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Old 09-24-2011, 12:44 AM   #26
kewms
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Re: Power Proud

It's an interesting observation, but at the same time somewhat obvious.

Mastery is a process. Why wouldn't someone as talented as Ueshiba Sensei clearly was continue to learn and grow throughout his life? Why wouldn't deeper levels of understanding reveal that his previous knowledge was incomplete or superficial? That's the way it works for the rest of us, why would he have been any different?

There's also the inevitable effect of aging to consider. His body simply had different capabilities at 40 than at 60, leaving him no choice but to find an approach less dependent on sheer physical power.

Katherine
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:30 AM   #27
Michael Varin
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Re: Power Proud

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote:
My theory here.
1. By true budo, Ueshiba meant aiki. Takeda showed him aiki - of course, I'm not the first to suggest this.
2. But consider. Ueshiba's last sustained tuition with Takeda was in Ayabe in 1921, although he did subsequently attend a number of short seminars, but he is saying that in the late 1930's he STILL didn't understand true budo - aiki. Just as Takeda said when he took over the Asahi Shinbun class in Osaka in the late 1930's.
3. That suggests that, quite apart from his nasty insults and Oscar the Grouch, "isn't Uncle Sokaku ever going to leave!!!!" manners, he may have been accurately stating that Ueshiba still didn't completely get it.
4. What held him back??? I think he was "power proud." Even in the 1950's, Ueshiba proudly posed with his shirt off, (see John Steven's latest book) exhibiting the body of a miniature middle linebacker. Ueshiba, so proud of his titanic physical strength, seems to have had a difficult time letting it go - and doing the exercises he learned when his "eyes were open" with the correct body organization.
5. He seems to have believed - based on his own statements - that he "got" it in 1942 - at Iwama.
Nothing but mere conjecture.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:12 PM   #28
gregstec
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Re: Power Proud

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post

Now, of course, I'm making a lot from a little. Why? Because it fuels a productive discussion for us today (I have an extensive ignore list, so I only read productive posts concerning a specific point - one can slow one's own progress if "power proud" (TM, all rights reserved).

Ellis Amdur
Ok, I will bite and see if I am on your ignore list

Was Ueshiba ‘Power Proud' and did that inhibit a smooth and efficient learning of Aiki? IMO, yes, for a couple primary reasons. The first is pretty obvious to those familiar with what Aiki is - you just don't use muscle when manifesting aiki, and for someone with muscle that has a proven track record of success with it, it is very hard to let that go on the conscience level as well as the sub-conscience level since the body has been conditioned that way. Which brings us to the second reason - it just takes time to develop the aiki body. It does not happen overnight and the more you place yourself in a martial environment, the more tendency you will have to stay with what works - therefore, slowing down the shift from muscle to an aiki developed body.

Others have already hit on some of the other things that would have a had an impact on his development. Paramount of which is how Ueshiba packaged all of this into his Omoto and Kototama belief system, which was the motivator in his life for all things. I know we have beat to death the issue of power being developed simply from the practice of Kototama, and I am of the mind set that is does not, however, Ueshiba needed it to enable his development of aiki power - every thing we do in life has to be enabled by our belief system to be successful. Another point already made is that the individual just needs time for things to naturally develop within one's self, which is influenced by the many things we experience as we growth.

In summary, Ueshiba's aiki development was hindered by his muscle development, which affected his attitude as well as the physical capability to change easily. And based on the unique individual life experiences we all have, there will never be another Takeda, Ueshiba, Dan Harden, or even an Ellis Amdur we are all different and some may achieve parts of someone else's greatness, or even exceed parts of it in some manner, but will never duplicate it.

Greg
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:43 PM   #29
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Power Proud

Greg - Agree with your comments on power development.

I think your post exemplifies why there is such fascination with Ueshiba. Unlike Horikawa, a man remarkable for his ordinary character and Sagawa, a self-involved guy who did this "one thing" better than anyone else, Ueshiba was larger-than-life, and that complexity fascinates. His shamanistic/religious practices were so profound that they would even manifest in the real world (witness the story Mariye Takahashi told). He was charismatic, he drew some of the greatest figures in society into his aegis. People wished to be near him. He was a big man in every sense - he had friends amongst other budoka, amongst religious leaders, and amongst artists and other culture heros. "Aiki" was an engine and vehicle which fueled not only his martial art - but everything in his life. And like anyone else, such character traits affect how one learns, and what one chooses to learn. (This is why it is absolutely clear that "Ueshiba's aikido is not Daito-ryu," which, barring any new evidence to the contrary, does not mean that aikido has "different aiki" from Daito-ryu. Rather, that his aiki training empowered something so much more).

Ellis Amdur

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Old 09-24-2011, 01:14 PM   #30
gregstec
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Re: Power Proud

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Greg - Agree with your comments on power development.

I think your post exemplifies why there is such fascination with Ueshiba. Unlike Horikawa, a man remarkable for his ordinary character and Sagawa, a self-involved guy who did this "one thing" better than anyone else, Ueshiba was larger-than-life, and that complexity fascinates. His shamanistic/religious practices were so profound that they would even manifest in the real world (witness the story Mariye Takahashi told). He was charismatic, he drew some of the greatest figures in society into his aegis. People wished to be near him. He was a big man in every sense - he had friends amongst other budoka, amongst religious leaders, and amongst artists and other culture heros. "Aiki" was an engine and vehicle which fueled not only his martial art - but everything in his life. And like anyone else, such character traits affect how one learns, and what one chooses to learn. (This is why it is absolutely clear that "Ueshiba's aikido is not Daito-ryu," which, barring any new evidence to the contrary, does not mean that aikido has "different aiki" from Daito-ryu. Rather, that his aiki training empowered something so much more).

Ellis Amdur
Glad to see I am not on your ignore list

I agree on the complexity of Ueshiba as compared to Horikawa and Sagawa, not that those two were not complex, I am sure they were in their own manner, but they obviously were not at the same complexity level of Ueshiba, especially in the public domain.

In consideration of all that, I agree, Ueshiba's Aikido is not Daitoryu - but is something that is the aggregate of his existence. Which brings us to the obvious conclusion that there is no longer any Ueshiba Aikido - there is only your aikido, my aikido, their aikido, etc. And of course, I think I read somewhere that that is what Ueshiba said as well - something like, 'make it your own.' Well, the truth is, we all have no choice but to make it our own because there is no other way.

Greg
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:13 PM   #31
aikilouis
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Re: Power Proud

Today, the values of aikido are often associated with vaguely christian moral ideals (not harming your opponent, a general meekness, generosity to the point of self-sacrifice, etc), but Ueshiba himself looks more and more like a nietzschean figure, uniting the forces of nature in himself, channelling them spontaneously (takemusu aiki) and encouraging those brave enough to start the journey to manifest their true nature (note here the double meaning of the word nature in our language, I guess it would have pleased Ueshiba).

Concerning the tipping point Ellis alludes to, Sunadomari sensei notes in Aikido Pioneers (an indispensable volume published by the excellent Stanley Pranin) that Ueshiba sensei fell very ill in 1942. OSensei himself said that his personal crisis was resolved through a mystical experience. Today I also happened to listen to O Sensei's 1961 radio interview on the equally indispensable DVD Morihei Ueshiba & Aikido - Vol. 6 (also published by Stanley Pranin) and at the beginning of the interview, he contrasts his current physical state with the prewar period during which he describes himself as very muscular. He doesn't say more powerful, or not as spiritually advanced. The information he choses to emphasise how he has changed is his muscular development and that he left it behind.

Saotome sensei, in The Principles of Aikido, describes how he himself was obsessed with power and domination and that only after finding himself in an impasse (where he describes himself as being almost suicidal) he experienced a spiritual/mental phenomenon (including the perception of a golden rain). He wrote that he immediately felt a psychological liberation as well as a radical change in his aikido. He confided in O Sensei who seemed to recognise the experience and encouraged him not to reveal it openly to the others.

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Old 09-24-2011, 06:37 PM   #32
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Power Proud

Louis - Thank you. My task these last few years has been to notice patterns in small details, and then, gratifyingly, others, more diligent in research, find facts that support the pattern.

On a matter related to this subject, (training and the like), I just reread the interview on Aikido Journal with Tada Hiroshi sensei (#101). I cannot underscore strongly enough what a resource AJ is, something that will ever increase as Stanley begins to upload his hitherto unpublished archives. But here are a number of wonderful quotes from this interview:

Quote:
Personal training is important no matter what art you practice. I . . . practiced striking a bundle of sticks with a bokken (wooden sword). . . .I find it to be one of the best training methods for aikido. Of course, it's not good to use excessive physical power. Just hold the bokken-or even an ordinary stick made of green wood-lightly and squeeze with the little finger and ring finger at the moment of impact. Speed and the ability to squeeze the fingers closed properly will develop naturally. This type of gentle practice is important, because if you practice using a lot of power all the time, you may end up throwing and applying joint techniques too strongly, and this can be dangerous.
Quote:
It is very important to observe your teacher's personal training method very closely and learn it well; otherwise you may draw hasty and wrong conclusions and end up doing meaningless or mistaken training. In any case, you need to review what your teacher has taught you and attempt to discern something that represents the basic lines of it; then practice that over and over until you can do it. I think if you want to become an expert at what you do - whether it's martial arts, sports, some kind of art, or whatever - then you need to train at least two thousand hours a year while in your twenties and thirties. That's five to six hours a day. It probably depends on the person, but most of that time will be spent in personal training. After training on your own you can come to the dojo to confirm, try out, and work through whatever you've gained.
Quote:
The thing I remember most clearly from his talks about Daito-ryu is that he said he thought that it had a very excellent training method.
Quote:
Until the Meiji period, Japanese people mastered kokyuho and developed their ki through discipline that began at a young age. In that respect, Japanese people today are completely different from Japanese back then. I'm referring to the sort of discipline that begins at birth, namely in the way children are taught and the nature of family life.

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Old 09-24-2011, 06:51 PM   #33
kewms
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Re: Power Proud

Quote:
Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
Today, the values of aikido are often associated with vaguely christian moral ideals (not harming your opponent, a general meekness, generosity to the point of self-sacrifice, etc), but Ueshiba himself looks more and more like a nietzschean figure, uniting the forces of nature in himself, channelling them spontaneously (takemusu aiki) and encouraging those brave enough to start the journey to manifest their true nature (note here the double meaning of the word nature in our language, I guess it would have pleased Ueshiba).
I think one should be very cautious here in differentiating between aikido as it is understood in the West and aikido as it was actually conceptualized by Ueshiba. I would say that any connection between aikido and "Christian" values is either coincidental or a side effect of aikido's importation into the Western cultural context. Ueshiba certainly did not see the world in Christian terms.

Katherine
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:37 AM   #34
Alister Gillies
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Re: Power Proud

Is self conceit peculiar to Aikido; is self conceit found in Aikido; and did O Sensei exhibit self conceit in his life?

The answer to the first is yes, but probably no more than in any other human developmental endeavour; the answer to the second is undoubtedly yes; and the answer to the third is also yes - it would be odd if he did not learn through his mistakes like the rest of us.

O Sensei had the same problem that we all have - and it can take a lifetime to resolve - getting himself out of the picture. To realise the true nature of Budo (power) does not mean tacking on a (Aiki) principle to your MA skills to make yourself more powerful.

Aiki arises out of years of training and reflection, or it does not. Even finding the right kind of training or teacher does not guarantee that anyone will get it.

I think getting over self conceit is a prerequisite to any kind of progress. It frees the body and the mind and can open our eyes to the potential granted to us by nature. Takeda knew how stupid people could be and it scared him; O Sensei knew that self victory was true victory; and Sagawa was absolutely sure that stupid people would never get it.

Knowing how stupid you are is a good starting point, it seems to me.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:03 AM   #35
phitruong
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Re: Power Proud

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I am not sure where your point is leading, you are sort of wondering and mixing things together.
being meaning to get back to this and lost track. getting old and your brain wandered. yup, i was mixing thing. that is a problem when you think faster than you type.

Quote:
The very heart of four ounces to move a thousand pounds come from the taiji classics verse sixteen, but the heart of it denoted power, Phi, as is expressed and expanded on in the other songs.
agree. never said it wasn't about power. from my point of view, it was about focus power and usage of it. it was not about the lack of it. it was about using/controlling the right amount, at the right time, in the right place to accomplish a task. this one of the thing that warriors of old and new obsessed over.

Quote:
It is a simple, yet profound principle echoed in Takeda's/Ueshiba's 5 and 5 makes ten 7 and 3 makes ten. The requirement remains to have power.To be able to stand like a mountain echo.. or the model is for not.
isn't this principle indicated in the yin-yang symbol, specifically, the curvy line in the middle of the symbol? the question is if that the indication of power balance within you or between your and uke or both?

Quote:
At any rate you were first referencing a greater scope on strategy for a warrior using aiki as being a part of a whole and have now changed to erroneously referencing classical examples from one-on-one engagements to a larger field. Which way are we going here? There are much better works for thoughts on strategy.
i believed that the principles used in one-on-one engagement should apply to the larger field, being war. also, one-on-one engagement or power struggle isn't just aiki; it's more and that's budo. my disagreement with Ellis is that budo encompassed aiki and then some. and that budo is an obsession study of power and control (or lack of) in various forms. and that Takeda instilled that sort of obsession and focus into Ueshiba who was, for all intent and purpose, wild and unruly farmer boy.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:48 PM   #36
Rennis Buchner
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Re: Power Proud

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
It is a simple, yet profound principle echoed in Takeda's/Ueshiba's 5 and 5 makes ten 7 and 3 makes ten.
As a complete aside to the current conversation, I can say with 100 percent certainty that this teaching and its use in Japan pre-dates Takeda/Ueshiba by a few hundred years (it pops up in the densho of my own ryuha) and I can also say for sure that it is featured in one of the ryuha that Takeda Sokaku is known to have learned in his younger days.

Not that this has anything to do with the current conversation per se, just something I noticed and just now connected the dots.

Rennis
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:54 PM   #37
Chris Li
 
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Re: Power Proud

Quote:
Rennis Buchner wrote: View Post
As a complete aside to the current conversation, I can say with 100 percent certainty that this teaching and its use in Japan pre-dates Takeda/Ueshiba by a few hundred years (it pops up in the densho of my own ryuha) and I can also say for sure that it is featured in one of the ryuha that Takeda Sokaku is known to have learned in his younger days.

Not that this has anything to do with the current conversation per se, just something I noticed and just now connected the dots.

Rennis
In case anybody's interested. It's a section from the Tiger chapter ("Tora no Maki") of the "Rikuto" ("Six Strategies", or "Six Scabbards", also called "Liutao" in Chinese, IIRC), which is a well known Chinese book of strategy. The reason why it's relevant to Aikido is that M. Ueshiba cited this passage as containing one of the central "secrets" of Aikido. This translation is my rough English version of the Japanese version of the Chinese text, so apologies in advance to the original authors :

If it comes, then meet it, if it leaves, then send it away.
If it resists, than harmonize it.
5 and 5 are 10.
2 and 8 are 10.
1 and 9 are 10.
You should harmonize like this.
Intuit true and false, know what is hidden,
The large is everywhere, the small enters the realm of the microscopic.

There are chances for life and death, without reacting to changes.
Approach things without moving your heart (without being disturbed).

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-28-2011, 05:23 PM   #38
Rennis Buchner
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Re: Power Proud

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
If it comes, then meet it, if it leaves, then send it away.
If it resists, than harmonize it.
5 and 5 are 10.
2 and 8 are 10.
1 and 9 are 10.
You should harmonize like this.
Intuit true and false, know what is hidden,
The large is everywhere, the small enters the realm of the microscopic.

There are chances for life and death, without reacting to changes.
Approach things without moving your heart (without being disturbed).
This is the same teaching that is used in the ryuha that Takeda Sokaku learned in his younger days I alluded to above. In the line I am familiar with it is chanted at the beginning of every keiko.

Rennis
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:56 PM   #39
DH
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Re: Power Proud

Quote:
Rennis Buchner wrote: View Post
This is the same teaching that is used in the ryuha that Takeda Sokaku learned in his younger days I alluded to above. In the line I am familiar with it is chanted at the beginning of every keiko.

Rennis
Chris
You beat me to it. I was preparing for a trip when I read it on my phone.
Rennis.
It's also part of two I know of that predate the one you are referring to by a few hundred years. But lets not quibble, as it is in the ICMA as well. Once again it is just Ueshiba pointing to a macro that is a seamless whole.
To be clear, it relates to aiki, although it's basis is connected power it is not power or being Power Proud™ Actually, it is a premier method to neutralize power without using much power at all and it is in line with the six harmonies in how it is manifests.

It's nice to see others picking up my argument for me. As I continue to point out- these things are out there in Koryu.
From China to Koryu. I would bet odds that those who are taught them do not know how to really work them so that In/Yo is sustained but that's for another day.
What continues to amaze me is to see Japanese Aikido shihan get up and show it in use...and not mention one word of what it is, where it came from, how to do it, why it works, what the pitfalls are to it failing. Hell, I openly show it in rooms and people still fail at it over and over for VERY simple reasons. Proving once again that Simple, is hard.
All the best
Dan
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:04 PM   #40
Chris Li
 
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Re: Power Proud

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
What continues to amaze me is to see Japanese Aikido shihan get up and show it in use...and not mention one word of what it is, where it came from, how to do it, why it works, what the pitfalls are to it failing.
I think most of them just don't know. I found very few Japanese in Japan that actually studied much - there's a whole room full of stuff in hombu just rotting away. I don't think that anybody goes in there since Arikawa passed away.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-29-2011, 08:21 AM   #41
Alister Gillies
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Smile Re: Power Proud

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I think most of them just don't know.
More than likely. Of course the oriental disposition towards inscrutability doesn't help much: "those who know do not speak; those who speak do not know." On the other hand, natives do not like foreigners telling them all about their own culture much either, no matter how enlightening it might be. Often it's the differences that attract us. As Mark Twain, commenting on the cultural differences between the British and Americans said: "Two nations separated by a common language." How can the one mind be in two minds about anything? I think that is an interesting question

Last edited by akiy : 09-29-2011 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:24 AM   #42
DH
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Re: Power Proud

Hello Alister
Good observations. While I remain convinced that the majority of the lack of good teaching is indeed an inability to teach well, I also believe ( apparently so does Chris) that this information was never widely offered even within the Asian culture. I truly think our Asian teachers...many of them...are incapable of delivering on the exceptions we have placed on them. You can stand in front of master level teachers and have them ask " How did you do that?"
We need to release them from such high expectations and realize that -all things being equal- in many ways, we are better equipped to teach ourselves than they are.

It may have been a very good idea for them to keep certain information from us, in whatever manner they could manage to spin it, and get the majority of us to not only swallow, but to even embrace.
Cheers
Dan
Quote:
Alister Gillies wrote: View Post
More than likely. Of course the oriental disposition towards inscrutability doesn't help much: "those who know do not speak; those who speak do not know." On the other hand, natives do not like foreigners telling them all about their own culture much either, no matter how enlightening it might be. Often it's the differences that attract us. As Mark Twain, commenting on the cultural differences between the British and Americans said: "Two nations separated by a common language." How can the one mind be in two minds about anything? I think that is an interesting question

Last edited by akiy : 09-29-2011 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:25 AM   #43
phitruong
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Re: Power Proud

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
In case anybody's interested. It's a section from the Tiger chapter ("Tora no Maki") of the "Rikuto" ("Six Strategies", or "Six Scabbards", also called "Liutao" in Chinese, IIRC), which is a well known Chinese book of strategy. The reason why it's relevant to Aikido is that M. Ueshiba cited this passage as containing one of the central "secrets" of Aikido. This translation is my rough English version of the Japanese version of the Chinese text, so apologies in advance to the original authors :

Chris
those darn chinese! stolen all the good stuffs then hid them in plain sight. Chris, do you have the Chinese version of the English translation of Japanese?
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:16 AM   #44
Marc Abrams
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Re: Power Proud

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
those darn chinese! stolen all the good stuffs then hid them in plain sight. Chris, do you have the Chinese version of the English translation of Japanese?
Phil,

No need for that. That will only cause a certain Brit. to further validate what he already knows, regardless of the accuracy of the translation.

More importantly, there is a Chinese restaurant nearby that is giving out all of the good stuff in plain sight! Just choose from menu, pay the nice lady and get ready to be amazed !

Marc Abrams
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:30 AM   #45
Chris Li
 
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Re: Power Proud

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
those darn chinese! stolen all the good stuffs then hid them in plain sight. Chris, do you have the Chinese version of the English translation of Japanese?
Hmm, you could try http://www.aa.alpha-net.ne.jp/ja6xwv...3%E8%A8%93.TXT

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-29-2011, 11:21 AM   #46
Alister Gillies
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Re: Power Proud

Careful folks, there's a psychobabalist in the room
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:46 AM   #47
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Re: Power Proud

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I truly think our Asian teachers...many of them...are incapable of delivering on the exceptions we have placed on them. You can stand in front of master level teachers and have them ask " How did you do that?"
We need to release them from such high expectations and realize that -all things being equal- in many ways, we are better equipped to teach ourselves than they are.
I think this is the humane, adult, and rational thing to do. It doesn't excuse legitimate criticism, but I think the time has come to expect as much of ourselves as capable entities as we do of any abstract "Asiatic Master."

-Doug Walker
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:48 PM   #48
Marc Abrams
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Re: Power Proud

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Alister Gillies wrote: View Post
Careful folks, there's a psychobabalist in the room
Hey! I resemble that re-marc

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Old 09-30-2011, 09:24 AM   #49
jonreading
 
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Re: Power Proud

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
My theory here.
1. By true budo, Ueshiba meant aiki. Takeda showed him aiki - of course, I'm not the first to suggest this.
2. But consider. Ueshiba's last sustained tuition with Takeda was in Ayabe in 1921, although he did subsequently attend a number of short seminars, but he is saying that in the late 1930's he STILL didn't understand true budo - aiki. Just as Takeda said when he took over the Asahi Shinbun class in Osaka in the late 1930's.
3. That suggests that, quite apart from his nasty insults and Oscar the Grouch, "isn't Uncle Sokaku ever going to leave!!!!" manners, he may have been accurately stating that Ueshiba still didn't completely get it.
4. What held him back??? I think he was "power proud." Even in the 1950's, Ueshiba proudly posed with his shirt off, (see John Steven's latest book) exhibiting the body of a miniature middle linebacker. Ueshiba, so proud of his titanic physical strength, seems to have had a difficult time letting it go - and doing the exercises he learned when his "eyes were open" with the correct body organization.
5. He seems to have believed - based on his own statements - that he "got" it in 1942 - at Iwama.

In my opinion, that such a genius as Ueshiba took over 25 years since his first meeting with Takeda to "get it" doesn't mean that achieving skill at aiki must take that long. The blessing of his own powerful body, I think, got in the way, and delayed his progress.

Of course, aiki is not aikido. For Ueshiba, it also included calling down the kami, and deliberate physical innovations he made in technique. Aikido is no more Daito-ryu than BJJ is judo. But true budo? That's aiki - and apparently both Takeda and Ueshiba agreed that until the late 1930's, Ueshiba didn't have it yet.

Ellis Amdur
I tend to agree. In my readings and studies the prominence of O'Sensei's physique and physical strength in several biographies and over several interviews with uchi deshi seems to imply that topic was something many felt important enough to comment [on].

I just attended the Fed Ex Cup here in ATL last week and saw many of the best golfers in the world play in a relatively small field. I enjoy golf and I like to see the pros swing up close to pick up tips. In any case, the new pros are pretty athletic (the days of Craig Stadler and John Daley are behind us) and their swings usually violate the rules of swinging for non-pros.

For example, many golf coaches advocate correct grip structure, but not a "strong" grip. Yet, many pros grip the club with such strength you can see the muscles in their forearm bulge. In conversation with some club pros I know, they said, "Yeah, those guys can control their strength so they can grip the club differently. You can't, so the strong grip doesn't help you.

Similarly, many of the longest, hardest hitting golf pros observe a 75% rule. That is they only swing about 75% as hard as they can to improve their scoring. In golf, the amateur notion of "strength" is at odds with scoring and often holds back many good golfers from being better. Would you rather hit the ball 350 yards or hit 85% of fairways?

I think strength is a different concept than power is a different concept than ki. Martial arts are not the only place where physical strength must be properly managed to excel in an athletic activity. I do not think strength is necessarily a bad thing, but the use of strength can be applied without prudence.
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:44 PM   #50
Christopher Creutzig
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[OT] Re: Power Proud

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
It's similar to learning math: you start with the form, develop familiarity with different parts, and over time, functional proficiency develops. None of this is to say the person understands the equations, only that they know how to move the numbers around to get a reliable result. In fact there is a debate going on in some circles now that most people (who study it) don't really "understand" math, even though they may always arrive at the correct answer through the common algorithm.
Computing numbers isn't math. Gaining insight into abstract structures is math. Understanding (and maybe improving) the process to compute useful numbers, preferably to the point where you can hand that task off to a computer (which is where those things got that name from), is one specific example of math. (At least from the standpoint of a studied mathematician.)
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