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Old 06-01-2011, 03:34 PM   #226
abraxis
 
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

Quote:
Eric Joyce wrote: View Post
As a KM practitioner, they don't use a lot from aikido. There are very few...if any...wrist locks in the basic civilian program. The military/law enforcement program will have more of those things due to the nature of the profession i.e Police Officer. It's pretty much basic combatives that are present in many martial arts and/or MMA. The weapons techniques, specifically the gun disarms, are far different than anything that I have been expose to while I was in aikido. Just a FYI.
Thanks for that info, Eric. Some of the disarms resemble aikido movements but you know more about it than I do. I was throwing it out as a possible consideration. Maybe some of its elements would be useful to Alberto if he goes on to create his own style.
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:52 PM   #227
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
You have to build it yourself, as one with the limitations you have imposed has not been developed yet.
Yeah, I already guessed it. This is why in a couple of occasions I also wondered about katas - new training ideas.

However I am enjoying this thread, in all its ramifications.

I don't want anyone to feel impelled, if I make a statement (wrong or right), to solve the riddle for myself, or to feel supposed to really address my questions.

Whenever somebody, prompted by thoughts, replies with his/her own thoughts, that's already an immense enrichment for me - and for anyone else reading I hope - and this regardless of the fact their thoughts address directly my personal concerns or not.

Actually, my own reflections are not meant to solicit an answer or a solution, but are much more intended to solicit whatever kind of consideration - from technical to spiritual to the biographical ones you may fancy, once prompted by whatever ideas expressed here.

I have no particular difficulty to attach no particular relevance to my own ideas or to acknowledge they badly smack of a lack of aiki experience.
I am aware of this.

Most of the things that have given food for thought to me, are things that weren't even addressing my questions directly - go figure.

I am here with the intention of contributing - and whatever comes out of my contribution is welcome also if it goes towards an altogether different direction.
Ignore me when you think I make no sense for your standard.
Do your aikido. I learn by that.

So, I haven't particular problems if my questions go unanswered, for actually they are not even meant as questions - at most, I only hope that, since they come out from a background that was also a martial background, they may at times make sense too (the lack of martiality is a common and self-evident problem in ki-dojos, that needs no demonstration).

Don't focus on me - I'm of no special importance; provide your ideas and experience with training (though of course when you address me, I am grateful).

Thank you to you all, sincerely.

Last edited by Alberto_Italiano : 06-01-2011 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:17 PM   #228
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

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Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
Thus far this thread has been an interesting one - and certainly not exclusively for my merit (if any) although also for the fact it offers an ex-boxeur insight into how his background fits and fits not with the current majority of dojos (whose lack of martiality is not something I am alone to have mentioned here).

I don't think that the folks who have been so kind to reply here, have done that out of a lack of interest - because for a lack of interest there is always the wonderful opportunity of ignoring a thread.

Everybody hops in providing an insight - and actually many different intellectual branches have stemmed out of this thread's occasion; I find it a positive fact.

As for threads, you know: it's not even a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. It's a matter of using the thoughts of a thread in order to develop one's own. You speak of a rose, I speak of gardening. I don't say I don't like your roses.
Of course, nobody can always agree about everything - but between disagreement and vulgarity there is usually a limit that no one here has trespassed thus far.

It's so truly refreshing seeing that we can also prove we can fix this shortcoming of ours, and provide a decent thread with the adequate amount of vulgarity it was lacking and badly missing.
I only regret that, in order to arrive at this point, we needed your contribution, Gerardo: for none of us here has been able, before, to attain that level.

So I really thank you for your profound perspective about these issues, and I also think I have found the right dojo for me: evidently, yours.

Well done, Gerardo. Thank you for your insightful understanding of this matter. We have now solved it.

ps tell me the truth - judging from the quotation you selected above, it seems it was the "buying a belt" thing that truly stinged you, wasn't it?
If so, don't worry: I hadn't you in mind - nor anyone else on this thread for that matter.
Uh, what was all that about, Alberto!?

My comment was made with practicality in mind (I'm a simple guy): if you cannot find what you like, do your own thing. No offense intended, just a suggestion to "move along".

My dojo? I don't have my own dojo because in my opinion I don't know (yet…) anything worth people's time. Hopefully that will change over time. I do train at somebody's dojo, and if I find something lacking there, I go train somewhere else. I am free to do what I like and have fun and grow. If my growth eventually clashes against the "establishment", well, so be it, but I don't agonize over it. Change is not going to happen arm-chairing topics to death but by going out and trying things and changing ourselves.

If I were to suggest a new training model it wouldn't be new at all (or one custom-made for me), but an old one as Dan suggested -- what Ueshiba was doing with aiki (and weapons and such). I am not going to go into a crusade to suggest modifying the curriculum to fit some personal or regional set of "modern" issues.

I'll give you an example: boxing and fist-fighting are great deals to you and you remind us at every opportunity that they should be addressed in aikido. That's your prerogative. See, I grew up in a country with a homicide rate of 60 per 100 thousand population. That's 10 times the US rate and 4 times the violent deaths per capita in Iraq. There is 1 illegal gun for every 2 citizens. Add the legal ones and you have lots of people packing. 90% of violent crimes go unsolved, so there goes restraint. Bottom line: your boxing, your Muay Thai, your BJJ, whatever, are next to worthless there. Nobody wants to fist-fight you or roll on the ground with you -- those are the least of your problems there. Don't get me wrong, I love all these arts, but they cannot help you much in this region's type of conflict. The best thing you can hope for in this region in terms of defense is some combatives training, gun training, weapons-based arts, or something that teaches you about awareness, strategy, and survival (like the "kiai" attitude in koryu).

Now, should I crusade to turn Ueshiba's art into some sort of combatives training (or boxing/empty-hand combat/whatever) to address some personal or home country's regional issues? That'd be too presumptuous and short-sighted of me imo, and frankly I think it's a waste of time. Aikido cannot be everything or for everybody. I personally want to do Ueshiba's aikido as it was, not anybody else's interpretation of aikido, so I listen to those who can guide me to that (old) model. Any technical "add-ons" to address "modern" needs would have to be on top of the base skills that Ueshiba possessed and that made his art work in the first place. Honestly I'm currently too busy learning the base skills to even worry about that. Hence my low post count: I let the "haves" do the writing, I mostly read. I've exceeded my word count...

Regards,
-Gerardo
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:25 PM   #229
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

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Bottom line: your boxing, your Muay Thai, your BJJ, whatever, are next to worthless there. Nobody wants to fist-fight you or roll on the ground with you -- those are the least of your problems there.
Very true. I live in Italy and I can assure you we have our fair deal of criminality here too, and none of them will face you either with boxing or with shiho nages.

I remember when in Texas a couple of years ago, there was this guy hosting me in his bar and wondering wether they had fights in it, he said nobody would fight in a texan bar for if they do, there is immediately someone who produces a handgun.

Under the fire range of a rifle, there is no martial art that applies. However, we are still more likely to face jabs and fastly rechambered hooks in a modern violent situation rather than shokomenuchis or telegraphed yokomenuchis.

Both things are true.
We're both telling a true story. That's why we can't have an easy way out.
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:18 PM   #230
Eric Joyce
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

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Rudy Ternbach wrote: View Post
Thanks for that info, Eric. Some of the disarms resemble aikido movements but you know more about it than I do. I was throwing it out as a possible consideration. Maybe some of its elements would be useful to Alberto if he goes on to create his own style.
No problem Rudy. One thing that I have been able to take away from Krav Maga is the training methodology. The training methodology is very heavy on stress and scenario training and learning to defend oneself from a state of disadvantage. Over time, you get better on how to handle stressful situations. It has helped me out a lot. I think Alberto, if he chooses, would like it a lot.

Eric Joyce
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:32 PM   #231
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

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Eric Joyce wrote: View Post
No problem Rudy. One thing that I have been able to take away from Krav Maga is the training methodology. The training methodology is very heavy on stress and scenario training and learning to defend oneself from a state of disadvantage. Over time, you get better on how to handle stressful situations. It has helped me out a lot. I think Alberto, if he chooses, would like it a lot.
Eric,
Yes, practicing under stress is not emphasized as much as it probably should be in aikido and this may be something Alberto is looking for,
Best,
Rudy
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:56 PM   #232
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

Gee Alberto now you got me going. I know I'm going to regret this.

Quote:
Alberto_Italiano wrote:
However, we are still more likely to face jabs and fastly rechambered hooks in a modern violent situation rather than shokomenuchis or telegraphed yokomenuchis.
True, but I think shomen and yokomen are mostly tools for learning, not so much "empty-handed attacks" like jabs or hooks. Despite this, shomen/yokomen should not be telegraphed at all. Perhaps some weapons training can help. You can track the target and range the shomen/yokomen accordingly and provide your partner with enough challenge for him/her to train martially. Shomen/yokomen and most aikido grabs are attacks that come from sword culture and which call for sword-based footwork/handwork and sword-based techniques. So context is everything…

That said, as I suggested before I believe any technical add-ons to "modernize" aikido should be on top of some well-trained fundamental body skills. The base skills are rare in today's aikido, so I don't understand all the hoopla and anxiety to train more "realistically". "Sparring" from day one is not going to give you those fundamental aiki skills. If you don't have aiki in the first place you're not going to get them by going at each other or fighting or "doing techniques' from the beginning… I think . First train the base skills, then do techniques and spar; go back train some more base skills, then pressure test some more, etc. In my limited experience (I'm level 0), base skills need to be trained slowly and in isolation before any actual aiki-do technique can take place.

How are you jabbing and hooking, with internal power? Are you moving in a unified-body and connected manner? Does your body manifest aiki? Personally I would not accept it any other way if I claimed to be doing aikido, and I intend to try it! This is the problem I see with so many who purport to have the solution to "fix" aikido by training more "realistically". They precede to pressure-test whatever waza they have and I don't think they don't have any aiki/IP in the first place (from my level 0 perspective). So what exactly are they pressure-testing, gross motor skills and "normal" movement? Might as well do a proper combat sport and stop trying to re-invent the wheel (aikido) without the proper knowledge or materials (aiki/IP).

Regards,
-Gerardo

Last edited by Gerardo Torres : 06-01-2011 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:41 PM   #233
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

Some things in this thread I'm just not buying.

No, O-Sensei was not some broken-down old samurai mourning the loss of his sword.

No, he didn't design aikido the way he did because he didn't know about fist fights.

Face it: O-Sensei included in his aikido techniques he thought were valuable. He left out stuff that he thought wasn't valuable.

I've heard someone asked him once why there are no grappling techniques in aikido and he answered, "Too ugly."

If you want to learn to defend yourself in a bar fight, aikido by itself is simply not much help. It certainly has a much longer learning curve than many of the alternatives.

I think that's not what O-Sensei was going for. The aikido he created, at its best, teaches a way of moving, a martial awareness, a way of handling incoming force not by escalating it but by neutralizing it.

If he made a mistake, I think it's that he built his system assuming he was teaching skilled martial artists who knew what real conflict was like--so he assumed he didn't have to incorporate that kind of training into his art. Now that people are beginning with aikido and learning only aikido, they no longer have this experience of conflict to build on. As a result much of the training has become unrealistic, and some of the foundation--like the aiki principles--have been lost.

That needs to be corrected, but not, IMHO, by making aikido something that it isn't.
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:31 PM   #234
graham christian
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Some things in this thread I'm just not buying.

No, O-Sensei was not some broken-down old samurai mourning the loss of his sword.

No, he didn't design aikido the way he did because he didn't know about fist fights.

Face it: O-Sensei included in his aikido techniques he thought were valuable. He left out stuff that he thought wasn't valuable.

I've heard someone asked him once why there are no grappling techniques in aikido and he answered, "Too ugly."

If you want to learn to defend yourself in a bar fight, aikido by itself is simply not much help. It certainly has a much longer learning curve than many of the alternatives.

I think that's not what O-Sensei was going for. The aikido he created, at its best, teaches a way of moving, a martial awareness, a way of handling incoming force not by escalating it but by neutralizing it.

If he made a mistake, I think it's that he built his system assuming he was teaching skilled martial artists who knew what real conflict was like--so he assumed he didn't have to incorporate that kind of training into his art. Now that people are beginning with aikido and learning only aikido, they no longer have this experience of conflict to build on. As a result much of the training has become unrealistic, and some of the foundation--like the aiki principles--have been lost.

That needs to be corrected, but not, IMHO, by making aikido something that it isn't.
Hugh.Nice post.

I also can't believe some think O'Sensei changed things because of some negative condition, losses or indeed to suit the masses. When I hear these things it can only make me smile at ignorance.

Far from someone wherever having experienced the horrors of war leading them to yearn for peace. Sounds logical but to my mind is complete rubbish.

For those who experience the horrors of war it serves as a reminder of their true nature, their true self as to how mad that all is. All based on such 'martial' thinking. (martial meaning to do with war)

Hence O'Sensei pointed out what true budo was. He even tried to get people to realize that disciplined adherence to those spiritual principles defeats those warlike states of mind.

Alas, humans seem to be so stupid that it takes real horror and danger to remind them just how ignorant they really are. Might is right and such nonsense. It's ok if you want to stay with such notions and believe getting better skilled at it somehow sets you free from it.

Those who cannot see the harmonious power of softness, ki, true spirit, calmness, stillness, kokyu, hara, the spirit of loving protection etc. have yet to even recognise Aikido.

Such is my humble view.

Regards.G.
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:54 AM   #235
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post

If he made a mistake, I think it's that he built his system assuming he was teaching skilled martial artists who knew what real conflict was like--so he assumed he didn't have to incorporate that kind of training into his art. Now that people are beginning with aikido and learning only aikido, they no longer have this experience of conflict to build on. As a result much of the training has become unrealistic
You may be quite right.
Same conclusion, different path.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:19 AM   #236
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

I think it is important that we differentiate between hearsay, interpretation, and fact. I also think that as we get into contested interpretation we should support our statements with fact. Certainly we should do so before we begin calling people ignorant; ignorant they may be, but to fact or a perspective which they do not share? I posted already on this thread the use of dismissive attacks and their role in occluding issues at discussion.

During the war, O'Sensei moved from Tokyu to Iwama. In Saotome's Sensei's book (Harmony of Nature), he speculates that O'Sensei had become disenchanted with the [Japanese] government's role in the war and moved to avoid pressure from the government. In Doshu's book (Budo), he speaks about the use of the Tokyo dojo in aiding the war victims. While you may argue that O'Sensei personally was not bombed, the war affected his teachings. After the war O'Sensei began teaching again, but more publicly. The dojo accepted more students, many without the credentials previously desired by O'Sensei; heck Doshu practically was running things by then anyway. After the war also is when O'Sensei visited the US in his "Silver Bridge" tour. Again, you can argue the what, but pre-war and post-war O'Sensei are very different people, very different aikido, and very different teaching. Phi made a good point and one that I also happen to have derived from my studies. You may not agree with Phi's interpretation, but ignorant? I think you are not correctly using the term.

Again, just using the two prefaces in the books from above it is possible to interpret also that O'Sensei's teaching paradigm changed almost entirely from a curriculum founded in Daito Ryu Aikijujitsu to a philosophy of action that transcended technique. O'Sensei's teaching transformed from a pre-requisite martial education to one that did not require prior martial arts education. Again, you may not agree with the interpretation, but ignorant?

It's not difficult to grab an aikido book with a historical preface. I happened to grab two that are next to the computer and found exactly the facts that I used to derive my interpretations and conclusions. I think it only fair that if you are going to [passively] chide someone as ignorant, you show them the error of their ways with factual support. A few posts back I recall another post warning of the use of conjecture in counter-arguing a point. I echo that post.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:44 AM   #237
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

To also aid in fact versus fiction; this idea of budo as loving protection is just fantasy.
If people want to practice a thing as blending and harmonious movement together that helps them with issues or brings people together thats fine, go for it and have fun. To say it transcends budo is a very dicey statement.
Transcend budo how?
In what way?

If the argument is that it walks away from budo then fine. But then why turn around and call it budo? Why dress up in an outfit and rank each other and do budo things if you walked away from budo?

If you think it is transcendent as a form ...OF... budo that is superior to more combative forms, then you open yourself up to some serious critique from experienced budo people
I think you need to pick one or the other, anything in between is unresolved and will see you undone by capable people.
Just say'n
Dan
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:49 AM   #238
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

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Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
They hit each other.
I don't want to hit anyone - not even with an atemi.

Pure aikido techniques against opponents allowed to do whatever they want...
I don't have much to add as most of the ideas have been debated more than enough but I see this as a possible problem; Aikido is not a list of techniques, techniques are merely tools.

A foolish but illustrative analogy would be to explain that my inability to box was due not having perfected my skipping, or perhaps that my skipping rope was too flimsy.

Or maybe would be better to say that despite being really good with a speed bag I'm still a poor fighter. Does this mean that the speed bag has no merit? Boxing itself doesn't work? My use of the tool is poor/incorrect/insufficient? Or is it merely a piece of a larger picture that has it's own limited value within the scope of the whole. (note: I am not a boxer, this is just to try and keep it relevant as an analogy)

I am not claiming to have the answers but I'm working to try and improve myself all the time. If I decided that within the framework of Aikido I would not be able to progress in the direction that I wish to I would consider a change of art/system.

Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:54 AM   #239
graham christian
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
To also aid in fact versus fiction; this idea of budo as loving protection is just fantasy.
If people want to practice a thing as blending and harmonious movement together that helps them with issues or brings people together thats fine, go for it and have fun. To say it transcends budo is a very dicey statement.
Transcend budo how?
In what way?

If the argument is that it walks away from budo then fine. But then why turn around and call it budo? Why dress up in an outfit and rank each other and do budo things if you walked away from budo?

If you think it is transcendent as a form ...OF... budo that is superior to more combative forms, then you open yourself up to some serious critique from experienced budo people
I think you need to pick one or the other, anything in between is unresolved and will see you undone by capable people.
Just say'n
Dan
Hi Dan.
I say budo is love. There are and have been many high ranking, experienced, effective shihans who say so too as well as O'Sensei himself.(Hikitsuchi for starters)

There are only two views. Those that say it is and those that say it isn't. Those that say it isn't can then say what it is to them.

It's not a matter of right and wrong or which is superior actually. It's solely a matter of stating what you believe and do.

I would think that is quite an easy thing to do no?

Regards.G.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:35 PM   #240
stan baker
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

When you say budo is love,what do you mean

stan
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:50 PM   #241
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

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When you say budo is love,what do you mean
Graham can say for himself, but I would say that budo is love, in the sense that a tiger loves her cub, and faces down a trampling elephant in must; the mother deer that faces down the tiger for her fawn -- any Medal of Honor citation you care to pick .

It ain't puppy dogs and poofy hearts...

Moreover, the difference is not merely philosophical or spiritual but powerfully and profoundly physical and biochemical in its significance. Fear, desire, 'will to win' etc. have got nothing on it

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:45 PM   #242
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I think it is important that we differentiate between hearsay, interpretation, and fact. I also think that as we get into contested interpretation we should support our statements with fact. ...

During the war, O'Sensei moved from Tokyu to Iwama. In Saotome's Sensei's book (Harmony of Nature), he speculates that O'Sensei had become disenchanted with the [Japanese] government's role in the war and moved to avoid pressure from the government. ... Again, just using the two prefaces in the books from above it is possible to interpret also that O'Sensei's teaching paradigm changed almost entirely from a curriculum founded in Daito Ryu Aikijujitsu to a philosophy of action that transcended technique. O'Sensei's teaching transformed from a pre-requisite martial education to one that did not require prior martial arts education. Again, you may not agree with the interpretation, but ignorant?
The record is not explicit on this, it is true, but several coincident facts are too suggestive and reinforcing of each other not to mention. The first "vision" of aikido came in 1925 after O Sensei's first visit to Manchuria. The second vision came after his visit to Manchuria again in 1940. O Sensei was VERY well-connected in the military establishment including several generals and admiral Takeshita, as well as "off the book" nationlist-types and could have easily had access to more than ordinary knowledge of the atrocities (possibly even the horrific Unit 731) that Japan was engaged upon in Manchuria, especially after the 1939,military disaster at Nomohan made its situation more desperate.
I believe he discovered that war as it had evolved and the ideals of budo were becoming widely diverged.
This has been discussed here.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:29 PM   #243
graham christian
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

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When you say budo is love,what do you mean

stan
Hi Stan.
Sorry but I only just saw this post addressed to me.

A short answer would be as in the interview of O'Sensei and his son quoted in Aikijournal, the first couple of paragraphs if I remember.

There's not a word in it I disagree with. Thus my view coincides with his or at worst that translation.

To add on anything would then be my view as a result of that basic premise.(of which I have many)

Regards.G.
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:24 PM   #244
valjean
Dojo: Wexford Aiki
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Re: Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?

History and context
Look, this type of training is the best thing you can ever do for yourself in the martial arts. It is the essence, the magic, that made the arts what they once were. There is nothing else better....period. Curiously or humorously, the history of the arts shows they trained it and had solo training exercises to develop it. If you got it, you would be agreeing with me.
It doesn't matter to me that you don't get it and that you don't know it. Anyone who claims to know it, and doesn't think it is the most important thing in the arts, is only kidding themselves that they have it in the first place.
Cheers
Dan[/quote]

Help -- I'd like to do some of those solo exercises. Right now I'm limited to tai sabaki, tenkans, and bokken and staff work in front of a mirror. I'm perfectly happy with my training in dojo, but is there a specific canonical reference we should grab for relevant aiki solo training?
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