasn't about Ueshiba and Takeda at all. It was simply politics.

Best
Ellis Amdur


So far, being a Korindo person, I prefered to just read from the side-lines. Especially since my knowledge of history is realy minor compared to some of the writers here (especially PAG).

A few additions though:
1. The name Aikido was not suggested by Hirai Sensei, rather by Mr Tatsuo Hisatomi from the Kodokan. But, this does not negate Ellis general claim, read Hirai explanation on this:
"There was discussion within the Butokukai about the choice of a name for this new section. It was discussed many times in meetings of the Board of Directors, and particularly in the judo and kendo sections. We had to consider all of the different individual arts encompassed when we tried to come up with an all-inclusive name. It was decided to select an inoffensive name to avoid future friction among the different martial arts.
Mr. Hisatomi argued for his proposal energetically and explained that "aikido" would be a better name than aiki budo for this new section, because it would be better to stress the idea of "michi" or way. He proposed that the name "aikido" be used as term to designate an all-inclusive budo and I agreed with him." [Aikido Journal #100, "AN INTERVIEW WITH MINORU HIRAI " Stanly Pranin]
2. The history of Hirai Sensei indicates he was even better connected then implied in short here. In addition to the elements you mentioned, he learned Takenouchi-ryu , Kito-ryu, Saburi-ryu, And Okumura Nito-ryu. He also had connections in the imperial government, and was appreciated enough to be included in the DNBK organization.

I would also like to comment on the overall argument, about a cover-up, that this is a natural human progress. When a movement starts, it creates lots of enthusiasm, and keeps seeing itself as something entirely new and totally different from previous things. If that movement is successful, it will get to a period in which people will start looking in its past for older roots.
Ueshiba did not lie when writing of Omotokyu as THE major influence on him, this is HIS real view. IT does not matter that technically most of his Aikido is Daito-ryu, since from his point-of-view, he disassociated himself with Takeda and decided to follow his own way. And as he defined his own way according to the effect Omotokyu had on him.
In the early days, most Aikido people were satisfied with Ueshiba view on the issue, and did not care for the objective truth (according to many of you, almost full technical reliance).

Amir
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:54 AM   #49
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

The new Star Trek was good, and very enjoyable.

Much appreciation for the posts here!

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"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, 09:07 AM   #50
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Ellis' post about cover-up and Ueshiba

I, also,would like to have that book Ellis. Thanks... (Wish I could still eat lobster, oysters, etc.)

Chuck Clark
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