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Old 11-12-2011, 12:13 AM   #201
kewms
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
The posts by Dan and others have been insulting in tone and substance all along. Towards myself and others. They generally don't even have the respect to address senior instructors, Doshu, or O'Sensei with their rightful titles. I responded in kind.
If you're going to get prickly about titles, you should know that O Sensei has no apostrophe. O is an honorific meaning "Great," not the signifier for a Celtic family relationship.

Katherine
 
Old 11-12-2011, 12:14 AM   #202
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
So. You are taking a stand against the Evil Dan Conspiracy because he questions aikido ukemi? Seriously?

Katherine
Have you read my posts? O'Sensei told Saotome Sensei that the cooperative ukemi process in Aikido was critical to learning Aikido. No cooperative ukemi no Aikido. It's fundamental.
 
Old 11-12-2011, 12:15 AM   #203
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Titles matter. Typos don't.

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 11-12-2011 at 12:19 AM.
 
Old 11-12-2011, 12:54 AM   #204
kewms
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
Have you read my posts? O'Sensei told Saotome Sensei that the cooperative ukemi process in Aikido was critical to learning Aikido. No cooperative ukemi no Aikido. It's fundamental.
I read your posts. It is impossible to understand what you (or anyone else) actually mean by "cooperative ukemi" without getting on the mat with you. As Hugh pointed out, it is pretty difficult to teach any form of martial art without some degree of cooperation: that's why it's a martial art and not a street brawl, that's why many arts have kata. No one (including Dan) is denying that. Nor -- at that level -- is cooperation unique to aikido.

It is also impossible to learn any martial art -- especially one as subtle as aikido -- without feedback from an intelligent, competent uke. If I do *this,* it works. If I do *that,* it doesn't work. If *everything* works because uke is being so cooperative that he flies in whatever direction I wave my hand, then I'm never going to get anywhere close to what Saotome Sensei is doing. If uke's attacks are so miserably disorganized or overcommitted that a light breeze would push him over, then I'm never going to do much more than embarrass myself if attacked by, say, a moderately competent brown belt karateka or judoka.

The argument, then, is not that cooperation is always bad, but that one can have too much of a good thing. And, further, that too many aikidoka misunderstand the role of uke, and therefore fail to provide the feedback that nage needs to improve. (Hint: If you're not at least a rokudan, and your aikido always works, your partners are probably guilty of this.)

As I said upthread, the position I have stated above does not strike me as particularly controversial. It seems to me perfectly compatible with Saotome Sensei's thoughts on higher level ukemi (http://www.aikido-shobukan.org/?ref=19#The Proper Role of Uke in Yudansha Examination). Which is why I am confused that you find it so viscerally offensive.

So. Do you object to anything I stated above? What, and why? If not, what proposal about ukemi do you find so objectionable? (With, please, a reference to the point where that proposal was actually made. I'm afraid I haven't been as diligent as you in reading the history of this topic.)

Katherine

Last edited by kewms : 11-12-2011 at 01:00 AM.
 
Old 11-12-2011, 12:58 AM   #205
kewms
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
Titles matter. Typos don't.
When you do it every single time, it isn't a typo.

Katherine
 
Old 11-12-2011, 01:08 AM   #206
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
went back and read an old thread which had quite a few folks http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14063

memory lane. there was a time when jim sorrentino took exception to dan; rob liberti and sigman; david orange and IS folks in general; and the endless arguments between dan and mike. all these heated exchange brought back fond memory which i don't have to remember, since there is a search function in the forum. i remembered thinking what in the god name these folks talking about and made all these wild claims. i decided to go and experienced their stuffs. to date, i have not get the chance to experience a number of these folks, but the ones that i had, they actually walked the walk better than they talked the talk. i sometimes wondered how many of these folks who had debate with dan, mike, rob john, and so on, who went out and get their hands on these folks and changed their mind soon after. i tell ya, ego is a strange thing, just like waffle for breakfast and that just wrong; ham, egg, sausage and bacon for moi!
Phi, yes agreed. I have not gotten full spped on the bandwagon as I spend my time doing other things that are more of a priority to me at this point in my life. However, having gotten with Ark, Mike, Ushiro, Rob John I had a better understanding of where they are coming from and what they are talking about.

I have no issues with it at all and frankly walked away with more knowledge about AI I than I ever did from a shihan level seminar from a traditional teacher. That is not to say that the traditional teachers don,t get it, they either can't teach it well orchoose not to waste their time with me.

Do I have criticisms and critiques of the IS genre. Yea, but they are minor, most of mine are ego based, and really not worth fighting about and get in the way of learning so you will note that I don't comment on the small stuff about "well on this date you said, then you said....".

Bottom line is over last 5 years or so these guys have offered many an alternative and access to concepts and methods that many of us have not had access to and for that we should simply say thank you.

 
Old 11-12-2011, 01:22 AM   #207
kewms
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Re: Jeez, lighten up! But keep weight underside

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Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
I am responding to their posts over the years and also in this discusion.

I am not responding to their training as it is secretive I have not seen it directly.

Please just describe what they are doing and how it is different than Aikido and contains what they claim is lacking even in original students of O'Sensei.
Secretive? Well, as secretive as any seminar advertised a year in advance can be, I guess. (http://www.aikieast.com/guests.html) And the various ASU instructors who have studied with Dan are even less secretive than that.

I'm not going to wade into the swamp of evaluating any particular teacher's aikido. As noted up-thread, that's not really the issue anyway. The question is whether or not these particular skills are being passed down to the rest of us.

How is it "different than aikido?" Again, Dan is teaching skills, not waza, not aikido or any other martial art.

Katherine
 
Old 11-12-2011, 05:22 AM   #208
raul rodrigo
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

How can it "dishonest" of Chris Li to make an argument based on the fact that he can speak and read Japanese and Ken doesn't? That's a fact.

The dishonesty, to my mind, comes from someone arguing vociferously about the accuracy of a translation from a language he doesn't know.

Ken is proceeding from ignorance. Belligerent ignorance.
 
Old 11-12-2011, 07:01 AM   #209
Fred Little
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
Titles matter. Typos don't.
With all due respect, when you go after someone aggressively, and one of your first lines of attack is the lack of clarity and precision in his written expression, you need to be careful in that regard.

Now you'll have to excuse me...I need to go paint a sign for Mister Kim's Take One Doo.

Best,

FL

 
Old 11-12-2011, 07:44 AM   #210
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Jeez, lighten up! But keep weight underside

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Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
Please just describe what they are doing and how it is different than Aikido and contains what they claim is lacking even in original students of O'Sensei.
Dan and other "internal" teachers are not teaching aikido. It is about enhancing your body. They teach how to rewire your body and mind by specific solo and paired exercises. When done right, it takes time and a lot of work before for these exercises have noticable effect. And it takes more time and more work before these exercises have a profound effect. It is not about becoming muscular, hard and tough. It is about becoming extremely centered, solid, soft, flexible and sensitive (in my understanding).

These exercises are not waza, they are more like calisthenics (but very different from the normal calisthenics. I'd say it's a bit like yoga in motion). In that light it might not be a surprise that the exercises are cooperative. Your partner offers just enough resistance that you can notice your mistakes, fix them and learn).

Sometimes the teacher might demonstrate how we could apply these internal skills in a martial context. But it is not a martial art by itself. It does not replace aikido, karate or BJJ training. It is something you do on your own, besides the art that you train.

Why would an aikidoka want to add internal qualities to his body? Points that Dan and others are trying to make, is that aikido (like many martial arts) was supposed to have these internal qualities from the beginning. That aikido is not unique in this. That O Sensei spent a lot of time doing solo exercises like these. That O Sensei tried to teach it. That somehow, it didn't get transmitted all too well. All the references to the history of aikido and non-aikido martial traditions like taiji is meant to back this up.

Again, I'm no expert in history. It is just my understanding of the intention of Dan and others who promote internal training for aikido.

I am not interested in history that much, but they have convinced me that aikido is supposed to be an internal art. That's enough for me to keep doing these exercises on my own.
 
Old 11-12-2011, 08:48 AM   #211
Gary David
 
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
Let me describe the highest level irimi Nage that Saotome can do. He had a Karate master punch him in the face as fast and hard as he could. He was able to draw the attacker off his feet With a gentle brush of his arm so he was literally horizontal feet first. Then he did an elbow strike before gravity took Uke down. I saw this along with at least 50 other people. This was not fake. This is Aikido at the highest level. This is not Diato-ryu.
Ken
What you describe here has the resulting appearance of what a close friend of mine, who is Aiki-jujitsu in a lineage associated with the parties here, accomplishes. The punch to the face curves, the soft bush continues the curve, bringing uke to a point of destabilization, the individual's center outside of their body....to be finished with a easy drop on nage part....maybe covered by an elbow strike. All this takes secondary pressure, push from behind, soft grip, transfer of momentum, weight drop, up and down spirals, use of the lower body, no tension in the upper body, proper rotation from the center (not hips first) and such....much of what is not clearly visible.....all of these things are not exclusive to Saotome Sensei or to the kind of Aikido you are trying to reach.

Just saying

Gary
 
Old 11-12-2011, 09:12 AM   #212
Ken McGrew
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Re: Jeez, lighten up! But keep weight underside

Dave, I appreciate this sincere effort to communicate.

Dan and others are not merely saying that Aikido practices should add more of the internal training. They are saying that Aikido is all and only about the internal unbalancing. As people forget how outlandish his claims have been I quote several posts from Dan below. If you read them you'll see that he does claim to be teaching Aikido... Or rather they don't really believe in Aikido so are teaching the true aiki of Daito-ryu. He does claim that Aikido is an ineffective art. I have not exaggerated his claims.

We can look at examples of Daito-ryu for comparison with Aikido:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Zczk...e_gdata_player

Generally there is a tendency to stop Uke's movement and then do the technique. Dan views attempts to use Uke's energy to power the throw as ineffective and superficial. He has got it backwards. The Using of Uke's energy to such a high level was the breakthrough in Aikido. Breaking internal balance, Atemi, posture, these are all necessary at times but they are secondary to how Aikido works. Stopping Uke and then doing a technique is less likely to work when there is a great strength and size differential and it is slower in general. Moving and blending works better in multiple attack situations. A broader range of people are capable of learning Aikido well compared to Daito-ryu. When you look at the images of Dan's seminar that I found and posted a link to you see evidence of counter punching as well as the unbalancing exercises. I've done similar Tai Chi inspired punching. It's fine. It's even good. It's not Aikido. It gets in the way of Aikido. It's what I do if I screw up my Aikido, not what I do instead of Aikido.

It was said by one of Dan's students earlier that all of O'Sensei's aiki was about breaking internal balance (not some but all he said). Dan and company seem to have a very narrow and mechanical definition of aiki. There is aiki in sword but sword is seldom about breaking balance, for example.

They see in O'Sensei what they want to see. Some of what they see is there at times. At other times it is not there. They ignore or dismiss the things that don't fit their position. Like the spiritual aspects. Like the blending and leading. It was said that people are trying to be as good as O'Sensei so they are doing things he did but which have allegedly been lost. In the process they are loosing the parts that have been kept. Moreover, they are leaving out practices that O'Sensei seldom asked of his students. If you want to be like O'Sensei, from his point of view, you must be a strict vegetarian, take purification baths, meditate, do art, make offerings, study, train, fast, and seek to leave earthly motives. Then maybe you'll be rewarded by a Kami.

Spin off of the latest discussion in the Bill Gleason/ Popkin thread on the continuing Aikido or Non aikido aiki debate and what is or isn't aiki when it is taught...and where is can be placed on aikiweb.

Since more and more top aikido people are going outside of aikido to learn aiki, it's not going to matter in the long run.
I have charted a course for my own involvement in teaching IP/aiki which I always stated it was a three to five year plan, with predictions of behavior. 
The plan and events as I saw them
1. First, discussion of it. "Those outside people don't really understand the aiki of aikido."
2. Aikido students go feel it, recognize they missed it and they are not allowed to train in their home dojos.
3. Aikido teachers are shown it. They can't do a thing to the guys who actually have it. They see they missed it. They create an environment to train it and they start to teach it. They tell everyone "These outside guys are doing the aiki of aikido!!"
4. They start to get it a little bit and their students do as well.
5. As their bodies change and their mind/ body awareness improves, they convince themselves they actually had more of it then they first thought (forgetting the evidence of their obvious initial failures)
6. As they get better because of going outside, they think the people they went outside to get it from aren't as good as they once thought.
7..In time they convince themselves and their students that everything they wanted was there all along and they already knew it, those outside guys just reminded them.

Then, full circle in the near future
8. The new narrative appears. The people who were given aiki from the outside guys now take it back into the art and they say to their students. Those outside people are good but ....
they don't really understand the aiki of aikido."

It's only a matter of time. This is just the predictable path for the best budo people. Most of whom are self motived and self disciplined people. All input will eventually become self-awareness and self-actualization. They cannot help but to follow a process more or less along the lines of; 
That guys amazing
I can't do that, 
I am learning to do that,
My teachers did that
I forgot I already knew all that 
That guy was a bit of an influence on me 

Precedent
Ueshiba, meets Takeda. When they met, he cried from being totally dominated. 
Twenty three years under Takeda- Ueshiba gets power. This was all based on and witnessed to be from...Takeda.
What do we get
What he says "Takeda opened my eyes to true budo...." 
What he does hands out Daito ryu scrolls with a changed name, and refused to pay the fees he promised...and walked away into a world pointing to his vision..

I am a realist. What these aikido teachers are doing is going to change aikido. It is changing aikido, but in the end it is going to turn back to ownership from within...aikido. So, for me it's best to remain a nobody and just help when I am asked and watch it all unfold with interest. It appears that everyone has a shield or added layer in what they say on the net or say behind closed doors. For some strange reason, what they say and what they can actually do in person is...not always the same. I suspect it's always been that way. 

So is this the aiki in aikido? You just might find that it's not only who you ask, but also when you ask them.  

Standing on the outside and enjoying the view.
Dan

Aikido: Discussions of power
I would like to open with a discussion of O sensei by his son, Kisshomaru in... "A life in Aikido." 
After a recent seminar, I was reading and reflecting on a direction, and and the continued discovery of the ignorance of such basics as the warm up exercises in the art and how and why they were done, what they were for and what they were meant to deliver to the adept.
_________________
"...since O sensei had made his search for the true path of Aiki the center of his life, I don't think these "legendary feats" were all he intended to do. But since Aikido was still at an early stage, I think he used these feats as a means to explain and promote Aikido to the masses, who might not easily acknowledge it without power or the proof of power. In other words, my sense is that O sensei's legendary feats were intended not only to demonstrate or show off what he could do, but to create and opportunity for the introduction of a true martial art.
O sensei could use some rather dramatic methods to show what Takemusu Aiki...was."
_________________

I think this stands in stark contrast to what has become of the art in the hands of those who thought to pursue it's higher goals without the means to deliver as martial artists. It strains credibility to be copying the trappings of a martial art without the means to deliver. And apparently the more one researches and reads, the more one discovers that the arts founder not only shared the same view, but stressed it continually.

Of interest, in the same chapter, We find a discussion of Kito ryu as the study of In yo ho, with direct correlation to Ueshiba's pursuit in Daito ryu's aiki in yo ho, with the advice that one cannot pursue one or the other, but must maintain the union of opposites to be effective. This lines up with the new translations currently taking place and those, fit in well with the Chinese models. Yet we hear these same sayings (which the non-aikido people understand)... were un-intelligible to those students of Aikido who would become the Japanese teachers the Aikido community is currently following.

I think that nothing has changed from the post war taking over of Kisshomaru to today. I believe O sensei's famous entry comment "This is not my Aikido" into the post war dojo, would be used upon his entry into the majority of modern dojo, were he alive today. I keep hearing this assessment stated by Shihan and teachers I am meeting. "I think we missed it." "I do not believe that we would withstand O sensei's scrutiny of our methods today." I think O sensei, would no doubt agree. For most, they cannot enter into an informed discussion on the tenets of in yo ho and how it applies to effective movement, much less how it would be the cornerstone of soft power in a martial art based on Aiki. It appears that once they experience aiki and the ability to generate power, they now agree that were O sensei to re-enter the picture today, his entry would sunder the Aikdo community, as many, if not most, would have to re-wire or leave. In other words, his re-entry would turn modern Aikido on its head.

Against outside pressure, Ueshiba's pursuit of effective power as the core of Aikido would withstand the current demands, would withstand critical review for internal power and aiki and he would in fact, get along with and have more in common with those pursuing that as the foundation of their aikido than the current methods of the majority practicing the art. 
Thoughts?
Dan

He did say what he was searching for so it doesn't really need much speculation unless you didn't understand him.

What makes the softest aiki...is power
What generates control of others force into you that feels ghosty soft...is power.
What makes deadly atemi is power.
Most martial artists, do not understand power, which give those that do...power over them.
It is not about strength for force on force. Continually bringing it up shows how far people are off from understanding their own founders message.
Using small effort to move a large force requires power unseen or felt.
Using 5 and 5 to defeat ten is power unseen.
7 and 3 to defeat ten requires power unseen.
The source of that power is Aiki in yo ho.

Takeda knew it
Sagawa trained it and talked about it
"However closely you watch my Aiki from the outside you will not understand. That's because I remove the power from my opponent through internal movements that do not show in the outer form. Now I am able to remove the enemy's power no matter where on my body I am grabbed. The source of this begins from a simple principle,(aiki in yo ho) but nobody understands. You can see whether somebody understands by watching their Aiki-age."

Ueshiba trained it and talked about it
Henry (Kono) asked O-sensei "Why can we not do what you do, Sensei?" O-Sensei's reply was direct, simple and final, "Because you don't understand in yo ho."
"In order to achieve the mysterious workings of ki based upon intent, first realize the appearance of the foundation that is the ki connection (ki musubi) between the left side of the physical body grounded in the martial and the right that receives the universe. If you can achieve this connection between the left and the right then you will be able to move with complete freedom."
"Manifest yo (yang) in the right hand, change the left hand to in (yin) and guide the opponent."
"The way of the mountain echo is intent, standing in the center of the connection between the ki of heaven and the ki of the earth."

Tohei trained it and talked about it 
Shirata trained it and talked about it
How you are meant to use it is the mystery that people do not understand. It is the source of aiki in-yo-ho. The very foundation of the entire art of Aikido....is power.

In his own words
Interestingly enough, Many of Ueshiba's commentaries are borrowed from Daito ryu and the Chinese arts. Some are almost word for word. In essence many of his Doka; Yin and Yang hand, dual opposing spirals, Six directions, Heaven/earth/man, mountain echo, are not his, they are concepts all borrowed from other arts.
And they were given to a student based completely incapable of even translating them correctly, much less defining and doing what he was apparently continually talking about.
When they were asked why they mistranslated, or skipped over translating these phrases on movement that were so dear to your founder that he repeated them over and over and are commonplace to about a million people, they said..
"We had no idea what they meant."
And they....became your teachers.

I agree with Both Sagawa and Ueshiba who is worth quoting again.
"Why can we not do what you do, Sensei?" O-Sensei's reply was direct, simple and final, "Because you don't understand in yo ho."

And Sagawa "All you need do is watch someone do aki age and you know if they understand in yo ho."
If you are not doing aiki in yo ho, you are not doing Aikido (the way of aiki). Ueshiba was right, it really is that simple.

Dan

Chinese: Yin yang 
Japanese- in yo ho (method) yes it is a method.
By definition it is not about power dominating... 
But you would have to understand what in yo ho means.
Which was more or less my point.

As I stated 
Teachers in aikido don't get what their own founder was saying. It's not their fault, apparently it just isn't taught anymore, hence Ikeda going to Karate and Daito ryu to get it, others going elsewhere. I have read just about everything in English and it isn't there. It isn't in the interviews with the arts teachers. I now know the translators didn't know how to translate it correctly. They don't know the meaning of his terms, and they still don't understand his contextual referencing. As it was then, it is now, to the modern teachers...it's pretty much gobbledegook. 

Some of us from...outside, are helping to fix this. Outside of Aikido -as aikido teachers attending seminars with teachers from other arts like the ICMA are finding out- this stuff is known. As one group of ICMA guys said to some aikido teachers: "Your art is a soft art, how come you guys don't know this stuff, what have you been doing?"

So we are trying hard to get the word out to aikido-ka, by reading it to them (their own translations are incorrect), teaching them where it came from, what it means, why their founder kept talking about it over and over and over and show them the same quotes from across the sea. Then we show them how to do it, and why it was important. So far it seems the teachers like it and find it important. Plus they get reading suggestions to awaken them to a world their founder was pointing to that they thought was indecipherable. It's one of the benefits of going out to learn.

As for in yo ho, as has been pointed out (but only to certain teachers) in watching Ueshiba videos....(and as Sagawa said) "You can see it instantly."
Hell, at certain points it was like Ueshiba was daring you. "Hey...look at me!" it was so obvious.
Dan

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote:  
Dan
I have tried to find more on Aiki in yo ho, but nothing much came up. But from waht I have found:
Do I understand correctly it is about being able to become the link that neutralizes yin yang between your attacker and the universe ? Balance out yin yang? (do not know how to describe it better)
The power would be more about ability than actual strength...
You won't find anything.
Aiki is a method, resolving in yo within and without you.
It is more complex than the typical nonsense of doing things; like timing and power displays between you and an attacker.
Aiki begins in you, is perfected within you, otherwise everything you try to do with an opponent that creates kuzushi on contact will fail.
The type of strength produced is not what most people understand and or know how to develop, and for that matter know how to cope with. The dilapidated state of Sagawa-where he couldn't open a jar-is not a requirement. Most people I meet still have this weird notion that "soft" means evading or running away. 
a) that is not soft, and it is unsupported
b) it does not exhibit yin yang
They just don't know how to produce power without flexing muscle, so they opt for that evading stuff and call that "Soft."
Interestingly, and in keeping with the tenor of the thread, the world outside of aikido, has tracked that type of understanding for hundreds of years and have discredited it as ...not being part of the "soft" arts. They also recognized that it was low level, that many can do it- as it requires no serious training or changing of the body. The changing of the body is the cornerstone of the soft arts and here we go again why O sensei said no one can do what I do, because you do not understand In yo ho. 

Cheers
Dan

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote:  
Dan
I have tried to find more on Aiki in yo ho, but nothing much came up. But from waht I have found:
Do I understand correctly it is about being able to become the link that neutralizes yin yang between your attacker and the universe ? Balance out yin yang? (do not know how to describe it better)
The power would be more about ability than actual strength...
You won't find anything.
Aiki is a method, resolving in yo within and without you.
It is more complex than the typical nonsense of doing things; like timing and power displays between you and an attacker.
Aiki begins in you, is perfected within you, otherwise everything you try to do with an opponent that creates kuzushi on contact will fail.
The type of strength produced is not what most people understand and or know how to develop, and for that matter know how to cope with. The dilapidated state of Sagawa-where he couldn't open a jar-is not a requirement. Most people I meet still have this weird notion that "soft" means evading or running away. 
a) that is not soft, and it is unsupported
b) it does not exhibit yin yang
They just don't know how to produce power without flexing muscle, so they opt for that evading stuff and call that "Soft."
Interestingly, and in keeping with the tenor of the thread, the world outside of aikido, has tracked that type of understanding for hundreds of years and have discredited it as ...not being part of the "soft" arts. They also recognized that it was low level, that many can do it- as it requires no serious training or changing of the body. The changing of the body is the cornerstone of the soft arts and here we go again why O sensei said no one can do what I do, because you do not understand In yo ho. 

Cheers
Dan
The attempts to redefine aikido as ai..ki..do was a recent corruption.
Aiki..do is congruent with
Ken...do
Ju...do
Iai...do.
Nothing more.

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
Dan and other "internal" teachers are not teaching aikido. It is about enhancing your body. They teach how to rewire your body and mind by specific solo and paired exercises. When done right, it takes time and a lot of work before for these exercises have noticable effect. And it takes more time and more work before these exercises have a profound effect. It is not about becoming muscular, hard and tough. It is about becoming extremely centered, solid, soft, flexible and sensitive (in my understanding).

These exercises are not waza, they are more like calisthenics (but very different from the normal calisthenics. I'd say it's a bit like yoga in motion). In that light it might not be a surprise that the exercises are cooperative. Your partner offers just enough resistance that you can notice your mistakes, fix them and learn).

Sometimes the teacher might demonstrate how we could apply these internal skills in a martial context. But it is not a martial art by itself. It does not replace aikido, karate or BJJ training. It is something you do on your own, besides the art that you train.

Why would an aikidoka want to add internal qualities to his body? Points that Dan and others are trying to make, is that aikido (like many martial arts) was supposed to have these internal qualities from the beginning. That aikido is not unique in this. That O Sensei spent a lot of time doing solo exercises like these. That O Sensei tried to teach it. That somehow, it didn't get transmitted all too well. All the references to the history of aikido and non-aikido martial traditions like taiji is meant to back this up.

Again, I'm no expert in history. It is just my understanding of the intention of Dan and others who promote internal training for aikido.

I am not interested in history that much, but they have convinced me that aikido is supposed to be an internal art. That's enough for me to keep doing these exercises on my own.
 
Old 11-12-2011, 09:16 AM   #213
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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Ken
What you describe here has the resulting appearance of what a close friend of mine, who is Aiki-jujitsu in a lineage associated with the parties here, accomplishes. The punch to the face curves, the soft bush continues the curve, bringing uke to a point of destabilization, the individual's center outside of their body....to be finished with a easy drop on nage part....maybe covered by an elbow strike. All this takes secondary pressure, push from behind, soft grip, transfer of momentum, weight drop, up and down spirals, use of the lower body, no tension in the upper body, proper rotation from the center (not hips first) and such....much of what is not clearly visible.....all of these things are not exclusive to Saotome Sensei or to the kind of Aikido you are trying to reach.

Just saying

Gary
Where's the video footage? Maybe I don't do justice to what I'm describing. Uke was four feet off the ground and completely verticle. O Sensei watched Saotome Sensei every morning for seven years as he tried to get this technique, in an effort to help him find it. Exclusive to Saotome, no - he says anyone can do what he does - but specific to Aikido yes. Daito-ryu does not do this. The things that O Sensei did that amazed everyone were these sort of things.

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 11-12-2011 at 09:20 AM.
 
Old 11-12-2011, 09:26 AM   #214
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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went back and read an old thread which had quite a few folks http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14063

memory lane. there was a time when jim sorrentino took exception to dan; rob liberti and sigman; david orange and IS folks in general; and the endless arguments between dan and mike. all these heated exchange brought back fond memory which i don't have to remember, since there is a search function in the forum. i remembered thinking what in the god name these folks talking about and made all these wild claims. i decided to go and experienced their stuffs. to date, i have not get the chance to experience a number of these folks, but the ones that i had, they actually walked the walk better than they talked the talk. i sometimes wondered how many of these folks who had debate with dan, mike, rob john, and so on, who went out and get their hands on these folks and changed their mind soon after. i tell ya, ego is a strange thing, just like waffle for breakfast and that just wrong; ham, egg, sausage and bacon for moi!
This was my experience as well. There is a lot of curmudgeonly discussion on this board around these skills, enough argument that I went and checked it out. The stuff is crazy and amazing. And it isn't spiritual.

That being said, it is pretty hard to deny that Ueshiba Sr was spiritually oriented -- why would he have spent so long in Omoto? You don't do that if you are just looking to be the biggest bad ass on the block.

I think the problem in this discussion is that if is one not reading the IS forums carefully, then they appear to say that Ueshiba never meant anything spiritual and that everything was only related to developing IS skills all the time. Probably the better way to view it is that some (but not all) of what appears to be namby-pamby New Age religious crap is actually a clue to IS training.

But there are also statements that are purely spiritual or religious. For example, I find it hard to believe that he was asked to give a lecture for Byakko in order to help them become better martial artists.

Perhaps someone with better J-language skills can shed some light on this aspect of it. Isn't there a statement attributed to Ueshiba that says Aikido is love? Doesn't that relate to a discussion of changing out the kanji for blending (ai -合) with the kanji for love (ai-愛)? That seems like it would be a pretty strong argument for their being a spiritual component outside of the IS discussion.
 
Old 11-12-2011, 09:34 AM   #215
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
Ken
What you describe here has the resulting appearance of what a close friend of mine, who is Aiki-jujitsu in a lineage associated with the parties here, accomplishes. The punch to the face curves, the soft bush continues the curve, bringing uke to a point of destabilization, the individual's center outside of their body....to be finished with a easy drop on nage part....maybe covered by an elbow strike. All this takes secondary pressure, push from behind, soft grip, transfer of momentum, weight drop, up and down spirals, use of the lower body, no tension in the upper body, proper rotation from the center (not hips first) and such....much of what is not clearly visible.....all of these things are not exclusive to Saotome Sensei or to the kind of Aikido you are trying to reach.

Just saying

Gary
Nice description of blending Gary, thanks.

Best,

Ron

 
Old 11-12-2011, 09:34 AM   #216
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

@ Hugh....one can definitely blend with their uke.
@ whoever...becoming softer and stronger is totally possible while training in Aikido technique and Aikido principles.

Last edited by Mary Eastland : 11-12-2011 at 09:35 AM. Reason: spelling, of course.

 
Old 11-12-2011, 09:39 AM   #217
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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Golly, this thread moves fast. I'm nearly at the point of thinking Ken's not reachable, but what the hell--I have a glass of Talisker's at my elbow and I'm not ready for bed yet. Ken, do you really want an answer? Cuz this is my best shot at giving you one.

Part of the problem is nobody can speak for "Dan's people", not even Dan. We can all speak only for ourselves, and we're all someplace slightly different. It's the low-quality Kool-Aid Dan uses.

However, having drunk the Kool-Aid to some degree, here are my thoughts on the issues you've raised. Mine only, in fact I know some other IP guys disagree with some of this:

Cooperative practice: All martial training is cooperative to some degree. When I took up boxing, the first time I put the gloves on with my trainer, you know what? He didn't knock my block off.

The problem people see is that so much of Aikido training is so cooperative that not only does your technique not have to work, but you get no feedback that it's not working. As a result the training becomes entirely ineffective.

It's also a complete misunderstanding of O-Sensei's intent, as I understand it. He forbade competition not because we're all supposed to be too full of sweetness and light to compete, but because as soon as you impose rules you have a sport, not a martial art. His art was supposed to be too fierce for competition, not too gentle.

Many modern Aikido dojos have gotten so much into the "art of peace" thing, they've lost sight of this fact. "Katsujinken" is first and foremost a sword--once you've understood that, then it can give life. Cooperative practice is fine to learn the move, but then it has to get more and more realistic if you're going to advance in your technique, until finally you're honestly trying to clobber the guy while staying centered and able to deliver a follow-up blow, and they're honestly throwing you, and you take the fall because it's really the best way out of an unsafe situation.

O-Sensei's spirituality: Of course O-Sensei was both spiritual and religious, and of course he talked of Aikido as a way to bring peace. But understand his language here in terms of his context as a Japanese budo man born at the beginning of the last century.

When O-Sensei spoke of "not trying to win" (referencing the 1957 interview, and thanks for posting it, it's a while since I last read it and it merits re-reading) he didn't mean that winning didn't matter. When he talked of budo being love, he didn't mean to give up to your opponent. He was perfectly capable of talking peace and love and then breaking his uke's arm on the mat through his vigorous technique--just as a Zen master can talk about compassion and detachment one moment and be shouting at his student over their stupidity the next.

In O-Sensei's case, he was using very traditional budo language to talk about the attitude of conflict--that being overly concerned for the outcome undercut your ability to be effective in the moment. "When my enemy raises his sword, I am already behind him, ready to strike him down" (paraphrasing, sorry) -- there's no need to be concerned about winning because you control the situation before it starts. "The state of continuous victory," to quote from the interview.

In the interview, O-Sensei says there is no attack in Aikido--yet his own demonstrations contain atemi. So he must be talking about the attitude, not the physical action. An attitude of love, while you're throwing uke across the room. And when he gets up, you're both laughing.

When people say his religion doesn't matter to Aikido, I believe they're mostly talking about Ooomoto specifically. Aikido as a spiritual practice is different from O-Sensei's religious background. And don't make too much of mirrors on the shomen--lots of things are carried on as tradition without any commitment to the original meaning.

Similarly for the quotes about being the embodiment of the Kami. Even a Christian might say they were inspired by or filled by the Holy Spirit. It's a great mistake to take religious language as literal language. Religious language is always, at base, poetic--the language of myth.

Blending: The problem with blending is that it's always limited. If uke is in control of their own movement, it doesn't matter whether you blend with it or not--they can choose when to stop or reverse their movement. Same with trying to use uke's momentum. This is why so many Aikido dojos get into attacks where uke throws themselves off balance with their own strike--because we think we're supposed to blend and so we try to make it possible for our partner to do it. If you don't do this in your dojo, good on you. If you do, I'm sorry, but other martial artists are right to laugh at you.

But O-Sensei says you never oppose your opponent's power. Isn't that blending? Well, no, not as it's typically taught. I'm not depending on uke's movement to defeat uke. I'm meeting it--whether it's a fast punch, a static grab, or a pull--and using whatever energy uke put into the attack to make a connection and use that connection to own their balance. Ultimately, this is a ki connection, though you don't have to use that term if you don't find it helpful. But if you do, you can understand how the no-touch throws work--you're making the ki connection before the physical connection and using that to lead their balance. You can see this clearly in O-Sensei's own no-touch throws.

This isn't even surprising, if you understand O-Sensei's own words. You don't oppose uke's force, so you don't put any power into the point where you and uke connect. That being the case, it doesn't actually much matter whether you're even physically touching at that point.

Incidentally, some of O-Sensei's demos make a clear distinction between blending and taking balance. Look for some of the video where O-Sensei meets a shomenuchi by stepping into the strike with a turn that leaves him standing pretty much parallel to uke but with his back to him. There's blending but no balance break, and uke typically stands there with a silly look on his face (notice that O-Sensei's ukes almost never throw themselves off balance). Then, O-Sensei turns the move into an actual technique and shows how he can add a ki connection, take balance, and make an actual technique of it.

Origins of Aikido: As I said upthread, this is a bit of a red herring. In the interview, O-Sensei talks of teaching "Aikido" to Tenryu in Manchuria. This was clearly before the war, therefore before the term "Aikido" was even coined, and while O-Sensei was still teaching Daito-Ryu. Yet O-Sensei says he "knew the secret of 'Aikido'". Clearly, he's not using the term to mean the formal, defined art with a separate syllabus as it existed after the war.

I think he means here the same thing as he means when he says Takeda "opened my eyes to budo"--that Takeda taught him the skills and insights that make budo effective: the aiki skills that Dan is teaching, and that derive from the same source. But he thought those skills were the core and the specific Daito-Ryu techniques were window dressing that could be (and to some degree were) discarded at will.

I would speculate that he was searching for a purer or more immediate expression of those skills, and that what he did in developing Aikido was a paring away of elaborate and technically intricate technique in order to express the core skills more directly--Matisse to Takeda's Picasso. I think he did see cooperative practice and ukemi as important elements of practicing these skills.

What I think he didn't foresee was that the big throws would become so seductive that people would focus on them to the exclusion of the core skills that he knew were required to make his Aikido martially effective. So his students neglected the solo exercises for the flashy throws. So: "This is not my Aikido."

Translations: The best specific example is in the kamae thread. I'm not gonna hunt it--you should have done so already--but the basic story is that O-Sensei wrote or had written in his manual "Budo" a term ("roppo") describing a specific stance. It seemed to mean "open the feet in 6 directions" but the translator (Stevens) didn't know what that meant and asked Saito Sensei, who just said, "Oh, it means hanmi." So Stevens translated it as "stand with your feet at 60 degrees to each other" (paraphrasing throughout, but I have the sense). There were additional passages that he didn't understand at all, and rather than put a bunch of gibberish into his book he just left it out.

But it turns out that "6 directions" is a well-known concept in the internal arts, with a specific meaning. So the translation buried a link to a traditional body of martial knowledge.

Other, similar passages have been cited--e.g. moving in opposing spirals. One passage talked about putting Izanami in your left foot and Izanagi in your right, which is completely baffling if you don't know how Izanami and Izanagi are pictured as spiraling around each other and how spirals are used in martial movement. But when you have all the pieces, they lock together like a jigsaw puzzle, so much so that they self-evidently go together.

Jeez, this is way too long for a forum post. But it's late and my glass is empty, so I'll put it up as is. Anybody who gets through it, I'll buy you a glass of Talisker's if we ever meet.
Good post Hugh! coupled with the comments from Chris, I do not see any point that I disagree with, but that is only me

Greg
 
Old 11-12-2011, 09:55 AM   #218
Gary David
 
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Nice description of blending Gary, thanks.

Best,

Ron
Ron
The problem is that most can not really do this....only the appearance of it ..... and that is made possible by the dance like roles taken in most most Aikido two person practice. Nothing wrong with cooperative practice to this extreme if that is what you want. Providing slight resistance, moderate resistance or extreme resistance in a setting where the parties are in agreement that this is the approach to be taken is "cooperative practice." It is this kind of paired practice with differing levels of resistance that let you know if you are on the right path to developing the tools needed to approach the limits of your art. There is no argument from me that you choose your own path and which way it takes you is ok.....

From my perspective looking at Aikido from the view that I am offered very few instructors have the internal skills needed to approach what O'Sensei was capable of or for that matter what Saotome Sensei can do. A good friend of mine told me that if you are really a seeker you will at some point reach the end of what your teacher can give you and you have to go out on your own to fill in the rest through your adaptation of what you find combined with what you are now. This has all been, this thread and other like it, about defending positions and not about seeking, searching and improving.

Off to a friends Aikido dojo to sit on a test board.....

Gary
 
Old 11-12-2011, 10:11 AM   #219
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
I asked Greg to withdraw this post. He did not so I will respond. It is not fair to put students in this situation. Because people want to explore does not mean they think Dan is better than their teacher.

I am not calling anyone faultless. I'm not even entertaining the debates about who is better or worse than others. I cite Saotome Sensei because his teachings contradict the arguments Dan and others have made. I cite him for the same reasons they cite Saito Sensei. They both trained extensively with O'Sensei. I cited Saotome Sensei because he quotes O'Sensei on the proper training approach. Not to say anything about his ability next to Dan's ability.

When people like Dan say that all postwar Aikido is not good Aikido and not the Aikido O'Sensei taught they insult all postwar teachers. Should I apologize for demanding that such statements be backed up with stronger evidence than they've provided? It's not so much to ask given their statements.
First, I am just retuning to this thread after my post referenced above, so, if I was even inclined to retract it (which I am not) I did not have the opportunity.

Second, I never said Dan was better than them - just said that he had something they did not. As I said, I did not intend to demean anyone, both those guys have real good Aikido - but, IMO based on personal experience between all three, Dan has stronger aiki - you will have to understand that Aikido is different that aiki for any of that to make sense to you. Of course aiki can be in Aikido, but unfortunately, not much of that is found in modern Aikido - go back and read Ellis' comment about the 'bottle'

I am going to be bowing out after this post like some others for the same reasons. There has been many attempts to try and tone down and break this discussion into somewhat logical segments, but all of that has been resisted by you. In many ways, I view your behavior here similar to that of a child that has just been told Santa Clause is not real - your core belief system in all that is good in life is being challenged and shattered - you lash out in anger and attack at every aspect of what you perceive is a malicious attack against you personally. Well, after a while the child grows up and accepts the reality of the situation and moves on. My advise then is to do the same - I am...

Greg
 
Old 11-12-2011, 11:02 AM   #220
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Ai symbol Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Golly, this thread moves fast. I'm nearly at the point of thinking Ken's not reachable, but what the hell--I have a glass of Talisker's at my elbow and I'm not ready for bed yet. Ken, do you really want an answer? Cuz this is my best shot at giving you one.

Part of the problem is nobody can speak for "Dan's people", not even Dan. We can all speak only for ourselves, and we're all someplace slightly different. It's the low-quality Kool-Aid Dan uses.

However, having drunk the Kool-Aid to some degree, here are my thoughts on the issues you've raised. Mine only, in fact I know some other IP guys disagree with some of this:

Cooperative practice: All martial training is cooperative to some degree. When I took up boxing, the first time I put the gloves on with my trainer, you know what? He didn't knock my block off.

The problem people see is that so much of Aikido training is so cooperative that not only does your technique not have to work, but you get no feedback that it's not working. As a result the training becomes entirely ineffective.

It's also a complete misunderstanding of O-Sensei's intent, as I understand it. He forbade competition not because we're all supposed to be too full of sweetness and light to compete, but because as soon as you impose rules you have a sport, not a martial art. His art was supposed to be too fierce for competition, not too gentle.

Many modern Aikido dojos have gotten so much into the "art of peace" thing, they've lost sight of this fact. "Katsujinken" is first and foremost a sword--once you've understood that, then it can give life. Cooperative practice is fine to learn the move, but then it has to get more and more realistic if you're going to advance in your technique, until finally you're honestly trying to clobber the guy while staying centered and able to deliver a follow-up blow, and they're honestly throwing you, and you take the fall because it's really the best way out of an unsafe situation.

O-Sensei's spirituality: Of course O-Sensei was both spiritual and religious, and of course he talked of Aikido as a way to bring peace. But understand his language here in terms of his context as a Japanese budo man born at the beginning of the last century.

When O-Sensei spoke of "not trying to win" (referencing the 1957 interview, and thanks for posting it, it's a while since I last read it and it merits re-reading) he didn't mean that winning didn't matter. When he talked of budo being love, he didn't mean to give up to your opponent. He was perfectly capable of talking peace and love and then breaking his uke's arm on the mat through his vigorous technique--just as a Zen master can talk about compassion and detachment one moment and be shouting at his student over their stupidity the next.

In O-Sensei's case, he was using very traditional budo language to talk about the attitude of conflict--that being overly concerned for the outcome undercut your ability to be effective in the moment. "When my enemy raises his sword, I am already behind him, ready to strike him down" (paraphrasing, sorry) -- there's no need to be concerned about winning because you control the situation before it starts. "The state of continuous victory," to quote from the interview.

In the interview, O-Sensei says there is no attack in Aikido--yet his own demonstrations contain atemi. So he must be talking about the attitude, not the physical action. An attitude of love, while you're throwing uke across the room. And when he gets up, you're both laughing.

When people say his religion doesn't matter to Aikido, I believe they're mostly talking about Ooomoto specifically. Aikido as a spiritual practice is different from O-Sensei's religious background. And don't make too much of mirrors on the shomen--lots of things are carried on as tradition without any commitment to the original meaning.

Similarly for the quotes about being the embodiment of the Kami. Even a Christian might say they were inspired by or filled by the Holy Spirit. It's a great mistake to take religious language as literal language. Religious language is always, at base, poetic--the language of myth.

Blending: The problem with blending is that it's always limited. If uke is in control of their own movement, it doesn't matter whether you blend with it or not--they can choose when to stop or reverse their movement. Same with trying to use uke's momentum. This is why so many Aikido dojos get into attacks where uke throws themselves off balance with their own strike--because we think we're supposed to blend and so we try to make it possible for our partner to do it. If you don't do this in your dojo, good on you. If you do, I'm sorry, but other martial artists are right to laugh at you.

But O-Sensei says you never oppose your opponent's power. Isn't that blending? Well, no, not as it's typically taught. I'm not depending on uke's movement to defeat uke. I'm meeting it--whether it's a fast punch, a static grab, or a pull--and using whatever energy uke put into the attack to make a connection and use that connection to own their balance. Ultimately, this is a ki connection, though you don't have to use that term if you don't find it helpful. But if you do, you can understand how the no-touch throws work--you're making the ki connection before the physical connection and using that to lead their balance. You can see this clearly in O-Sensei's own no-touch throws.

This isn't even surprising, if you understand O-Sensei's own words. You don't oppose uke's force, so you don't put any power into the point where you and uke connect. That being the case, it doesn't actually much matter whether you're even physically touching at that point.

Incidentally, some of O-Sensei's demos make a clear distinction between blending and taking balance. Look for some of the video where O-Sensei meets a shomenuchi by stepping into the strike with a turn that leaves him standing pretty much parallel to uke but with his back to him. There's blending but no balance break, and uke typically stands there with a silly look on his face (notice that O-Sensei's ukes almost never throw themselves off balance). Then, O-Sensei turns the move into an actual technique and shows how he can add a ki connection, take balance, and make an actual technique of it.

Origins of Aikido: As I said upthread, this is a bit of a red herring. In the interview, O-Sensei talks of teaching "Aikido" to Tenryu in Manchuria. This was clearly before the war, therefore before the term "Aikido" was even coined, and while O-Sensei was still teaching Daito-Ryu. Yet O-Sensei says he "knew the secret of 'Aikido'". Clearly, he's not using the term to mean the formal, defined art with a separate syllabus as it existed after the war.

I think he means here the same thing as he means when he says Takeda "opened my eyes to budo"--that Takeda taught him the skills and insights that make budo effective: the aiki skills that Dan is teaching, and that derive from the same source. But he thought those skills were the core and the specific Daito-Ryu techniques were window dressing that could be (and to some degree were) discarded at will.

I would speculate that he was searching for a purer or more immediate expression of those skills, and that what he did in developing Aikido was a paring away of elaborate and technically intricate technique in order to express the core skills more directly--Matisse to Takeda's Picasso. I think he did see cooperative practice and ukemi as important elements of practicing these skills.

What I think he didn't foresee was that the big throws would become so seductive that people would focus on them to the exclusion of the core skills that he knew were required to make his Aikido martially effective. So his students neglected the solo exercises for the flashy throws. So: "This is not my Aikido."

Translations: The best specific example is in the kamae thread. I'm not gonna hunt it--you should have done so already--but the basic story is that O-Sensei wrote or had written in his manual "Budo" a term ("roppo") describing a specific stance. It seemed to mean "open the feet in 6 directions" but the translator (Stevens) didn't know what that meant and asked Saito Sensei, who just said, "Oh, it means hanmi." So Stevens translated it as "stand with your feet at 60 degrees to each other" (paraphrasing throughout, but I have the sense). There were additional passages that he didn't understand at all, and rather than put a bunch of gibberish into his book he just left it out.

But it turns out that "6 directions" is a well-known concept in the internal arts, with a specific meaning. So the translation buried a link to a traditional body of martial knowledge.

Other, similar passages have been cited--e.g. moving in opposing spirals. One passage talked about putting Izanami in your left foot and Izanagi in your right, which is completely baffling if you don't know how Izanami and Izanagi are pictured as spiraling around each other and how spirals are used in martial movement. But when you have all the pieces, they lock together like a jigsaw puzzle, so much so that they self-evidently go together.

Jeez, this is way too long for a forum post. But it's late and my glass is empty, so I'll put it up as is. Anybody who gets through it, I'll buy you a glass of Talisker's if we ever meet.
I just wanted to comment the the point you made with regard to blending. Specifically, at my dojo we do a lot of leading and blending. While capturing Uke momentum/energy is desirable it is not always necessary. My sensei teaches a lot of getting in close and changing as Uke changes-blending, Being in the moment, not relying on large energy displays to connect with. U are in effect in the moment with them and it is very effective. It feels especially effortless when he is next to/behind like a sheet being thrown over you and there is nothing to fight against because he is adapting, changing as you do. All blending I guess is not the same. Further, in addition to Saotome sensei, Peter Ralston has had a profound influence (in my opinion for the better) on his Aikido by his own admission.
 
Old 11-12-2011, 11:20 AM   #221
RonRagusa
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
Providing slight resistance, moderate resistance or extreme resistance in a setting where the parties are in agreement that this is the approach to be taken is "cooperative practice." It is this kind of paired practice with differing levels of resistance that let you know if you are on the right path to developing the tools needed to approach the limits of your art.
Hi Gary -

This is the approach we take with both technique practice and Ki development work. That said, the resistance offered by uke must make sense in a practical way. Resisting by ceasing all movement and turning into an immovable mountain of flesh and bone is pointless since uke disengages his attack. Unfortunately that is precisely what passes for resistance in a lot of peoples minds.

Quote:
Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
A good friend of mine told me that if you are really a seeker you will at some point reach the end of what your teacher can give you and you have to go out on your own to fill in the rest through your adaptation of what you find combined with what you are now.
Interesting topic for another thread perhaps.

Quote:
Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
This has all been, this thread and other like it, about defending positions and not about seeking, searching and improving.
All too often sad but true.

Best,

Ron

 
Old 11-12-2011, 11:38 AM   #222
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

I'm getting tired of this slightly veiled insults.

I am not angry. I have not had my Aikido world shattered by the unsupported claims in this discussion made by yourself and others. I have trained with many master instructors in various arts. You have no idea who I am or who all my influences have been. I have even trained with people who were obciously showing Dan's influence in their Aikido. I understand the claims that are being made now that more explanation has been provided. The grandious claims that Dan makes are simply not supported. All this machismo BS gets old. All the comments by Dan, for example, that if people had Aiki they would prove it it combat and so forth.

You people keeping stating that aiki is absent in modern Aikido. Your definition of aiki is the problem. If you don't think Ikeda Sensei and Saotome Sensei have aiki in their Aikido, or not adequate aiki as claimed by many here who say that's why people seek out Dan, then you don't know what aiki is.

I posted the footage of Daito-ryu and people have not responded. I see so much more in the footage of O'Sensei than what is visible in Jujutsu. I layer out some of the obvious differences. Here's another. In Daito-ryu there is also a tendency to threaten the joints with injury. Aikido moved away from that. Not just to be nice but also to minimize the tendency of Uke to struggle.



Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
First, I am just retuning to this thread after my post referenced above, so, if I was even inclined to retract it (which I am not) I did not have the opportunity.

Second, I never said Dan was better than them - just said that he had something they did not. As I said, I did not intend to demean anyone, both those guys have real good Aikido - but, IMO based on personal experience between all three, Dan has stronger aiki - you will have to understand that Aikido is different that aiki for any of that to make sense to you. Of course aiki can be in Aikido, but unfortunately, not much of that is found in modern Aikido - go back and read Ellis' comment about the 'bottle'

I am going to be bowing out after this post like some others for the same reasons. There has been many attempts to try and tone down and break this discussion into somewhat logical segments, but all of that has been resisted by you. In many ways, I view your behavior here similar to that of a child that has just been told Santa Clause is not real - your core belief system in all that is good in life is being challenged and shattered - you lash out in anger and attack at every aspect of what you perceive is a malicious attack against you personally. Well, after a while the child grows up and accepts the reality of the situation and moves on. My advise then is to do the same - I am...

Greg

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 11-12-2011 at 11:45 AM.
 
Old 11-12-2011, 12:19 PM   #223
stan baker
Location: east granby, ct
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Hi Ken
I have trained with Ikeda and Saotome and they are both
very good at Aikido and have Aiki skills, Dan is just on a higher
level, go ask your teachers.
 
Old 11-12-2011, 12:19 PM   #224
gregstec
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
I'm getting tired of this slightly veiled insults.

I am not angry. I have not had my Aikido world shattered by the unsupported claims in this discussion made by yourself and others. I have trained with many master instructors in various arts. You have no idea who I am or who all my influences have been. I have even trained with people who were obciously showing Dan's influence in their Aikido. I understand the claims that are being made now that more explanation has been provided. The grandious claims that Dan makes are simply not supported. All this machismo BS gets old. All the comments by Dan, for example, that if people had Aiki they would prove it it combat and so forth.

You people keeping stating that aiki is absent in modern Aikido. Your definition of aiki is the problem. If you don't think Ikeda Sensei and Saotome Sensei have aiki in their Aikido, or not adequate aiki as claimed by many here who say that's why people seek out Dan, then you don't know what aiki is.

I posted the footage of Daito-ryu and people have not responded. I see so much more in the footage of O'Sensei than what is visible in Jujutsu. I layer out some of the obvious differences. Here's another. In Daito-ryu there is also a tendency to threaten the joints with injury. Aikido moved away from that. Not just to be nice but also to minimize the tendency of Uke to struggle.
Well, Ken, you finally hit on the core of the problem in this discussion - the definition of Aiki. The topic of this thread is 'Ueshiba's Aiki' - Dan, and others, have stated that those in modern Aikido do not manifest aiki as Ueshiba did - if they could, how come no one has duplicated his power. You disagree with that because you have a different view of what aiki is - OK, that is fine. Regardless of how direct and blunt Dan can come across, the bottom line is that he can walk his talk, and those that have felt that, are all still training with him to learn more - and there is progress among his students. Now if you can come up with someone that can manifest the same level of soft power that Dan can, we will go check him out - period.

In summary, unless there can be an agreed upon point of reference for discussion, there can be no discussion - no agreed upon definition of aiki, then no logical discussion; just arguments - which has become very apparent in this thread.

Greg
 
Old 11-12-2011, 12:30 PM   #225
Ken McGrew
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Re: Ueshiba's Aiki

Quote:
Stan Baker wrote: View Post
Hi Ken
I have trained with Ikeda and Saotome and they are both
very good at Aikido and have Aiki skills, Dan is just on a higher
level, go ask your teachers.
Define aiki as Dan defines it.
It seems to be defined as grounding and breaking internal balance.
Where then is the aiki in sword?

Are you claiming that Saotome Sensei one Ikeda Sensei have trained with Dan much less that they are following him? Ikeda Sensei has been inspired by Ushiro Sensei, who Dan thinks little of, and Saotome Sensei is focussed primarilly on transmitting what he learned from O'Sensei to his students.
 

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