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Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?
Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?
by Francis Takahashi
03-28-2011
Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

It is mind boggling, and a bit disheartening for me to see the reams of questionable, and often grossly erroneous "facts" written about the Founder, his theories on Aiki, and on Aiki's constant role in shaping his Aikido over the entire period of his lifetime. It is especially so because I can recognize very few "experts" with proven knowledge, training experience, and research credentials sufficient for the task. Rather, I witness a boatload of suspect individuals who freely admit to having little or no respect for the history, tradition and values of the Founder's true purpose, and of his welcoming spirit of openness to all who study his creation. It is equally appalling to me that such unwarranted and misguided drivel continues without an equally vociferous and reasoned rebuttal and counterpoint from the seemingly established and very senior group of mainstream Aikido leaders, who appear comfortable in remaining mute and aloof. There are exceptions, of course, with stalwarts like George Ledyard, Peter Goldsbury, Nev Saghiba, David Lynch, and Stan Pranin, to mention a few, who have courageously, consistently and knowledgeably spoken out on Aikido principles, purpose and legitimacy as a genuine martial art and cultural phenomenon.

I have found that there is astoundingly little genuine and hard research and verifiable discoveries made to date by such smugly overly optimistic, marginally qualified, and seemingly authoritative individuals, who actually have no proven credibility or history of accurate, competent and relevant research. How can we justify such a dichotomy, and how can we honestly feel confident that we are doing real justice and proper honor to the memory of the Founder, and most of all, to our collective faith in the essence of his gift of Aikido to the world. Are we really ready to walk our own talk, and not act as mere recordings and parodies of the incomplete and insufficiently researched teachings of others.

Why do we tolerate the unfashionable emergence, and unquestioned authority of those who contribute unfounded and misguided drivel about Aikido training today, from "5th kyu shihans" to those self proclaimed experts on matters martial. Have we made these individuals accountable for demonstrating little honor, respect or even proven knowledge of the established traditions and time honored examples of Aikido teachings and practice? Why do many of these shadowy critics expectorate their vehement hostility unopposed by those in the know, as they denigrate unopposed the right of people to appreciate and practice the Aikido of their choosing. Isn't such a right for each person to choose their method of demonstrating their take on Aiki principles exactly what the Founder and the late Doshu constantly avowed, and established as the basis of legitimacy for Aikido expression and practice for the aikido world?

The Founder had no illusions that the vast majority of those who studied and practiced his creation would eventually understand his purpose to any large, or even minute degree. He was content, as were the late and the current Doshu, to simply enjoy what they could of the vast potential of training in Aikido. How many times did the Founder humbly admit to merely being in the "first grade" of appreciating the potential of Aiki, and viewing his Aikido as an unending work in progress. He knew that it would take future generations of faithful and diligent stewards of his original vision and design, to continue fulfilling their respective roles in its ongoing construction, expansion, via hard won discoveries and constant training, and to become a worthy resource to mankind that would keep on giving forward in every sense of the word.

What this signals to me is the existence and unintentional perpetration of a fundamental fallacy, a myth if you will, regarding Aikido's real identity and significance. Let's face the facts. Aikido is not a finished product, not even close. It represents, at best, the heroic and singular attempt by a flawed human carbon unit, to dare to dream the impossible dream of unconditional love for all things in the universe as he saw it. It represents the culmination of a lifetime of tragedy, travail and triumph in seeking to make sense of that burning ambition within his soul, to create a martial art perspective unlike any other fashioned to date. He did not, at any time, intimate or suggest that his was a fully developed template, an inviolate blueprint for what his dreams suggested or demanded of him. Therefore, it is not up to lesser folk like you and me to assume otherwise, and to inappropriately hold his creation up as an arbitrary standard against which to measure any other such creation or interpretation. His was, and remains a continual work in progress, one where the diligent and faithful students of his vision would do their part in turn to continue the inevitable refashioning, restructuring and refinement of the original model. It was his dream to have his Aikido become something more than he himself could ever visualize or conceive, and to rely on the fundamental truths of Aiki to guide this multi-generational project, and to ultimately validate the unending work of his successors.

I truly believe that the Founder would genuinely appreciate the dialogue taking place today of incorporating the invaluable lessons obtainable from careful and goal oriented cross training in parallel martial arts systems and philosophies. He would surely applaud, not the incomplete understanding, or the often misguided conclusions and misconceptions held by many who claim to follow his example, but the very courage, vision and persistence to even try.

Please make no mistake, I am not in any way discrediting or discounting the worthy and vital contributions of those qualified and invested individuals who respectfully, sincerely and with great talent and integrity, choose to correctly do the due diligence of proper research, to verify sources of information and provenance, and to accurately and humbly share their findings with the Aikido faithful and other interested parties. Many of these amazing adepts may, or may not ever be formally linked to the vast Aikido family. There is no question that the ongoing work of fulfilling Aikido's vast potential will depend mightily on the honest contributions of these same devotees of Aiki, along with other scholars and researchers we are privileged to encounter along the Way.

Even now, we are unwilling witnesses to the shallow, misguided and agenda driven attempts by some who portray the Founder, his creation, along with those very flawed but courageous students of his Aikido, in an unfavorable or misguided light. Perhaps they would choose to lighten up and give these folks a chance to add their efforts, perhaps found inadequate at times, to continue their respective training regimen, and perhaps develop unique applications of their incomplete but daring understandings of the Founder's message and vision. We must stop targeting these sincere "messengers", and strive to better understand the messages themselves, to the humble extent that we are individually and collectively able and willing to do. Aiki is about building connections, not about maintaining discriminatory separations and disconnects.

I do have faith in the Founder's vision, messages of compassion and hope for future generations, and the fundamental power of Aiki Principles to help anyone to survive, thrive and be truly alive through the practice of Aikido. I humbly invite those who feel the same as I do, to join me in making it so.
Francis Takahashi was born in 1943, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Francis began his Aikido journey in 1953, simultaneously with the introduction of Aikido to Hawaii by Koichi Tohei, a representative sent from Aikikai Foundation in Tokyo, Japan. This event was sponsored by the Hawaii Nishi System of Health Engineering, with Noriyasu Kagesa as president. Mr. Kagesa was Francis's grandfather, and was a life long supporter of Mr. Tohei, and of Aikido. In 1961, the Founder visited Hawaii to help commemorate the opening of the new dojo in Honolulu. This was the first, and only time Francis had the opportunity to train with the Founder. In 1963, Francis was inducted into the U.S. Army, and was stationed for two years in Chicago, Illinois. He was the second instructor for the fledgling Chicago Aikido Club, succeeding his childhood friend, Chester Sasaki, who had graduated from the University of Illinois, and was entering the Air Force. Francis is currently ranked 7th dan Aikikai, and enjoys a direct affiliation with Aikikai Foundation for the recommending and granting of dan ranks via his organization, Aikikai Associates West Coast. Francis is the current dojo-cho of Aikido Academy in Alhambra, California.
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:44 PM   #2
crbateman
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

A very heartfelt piece, Francis Sensei. I feel your angst, and share your concerns. There are many worms eating away at the fabric of Aikido history and its transmission. But it's nothing new. There have been efforts for decades to systematically sweep certain aspects of this fabric under the rug.

Just this week, Stan Pranin has an article on his site in which he speaks of the "future historians of Aikido". As I read that passage, I had to ask myself who these people might be. I really don't know. Fact is, many otherwise excellent aikidoka really have no use for the accounts of the past. They value only what Aikido is to them, and this is their way. There is no lesson for them to learn from the past, and today's training is their focus. It is their privilege to train as they wish. But it also means each generation will be further removed from what many feel is an important and largely irretrievable component; that what Aikido was is a big factor in what it is.

I know that some would say that the ease at which Aikido has "morphed" is an asset, rather than a weakness. It's a valid point. I suppose only time will tell. I try to be supportive of both sides of the issue, as I think both schools of thought have some merit, and being supportive of all rational points of view is perhaps the sincerest form of "blending" (that is, if you don't count the occasional creation of the perfect margarita... )

Thanks for sharing, Sensei. Always a pleasure...
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:20 PM   #3
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

While I certainly do not know what Aikido truly is, I was fortunate enough to have early mat time with people who do.

If I continue in the direction and daily discipline they set for me, perhaps someday I will get a glimpse of what Aikido truly is.

Well said. Compliments and appreciation.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:30 PM   #4
RonRagusa
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Quote:
Francis Takahashi wrote:
Let's face the facts. Aikido is not a finished product, not even close. It represents, at best, the heroic and singular attempt by a flawed human carbon unit, to dare to dream the impossible dream of unconditional love for all things in the universe as he saw it. It represents the culmination of a lifetime of tragedy, travail and triumph in seeking to make sense of that burning ambition within his soul, to create a martial art perspective unlike any other fashioned to date. He did not, at any time, intimate or suggest that his was a fully developed template, an inviolate blueprint for what his dreams suggested or demanded of him. Therefore, it is not up to lesser folk like you and me to assume otherwise, and to inappropriately hold his creation up as an arbitrary standard against which to measure any other such creation or interpretation. His was, and remains a continual work in progress, one where the diligent and faithful students of his vision would do their part in turn to continue the inevitable refashioning, restructuring and refinement of the original model. It was his dream to have his Aikido become something more than he himself could ever visualize or conceive, and to rely on the fundamental truths of Aiki to guide this multi-generational project, and to ultimately validate the unending work of his successors.
Hi Francis -

This paragraph evoked a vision of the Founder not as the artist who put brush to canvas, but as the weaver of the canvas itself. He provided the backdrop upon which the rest of us make our small contributions to the overall work.

I love the view of Aikido as a multi-generational project. Like other long view projects such as the Clock of the Long Now, built with a 10,000 year time horizon, Aikido and the principles of Aiki will burrow into the collective consciousness slowly but inexorably down through the generations. Evolutionary change works slowly and the dissemination of Aiki will proceed glacially, but as long as there are serious students willing to devote themselves to study and the sharing of their knowledge, the ideas of the Founder, expressed in his art, in all their various interpretations, will continue to spread.

Your post, while on the surface may seem an expression of heartfelt ache, nevertheless contains the seeds of optimism we can all nurture, grow and pass on to the next generation.

All the Best,

Ron
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:02 AM   #5
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Hi Francis,

I hope that you're well. So what would you say are the top three types of revisionism that you've observed?

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-29-2011, 02:38 AM   #6
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Quote:
Aikido is not a finished product, not even close. It represents, at best, the heroic and singular attempt by a flawed human carbon unit, to dare to dream the impossible dream of unconditional love for all things in the universe as he saw it. It represents the culmination of a lifetime of tragedy, travail and triumph in seeking to make sense of that burning ambition within his soul, to create a martial art perspective unlike any other fashioned to date. He did not, at any time, intimate or suggest that his was a fully developed template, an inviolate blueprint for what his dreams suggested or demanded of him. Therefore, it is not up to lesser folk like you and me to assume otherwise, and to inappropriately hold his creation up as an arbitrary standard against which to measure any other such creation or interpretation. His was, and remains a continual work in progress, one where the diligent and faithful students of his vision would do their part in turn to continue the inevitable refashioning, restructuring and refinement of the original model. It was his dream to have his Aikido become something more than he himself could ever visualize or conceive, and to rely on the fundamental truths of Aiki to guide this multi-generational project, and to ultimately validate the unending work of his successors.
Sensei, the above is a very beautiful and profound statement, thank you very much.

Yet, some of your article seems a little abstract and general to me personally. The vitality of my own research in aikido has benefitted a lot from what coould seem to be quite iconoclastic writing about it (and training); and I also believe there can be a stifling aspect to tradition and orthodoxy, especially in the light of the vision of the founder you describe. Then again, some orthodoxy is very inspiring and some iconoclasm totally out of place....

So when you write
Quote:
What this signals to me is the existence and unintentional perpetration of a fundamental fallacy, a myth if you will, regarding Aikido's real identity and significance.
Are you referring to the idea that anybody knows what aikido truly is? Or are there other, more concrete, positions that you think are, well, not helpful?

Quote:
Rather, I witness a boatload of suspect individuals who freely admit to having little or no respect for the history, tradition and values of the Founder's true purpose, and of his welcoming spirit of openness to all who study his creation.
What is your personal view on how to navigate the borders between openness and innovation on the one hand, and respect, tradition and history on the other? Or do you think there is no difference, and if so, how come?

Thanks you very much for your article!
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:59 AM   #7
AsimHanif
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

!!
(...another world:-)

Thank you,
Asim
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:46 PM   #8
carina reinhardt
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Thanks Takahashi Sensei for your deep thoughts. We have all our life to try to find out what Aikido truly is and enjoy the way .
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:51 PM   #9
graham christian
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Hi Francis. A powerful piece from a powerful peace.

Remember, from an abundance of the muck of ignorance may the flower(s) grow. To those flowers the apparant ignorance in retrospect served merely as nourishment.

Faith.

Regards.G.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:58 AM   #10
aikishihan
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Greetings Clark,

I have never had any illusions that Aikido, or any other valid system of thought and action, was for everybody. Rather, it is for anybody who is willing to pay the honest price of its pursuit. Therefore, I do not worry about the majority, saving my energies with the favored minority, such as yourself.

Aikido, and the Aiki from which it sprang, will be just fine, thank you. No need to worry over the inevitable changes that mankind appears to think is so important. They are not.

So, keep the faith, my friend, and keep on working on your unique masterpiece.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:00 AM   #11
aikishihan
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Ola Carina,

Your blessed ability to share kind words with those who publish is most admirable. I look forward to reading your inner thoughts on Aikido, whenever you feel ready to share them.

in oneness,
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:03 AM   #12
aikishihan
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Hello Chris,

Thank you, Nagahisa Shihan, and the entire Ohana gang for your true Aloha spirit, and your warm welcome to me and O Connor Sensei at your dojo.

Most insightful questions appear to be based on an evident truth. If the definition of “revisionism” is meant to reconsider an accepted truth, then I am not able to respond accordingly. It is my humble opinion that the Founder’s teachings are still in the early days of research, examination and fundamental understanding. We simply do not know enough, and have not done our due diligence as a whole, and would do the Founder and his magnificent legacy, a huge disservice to think and believe otherwise.

Stan Pranin, in his “OSensei’s Spiritual Writings: Where did they really come from?”, astutely reminds us of the paucity of actual writings attributable to the Founder. Rather, we are placing huge gobs of faith and political capital in the interpretations of just a few, albeit noteworthy and esteemed direct students of the Founder. Besides the glaring lack of scholastic and research training skills, we may also have cause to question the personal agendas of these otherwise sincere and sometime eloquent writers of things Ueshiba inspired.

I will attempt to answer the perceived intent of your question as follows.

First of all, I do perceive that the original martial integrity of the Founder’s creation has been seriously diluted, and unfortunately dismissed by the Second Doshu, along with succeeding Hombu Shihan level leadership. I do not believe that this outcome was maliciously intentional, but just a highly questionable judgment call on teaching philosophy and standardization of curriculums.

Second, it is my view that by sending ill prepared and marginally talented instructors in the earlier years, has resulted in the morass of mediocrity of supposedly high level training throughout the world. These initial pioneers should have had real training in business concepts, people skills, language competence, along with their skills in technique and loyalty to Ueshiba Aiki and the Founder’s mission.

Thirdly, the impact of the IAF has proven disastrous, not unlike the ill fated League of Nations, in attempting to consolidate authority in and obedience to exclusively Japanese nationals, without any plan to include the promising and proven leadership that naturally develop within and from the countries involved. The term “Shihan” is a farce, as it is not awarded for excellence, but for conformity and obedience to an arbitrary Japanese model.

For years, I called myself, and select friends, SIW’s, shihans in waiting, as a kind of protest of the policy I just described. Even my moniker of aikishihan is my accepting of the probability that I will not obtain a Shihan certificate from Hombu. It is just fine with me, as I feel qualified to be an Aiki Shihan, and not an Aikikai Shihan. I also salute many others with the same courtesy.

Still, I love O Sensei’s Aikido, I remain loyal to the Ueshiba line of heritage, and will continue to train with anyone with sincere intentions, regardless of rank, organizational credentials, and who place training in Aiki paramount to all other considerations.

Last edited by aikishihan : 03-30-2011 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:36 AM   #13
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Quote:
Francis Takahashi wrote: View Post
Thirdly, the impact of the IAF has proven disastrous, not unlike the ill fated League of Nations, in attempting to consolidate authority in and obedience to exclusively Japanese nationals, without any plan to include the promising and proven leadership that naturally develop within and from the countries involved. The term "Shihan" is a farce, as it is not awarded for excellence, but for conformity and obedience to an arbitrary Japanese model.

For years, I called myself, and select friends, SIW's, shihans in waiting, as a kind of protest of the policy I just described. Even my moniker of aikishihan is my accepting of the probability that I will not obtain a Shihan certificate from Hombu. It is just fine with me, as I feel qualified to be an Aiki Shihan, and not an Aikikai Shihan. I also salute many others with the same courtesy.
Hello Francis,

Just for the record, I doubt whether I will ever receive the shihan title, either, for it seems not to operate in Japan. I am curious, however, why you include the term 'shihan' as part of a discussion of the IAF. The IAF does not have shihan and never has had.

Best wishes,

PAG

P A Goldsbury
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:54 AM   #14
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Hi Francis,

Quote:
It is mind boggling, and a bit disheartening for me to see the reams of questionable, and often grossly erroneous "facts" written about the Founder, his theories on Aiki, and on Aiki's constant role in shaping his Aikido over the entire period of his lifetime. It is especially so because I can recognize very few "experts" with proven knowledge, training experience, and research credentials sufficient for the task. Rather, I witness a boatload of suspect individuals who freely admit to having little or no respect for the history, tradition and values of the Founder's true purpose, and of his welcoming spirit of openness to all who study his creation. It is equally appalling to me that such unwarranted and misguided drivel continues without an equally vociferous and reasoned rebuttal and counterpoint from the seemingly established and very senior group of mainstream Aikido leaders, who appear comfortable in remaining mute and aloof. There are exceptions, of course, with stalwarts like George Ledyard, Peter Goldsbury, Nev Saghiba, David Lynch, and Stan Pranin, to mention a few, who have courageously, consistently and knowledgeably spoken out on Aikido principles, purpose and legitimacy as a genuine martial art and cultural phenomenon.
Do we want to know what Aikido truly is?, probably not IMO, we're happier with the diluted (both martially and philosophical/spiritual) version.

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Old 03-30-2011, 07:19 AM   #15
Diana Frese
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

There is much for me to study in this column and comments, but for now one phrase of Ron's keeps catching my notice for its beauty and wisdom: Aikido and the principles of Aiki will burrow into the collective consciousness slowly but inexorably down through the generations...

From my point of view as someone who trained years ago, but not much in the past couple of decades, it is heartwarming how many dojo there are, how many countries and how many individuals studying sincerely...

Francis, I understand your concerns, but to borrow a bit from Zoroastrianism (about which I know very little) you and people like you are doing a wonderful job of increasing the Light
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:27 AM   #16
aikishihan
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Hello Demetrio,

Of course we want to know what OUR Aikido truly is, or why continue to study it. It serves little purpose to study other formulas before we decide on our own.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:28 AM   #17
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Dear Daian,

Also love Ron Ragusa’s poignant statement of faith in Aikido’s future.

Thanks again for your empathetic support, and feel free to share your thoughts after pondering them for so long.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:30 AM   #18
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Greetings Peter,

Off the record, you and the majority of Aikikai 6th dans and higher have been bona fide shihans for as long as I remember. My understanding, verified by both Kobayashi Yasuo and Kanai Mitsunari, is that an Aikikai 6th dan, actively teaching, was automatically a shihan without any need for certification. Since I am “old school”, this definition works well for me.

Technically, Aikikai Foundation exclusively issues all shihan certificates. Yet, is there any doubt that the legitimacy and authority of the IAF has always been buttressed by the dominion of Japanese shihans, along with the Doshu? In spite of this fact, your tenure as President of the IAF for many years was both exemplary and constructive in my opinion. Thank you for your service.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:35 AM   #19
aikishihan
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Hallo Graham,

Your Oliver Twist analogy, quite unintended I am sure, is consistent with your upbeat enthusiasm for Aikido's value to our communities.

Thanks for caring, sharing and enduring throughout all the drama that we often encounter along the Way.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:49 AM   #20
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Quote:
Francis Takahashi wrote: View Post
Hello Demetrio,

Of course we want to know what OUR Aikido truly is, or why continue to study it. It serves little purpose to study other formulas before we decide on our own.
Hello Takahashi Sensei,

I think I must respectfully disagree. While I indeed DO want to know what my teacher's Aikido is, and also what my own is, I have found that for me *personally*, I needed to look at other forms of Aikido to even begin to really understand those two forms of Aikido. Please note, I used the word *begin*...the process is still very much underway.

The effort that goes into a compare and contrast exercise *for me* was necessary to start to get a handle on what it is I study, and even why.

The why keeps changing as I get older and less concerned with the immediacy of "martial".

The what has changed as I begin to realize how truly broad and deep Aikido can be, especially with the wide range of experience each teacher and practioner brings to it.

The combination of what and why keeps shifting and morphing as I get new input from practitioners, teachers, researchers, and even from things seemingly completely unrelated to Aikido. And I am not very confident that I will *ever* understand the founder's Aikido, let alone actually practice it. The gulf between our time frames, experiences, and cultures is truly very great. I hope that what I do glean from the various forms he left behind will inform what ever meager understanding I finally come to of *his* Aikido...but I don't really expect to measure myself by that. It was his after all...not mine, and I wonder if any of us can really understand another's Aikido (or perhaps anything else for that matter).

Maybe in the end, I will not ever *really* understand Aikido...I guess I can live with that, as long as I make the effort to get as close as possible for *me*. But I do thank all of my teachers, friends, mentors, and fellow practitioners for sharing this journey with me.

Especially the ones who knocked me down, as well as the ones who picked me up along the way.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:40 AM   #21
aikishihan
Dojo: aikido academy/alhambra,california
Location: Los Angeles, California
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Greetings Nicholas,

I do apologize for my often wayward rhetoric, and invite any question or request for clarification.

Yes, the truths of Aiki are not to be found exclusively in Aikido intended writings. Bravo to you for daring to find such gems in your expanded search for meaning and authenticity.

I do not automatically trust or believe in tradition or orthodoxy, as these are merely points of clarity within time, and essentially only for that time. If they still resonate today, I will listen.

I grant that people will need working models of what aikido means to them, if only that they will commit to amend or exchange their perspectives when better ones prove themselves.

I find that concrete stifles growth and flexibility. Better to be immersed in the fertile and expansive soil of constant change, and the lessons that attend them.

I dare not speak for anyone else, or deign to expound without knowing what that person is really like. It would be most disrespectful to interfere with anyone’s right to choose, and to happily learn from such choices.

Tradition and history should be viewed with a jaundiced eye, as they are merely snapshots of both positive and negative examples of human choices. The real differences you may seek are in recognizing your true options, and being willing to bravely exercise them.

Best of luck to you

Last edited by aikishihan : 03-30-2011 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:44 AM   #22
aikishihan
Dojo: aikido academy/alhambra,california
Location: Los Angeles, California
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 370
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Dear Ron,

Your amazing empathy for others, and for the principles that guide them, are truly appreciated and noteworthy. Your faith in Aiki Principles, and for those who uncompromisingly attempt to apply them on a daily basis, is what sets you apart.

Yes, optimism has the same price as pessimism, but their respective costs are vastly different. Thank goodness for succeeding generations, that keep the faith moving ever forward.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:01 PM   #23
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Quote:
Francis Takahashi wrote: View Post
Hallo Graham,

Your Oliver Twist analogy, quite unintended I am sure, is consistent with your upbeat enthusiasm for Aikido's value to our communities.

Thanks for caring, sharing and enduring throughout all the drama that we often encounter along the Way.
Hi Francis.
Thanks for the acknowledgement.

Your relating my comments to oliver twist has got me though for I am not up to speed on that story. It was however related to the buddhist story of the lotus blossoms journey.

As far as O'Sensei and Aikido go I can only say this: For me the singular most important fact I hold is that he was the FOUNDER of Aikido. Thus it is what he said and how he did it that I continue to work towards and therefore my path is set no matter what anyone else believes.

When that is achieved then a person can truly say they know what Aikido is. Up to then a person can say they are doing Aikido and thus are on the Aikido path towards greater understanding of it.

Meanwhile we can say, if we know, what our Aikido is from where we are at.

My Aikido at this point in time operates from the purpose of restoring what is missing in the attacker. Thus it's purpose is rehabillitation, realignment and restoration-a return to harmony.

May all sentient beings be free.

Regards.G.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:20 PM   #24
Demetrio Cereijo
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,912
Spain
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Quote:
Francis Takahashi wrote: View Post
Hello Demetrio,

Of course we want to know what OUR Aikido truly is, or why continue to study it. It serves little purpose to study other formulas before we decide on our own.
"Our" Aikido is not "Founder's" Aikido.


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Old 03-30-2011, 01:31 PM   #25
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
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Re: Do We Know What Aikido Truly Is?

Is it possible for me to do someone else's Misogi?

Is it possible for someone else to do my Misogi?

If Keiko is to remember the past, can I remember someone else's past?

Can they remember mine?

Best,
Ron (questions, just questions, they keep on coming...oh! for an answer)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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