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Old 09-20-2011, 02:18 AM   #51
Chris Li
 
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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Hanna Bj�rk wrote: View Post
So Ueshiba actually performed grading tests? Interesting, I was under the impression he just handed ranks out in pretty lofty ways. Where did you learn this?
From Gozo Shioda - "Aikido Shugyo", page 207. There's an English translation too, I believe, but I haven't read it.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-20-2011, 03:07 AM   #52
grondahl
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
From Gozo Shioda - "Aikido Shugyo", page 207. There's an English translation too, I believe, but I haven't read it.
Translated by Jacques Payet and Christopher Johnston. Its an interesting read.

Available from Shindokan Books.
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:28 AM   #53
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

Searching around on the Internet for bit I found this Interview in Aikido Journal 1998 with Shizuo Imaizumi Shihan

http://www.durangoaikido.com/interview1.htm

It is pretty long, but very interesting.

at the paragraph
Finally, is there are thing else you would like to comment on in this interview? some notable comments....

Lot of secrecy....

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 09-20-2011, 04:12 AM   #54
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
From Gozo Shioda - "Aikido Shugyo", page 207. There's an English translation too, I believe, but I haven't read it.

Best,

Chris
As Peter said, an excellent book, with some fascinating insights from a key figure in aikido history.

I had it by my bedside for several weeks a couple of years back.

Alex
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:47 AM   #55
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

On the subject of gradings/promotions, Tohei got his 9th dan in 1960. Was it an actual grading wit technique, ukes. etc... or was it just paperwork?

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Old 09-20-2011, 06:48 AM   #56
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I have a copy of Roy Suenaka's book (published by Tuttle in 1997). It contains an illuminating discussion of the split, but does not contain a copy of Abe Tadashi's response.

Best wishes,
Regarding Tadashi Abe response to Tohei's letter (which I haven't read), I wildly speculate that Abe and Yamada being relatives could have influenced somewhat the tone of the response.

Tadashi Abe had, before of Tohei split, critiqued harshly (it is said) aikido's evolution during the years he spent in France.

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Old 09-20-2011, 07:29 AM   #57
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
Searching around on the Internet for bit I found this Interview in Aikido Journal 1998 with Shizuo Imaizumi Shihan

http://www.durangoaikido.com/interview1.htm

It is pretty long, but very interesting.

at the paragraph
Finally, is there are thing else you would like to comment on in this interview? some notable comments....

Lot of secrecy....
The section referred to:
Quote:
Finally, is there are thing else you would like to comment on in this interview?

You offered to conduct this interview. I would like you to put the following comments in your magazine. I really want to stress these historical facts. Authors tend to disclose their real intention in their first published books. For example, if you write a book for the first time, you will write want you really want to say. Let me give an example from the first aikido book titled Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba, published in August 1957 by Kowado, Tokyo. Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei wrote the following in praise of his brother-in-law Koichi Tohei Sensei on page 83 in a section titled "What is Aikido?":

"Tohei, 8th dan, traveled to Hawaii in 1953 staying through 1954 in an effort to spread aikido. While in the USA, he participated in the All-American Judo Championship held in San Jose (California) together with Mr. Kurisaki, the President of the Hawaii Judo Kai. On the request of many people in attendance, Tohei took on five men at the same time as his opponents including Americans and American-born Japanese who were selected from among the judo competitors from all over the USA. Tohei threw them all and the news spread all over the world at that time. All of his opponents were over six feet in height and were unknown to him. Thus he became a hero by easily besting five men using aikido techniques. The true value of aikido was recognized by the general public. In 1955, Tohei again traveled to Hawaii. He returned to Japan in May 1956 and became the Chief Instructor of the Hombu Dojo..."

In November 1970 after Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei became the Second Doshu, he wrote Aikido Nyumon (Introduction to Aikido), published by Tokyo Shoten, When he received this book from the publisher, he gave us a copy with his autograph. On page 249 of Chapter 7 of Aikido Nyumon, entitled "History and the Present," Ueshiba Sensei wrote about Tohei Sensei simply as follows: "In the United States, Koichi Tohei, Shihan Bucho, took a first step in Hawaii in 1953. Since then, the population of aikido increased there rapidly...." By the way, Tohei Sensei was still shihan bucho (chief instructor) at that time and Ueshiba Sensei could not erase this from his book. However, in the revised edition of this book years later, Seisetsu Aikido Kyohan (Detailed Aikido Textbook), this section no longer existed.

Take a look at Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei's latest book, Aikido Ichiro (My Life in Aikido), published in October 1995 by Shuppan Geijutsusha, Tokyo. This book is a sort of memoir of the author through a history of aikido. But this time I can only find mention of the name of Koichi Tohei Sensei. For example, the name of Tohei Sensei appears several times: on page 79 (as a friend of Tadashi Abe Sensei in a quotation from an article by a fiction writer named Kawahara), on page 166 (as a mediator between O-Sensei and a student named Kikuchi), on page 194 (as one of the uchideshi in the Kobukai), and on page 212 (as one of the pioneers who went to foreign countries to spread aikido). Although the book contains several anecdotes involving Hawaii by O-Sensei and Doshu, there is no mention of who took the first steps to spread aikido in Hawaii. Even in the aikido chronology in the appendix, Tohei Sensei's achievements in the United States have been completely obliterated. This, despite the fact that many matters of no consequence in comparison with Tohei Sensei's initial efforts in Hawaii were mentioned. [b]Based on Ueshiba Sensei's Aikido Ichiro, it seems to me that aikido began in the United States almost spontaneously without anyone's effort.[/B] Mr. Pranin, how different are the contents of the three books by the same author. Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei!

In conclusion, I am not in a position to criticize Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei because I became a shidoin (instructor) at the Hombu Dojo with his permission. But I no longer belong to either the Aikikai or the Ki no Kenkvukai. Therefore, what I can do as a third party is merely to show certain historical facts by quoting from Ueshiba Sensei's own three books. To sum up, Koichi Tohei Sensei was the first person from Hombu Dojo to spread aikido in the United States. He went to Hawaii in 1953 for the first time and had to build a foundation for aikido among the people in the U.S. He became shihan bucho of the Hombu Dojo after he returned from Hawaii in May 1956. History shows that this is true. These historical facts should not be obliterated from a history of aikido even after Tohei Sensei had resigned from all the positions he held during his time at the Aikikai.

Now is the age of the Internet—an international network of computers. People can seek answers to any questions they have ever had. They can send messages and documents across the world in a flash. In other words, even if one author tries to hide historical facts, another person can easily expose them around the world. For example, John Stevens wrote Invincible Warrior published in 1997 by Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston. This book is a pictorial biography of O-Sensei. Take a look at the photograph taken in Hawaii on page 140. Mr. Stevens wrote: "(Above) Memorial photograph taken after the dedication ceremony of the Honolulu Aikido dojo on March 11, 1961. Koichi Tohei, the father of Aikido in the United States, sits to Morihei's left...." Seeing is believing. Tohei Sensei is sitting next to O-Sensei in this photo. Mr. Stevens described Tohei Sensei as "the father of Aikido in the United States." Therefore, many aikidoists around the world will be able to know the correct history of aikido regarding this event in Hawaii without relying on Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei's latest aikido books in Japanese and English. Even if I don't mention Tohei Sensei's achievements in this magazine, many people will recognize him as the father of aikido in the United States through other publications on the Internet. If they know that Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei has ignored this fact in his latest aikido books, they will think it strange that he has intentionally omitted Tohei Sensei's accomplishments during his association with the Aikikai. A man who intentionally ignores historical facts may end up being consigned to oblivion. I believe that a man's true achievements will surface out of the bare facts. A history does not exist to decorate a man's own achievements
.

Last edited by DH : 09-20-2011 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:17 AM   #58
Chris Li
 
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
On the subject of gradings/promotions, Tohei got his 9th dan in 1960. Was it an actual grading wit technique, ukes. etc... or was it just paperwork?
I don't believe there was any testing, IIRC, but I don't have a source for that.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-20-2011, 09:22 AM   #59
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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The section referred to: Even if I don't mention Tohei Sensei's achievements in this magazine, many people will recognize him as the father of aikido in the United States through other publications on the Internet. If they know that Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei has ignored this fact in his latest aikido books, they will think it strange that he has intentionally omitted Tohei Sensei's accomplishments during his association with the Aikikai. A man who intentionally ignores historical facts may end up being consigned to oblivion. I believe that a man's true achievements will surface out of the bare facts. A history does not exist to decorate a man's own achievements.
All true, of course. Sadly, this isn't an Aikido problem - this is a pretty common Japanese method of dealing with an awkward or embarrassing situation. Ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist.

Apart from those omissions, however, "Aikido Ichiro" is an extremely interesting read.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-20-2011, 10:03 AM   #60
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Think about it....

Ueshiba adopted a swordsman, Kiyoshi Nakakura, in 1932 to take over his art - according to Nakakura:

It was important enough that he made blood oath to Kashima-Shinto Ryu in order to have Kisshomaru receive instruction in the sword before the war.

In 1951 sword was important enough to make up half of Shioda's 9th dan test.

Of course, we know what importance Ueshiba placed on weapons with Morihiro Saito in Iwama through the late 1950's and 1960's.

So what part of all that didn't the students at hombu understand?
Chris, since this is just an off topic sideline to the thread let me just say that I am in full agreement with you vis a vis the importance ken and jo and am aware of Morihei's efforts to educate himself and others on this matter during his lifetime. But (with exceptions like Iwama) we can readily see that for whatever reason ken and jo did not "take" within the post-war aikikai. My above comments were merely the result of a realization of possible admirable motives on the part of Kisshomaru.

An example of lack of discretion is the famous episode during the Sokaku 50th Anniversary Demo where a participant was taken to task by Mochizuki for "demonstrating" the ken in front of actual swordsmen.

-Doug Walker
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:17 AM   #61
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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An example of lack of discretion is the famous episode during the Sokaku 50th Anniversary Demo where a participant was taken to task by Mochizuki for "demonstrating" the ken in front of actual swordsmen.
Add this one, by Ellis Amdur, too:

Quote:
Finally, Kuroiwa Yoshio once got up at an all shihan meeting and said, as follows, "I think we should stop doing sword and jo taking exhibitions at the Aikikai demos. There are probably real swordsmen in the audience and it is an insult to them, because they could cut anyone in the room in two." He told me that there was dead silence, and then after a long pause, Doshu just changed the subject. After the meeting, Iimura, who taught aikido at the Budokan, said, "I thought there was going to be a bloodbath. I can't believe you got away with that." More interesting, perhaps, was that Saito Morihiro approached him and said, "Yoku Itte kuremashita." which means, essentially, "You did me/us a real favor in saying that." Of course, nothing changed.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=108

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Old 09-20-2011, 10:51 AM   #62
Chris Li
 
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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Doug Walker wrote: View Post
Chris, since this is just an off topic sideline to the thread let me just say that I am in full agreement with you vis a vis the importance ken and jo and am aware of Morihei's efforts to educate himself and others on this matter during his lifetime. But (with exceptions like Iwama) we can readily see that for whatever reason ken and jo did not "take" within the post-war aikikai. My above comments were merely the result of a realization of possible admirable motives on the part of Kisshomaru.

An example of lack of discretion is the famous episode during the Sokaku 50th Anniversary Demo where a participant was taken to task by Mochizuki for "demonstrating" the ken in front of actual swordsmen.
Actually, the guy taken to task was a Daito-ryu guy

I was going to say - I don't think Kisshomaru had malicious motives. I do think that he screwed up in that respect, probably exacerbated by Tohei, who never did much in the way of weapons either.

Best,

Chris

Last edited by Chris Li : 09-20-2011 at 10:55 AM.

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Old 09-20-2011, 11:22 AM   #63
DH
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

The comments about the 50th anniversary meeting and the Daito ryu guy who got lambasted for doing sword work by Mochizuki, came from me...as the guy who got lambasted told me the story personally.
Mochizuki's comments were along the lines of Daito ryu people not knowing a damn thing about sword work and there had been an agreement with him MC'ing the affair that there would be no sword demonstrated. It cost the fellow demonstrating dearly for breaking the agreement. He NEVER expected a Japanese to publicly call him on it, but that is exactly what Mochizuki did..upbraiding him in front of everyone with exactly that comment "You Daito ryu people know nothing about sword," then he told his own men to go get their swords out of their cars (oddly they had come prepared for just such an issue arising) and proceeded to demonstrate real sword.
I think it fits in with Kuroiwa comments "I think we should stop doing sword and jo taking exhibitions at the Aikikai demos. There are probably real swordsmen in the audience and it is an insult to them, because they could cut anyone in the room in two."
And Saito's "You did me/us a real favor in saying that."

And the fact that Of course, nothing changed....is no surprise.

You can't have everything for free and expect to be treated equally in front of those who know what they are doing. Just because you can pick up a weapon doesn't mean you know how to use it nor how it was historically used...no matter how long you swing it.

My favorite quote from Kuroiwa sensei was something along the lines of "The way Aikido is practiced today the only peaceful resolution of a conflict would the aikido-ka lying unconscious at the feet of a real attacker." While meant as a generalization it speaks volumes when added with the above comments about what some of these early Shihan really thought of the efforts they were seeing unfold.
I could not help but notice again Kisshomaru calling prewar Aikido (which was when Ueshiba was still teaching Daito ryu and awarding scrolls.... The golden age of AIkido."

I think the entire history is confusing, repeatedly and intentionally misrepresented, and quite odd. Of course it has some truly grand beginnings and wonderfully uplifting stories as well. I find it quite fun to research and piece together, particularly with some newer, more competent translations and interviews. I think it benefits everyone when trying to understand the truth to at least examine all sides of the issue.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 09-20-2011 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:08 PM   #64
gregstec
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Actually, the guy taken to task was a Daito-ryu guy

I was going to say - I don't think Kisshomaru had malicious motives. I do think that he screwed up in that respect, probably exacerbated by Tohei, who never did much in the way of weapons either.

Best,

Chris
True - about the only weapons stuff we did in the early days was Jo kata and Ken suburi - nothing like what Saito was doing.

IMO, the Tohei weapons stuff only helped in understanding how to make the weapon a part of you by extending ki into it as you moved, it did not teach any tactical techniques at all.

Greg
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:20 PM   #65
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
True - about the only weapons stuff we did in the early days was Jo kata and Ken suburi - nothing like what Saito was doing.

IMO, the Tohei weapons stuff only helped in understanding how to make the weapon a part of you by extending ki into it as you moved, it did not teach any tactical techniques at all.

Greg
On the other hand . . . several decades back when I was practicing Ki-Aikido with a close student of Tohei's, I was doing a partner Jo form with a young lady and accidentally hit her in the head bringing her to a screeching stop . . .

Sensei: What was that? What are you doing?!!!

Me: I'm sorry Sensei. I didn't do it on purpose, my distancing was just . . .

Sensei: SHE SHOULD BE LYING AT YOUR FEET RIGHT NOW!! You call that JO? Why do I even bother TEACHING you?? Do it again . . . RIGHT this time!! (Stomping off, while my partner and I just stare at each other wide eyed.)

Good times!

(BTW, Doug knows it was a Daito Ryu guy and who specifically it was. He is a good listener and discreet too! )

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:53 PM   #66
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
On the other hand . . . several decades back when I was practicing Ki-Aikido with a close student of Tohei's, I was doing a partner Jo form with a young lady and accidentally hit her in the head bringing her to a screeching stop . . .

Sensei: What was that? What are you doing?!!!

Me: I'm sorry Sensei. I didn't do it on purpose, my distancing was just . . .

Sensei: SHE SHOULD BE LYING AT YOUR FEET RIGHT NOW!! You call that JO? Why do I even bother TEACHING you?? Do it again . . . RIGHT this time!! (Stomping off, while my partner and I just stare at each other wide eyed.)

Good times!

(BTW, Doug knows it was a Daito Ryu guy and who specifically it was. He is a good listener and discreet too! )
Well, I did say it was my opinion [note to the rest of world: Allen hates it when you talk authoritatively without the proper reference ]

Anyway, I did say it was my opinion - however, there was some paired Jo and Ken stuff being taught when I fooled around with some folks from the AAA, which was Toyoda's organization that was originally part of Tohei's Ki Society. Nonetheless, it is still my opinion, that those weapon instructions was really nothing more than how to connect to the weapon and not anything of practical fighting value

Greg

Last edited by gregstec : 09-20-2011 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:01 PM   #67
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

Great story. I really don't want to relive mine (I don't think I could ever apologize enough) but I ended up doing a similar thing. And while I stunned the guy and made him stagger, after chewing me a new orifice or two, sensei pointed out that at least I had contacted well and it was only me pulling it at the last second (as I realized it was going horribly wrong) that prevented a major injury. So he told me that at least I knew now what kind of damage I could do. And how it is supposed to be done "for real".

Then he chewed me out again for the lack of control and judgement in the first place...

I still feel terrible about it... But... It ain't supposed to be dancin' with a stick...

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Old 09-20-2011, 02:27 PM   #68
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Well, I did say it was my opinion [note to the rest of world: Allen hates it when you talk authoritatively without the proper reference ]

Anyway, I did say it was my opinion - however, there was some paired Jo and Ken stuff being taught when I fooled around with some folks from the AAA, which was Toyoda's organization that was originally part of Tohei's the Ki Society. Nonetheless, it is still my opinion, that those weapon instructions was really nothing more than how to connect to the weapon and not anything of practical fighting value

Greg
And under who's authority do you hold and express that opinion?????

(It is true that I hate it when individuals talk authoritatively without siting references. I hate it even more when others blindly assume that those that speak authoritatively without siting references present a singular "truth." Too bad for me. In this world it seems that I am destined filled with hatred . . . or perhaps there is a better response to the witnessing of human fallibility (others and mine) than frustration, anger, or hatred . . . medication! That must be the answer!! Didn't they always say, "Life made better through chemistry." or something like that? Mr. Wizard didn't seem overly frustrated when he taught us ignorant little tykes. He must have been properly medicated. He took the bull by the horns, pulled himself up by his bootstraps and made his life better . . . through chemistry. Until then, I think patches are the answer. If I wear a properly designed patch it gives me a sense of belonging. I have the warm fuzzy feeling of superiority over those that don't have OUR patch. And if I play my cards right I can even append a patch to my patch signifying my superiority, in deed AUTHORITY, over even those with just patches! Then I can say what I wish and all others will listen attentively believing all that I say because I have AUTHORITY. I have a PATCH!!! (or a skirt, or a belt, or a name, or . . . )

Last edited by Allen Beebe : 09-20-2011 at 02:31 PM. Reason: To to Too

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Old 09-20-2011, 02:30 PM   #69
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
... But... It ain't supposed to be dancin' with a stick...
No. It is dancing' with a stick with Mind and Body Coordinated!

Sorry Keith,
Allen

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Old 09-20-2011, 02:44 PM   #70
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

Ha, no argument actually. Tis about that whole mind/body thing. Aiki...

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Old 09-20-2011, 02:50 PM   #71
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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And under who's authority do you hold and express that opinion?????
Why, yours, of course

(ps. I knew I could get him going with that )

Greg
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:01 PM   #72
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

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No. It is dancing' with a stick with Mind and Body Coordinated!

Sorry Keith,
Allen

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Old 09-23-2011, 08:11 AM   #73
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

Some colour for the background:

"Living History: Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba's 1974 Demonstration in Los Angeles by Stanley Pranin"

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Old 09-30-2011, 08:33 PM   #74
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

how about the letter? whats in it?! how come nobody want to spill it out? is there a conspiracy or something that no one dares to speak of?
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:01 PM   #75
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Re: Tohei's resignation letter to the aikikai

Quote:
Wilson Cao wrote: View Post
how about the letter? whats in it?! how come nobody want to spill it out? is there a conspiracy or something that no one dares to speak of?
It's online at the Aikido Journal website - for anybody with a subscription.

Best,

Chris

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