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Old 08-01-2011, 11:37 PM   #126
DH
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
I think calling the end result Morihei Ueshiba's aikido in the end is a non-sequitur. It is reconstituted aiki-do arising from seeking out the source of Morihei Ueshiba's knowledge and then attempting to use the information thereby to reproduce his abilities. But the information did not come down from Morihei Ueshiba itself, whereas Modern Aikido did, that is, has an actual lineage to him, even though it has not reproduced his abilities. And yet, we have no definitive claim that we know what Morihei Ueshiba was doing, only that we think given his sources, we can engineer something like it again. This means you will always have a tough sell, because while you may now actually be operating on the same principles as Morihei Ueshiba technically, you did not get them from him directly or through a lineage from him. But reconstituted aiki-do? I don't think there would be anywhere near as much animosity if it was accurately labeled that, what it is, and by all means, my bias is that the reconstituted form is more interesting to me, but I do not entertain that I am upholding Morihei Ueshiba's tradition.
I'll stick with the generic brand name of Aikido™ to denote the Modern, bland version.
And Aiki...do, the way of aiki to denote Ueshiba's research.
They are clearly different things.
As you are aware of the Kamae thread, you are also aware that there is going to be some interesting translations surfacing from those who are professional translators, who are also aikido-ka and are starting to train some of the principles that Ueshiba actually outlined in his own words. It is interesting to see the terms he used and the botched translation attempts by his own students and biographers.
Dan
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:46 PM   #127
graham christian
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
Mark Mueller wrote: View Post
3. A grasping paranoia (or more mundanely, an extreme wariness), which imbues the Daito-ryu arts and it's off-shoots to this day, in which the teachers view the students as "stealing and keeping" the secrets.

This would explain so much..........
It does indeed explain most. Of all things a quote is given about keeping kokyu secret. Talk about opposites, no wonder they don't understand Aikido.

Kokyu is about universal love, sharing, oneness, the transmission of harmony.

Aikido.

Regards.G.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:45 AM   #128
Lorel Latorilla
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Universal love, oneness, oneness, transmission of harmony. How can I learn this through breathing? Wow! YOu should do seminars here in Japan, Graham. I think you are on to something groundbreaking here.

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:04 AM   #129
Tim Fong
 
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote:
1. In many koryu, the esoteric training has specific limitations, because they are used to contribute to the overall intent of that koryu - which could be the techniques and even such larger issues as what would contribute to strengthening the ryu as a political entity. Therefore, an outside expert could, were he or she allowed to look over the curriculum, state "this ryu has these elements, but lacks these others." But that limited perspective might hone their ability with a tanto, within ryu parameters to an incredible peak, for one example.
Hi Ellis,

This is also true for people training in the modern sport fighting disciplines too. I know you know this, so forgive me, this post is just me thinking out loud. Okay, so let's say there are a variety of different "internal skills" and ways to power same. Some of those skills may take so much training that it would reduce the overall effectiveness of a fighter who wants to compete and win under a specific rule set, for example, muay thai. Say we look at internal power training as a specific type of conditioning. A fighter still must condition his cardiovascular system, explosiveness, as well as reflex training and basic strength and conditioning. Fighters may require remedial work in different areas, so no training system is going to fit all competitors.

For something like muay thai or sanda, you have predetermined round lengths, etc, and of course you have to optimize training to win under the particular ruleset. Now someone might say "those are just sports, all I care about is real fighting." But even then, there are, to my understanding, various engagement parameters. What kind of equipment is the practitioner carrying? Body armor? Working in a group vice working alone? Firearms? Impact weapons? Bladed weapons? Kevin Leavitt had some really thought provoking posts about how those factors change what kinds of things work. There's also the question of time-- what are the goals of the system? To train conscripts in 6 months to fight with spears? Professional, long service soldiers? A military caste from the age of 12? Or as the in-house training system for a clan of mercenaries? Training the farm village militia to drive off bandits? Internal training takes a long time to pay off, maybe it's inappropriate for training a hastily assembled village militia. Ring fighters?

So back to the call of your question about hidden in plain sight and pedagogy. One thing I think about a lot is what are the unspoken assumptions that systems make. What kind of skills did students bring to the school as a result of prior training? This is really a question of the environment. You mentioned in some of your essays that sumo was really a given to a lot of koryu since it was a common recreational sport played by kids. This is also paralleled by the popularity of shuaijiao in Northern China-- many people starting an ''internal'' style might have some experience playing shuaijiao even before they started practicing , taiji. Look at Yang Cheng Fu teaching the Qing court-- a lot of the Manchu bannermen played wrestling as a fundamental part of their culture/early training. For striking systems you have people coming out of backgrounds with a lot of rhythm and footwork training through dance or music, and this obviously is going to carry over.

So perhaps sometimes the frustration of transmission is really the result of moving a system to a new environment where pre-existing "givens" don't exist in the student population. Of course transmission will start to fail. And in some ways, a cultural revolution is a new environment which changes the cultural assumptions/education that new students bring. I think you and Prof. Goldsbury have mentioned a lot of the post-war uchideshi lacked the cultural background to understand what Ueshiba was saying in his long talks-- because the post-war culture no longer embraced those concepts.

It would be as if a Pentecostal, snake-handling Christian from Iowa developed an internal martial art, using Pentecostal end times theology to explain his experiences. Whether it was true or not is not the issue here, but rather, how he viewed the world and communicated said worldview to others. His early students would undoubtedly have strong (sometimes world class) standup wrestling backgrounds-- he's teaching in Iowa of all places. Say he then moved to San Francisco where a lot of his hipster students did BJJ (but not stand up grappling) and where they wanted to learn his awesome grappling skills but tuned out the lecture. They want to learn to kick ass (and they're too cool for the old time religion) and the old man is talking about feeling the Holy Spirit and snake handling.

Then imagine those hipster students, who only partially got the transmission, moving to Japan and trying to teach a bunch of Japanese people, some of whom came to the school because they were not so interested in martial arts, but were relatively recent Japanese evangelical Christian converts. Some of the hipster teachers at some point realize that understanding Christianity has something to do with understanding what the old man was talking about, so they go off and become Lutherans. They start talking about Martin Luther a lot, even though the old man belonged to another sect that was started up in Iowa by a guy that got thrown in jail for trying to overthrow the US government, after spending a bit of time trying to build a Christian religious community in Pakistan.

Now the 3rd or 4th generation Japanese students get a little frustrated that their art isn't working that well. Some of them might say, screw this, we're just going to do judo. Some of them might be really fascinated by all this and end up training in San Francisco at the old HQ, and some of them might find out that the old man had a secretive teacher who left some other students up in Iowa....

Last edited by Tim Fong : 08-02-2011 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:55 AM   #130
Aikibu
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

You know I have come full circle in my desire to learn Aiki/IMA. What is frustrating though at least in terms of the History and Culture of these Arts it seems to make most folks in royal A-Holes...Perhaps (and of course I am just speculating..) O'Sensei had this in mind when he did his 180 away from DR and decided to share Aikido with the world. LOL

With all due respect I am not talking about anyone here. I myself have experienced something similar in being a member of some elite military units and their disdain for those outside their "caste".

I sure hope that as today's teachers of IMA progress they continue leave the legacy of "super secret squirreldom" egos behind.

Truth is I think most here want to learn such things because it would make them better martial artists AND human beings. I know that's what I want. My days of trying to be king of the mountain are left behind to those who do not yet know the meaninglessness behind that title.

Life is Short... Practice Hard.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 08-02-2011 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:10 AM   #131
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
graham christian wrote:
Of all things a quote is given about keeping kokyu secret. Talk about opposites, no wonder they don't understand Aikido. Kokyu is about universal love, sharing, oneness, the transmission of harmony.
Do you think that you understand aikido? If I tell you that aikido is simply an art in which the idea is not to be touched by a real aggressor, and then to throw him on the head without braking his balance (and obviously without his cooperation) - will you belive me? That is a genius idea, isn't it? Still valid. Oh, no. You will say, as everyone, that this is impossible, and invent another theory, which makes no sense (kokyu secret!?), like others; in millions of words already written on this forum.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:02 AM   #132
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Of the three areas, I think the last one is the important one. Especially for "aikido". I have said and still believe that there really is no way for aiki to be put back into Modern Aikido. I'm not saying that is a bad thing. Modern Aikido stands on its own for what it is. But Modern Aikido is nowhere near Morihei Ueshiba's aikido. People will not want to believe that and try to put a square peg in a round hole. Some will just go into denial that their Modern Aikido is Ueshiba's aikido.

It will take some translations, some correlations, and some in depth research to get information out there that shows the truth. Whether that actually happens ... I don't know.

Modern Aikido's "ukemi" model of training is a road block to getting very good at aiki. Modern Aikido's base training methodology (hanmi for example) is a road block to getting very good at aiki. The manner in which the body is trained to execute the techniques (hips generate movement for example) is a road block to getting very good at aiki. Lack of internal power (IP) driving techniques (breaking judoka's hip as an example) in an IP atemi manner. The entire "blending" and harmonizing" in Modern Aikido is opposite the aiki "blending" and "harmonizing". And let's not even get into the weapons training.
Mark,

Expand on what you mean by this please, because I'm not sure that I agree. The outward form of both are identical. Everything that you list as a negative of ai-ki-do, looked the same in Ueshiba's aiki-do, only his students understanding was incomplete. The fact that practically everything he said and did could be replicated, to a lesser degree, in some external way was a big part of the problem, but going back and doing it HIS way, doesn't really change the structure of the art. It just changes the focus and understanding of the people doing it.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:26 AM   #133
phitruong
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Of the three areas, I think the last one is the important one. Especially for "aikido". I have said and still believe that there really is no way for aiki to be put back into Modern Aikido. I'm not saying that is a bad thing. Modern Aikido stands on its own for what it is. But Modern Aikido is nowhere near Morihei Ueshiba's aikido. People will not want to believe that and try to put a square peg in a round hole. Some will just go into denial that their Modern Aikido is Ueshiba's aikido.
a question or two. what is your definition of modern aikido? are what Ikeda and Gleason and a number of other aikido teachers doing considered as modern aikido? i am still trying to figure out what this aikido thing you folks are talking about. i thought i was learning some sort of cross-dressing martial arts.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:44 AM   #134
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

I think it is a fallacy on several grounds to assume that a combination of (1) feeling present day aiki teachers like Dan and working with them and (2) putting together all sorts of - admittedly often intelligent and interesting - hypotheses from the scarce historical sources available puts one into a position to say definitely what "Morihei Ueshibas Aikido" was.

I would be especially careful then to judge what others do on those premises.

And when it comes to giving the fundamentalist (because that is what they are :-) ) "reconstructions" that result more credence than the accounts of the living eye witnesses and companions of the man, I also find it a little arrogant.

Just being polemical, I love you all

Last edited by Nicholas Eschenbruch : 08-02-2011 at 08:47 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:14 AM   #135
dps
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post

Life is Short... Practice Hard.

William Hazen
Life is shorter when you obsess over things....Practice everyday.

And don't take any wooden nickels....or pennies.

dps
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:19 AM   #136
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Yoshiyaki Yamashita was introduced to Roosevelt in 1905 by then naval attache, Isamu Takeshita. Takeshita assisted in the Russo- Japanese treaty negotiations which is how he got to know Roosevelt, and a mutual interest in sport was their connection.

Yamashita was specifically representing the Kodokan, and reportedly a signed picture of Roosevelt dedicated to Yamashita was hung at the Kodokan after his visit in the U.S. The stint was not all that short -- he taught judo for one term at the US Naval Academy.

Takeshita had some grounding in DTR, and great appreciation for Takeda, but was more associated with Ueshiba documenting his aiki-jujutsu, but also with advancing gendai budo more generally, particularly in advancing sumo as a national sport.

If there are any other DTR or jujutsu associated visits at the White House in that period I, for one, would like to know who, if there were any.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:28 AM   #137
dps
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Perhaps this twill shed some light on the idea of hidden in plain sight.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18017

The Tao of Coffee

Two scholars spent the better part of an afternoon in the local Starbucks arguing the theories of Evolution versus Creationism. Getting nowhere they decided to head for the coast to visit a popular local sage named Chung Lee who reputedly had the answers.

Upon arrival to his shack hidden amongst the dunes, they parked and started walking up a hill to where the old sage was sitting with his face towards the sea. After approaching him the old man turned, directed his eyes upon them and asked, "Where's the coffee?"

The two became puzzled. "Sir, one said, we were told you could help us with the greatest philosophical dilemma of our age. . . perhaps even give us some insight into the theories of which we are about to speak."

Chung Lee answered, "Yes, of course, but go now, next time you come bring me a cup of Starbucks coffee, then we will speak of your theories."

The following morning they returned bearing a large cup of Starbucks coffee. After greetings, they handed the old sage the cardboard tray and opened their individual portfolios, each anticipating a quick and decisive victory.

Chung Lee, while sipping his coffee quickly went over each theory, handed the papers back, looked out to sea and finished the coffee before beginning to speak.

"The two theories are mere disciplines, and although seemingly opposing views, upon deeper reflection are one and the same. The difference lies in your interpretation and in your desire to understand the mystery. But alas, the mystery cannot be contained in a theory, so you are beating your learned heads against a brick wall."

Going on he said. "Each is merely a doorway, and being so can never explain the goings on within the room. You need theory to find the doorway, but once opened this very same discipline becomes your stumbling block. Theory can never reveal truth, only the pathway to it.

The two looked at each other, excused themselves and walked back to the car.

"This is a wise man?" one asked. "He sends us for coffee, then he comes up with this gibberish?"

"Yes, it is strange," said the other. "Yet his reputation is such there has to be something we are missing. Let's give him a chance to prove himself."

The two go back to where the old man is sitting. "Sir, excuse us, but we don't understand. What are we missing?"

The old man held up the empty cup. "This cup will always contain the mystery, but as you smell of it, sip of it, and enjoy drinking it, you one day realize you don't really care how Starbucks made such a good cup of coffee, you are just glad they did. And thanks be to the mystery, as long as there are people like you seeking to understand it, I will never have to worry about getting my morning cup."

The old man smiled and returned his gaze to the sea.

dps

Last edited by dps : 08-02-2011 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:29 AM   #138
DH
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
That statement was why I even engaged in the subject. Didn't realize you were expressing this reducto ad absurdum.
Well again just trying to be clear.
I think it was the idea of using examples of Chinese internal artists against unknowing Japanese external artists as validation for anything, that was flawed. As I pointed out the opposite could have been examined had history been different.

Quote:
I don't recall that discussion quite like that. i recall discussing the methodology by which people are presenting this info - in public. What I definitely never did was discuss who could beat up whom, or who was the 'best" at IT.
Ah I see the disconnect. When I said
"Your discussion of who's the best reminded me of our talk...."
I was talking about this part of your post. I should have quoted it . Here it is with bolded comments for emphasis of what I was referring to and it wasn't fighting.
Quote:
Finally, re Chinese experts vs. Japanese - Once again, hopefully, we are talking about pedagogy, not merely who could beat who.
1. In many koryu, the esoteric training has specific limitations, because they are used to contribute to the overall intent of that koryu - which could be the techniques and even such larger issues as what would contribute to strengthening the ryu as a political entity. Therefore, an outside expert could, were he or she allowed to look over the curriculum, state "this ryu has these elements, but lacks these others." But that limited perspective might hone their ability with a tanto, within ryu parameters to an incredible peak, for one example.
2. I think it is very possible that someone with a "limited" curriculum of IT, trained to a peak, may very well be more powerful than someone with a comprehensive curriculum, not trained as well, or simply lacking a fighting spirit.
3. In trying to evaluate IT, be it Japanese, Chinese, or remnants in the Persian Zhor Khane - even today - is that most teachers are not open with their curriculum. So it's hard to objectively evaluate these things.
I stated I thought the discussion would go nowhere. I meant exactly that. You yourself just stated; "it's hard to objectively evaluate these things." I say its impossible for the reasons I quoted. I never said the discussion was about who could beat up who. I made an argument that single sourcing things is a mistake, and this included teaching methodology. What I remember discussing was not being able to compare correctness of teaching methodology based on individual ability alone.
1. One person may know something but not be able to use it yet,
2. Another may know less but be able to utilize what he knows far better,
3. Another may know something and use it, but it does not function well with all demands.

It presumes too much to think there is an ultimate model, a one method that is supreme to all humans and this is what we should all be doing.
Why presumptive?
Whoever... is stating or arguing that must by default know all things, be expert in all things, and has fought with all things to e able to discount or vet all methods. That, is impossible to know and to vet. There are too many examples of master class internal guys arguing that they understood the classics and others didn't, or that it is a mistake to focus on this or that model. So, the argument of comparing information is meaningless to me and I stated so.

Quote:
You really missed my point. All I was talking about was a collegial exchange. I'm doing a lot more exchange......
That's fine. I hope you're having a blast. What do you think I have been doing?
I'll repeat my point one more time and if you don't get it, I'll leave it. I think we actually agree on it.
Maybe its all you were talking about, but you said:
Quote:
The only way we will find out if the Japanese - specifically Daito-ryu - is limited compared to this or that Chinese system is when each puts all their cards on the table, and methodologies can be clearly compared.
This is directly addressed in my opening points going back to our table discussion.
The cards laid on a table will vet what method or idea? As judged by whom?
Let's examine your idea of "methodologies compared"
Instead of debating an arguing over terminology and some strangers inflated idea of his own understanding, I followed some advice and went out to get my hands on some real experts. I can tell you that I have been judged by some ICMA experts up close and personal and told I was doing advanced things in their art. I have also disagreed with a ICMA expert on how to use or whether to use certain things for practical reasons. I understood what he meant, I could do what he meant and I stopped him in his tracks for trying. Other things I totally agree on and applaud.
I have stood in rooms with eight Koryu people who had trained with five of the current guys teaching so called internals. I made an argument for how I move going from ground to standing, empty hand to weapons, traditional to modern seamlessly and fluidly compared to other methods.
How do you propose that physically laying my cards on the table in public, as opposed to engaging in written public debate, or the back handed positioning in private helps?
Do you propose that you know of a method that can solve this?
To me, your idea to "lay things out on the table and compare"...is being done in an ages old and acceptable process. On the net, as I said, it is a waste of time.

Quote:
But I did not start this thread for a debate on skills or Chinese/Japanese antecedents. Yet, somehow, back to that underbrush we have gone.
Rather, I wanted to point out an example of Ueshiba perhaps lifting the veil a little, in a rather charming way. And how it relates to teaching styles - the latter a fruitful area of discussion when we try to figure out why this stuff dies, why it was so rare, and how it hopefully can survive and flourish.
I understand your frustration. But every time the art of boxing is discussed as an art; fighting ability, records an understanding of the art through demonstrable and effective use of the art, ensues. We are mostly amateurs. It's rude to say (yes I know) but who am I going to debate things with? I would rather debate intent, fajin, certain aspects of pole shaking, sword cutting or the nature of spiral energy with someone who can remain standing in front of me, instead of some unknown and unproved quantity on the net who has a lot of amateur theories. I am content to leave things as they are, to continue to go out and meet real experts (I have a few more invites to explore). share with who ever, and wait ten years for all of this to develop further. I'd rather have people prove their worth instead of telling me their worth. It time the students will display skills or not. Hah…even that is going to turn into all sorts of arguing and fun.

Ueshiba is a good example of what I mean by this. He was doing certain things correctly, but not using terminology that could have been more helpful. Do you suppose he had the full range of skills that Takeda had, or that various ICMA have? At times he was using terminology that was known, but obviously (as demonstrated by the translations) no one knew what he as talking about. That's interesting in itself. We state this stuff was everywhere in Asia and everyone knew it, but here is flat out proof that …no…that's simply not true. Not only could his deshi not even translate the damn shit right, they couldn't do it either. And here we all are on the net arguing about it
Budo is wonderful. A snake pit, a field of amazing information and friendships, all pockmarked with Bullshit…all in one. We just have to be careful where we step.
All the best
Dan

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Old 08-02-2011, 09:40 AM   #139
DH
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
I think it is a fallacy on several grounds to assume that a combination of (1) feeling present day aiki teachers like Dan and working with them and (2) putting together all sorts of - admittedly often intelligent and interesting - hypotheses from the scarce historical sources available puts one into a position to say definitely what "Morihei Ueshibas Aikido" was.

I would be especially careful then to judge what others do on those premises.

And when it comes to giving the fundamentalist (because that is what they are :-) ) "reconstructions" that result more credence than the accounts of the living eye witnesses and companions of the man, I also find it a little arrogant.

Just being polemical, I love you all
Hi big guy. we love you too.
That's pretty dicey advice.
How do you reconcile
Advising people to compare with his contemporaries (which include insider stories of people who also studied Daito ryu) and when they include:
His fellow Daito ryu students who could do what he did
His students who could do some of what he did
His famous students who could not
And all of those who admit they didn't have a clue what he was doing or talking about who are all 8th dans with international followers
How do address that fact they...so many of the people you want us to listen to..admit they didn't have a clue?
Compared with
Modern researchers who do understand that many of his teachings agreed with known and practiced budo terminology that his own students didn't comprehend. Which is very revealing in itself.
Now add in a host of modern aikido teachers training in those methods and making a judgment that this is indeed aiki..do

Thoughts?
Dan

Last edited by DH : 08-02-2011 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:23 AM   #140
Aikibu
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Life is shorter when you obsess over things....Practice everyday.

And don't take any wooden nickels....or pennies.

dps
And I forgot... Don't forget to have HAVE FUN! As a wise man once told me....I ain't never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul.

William Hazen
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:23 AM   #141
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi big guy. we love you too.
That's pretty dicey advice.
How do you reconcile
Advising people to compare with his contemporaries (which include insider stories of people who also studied Daito ryu) and when they include:
His fellow Daito ryu students who could do what he did
His students who could do some of what he did
His famous students who could not
And all of those who admit they didn't have a clue what he was doing or talking about who are all 8th dans with international followers
How do address that fact they...so many of the people you want us to listen to..admit they didn't have a clue?
Compared with
Modern researchers who do understand that many of his teachings agreed with known and practiced budo terminology that his own students didn't comprehend. Which is very revealing in itself.
Now add in a host of modern aikido teachers training in those methods and making a judgment that this is indeed aiki..do

Thoughts?
Dan
Hi Dan,
well, in some way I am just advocating a healthy (I believe) dose of agnosticism when it comes to the history of aikido. Maybe that's because of my academic background in history...
There are tons of interesting historical bits (I sometimes call them flotsam/ "Treibgut" with my students) that we can use to inspire or guide our personal practice of whatever form, but very little we really know sure enough about historical Aikido to tell others what to think or do. At least that is what I believe. And I have read most of the texts published, and admire the authors for their efforts.

Generally, there is also very little we can - for general problems of historical interpretation - really "reconstruct" about any physical practice once the practitioner is dead, and it's always going to be selective. So when people argue history - especially here on aikiweb - it's usually about present day power games, and making claims about "Morihei Ueshibas Aikido" at the end of the day is mostly a rhetorical strategy.

I think we could do without that: by doing what we do because we love it, and letting others do what they do because it apparently improves their lives, too. And not delegitimate it, implicitly or explicitly.

As a student of yours (hi there!) said to me: "Once I started doing his work I got profoundly uninterested in the history of aikido." I thought that was a great statement. For me, the evidence of what you (or others) do, is in the overwhelming "practical" effect. No historical evidence needed. But the legitimacy of "modern aikido" similarly lies in the fact that people enjoy it. No historical justification needed. Now I am personally interested in possible combinations of the two, but I am more inspired by the future of such a project then by its past.

In that sense, I get wary when history is used for legitimation or delegitimation in Budo.

So I had to look up "dicey" and "flotsam" - learned something...
Hope you are well. Remember not to hurt yourself with blades before you come here next time

Nicholas

Last edited by Nicholas Eschenbruch : 08-02-2011 at 10:29 AM. Reason: spelling & clarity (hopefully)
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:32 AM   #142
MM
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
But the information did not come down from Morihei Ueshiba itself, whereas Modern Aikido did, that is, has an actual lineage to him, even though it has not reproduced his abilities.
Hi Lee,

There is information out there that Modern Aikido is much more a creation of Kisshomaru and Tohei than a derivative of Morhei Ueshiba. I think the most one can say about lineage is that there is a blood connection.

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
This is just one pull-out quote to represent the gist of this part of your post, Mark. I respect your opinion but I want to point out that many seminar participants seem to disagree, in that they have said that there is a great match rather than a poor match. And, many are doing as Dan and Mike both either recommend or just plain expect: taking what they learn and sticking with aikido, and not seeming to find that to be a square peg and round hole.

In other words I recognize that modern aikido has started to diverge from Ueshiba's personal art, but I think your words are too harsh.
Jonathan,

I think you hit an important point that everyone should recognize. This is my opinion and view. It doesn't make it right. I've been wrong before and will be so again. I'm not stubborn about it and entertain ideas and theories that contradict me.

As to Modern Aikido and participants agreeing there is a great match ... how many Martial Artists of other styles said the very same thing? People from Taiji, MMA, Judo, TaeKwonDo, Bagua, etc all said that aiki was a great match to what they are doing. Why would Modern Aikido people be any different? It would seem to be a great match, even more so for aikido people, considering it's aiki.

In fact, it was Ueshiba who said that aiki would make whatever you do, better. And to qualify even more, Ueshiba would see some other martial art and what did he say? You would do that this way with aiki. (paraphrasing) Why does very good jujutsu look like aiki yet feel completely and utterly different when experienced?

My words might very well be harsh. Too harsh? Maybe. But, being harsh and being wrong are different things.

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
I sure hope that as today's teachers of IMA progress they continue leave the legacy of "super secret squirreldom" egos behind.

Truth is I think most here want to learn such things because it would make them better martial artists AND human beings. I know that's what I want. My days of trying to be king of the mountain are left behind to those who do not yet know the meaninglessness behind that title.

Life is Short... Practice Hard.

William Hazen
Hi William,

I completely agree with you.

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Mark,

Expand on what you mean by this please, because I'm not sure that I agree. The outward form of both are identical. Everything that you list as a negative of ai-ki-do, looked the same in Ueshiba's aiki-do, only his students understanding was incomplete. The fact that practically everything he said and did could be replicated, to a lesser degree, in some external way was a big part of the problem, but going back and doing it HIS way, doesn't really change the structure of the art. It just changes the focus and understanding of the people doing it.
Um, the things I listed were in comparison/contrast and were not negatives. I stated very clearly that I saw no negatives between Modern Aikido and Ueshiba's aikido.

If you train with the high break falls that most in Modern Aikido have, you will not get great at aiki. If you use hip power to drive your techniques, you will not get great at aiki. If you use timing to get out of the way of incoming force and then blend with that force you will not get great at aiki. Now, you don't have to believe me. You can say I'm wrong. That's perfectly fine with me.

Ask any person who is in a weapons based art what they think of Modern Aikido weapons use. When they stop laughing, listen closely to what they tell you. Then go back to research about Morihei Ueshiba and what people in weapons based martial arts thought of him. You tell me if you think that looking the same equates to being the same.

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
a question or two. what is your definition of modern aikido? are what Ikeda and Gleason and a number of other aikido teachers doing considered as modern aikido? i am still trying to figure out what this aikido thing you folks are talking about. i thought i was learning some sort of cross-dressing martial arts.
I have a lot of respect for Ikeda and Gleason. Heck, I'd love it if Bill proved me wrong. In fact, I'm eagerly waiting for it. But, without a major change in the methodology on how Modern Aikido is taught and trained, I really don't think it'll happen. One can hope but be realistic at the same time.

Again, to reiterate major points:
It's all my opinion and view. I allow for the chance that I'm wrong.

I don't see any negatives with Modern Aikido or Ueshiba's aikido. Each one serves its own purpose and people find value in either one. There is no reason to invalidate Modern Aikido when so many people love it and find it of immense value. Stating that one believes Modern Aikido and Ueshiba's aikido are two very different things does *NOT* invalidate either.

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
I think it is a fallacy on several grounds to assume that a combination of (1) feeling present day aiki teachers like Dan and working with them and (2) putting together all sorts of - admittedly often intelligent and interesting - hypotheses from the scarce historical sources available puts one into a position to say definitely what "Morihei Ueshibas Aikido" was.

I would be especially careful then to judge what others do on those premises.

And when it comes to giving the fundamentalist (because that is what they are :-) ) "reconstructions" that result more credence than the accounts of the living eye witnesses and companions of the man, I also find it a little arrogant.

Just being polemical, I love you all
Hi Nicholas,

Hope you're doing well and training hard. Personally, I'm not saying I definitely know what Morihei Ueshiba's aikido was. I'm saying that his aikido was very different than Modern Aikido and I'm pointing out areas where I think that is so.

I also think there are similarities. The techniques, in a general sense, seem to be similar. The message of love and harmony is close. Projecting your attacker rather than dealing a death blow at one's feet is similar. Use of jujutsu principles are similar.

I may be over-reaching, I may be harsh, I might even be wrong, but I'm always open to new information, ideas, and opinions. If you have information that points to where my comparisons, correlations, ideas, or views are wrong, I'd love to hear it.

Or look at it my way for a second. I've put together tons of information from various sources that sheds light that what Ueshiba was doing was not what his Modern Aikido students were doing, that Kisshomaru and Tohei changed things, that shows Ueshiba still doing stock Daito ryu techniques, that Ueshiba's peers did similar demonstrations, that translations were skewed by personal biases, etc, etc, etc and mostly what I receive in responses/posts are things like: I think (without any supporting evidence), it all looks the same so it must be the same (without any supporting evidence), you shouldn't assume x is y (but without any supporting evidence), etc.

Not that I'm taking any of the responses as negatives. Not at all. I just don't see very much evidence to contradict the stuff I've put out there. People can say that the stuff I put out there is anecdotal, indirect, and circumstantial (and I agree that it is), but I have not seen very many instances of someone posting something that contradicts it.

Thanks for all the replies,
Mark
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:39 AM   #143
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
... how many Martial Artists of other styles said the very same thing? People from Taiji, MMA, Judo, TaeKwonDo, Bagua, etc all said that aiki was a great match to what they are doing.
How many? Who are these elite judoists, pro mma'ers and olympic caliber taekwondoists who said that?

Names, locations, ...? I'd like to check their statements.

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Old 08-02-2011, 10:50 AM   #144
Janet Rosen
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Perhaps this twill shed some light on the idea of hidden in plain sight.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18017
The Tao of Coffee
But can anybody be deemed a wise man who believes that what Starbucks brews is actually a decent cup of coffee?

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:50 AM   #145
DH
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Well, as a History teacher you understand that "those who ignore history are....."

I see the debate not as right or wrong aikido. That's why I choose my terms and try to remain consistent Aikido™ as the standard fair approved by the aikikai, and Aiki...do.

You didn't really address the points that should be indicators to a history buff. When you are researching, precedents and known terminology and and cultural norms help to understand contextual references made by a subject. You don't get very far reinventing an entirely new meaning of something said or practiced through a researchers ignorance of the subject.
Please resolve, or dispute the following:
His own students admitted they did not understand him.
His translators misunderstood well established budo terminology Ueshiba was using for a random collection of disparate words they never understood ...chained together and thus they mistranslated him.
Why did they not know the terms and their meanings? Because Ueshiba, for all his greatness, was apparently a lousy teacher.

Now....
Modern researchers and translators who understand those terms
know what he was speaking about
Aikikai banned training videos- of one of Ueshibas original deshi- demonstrate a parallel understanding to what the modern researchers are saying.
These same methods that Ueshiba Morihei espoused, Six direction awareness, heaven/earth/man, Spiral energy (with some interesting familiar references), Leading intent from dantian out to fingers, training breath-power, now properly translated and referenced into the already established and known training principles and practiced by aikido-ka teachers are being vetted that they are dramatically improving their aikido.
Care to address any of that please?
Dan

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Hi Dan,
well, in some way I am just advocating a healthy (I believe) dose of agnosticism when it comes to the history of aikido. Maybe that's because of my academic background in history...
There are tons of interesting historical bits (I sometimes call them flotsam/ "Treibgut" with my students) that we can use to inspire or guide our personal practice of whatever form, but very little we really know sure enough about historical Aikido to tell others what to think or do. At least that is what I believe. And I have read most of the texts published, and admire the authors for their efforts.

Generally, there is also very little we can - for general problems of historical interpretation - really "reconstruct" about any physical practice once the practitioner is dead, and its always going to be selective. So when people argue history - especially here on aikiweb - its usually about present day power games, and making claims about "Morihei Ueshibas Aikido" at the end of the day is mostly a rhetorical strategy.

I think we could do without that: by doing what we do because we love it, and letting others do what they do because it apparently improves their lives, too. And not delegitimate it.

As a student of yours (hi there!) said to me: "Once I started doing his work I got profoundly uninterested in the history of aikido." I thought that was a great statement. For me, the evidence of what you (or others) do, is in the overwhelming "practical" effect. No historical evidence needed. But the legitimacy of "modern aikido" similarly lies in the fact that people enjoy it. No historical justification needed. Now I am personally interested in possible combinations of the two, but I am more inspired by the future of such a project then by its past.

In that sense, I get wary when history is used for legitimation or delegitimation in Budo.

So I had to look up "dicey" and "flotsam" - learned something...
Hope you are well. Remember not to hurt yourself with blades before you come here next time

Nicholas
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:01 AM   #146
jester
 
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Please resolve, or dispute the following:
His own students admitted they did not understand him.

Dan
Was this the case with Kenji Tomiki? In your experience, how does this style of Aikido compare to the Aikikai or other organizations?

In my experience, it's night and day.

Tim

-It seems to be all about semantics!
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:17 AM   #147
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

I think a discussion of Tomiki is different from a discussion of his art.
A discussion of Shrata is different from what has become of his art.
no different with aikido., Daitoryu, or the Chinese arts.
Dan

Quote:
Tim Jester wrote: View Post
Was this the case with Kenji Tomiki? In your experience, how does this style of Aikido compare to the Aikikai or other organizations?

In my experience, it's night and day.

Tim
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:25 AM   #148
DH
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

William
It appears to me that the people teaching are doing so publicly in open rooms. Last I. Checked there was a lot of fun being had in the learning process, and friends being made.
DON'T let the internet judge anything, dude!
cheers
Dan
Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
You know I have come full circle in my desire to learn Aiki/IMA. What is frustrating though at least in terms of the History and Culture of these Arts it seems to make most folks in royal A-Holes...Perhaps (and of course I am just speculating..) O'Sensei had this in mind when he did his 180 away from DR and decided to share Aikido with the world. LOL

With all due respect I am not talking about anyone here. I myself have experienced something similar in being a member of some elite military units and their disdain for those outside their "caste".

I sure hope that as today's teachers of IMA progress they continue leave the legacy of "super secret squirreldom" egos behind.

Truth is I think most here want to learn such things because it would make them better martial artists AND human beings. I know that's what I want. My days of trying to be king of the mountain are left behind to those who do not yet know the meaninglessness behind that title.

Life is Short... Practice Hard.

William Hazen
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:53 PM   #149
Thomas Campbell
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
Tim Fong wrote: View Post
Look at Yang Cheng Fu teaching the Qing court-- a lot of the Manchu bannermen played wrestling as a fundamental part of their culture/early training.
Just a minor historical point, Tim--Yang Cheng Fu never taught the Qing court. The Qing dynasty ended in 1911--Yang Cheng Fu was not teaching then. YCF's grandfather, Yang Luchan, and uncle, Yang Banhou, were involved in teaching the Manchu "Bannermen"--specifically the Shenjiying or "Divine Skill Battalion." YCF's father, Yang Jianhou, earned a living teaching Manchu nobility, taking the first steps towards devolving taijiquan into a "civilian" art. Not all of these aristocratic sources of income and prestige for Yang family taijiquan survived the downfall of the Qing dynasty--and earning a living through teaching a version of taijiquan publicly became a necessity for YCF.

But, to get back to your point, it is known that YCF trained shuaijiao when he was younger. He did not wholeheartedly embrace and train in his family's art of taijiquan until later--when he was groomed to take over as "head" and CEO of the family art (Yang Jianhou died in 1917, when YCF was 34 years old--YCF began teaching taiji a few years before this).
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:13 PM   #150
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Re: Hidden in Plain Sight - Indeed!

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
As a student of yours (hi there!) said to me: "Once I started doing his work I got profoundly uninterested in the history of aikido." I thought that was a great statement. For me, the evidence of what you (or others) do, is in the overwhelming "practical" effect. No historical evidence needed. But the legitimacy of "modern aikido" similarly lies in the fact that people enjoy it. No historical justification needed. Now I am personally interested in possible combinations of the two, but I am more inspired by the future of
i can relate to that sentiment. history is ok, but it's more interesting for me on "how do this stuffs work?", how to train for it? (please none of those love and joining methods. been there, done that and have children to prove it!) and how soon can i get Howie into fishing rehab clinics?
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