Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > External Aikido Blog Posts

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-12-2009, 02:00 AM   #26
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,640
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
Drew Gardner wrote: View Post
I'm curious why O'Sensei became a Japanese National Hero, and I haven't heard the same of Takeda.

Drew
In my opinion, the message of the Founder (as it was perceived anyway) gave him and his art an appeal that spoke to people all over the world. If it had just been about technical sophistication, there would have been far more "household names". There were certainly a number of people whose "aiki" was as good, or even perhaps better.

We know so much more now than we did when i started Aikido. Stan Pranin almost single-handedly lifted Daito Ryu out of relative obscurity using his magazine, Aikido Journal, to spread awareness of the art, its history, and the surviving exponents.

In terms of modern Japanese, and even Korean martial arts, it would be hard to over estimate the influence of Takeda and Daito Ryu. Many of the top martial artists of his day trained with him for some period of time. Ueshiba and Aikido are only the best known of these. Hakko Ryu, Shorinji Kempo, Hapkido, Yanagi Ryu, etc all were influenced by Takeda and Daito Ryu.

But most of these styles are relatively unknown outside of Japan, some are obscure even in their homelands. Whereas, Aikido is one of the best known and widely dispersed martial arts, perhaps the most popular of the non-sport martial arts.

I can only attribute this to two factors... First, Aikido has an aesthetic which more practically oriented martial arts do not have. While the impractical nature of Aikido movements may be a source of criticism by some, I think it is a main source of appeal for many of the art's practitioners.

Second, the message of the Founder, no matter how bowdlerized by his successors, spoke to thousands of people on a very deep level. This may have been less true in Japan but it was certainly true overseas. Teachers like Mary Heiny Sensei have told me that it was this precisely which attracted them to the art. The figure of the Founder himself was tremendously inspiring. The man clearly had a kind of charisma to attract and hold so many strong personalities.

I think it is different now. You can see it on the forums... When I came out of school it was the the tale end of the Hippy days. We all grew up on Joseph Campbell telling us to follow our bliss. We didn't see anything strange about deciding to devote our lives to an art with no commercial potential. Of the people in my first dojo in DC back in 1976, at least five have become senior teachers. Of my second dojo in Seattle under Mary Heiny, at least six have gone the distance. Of all these people, I would say that the person of the Founder and our perception of his message was central to all but one or two.

Yet now, most of the young men seem to want only to fight. They want to do what they see on prime time cable. Movies like Fight Club spoke to this generation, not messages of peace and harmony as it did to ours. My generation had Woodstock without a single act of violence amidst a half million people. At Woodstock II they tore the place apart. I see the average age in most of the dojos I teach at rising significantly. We just don't have the young folks coming along like we did 15 years ago.

Anyway, that's why O-Sensei was famous in a way that others were not. His message was broader by far, it spoke to people all over the world in many different cultures. I don't think that any art or teacher, no matter how sophisticated or effective could ever match the appeal of an art with a great idea behind it.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 07-12-2009 at 02:05 AM.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 02:24 AM   #27
jss
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
What do you think is really going on when you see pictures of Takeda, Hisa, and Ueshiba in that pose with one arm up and one down? Aiki.
That's funny, because when Tamura has one arm up and one down, he's doing the ba duan jin.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 05:15 AM   #28
gdandscompserv
 
gdandscompserv's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,214
United_States
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
And if it weren't for his political connections and public relations would O'sensei just be another Daito Ryu teacher?
Of course not. He would still be the founder of Aikido.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 05:20 AM   #29
gdandscompserv
 
gdandscompserv's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,214
United_States
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I see the average age in most of the dojos I teach at rising significantly. We just don't have the young folks coming along like we did 15 years ago.
George, there might be hope yet. Most of my students are under the age of 12!
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 06:32 AM   #30
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
And where did Takeda get the "aiki" stuff? He certainly didn't invent it himself...it's been around for many generations. I think this constant BS about insinuating DR into discussions about ki/kokyu has a limited utility and after that it is clearly a "my style" sort of tangent that wastes time. Ueshiba certainly got some of his training from DR, but if you look at his douka he gives the credit where it belongs.... to a classical and traditional study of these skills that far precedes DR. I'm frankly embarrassed that the "Ueshiba owes everything to DR" stuff has gone on so long. I say let the people who keep bringing it up live with it from now on for what it is and what they are.

I think it's too late. You and Dan have way overplayed the issue of DR and Ueshiba. It's yours now. How many times have diplomatic indications been made that it's time to stop?

In terms of the list I was talking about of ki/kokyu skills in Aikido, it's got nothing to do with DR, Chinese predecessors, and so on... it's a clinical list of what we see people in Aikido doing. I have a contribution of something I saw Ueshiba doing that certainly did not come from DR, but I'll save it until I see a legitimate functional effort about *Aikido* being made in something like the AikiWiki. If I don't save it, it's a certainty that "Oh, we do that, too" will surface in a revised history, so I'll pass for the moment. Aikido is Aikido... let's drop the idea that Aikido is its precursors in the same good spirit that we don't mention that DR is its precursors.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
Reread Ledyard's post about "If it doesn't look like Aikido, smell like Aikido, and taste like Aikido, it's not Aikido."

Now, I'm the first to state that I know very little of the Chinese arts, but here's a short list of things I've never seen in the Chinese arts that can be found by those doing Daito ryu aiki:

Lying on the ground with people holding arms, feet, and neck and then throwing them off of you.

Sitting on the ground cross legged and having people push your head and try to push you over.

Holding a piece of paper or cloth and throwing someone who grabs that paper or cloth.

Ueshiba did these things. You wanted some sort of list and I started one. Now, you're stating that this list, just because it reflects Daito ryu aiki should be renamed and all connections to "Daito ryu" should be dropped.

1. If you're going to research how Ueshiba did these "physical phenomenon" to show ki, then you should be looking at his peers, too, who also did the exact same things. You want to look and feel like Ueshiba's aikido? Then you have to have at least the foundation to do that *and* you have to understand how he was using those skills. So far, there's only one other area that replicates the "physical phenomenon" of Ueshiba -- his Daito ryu aiki peers.

2. I posted, put the info out there, showed where to look, what was being done. You post that I should stop saying Daito ryu aiki. But you gave exactly no references to Chinese arts doing the "physical phenomenon" that Ueshiba had done. You have said that while the basics are the same, the way it is used can be different. Well, I'm taking you at your word and showing where people can go to see how Ueshiba learned to use Daito ryu aiki. It would be very helpful that, rather than keep harping on and on about how you don't like Daito ryu aiki mentioned, if you'd provide examples of any other art doing the same things. Not just suggesting that there are.

3. If we started talking about Ueshiba's spiritual views, we'd have to focus a great bit on Oomoto kyo. It's that simple. While we would be talking about ancient kotodama, we'd still be talking about Ueshiba's kotodama through the filter of Oomoto kyo. Sure you'd get a better understanding of kotodama basics from studying other sources, but in the end, when you wanted to use kotodama the way Ueshiba used it, you're going to have to filter it through Oomoto kyo. Same-same with Daito ryu aiki. Yeah, it's nice that you can get the skills from other sources, like Taiji, but when you want to know how Ueshiba utilized those skills, you have to do them from the filter of Daito ryu aiki.

Otherwise, you'll be setting up a list of "physical phenomenon" of ki skills that would be like someone else, for instance - Tohei.

NOTE: PLEASE don't take that sentence as disparaging Tohei. I'm NOT! I have great respect for him. But, he didn't do all the same things that Ueshiba did (as far as I know) in terms of "physical phenomenon" of ki skills. Can you do some great Aikido without replicating Ueshiba's "physical phenomenon" of ki skills? Sure. Just look at Tohei, Tomiki, Shioda, Shirata, Saotome, etc, etc. But this part of the thread wasn't about doing good Aikido.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 06:41 AM   #31
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
That's funny, because when Tamura has one arm up and one down, he's doing the ba duan jin.
Yep. Could be the same. Since it's internal and it's from a Chinese art, I wouldn't know. For instance, is there just a ground connection going from palm to feet? The reference doesn't say. Is the connection going from right hand to left foot? Reference doesn't say. Are there spirals happening? Reference doesn't say. Are you deliberately tucking the tailbone like some Chinese arts do? Doesn't say. They have palms facing up and down while Ueshiba has closed hand with a single finger pointing up and one down.

So, while I agree that they could be the same, how do I cross reference that pose which is done by yourself with how Ueshiba used the aiki in a martial context against other people? See what I mean? Yes, the basic skills can be there. But if their usage is different, then where is that link of usage in the Chinese arts? I've at least showed where that usage is listed with Ueshiba and his Daito ryu aiki peers. (sorry, I just had to get in at least one "Daito ryu aiki" phrase. Oops, that's two.)
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 07:11 AM   #32
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
In my opinion, the message of the Founder (as it was perceived anyway) gave him and his art an appeal that spoke to people all over the world. If it had just been about technical sophistication, there would have been far more "household names". There were certainly a number of people whose "aiki" was as good, or even perhaps better.

We know so much more now than we did when i started Aikido. Stan Pranin almost single-handedly lifted Daito Ryu out of relative obscurity using his magazine, Aikido Journal, to spread awareness of the art, its history, and the surviving exponents.

In terms of modern Japanese, and even Korean martial arts, it would be hard to over estimate the influence of Takeda and Daito Ryu. Many of the top martial artists of his day trained with him for some period of time. Ueshiba and Aikido are only the best known of these. Hakko Ryu, Shorinji Kempo, Hapkido, Yanagi Ryu, etc all were influenced by Takeda and Daito Ryu.

But most of these styles are relatively unknown outside of Japan, some are obscure even in their homelands. Whereas, Aikido is one of the best known and widely dispersed martial arts, perhaps the most popular of the non-sport martial arts.

I can only attribute this to two factors... First, Aikido has an aesthetic which more practically oriented martial arts do not have. While the impractical nature of Aikido movements may be a source of criticism by some, I think it is a main source of appeal for many of the art's practitioners.

Second, the message of the Founder, no matter how bowdlerized by his successors, spoke to thousands of people on a very deep level. This may have been less true in Japan but it was certainly true overseas. Teachers like Mary Heiny Sensei have told me that it was this precisely which attracted them to the art. The figure of the Founder himself was tremendously inspiring. The man clearly had a kind of charisma to attract and hold so many strong personalities.
Directly related to your thread title, there are some very in depth questions that I think are being asked recently. Most of them are becoming more and more pronounced because of Peter Goldsbury's columns and research.

Just whose vision of Aikido was it during those times: Founder or son?

When Aikido went worldwide, whose vision led the way: Founder or son?

And just what exactly was a good translation of Ueshiba's vision? As you note, unless you understand, major things can be lost in translation. And as a few have noted, the early books on Aikido were rife with mis-translations of one sort or another. How can we trust that other information in those books are good?

IF the ideal of aikido came from the son, how can we trust that it was really the father's vision? What kind of translation from either of them came through to us? What did we miss? Take out of context?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I think it is different now. You can see it on the forums... When I came out of school it was the the tale end of the Hippy days. We all grew up on Joseph Campbell telling us to follow our bliss. We didn't see anything strange about deciding to devote our lives to an art with no commercial potential. Of the people in my first dojo in DC back in 1976, at least five have become senior teachers. Of my second dojo in Seattle under Mary Heiny, at least six have gone the distance. Of all these people, I would say that the person of the Founder and our perception of his message was central to all but one or two.
For the first part of your para, I agree. But, there are questions here that I'm going to ask. Respectfully.

How do you know that your perception of his message was the right one? Have you kept that same perception over time? How do you know that your perception of his message is the correct one, right now?

To be fair, my answers. I grew up reading the books, listening to people. I learned Aikido. I had perceptions of the martial and spiritual outlook of the founder. My aikido training followed those perceptions. And then, one day, I was handed a stick of dynamite that blew my martial perceptions out of the water. I was wrong. I didn't know that I didn't know that I was wrong. And so, I have discarded my earlier spiritual perceptions of Ueshiba until I can research that, too. I don't really know enough of the martial underpinnings, yet, to get a grasp on how that could have helpbed build Ueshiba's overall vision. I'll get there.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 07:15 AM   #33
jss
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Lying on the ground with people holding arms, feet, and neck and then throwing them off of you.

Sitting on the ground cross legged and having people push your head and try to push you over.
There are videos of Chinese guys doing this while standing. So you're saying the mechanics of doing this while lying down or sitting are substantially different from doing it while standing up?

Quote:
Holding a piece of paper or cloth and throwing someone who grabs that paper or cloth.
And what about this encounter between Wang Xiangzhai and Kenichi Sawai:
Quote:
Not admitting defeat, Sawai wanted to have a swordplay contest with Wang because he was so skilled at it that he could cut an apple on the head of a man into two without hurting the head. Considering that Sawai should get an idea of what Chinese swordplay was, Wang agreed to have another contest.With a sword held overhead in his hands, Sawai delivered a hard blow at Wang’s head. Wang stepped a bit to the right and wielded his sword to block the opposing sword. As the two swords clanked, Sawai was also thrown several feet away and flattened with his palms benumbed. (According to the son of Sawai, they did not fight with swords but with sticks.)
Not exactly the same, but both entail throwing someone with skin-object-skin contact. Using cloth or paper limits the possibilities ('pushing' will not work), but I don't think that's the substantial part of the demonstration.

Quote:
Yeah, it's nice that you can get the skills from other sources, like Taiji, but when you want to know how Ueshiba utilized those skills, you have to do them from the filter of Daito ryu aiki.
As you said in your other post, the same indeed applies to the ba duan jin I mentioned.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 10:49 AM   #34
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,640
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Directly related to your thread title, there are some very in depth questions that I think are being asked recently. Most of them are becoming more and more pronounced because of Peter Goldsbury's columns and research.

Just whose vision of Aikido was it during those times: Founder or son?

When Aikido went worldwide, whose vision led the way: Founder or son?

And just what exactly was a good translation of Ueshiba's vision? As you note, unless you understand, major things can be lost in translation. And as a few have noted, the early books on Aikido were rife with mis-translations of one sort or another. How can we trust that other information in those books are good?

IF the ideal of aikido came from the son, how can we trust that it was really the father's vision? What kind of translation from either of them came through to us? What did we miss? Take out of context?

For the first part of your para, I agree. But, there are questions here that I'm going to ask. Respectfully.

How do you know that your perception of his message was the right one? Have you kept that same perception over time? How do you know that your perception of his message is the correct one, right now?

To be fair, my answers. I grew up reading the books, listening to people. I learned Aikido. I had perceptions of the martial and spiritual outlook of the founder. My aikido training followed those perceptions. And then, one day, I was handed a stick of dynamite that blew my martial perceptions out of the water. I was wrong. I didn't know that I didn't know that I was wrong. And so, I have discarded my earlier spiritual perceptions of Ueshiba until I can research that, too. I don't really know enough of the martial underpinnings, yet, to get a grasp on how that could have helpbed build Ueshiba's overall vision. I'll get there.
When O-Sensei handed off the responsibility for post war Aikido to his son, the only caveat he placed on the whole thing was that Kisshomaru do justice to the spiritual side of the art. K Ueshiba documents this in his bio of the Founder's life which is on AJ (I don't have time to find the reference. This was in the late forties or early fifties. O-Sensei lived until 1969 and was actively teaching right up until the end.

If the Father had not been happy with how his legacy was handled, he had ample time to set things straight. In my opinion, Kisshomaru certainly simplified the Founder's philosophical and spiritual ideas. That was pretty much an essential due to the extreme arcane nature of the Founder's beliefs. But I also believe that he tried hard to do them justice. I do not think that, somehow, as some folks seem to believe, that the entire group of O-Sensei's students conspired to insert some watered down message into the art after the war. These people were his students and they treated his legacy very seriously. It's just that some of it didn't translate well for modern Japanese much less folks from all over the world.

I think that the idea that the spiritual message of Aikido that so touched people's hearts after the war was not really that of the Founder is simply unfounded. It is a revisionist idea that is held by a small minority of folks; sort of like the few folks left who still think global warming isn't proven yet.

The oft quoted statement by the Founder that "no one was doing his Aikido" did not, in my opinion, refer to some idea that no one was using "internal power" but rather that few of the deshi in the late years of his life seemed interested in his spiritual ideas and that their practice was simply physical.

There are innumerable statements that would corroborate this but I take most of my info from Saotome Sensei who was with the Founder for 15 years, right until the end. Saotome Sensei was one of the ones who actually did make an effort to understand the Founder's ideas. His book, Aikido and the Harmony of Nature was the result of his attempt to make these ideas more comprehensible. I do not see anything at all in conflict between what Sensei wrote and what K Ueshiba put forth as the philosophical underpinning of Aikido. But Sensei got this straight from the Founder.

I am the first to lament that certain aspects of the Founder's martial skill did not get taught and more less disappeared fro Aikido. But the idea that the whole post war period represented some hi-jacking of O-Sensei's real Aikido by his son and senior students is simply not the case.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 11:16 AM   #35
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

On Mikes comments and misquotes

I'll state it flatly and complete.
"Aikido IS NOT Daito ryu." It's Ueshiba's school-and it is a different model from DR so continuing to misquote that does little good. I admire what Ueshiba did with his change in direction.
But,
"Aikido's aiki...IS...Daito ryu aiki." Something which most know little about, but more and more aikido teachers are catching on to.
I initially dismissed Mike's view when he came on the scene because he simply could not address how and where the two arts differed in his past offerings here as he went through his many phases; from denial, grudging agreement, to apology and eventual (albeit limited) agreement that there even were internal components in DR. The internal training aspects of DR directly correlate to usage in Aikido's movement and approach to create aiki in defined ways and for specific reasons in applicable use. George was sharp enough to have seen it, so was Gleason and an increasing number of other Aikido teachers. It generally speaks for itself and requires no defense for experienced teachers in aikido. I'm not sure anyone elses opinion matters. Teachers will do what they think is best.
We could say
"Enough already!!"...
Lets say it again
"Enough already!!"...
And I would agree, except that the discussion here and there goes to "Where do we find what Ueshiba had?" And that leads back to the history.

History
Many have enjoyed and benefitted from the contention, and information in the debates here regarding the history and origin of Aikido's aiki; with me stating "Aikido's aiki is Daito ryu aiki" Against Mike's "Aikido's aiki is Ueshiba's research into some (undefined, no school, little known and undisclosed source of "generalized internal training Mike theory" that Ueshiba sprung from.
When I compared the "ideas" as a model, in the end I find one inescapable truth:
The nebulous, undefined "catch all" Asian training model that Ueshiba supposedly trained in produced no one else, (in that generation ) of any significant notability for anyone to consider to stand next to Ueshiba, Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo, and Hisa.
Takeda, on the other hand made each of them. All budo giants in a classification of aiki usage that was unique at the time.
So,I find Mike's "unified asian arts theory" on the history and origins of Ueshiba's power to have little credibility worth further consideration.

Current training
A better discussion today is whether it is better for aikido people to try and find what is generally (but not completely) agreed is missing from the art from just anywhere…or anyone at all who has got something internal; Karate, Taiji, Bagua, Yoga, the kitchen sink, whatever. Or, whether it is probably smarter-as George points out -to go to a school from which the art, and the man, sprang, as it will more directly relate; not only in building the internal componants but also a) what is worked on and why, but b) what is or isn't stressed and why c) what is unrelated but could be brought in and how it can be expressed in motion that directly relates to Aikido.

I could agree that continuing to talk about DR as a source for Aikido's aiki can be a distraction, except that I have experience with training with students and teachers alike from both arts -with decades of experience- who, not surprisingly completely disagree with Mike as to what, where, and how, the Aiki of those arts ARE connected.

George
I think it is good to continue to point out there is not only technical differences but spiritual ones as well. But....you also need to begin to discuss a separation of aiki itself from technique. This is a deeper discussion that I believe you would benefit from. Aiki is not waza. It is not small circle VS big circle or anything of the like. As some might tell you the training they do with me is affecting ...them...spiritually and emotionally. So I find it difficult to see you place the spiritual componant as a dividing issue when I wonder if it is something we might come closer to agreement on with further discussion. No, not that they are the same, I'm not saying that at all, just that you can separate internal training and Aiki and what it does to you out from both arts DR and Aikido and or make them inexorable componants of the arts.
Aiki is not about just about your quote that "Aikido missing out on some of Ueshiba's "martial" aspects" It is deeper than that.
Sadly we can all probably continue to "read into" Ueshiba's comments and find what we want to hear one way or another. What is interesting is that we continue to do so all these years later. Isn't that interesting in itself?
You continue to point to some interesting dilemmas in training and raise good questions.
With teachers, I wonder how much the problem is in
1. lack of translation
2. lack of ability to teach details-it is a fairly common problem with Japanese teachers
3. lack of correct information in the first place
4. lack of real intent to teach everyone the same in the first place (holding back)
In other words a translator isn't going to help you much if the correct words were never there to begin with. I think several have pointed this out on different forums with their own teachers.
I will agree that going around and experiencing different arts is a good thing, but going around and trying to pick up pieces here and there of this or that art does what?
Has it occurred to anyone that each source they went to (that impressed them) contained men who NEVER went around piecing together things in the first place? That these sources dug-in and burned individual methods to arrive at a point that they had something that was impressive in the first place? What part was dogged repetition and insight from years-in and what part was a true gem in the art to have. In other words are some methods really after all just so, so methods, but the impressive guy burned it into genius? Compared to other arts that have jewels of more complete information available that many squander and never dig in to get? What part is consistent what part is perseverance?
In the end, what if all these "researchers" end up just screwing up and doing even more stuff in the same half hearted way they do their art now, or where they see some real jewel and successfully incorporate it into their being.
It's a tough task that can be a monumental waste of time. And who's opinion do we want to consider for what we should bring into our individual art or methods, Or who can say this is the best for us and don't pursue that other as it is a contradiction.
Or when we find out this or that actually IS the best thing we ever did what to do.... with that!
Interesting questions as always George.
Good luck in your training
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-12-2009 at 11:30 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 12:18 PM   #36
jss
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Many have enjoyed and benefitted from the contention, and information in the debates here regarding the history and origin of Aikido's aiki; with me stating "Aikido's aiki is Daito ryu aiki" Against Mike's "Aikido's aiki is Ueshiba's research into some (undefined, no school, little known and undisclosed source of "generalized internal training Mike theory" that Ueshiba sprung from.
Nice misrepresentation of what Mike said, but yeah ... like whatever.
Only when Mike makes a list of stuff that Ueshiba did and that (as far as he knows) is not trained in daito ryu and when you then say "It is trained in daito ryu like so-and-so", only then this discussion will rise above the level of two six year olds playing the games of "Is not!" - "Is too!" In the mean time you can cut it out, I don't think anybody here really cares anymore...
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 12:26 PM   #37
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Reread Ledyard's post about "If it doesn't look like Aikido, smell like Aikido, and taste like Aikido, it's not Aikido."

Now, I'm the first to state that I know very little of the Chinese arts, but here's a short list of things I've never seen in the Chinese arts that can be found by those doing Daito ryu aiki:

Lying on the ground with people holding arms, feet, and neck and then throwing them off of you.

Sitting on the ground cross legged and having people push your head and try to push you over.

Holding a piece of paper or cloth and throwing someone who grabs that paper or cloth.

Ueshiba did these things. You wanted some sort of list and I started one. Now, you're stating that this list, just because it reflects Daito ryu aiki should be renamed and all connections to "Daito ryu" should be dropped.
You're talking about simple techniques that are ubiquitous in Asian martial arts, Mark. But since Joep has already begin to point you in that direction, I'm not going to belabor the point.

My point is that all the ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills Ueshiba got did not necessarily come only from Aikido, but worse than that, what ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills that Takeda had he certainly didn't invent himself, either. If you want to worry about Takeda, start worrying about that part of it. My position is that the skills in Aikido and DR that are being called "aiki" or "kokyu" or "ki" simply come from a very ancient tradition throughout Asia. To keep hammering that Ueshiba owed all he had to Takeda is one of the great absurdities I've seen on a martial-arts forum. No one has ever argued that Ueshiba didn't get a lot of his information from DR. I doubt that he got it all. If you want to talk about "techniques", then the argument becomes absurd. Start another thread and start naming DR techniques that aren't just variations of techniques already found in Chinese martial arts (and of course I mean martial, functional ones, not dive-bunny techniques).

Quote:
1. If you're going to research how Ueshiba did these "physical phenomenon" to show ki, then you should be looking at his peers, too, who also did the exact same things. You want to look and feel like Ueshiba's aikido? Then you have to have at least the foundation to do that *and* you have to understand how he was using those skills. So far, there's only one other area that replicates the "physical phenomenon" of Ueshiba -- his Daito ryu aiki peers.
Are you serious? Seriously? You may need to do a little research on this, Mark, but I don't see anything in DR or Aikido that is outside the mainstream of skills and techniques found in older Asian martial arts.
Quote:
2. I posted, put the info out there, showed where to look, what was being done. You post that I should stop saying Daito ryu aiki. But you gave exactly no references to Chinese arts doing the "physical phenomenon" that Ueshiba had done. You have said that while the basics are the same, the way it is used can be different. Well, I'm taking you at your word and showing where people can go to see how Ueshiba learned to use Daito ryu aiki. It would be very helpful that, rather than keep harping on and on about how you don't like Daito ryu aiki mentioned, if you'd provide examples of any other art doing the same things. Not just suggesting that there are.
OK, that's easy. Look in Shuai Jiao; look in Bagua. Notice how many people think Ueshiba got his techniques from Bagua because they look so similar. Actually, the techniques in Bagua are still, at best, techniques that have been in many ancient Chinese martial arts. Again, though... you seem to think I'm talking about tecniques. I'm not. I'm talking about people making a list of the ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills that are defining aspects of Aikido's usage of those skills. You misunderstood me and went off on a tangent.
Quote:
Otherwise, you'll be setting up a list of "physical phenomenon" of ki skills that would be like someone else, for instance - Tohei.
That's what I was suggesting.
Quote:
NOTE: PLEASE don't take that sentence as disparaging Tohei. I'm NOT! I have great respect for him. But, he didn't do all the same things that Ueshiba did (as far as I know) in terms of "physical phenomenon" of ki skills. Can you do some great Aikido without replicating Ueshiba's "physical phenomenon" of ki skills? Sure. Just look at Tohei, Tomiki, Shioda, Shirata, Saotome, etc, etc. But this part of the thread wasn't about doing good Aikido.
So list what Ueshiba could do that Tohei couldn't do. Ultimately, that's part of the "list" I was talking about.

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 12:40 PM   #38
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
On Mikes comments and misquotes

I'll state it flatly and complete.
"Aikido IS NOT Daito ryu." It's Ueshiba's school-and it is a different model from DR so continuing to misquote that does little good. I admire what Ueshiba did with his change in direction.
But,
"Aikido's aiki...IS...Daito ryu aiki." Something which most know little about, but more and more aikido teachers are catching on to.
I initially dismissed Mike's view when he came on the scene because he simply could not address how and where the two arts differed in his past offerings here as he went through his many phases; from denial, grudging agreement, to apology and eventual (albeit limited) agreement that there even were internal components in DR. The internal training aspects of DR directly correlate to usage in Aikido's movement and approach to create aiki in defined ways and for specific reasons in applicable use. George was sharp enough to have seen it, so was Gleason and an increasing number of other Aikido teachers. It generally speaks for itself and requires no defense for experienced teachers in aikido. I'm not sure anyone elses opinion matters. Teachers will do what they think is best.
We could say
"Enough already!!"...
Lets say it again
"Enough already!!"...
And I would agree, except that the discussion here and there goes to "Where do we find what Ueshiba had?" And that leads back to the history.

History
Many have enjoyed and benefitted from the contention, and information in the debates here regarding the history and origin of Aikido's aiki; with me stating "Aikido's aiki is Daito ryu aiki" Against Mike's "Aikido's aiki is Ueshiba's research into some (undefined, no school, little known and undisclosed source of "generalized internal training Mike theory" that Ueshiba sprung from.
When I compared the "ideas" as a model, in the end I find one inescapable truth:
The nebulous, undefined "catch all" Asian training model that Ueshiba supposedly trained in produced no one else, (in that generation ) of any significant notability for anyone to consider to stand next to Ueshiba, Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo, and Hisa.
Takeda, on the other hand made each of them. All budo giants in a classification of aiki usage that was unique at the time.
So,I find Mike's "unified asian arts theory" on the history and origins of Ueshiba's power to have little credibility worth further consideration.

Current training
A better discussion today is whether it is better for aikido people to try and find what is generally (but not completely) agreed is missing from the art from just anywhere…or anyone at all who has got something internal; Karate, Taiji, Bagua, Yoga, the kitchen sink, whatever. Or, whether it is probably smarter-as George points out -to go to a school from which the art, and the man, sprang, as it will more directly relate; not only in building the internal componants but also a) what is worked on and why, but b) what is or isn't stressed and why c) what is unrelated but could be brought in and how it can be expressed in motion that directly relates to Aikido.

I could agree that continuing to talk about DR as a source for Aikido's aiki can be a distraction, except that I have experience with training with students and teachers alike from both arts -with decades of experience- who, not surprisingly completely disagree with Mike as to what, where, and how, the Aiki of those arts ARE connected.
Once again, Dan... if you're going to represent *anything* you think I said or anything you think I think..... give a reference to where I said something. You have gone beyond mischaracterization to the point that you simply make it up. I.e., you do not tell the truth. Do not use my name and assert what I have said without a reference. This is how many times you've been told the same thing? Source? Cite? Or more probably, silence, right?

In terms of the subject at hand, maybe I'm missing a rather obvious absurdity from the DR hyperbolists: Is it the position of Dan and Mark and others that the "aiki" skills are only found in DR and Aikido and that they are not common skills found in a number of Asian martial arts? Is that the position? If so then you're missing a lot of obvious clues, even in Ueshiba's writings. The reason Ueshiba referenced ancient traditional Chinese sayings about his skills was because he knew full well that these skills he was using were the same ones used throughout Chinese martial arts. Takeda would have known it, too. So to try and maintain the position that Ueshiba could only have gotten his skills from DR is absurd and untenable, if that's the position.

Some skills, yes.... but everyone has agreed for years that some degree of Ueshiba's knowledge of the ancient skills probably came from DR. Did *all* of the total skills Ueshiba had come only from DR? Probably not. I'm holding a couple of examples in my hot little hands and I'll bring them out sometime in the future publicly. Meantime, when the topic comes up I continue to show these things to Aikido people so we can get around the DR advocacy. DR had a place in Aikido's past. DR had predecessor arts in its past. How far back do we have to go?

FWIW

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 02:19 PM   #39
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
Nice misrepresentation of what Mike said, but yeah ... like whatever.
Only when Mike makes a list of stuff that Ueshiba did and that (as far as he knows) is not trained in daito ryu and when you then say "It is trained in daito ryu like so-and-so", only then this discussion will rise above the level of two six year olds playing the games of "Is not!" - "Is too!" In the mean time you can cut it out, I don't think anybody here really cares anymore...
I was pretty clear that I was discussing the fact that as far Ueshiba's internal training, other than Daito ryu no one -including Mike has produced anything.
There is:
no school attributable
nor any source definable
nor any group named that produced anyone
To rival Ueshiba's skill's at the time except for his peers in DR. How'd that happen?
Not the least of which is the fact that he started to be noted for these skills ONLY after training with Takeda, most notably in 1922.

Ueshiba can fully stand on his own and did after the early thirties and he did so remarkably well. He made some very significant changes and developments; both in the art itself, and in the way it was transmitted, that Takeda could NEVER have pulled off nor even "saw" with his mindset. Most of which made Ueshiba's art more accessible not only to the Japanese of the day but as George noted to the many foreigners coming in at the time. I don't think it was just a spiritual component though that drew people in. It was also the aspect of being able to do budo and not get quite so wrecked in the long run as many other budo did to the body AS WELL as the spiritual aspects that drew people in. I think in the long run it was that combination of Ueshiba's power and skill, rarely displayed in public, and the hopefulleness and openess that drew just as many as the budo aspects.

Anyway, I don't care enough to debate it anymore, except for the revisionist history portion that keeps popping up. Ueshiba went the way he went for good reasons. I remain a fan for some of those reasons. Sorry you see a a fight when it isn't nearly as serious as that-it's more of a tempest in a tea pot.
I see it that:
Many "read-into" his doka and his words things that really aren't there-Peter continually adddresses that
Just as well...many "read -into" his physical art looking for things that simply are not there and looking for influences that never happened-such as BKF and other thinking it was from Bagua.
Others look at his waza and look for a composite history that never occurred
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-12-2009 at 02:33 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 02:39 PM   #40
Lee Salzman
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 405
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

This moment of deja vu brought to you by Monty Python.

Since this is a thread about teaching and translation, why not set aside the factual matter of the propositions for the moment, since no one can seem to agree on those?

Let's ask instead: what is the utility of each of these two propositions to the practicioner of aikido?

The first proposition says that aikido either resembles or descends from skills evident in the Chinese and whatever other nearby martial arts. So what will the practicioner find there? A bunch of insular camps of martial artists all doing their own thing, with no one providing any single skill set that anyone will peg as Morihei Ueshiba's practice. They will find things that may cause some small insight into what they were doing, but nothing that illuminates the whole, or anyone willing or able to teach such a thing (meaning - to be exactly as skilled as Morihei Ueshiba).

The second proposition says that aikido is most directly derived from Daito Ryu, that Morihei Ueshiba had no real significant investment in other martial arts, whether Japanese or foreign in origin, and that where he differed from Daito Ryu at all is his own progression of things he learned from there. What's a practicioner to find there? A bunch of insular camps of martial artists all doing their own thing, with no one providing any single skill set that anyone will peg as Morihei Ueshiba's practice. They will find things that may cause some small insight into what they were doing, but nothing that illuminates the whole, or anyone willing or able to teach such a thing (again, meaning - to be exactly as skilled as Morihei Ueshiba).

And if you want to be extra ironic, pose a third proposition, the excluded middle, of the practicioner just studying aikido. What will he find there? A bunch of insular camps of martial artists all doing their own thing, with no one providing any single skill set that anyone will peg as Morihei Ueshiba's practice. They will find things that may cause some small insight into what they were doing, but nothing that illuminates the whole, or anyone willing or able to teach such a thing (again, meaning - to be exactly as skilled as Morihei Ueshiba).

You're back to... what is aikido? I think the way they structure obscenity laws already figured this out, the judge just says: "I'll know it when I see it". Let a thousand flowers bloom. When the people advancing one proposition or another produce people of sufficient skill (and to their credit, they are all trying), and if other people see something in them that catches their interest enough to say "that is what aikido should be", I think that is the only way anything will ever be solved. Proof in pudding. Do the work and let the results stand on their own. Might makes right. Yada yada.

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 07-12-2009 at 02:54 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 02:54 PM   #41
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Hah!
Good points Lee. Heck you might even add where the heck did Takeda get it in the first place? What if it's ALL Chinese? And it probably is.
At a certain point who cares. It's where can we find it, what do we want to do with it and what do we want it to look like in experession.
None if which means though that historically Ueshiba studied Chinese Martial arts to get it.

http://www.aikiweb.com/interviews/pranin0800.html
Cheers
Dan
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 03:12 PM   #42
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Let's ask instead: what is the utility of each of these two propositions to the practicioner of aikido?

The first proposition says that aikido either resembles or descends from skills evident in the Chinese and whatever other nearby martial arts. So what will the practicioner find there? A bunch of insular camps of martial artists all doing their own thing, with no one providing any single skill set that anyone will peg as Morihei Ueshiba's practice. They will find things that may cause some small insight into what they were doing, but nothing that illuminates the whole, or anyone willing or able to teach such a thing (meaning - to be exactly as skilled as Morihei Ueshiba).

The second proposition says that aikido is most directly derived from Daito Ryu, that Morihei Ueshiba had no real significant investment in other martial arts, whether Japanese or foreign in origin, and that where he differed from Daito Ryu at all is his own progression of things he learned from there. What's a practicioner to find there? A bunch of insular camps of martial artists all doing their own thing, with no one providing any single skill set that anyone will peg as Morihei Ueshiba's practice. They will find things that may cause some small insight into what they were doing, but nothing that illuminates the whole, or anyone willing or able to teach such a thing (again, meaning - to be exactly as skilled as Morihei Ueshiba).
I think the DR aspect is sort of a misleading strawman to the discussion. Why even go there? George Ledyard was talking about skills that are becoming more and more known in Aikido. I suggested that people make a list of the skills that are and were historically in Aikido because I think it is very important that the actual Aikido skillsets be delineated from the whole set of available skills in the ki/qi paradigm of physical skills. Within an accurate set of ki-related skills for Aikido will of course be a large overlay with the skills within an accurate DR definition involving ki skills. However, since the ki-related skills in DR are only a subset of the full and much larger set of ki skills in toto, there is no real need to involve DR in the discussion.

If you look at a the list of actual skills contained in Aikido as being measured by what Ueshiba could do (and IMO I still think he could do some things not found in DR, even though a lot of what he got was from DR), then you have a list that does much to define what is contained in good Aikido. Now, having a list like this doesn't do much more than define the general outter parameters of Aikido *in relation to the ki-strengths skillset*. There is more to Aikido than just the ki-strengths, although the other aspects are defined by that baseline skillset. What I mean, for example, is that Yoshinkan Aikido is going to be within the same parameters of ki-skills that Ueshiba used, although Yoshinkan may have/stress different techniques, and of course people doing Yoshinkan are just as susceptible to using muscle instead of ki, and so on.

And as I said, since Ueshiba himself defined Aikido against the larger vehicle of In-Yo, A-Un, 8 Gates, and so on, there is no need in this discussion about the skills as George meant them to digress into "techniques and where they came from". If Ueshiba got additional information from Misogi training, from a kendo school, and so on, none of that is important in relation to the total list of the skills he knew and used in Aikido.

Rather than continue on this tangent of who got what from whom, why not just make a list of the skills? That cuts to the chase. We know that Ueshiba used "aiki" (a technique known by a number of different names in a number of arts going back to ancient times). We know that Ueshiba demonstrated static postures. We know that Ueshiba used breathing techniques and postures to build his powers. And so on. By first listing all the known skills Ueshiba demonstrated or that we can legitiamately infer, we can approach the "translation" problem and perhaps get around it with that extra information. Currently there is a problem with some ki-skills techniques being shown but the Japanese teachers involved can't seem to articulate how they're doing them. If we begin to formulate a baseline definition of the available skills, defining and then teaching the skills should become a lot easier, eh?

FWIW

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 03:39 PM   #43
Suru
Location: Miami, FL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 453
United_States
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

With a current world population that I believe can be truncated to 6,600,000,000, with about 1,000,000 in the year 1 (it's been a while since I saw the correct number, but my gut thinks this is correct), I find it incredible that over the centuries, relatively few come along and - on a super large scale - better the world for many. I just thought of a John Michael Montgomery song, "What I do the best" that I last heard on a CD before losing it a decade ago. The lyrics are really close to the following.

"Some men live to change the world,
And that's alright with me;
My hat's off to those chosen few
Who rewrite history...
But lovin' you is what I do the best."

I remember this quote from high school English class:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

- Margaret Mead

O'Sensei had his groups; there is no way he could have accomplished nearly as much without hardcore assistance from brutally committed co-workers.

Drew
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 08:06 PM   #44
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,640
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
What if it's ALL Chinese? And it probably is.
I would certainly agree. As a student of archaic religions in my younger days, what stood out for me was not the differences between the different manifestations around the world but the underlying similarities.

I think a lot of this stuff started farther back than anyone realizes or that could possibly be proven or disproved. But what happens as people move around the globe and distinct cultures emerge? Ellis used to talk about various obscure martial arts which served a very narrowly defined function within a given society. So an African tribe may take whacking each other with a long, flexible stick to a very high level or another might create an entire art around a movement that looks just like giving someone a noogie. Totally culturally specific.

So what happens to these skills when they go from China to Japan? They take on a form that is culturally specific. Pretty much anything that the Japanese samurai did involved an underlying foundation of weapons. The samurai was a walking weapons system. Additionally, he had to be bale to move wearing armor. So the form these principles took was based on the requirements of the users. What weapons did they carry, how did they carry them, armor, no armor, etc.

That's one of the reasons I have a hard time with the folks that look at Aikido and want it to be something it never was. It isn't, and never was in my opinion, an empty hand fighting art. The guys who developed the ancestor form(s) of Aikido were samurai. Their world revolved around weapons. That continued into Daito Ryu and then into Aikido. By the time that O-Sensei starts to change his ideas about what the fundamental purpose of training is, you start to see a gradual and accelerating divorce of the form of the art from any awareness of how the training exercise translated into applied technique.

It's not that you can't apply the principles of aiki in different forms... of course you can. But not in the form they exist in the art as we practice it. As any 14 year old twit on Bullshido will be happy to point out "No one attacks like that"! Absolutely correct, if by that they mean no one focusing on empty hand single combat in a sport context. But put the weapons back into the equation, as in the case of a member law enforcement who, like his samurai cousin, is a walking weapons system, and they get grabbed all the time. Many of the simplest Aikido forms translate directly in to weapons retention, weapons takeaways, etc.

So my point is that yes, I do believe that this stuff came from China. It may very well have come from India before that but I don't expect anyone to prove that either way. The Chinese manifested these principles in their martial arts as they fit their personal, social, political, technological and military context. The same thing happens to these skills when they travel to Japan. You can see forms that closely resemble the Chinese and you can see forms that are distinctly Japanese and would never be mistaken for anyone else's. Yet, these forms can share the underlying principle base.

I don't see any of this as controversial... more like a big, Duh! The question for us as modern practitioners of these arts is whether we are going to try to change them to make them fit our contemporary personal and societal requirements, which I would say we have already been doing, or whether we want to preserve a form, which may have intrinsic value in itself, but which might be somewhat divorced from practical applicability.

In the case of Aikido, if ones interest is in application in a contemporary self defense context, or especially if you want the art to apply against sport style martial arts (for some reason I still don't exactly understand), then you will have to change the form and the art will become something entirely different.

O-Sensei had volumes to say about how the form of our art manifested various principles of nature in an energetic sense. His "The movements of Aikido are the movements of the Universe" should not be taken lightly. I think that this understanding is crucial to keeping our Aikido on track as a personal practice that is in accord with what the Founder created the art for in the first place.

Dan points out that there is a huge amount to be understood about the spiritual implications of developing the internal principles of the art. I absolutely agree. Any time you place such focused attention on integrating the mind and the body, there are all sorts of things which happen on a spiritual level. That should be part of our Aikido; absolutely.

But I simply caution people against changing the outer form of the art before they have trained long enough to start to have a real feel for what prolonged execution of these forms over years and years can do for you. There isn't one single thing that Daito Ryu aiki has that won't serve to make your Aikido form better. But don't, in my opinion, do it because you want your Aikido to be more effective (although I am sure it will be) but rather because you want to understand connection on a far deeper level. That's the whole point of the art - connection. Getting to the place at which a feeling of connection is your default setting.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 07-12-2009 at 08:09 PM.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 08:24 PM   #45
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
So my point is that yes, I do believe that this stuff came from China. It may very well have come from India before that but I don't expect anyone to prove that either way. The Chinese manifested these principles in their martial arts as they fit their personal, social, political, technological and military context.
"This stuff" (meaning the so-called 'internal' skills) probably originated in India and spread gradually to China and from there to the area of influence China had as a dominant power. My personal suspicion is that "this stuff" originated (not whole, but gradually) as an adjunct to agrarian work necessities. Both the forces and "ki" skills are so suitable for work efficiency that I can easily picture them as being quasi-religious skills at a time when religions had a lot to do with planting, harvest, fertility, food production, and so forth.

Regardless, "this stuff", as physical skills, is an intertwined system of logic and physical phenomena in which one thing implies another. In other words, it is a stand-alone system of logic. There is not really a "Chinese system" and a "Japanese system" and a "DR system" and an "Aikido System" and a "Taiji system", or any of that. There is only one system. If there are differences, those differences represent different levels of understanding and ability... nothing more.

Yes, someone can devise his own system of techniques and apply any vouchsafed 'philosophy' of his choosing, and so on, but the system of logic and skills is immutable. That's one of the reasons why you see the same ki demonstrations (or their variations) all over Asia; ki skills are ultimately defined and limited by what they can do. Once you grasp the bigger picture of what is going on, this immutability becomes obvious.

Also, because of the way the system works, you begin to see some very simple and clear principles such as motion reducing to stillness, such as "form approaches no form", such as "my opponent moves first but I arrive first", and so on. The same simple principles that Ueshiba referred to in his douka. This system of body skills is not Chinese or Indian or Japanese or whatever... it simply is what it is and it is an important basis for what "Dao" is.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 11:39 PM   #46
thisisnotreal
 
thisisnotreal's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 693
Offline
Re: Japanese Aikido Teachers - Translation

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
[snip]
I think it is good to continue to point out there is not only technical differences but spiritual ones as well. But....you also need to begin to discuss a separation of aiki itself from technique. This is a deeper discussion that I believe you would benefit from. Aiki is not waza. It is not small circle VS big circle or anything of the like. As some might tell you the training they do with me is affecting ...them...spiritually and emotionally.

No, not that they are the same, I'm not saying that at all, just that you can separate internal training and Aiki and what it does to you out from both arts DR and Aikido and or make them inexorable componants of the arts.
Aiki is not about just about your quote that "Aikido missing out on some of Ueshiba's "martial" aspects" It is deeper than that.
...
Cheers
Dan
Hi Dan,
Could you please say a little bit more about this? This seems deeply insightful but I cannot grasp your meaning.
With Respect,
Josh
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



Reply


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

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Correlation of Aikido and Daito-Ryu Waza John Driscoll Columns 28 08-04-2013 06:01 PM
Yoshinkai - Beyond the "Hard Style" Label Susan Dalton Columns 8 11-16-2011 07:53 AM
Should aikido evolve? antonis paps Training 14 02-10-2009 10:53 PM
Aikido in Amsterdam, Terry Lax style... tiyler_durden General 11 11-03-2008 09:31 AM
Two things. Veers General 8 04-04-2003 02:54 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:22 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate