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Old 06-23-2011, 05:54 PM   #26
Janet Rosen
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

ROTFLMAO!
Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
or why isn't there hot pink hakama
With or without stripes? I lost the link to the bright pink women's version but there is this....
http://cgi.ebay.com/Japanese-Boys-Pi...-/170560891014

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
why is there aiki ken but no aiki barbie?
Um.....c'mere and grab my wrist....

on a serious note... I have not found this thread to have been hijacked; every post has been on the topic as titled/raised.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:23 PM   #27
BJohnston
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Music
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:55 AM   #28
Eva Antonia
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Hello,

I have two frames of reference that give me some consolation for not yet understanding aikido yet...

...first is my university education. It took me two years to get my pre-diploma; that was in pre-Bologna Germany that what in the anglo-Saxon world a BSc is. => equivalent to 3rd kyu.
Then it took me two more years to get my Dipl.-Ing (= MSc in engineering = shodan).

Then, as a "shodan" engineer starting my professional career, what was I? A mere beginner without experience. So I started working very much and learning very much and scrambling slowly towards more understanding.

Now I have 20 years of experience, but still I wouldn't consider myself as a "shihan" in environmental engineering. And I still have as many years in front of myself as I'm in good health and able to find assignments. So the learning process is going on.

And I get the impression for aikido it's very much the same.

Second reference is languages.
I learnt a lot of them during my life; some I did master, some I gave up because they were too difficult for me, but the process was always the same.
At first you learn single words and grammar structures. It's just like in aikido when you learn tai sabaki, nikkyo and so on; you learn them all separately and without really understanding the connection. Then you learn to form complete, but simple sentences. You would be able to give an answer on, let's say,
shomen uchi. You perform stutteringly ikkyo ura.
And after some time you can give fluent answers with a more complex structure.
And after some time more, you could engage into conversation, discussion and disputes. That would be kaeshi waza and randori.

And obviously, some people also learn to write poems, scientific essays or mighty novels. Most of us never get there, neither in their first language nor in other languages they learn later and also not in aikido....

Best regards,

Eva
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:56 AM   #29
Tim Ruijs
 
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Everything...

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:31 AM   #30
phitruong
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post

With or without stripes? I lost the link to the bright pink women's version but there is this....
http://cgi.ebay.com/Japanese-Boys-Pi...-/170560891014
the stripes make me look fat and i don't have the right curves for it, which would affect my aikido greatly, in a very negative way. besides, stripes don't harmonize with pink, lace trims would be better. methink, hot pink hakama and black leather vest top would brought all kind of understanding to my aikido, or at least other people understanding of my aikido.

the other frame of reference for me is riding motorcycle. you learn to use minimal amount of energy to steer the bike, mostly with your hips. interestingly enough, my dojo seemed to attract bikers, i.e. 90% of my dojo mates, including my sensei, ride motorcycle. they tend to have a very good sense of balance. now the state where i live isn't too far from Tail of the Dragon trail http://www.tailofthedragonmaps.com/m...emeposter.html it's 11 miles with 318 curves in the smoky mountain range. it's scary when you ride in a car, much less on a motorcycle. However, i have not the nerve to go through it yet. some of my dojo mates had. riding motorcycle is very much like aikido. you got randori through traffics, you got mostly irimi follow by tenkan. ukemi is a bitch on asphalt so you don't give up your balance if you can help it. you got push and pull by the winds in various direction. you got to use minimal power to make maximum affect. you got to focus and live in the moment, and cannot let your mind wander, or you will learn why ukemi on concrete, with various obstacles like cars and rails, is a bitch. your mind is on protecting your body and your bike. you got to practice and practice and practice, then push the boundary of your limits. and it's exhilarating and frightening at the same time. what is there not to like when you have a large vibrating motor between your legs?
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:26 AM   #31
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
Gerardo Torres wrote: View Post
How? It seems people are sharing/defending their different understanding of aikido.
I think there's a difference between "sharing/defending" and bickering. But perhaps it's all in the eye of the beholder.

My own perspective is that I'm not a theoretician, and I have to be able to do it before I'm going to understand it...not the other way around. And that, even at that point, I don't need a philosophical or theoretical framework to put it in. Maybe that's nice, but it's not necessary, and sometimes even detrimental.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:12 AM   #32
Keith Larman
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Interesting to take my quote... In the larger context I was arguing that since aikido has morphed in so many directions then what is important as core concepts/ principles/ methods/ whatever vary tremendously. Hence arguing about this stuff at that level is kinda silly.

But... My personal opinion is another thing entirely. And I would argue that very few ever got to a high level in what *I* (see, my POV, my priorities, my background) consider fundamental. I sure as heck haven't. And I see some of that as a lack of transmission due to a variety of factors.

The major one, I think, is that those folk who did "grok" some of this stuff "groked" it in a way that simply couldn't be transmitted to someone who didn't have the same experiences. Their understanding of how they were able to do these things wasn't well formed due to a lack of a conceptual framework which makes it a difficult proposition at best to teach. I think many of those who are very, very good in fact don't really understand how they got there. But they did. And they tell you to relax, to not muscle, to just move their center like they do. What they don't see is that they spent years developing that ability through some mix of methods and now that they can do it they can't explain how they do it. They just relax. But if we "just relax" it doesn't really help. Why? If we adopt a point of view that some degree of physical development is necessary to do these things then you have a person trying to explain a feeling to someone lacking the physicality to feel it themselves. Honestly I think some who have some degree of these skills do feel (what they take to be) the "ki flowing", do feel that connection, they just don't have a mechanism by which to explain it that goes beyond semi-mystical concepts. Hence the conundrum we find ourselves in.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
"Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training. Only amateurs think that techniques are enough. They understand nothing." Sagawa

THe information is NOT in the techniques.
Over the years this has been my experience as well. The training methodology most of us have used over the years is learning to do techniques along with various exercises with the hope that we get that elusive glimpse of aiki as we go. So the footwork, positioning, postures, etc. that we work on aren't so much to learn to the technique well, but to hopefully "stack the deck" so we can start to build up a structure, balance, approach, then develop something that allows this magical aiki thing to start to make an appearance. So to me it is like tossing down the little footstep markers on the floor to teach someone a dance. It ain't really about stepping in each spot. It is about guiding someone into being able to finally do it with grace, elegance, etc. and hopefully at some point -- they simply dance. Without the footsteps. I.e., the techniques themselves were simply a heuristic device to get at something deeper, more fundamental.

So while one can start to "grok" some aspects, it seems to me to a be a poor transmission methodology since most students simply emulate the movement, the dance steps, without ever grasping the underlying "power" that drives it. I think some of the movement to IS/IP is trying to focus on that power which can then be fed back in to the techniques to see how they can be done fundamentally differently (all while often looking almost exactly the same).

Cart before the horse...

All that said I've met and trained with people in Aikido who are marvelous technical artists. Their movement, strength, balance, etc. is just fantastic. But in my personal classification what I see is really good, solid jujutsu. Good empty hand waza with good physical presence. I marvel at those people, but I'm not so sure that good jujutsu is the same as the aiki I was looking for in training in aiki-do. But here I see the focus on technique. Good solid technique that would probably leave me in a crumpled mass on the mat. That's good stuff. Just not what fits in to *my* conception of what I want *my* aikido to be.

Anyway, I felt obligated to post since it was my quote that started this thing. I won't get in to the whole "was it handed down" argument because it is a question of degrees. I think Tohei did a marvelous job with his focus and he gave us a lot of tools for learning. But it's okay to look for more tools to investigate the same thing.

Or if it isn't your bag, there are other ways to approach aikido that I think are perfectly valid, like the "technician" approach I outlined above. I respect that greatly.

So... that's my framework for understanding... FWIW.

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Old 06-24-2011, 11:43 AM   #33
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

I was a good athlete but I didn't care about winning and losing. I had a substance abuse problem.

I hurt myself alot and let others hurt me. I needed help and I had no idea how much.

The universe picked me up and set me in Ron's class. I get other help too but aikido has helped me heal physically.I can take ideas that I learn elsewhere and put them into my life in a excercisey way. I am still getting better one day at a time. Works for me!
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:24 AM   #34
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
In the larger context I was arguing that since aikido has morphed in so many directions then what is important as core concepts/ principles/ methods/ whatever vary tremendously. Hence arguing about this stuff at that level is kinda silly.

(...)

Their understanding of how they were able to do these things wasn't well formed due to a lack of a conceptual framework which makes it a difficult proposition at best to teach. I think many of those who are very, very good in fact don't really understand how they got there. But they did. And they tell you to relax, to not muscle, to just move their center like they do. What they don't see is that they spent years developing that ability through some mix of methods and now that they can do it they can't explain how they do it. They just relax. But if we "just relax" it doesn't really help. Why? If we adopt a point of view that some degree of physical development is necessary to do these things then you have a person trying to explain a feeling to someone lacking the physicality to feel it themselves. Honestly I think some who have some degree of these skills do feel (what they take to be) the "ki flowing", do feel that connection, they just don't have a mechanism by which to explain it that goes beyond semi-mystical concepts. Hence the conundrum we find ourselves in.
Great points. I think it is Michael Polanyi who has this whole theory that we understand stuff with a sort of unspoken reference to other things we also know, but are unaware of. (We then call the process intuition, talent or the like, and I am certainly not doing justice to his theory here...). I seem to observe this in all my teachers and myself when I teach, it seems impossible to make the whole frame of reference transparent.

For myself, for example, at some point something "clicked" regarding letting forces through my body into the ground. I don't know how I got there (to make matters more complicated, I think I may actually have "stolen" it from my teacher through feeling him.) From that point onwards, not only could I do a lot more in that area (though I still suck), I could also tell beginners which part of their body to adjust just by feeling into them through a contact point, or looking at them - I could tell them stuff I had not learned consciously myself. All that is not a big deal, but my point is that to this day I dont quite know how I do it and why I can do it, while the beginners think I have some sort of higher mystical power. (A delusion that passes, fortunately).

Interestingly enough, IS training now helps me to understand what I am doing (And realise how little I know).

One of my teachers uses spiritual and emotional "language" to get to very similar physical effects that others get to using a sort of more anatomically grounded IS explanatory framework. And then everybody tends to say that their frame of understanding is the way to explain what is happening, while I would be arrogant enough to argue that we are all only partially aware of what is really going on.

Not sure I am making my point clear, Saturday morning ramblings.

As for my frame of reference, I find it difficult to say anything but "my life".

Last edited by Nicholas Eschenbruch : 06-25-2011 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 06-25-2011, 05:53 AM   #35
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
We all understand Aikido from our previous and ongoing experiences and training. Most people in Aikido have previous martial arts or sports experience and there are some on this forum whose frame of reference is training and riding horses. What is your frame of reference for better understanding your experience with Aikido?
Yes agreed.

Most people attempt to understand something new in the frame of reference of something old.

Which can actually inhibit or prevent new learning that is outside to old model paradigm.

While my prior martial arts training was helpful in the discipline, it did present an obstacle to learning the new principles and movements.

Perhaps this make a good case of Shoshin (beginner's mind)?

Thoughts?

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 06-25-2011, 07:39 AM   #36
Keith Larman
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post

Perhaps this make a good case of Shoshin (beginner's mind)?
Also a strong argument for periodically emptying one's cup by going out and trying different things. And not just the things you are comfortable trying... Maybe most importantly occasionally trying those things you are most skeptical about.

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Old 06-26-2011, 05:08 AM   #37
Michael Varin
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote:
but I'm not so sure that good jujutsu is the same as the aiki I was looking for in training in aiki-do.
But is "IP/IT/IS" either? From the way I hear it described, I don't think so.

Where does that leave us?

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:16 AM   #38
Michael Varin
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Great points, Lynn and Keith.

I have continuously struggled with the obstacles you mention in those last two posts, as I suspect many do.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:02 AM   #39
Keith Larman
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
But is "IP/IT/IS" either? From the way I hear it described, I don't think so.

Where does that leave us?
Well, years ago I went to a dojo opening where a number of guys gave demos. Toby Threadgill, Neil Yamamoto, Rich Elias, and a bunch of others. James Williams was there and he did some interesting matched stuff he got from Kuroda. I saw a lot of great stuff. Stuff I would have called great aikido because most of what I saw that day was driven by the exact "stuff" I was looking for.

You say "from the way I hear it described". Well, with all due respect I don't have that problem. I sucked it up after that demo (and other things I'd seen) and went out and got on the mat with a lot of different people. What changed for me *was* my frame of reference because as Lynn has pointed out, we only tend to understand things through our own filters. We are limited in what we know *by* what we know. I went out, got manhandled, got thrown, learned new stuff, struggled, and am still struggling. My frame of reference has changed. No, I don't think it is a complete fundamental change, but it is a heck of a lot more nuanced, a heck of a lot more complex, and I hope a heck of a lot better mapped to what is really going on. My understanding of aiki has changed. That idea, the notion of differing frames of reference, the notion that the metaphors and mental constructs we use to understand this stuff determine how we understand (and can limit us) was the point of what I posted originally in that other thread that was grabbed for here.

Again, back to another thing I wrote. I see good jujutsu that can be done without aiki. Some in Aikido are actually fairly good at that. I'll then see okay jujutsu with *some* elements of aiki. I also have seen stuff that I simply can't describe because it seems to me to be completely devoid of anything at all (delusional comes to mind). But it is those doing good waza with the power of a more nuanced aiki who can both do it with amazing fluidity and softness. *BUT* that softness is there with a potential power underneath it that is palpable. And undeniable.

By the way, one guy I know has a t-shirt that says "ki is crap". I would also say I've seen the guy demonstrates a tremendous amount of aiki in his waza. Powerful.

And I don't see a contradiction.

When you type "from the way I hear it described" I will sit here shaking my head understanding what you're saying. I had heard it as well up until I *really* watched some people working. That planted a seed. I then asked more questions, got out on the mat, and then experienced what they were doing. That in turn fed back in to me as I watch old videos of o-sensei, of Tohei, of others. And I see it through different eyes now, through a different frame of reference. The problem wasn't what was being said, the problem was my understanding of what aiki *is* wasn't as fully developed as it is now. Or maybe my conception was simply different if that makes folk feel better about it.

I'm not going to argue about right or wrong. The problem here is that I have my opinions from my training, my experiences, and my beliefs. There's guys here who enjoy arguing either side. Me, I answered it for myself by shoving my ratty black belt in to the bottom of my bag and attending classes with people doing other stuff. People who came to "aiki" through different paths.

I'm still asking questions. But I do it on the mat now. And in person. And I have a long way to go. And all the discussion *here* won't help. So on that note, time to shower up, pack my bag, and get out on the mat.

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Old 06-26-2011, 09:14 AM   #40
dps
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
But is "IP/IT/IS" either? From the way I hear it described, I don't think so.

Where does that leave us?
From A blog about Shirata Rinjaro at;

' Be Not Defeated By The Rain'

http://benotdefeatedbytherain.blogsp...a-rinjiro.html

"Tandokudosa is a rather generic term meaning "solo body movement exercise." However, for Shirata Sensei the term refers to 13 solo body movement exercises that were developed to "unlock" Aikido. .......

......So, for Shirata sensei his Tandokudosa and Ken Kata are of inestimable importance to the understanding and unlocking of Aikido, they are his effort to "unpack" Aikido as taught to him.

So, Shirata sensei taught the "stuff" to "build the hips," "Develop Kokyu, Ki and Aiki" and also a hermeneutic (His Tandokudosa and his Ken and Jo Kata) to "unpack" the Kokyu, Ki, and Aiki development into taijutsu or buki waza."

Kind of a WinZip for Aikido.

dps

Last edited by dps : 06-26-2011 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:29 AM   #41
DH
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

And those tandokudosa can be done, totally wrong and devoid of anything that will unlock aikido.
As with most things; you can see high ranking people do some things, then you can see other people do the same things....and sure enough, while they are both from the same teacher, they have arrived at a completety different understanding.
We can sit here and wonder why, but I suspect it has always been this way.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:04 PM   #42
Allen Beebe
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

I have only read the last few posts on this thread, but just for the record:

Toby Threadgill, Richard Elias, Neil Yamamoto, and James Williams all were students of Don Angier at one time and to one degree or another before they became featured on the front of martial Wheaties boxes. Don Angier taught (teaches?) Shidare Yanagi Ryu Aikijujutsu. So when one sees their "stuff" there would be an undeniable Yanagi Ryu Aikijujutsu influence because of the profound influence of Don. Not that any of those guys are doing Don's art now. I'm just saying that when one is a sincere student, and I have no doubt that they were all sincere students (one doesn't get good at what one studies unless one is sincere), one is deeply and profoundly influenced by one's teacher, probably even in ways that one is not consciously unaware of. In fact, it sometimes is quite difficult to "shake the dust off" of such an influence from one's sandals even if one sincerely desires to do so.

Also it is my understanding that according to Don, his teacher, Kenji Yoshida, was taught the Yoshida family art by his father Kotaro Yoshida, who, it is well documented, also happened to be a friend and student of Takeda Sokaku.

So there are both Yanagi Ryu Aiki and Daito Ryu Aiki connections and probable influences at play. It should come as no surprise then that one would recognize some form of congruency there. Although, before one jumps to hasty conclusions . . . if Daito Ryu, at least, consists of a Jujutsu, Aiki Jujutsu, Aiki no Jutsu tripartite, which of these three is one recognizing? Who is "qualified" to say? And, who "has the eyes to see?"

Just for transparency's sake, the Ki is Crap calligraphy that probably is featured on the t-shirt is mine. Neil asked me to do write it out so that he could make a gift of it to Don. I'm happy to hear that it isn't lining Don's underwear drawer in the manner that the certificate awarded by certain August Aikido personage reportedly is. I wrote it in a manner that mimics a certain other well-known aficionado of "Ki" BTW.

Personally I loved the irony. Here is a person that could do what that "other person" could do (and possibly more) but was so turned off by the mystical smoke blowing and cult worship that he felt compelled to promote an opposing (balancing) view, "Ki is crap!" Thereby producing . . . Aiki! It is my understanding that Don actually has his own nuanced opinion and insights into what he thinks Ki actually is, or at least what it could be, and what it definitely is not. But for the sake of simplicity "Ki is Crap!" suits his unique "martial curmudgeon" accoutrements quite nicely! I imagine that Don finds the self righteously indignant outrage aimed at him by true believers (usually self deputized defenders of an art they have just begun to learn) to be particularly amusing considering that he is the Soke of a lineage of ai KI jujutsu.

And then there is the blog . . .

I have to admit I was surprised when I bumbled along that a several days back. Basically it is an entire blog largely consisting of my post taken from Aikiweb. At first I didn't know what to think, and then I thought, "But he didn't even ask my permission." And then it occurred to me that any post is probably in the "public domain." I'm admittedly getting older and, while I really love technology, I am kind of "old school." So I took the blog as a reminder that what I say on a board I am saying to the world, around the world.

Anyway, Dan's comment about my quote frames it up nicely. The longer one lives with ANY art the more one sees "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

I remember the first time Neil hosted Jon Bluming to the U.S. A bunch of guys were standing around and introducing themselves and then recognizing each other even though they had never met . . . because they had met on e-budo. I remember thinking, "e-what? Who are these guys, and why are they sitting around typing when they could be training?"

Well look who's a motor mouth on the boards now! (Maybe that is why my pants don't fit me any more.)

Yesterday, my son's (5) and daughter's (7) grandfather came to spend the day for the first time in their lives.

Within maybe 20 minutes my son was sitting in his grandpa's lap, leaning back so that his little head was nestled against grandpa's cheek reading grandpa one of his favorite books.

Now THERE was some ai (love) ki (joy) on contact! Seeing the inter generational (in/yo) bond (musubi) happen instantly (katsu hayabi), between my kids and their grandfather formed a bridge in my heart (ame no ukihashi) and I felt that my own departed father and all of our ancestors somehow were enjoying that moment with us, a sense of the high plain of heaven (takamagahara) shining down upon my jaded and world weary sense of life for a moment, a sense of unity, wholeness, and at home (O-moto).

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:13 PM   #43
Russ Q
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

Quote:
Within maybe 20 minutes my son was sitting in his grandpa's lap, leaning back so that his little head was nestled against grandpa's cheek reading grandpa one of his favorite books.

Now THERE was some ai (love) ki (joy) on contact! Seeing the inter generational (in/yo) bond (musubi) happen instantly (katsu hayabi), between my kids and their grandfather formed a bridge in my heart (ame no ukihashi) and I felt that my own departed father and all of our ancestors somehow were enjoying that moment with us, a sense of the high plain of heaven (takamagahara) shining down upon my jaded and world weary sense of life for a moment, a sense of unity, wholeness, and at home (O-moto).
Love it.
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:14 PM   #44
mathewjgano
 
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Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

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Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
Now THERE was some ai (love) ki (joy) on contact! Seeing the inter generational (in/yo) bond (musubi) happen instantly (katsu hayabi), between my kids and their grandfather formed a bridge in my heart (ame no ukihashi) and I felt that my own departed father and all of our ancestors somehow were enjoying that moment with us, a sense of the high plain of heaven (takamagahara) shining down upon my jaded and world weary sense of life for a moment, a sense of unity, wholeness, and at home (O-moto).
Nice! This is an example of why I was drawn to Aikido. I love the physical practice itself (contrary to the implication of my poor training habit), but it's the "intangibles" I was after; the bigger picture, as it were.
That said, my frame of reference was based largely on sports, wrestling and slap-boxing with friends, along with the stories about family military history I heard from my dad and grandad, which were themselves based on the need to protect family and friends.
...consequently, I think I have a very practical view of "self"-defense which initially caused me to dismiss aspects of Aikido which I later found a practical use for, reinforcing that old idea of beginner mind and emptying the cup, which I see as central to living the "good life," a thing somewhat interpreted from sources like Socrates (philosophy being another reference point which informed/informs my Aikido).
...Holy cow that's a great run-on sentence.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 06-26-2011 at 01:21 PM.

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Old 06-26-2011, 06:08 PM   #45
Keith Larman
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

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Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
Toby Threadgill, Richard Elias, Neil Yamamoto, and James Williams all were students of Don Angier at one time and to one degree or another before they became featured on the front of martial Wheaties boxes. Don Angier taught (teaches?) Shidare Yanagi Ryu Aikijujutsu. So when one sees their "stuff" there would be an undeniable Yanagi Ryu Aikijujutsu influence because of the profound influence of Don.
Funny thing was as I was typing that I was smiling at a coincidence -- Stan Pranin had just reposted an interview with Katsuyuki Kondo on the aikido journal facebook page. In that interview Kondo also mentioned Kotaro Yoshida as one his early teachers of Daito Ryu. Yoshida certainly had one heck of a reputation and I think we would probably be having very different conversations today about aiki if Aikido hadn't taken off as a "mainstream" art.

Hidden in plain sight... Hmmm, maybe not all that hidden after all...

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Old 06-26-2011, 08:05 PM   #46
DH
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Funny thing was as I was typing that I was smiling at a coincidence -- Stan Pranin had just reposted an interview with Katsuyuki Kondo on the aikido journal facebook page. In that interview Kondo also mentioned Kotaro Yoshida as one his early teachers of Daito Ryu. Yoshida certainly had one heck of a reputation and I think we would probably be having very different conversations today about aiki if Aikido hadn't taken off as a "mainstream" art.

Hidden in plain sight... Hmmm, maybe not all that hidden after all...
Hi Bud
Daito ryu? I don't think so. I don't have time to look it up, but if memory serves, I think all he got from Yoshida was some form of single sheet makimono on iron fan...and that after a relatively short study period.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:45 PM   #47
Keith Larman
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi Bud
Daito ryu? I don't think so. I don't have time to look it up, but if memory serves, I think all he got from Yoshida was some form of single sheet makimono on iron fan...and that after a relatively short study period.
Cheers
Dan
You're right, I didn't mean to imply anything more than he was one guy he studied with. I was just chuckling to hear him mentioned as I was typing about how much I respect the aiki done right here in the US by those outside Aikido who came about it from the same source but *not* Ueshiba.

Kondo mentioned him as a brief teacher and if I remember correctly he also said Yoshida was already partially paralyzed at that time. My more important point was that Yoshida (Kotaro) was one of the instructors who trained under Sokaku (and I read somewhere, although it may be a figment of my fading memory, that it was Yoshida who introduced Ueshiba to Takeda). Anyway, the larger point being that there were a number of students of Takeda, and some who trained long and hard. Ueshiba clearly became the most "famous" especially once the art of Aikido took off in the later years. But there were others, clearly capable, who were learning the same stuff who went in their own directions. So the son Kenji comes to the US and meets up with Angier and that whole nexus forms as well. Just a lot smaller, a lot quieter, a lot more to themselves.

Just riffing on local history, people I've met, things I've seen. Trying to say the world is a heck of a lot bigger and more complex than a lot of folk in Aikido would like to believe it is...

In other words... No argument here. Just blathering on...

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Old 06-27-2011, 07:15 AM   #48
DH
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
....It was Yoshida who introduced Ueshiba to Takeda). Anyway, the larger point being that there were a number of students of Takeda, and some who trained long and hard. Ueshiba clearly became the most "famous" especially once the art of Aikido took off in the later years......
......Trying to say the world is a heck of a lot bigger and more complex than a lot of folk in Aikido would like to believe it is...
Hence the reason Kisshomaru tried to bury very real and powerful connections. Its tough to be a "legend larger than life" while standing next to your equals or betters.

Isn't it really the way of aiki (aiki...do) that is the unique study in Japanese history. It is the reason these aiki arts stand apart as different. I was drawn to this "way of aiki" by Stan Pranin's writings about Ueshiba's teacher, Takeda. It was intriguing and I used to call him in Japan to discuss it. I saw that it's potential was beyond my experience.
So funny thing was:
I was drawn to Aikido™ because of Daito ryu.
I quit Aikido™ because of Daito ryu
I am now back in Aikido™ dojo all over the place teaching aiki...do because of Daito ryu.

The way of aiki is what binds together a certain sub group in the martial arts. More and more...are caring less and less... about the defensive barriers and walls that folks have put up to separate us.

Aiki is living free in the world. Ueshiba caught his part of the vision, and all people do is try to copy his vision, that they can never have, instead of walking free.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:53 AM   #49
RonRagusa
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Aiki is living free in the world. Ueshiba caught his part of the vision, and all people do is try to copy his vision, that they can never have, instead of walking free.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
In the fullness of time these "make aikido your own" statements should be challenged by taking them to their logical conclusion.
Hi Dan -

So which is it? Do we make Aikido our own, "live free in the world", or should we recreate Ueshiba's vision in all its detail in order that we may be able to do "his Aikido"?

Best,

Ron

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Old 06-27-2011, 08:26 AM   #50
DH
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Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Hi Dan -
So which is it? Do we make Aikido our own, "live free in the world", or should we recreate Ueshiba's vision in all its detail in order that we may be able to do "his Aikido"?

Best,
Ron
What do you think, Ron?
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
In the fullness of time these "make aikido your own" statements should be challenged by taking them to their logical conclusion.
As I said, I think people need to have their feet put to the fire and be decisive other than to keep quoting him to validate what ever it is they're trying to say, which most of the time leads to the contradictions which were his life.
Do you think you are capable of "recreating his vision in all its detail?"
For those making claims of physical understanding, they should in- whatever part- be able to demonstrate at least some of his physical power, and that power should be greater in those training the longest. If not, what's up with that?

If not and they want to walk away and stand on their own and do what ever it is they do, what's wrong with that? Although I do think its odd that people claiming spiritual understanding are dressing up in Japanese clothing and waving weapons (that they clearly have no clue how to use) in the air and running around in a circle. I think it's an embarrassment to him and themselves, but whatever.

Most would agree the middle ground is where they are at. There is a peculiar aspect to the aiki arts that draw people, and I have heard enough people talk about the benefits of their practice that I am sold that it is indeed a positive experience for many. So what's wrong with that?
Just as well, there are those interested in the more martial aspects of IP/aiki, and what is wrong with that?
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 06-27-2011 at 08:30 AM.
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