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Old 08-10-2011, 12:36 PM   #51
Howard Popkin
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

[quote=Cliff Judge;289983]

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.

The grey haired gentleman in the beginning of the clip is Sasamori Soke.

Howard
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:07 PM   #52
MM
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
So you are retracting your initial assertion. Fair enough.
I posted an idea, a theory, a guess. No, I am not retracting it at all. I think it's still a valid idea.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:44 PM   #53
Cliff Judge
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I posted an idea, a theory, a guess. No, I am not retracting it at all. I think it's still a valid idea.
Sorry, I thought your statement to the effect of "i am not going to make assertions about things I know nothing about" was retroactively applicable to the assertions you had already made.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:48 PM   #54
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

This thread moves really fast...

@Mark, thanks for your support in this. I really did not want to bother to find all the references like you did. But now that they are here, I sincerely thank you.
I think we established Ueshiba was not in fact a good teacher.

@Niall
(Sorry about the quote, that should not have been there. Some copy paste error. very unfortunate mistake.)
Please understand I am not trying to convince anybody, merely want to share my perspective (and off course that of my teacher Alain Peyrache, uchi deshi of Tamura Sensei).
To indicate I make no empty statements or assumptions: I have trained for years in the lineage of Tamura Sensei and Suganuma Sensei (which took my black belt test). The last eight years I have my own dojo and Alain has been my teacher for even longer (which gave me Menkyo).
When you know Tamura (Alain, or me) you would not imply that I am into a western style of teaching...quit contraire.

Basically I really do understand what is being said but fail to share the conclusion that when many people doing something that that makes the originator is a good teacher. A good inspirator/motivator yes.

To direct a bit to the OP:
the problem is how do you know what you are doing is any good? This is why I like the comparision with music so much. You yourself define what is good (or good enough) depending on your expectations of Aikido. others may judge, but are likely to have different expectations, different standards. This is why I said there is no absolute standard. There is no absolute test. When you look at actual combat to the death it will still mean nothing whether you survive the fight or not. This because many other aspects play a big role in the outcome.
When you fail to keep searching, this is really where the descend (of aiki) starts.

(to prevent posters to attack me for making absolute statement, this is off course my opinion )

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, 03:12 PM   #55
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Sorry, I thought your statement to the effect of "i am not going to make assertions about things I know nothing about" was retroactively applicable to the assertions you had already made.
There is a difference between stating ideas,theories, possibilities and between stating what people do or what koryu do especially regarding training and gokui.

I stated a possibility of a type of training in Ono-ha Itto-ryu. I did not, nor did I ever, state that I know what Ono-ha Itto-ryu training was like, what constituted it, what its gokui was, nor did I do that for Jikishinkage ryu, nor did I do that for any member of either ryu past or present.

Point of fact, I completely left out Jikishinkage ryu of any of my discussions because the focus was on the people whom Takeda stated were his teachers, not because Jikishinkage ryu could have, might have, or does hold specific types of training, be they external or internal.

As I stated, "I don't know either one. I won't make any assertions on either." Should you want to have a discourse regarding my ideas as set forth previously, please continue. Should you want to play word games with my posts, please understand I will no longer take part. Have a good day.

Mark
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:47 PM   #56
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Mark so that's your theory?! Because people don't do bayonet practice Morihei Ueshiba was not a good teacher? Well a lot of his direct students became great teachers. They learned OK. Don't assume that difficult is bad. Don't assume that a lack of explanations is bad. That's a western paradigm. None of those students you quote left. None of them said he was a bad teacher. And who taught Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Tohei.

Thanks Tim. You still seem to be judging from a western stance. But all we've established is that he was difficult to understand and didn't give many explanations. Like a lot of excellent Japanese teachers of martial arts and other disciplines.

I trained for many years with direct students of O Sensei. I've heard many stories about his teaching. Many were interesting and funny. I never heard that he was not a good teacher. Don't expect to go unchallenged when you make unsupported blanket generalizations based on your particular cultural perspective or to fit your particular pet theory.

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Old 08-10-2011, 08:30 PM   #57
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
Mark so that's your theory?! Because people don't do bayonet practice Morihei Ueshiba was not a good teacher? Well a lot of his direct students became great teachers. They learned OK. Don't assume that difficult is bad. Don't assume that a lack of explanations is bad. That's a western paradigm. None of those students you quote left. None of them said he was a bad teacher. And who taught Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Tohei.

Thanks Tim. You still seem to be judging from a western stance. But all we've established is that he was difficult to understand and didn't give many explanations. Like a lot of excellent Japanese teachers of martial arts and other disciplines.

I trained for many years with direct students of O Sensei. I've heard many stories about his teaching. Many were interesting and funny. I never heard that he was not a good teacher. Don't expect to go unchallenged when you make unsupported blanket generalizations based on your particular cultural perspective or to fit your particular pet theory.
Niall,
First, thanks for having a decent conversation about this stuff. While we don't agree, at least it's been a very civil back and forth.

With that said and no animosity on my part, I'll dive in.

No, not just bayonet. I've actually listed quite a few things in this thread alone that have yet to be addressed. I've actually shown examples. On your side, so far, we have your word. Since we don't know each other and other people don't know us, why trust what either of us say personally? (I'm sure we're both good and honorable but for the sake of argument/conversation, let's assume the worst)

Do you have examples of anything that you can share? I'm actually trying to help you here. To an unknown reader, I have a myriad of examples from Ueshiba's students to his observed personal training that can be verified. You have yet to cite examples.

Stan Pranin's research pretty much verifies that Kisshomaru and Tohei are behind post-war modern aikido. Your examples to contradict that?

You yourself stated that because of millions of people training aikido, it meant that Ueshiba was a good teacher. And then you said, don't expect to go unchallenged when you make unsupported blanket generalizations. Personally, I think you've made an unsupported blanket generalization. I've established interviews, articles, and such to contradict your statement.

I'm asking for you to prove me wrong with examples, articles, interviews, etc because that will *help* me with a possible writing project I'm working on. So, please, don't take what I'm posting personally. It isn't intended that way. I'm just hoping that you can come up with stuff to refute me.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:09 PM   #58
graham christian
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Just to clarify. Tim Ruijs actually said that that Tamura stated Ueshiba hardly explained anything. That's fairly accurate.

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.
Marc.
Look at the statement 'Ueshiba hardly explained anything' and tell me what's nonsensical about it.

Anyone with half a brain would know he explained lots, probably too much in my opinion for it was over most peoples heads.

So let's take up your points above by number.

1) Spiritual. Now that contradicts that he hardly explained anything doesn't it? He explained plenty otherwise how could they say they didn't understand what he was talking about?

Did he thus communicate? Yes. Was he a good teacher? Well by all accounts he was called O'Sensei, great teacher, was he not?
Didn't he personally train all those uchideshi who you now call the giants of Aikido? Who went on to form their own successful forms of Aikido?

Has anyone else taught as many greats as he did?

How many greats of other martial arts who met him and tested him said he was not a great teacher?

Instead of listening to and concluding from odd negative statements why not pin those same detractors down and ask them what they DID learn from him for only then may you get a more balanced view. I think you will then find a whole array of different positive influences and changes he caused in each individual, a whole array of different understandings and gained abilities.

Sounds like a great teacher to me.

2) In the later years he 'taught' less but showed and demonstrated. Well, hadn't he said enough already?

You say he got across his techniques to his students. That's teaching.

You say it was hard for them. That's studying and practice.

They created a curriculum from what they learned obviously, not what they saw, unless they were numbskulls. Who did they create a curriculum for? Why?

So obviously him allowing a curriculum is him seeing others need to learn that way which just shows his humility to me which makes him all the greater. So that would be their way of teaching from where they were at. Meanwhile his way of teaching was his responsibility to carry on.

3) Aikido came about after the war didn't it? So he was the only teacher of this new Aiki. After his realization. Before therefore is null and void and that includes Takeda.

Now to reality. Show films of Ueshiba and films of any other daito ryu or Aikido teacher to friends and family and strangers and tell me who they are attracted to.

Show me how many different websites to do with things other than martial arts where his words are used in a positive and life helping way. Thousands. That's quite a reach I would say. That's quite a powerful achievement I would say. That's the main reason people are attracted to Aikido I would say. What he said and what he demonstrated is still by far and away the biggest attraction to Aikido for people worldwide. Wow! Still teaching after all these years.

Every Aikido teacher that has had any success has used His name and philosophy in order to get students. No one was attracted by his son for he was responsible for organization in order to handle the want.

Without him there would be no Aikido.

Without his words there would be no worldwide interest.

Without his ability there would be no O'Sensei title and a mere fraction of adherents.

Without his teaching there would be nothing, not even this forum.

There wouldn't even be a string of people saying 'I didn't understand'

The quotes from all those teachers are laughable frankly. Those who use those statements are blind as far as I'm concerned. For those same teachers use, boast, and brag about what they did under his tutelage. Not bad for people who understood nothing.

Regards.G.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:23 PM   #59
Cliff Judge
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
As I stated, "I don't know either one. I won't make any assertions on either." Should you want to have a discourse regarding my ideas as set forth previously, please continue. Should you want to play word games with my posts, please understand I will no longer take part. Have a good day.

Mark
I think your ideas are wrong. I would be happy to continue the conversation from there if you are interested.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:50 PM   #60
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Mark let me help you. Let's leave Tim's unsupported throwaway remark aside. I called him on it and you jumped in.

Your translated secondary sources showed 1.some people found O Sensei difficult to understand and 2.he sometimes did things without explanation.

I have a serious problem that you extrapolate that to assume that he was not a good teacher. I already explained that Japanese teaching methods have a completely different cultural context.

So my advice to you is to say what you can prove. (for example)

Quote:
Some people apparently found O Sensei difficult to understand. He also did not often use explanations.
And you have your citations. You have satisfied the demands of logic and reasonable scholarship. To take the intellectual jump to say he was not a good teacher is not supported. You just undermine your credibility. And that is a pity. Some of the information you have put together is interesting.

Last edited by niall : 08-10-2011 at 09:58 PM.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:51 PM   #61
graham christian
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
This thread moves really fast...

@Mark, thanks for your support in this. I really did not want to bother to find all the references like you did. But now that they are here, I sincerely thank you.
I think we established Ueshiba was not in fact a good teacher.

@Niall
(Sorry about the quote, that should not have been there. Some copy paste error. very unfortunate mistake.)
Please understand I am not trying to convince anybody, merely want to share my perspective (and off course that of my teacher Alain Peyrache, uchi deshi of Tamura Sensei).
To indicate I make no empty statements or assumptions: I have trained for years in the lineage of Tamura Sensei and Suganuma Sensei (which took my black belt test). The last eight years I have my own dojo and Alain has been my teacher for even longer (which gave me Menkyo).
When you know Tamura (Alain, or me) you would not imply that I am into a western style of teaching...quit contraire.

Basically I really do understand what is being said but fail to share the conclusion that when many people doing something that that makes the originator is a good teacher. A good inspirator/motivator yes.

To direct a bit to the OP:
the problem is how do you know what you are doing is any good? This is why I like the comparision with music so much. You yourself define what is good (or good enough) depending on your expectations of Aikido. others may judge, but are likely to have different expectations, different standards. This is why I said there is no absolute standard. There is no absolute test. When you look at actual combat to the death it will still mean nothing whether you survive the fight or not. This because many other aspects play a big role in the outcome.
When you fail to keep searching, this is really where the descend (of aiki) starts.

(to prevent posters to attack me for making absolute statement, this is off course my opinion )
Hi Tim.
How about there is something that is good? Regardless of what you think. If so then there is a test.

Regards.G.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:10 PM   #62
MM
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I think your ideas are wrong. I would be happy to continue the conversation from there if you are interested.
I have doubts about my ideas, too. However, if we take Takeda at his word, then he learned from two people according to his eimeiroku and shareiroku: Shibuya Toma of Ono-ha Itto-ryu and Chikanori Hoshina.

Looking at either Ono-ha Itto-ryu, Shibuya Toma, or both, could there be a training methodology that instills some portion of internal structure or skills?

I think certain ryu did have training that sort of rewired the body for internal structure. I also think some people throughout history in koryu had internal training and/or skills.

We are talking internal, so this would be outside any external technique or kata, per se. More like what one trains while performing the kata. I gave the example of the hips and cutting while moving forward. By training certain kata, that might distill in a person some internal structure over time. Did the Ono-ha Itto-ryu that Takeda studied have this kind of training?

In other instances, we need to remember Ueshiba and Sagawa's words. Aiki makes everything better. Aiki works in all martial arts. So, someone who had internal training could pass on that knowledge in any martial art. Did Shibuya Toma have this kind of training?

The theory is that if we take Takeda's word for whom his teachers are, we must look to Shibuya Toma of Ono-ha Itto-ryu and Chikanori Hoshina. What did they teach and in what kind of vehicle? Was Ono-ha Itto-ryu used?

Mark
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:15 PM   #63
graham christian
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
Mark let me help you. Let's leave Tim's unsupported throwaway remark aside. I called him on it and you jumped in.

Your translated secondary sources showed 1.some people found O Sensei difficult to understand and 2.he sometimes did things without explanation.

I have a serious problem that you extrapolate that to assume that he was not a good teacher.

So my advice to you is to say what you can prove. (for example)

And you have your citations. You have satisfied the demands of logic and reasonable scholarship. To take the intellectual jump to say he was not a good teacher is not supported. You just undermine your credibility. And that is a pity. Some of the information you have put together is interesting.
Hi Niall.
No doubt you'll know I agree with your position. However just one thing I have to say.

The citations satisfying the demands of logic and reasonable scholarship. I find they don't.

I find they are they are parts of statements or communications taken out of context and presented together as one picture. There is no comparing and contrasting, no presenting of the whole of what was said in it's proper context, no balance and therefore no reason or logic. Merely deception.

For instance you could take the citation of sugino. Is that all he said about ueshibas teaching? I think not. In fact I am sure I could dig up something from Aikijournal where he paints a glowing picture of O'Sensei and EXPLAINS his teaching.

Not presenting the whole picture. Surely reason should have all relevent data, given in correct sequence, nothing omitted, in other words correct perspective. Otherwise what is it?

Just a little thought.

Regards.G.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:29 PM   #64
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Hello Hugh
I have basically avoided this thread. I would like to address a few points
Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
My understanding of Mike's position--taking out the value judgements--is that what Dan has a is mix of techniques and concepts shaken up in a bag, lacking certain fundamental principles that are widespread and well understood in CMAs.
Regarding me
Mike has never met me
Mike has no idea what it is I do, he only thinks he does.
The little he has written is a little off base to way off base.

Regarding the Chinese arts
Mike (by his own writing and addmission) is an outsider, not an insider, in the ICMA. He has pieced together a system based on information from here and therefore is not of a level equal to any expert of ICMA.

It is a bit ridiculous for you to use him or me in a role to judge anything as being consistent or not with all that is Internal in the ICMA or JMA. Some take advantage and enjoy the role of the one eyed man in the land of the blind. I do not enjoy or embrace that role. There is way to much hubris on display of late. When people have skills they can overplay their hand. There are lots of talented people out there.

Quote:
Let's assume the basic theory laid out in HIPS, that Chinese internal methods came over to Japan and got assimilated and reworked in Takeda's Daito-Ryu.
The question is: Suppose we now take the new system and show it to the original Chinese masters. Wouldn't they respond very much the way Mike did?
I have done this with real experts of the ICMA, they were witnessed in open rooms. It went very well and there was no posturing or defensive B.S. That's what face to face testing of skills often does. There really isn't much B.S. you can spin or say when your skills are on display is there? The results were not only surprising they are key to what you are asking and what Ellis postulated on several key points. I found the comparisons and information exchange later with other professional teachers of the ICMA consistent with a theory I have had between certain Koryu movement and DR and Chinese arts as well. To be honest though there are fighters that are better tests as well as modern weapons. I guess what I am saying is it's wise to increase your exposure.
Good day
Dan

Last edited by DH : 08-10-2011 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:33 PM   #65
MM
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
Mark let me help you. Let's leave Tim's unsupported throwaway remark aside. I called him on it and you jumped in.

Your translated secondary sources showed 1.some people found O Sensei difficult to understand and 2.he sometimes did things without explanation.

I have a serious problem that you extrapolate that to assume that he was not a good teacher. I already explained that Japanese teaching methods have a completely different cultural context.

So my advice to you is to say what you can prove. (for example)

And you have your citations. You have satisfied the demands of logic and reasonable scholarship. To take the intellectual jump to say he was not a good teacher is not supported. You just undermine your credibility. And that is a pity. Some of the information you have put together is interesting.
Spiritual:
It wasn't "some" people who didn't understand him, but more like 90-95% of *all* his students, including his son. A hallmark of a good teacher is one who can make his/her students understand the material such that they, too, can teach it or pass it on. On the spiritual side, Ueshiba fails. And not just from post-war, but from pre-war also.

Here we have 1/2 of aikido from Ueshiba (it is both a spiritual and martial vision) that did not get passed on. What did get passed on was Kisshomaru's changes to his father's spiritual ideology. Why? To appeal to a wider audience, in post war, so that they can understand the changed vision. Here, Kisshomaru passes with flying colors.

Techniques:
It wasn't "sometimes" that he did things without explanation, but rather 90-95% of the time. Even his own son states that Morihei used his students as training partners rather than teaching. His own son. Who was it that codified the techniques? It was Ueshiba's students, after class that got together and compared notes about what they had done that day. They wrote down the techniques. They were the ones who passed down the technical syllabus of aikido. From what I understand, even koryu has a structured training regimen. Ueshiba did not pass down techniques to his students. He didn't want to.

Yes, the Japanese have a different cultural context. However, we find that when Ueshiba was teaching Daito ryu, he created Shioda, Tomiki, Shirata, etc. When Ueshiba taught aikido, he created ... ?
When Takeda taught, he created Sagawa, Kodo, Ueshiba, Yoshida, Hisa, etc. When Sagawa finally taught, he found those select students getting it. Kodo created at least two. Sagawa and Kodo did so post war. All of Takeda's students knew how to replicate Takeda's teaching such that they could create another aiki great. In fact, Ueshiba proved it pre-war with those famous students.

Aiki has to be directly shown and trained. Takeda stated it was easy to steal so he kept his training closed away from prying eyes. Takeda's students knew this and kept their personal training very private.

The intellectual jump is supported. Unfortunately, before I started training in aiki, I would have thought my conclusions were tenuous. So, my frame of mind is very different now. There were things hidden in plain sight that I never would have seen. And, I always make room that I'm wrong.
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:00 AM   #66
niall
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Probably we've come to the end of useful dialogue. I'm sorry you don't place much value on your credibility. I mean that seriously. If the aiki platform is based on loose logic and poor scholarship what is there to fall back on? Internal bickering? Please excuse the pun. Well I know how seriously to take your posts now. Just to finish.

Spiritual.
Your point is meaningless. Since when has aikido had an extrinsic spiritual aspect? But it is also fair to add that many experienced aikido teachers have some understanding of the spiritual dimension within aikido.

Techniques
Your point about codifying is meaningless. We are talking about teaching. Most aikidoka do the same basic techniques O Sensei taught. Some teachers have added variations over the years. For example Nishio Sensei added koshi nage. But techniques like irimi nage, tenchi nage, shiho nage and ikkyo are done almost the same. I'm sure you've looked at videos.

Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba. Today hundreds of thousands or millions of people do aikido. He was and is called O Sensei. As Graham very correctly reminds us that means Great Teacher.

Last edited by niall : 08-11-2011 at 12:03 AM.

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Old 08-11-2011, 04:02 AM   #67
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

@Niall
Thanks for your respect towards my opinion and your constructive comment. really helpful...

@Graham. I am not sure what you mean. Would you care to explain a bit further?

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.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:06 AM   #68
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Re: Was Ueshiba a good teacher.

That he didn't pass on his aiki skills in bulk can't be used against him when debating if he was a good teacher or not. I can't believe that he intended to pass those skills on to everyone or even a good many of his students. Only pass it on to a select few? check. He did that.

He, along with Tohei, Kisshomaru and others created quite a few people who are considered really good aikido teachers. They're out teaching the art as they learned it, as he likely intended it to be passed on in bulk, and are highly regarded in that respect.

Nobody says he was a bad teacher. I mean with all the students he had, no non-sense, no BS guys like Kuriowa, guys with fighting backgrounds, etc. There would be some who outted him in some way. You don't hear that. You here plenty semi-complaining about his spiritual speak, but in their minds they effectively learned from him what they thought they were there to learn.

he died likely thinking that Tohei was the man being left with the real skills and it was up to him to continue to only pass them along to only a select few. Say what you will about Tohei being different than Ueshiba, but Ueshiba signed off on everything Tohei did and by all accounts Tohei had real skills. He also had a more systemized approach that had in it everything needed to pass on both the bulk version and the "only to a select few" version of Ueshiba's aikido. Ueshiba likely felt secure about the future of his art.

Also, why is Ueshiba held to a higher standard than other arts built around internal skills? They're not cranking out students with real skills in bulk either, intentionally.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:18 AM   #69
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post

Ueshiba did not pass down techniques to his students. He didn't want to.
Yet we have videos of him doing the same techniques over and over again. Students from different eras who all learned the same "techniques" from him. The same techniques that Takeda taught and that his students continued to teach.

I think it's pretty clear that the techniques were the vehicle for practicing what he wanted to teach. Call them the shapes of force exchange for training the body in a unique way if you want to, but those shapes were consistent over the course of his teaching career.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:39 AM   #70
Cliff Judge
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I have doubts about my ideas, too. However, if we take Takeda at his word, then he learned from two people according to his eimeiroku and shareiroku: Shibuya Toma of Ono-ha Itto-ryu and Chikanori Hoshina.

Looking at either Ono-ha Itto-ryu, Shibuya Toma, or both, could there be a training methodology that instills some portion of internal structure or skills?

I think certain ryu did have training that sort of rewired the body for internal structure. I also think some people throughout history in koryu had internal training and/or skills.

We are talking internal, so this would be outside any external technique or kata, per se. More like what one trains while performing the kata. I gave the example of the hips and cutting while moving forward. By training certain kata, that might distill in a person some internal structure over time. Did the Ono-ha Itto-ryu that Takeda studied have this kind of training?

In other instances, we need to remember Ueshiba and Sagawa's words. Aiki makes everything better. Aiki works in all martial arts. So, someone who had internal training could pass on that knowledge in any martial art. Did Shibuya Toma have this kind of training?

The theory is that if we take Takeda's word for whom his teachers are, we must look to Shibuya Toma of Ono-ha Itto-ryu and Chikanori Hoshina. What did they teach and in what kind of vehicle? Was Ono-ha Itto-ryu used?

Mark
You are referencing unquoted and partially-cited sources here so it is more difficult for me to find the answer to this myself: did Takeda claim that he learned aiki from these two men, or simply that they were the two men he regarded as sensei?

If you want to limit the discussion to the matter of which teachers of Takeda informed his internal skills (excluding from the discussion a lifetime of personal experience and research into sumo, various sword arts, etc from which he may have derived new training methods and skills that were all his own) then either Ono ha Itto ryu had nothing to do with it, or you have a LOT of work to do to show how it could have. I am all ears!
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:01 AM   #71
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
You are referencing unquoted and partially-cited sources here so it is more difficult for me to find the answer to this myself: did Takeda claim that he learned aiki from these two men, or simply that they were the two men he regarded as sensei?

If you want to limit the discussion to the matter of which teachers of Takeda informed his internal skills (excluding from the discussion a lifetime of personal experience and research into sumo, various sword arts, etc from which he may have derived new training methods and skills that were all his own) then either Ono ha Itto ryu had nothing to do with it, or you have a LOT of work to do to show how it could have. I am all ears!
At Dan's recent UK seminar he mentioned something about a scroll of some sort whereby Takeda states that he got his Aiki from a chinese guy and was his indoor or inside student and that the phrase was written in a different way to the rest of the scroll - more chinese, or, in chinese. Dan, care to comment?

Best Regards,
John

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Old 08-11-2011, 10:20 AM   #72
DH
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
John Burn wrote: View Post
At Dan's recent UK seminar he mentioned something about a scroll of some sort whereby Takeda states that he got his Aiki from a chinese guy and was his indoor or inside student and that the phrase was written in a different way to the rest of the scroll - more chinese, or, in chinese. Dan, care to comment?
No scroll, John
I have it written down here in several placces. He referred to his training as oshiki-uchi, the implied meaning of which was "inside the threshold."
Kisshomaru states that he was told that Takeda was given a menkyo frm Chikanori, something which would be fascinating to see, were it true. I don't trust what the aikiaiki put out for public consumption, nor the quality of the translation done by students. He'll for that matter, I have heard any number of stories of deshi who drew his bath every day and did his solo training with him everyday....long after he had retired from teaching in Tokyo...so....shrug.
Dan
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:24 PM   #73
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Dan: Okay, I appreciate your reproof and your unwillingness to get drawn into another slanging match. And I understand that Mike's never met you or seen your stuff first hand, so his isn't an informed opinion. But there are other experts around who have wide personal experience, so I thought it worth throwing the question out there.

I'm interested in what kind of reaction you get from Chinese experts. Is it like, "Cool, we do that and here's what it looks like"? Or, "Cool, we've never seen that before but it could fit in with our principles this way"? The first would suggest some kind of direct connection; the second would suggest some innovation along the way.

Yeah, we'll never know for sure. But it would be cool to trace the common threads.

Re increasing my exposure: Oh yeah. Working on it.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:16 PM   #74
Marc Abrams
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
He'll for that matter, I have heard any number of stories of deshi who drew his bath every day and did his solo training with him everyday....long after he had retired from teaching in Tokyo...so....shrug.
Dan
Dan:

I have a copy of the unedited version of the interview that Shizuo Imaizumi Sensei provided for Aikido Journal. You do not have to believe Aikikai since Imaizumi Sensei does not belong to that organization. Throughout his life, he has kept an extensive diary. These are not stories, but verified facts.

1) "When O' Sensei stayed in Tokyo, he used to appear during the first class. So Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei or Waka Sensei immediately stopped his instruction and made his students sit seiza (kneeling). O-Sensei bowed shomen and turned to us. After he had exchanged greetings with us, he would begin to do his own morning exercises while talking to us. I often helped him do his own exercises. The his aikido demonstration would begin. After O'Sensei retreated into his private house, Waka Sensei hastened his aikido instruction for the morning students as if he were trying to recover the lost time."

2) "I witnessed O-Sensei's naked figure. One day Saburo Sugiyama Sensei, riji or director of Aikikai, invited O'Sensei to experience a whirlpool bath at his owned clinic in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. In those days it was rare that an individual possessed a whirlpool bath. As you know, now everyone likes it very much. We picked up a taxi from the Hombu dojo and went to the clinic. On arriving at the clinic,we were guided to the whirlpool room. I helped O'Sensei take off his clothes. After that, O-Sensei was dressed in nothing but loincloth and entered the bath by himself. Although I was waiting for him to come back to the dressing room again, I was wathcing O'Sensei's actions through glasses because I should be alert all of the time as my duty of the otomo. It seemed to me that he was enjoying this new experience. When he came out the bath, I began to prepare a bath towel for wiping his wet body, and then I was surprised at his thick chest. His chest were as if it were an old woman's breasts hanging down. Although he was the age of 80's in those days, I could imagine that he had real muscles of iron at his prime of manhood. If you doubt my story, you should check a photograph of O'Sensei's naked figure to the waist in page 20 of Budo-- Teaching of the Founder of Aikido by Morihei Ueshiba, published in 1991 by Kodansha International, Tokyo."

I think that the real question is whether or not the people who assisted O'Sensei fully grasped what he was doing when he was doing it. There are a sufficient number of people who could verify these facts as told by Imaizumi Sensei. Healthy skepticism is good, which is why I always consider the source of the information and look for at least one other independent source to back up what is being said.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:18 AM   #75
DH
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Re: The Descent of Aiki

Hi Marc
If it ever does get published...cough...there might be some interesting stories there as well. I think this supports the points I hade made. Your opening comment from your teacher was "when he stayed in Tokyo...." Go back and read the interviews of all the people who had these personal one-on-ones with him either stated or implied as "everyday" when it was after he retired. It's no big deal to me just another talking point. These unverified stories, (I'm not calling your teacher a liar, it's just that it is, after all, just his story), and the interviews and events that actually do verify things, call into question statements that contradict many of the more popular stories. When we add in lousy translations, myth making from the aikikai, banning and rewriting of history, there isn't much to really hang your hat on.

While I do indeed find all of this interesting, in a culture like Japan, I don't trust much of what people say or do. Frankly the entire history of the system of aiki from Takeda to the modern era seems rather bizarre and weird. I don't invest much in the information offered; either from lineage or the personalities involved either way.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 08-12-2011 at 08:33 AM.
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