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Old 08-30-2009, 04:27 PM   #1
R.A. Robertson
Dojo: Still Point Aikido Center
Location: Austin, TX, USA
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Re: Guests in the House

Hi Ellis,

You wrote:

"Did not many of you see the film or photo of the jo trick, or some other manifestation of power and you wanted to be able to do the same? Ueshiba Morihei's power was the advertisement."

O-Sensei's alleged powers are a curiosity at least, a koan at best. Yes, there is a glamor about it, and it's attractive. An advertising gimmick, as you suggest.

But for some, the more meaningful issue is the idea of power wisely directed toward creating a better world, that budo itself should serve the purpose of love and protection.

There's a power in that, of necessity, but the power isn't really the point.

To me, anyway.

Thanks,

Ross
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:49 PM   #2
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Guests in the House

I got you.
Problem for me is that most pacifists (on a personal level of pacifism) that I've met couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag. (not to say that some of them were not surpassingly passive aggressive). In any event, pacifism wasn't a choice, it was their only option, which means it was no moral choice at all. Shin Taido, for example, has an ideology much like aikido, but is even further divorced from martial arts - it draws people who, generally speaking, are not the ones causing mayhem in the world anyway. What made aikido attractive to me - and disappointed me in turn - was the promise of gaining surpassing power encased in a conflict resolution model. When I didn't find the power I was looking for, I looked elsewhere. My current interest in internal strength training, at least in regards to aikido, is based on the idea that aikido could actually fulfill the dual functions of power development and conflict resolution. I think that without the former, the people who might most need aikido wouldn't give it a second glance.

Best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 08-31-2009, 11:20 AM   #3
R.A. Robertson
Dojo: Still Point Aikido Center
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Re: Guests in the House

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I got you.
Problem for me is that most pacifists (on a personal level of pacifism) that I've met couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag.
Funny you bring up pacifism, when I'm talking budo.

My concern (and I realize this is off-topic from your article's central thesis) is for the wise direction of power. You might say, if I read you correctly, that power has to come first. Another might say that wisdom must precede. If I had to choose, I'd choose the latter, but I really think they best arise concurrently.

The hazard is as with those who seek a better quality of life, only to become trapped in the money game. Or the yogis who seek enlightenment only to become fixated on the siddhis.

Or a military whose best minds truly understand the aim of defending and restoring peace, but whose politicians and industry fosters destruction over building.

You know the saying "painted cakes do not satisfy hunger." There is the legitimate concern in aikido that many are willing to settle for painted cakes. Aikido without substantive power is a painted cake.

Likewise, power without wisdom. Or perhaps, power without wisdom is is a real cake, but poisoned.

In any case, all best wishes for your quest. I know if you find the goods, you'll share, and we'll all be the better for it.

Ross
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Old 08-31-2009, 01:09 PM   #4
Ellis Amdur
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

Ross - I used the word "pacifism" as a bit of hyperbole - but, a vitiated martial art is not budo - that's my real point. Yes, some aikido practitioners - without internal training - or any experience in other martial arts - can be quite formidable. But many people have trained for decades and have not achieved the ability to fight of someone with six months of BJJ training. That's not good.
And I have seen nothing whatsoever to indicate that this is outweighed by a moral standard of behavior in the aikidoka superior to the BJJ pracitioner, muay thai fighter, or whatever.
I do think that the focus on conflict resolution coupled with real martial ability offers a moral challenge beyond compare. Nishio Shoji is my favorite example of this. To the degree that current aikido doesn't offer a real moral challenge in helping create individuals who approach Ueshiba's level - or are at least, studying the same skill set - I find lacking. [Daito-ryu offers another dilemma, I believe, in losing most students in details of form and withholding explicit training in aiki for a long time - or never. something that is explicitly stated as being done by some of the leading teachers].
In my experience in Japan, I found the martial arts that deviated most from combative effectiveness (or practice within rules, among the martial sports) were often filled with the most sanctimonious, untrustworthy individuals. The most sterling characters I met in Japan were some of the koryu teachers, judoka and kick boxers.
I've written at length on this before in Dueling with Osensei - but I truly wonder if an explicit focus on the conflict resolution model in aikido coupled with a vitiated martial practice makes the higher goals of aikido unattainable.
Ellis Amdur

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Old 08-31-2009, 01:37 PM   #5
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

Ross

What if there's no aikido with power and wisdom ... "the cake is a lie"?

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Old 08-31-2009, 02:42 PM   #6
Ron Tisdale
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

Happy B-day Demetrio! I see a cake next to your name...and I hope it is not a lie!
B,
R (and now back to the discussion at hand)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:07 PM   #7
Alfonso
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Re: Guests in the House

Quote:
Ross Robertson wrote: View Post
..But for some, the more meaningful issue is the idea of power wisely directed toward creating a better world, that budo itself should serve the purpose of love and protection.
But not having any power to wisely direct makes the point kind of moot or not?

Or are you proposing that some are doing Ueshiba's divine work by telling other people who have the power what to do with it?

ps - no animosity implied..

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:09 PM   #8
L. Camejo
 
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

Good thread.

The path of peace can only be chosen if one has the power to choose peace. This power most often comes as a result of attaining great skill in combat. Imho Ueshiba M. attained a high level of combative skill so he was able to choose an approach of peace when faced with conflict. The Warrior Sage must be both Warrior and Sage to the degree required of a situation, else there is no choice to be made imho.

Just a thought.

Best
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:29 PM   #9
Buck
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

I gotta chime in, Ellis makes intriguing comments about Aikido. Is Aikido a solid combative. He says someone training 6 mos in BJJ can take a Aikido with decades of training.

I think this is true. But a bit unfair. Here is why. I see the reason for this is because you don't have the likes of a Randy Couture taking up Aikido (I use Couture since he recently fought, but lost, at 46 freaking years old. You gotta give the man his props.) People like him don't gravitate to Aikido. We can say the same for all the up coming and established MMA fighters, that is why they are in MMA and not Aikido. These MMA guys are a breed unto themselves who look for contact sport fighting skills. They don't care about all the other things involved the make up Aikido. It doesn't fit them well, they want the "power" to win a fight. Not the power that Aikido offers in the way it offers it.

If you look though all the pictures posted here of Aikidoka's you would be hard pressed to find some like Couture, who lives to fight, in a gi. You're more likely to see most of the people in a gi not being your model MMA fighter.

What I am trying to say is, Aikido doesn't attract those who are attached to MMA filling Aikido's ranks, like the Randy Coutures. Those who join I think generally join Aikido because it offers other things- outside Japan. I have no idea if this applies in Japan. People who want to make a living fighting or who love to fight go into professional contact sports like, MMA, boxing, football, hockey, and what not, and not Aikido.

We tell people who want to learn to fight that come to our class and say you should try MMA. We tell them that Aikido is complex and after 20 years of practice you might be good at it. The class will not teach you to fight offensively, and is a defensive/offensive art. The word art is heavily stressed. No martial art makes you a superman, will not make you untouchable, or give you super human magical power and strength to defeat you foes. If the person wants to fight we suggest a better fit and that being the MMA, Boxing, Tai Kickboxing, or learn fighting the original way saving thousands of dollars and years of your life training in martial arts. Just go out there in and get in fights. You will learn quick if you have what it takes to be a fighter or not.

Ellis has his reasons for seeking the power he has in mind. We all have the right to seek such things in life. Which brings me to this, the more I read of him the more I start to see maybe Aikido wasn't a good fit for him and MMA came a bit too late. I mean he on a quest to fight what he defines as power. It may be in the CMA, but clearly his personal archetype for power isn' t Aikido. I hope he finds it the art that offers his personal archetype of power. Or maybe not because he has traveled a very interesting martial arts journey he is willing to share with us.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:17 PM   #10
Ellis Amdur
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

Buck - you fundamentally misunderstand BJJ.
1. BJJ is not MMA, although BJJ can be part of it.
2. Aside from Randy Couture NOT being a BJJ pracitioner, - he's a Greco-Roman wrestler - his BJJ equivalent (Nogueira, for example) is no more an exemplar of that art than Ueshiba (at 5 feet, 165 pounds) is the typical aikidoka. Anyway, I've seen lots of aikidoka built bigger than Couture (he's all of 205 pounds).
3. Why shouldn't a person come into an aikido school and say he or she wants to learn to fight? Ueshiba did. Shirata sensei, one of the most morally lovely people I've ever heard of, told how it was absolutely essential that the uchi-deshi be able to win any dojo challenges that came up - and this wasn't done behind ueshiba's back either.
4.Aboslutely, aikido was not a good fit for me. Frankly, this would have been true even if I had the inside lane to what Ueshiba learned at his peak. I don't particularly like the operating system of practice - and even if it was presented to me with the internal training intact, neither it nor Daito-ryu would have been the system that I would have wanted to pursue.
But all the top aikidoka I ever met were concerned about aikido's virtues as a fighting art. I'd like to hear of one who wasn't so concerned. Kato sensei proudly told me about choking someone out on the mat - an uchi-deshi who was too rough, Tohei bragged about defeating five judoka (true or not, that was his story), Nishio sensei spoke about his shame that many regarded aikido as weak and underscored how martial virtue was not in any way in conflict with aikido. I could keep making the list longer - I'm not saying any of these guys were looking for a fight, or felt inadequate. But they had an attitude that as long as they were training hard in a martial art, they wanted to be doing something martial.
Ellis Amdur

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Old 09-01-2009, 06:13 AM   #11
Buck
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Buck - you fundamentally misunderstand BJJ.
1. BJJ is not MMA, although BJJ can be part of it.
2. Aside from Randy Couture NOT being a BJJ pracitioner, - he's a Greco-Roman wrestler - his BJJ equivalent (Nogueira, for example) is no more an exemplar of that art than Ueshiba (at 5 feet, 165 pounds) is the typical aikidoka. Anyway, I've seen lots of aikidoka built bigger than Couture (he's all of 205 pounds).
3. Why shouldn't a person come into an aikido school and say he or she wants to learn to fight? Ueshiba did. Shirata sensei, one of the most morally lovely people I've ever heard of, told how it was absolutely essential that the uchi-deshi be able to win any dojo challenges that came up - and this wasn't done behind ueshiba's back either.
4.Aboslutely, aikido was not a good fit for me. Frankly, this would have been true even if I had the inside lane to what Ueshiba learned at his peak. I don't particularly like the operating system of practice - and even if it was presented to me with the internal training intact, neither it nor Daito-ryu would have been the system that I would have wanted to pursue.
But all the top aikidoka I ever met were concerned about aikido's virtues as a fighting art. I'd like to hear of one who wasn't so concerned. Kato sensei proudly told me about choking someone out on the mat - an uchi-deshi who was too rough, Tohei bragged about defeating five judoka (true or not, that was his story), Nishio sensei spoke about his shame that many regarded aikido as weak and underscored how martial virtue was not in any way in conflict with aikido. I could keep making the list longer - I'm not saying any of these guys were looking for a fight, or felt inadequate. But they had an attitude that as long as they were training hard in a martial art, they wanted to be doing something martial.
Ellis Amdur
Ellis,
I am a fan of MMA. I follow the sport intensely. For me MMA (not very accurate label-I explain that some other time) is generic catch-all name, like Pro-wrestling. BJJ is more specific component like Greco-Roman wrestling, a sport that gave birth to what is called MMA. So, I liberally use the terms interchangably, as I figure most people have a working back ground knowledge with the sport. For those who are going to freak out over my mentioning of MMA and Pro-wrestling there isn't a comparison. So relax, throw back beer, it's just and example. No worries.

No argument from me on those attitudes. The Japanese (Gov. or Army -say top Japanese) misinterpreted themselves when they attacked Pearl Harbor. I don't think Aikido is on the level of MMA/BJJ (MMA) in those terms. I do think it is a good self-defense for someone like me (if ever needed, and if you train for that seriously), and it is adequate art for self-defense. Aikido was based on field tested martial arts. I think Aikido contains many of the same principles as other martial arts. We can get into that more later.

Over all I feel, yes, some people don't look at themselves and abilities in a realistic way and reflects on the individual, but that shouldn't reflect on Aikido as an art. I see this in other sports and arts as well. I don't think Aikido offers everything to everyone, and is for everyone.

Sorry to be so short, will expand latter.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:32 AM   #12
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Ellis,
I am a fan of MMA. I follow the sport intensely.
Ninja pleaaase!!!

The last week you didn't recognize Machida nor Aoki in a clip posted here and what is worse, you didn't knew about their background.

Not bad for someone who claims to be a fan who follow the sport intensely.

PS. @ Ron: LOL

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Old 09-01-2009, 11:07 AM   #13
Kevin Karr
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

Ellis,

I couldn't agree with you more...on all points. Although I believe I train at a good place that has a Dojo-Cho with strong technique, I often take a step back and try to look at the bigger picture regarding Aikido as a martial practice and sometimes I am not sure I believe it, in its current state. I hate to know that Aikido may very well be, to every extent, as you put it, a "vitiated martial art." Without real martial substance, as you said, it presents no real moral challenge. So true. Without that, there can be no real "victory over the self."
Again, just as you stated, if I am going to be dedicating time and effort (blood, sweat, and tears) to a "martial art," I want to be doing something martial.
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:08 AM   #14
Stormcrow34
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

I got nine bucks that O Sensei would have been a big fan of MMA, since he trained MMA most of his life.

Last edited by Stormcrow34 : 09-01-2009 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:35 PM   #15
Ellis Amdur
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido - Nishio Shoji

Note on this clip, Nishio Sensei's primary concern - martial effectiveness - and he couples that with conflict resolution and moral behavior. And he, who expressly discussed and attempted to teach aikido as a potent martial art, was a man of integrity and dignity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ2Jn...eature=related

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Old 09-01-2009, 08:23 PM   #16
Buck
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Ellis,
I am a fan of MMA. I follow the sport intensely. For me MMA (not very accurate label-I explain that some other time) is generic catch-all name, like Pro-wrestling. BJJ is more specific component like Greco-Roman wrestling, a sport that gave birth to what is called MMA. So, I liberally use the terms interchangably, as I figure most people have a working back ground knowledge with the sport. For those who are going to freak out over my mentioning of MMA and Pro-wrestling there isn't a comparison. So relax, throw back beer, it's just and example. No worries.

No argument from me on those attitudes. The Japanese (Gov. or Army -say top Japanese) misinterpreted themselves when they attacked Pearl Harbor. I don't think Aikido is on the level of MMA/BJJ (MMA) in those terms. I do think it is a good self-defense for someone like me (if ever needed, and if you train for that seriously), and it is adequate art for self-defense. Aikido was based on field tested martial arts. I think Aikido contains many of the same principles as other martial arts. We can get into that more later.

Over all I feel, yes, some people don't look at themselves and abilities in a realistic way and reflects on the individual, but that shouldn't reflect on Aikido as an art. I see this in other sports and arts as well. I don't think Aikido offers everything to everyone, and is for everyone.

Sorry to be so short, will expand latter.
Ellis, please scratch all that! It didn't come out right like I wanted. I have to stop posting at the end of the day, when am too much in a hurry.

Basically, am saying I see your point. I understand it and how you can come to the conclusions you have. I wasn't there when these sensei's spoke to you, and I don't know them personally. But I can generally make the speculation that their views, like the rest of us, are individual views that reflect who they are and the position they hold. I know that they take pride in what they do, and sometimes, like all of us that pride can be blinding. But also they are the leaders of the art and people look to them, and if they didn't take pride in their art or think highly of it, well it would be disastrous for their organizations and the art, say the least. Maybe that is why their is an aspect outwardly the focus on fighting. That though is speculation on my part, as I have never had the opportunity to meet them and discuss such things.

I agree that Aikido is a "martial" art. What do we define and to what degree, and part does "martial" play, defaults to the individual personal definition. This is because of O'Sensei not being alive, and leaving behind coded writings. (btw,I think though O'Sensei had the skill to say a fighter, yet he choose a more spiritual path that give him greater joy, happiness, and more fulfilling life.) Example my definition, since I never met O'Sensei or able to decipher his words completely I can't say what his intentions for "martial" are beyond the generalize budo model of his time. In that case, I end up forming my own definition of what martial means to me, that is based on a generalized Japanese budo model. Frankly, this is unfamiliar to me, for obvious reasons. That is my challenge, which is greater then my interest in martial. I have no other training in other Japanese arts, Aikido is my only model.

I could have taken an ancient Japanese martial art, but didn't because it didn't fit my needs. I didn't have a desire or interest in learning ancient weaponry and stuff that pertained strictly to a specific period in Japan, and little practicality today as a self-defense. All of which are valuable and beautiful arts in their own right. Examples, would be things like Naginata, Sai, and Kama. It just not practical to walk around in daily life with a Naginata as a self-defense weapon. Walk that into work one day!

I didn't want to be the best fighter ( I wanted to exact revenge on my foes), I need something that would be effective. I heard the same fighter hype from Aikido that comes with every other martial art I looked into, though Aikido had the spiritual hype too, so from Aikido it wasn't the only the fighter hype. But, Aikido changed my limited and short sighted perspective of revenge, and showed me a different way. Because of that, I defined martial differently that fit my needs. I like to think I have a more expanded view on the subject now than before. That is way Aikido was a good fit for me, and the other arts I looked into where not, i.e. BJJ, or MMA styles of fighting, Karate, and all those things.

I remember when I walked into my first Karate dojo and was told by the sensei that karate isn't going to make you a Bruce Lee, or a Superman where you are invincible and undefeatable. Of course at that time I scoffed at it. But, now I understand what he was saying.

I guess there are those who, like yourself, are attracted to the end of the spectrum that is about fighting so you look to such a criteria and qualities of a system. And there are those who are at the other end who look for the non-combative qualities of Japanese martial art, like spirituality. And then there are those who fall in between, like myself. And when an art or a system doesn't meet our criteria or expectation we move on to something that does fit our needs. I guess that is a modern luxury we can enjoy.

We have choices, we are not force to only one choice of learning to fight on the street. Is that the real archetype of a fighter, not the Kimbo Slices of the world but the Mike Tyson types who didn't make it into boxing and kept fighting on the street. The kind who do nothing else in life, the kind that would rather pound your face just for practice than look at you, type of fighter.

My point is we all define our needs and expectations differently. This leads us to seeking out what will fulfill those needs and expectations which are not the same for everyone. Aikido was not a fit for you. Other martial arts you mastered must have to a point. And now you are seeking more from the CMA. I wonder if this will bring you full circle? Taichi and many other internal arts are taught very much like Aikido. Taichi and these other internal arts are often billed as health exercises, yet the instructors will tell you Taichi is the best fighting system.

And it is my understanding there is a idea in the Chinese Martial Arts where combative engagement isn't the first option. Rather it is best to avoid conflict. How prevalent and wide spread that thought is, I am no expert. But, I heard allot of it when I was searching for a martial art in the Chinese community as well as outside of it. I stress community, not getting it from a Chinese master bushing me off because he didn't want to teach non-Chinese.

Maybe you will come full circle back to Aikido with different eyes at the end of the day? Sometimes that does happen. Not everyone though gets that privilege or capable of getting that gift. I think because of your journey and experience if anyone would get it, it could be you. And if it does happen that you do come full circle I could consider you very fortunate indeed.
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Old 09-06-2009, 02:29 AM   #17
Michael Fitzgerald
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
I see the reason for this is because you don't have the likes of a Randy Couture taking up Aikido.... People like him don't gravitate to Aikido....they want the "power" to win a fight. Not the power that Aikido offers in the way it offers it....People who want to make a living fighting or who love to fight go into professional contact sports like, MMA, boxing, football, hockey, and what not, and not Aikido...If the person wants to fight....Just go out there in and get in fights....You will learn quick if you have what it takes to be a fighter or not.
Thank you very much- well said. (even if I did doctor it a bit).

I can't really find a nice way to say this- but being crap at fighting aint going to change because you do this martial art or that one- for however long.

People don't seem to want to admit that although MA's are now available for anyone to practice- they are for learning easier ways to kill people/ learning how to dispatch 'enemies'/ and keeping yourself alive when someone wants to make you dead- and that's not for everyone.
so if that's not for you- you aint going to get that (staying alive) out of your chosen martial art- and if you think you can water down your art to a more civilised/ spiritual degree and somehow justify your practice of MA without being able to fight out of paper bag etc etc , well, LOL- if I may say so.

so people can go ahead and train in whatever they can afford for however long it takes for them to get their kicks- and most will never have to face the reality of what I have just said- good luck to them.

I'm not trying to put anyone down here- I just am struggling with how to express what I firmly believe- and that is a tool is as good as the craftsman.

I have made it out of fights- not because of whatever art I was practicing at the time- but because I wanted to live- and I was prepared that the other guy didn't have to- sorry but that's true.

I sure as heck wasn't ever thinking of 'educating him' or harmonising on a higher spiritual plane to our mutual benefit- just fighting till he wasn't a problem anymore.

I can do that with Aikido- Karate- grappling- WHATEVER- it doesn't matter. I just happen to like the movements in Aikido, and I think that'll do me for a while- hope I get good at it!

If anyone's offended by this- don't be, I am just being candid.
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Old 09-06-2009, 02:34 AM   #18
CitoMaramba
 
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido - Nishio Shoji

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Note on this clip, Nishio Sensei's primary concern - martial effectiveness - and he couples that with conflict resolution and moral behavior. And he, who expressly discussed and attempted to teach aikido as a potent martial art, was a man of integrity and dignity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ2Jn...eature=related
Domo Arigato Gozaimasu, Maraming Salamat Po, Thank you very much, Amdur Sensei!

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:14 AM   #19
iron horse
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Re: Guests in the House

Does anyone have a link to Ueshiba's Jo trick?

Quote:
Ross Robertson wrote: View Post
Hi Ellis,
"Did not many of you see the film or photo of the jo trick, or some other manifestation of power and you wanted to be able to do the same? Ueshiba Morihei's power was the advertisement."
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:30 AM   #20
jonreading
 
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Location: Atlanta, Georgia
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

1. Most fighters, boxers and wrestlers dedicate more time to training in a day than the typical aikido student trains in a week. Many of these individuals are not meatheats, they are not stupid, and they are not uncivilized. Professional fighters are athletes wereas most aikido students are hobbyists. Do not confuse the lack of participation in aikido from these fighters is because they are evil, or brutes, or thugs. These individuals have found other systems that are martially effective and choose to participate in those systems.
2. Aikido has an obligation (if we consider ourselves martial artists) to provide first and foremost martial viability. Under the framework of a martial system do we derive the principles and ethics which guide our training and influence our lives.

Sometimes I think we hide behind a veil of illusion that our poor fighting skills are the result of taking a higher road which separates us from the animals that "pound" each other. We [falsely] conclude that superior fighters from other martial arts must be 1. stupid, 2. abusing steriods, 3. pro-violence, 4. all of the above.

As to the original post...Wisdom is not a trait which can precede action. Wisdom is a learned trait defined from weighing experience and education to conclude a prudent decision.

Budo serves nothing - it is a complete education through the process of militaristic training. The physicality of budo prepares students for realizing action; the intellectual education creates a logical and calculating mind to prudent decisions; the spiritual development fortifies students to have the courage and dedication to realize action.
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Old 09-09-2009, 02:07 PM   #21
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

At the AikiExpo05 Homma Sensei said something at the end of one of his sessions that made sense to me then and now. He squatted down and held a jo in front of him with both hands. To paraphrase, he said that one end represented a hard martial way of doing Aikido and the other represented a softer dance-like way. He suggested that people generally spend too much time on one pole or the other and needed to find the right place at the right time. To demonstrate, he moved his hand back and forth across the jo. Interesting concept, at least to me. YMMV.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:18 AM   #22
DH
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

It is one thing to discuss power-quite another to possess it.
The moral imperatives becomes very real when you have the ability to cause damage and be (for practical considerations) unstoppable in a semi-cooperative environment.
When it comes to people with true power and skills I look for the character and humanity the display. The building of the former does not always create the later. There are many martial art teachers who have made that obvious,
Cheers
Dan
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Old 09-10-2009, 11:22 PM   #23
Buck
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

True power is the power you never have to use. And there skill in that. At least that is what I am told. Heck, wasn't that what the Cold War was all about? And that famous speech of, "Tear down this wall!" by President Ronald Reagan commanding Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to destroy the Berlin Wall. And I know looking down the barrel of a gun, because someone is being reckless can be very effective.

I see Ellis's point. And I think if you want to use Aikido as a means for protection you can't warp speed to the ideal as I described. But, I don't think you need other training to do so on this level. Aikido has the whole package, it is there. You tweak here and there; you reduce the liquid(as in cooking to boil down) and your back to what O'Sensei originally studied, before he changed it.

I don't think too many people really know Aikido well enough to be able to tweak it back to those battle tested arts. That takes a keen mind and decades of study. In fact, some of those battle field arts have become special reenactments/arts, i.e. more for educational purposes of preserving historical techniques. Like showing people how it was done in the past without the intensity and balls-out approach to training in order to win a life or death fight.

I think the greater skill and power is to try and create a better world. Be good citizens, stop being violent, and all that kind of stuff.

And honestly, there are people out there that don't and won't ever train for a self-defense situation, and may never need to use Aikido in that way. And if some even trains the basics poorly in Aikido they have a better chance of survival then if they didn't. They will have a better chance of defending themselves against a threat who knows little or has no martial arts training, much less be any better then their intended victim who does train in Aikido. The assailant will make allot of assumptions and that might be costly to them.

There are allot of secrets to unlock in Aikido, and they ain't easy or quick, but something of value never is.
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:17 AM   #24
iron horse
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

Does anyone have a link to someone doing the Jo trick? I can't find any on You-tube.
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:12 AM   #25
mjhacker
 
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Re: The "Power" of Aikido

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Why shouldn't a person come into an aikido school and say he or she wants to learn to fight? Ueshiba did. Shirata sensei, one of the most morally lovely people I've ever heard of, told how it was absolutely essential that the uchi-deshi be able to win any dojo challenges that came up - and this wasn't done behind ueshiba's back either.
Saito Morihiro sensei himself told me that he used to engage in fights while training under Ueshiba sensei. According to Saito, back when he was a young man, Iwama was remote enough that apparently certain Yakuza fellows found it the perfect place to lay low when things got too hot for them in Tokyo.

When sensei would hear that they were in town, he'd sneak out, pick fights with them, then they'd drink together afterward. When questioned about this, Ueshiba would always say that he thought Saito was out getting groceries. "But he knew," according to Saito.

Michael Hacker
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Renshinkan
http://renshindojo.com/

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