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Old 08-09-2011, 02:15 PM   #26
Ellis Amdur
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Robert -
Quote:
Regard- Ark if you move from crown to perineum in Toda-ha Buko-ryu isn't that more like shin taijiku than pool noodling?

Out of curiosity what class of status of citizen would do an art like Toda-ha Buko-ryu vs Araki-ryu?
1. Interestingly, although they sound the same, they really are somewhat different. Here's a still photo of Nitta Suzuyo sensei. The shin tai-juku movement would contribute - no doubt - but there are other elements in the THBR which are quite different. I'm not being coy - it just would be very difficult for me to explain, other than to say that when I did work some of Ark's exercises, they did not seem to contribute to the physical organization I am striving for in THBR

2. That's tough. Different lines of Araki-ryu, depending on what han one was in, had different status. The line from which I "descended" was rural bushi, goshi and nomin together. THBR was original VERY high class - bushi and even daimyo, but for many centuries, it was the provenance of a very rural clan, the Suneya, who functioned as village headmasters.

best
Ellis

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Old 08-09-2011, 02:29 PM   #27
Mike Sigman
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Robert Roeser wrote: View Post
Oh good you noticed that. Excellent. See how annoying it is when people setup strawmen? You do it all the time - logical fallacies make it hard to have logical argument. Like your electrical engineering comment or about "how you go see actually experts" as opposed to people who don't.
????? What? Noticed what? Examples of logical fallacies????? None of that paragraph makes sense to me.
Quote:
Anyway I will say in Judo there is an up hand and a down hand, or a pushing and pulling hand. Or take a look at Aikido throws like irimi nage, juji nage, or tenchi nage. Why can't your dantien make one hand go up and one hand go down? Why can't move with your entire body but have a preference for moving your whole body a certain way? People do all sorts of cuts that aren't straight up and down.
Judo is very clearly a "deterioration" of originally qi and jin usage, though. Even Shioda named Judo as an art that lost the skills. Are you indicating that Judo uses a cross-body mode of movement? Are you saying the Aikido in reality uses "cross body" movement?

Let me try to make something clear for a second. "Qi" or "Ki" has everything to do with the way the human body moves (and attendant health and all that, but let's keep this simple). In other words, Qi/Ki could be looked at, in a rough sense, as something to do with Thomas Myers' book "Anatomy Trains" (he got the idea from the qi-theory). Except that Myers' view is more or less passive and doesn't really deal with active manipulation of the body, so he didn't get into the dantien part. So the Qi theory would be a sort of "Anatomy Trains" plus the part of the body that is the motivating central nexus, the dantien. It's how the body works when you look at "strength" as some combination of muscles and fascia working together. There are optimal ways to move, given the configuration of the system and that's got a lot to do with why the whole qi/ki thing achieved quasi-religious significance for thousands of years.

OK, so you're positing a "Japanese Way" of moving the system, instead, it seems. Is it really a "Japanese Way" or is it some devolution or variation of the original whole qi theory?

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:31 PM   #28
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

The use of the word 'deterioration' implies one style is better than the other.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:47 PM   #29
Ellis Amdur
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Josh -

Quote:
The use of the word 'deterioration' implies one style is better than the other.
You just summed up exactly how discussions on Aikiweb get so absurd. (Yes, that's a criticism - quelle horrible!!!!!).

"Deterioration" means there was a corpus of knowledge in jujutsu that deteriorated - was allowed to lapse - in judo. That's historical fact.

It can also be opinion. "Judo is not as good as x or y" - Oh my God, what a hurtful thing to say.

So what!!!! It's true, it's false, it's irrelevant - and it's just someone's opinion. Good God! What a waste of time.

So some people are obnoxious - put them on the fricking ignore list. The way things are now, to merely critique something - anything - is to say something is "better." That might be true. To quote Dan, "not everyone gets an 'A.'

Or it might be false.

Or the criteria are irrelevant.

If you don't like being on someone's report card, when you don't even view yourself as having enrolled in their goddam charter school, blank them out. (And lest there be any confusion, that's a collective message, not just Josh. And if anyone doesn't like it, put me on their ignore list.) Jeezus - this discussion forum has such potential and so much time and energy is wasted on such ridiculous stuff.

And yes, I do see the irony of this outburst with my tag line

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 08-09-2011 at 02:55 PM.

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Old 08-09-2011, 03:00 PM   #30
phitruong
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
The current discussion about the Chinese and Japanese doing things differently is about like suggesting that electrical engineering is done differently in China and Japan and Japan has left out things they don't need, have added some important contributions the Chinese don't know about, and so on.
Mike Sigman
it's more along the line of electricity in 60Hz vs 50Hz.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:16 PM   #31
jss
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Robert Roeser wrote: View Post
Anyway I will say in Judo there is an up hand and a down hand, or a pushing and pulling hand. Or take a look at Aikido throws like irimi nage, juji nage, or tenchi nage. Why can't your dantien make one hand go up and one hand go down?
You mean like in the Ba Duan Jin's Separate Heaven and Earth: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ab8pCWBElZ...%2Bbrocado.jpg (The one in the top left corner.)
Or like this guy is doing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvrYO9N57Mw? (Just to illustrate the exercise, couldn't find a video of one of the top-level Chen guys.)
Or this guy from 1:45 onwards: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LacIB10kiNo?

Quote:
Why can't move with your entire body but have a preference for moving your whole body a certain way? People do all sorts of cuts that aren't straight up and down.
The open/close front/back is not limited to straight up and down. You can also do a diagonal cut with it. Or a thrust.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:35 PM   #32
rroeserr
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
????? What? Noticed what? Examples of logical fallacies????? None of that paragraph makes sense to me.
You noticed my straw man and attacked it. I thought it would fun to post roughly the inverse of what you were saying because I knew you would attack it. Like I said you can't have a logical argument if you use fallacies.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Judo is very clearly a "deterioration" of originally qi and jin usage, though.
Even Shioda named Judo as an art that lost the skills. Are you indicating that Judo uses a cross-body mode of movement?
Judo does seem to have lost it's internal skills? But at some point in time people with skills created the throws and there is a pattern. The pattern doesn't match pooling noodling front/back open/close.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Are you saying the Aikido in reality uses "cross body" movement?
Nope.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Let me try to make something clear for a second. "Qi" or "Ki" has everything to do with the way the human body moves (and attendant health and all that, but let's keep this simple). In other words, Qi/Ki could be looked at, in a rough sense, as something to do with Thomas Myers' book "Anatomy Trains" (he got the idea from the qi-theory). Except that Myers' view is more or less passive and doesn't really deal with active manipulation of the body, so he didn't get into the dantien part. So the Qi theory would be a sort of "Anatomy Trains" plus the part of the body that is the motivating central nexus, the dantien. It's how the body works when you look at "strength" as some combination of muscles and fascia working together. There are optimal ways to move, given the configuration of the system and that's got a lot to do with why the whole qi/ki thing achieved quasi-religious significance for thousands of years.
Not arguing this. I'm saying that it is possible to use whole body movement driven by the dantien where you have a preference for not moving by opening/closing front/back together.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
OK, so you're positing a "Japanese Way" of moving the system, instead, it seems. Is it really a "Japanese Way" or is it some devolution or variation of the original whole qi theory?
This is a logical fallacy called begging the question. If you want to have a clinical discussion shouldn't use logical fallacies.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:46 PM   #33
rroeserr
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Hi,

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
1. Interestingly, although they sound the same, they really are somewhat different. Here's a still photo of Nitta Suzuyo sensei. The shin tai-juku movement would contribute - no doubt - but there are other elements in the THBR which are quite different. I'm not being coy - it just would be very difficult for me to explain, other than to say that when I did work some of Ark's exercises, they did not seem to contribute to the physical organization I am striving for in THBR
Interesting. Would a difference be the function of the hips? In the picture it looks like should like she's twisting but her hips are still forward? Couldn't see the lower body - roughly does one knee go up/back and one knee go down/forward on a cut/raising the naginata?

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
2. That's tough. Different lines of Araki-ryu, depending on what han one was in, had different status. The line from which I "descended" was rural bushi, goshi and nomin together. THBR was original VERY high class - bushi and even daimyo, but for many centuries, it was the provenance of a very rural clan, the Suneya, who functioned as village headmasters.
Ok thanks.

Regards,
Robert
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:54 PM   #34
Ellis Amdur
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Robert - The best I can say is "watch this space." I'm going to be making some videos for my students sometime in the next year and among them will be some basic training exercises (suburi). So best I can say is check the website

Ellis Amdur

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Old 08-09-2011, 04:06 PM   #35
Mike Sigman
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Robert Roeser wrote: View Post
You noticed my straw man and attacked it. I thought it would fun to post roughly the inverse of what you were saying because I knew you would attack it. Like I said you can't have a logical argument if you use fallacies.
Do me a favor, Robert and simply make your points without trying to make comments about me personally.
Quote:

Judo does seem to have lost it's internal skills? But at some point in time people with skills created the throws and there is a pattern. The pattern doesn't match pooling noodling front/back open/close.
"people created skills and there is a pattern ... (that) doesn't match pooling noodling front/back open/close". Really? If Judo has lost the skills (according to Shioda and others), how do you know what the original movement was? Were you there back in the day, have you read a good source, or what?
Quote:

Not arguing this. I'm saying that it is possible to use whole body movement driven by the dantien where you have a preference for not moving by opening/closing front/back together.
Sure. That's possible. But if the overall optimum is to use the dantien and suit one way, what would you call a way that is not as efficient? Can you give some idea what the advantage would be?

Just as an aside, let me reiterate something I've said before: there's more to the "internal strength" stuff than has been discussed here (on AikiWeb) or in any forum you were in on QiJin. There's a reason for the whole-body approach as opposed to the cross-body idea.... *yet* I've seen indications that this principle was known in Japan (in some old writings) and I didn't see any indication that this cross-body stuff was involved. Got any ideas?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:36 PM   #36
MM
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I don't think this is the right tree to be barking up. It is possible that Ono ha Itto ryu contains such training, but if it does, it is 100% hidden and secret. I've been to their hombu and they clean the place up, do some stretches, run through kamae really quick, and then they practice their extremely straightforward kata. No sumo stuff, no silk reeling....nothing at all fancy really, just clean technique.

I chatted with Rodney Uhler of Nine Circles a few weeks ago, he has been training the Takeda flavor of Ono ha Itto ryu for a number of years and he confirmed that it is practiced differently in the Daito ryu. I asked him how it was different and he said "it is done with Aiki." What this tells me is that, if there is an internal strength dimension in Takeda's Itto ryu, he put it there from another source.
Should have clarified, I was talking about Ono-ha Itto-ryu of Takeda's time frame, not modern schools. Aiki, or internal training, seems to be somewhat of a secret and only a few people ever really had it. So, I'm looking at the possibility that:

1. Ono-ha Itto-ryu school where Takeda studied had some form of training that perhaps forced the body to learn certain internal structure via the kata.

and

2. Someone at that school had a deeper knowledge of internal skills.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:42 PM   #37
MM
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
If we go by Sokaku Takeda's own thoughts, we find that in his eimeiroku and shareiroku are listed two of his teachers: Shibuya Toma of Ono-ha Itto-ryu and Chikanori Hoshina. (Stan Pranin Converstaions with Daito Masters.)

Chikanori Hoshina (Tanomo Saigo)
Now, someone I know has a theory about what oshikiuchi meant. It has been translated as "inside the threshold". Ellis states that the Hoshina turn out to be Chinese. When a Chinese martial arts master takes in a student to train in the "secrets", this student becomes an "indoor student". The theory is that oshikiuchi was the Japanese way of stating what the Chinese did. In other words "inside the threshold" = "indoor student". Hoshina could actually have known Chinese internal skills *outside* of any martial abilities. (1)
Had to reference previous material for this.

One of the theories of oshikiuchi is that it was how to be martially skilful inside the court. When this theory is stated, part and parcel of that theory is shikko, or the walking on one's knees.

From Transparent Power:

Sagawa is quoted as saying, "What is this 'shikko' - there's no such thing in Daito-ryu. Anyway, Takeda Sensei never sat and bowed to his students. He would show up standing and announce, "All right, come on!" then begin immediately. It wasn't at all formal. You students should stop doing shikko, it looks disgraceful. To be natural is best. Takeda Sensei stood up or sat down naturally without doing any shikko."

I highly doubt that oshikiuchi meant defending in the court using shikko. It has more veracity to look at the other theory that oshikiuchi was the Japanese way of saying "inside student" which came from the Chinese. Again, not my theory but I think it's actually better and more sound than any other.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:21 PM   #38
Ellis Amdur
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

One thing - "Chinese" descent, of approximately 400 years previously. The Hoshina were very definitely Japanese in culture, and recognized as such. This is analogous to Saddam Hussein having an Albanian wife, and she brings her family, and they get some kind of court rank and become naturalized Iraqi - and 300 or 400 years later, we have . . (?) The question would be if they truly did retain anything they brought over centuries before.

I got one verbal communication that the Hoshina had, at some time in the past, their own kenjutsu, and that they used an "odd" katana, with a shorter, very broad blade.

That's all I got. Which is why I put it at the end of the book - just for the enjoyment of the possibility - of something we may never find the answer. But if some researcher ever was, with fluent Japanese, able to somehow make a link with this still aristocratic family (and remember, the branches that survived are not the Aizu, who were decimated in the Boshin War (See HIPS on that) - and get them to open up about their family secrets, who knows what might come out?

Best
Ellis

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Old 08-09-2011, 09:59 PM   #39
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Hi Ellis,
You know I completely agree with you, right?
The truth at all costs. And it may damn well hurt.
But then you got something real. Something to build on.

I think the problem is deeper than this 'delicate genius' thing you point to. This willingness and seeming eagerness to be offended.

I just wish we could all really share ideas, opinions, models on shenfa and stuff, instead of playing games. Keeping score. I think that's the problem. I'm really grateful for the privilege to be able to read all you weird people's opinions on this strange, rare and valuable work. Break free from the lack of free knowledge on this subject.

And thanks for escalating this matter with me, an emotionally disturbed individual. You will be hearing from my lawyer.
All the Best to you.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:26 PM   #40
hughrbeyer
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Just a note on "descent" and "deterioration" -- In the OP I described aiki as we're discussing in on these forums as a collection of techniques mixed up with some odd stuff added and some important stuff left out.

I think it's worth noting that the same could be said of O-Sensei's aikido--that he took Daito-Ryu, left out a bunch of good stuff, added a bunch of mysticism, mucked up the techniques he did keep, and created an odd mongrel art inferior to the original. In fact, I believe something like that has been said by Daito-Ryo folks.

That's the natural dynamic whenever a genius arrives and transforms an art with their new vision. Whether you think this is a "degeneration" of the old art or a creative invention of something new depends on your attitude towards the art that was created. (I'm reminded of a story about a music critic hearing Beethoven for the first time and saying, "But- But- One must not make music like that!")

Given that in this case, the resulting arts produced some of the finest martial artists in Japan, I'm not too worried about "degeneration." To the contrary, I'm more interested in finding out if there are elements of the Chinese arts which did get left out, whether there was a reason for that, and whether going and learning about them would make my art stronger.

It's different from studying aiki--the case has been persuasively made that when I study aiki I'm studying the body of knowledge that O-Sensei himself based his art on. But it's still of potential value.

So let's not get bent out of shape about the words. We know the positions of the various players. I'm more interested in the content.

Oh, and when I used "descent" in the title--I was playing off Darwin's title, "The Descent of Man", of course. No value judgement implied.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:38 AM   #41
Tim Ruijs
 
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Allthough the discussion moved on, I would still like to respond.
Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
First off, I could not be more serious.
Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
Who has established that Morihei Ueshiba was not a good teacher? Whether you like his style is not a criterion.
The man was an inspiration to many and had great technical ability, no doubt. But even the highest ranked students state Ueshiba hardly explained anything. The late Tamura Sensei (one the oldest students) and Suganuma Sensei (one of the last students) both state this. Both explain that students started to name techniques to keep them apart for practise. So yeah, his didactic skills were not that great.
Quote:
Also deciding if music is good or not based on its purpose is not serious.
Why so serious What are you looking for then? When a tool fits the purpose, the tool is good enough. It does not have to be perfect. Perfection (of technique) was never a goal...There is no absolute reference. Each and every time you execute a technique it is a new one. Perhaps it is because I am an engineer that I have this perspective. I apply a known tool for a problem, or I create a tool that does the job. The better I get, the better I can judge what tool to use, or the better I am able to create a specialised tool. I think Ueshiba and others had similar approach: they adapted their knowledge to solve their problem. In case of Ueshiba: find/define his Budo.
I do not think that is too far off from the OP...just different perspective.

back to the main thread....

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 08-10-2011, 05:55 AM   #42
niall
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
I like the example on how variation of the musical instruments can still create good compositions, but each will have their own signature.
Can one be better than the other, subjectively? One has to define what makes music good....ultimately it is down to the purpose of the music. The purpose will define whether or not the music is any good.

(second post)

How would this relate to someone that has ability, good developed internal strength, but is not a good teacher. People may still flock and wish to learn. Because of the mismatch students are likely to assume what the 'teacher' must be doing.
We already established that Ueshiba himself was not a good teacher.
What do we know about the teaching qualities of his predecessors?
If you want to continue this sidebar to the discussion Tim please don't use quote marks implying I wrote something I didn't write. Let's try to keep intellectual honesty along with the rigour.

You didn't say, "In my opinion Ueshiba could not have been a good teacher." You said we already established that he was not. No. We. Haven't. Look at the results. Incidentally I don't recall Tamura sensei ever saying that Ueshiba was not a good teacher. And Tamura sensei was a great aikido teacher. Do you think it was possibly because of O Sensei or do you think that it was despite O Sensei. So we haven't established it.

Ellis made an interesting comparison with music but read what you said about music again: nothing about tools, just about purpose and quality. That is the same as saying a martial art is good if it has a good purpose. Even if it's not martial and not an art.

Well remember the devil has the best tunes.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
w b yeats


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Old 08-10-2011, 08:14 AM   #43
MM
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
If you want to continue this sidebar to the discussion Tim please don't use quote marks implying I wrote something I didn't write. Let's try to keep intellectual honesty along with the rigour.

You didn't say, "In my opinion Ueshiba could not have been a good teacher." You said we already established that he was not. No. We. Haven't. Look at the results. Incidentally I don't recall Tamura sensei ever saying that Ueshiba was not a good teacher. And Tamura sensei was a great aikido teacher. Do you think it was possibly because of O Sensei or do you think that it was despite O Sensei. So we haven't established it.

Ellis made an interesting comparison with music but read what you said about music again: nothing about tools, just about purpose and quality. That is the same as saying a martial art is good if it has a good purpose. Even if it's not martial and not an art.

Well remember the devil has the best tunes.
Just to clarify. Tim Ruijs actually said that that Tamura stated Ueshiba hardly explained anything. That's fairly accurate.

Quote:
Aiki News Issue 066 wrote:
Tamura Sensei: When O-Sensei came to the dojo, he threw us one after another and then told us to execute the same technique. At the beginning we didn't even know what kind of technique he did. When I practiced with a senior student he would throw me first. Then, he would say, "It's your turn!", but I didn't know what to do. While I was struggling to throw him, O-Sensei began to demonstrate the next technique. During the first period of my training which lasted a long time, I was just thrown and made to feel pain. It took one or two years for me to be able to distinguish techniques a little.
Now, let's establish some other factors in Ueshiba's teaching style.

1. Spiritually: Nearly every single student, with only rare exceptions, stated that they had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. Did Ueshiba manage to get across to his students his spiritual vision/ideology? Was he a good teacher? We would have to answer that with no.

2. Techniques:

Tamura already chimed in on that.

Kisshomaru states: During his later years, rather than teach, my father demonstrated movements which were in accord with the flow of the universe and unified with nature. Thus, it was a matter of students watching his movements, learning by themselves, in that way understanding his technique. He wasn't deeply concerned about teaching students (Aiki News Issue 031)

Kunigoshi stated Ueshiba didn't really explain techniques. (Aiki News 047)

Shirata said: Ueshiba Sensei's way of explaining techniques was first of all to give the names of kamisama (deities). After that, he explained the movement. He told us, "Aikido originally didn't have any form. The movements of the body in response to one's state of mind became the techniques.

and also

in our time, Ueshiba Sensei didn't teach systematically. While we learned we had to systemize each technique in our mind so it was very hard. Ueshiba Sensei didn't have techniques. He said: "There are no techniques. What you express each time is a technique." (Aiki News Issue 063)

Kamata said that sometimes Ueshiba would explain. (Aiki News Issue 049)

Sugino said Ueshiba didn't explain. (Aiki News Issue 069)

Mochizuki: Uyeshiba Sensei's teaching pushed me a lot to think. He could never show again what he did in randori. I would say, "What was that?" and he would reply, "I got that from God suddenly. I don't remember." To Uyeshiba Sensei, ki (internal energy) was inspiration from God. So I had to rationalize and try to extract basics from multiple variations. Also, Uyeshiba Sensei was not concerned with teaching at the time I was studying under him. We were mostly training partners to him. (Black Belt 1989 Vol 27 No 8)

Robert Frager states: I understood very little of his talks. Osensei used a great many esoteric Shinto terms, and he spoke with a strong regional accent. His teachings were pitched at a philosophical, mystical level, far above my beginner's concerns about where I had to place my hands and feet. I puzzled over statements like, "When you practice Aikido, you stand on the floating bridge between heaven and earth," and "Put the Shinto Goddess 'She-who-invites' in your left foot and the God 'He-who-approaches' in your right foot." (Yoga Journal March 1982)

Crud, I'll stop there. There's too much information. Overwhelmingly, both pre-war and post-war Ueshiba's students state that he really didn't explain. He would show and then add in his spiritual talk (that they didn't understand).

Nearly every single student, with only rare exceptions, stated that they received no explanations for techniques. Did Ueshiba manage to get across to his students the techniques? Obviously, as we have multiple schools of aikido. However, it was not easy and required years of effort for the students to create a curriculum. That's the important part -- the students created a curriculum of what they *saw*. Ueshiba always stated aikido was formless. Was he a good teacher? I'd have to say no. For a formless art, he allowed his students to build a technique based curriculum on what they *saw* rather than on what he "taught".

3. Aiki:

That red-headed step child who won't go away. More bickering amongst lawyers, friends, and parents. Every time I turn around, there's that red-headed step child. Sheesh. And by the looks of him, he might actually have some Chinese lineage in him from his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-oh, 400 years great grandfather.

Who amongst Ueshiba's students stands out as great? A few pre-war students. But, wait, they weren't training aikido *at all*. They were training Daito ryu.

Was Ueshiba a good teacher for aiki? I'd have to say not really but with a caveat. Takeda told them not to teach it to everyone. Looking at Sagawa and Kodo, Ueshiba merely did the same as his peers. Could Ueshiba have been a good teacher of aiki? Perhaps. He knew how to train it. Sagawa and Kodo did, too. They each created a few men who had it. So, it's mostly probably that Ueshiba could have done so, too. He chose not to.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:33 AM   #44
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
One thing - "Chinese" descent, of approximately 400 years previously. The Hoshina were very definitely Japanese in culture, and recognized as such. This is analogous to Saddam Hussein having an Albanian wife, and she brings her family, and they get some kind of court rank and become naturalized Iraqi - and 300 or 400 years later, we have . . (?) The question would be if they truly did retain anything they brought over centuries before.

I got one verbal communication that the Hoshina had, at some time in the past, their own kenjutsu, and that they used an "odd" katana, with a shorter, very broad blade.

That's all I got. Which is why I put it at the end of the book - just for the enjoyment of the possibility - of something we may never find the answer. But if some researcher ever was, with fluent Japanese, able to somehow make a link with this still aristocratic family (and remember, the branches that survived are not the Aizu, who were decimated in the Boshin War (See HIPS on that) - and get them to open up about their family secrets, who knows what might come out?

Best
Ellis
Let me break my thoughts down.

1. oshikiuchi - theoretically could be a Japanese term that was taken from a Chinese term. How in the world could you find out?

2. Hoshina - Has Chinese family roots (albeit way back) and could possibly have retained some internal training.

3. Hoshina - Could possibly have had ties to someone who had internal training and passed it along to Hoshina, using the term oshikiuchi, when finally teaching these secrets. This could have happened at any point in the Hoshina family history.

4. Chikanori Hoshina - Could have learned internal training outside of any martial art context. Being that many Chinese use internal training for "health" reasons, it is possible that Chikanori Hoshina learned internal training for just that reason. Or Chikanori Hoshina learned the family "secret" because it was family but he had no interest in martial activities.

I know, all theories ... no proof.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:40 AM   #45
Cliff Judge
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Should have clarified, I was talking about Ono-ha Itto-ryu of Takeda's time frame, not modern schools. Aiki, or internal training, seems to be somewhat of a secret and only a few people ever really had it. So, I'm looking at the possibility that:

1. Ono-ha Itto-ryu school where Takeda studied had some form of training that perhaps forced the body to learn certain internal structure via the kata.

and

2. Someone at that school had a deeper knowledge of internal skills.
Of all the kenjutsu schools you could implicate in the vast conspiracy to conceal internal power training from the Aikidoka of the 21st century, I cannot think of a less appropriate one to pick than the Ono ha Itto ryu. The whole POINT of the school is to forget the nonsense and just go in and cut 'em down.

While it is possible that a dramatic shift in the syllabus of this ryu took place in the past three generations, I think it would be more likely that old forms would be retained but no longer understood, because koryu tend to work like that - the form is how they are transmitted.

I tend to think that if there had been significant changes in the ryu since the late 1800s, it would have been noticed by practitioners of other arts. The Ono ha claims to be the orthodox Itto ryu, the one that is closest to the original system developed by Itto Ittosai. You can't make that kind of claim in a community that includes other ryuha if you are going to change things. Somebody from, say, the Hokushin Itto ryu will eventually say 'uh....this stuff they are demonstrating is different than the stuff I saw them do five years ago."

I am quite confident that what I have seen this group do on youtube and at their Soke's own dojo is the same art that Takeda trained in.

Here is a clip of the Ono ha Itto ryu - I am pretty sure this is the Hombu group that trains under the Soke - at a recent embu.

There is another assertion you seem to be making, that there could be some type of hidden internal training in this art. That's one of the worst things about this whole field of research / debate / inquiry, IMO. There is the idea that you can do some outwardly straightforward martial art and then, either your instructor deigns to introduce you to some heretofore unrevealed training method that immediately rockets you to the heights of immovability, or that the same form can be secretly imbued with internal power such that one student is being taught the "inner secrets" whereas twenty other students are being taught external form but there is no difference to the untrained or semi-trained eye.

Doubtful. If Ono ha Itto ryu kata can be magically gokuied into interal power training, than there is no need for any of us to change the way we are training to develop these skills!

But look, let's revisit the alternative idea I presented to you earlier: if Takeda owes any part of his development of IP skills to sword training, then he owes it to Jikishinkage ryu.

I dare you to watch this clip and tell me that it is more likely Takeda's internal power comes from Itto ryu. Jikishinkage ryu training puts a very heavy emphasis on packing ki into one's hara for cryin' out loud! Whether or not this is actually training for what we call internal power around here or not I have no idea but the point is, you can see that their forms aim to do something other than develop crisp and clean technique. I can much more easily imagine that a student who has practiced Jiki's hojo kata for 20 years may be pulled aside and presented with an inner teaching that allows them to unlock an internal power component from what they have been doing for hours a day.

Last edited by Cliff Judge : 08-10-2011 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:07 AM   #46
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Ono ha Itto ryu and Jikishinkage ryu. I don't know either one. I won't make any assertions on either.

Watched both videos. I'll only point out one thing from a personal observation. In the Ono ha Itto ryu vid, around 2:15, they were practicing a cut going forward. To me, this shows training that should reinforce the hips always forward during the cut. In other words, this is not hip driven power but should be something else. Why would that be relevant? In any martial art? Which arts specifically have kata to train that? How many students of those arts still use hip power to generate the cut? Why?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
There is another assertion you seem to be making, that there could be some type of hidden internal training in this art. That's one of the worst things about this whole field of research / debate / inquiry, IMO. There is the idea that you can do some outwardly straightforward martial art and then, either your instructor deigns to introduce you to some heretofore unrevealed training method that immediately rockets you to the heights of immovability, or that the same form can be secretly imbued with internal power such that one student is being taught the "inner secrets" whereas twenty other students are being taught external form but there is no difference to the untrained or semi-trained eye.

Doubtful.
I'm fine with agreeing to disagree.

Mark
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:17 AM   #47
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

I know what he said. I quoted it. I disagreed with his cavalier assumption without evidence. I'm talking about language and logic not the substance of the discussion.

You and Tim might prefer a western-style teacher who explains what he or she is teaching but I'm sure you know that is not usual in Japanese martial arts.

You have your axes to grind Mark. But I'll go by results. You can't explain away hundreds of thousands or millions of people doing aikido. That is the legacy of a great and exceptional teacher.

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Old 08-10-2011, 10:29 AM   #48
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

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Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
You have your axes to grind Mark. But I'll go by results. You can't explain away hundreds of thousands or millions of people doing aikido. That is the legacy of a great and exceptional teacher.
Results. Hmmm ... I do wonder about that, too.

How do you explain those millions of people not quoting that their techniques come from kami? That is a very important belief of Ueshiba.

How do you explain those millions of people who are not doing push tests multiple times per day. Ueshiba did this frequently. His students couldn't push him over no matter how hard they tried. Show me who in the millions of people that can replicate this result.

Show me the millions of people who are doing bayonet/juken and spear work? This was a common training for Ueshiba.

Show me the millions of people who use kiai resoundingly and frequently as Ueshiba did.

Add in most everything else I've posted here that rarely seems to get refuted.

If we just go by the results of those millions (aikikai estimate but probably just of aikikai members) of aikido students, we find that those millions of people are a legacy from Kisshomaru/Tohei. And I agree with you, that it is the legacy of great and exceptional teachers. (I would add other great and exceptional teachers, Tomiki, Shioda, Shirata, etc.)

But those millions are not from Ueshiba's legacy. They are from Kisshomaru/Tohei. The vast amount of articles, interviews, writings, and such support that statement. Just stating that they all are from Ueshiba, doesn't make it true, and certainly doesn't invalidate all the references.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:28 AM   #49
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

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Robert Roeser wrote: View Post
Anyway I will say in Judo there is an up hand and a down hand, or a pushing and pulling hand. Or take a look at Aikido throws like irimi nage, juji nage, or tenchi nage. Why can't your dantien make one hand go up and one hand go down? Why can't move with your entire body but have a preference for moving your whole body a certain way? People do all sorts of cuts that aren't straight up and down.
Yup...They do...and in my experience the relaxation/whole body expression of every technique under duress may not be Aiki but it is a worthwhile goal of any Martial Art. Something as simple as "relax" and "breath" in the midst of a huge adrenaline dump? Few can do it with any consistency and it is a challenge to create this kind of practice environment in a Modern Aikido Dojo.

William Hazen
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:23 PM   #50
Cliff Judge
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Ono ha Itto ryu and Jikishinkage ryu. I don't know either one. I won't make any assertions on either.
So you are retracting your initial assertion. Fair enough.
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