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Old 06-10-2010, 05:53 PM   #51
eyrie
 
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
perhaps someone can ask the teachers who do these things why they do them in the first place, and then if they do them privately as well. At least then you have a methodology to discuss instead of the display. That seems better than guessing, and it might prove interesting as well..
Precisely... without understanding the purpose of what is being shown, all you have is speculation... which adds nothing to the discussion, IF it is indeed a discussion. Otherwise, it just comes across as a public slagging.

Ignatius
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:18 PM   #52
Ellis Amdur
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

Last year I participated in a Systema-based week long defensive tactics training for law enforcement. There were no-touch (not throws), but a lot of movements that, taken a step further, would have been "throws." The logic with knives was to develop an absolutely non-rigid fluid response to the attack (imagine pushing into a two headed snake, and as the body twines/recoils, another part is attacking. I learned a lot from those drills, which actually bore some resemblance to some things I learned from Kuroda Tetsuzan.
OTOH, I used to attend Watanabe's classes - and yes, it was mostly staunch basic technique. He used to like to use more for ukemi - a lot - (throw the big guy thing). Until one day, where, suddenly, in the middle of a sequence of throws, he sort of waved his arms and I just stood there - because I did not have a clue what he wanted me to do.
I also was part of some demos with another prominent shihan, known for what some considered miracle waza, among them being picked up by four people and suddenly becoming heavy and crushing them, and some "randori" against multiple attack with weapons. I always watching my fellow uke's to know when to fall, because I never felt anything - not one whit - that would make me fall.
Takeda Yoshinobu - never took ukemi for him.
Ellis Amdur

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Old 06-10-2010, 09:59 PM   #53
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Raul,

Think of Avatar, which is probably the best way the Aikikai would like to see the technical and social value of aikido. All those fantastic flying ukemi on to creatures in a universe totally in harmony with nature. But, of course, it's all about peace. The battle with Quaritch and the machines has really ended before it has begun.

I feel these issues very keenly because the IAF is now actively planning a demonstration of aikido in China, from August 27 to Sept 1, as part of the Combat Games. China has no grass-roots aikido training, so the spectators will understand nothing about aikido, but they will be Chinese, and heirs to a much longer tradition of martial arts than exists in Japan. Thus, the IAF has to promote aikido as an art that is truly international, but without stressing the importance of the Japanese element (given World War II etc).

All I will say at this point is that the criteria we have established has upset the Aikikai somewhat, since we will require participants who have never met before to perform entirely unrehearsed demonstrations involving the full range of attacks, including kicks and unrehearsed attacks with weapons. The participants must be under 40 years of age and cannot be above 4th dan in rank (which rules out 'no touch' shihans). So the kind of demonstration that Mr Takeda showed will be quite impossible.

However, the question, 'What is the point of an aikido demonstration?', is valid and has been discussed before in these forums.

Best wishes,

PAG
Best of luck with the project in China. It sounds like a great adventure! As a thirty five year old okugi sandan I feel a little envious.

I've posted critical remarks about these no touch demos before, and I still think they do more harm than good, but I can understand the "no touch" Shihans feeling put out with not being involved in an international event. They're trying to spread peace, after all.

Best regards
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:07 PM   #54
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

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Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Yes, Chris, one of them was apparently shot in Takeda's own dojo in Kamakura, an embu to mark some anniversary, with Doshu in attendance. So that was a more private occasion than a Zen Nihon, but still, with the founder's grandson and "keeper of the way" present, does Takeda do the demo without wondering how a Doshu might react? Or is the audience's reaction not part of the equation at all and I am missing something important?

After Watanabe did the no-touch throw in class, were the students then expected to get up and try it themselves? Or was it purely for demonstration purposes?

best,

RAUL
I don't recall even actually doing those things - it was just demonstration with a few carefully chosen uke. Watanabe's demonstrations at the Zen Nihon inevitably draw laughter out of the audience, but he never seemed to mind.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-10-2010, 10:16 PM   #55
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
...I always watching my fellow uke's to know when to fall, because I never felt anything - not one whit - that would make me fall.
Hi Amdur sensei,

So you are saying that you fell voluntarily - a "charity fall" so to speak, a harmonious fall with your fellow uke. I must admit that I am also guilty of that from time to time

As for OP's original question, the best answers would probably come from those who have had taken ukeme for Takeda shihan as to what they felt that caused them to fall.

Regards

David Y
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:05 PM   #56
Charles Hill
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Systema does the "No touch videos" as well-with knife training no less. While I agree with Peter, perhaps someone can ask the teachers who do these things why they do them in the first place, and then if they do them privately as well. At least then you have a methodology to discuss instead of the display.
That seems better than guessing, and it might prove interesting as well..
Cheers
Dan
Mikhail Ryabko explains what he is doing pretty thoroughly and clearly in the Beyond The Physical DVD as well as the Wrestling DVD. On thing that is said over and over is that there is no magic going on, no "ki" tricks.
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:11 AM   #57
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

I've read all of ur posts, but it seems you guys never got chances to be Shihan Takeda's uke, that's y we stay here and make speculations about this NO TOUCHING clip. it could be beyond my realm of knowledge.
Is there any one got a opportunity to be Takeda's uke? that person can answer all of our concerns.
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:46 AM   #58
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

V
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Danh Phi Ngoc wrote: View Post
I've read all of ur posts, but it seems you guys never got chances to be Shihan Takeda's uke, that's y we stay here and make speculations about this NO TOUCHING clip. it could be beyond my realm of knowledge.
Is there any one got a opportunity to be Takeda's uke? that person can answer all of our concerns.
Granted, but there are fundemental rules to go by: one of which is to not give up your center while attacking, the other...to not give up your center while receiving.
Neither of which is demonstrated in so many of the generic " no touch" videos.
The third would require having you center taken from you. There are many - more advanced things to do but if they don't even exhibit those there's no point in moving on.

I am willing to listen...I just keep looking for the logic.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 06-11-2010 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:03 PM   #59
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

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Danh Phi Ngoc wrote: View Post
I've read all of ur posts, but it seems you guys never got chances to be Shihan Takeda's uke, that's y we stay here and make speculations about this NO TOUCHING clip. it could be beyond my realm of knowledge.
Is there any one got a opportunity to be Takeda's uke? that person can answer all of our concerns.
if one of those ukes posted here and said "ya, i felt his ki across the room and it knocked me over along with my fellow mates." you think folks here would instantly believe in that? i will be the first to say "i don't".

remind me of the story.

Joe: you know that buttered toast always land on the floor with the buttered side down?

Bob: i don't believe you. prove it!

Joe (buttered a toast and drop it on the floor. the toast with buttered side was on top.)

Bob: see, you are wrong!

Joe: aaahh! i know what wrong! i buttered it the wrong side!
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:52 PM   #60
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

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Danh Phi Ngoc wrote: View Post
I've read all of ur posts, but it seems you guys never got chances to be Shihan Takeda's uke, that's y we stay here and make speculations about this NO TOUCHING clip. it could be beyond my realm of knowledge.
Is there any one got a opportunity to be Takeda's uke? that person can answer all of our concerns.
Hmmm... logic dictates that at THAT distance, it is simply impossible, unless they can somehow defy the laws of physics and magically cause someone, let alone a group of people, to fall over! A reality check is in order, if you honestly believe that DBZ super-ki power exists. IMO, it is naive to think that THAT is what he's demonstrating. It's just too obvious and bordering on the ridiculous to be an actual physical demonstration of such imaginary powers.

Some here have already admitted to taking the occasional obligatory dive, and "playing the game". Why is that so hard to grok? It's just a demo. And so, the question on everyone's lips is... a demo of what? What is he showing? Since no one here was privy to the parameters of that demo, how can any of us surmise what the purpose of that demo was?

I certainly can't... although I did get two or three interesting ideas out of it that's worth further thought. But I can tell you this much about Takeda. He expects a certain level of responsiveness in your ukemi. If you stop and simply stand there, there is no reason for him to "do" anything. One is expected to change up, level up and keep coming in. And if you stand there expecting him to "do something" to you, be prepared for the smack upside the head, or a fist in the snoz - followed by a profuse apology for having connected. And then he'll proceed to ignore you and go play with someone else who is willing to give him something to work with. IME, when he does that, you've just missed a valuable learning opportunity.

Takeda is very soft. When you grab his wrist, it's like grabbing a limp hose. And then suddenly, out of nowhere, you'll find your centre taken and dropping like a ton of bricks. Or you'll find yourself glued to the spot trying to hang onto nothing. Or he'll drop you with the lightest of touches. Or if you come in hard with shomen uchi, it's like running into a padded wall and you go flying backward. But none of this stuff is magic. It might sound like magic, but it's not... many of his senior students can do some of this stuff to some level of ability. I myself have on occasion been able to replicate some of these tricks to some extent with non-compliant ukes (geez, dem jujitsu boys sure are strong).

My point is, what he's doing in the demo may not be what you think. To me, that's just too obvious. Look beyond it. What is he really showing. Things are never what they seem. Don't get trapped in the delusion of the illusion.

Ignatius
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:58 PM   #61
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
if one of those ukes posted here and said "ya, i felt his ki across the room and it knocked me over along with my fellow mates." you think folks here would instantly believe in that? i will be the first to say "i don't".

remind me of the story.

Joe: you know that buttered toast always land on the floor with the buttered side down?

Bob: i don't believe you. prove it!

Joe (buttered a toast and drop it on the floor. the toast with buttered side was on top.)

Bob: see, you are wrong!

Joe: aaahh! i know what wrong! i buttered it the wrong side!
No, I didn't feel his ki across the room, but I fell over anyway... mea culpa. I don't know why everyone else fell over too.. maybe the mat was slippery from all that blood...

Yes, that myth was busted.

Ignatius
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:32 PM   #62
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

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Yes, that myth was busted.
Hey, but what about the buttered cat paradox?
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Old 06-12-2010, 07:10 AM   #63
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

Very nice post #60 Ignatious. Sensible, open minded, and honest.
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:49 PM   #64
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

No problem Asim. IME, a bunch of people can be looking at the same thing and each person will come away with something that's completely different to everyone else - like blind men trying to describe what an elephant looks like.

While it might obviously look like a "no touch" throw to some, I see something else. Whether I'm right or wrong about what I saw, is a completely different matter. The question is what did you see, and what does it mean to you? What was your Flash Forward?

Ignatius
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:07 PM   #65
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

Hello Ignatius,

You raise some interesting and important questions. I have some comments and more questions.

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
Some here have already admitted to taking the occasional obligatory dive, and "playing the game". Why is that so hard to grok? It's just a demo. And so, the question on everyone's lips is... a demo of what? What is he showing? Since no one here was privy to the parameters of that demo, how can any of us surmise what the purpose of that demo was?
PAG. So, what is the purpose of Takeda's demonstrations? Is anyone ever privy to the parameters? As I stated earlier, I have taken uke many times for Yamaguchi Seigo Sensei, who was Mr Takeda's teacher and so I developed a very good idea of what he expected me to do--and not do. In this respect his demonstrations at the Nippon Budokan were simply a more intense and 'staged' (not in a bad sense) version of what he did in his classes.

However, it was common knowledge in the Hombu that with Yamaguchi there were 'believers' and 'non-believers', and probably a few agnostics for good measure. If you were a non-believer, you did not go to Yamaguchi's classes, but went to someone else's, like Tada's, or Arikawa's, if you could stand the pain. (When I first went to the Hombu, I was a neophyte, but my teacher had told me to go the classes of Yamaguchi, Tada and Arikawa. So I did. The respective 'expectations' of all three shihans were quite different.)

So the demonstrations at the Budokan were simply snapshots of ordinary classes, but writ large. But there never has been any statement of purpose of what they were supposed to do. This, actually, is a major issue for me at present.

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
I certainly can't... although I did get two or three interesting ideas out of it that's worth further thought. But I can tell you this much about Takeda. He expects a certain level of responsiveness in your ukemi. If you stop and simply stand there, there is no reason for him to "do" anything. One is expected to change up, level up and keep coming in. And if you stand there expecting him to "do something" to you, be prepared for the smack upside the head, or a fist in the snoz - followed by a profuse apology for having connected. And then he'll proceed to ignore you and go play with someone else who is willing to give him something to work with. IME, when he does that, you've just missed a valuable learning opportunity.
PAG. Yes. Yamaguchi expected exactly the same level of responsiveness.

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Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
My point is, what he's doing in the demo may not be what you think. To me, that's just too obvious. Look beyond it. What is he really showing. Things are never what they seem. Don't get trapped in the delusion of the illusion.
PAG. So we go back to the original question. What is the purpose of his demonstration? What is he really showing? One possible answer is something like, 'If you need to ask the question, you will never understand the answer,' or, 'This cannot be expressed adequately in words', or some such IHTBF-style answer. But I do not think this is quite right.

In an earlier post, I mentioned the demonstration being planned in China. This planning is proving a very interesting exercise in the demythologizing of demonstrations. The parameters are relatively simple.

The audience will be Chinese and the aikido demonstration will be part of large tournament involving 13 martial arts with 1,500 participants. All the arts except aikido will hold competitions and participation is limited to 80 participants per martial art. The 80-odd aikido participants will all be under the age of 40 and all will be between the ranks of 2nd and 4th dan. Every individual participant, whether male or female, must be capable of training, and of demonstrating the entire repertoire of attacks including kicks and as uke or tori, with any other participant. The third and final demonstration will include freestyle, randori, weapons, and will finish with a free demonstration by two shihans: Christian Tissier and Yoshiaki Yokota. These two gentlemen will have assistants, who will take uke, but will also participate in the other demonstrations. The participants in the first two demonstrations will be told exactly what they have to demonstrate.

These parameters are causing great angst in certain official quarters and I am now being told for the first what are--and what are not--the essential ingredients of a 'real' aikido demonstration. A 'genuine' aikido demonstration is a demonstration that shows the 'spirit of aikido'. Apparently, however, a 'genuine' aikido demonstration, which shows the 'spirit of aikido' has to be organized on national lines, which means here Japanese participants, and all the rest. The point here is that the demonstration, while being a spontaneous outpouring of the 'spirit of aikido', cannot be entirely unrehearsed and cannot feature participants who have not practiced together previously.

So I am enjoying my current role of 'demonstration demythologizer'.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 06-13-2010, 12:33 AM   #66
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

Peter
If I may ask, are you going to require that the attackers retain their balance before, during, and after the initiation of the attack and then have to be taken off their feet? Or are they going to be permitted to attack and then give up their sense of balance and body structure, receive technique and agree to fall?
Secondarily, does Aikido enjoy a sucessful presence in China? One of the reasons I ask is; I wonder if a Chinese audience viewing martial arts might be educated differently, and therefore will see a martial art display with different eyes.

Cheers
Dan
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:24 AM   #67
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

Hello Dan,

I can answer the second question immediately. Aikido has virtually no presence in China at all and so we have been listening very carefully to the Chinese officials who are part of the main organizing committee. This is partly the reason for the age limitation and for downplaying any suggestion that the Japanese have any exclusive cultural 'ownership' of aikido.

As for the first question, this is something I am still working on. No requirements have yet been given about the actual content of the demonstration, other than that the final demo has to be a kind of crescendo of the whole event.

Best wishes,

PAG

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Peter
If I may ask, are you going to require that the attackers retain their balance before, during, and after the initiation of the attack and then have to be taken off their feet? Or are they going to be permitted to attack and then give up their sense of balance and body structure, receive technique and agree to fall?
Secondarily, does Aikido enjoy a sucessful presence in China? One of the reasons I ask is; I wonder if a Chinese audience viewing martial arts might be educated differently, and therefore will see a martial art display with different eyes.

Cheers
Dan

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Old 06-13-2010, 01:29 AM   #68
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

Hi Peter,

I think there is always an element of complicity in any demonstration, and as your present conundrum aptly demonstrates - how best to convey the spirit of the art, in a spontaneous and genuine manner, and yet not be completely unrehearsed at the same time. I'm sure Ueshiba M would have experienced the same dilemma, when asked to perform his art in front of the Emperor.

Although, I do recall participating in an aikido demonstration with Takeda sensei, that was both spontaneous and totally unrehearsed. This demonstration was held in the presence of ACT state ministers and various dignitaries from Japan, as a prelude to the Nara-Canberra sister city signing ceremony.

As I recall, when it was time, Takeda simply strolled onto the center of the cramp function space and proceeded to throw people around. In such a claustrophobic environment, the ukes had the unenviable task of being completely in tune with Takeda, whilst providing a genuine attack and spontaneous response at the same time, AND without getting hurt, or throwing themselves into the visiting dignitaries - which would have been a terrible disaster if either did happen.

Quote:
So we go back to the original question. What is the purpose of his demonstration? What is he really showing? One possible answer is something like, 'If you need to ask the question, you will never understand the answer,' or, 'This cannot be expressed adequately in words', or some such IHTBF-style answer. But I do not think this is quite right.
I do not pretend to know or fully understand what Takeda is demonstrating. And by the same token, I am neither defending him, nor the reactions of his ukes. Whether I am a "believer", "non-believer" or agnostic is beside the point - aikido isn't the first art I've been exposed to, and it certainly wouldn't be the last.

However, I am certainly not advocating that what he is showing falls into the IHTBF category. Far from it. But having had the brief experience of studying with Takeda, and with many other high level teachers from other arts, I've come to realize that there are many more layers to the onion.

Best regards,

Ignatius

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Old 06-13-2010, 01:20 PM   #69
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

Hello. everybody,
Am I the only person on this Forum who thinks that the subject of Takeda Sensei and his demo discussion has ran its course?
Unless either Takeda Sensei or his Ukes decide to enlighten us every thing else is sheer conjecture and speculation.
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:34 PM   #70
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Hello. everybody,
Am I the only person on this Forum who thinks that the subject of Takeda Sensei and his demo discussion has ran its course?
Unless either Takeda Sensei or his Ukes decide to enlighten us every thing else is sheer conjecture and speculation.
Joe
This sbject ran its course just a few seconds into the video as far as I am concerned. Have you seen the Benny Hine video on my video site ? he does it better with more gullible people.

Henry Ellis
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:51 PM   #71
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

I had a very interesting conversation with a long-time friend who, now, due to injuries can no longer do martial arts, but was, at one time, a very powerful, high-ranking practitioner of aikido. The person described themselves, accurately as someone with a violent history, a powerful temper, and "issues" about power to boot. What they said was that aikido for them was an activity that, everyday, required them to conform to a form, and practice it in a way that required them to fit in with people that, otherwise, they wouldn't have had the time of day for.
They described how this training has been enormously influential in the last decade in their involvement in working in communities in an inner city as a resident, both in getting along with other people and also in banding together to actually get the city government to do things. "I learned how to work with people. Aikido taught me that."
I found it a humbling thing to once again, have it underscored, that there could be an entirely different kind of aikido, which is based on "collusion." It is not something I want to do - in the least - but this could be regarded, I think, as "collusion for enlightenment," and given how it has not only affected my friend, but many others I know, I have to respect that path (if it is one that one is consciously walking, as opposed to an illusion).
This type of collusion - musubi - responsiveness - , taken to it's furthest extreme, is, of course, no-touch throws, be it by Takeda, Watanabe, by some modern Daitoryu folks I've seen on YouTube, a fair number of qigong masters in China, or anyone else (Yes, I haven't felt Mr. Takeda, but I truly do not buy the idea that one man's no-touch throw is any different than anyone else's). Frankly, I believe it degrades the merits of what I just described above, turning it to buffoonery.
Some might take umbrage at my having such a strong opinion - but when one publicly presents something, one is inviting comment, be it praise or critique. Otherwise, do not present.
Ellis Amdur
P.S. "Good" uke's can have an insidious effect on one's own estimation of one's skill. "Aiki-accomodation syndrome" strikes both ways. I truly think some individuals who use "no-touch throws," who just work with their own students, honestly think it works.

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 06-13-2010 at 01:53 PM.

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Old 06-13-2010, 02:13 PM   #72
Thomas Campbell
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
"Good" uke's can have an insidious effect on one's own estimation of one's skill. "Aiki-accomodation syndrome" strikes both ways. I truly think some individuals who use "no-touch throws," who just work with their own students, honestly think it works.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I
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Old 06-13-2010, 07:40 PM   #73
eyrie
 
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

Nice post Ellis.

I agree, the application of aikido philosophy to individual and societal interactions can be ambiguous for those who subscribe to the sole premise that it is a "martial" art. Is it a martial art or not? If not, what then? Can it be both? I spent many years wrestling with that paradox, and I'm afraid, I have come no further in reconciling the duality.

However, I also do not buy into the "no-touch" myth - and certainly not from that distance. Although, I have on occasion thrown people without touching them, and overtly responsive uke aside, I would put that down largely due to a timing coincidence.

Quote:
but when one publicly presents something, one is inviting comment, be it praise or critique. Otherwise, do not present.
I couldn't agree more. It is a pity that it could be interpreted as mere buffoonery. But by the same token, I believe that people should also question their own perception bias. He is simply slicing the air, on several occasions - twice, and people are trying to fall over. There is no real connection whatsoever between him and the group. The timing is completely off. To me, no matter how deluded one might be, that is simply way too obvious to be a display of any real or imagined skill. Without knowing or having met Takeda, can one be absolutely certain that he is completely mad, or is there a method to his seeming madness?

As it is with the apparent dual facets of Aikido, each individual will have to make up their own mind. Personally, what I got out of that display went far beyond that of a supposedly "martial" display of equally imaginary skill. To me, it spoke to the concepts of expansive "feeling", and one part moving all connected parts.

IF that was what it intended to convey, then perhaps, it could have been better/differently. Who knows... I wasn't there and I have no idea what he was thinking. It's pure speculation on my and I could be equally deluded and completely off course to think that anything could have a deeper meaning.

Last edited by eyrie : 06-13-2010 at 07:44 PM.

Ignatius
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:18 AM   #74
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I had a very interesting conversation with a long-time friend who, now, due to injuries can no longer do martial arts, but was, at one time, a very powerful, high-ranking practitioner of aikido. The person described themselves, accurately as someone with a violent history, a powerful temper, and "issues" about power to boot. What they said was that aikido for them was an activity that, everyday, required them to conform to a form, and practice it in a way that required them to fit in with people that, otherwise, they wouldn't have had the time of day for.
They described how this training has been enormously influential in the last decade in their involvement in working in communities in an inner city as a resident, both in getting along with other people and also in banding together to actually get the city government to do things. "I learned how to work with people. Aikido taught me that."
I found it a humbling thing to once again, have it underscored, that there could be an entirely different kind of aikido, which is based on "collusion." It is not something I want to do - in the least - but this could be regarded, I think, as "collusion for enlightenment," and given how it has not only affected my friend, but many others I know, I have to respect that path (if it is one that one is consciously walking, as opposed to an illusion).
This type of collusion - musubi - responsiveness - , taken to it's furthest extreme, is, of course, no-touch throws, be it by Takeda, Watanabe, by some modern Daitoryu folks I've seen on YouTube, a fair number of qigong masters in China, or anyone else (Yes, I haven't felt Mr. Takeda, but I truly do not buy the idea that one man's no-touch throw is any different than anyone else's). Frankly, I believe it degrades the merits of what I just described above, turning it to buffoonery.
Some might take umbrage at my having such a strong opinion - but when one publicly presents something, one is inviting comment, be it praise or critique. Otherwise, do not present.
Ellis Amdur
P.S. "Good" uke's can have an insidious effect on one's own estimation of one's skill. "Aiki-accomodation syndrome" strikes both ways. I truly think some individuals who use "no-touch throws," who just work with their own students, honestly think it works.
Dear Emdur Sensei,
Despite my earlier question /comment about the subject matter being done to death let me say thanks for your own comments.Nice to know some people are rational thinkers.
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:51 AM   #75
phitruong
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Re: YouTube: Ki in Aikido? (Y. Takeda sensei demo)

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Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
I agree, the application of aikido philosophy to individual and societal interactions can be ambiguous for those who subscribe to the sole premise that it is a "martial" art. Is it a martial art or not? If not, what then? Can it be both? I spent many years wrestling with that paradox, and I'm afraid, I have come no further in reconciling the duality.
never thought it was a paradox. i have always thought a martial art. martial arts, in my point of view, are ways to deal with conflicts. could be within one's skull, could be with another person, or many persons, all the way to full scale war.
Quote:
He is simply slicing the air, on several occasions - twice, and people are trying to fall over. There is no real connection whatsoever between him and the group. The timing is completely off. To me, no matter how deluded one might be, that is simply way too obvious to be a display of any real or imagined skill. Without knowing or having met Takeda, can one be absolutely certain that he is completely mad, or is there a method to his seeming madness?
methink, it's a demonstration of group thinking in physical form. the leader falls for whatever reason, be it legitimate or not, the rest of the group follow.
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