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Old 04-04-2012, 11:43 PM   #176
PeterR
 
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

I think there is a huge difference between inspiration and teaching ability although you have to have a good measure of the former to do well at the latter.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:05 AM   #177
jackie adams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Good Morning, fellow martial artists and readers.

Confusion seems to arise of some people between the teaching ability of the Founder and Aikido being watered down, being no longer effective. If there is a concern over the quality of the techniques effectiveness deteriorating, it has no reflection on the Founder's ability as a teacher. To have something become progressively worse, is again the onus of the students. In no way is it reasonable to hold the Founder's ability to teach for what some feel a deterioration or dilution of the art today.

The Founder's teaching philosophy framed in martial arts tradition and the nature of teaching is often criticized. The Founder choosing to reduce his frequency as a teacher in his later years doesn't reflect on his abilities. It is not unrealistic to have teachers focus on their own interests and research, reducing their teaching schedule, turning some teaching duties over to others. It is common with university professors who have grad students teach 101 classes. We know it is very common in martial arts allowing higher ranked students the opportunity to develop teaching skills. Criticizing the Founder's (closest description is Idiosyncratic) personal teaching philosophy is not the same as his ability to teach.

The quality of what is being taught, and personal teaching philosophy has no reflection on a person's capacity and talent to provide information or give instruction. The Founder was a highly sought after teacher, a testimonial to his success, just as the number of critics he has attracted during his lifetime and after his passing. In other words, you receive more criticism for being at the top then anywhere else in your field, resulting as an indicator of you success. The more people want to knock you down, only indicates the greater achievements you have made. No different than being the champ that everyone goes after to beat, because that means they gain their own instant credibility if they win.

I appreciate the time and opportunity to express my thoughts. It is my hope everyone has a good day.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:50 AM   #178
DH
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
I think there is a huge difference between inspiration and teaching ability although you have to have a good measure of the former to do well at the latter.
True, otherwise there would be traditions filled with amazingly competent all stars.
Where are these people?
Further, as is the case with many traditions you often ended up with the real talent as a titular head with the son and next level of teachers as poor substitutes as the active teaching staff.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:04 PM   #179
Gary David
 
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Jackie Adams wrote: View Post

Criticizing the Founder's (closest description is Idiosyncratic) personal teaching philosophy is not the same as his ability to teach.

The quality of what is being taught, and personal teaching philosophy has no reflection on a person's capacity and talent to provide information or give instruction.
Some years back I had a conversation with an individual who spent time training and talking directly with Morihei Ueshiba in Japan back in the 60's. His comment when I ask about the reaction of the deshi to his time spent talking with O'Sensei was that it didn't worry them as they could not understand what the "old man" was talking about anyway .......and it seems that by that time it was mostly talking he was doing anyway.. If lecture was the primary mode of transmission ...then transmission was not happening.

Gary
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:16 PM   #180
Eric Winters
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Jim Redel wrote: View Post
I may be missing something here, but doesn't the fact that we are now 'talking' about a little man, born on an island a half a world away, whose singular vision was responsible for a world-wide 'movement' and who has been dead now some 40 odd years, say at least a little something about his teaching ability?
No.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:25 PM   #181
DH
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
Some years back I had a conversation with an individual who spent time training and talking directly with Morihei Ueshiba in Japan back in the 60's. His comment when I ask about the reaction of the deshi to his time spent talking with O'Sensei was that it didn't worry them as they could not understand what the "old man" was talking about anyway .......and it seems that by that time it was mostly talking he was doing anyway.. If lecture was the primary mode of transmission ...then transmission was not happening.

Gary
The one thing that seems to remain constant is people in denial of some rather obvious truths.
Since many of the great's "stories" of their training/personal care/ travel times with Ueshiba do not line up, I keep waiting for the list to come out of who was lying and who was telling the truth. It is NEVER going to happen, but the conclusions are startlingly obvious...some of the greats....were not telling the truth.
I prefer to leave it as a pregnant pause and allow them to express feelings of a personal connection with a great teacher with colorful stories; years added, baths being drawn when he wasn't there, learning from a guy who wasn't present etc.
Dan
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:03 PM   #182
Tengu859
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
The one thing that seems to remain constant is people in denial of some rather obvious truths.
Since many of the great's "stories" of their training/personal care/ travel times with Ueshiba do not line up, I keep waiting for the list to come out of who was lying and who was telling the truth. It is NEVER going to happen, but the conclusions are startlingly obvious...some of the greats....were not telling the truth.
I prefer to leave it as a pregnant pause and allow them to express feelings of a personal connection with a great teacher with colorful stories; years added, baths being drawn when he wasn't there, learning from a guy who wasn't present etc.
Dan
It is very hard for people to see things that are in plain sight...no pun intended. Many have much invested emotionally when it comes to the Ueshiba sensei. Hence the saying, " love is blind". So denial, myth making,etc., happen. I'm guilty of it myself. I feel that this is at the core of this thread.

IMO, it is very easy to go about life being "blind". So for me it's become important to step out of my comfort zone during my training. Musha shugyo has become for me a way of training with others to gage myself. Hopefully one day, I'll be able to see...Thanks.

ChrisW
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:46 PM   #183
MM
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
Hello again Mr. Li. It is nice to read your post. You always have something interesting to say. I believe

Mochizuki was 10 dan in Aikido. I don't think he complained about the Founder communication, did he?

Tomiki was awarded 8th dan, and taught Aikido at Waseda University many years starting his own Aikido association in 1974, right? Did he want to leave Aikido because he felt the Founder was a terrible teacher?

Shioda was 10th dan. Who used aikido effectively is a street fight, won an award for his Aikido demonstration, continued to teach Aikido up until his death. Shidoda could not train under the Founder because of post war economics. Was it because, he felt the Founder was a poor teacher. Shioda left easily.

Inoue helped the Founder with building Aikido, and had a personal disagreement over matters not related to the Founder's quality of teaching. He too left easily.

Shirata was 9th dan, "I want to follow [The Founders] Sensei's footsteps as my life path." Shirata Rinjiro. Surely, he didn't complain, and was very dedicated to the Founder.

The Founder really didn't teach is what your are saying. This means they had to develop their skill on their own? Who was teaching then? You said, the early students where kids being taught by the Founder....could that be the source of complaint. Kids always complaining about their teachers.

It seems Shiriata like the others had confidence in the Founder's ability to teach. At least he felt he was a effective teach to be so dedicated.

Was it really hard to leave a martial in early part of the 20th century, way was that?

Short day, I hope everyone is in good health and wish them good training.
I would strongly urge you to get the back issues of Aikido Journal from Stan Pranin and read them all. Buy Ellis Amdur's book, Hidden in Plain Sight and read it. Research the Non-Aikido Forum here on AikiWeb while you are also reading Peter Goldsbury's articles, TIE.

At a minimum, that is what is needed to have a conversation with people like Chris Li, Allen Beebe, etc.

I've read your posts in this thread. I really would suggest that you put in the time to read the above mentioned material. You'll find a wealth of information there. Too much for anyone to really go over here. But (... isn't there always a but?) I'll post a few highlights to help you get started. This is by no means a complete list. There's a ton more like it out there ...

Mark

1. Aiki News Issue 038
Kanai Sensei: He would throw the uchideshi (live-in disciples) with very little in the way of explanation and we would grasp what we could of the feeling of the technique while we were flying through the air.

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

3. Aiki News 047
Editor: During Ueshiba Sensei's training sessions in what way did he explain the techniques of Aikido? [1933 time frame]
Kunigoshi Sensei: No matter what it was that we asked him I think we always got the same answer. Anyway, there wasn't a soul there who could understand any of the things he said. I guess he was talking about spiritual subjects but the meaning of his words was just beyond us.

Akazawa Sensei: No, there was nothing like that. He would say, "O.K.", and show a technique, and that's all. He never taught in detail by saying, "Put strength here," or, "Now push on this point." He never used that way of teaching.

4. Aiki News Issue 049
Editor: Did O-Sensei give verbal explanations of techniques?
Mr. Kamata: It varied. Sometimes he would explain and at others his idea seemed to be to let us find out for ourselves. He always said, however, "You have to enter into the inside of the training partner; get into the inside and then take him into your inside!"

5. Aiki News Issue 069
Sugino Sensei: [started around 1932] Ueshiba Sensei, unlike the present Honbu instructors, taught techniques by quickly showing the movement just one time. He didn't teach by offering detailed explanations. Even when we asked him to show us the technique again he would say, "No. Next technique!".

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

7. Training with the Master by John Stevens
Walther Krenner writes in the book
As I said, O-Sensei no longer taught on a regular schedule at that time, and his illness must have given him great pain; but when he did teach us it was awesome. Sometimes he came in and talked for a long while and left; this was good training in seiza.

8. Aiki News Issue 031
Doshu: Thus, the sight of those present not immediately understanding the true meaning of his remarks and ending up completely baffled was a frequent one. This was understandably so because O-Sensei 's lectures involved difficult to comprehend explanations based on mental and physical austerities far more numerous than those undergone by ordinary people, remarks about intuitive spiritual realizations, and words about extraordinary things he experienced.

9. Aiki News Issue 031
Yoji Tomosue - Since O-Sensei's speech was somewhat disconnected, it was extremely difficult for his listeners to understand him.

10. Aiki News Issue 066
Aiki News: We understand that O-Sensei in his latter years talked about kotodama and the spiritual world when he spoke on Aikido or budo. Did those who were uchideshi at that time understand him?
Tamura Sensei: No, I don't think they did. At least the young uchideshi including myself didn't understand him.

11. Aiki News Issue 062
Shirata Sensei: Ueshiba Sensei's way of explaining techniques was first of all to give the names of kamisama (deities). After that, he explained the movement.

12. Black Belt 1980 Vol 18 No 4
Mochizuki states, "Every time Uyeshiba couldn't explain something, he'd say it was because of God. He had a strong sense of intuition because he was not educated. He could explain with actions what Kano conceived intellectually."

13. Black Belt 1981 Vol 19 No 10
Article by Yoji Kondo and Karl Geis about Tomiki.

Uyeshiba's training method was quite a change from that of Kano's.

Uyeshiba, on the other hand, was a man of premodern tradition.

… was a genius whose mastery and understanding of the martial arts were strictly at an intuitive level. However, where Kano enunciated his thoughts lucidly and clearly in terms of scientific principles, Uyeshiba would invoke the divine spirit.

Uyeshiba's understanding of the aikido principles was not articulated but was simply expressed as ki; hence, it was very difficult, if not altogether impossible, to transmit the gokui (secret) of his art to anyone but another genius like himself.

14. Black Belt 1988 Vol 26 No 4
Article about Virginia Mayhew by Chuck Bush
"O-Sensei taught entirely differently from any of the other teachers," Mayhew relates. "He had no set form when he taught."

15. http://aikidocanberra.com/Docs/main/doc/MasaoIshii
Masao Ishii
1965-ish Started training at Hombu
NCT: Really? So you started training there. Did you have a chance to train with O'Sensei then?
Ishii Sensei: Well, at that time he was already retired and he didn't have a regular class. I was only 15 years old. I went to Hombu dojo many times, where there were many teachers teaching regular classes. I expected to see O'Sensei at the dojo. His home was just next to Hombu dojo, and I expected him to come out of his room to teach us. But he didn't come to the dojo often. After a few months I learned that it was only for Yamaguchi Sensei's and Kisshomaru Sensei's classes that he came to the dojo to join us. This means that O'Sensei was not interested in other teachers training.

16. Aikido Shugyo by Gozo Shioda
As mentioned earlier, at the Ueshiba Dojo in the old days we didn't explicitly have any pre-set forms. The only thing the students could do was copy the techniques that Sensei performed on their own. In terms of instruction, the only thing we were told was to "become one with heaven and earth."

17. Aikido Journal 103
Interview with David Lynch
Shioda Sensei, like many other former students of O-Sensei, felt that O-Sensei's teaching was unsystematic, and he therefore devised his own set of basic exercises that were intended to make the art easier for the average person to learn.

18. Aikido Today Magazine; #31 Dec.93/ Jan. 94
Interview of Henry Kono sensei by Virginia Mayhew and Susan Perry.
ATM: When you had conversations like these with O'sensei, what would you talk about?
HK: Well, I would usually ask him why the rest of us couldn't do what he could. there were many other teachers, all doing aikido. But he was doing it differently - doing something differently. His movement was so clean!
ATM: How would O'sensei answer your questions about what he was doing?
HK: He would say that I didn't understand yin and yang [in and yo]. So, now I've made it my life work to study yin and yang. That's what O'sensei told me to do.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:31 PM   #184
David Yap
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Interview with Henry Kono sensei:

http://www.guillaumeerard.com/aikido...enry-kono.html
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:39 AM   #185
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Did Osensei's teacher (Takeda) produce multiple students after him who reached or exceeded his level? Did their students in turn produce students who reached or exceeded Takeda's level? How about the likes of Hisa, who started Daito-ryu under Ueshiba then went on to study it under Takeda, got promoted then later taught it as aikido saying it was the same thing? Did both award him ranks for abilities he had not attained?
That's a hard question to answer, since he was much less visible than Ueshiba. Generally speaking, I'd be of the opinion that Takeda was not a great teacher either although, like Ueshiba, he was apparently quite inspiring. It might even be possible to make the argument that the problem with transmission was partially due to Takeda, since Ueshiba quite deliberately imitated him in so many ways (right down to the titles).

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Many of us have become familiar with the acronym IHTBF. Did you feel a great many of Ueshiba's senior students? It is conceivable that Takeda and Ueshiba gave out recognition of ability in the form or ranks or scrolls without regard for the reality. However, if we assume that they did care a little about how people who would represent them would be able to perform, I have the following question for you: How can you tell that these students didn't get the goods when Ueshiba apparently thought they had? In other words, what can you recognise the absence of in his students that Ueshiba could not? CMA skills? Kokyu-ryoku?
Some of them I have and some of them I haven't. I don't know that he that he thought that they had the goods. There were menkyo kaiden awarded after just a couple of years, and after the war it wasn't uncommon for people to find themselves suddenly promoted to 8th dan - more than once.

Don't get me wrong - Ueshiba has some very skilled students. But the ones that got what they got don't seem to know how they got it - and because of that were unable to pass the thing on effectively. We're at an important time right now where we can see the effects of three or four generations of transmission in a large range of people.
Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
There seems to be a consensus that Osensei had certain goods himself. I appreciate the study people are doing into how similar skills are found elsewhere but if you find him consistently recognising people for their aikido ability without passing on a particular essential training method there could be a number of reasons. One is that his training method was different. Another is that it was the same as these other arts and he was not competent at passing it on (which begs the question, who was competent?). The ideas that he didn't care or was too lost in his religious pursuits have also been mentioned.
I think that it was the combination of a lot of things. More on that later, maybe...

Best,

Chris
Hello Chris

Sorry to keep responding so late to your posts and thanks for making them at all. I very much appreciate your answers.

So if Osensei and possibly even Takeda were not very good at transmitting their knowledge, who is? In order to make that kind of relative judgement you must have experienced people who were better. That would mean that there must be people out there whom you have trained with who have the kind of skills Ueshiba had and were able to pass them on to create equals or people who surpassed them. Who are these people? Who are the students who have equalled or surpassed them?

Also, and I apologise for the barrage of questions here, what were the skills that were not passed on effectively (IP? Something from CMA?) and how are they getting passed on in a good way elsewhere?

Regards

Carl

Last edited by Carl Thompson : 04-06-2012 at 07:42 AM. Reason: formatting
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:17 AM   #186
jackie adams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I would strongly urge you to get the back issues of Aikido Journal from Stan Pranin and read them all. Buy Ellis Amdur's book, Hidden in Plain Sight and read it. Research the Non-Aikido Forum here on AikiWeb while you are also reading Peter Goldsbury's articles, TIE.

At a minimum, that is what is needed to have a conversation with people like Chris Li, Allen Beebe, etc.

I've read your posts in this thread. I really would suggest that you put in the time to read the above mentioned material. You'll find a wealth of information there. Too much for anyone to really go over here. But (... isn't there always a but?) I'll post a few highlights to help you get started. This is by no means a complete list. There's a ton more like it out there ...

Mark

1. Aiki News Issue 038
Kanai Sensei: He would throw the uchideshi (live-in disciples) with very little in the way of explanation and we would grasp what we could of the feeling of the technique while we were flying through the air.

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

3. Aiki News 047
Editor: During Ueshiba Sensei's training sessions in what way did he explain the techniques of Aikido? [1933 time frame]
Kunigoshi Sensei: No matter what it was that we asked him I think we always got the same answer. Anyway, there wasn't a soul there who could understand any of the things he said. I guess he was talking about spiritual subjects but the meaning of his words was just beyond us.

Akazawa Sensei: No, there was nothing like that. He would say, "O.K.", and show a technique, and that's all. He never taught in detail by saying, "Put strength here," or, "Now push on this point." He never used that way of teaching.

4. Aiki News Issue 049
Editor: Did O-Sensei give verbal explanations of techniques?
Mr. Kamata: It varied. Sometimes he would explain and at others his idea seemed to be to let us find out for ourselves. He always said, however, "You have to enter into the inside of the training partner; get into the inside and then take him into your inside!"

5. Aiki News Issue 069
Sugino Sensei: [started around 1932] Ueshiba Sensei, unlike the present Honbu instructors, taught techniques by quickly showing the movement just one time. He didn't teach by offering detailed explanations. Even when we asked him to show us the technique again he would say, "No. Next technique!".

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

7. Training with the Master by John Stevens
Walther Krenner writes in the book
As I said, O-Sensei no longer taught on a regular schedule at that time, and his illness must have given him great pain; but when he did teach us it was awesome. Sometimes he came in and talked for a long while and left; this was good training in seiza.

8. Aiki News Issue 031
Doshu: Thus, the sight of those present not immediately understanding the true meaning of his remarks and ending up completely baffled was a frequent one. This was understandably so because O-Sensei 's lectures involved difficult to comprehend explanations based on mental and physical austerities far more numerous than those undergone by ordinary people, remarks about intuitive spiritual realizations, and words about extraordinary things he experienced.

9. Aiki News Issue 031
Yoji Tomosue - Since O-Sensei's speech was somewhat disconnected, it was extremely difficult for his listeners to understand him.

10. Aiki News Issue 066
Aiki News: We understand that O-Sensei in his latter years talked about kotodama and the spiritual world when he spoke on Aikido or budo. Did those who were uchideshi at that time understand him?
Tamura Sensei: No, I don't think they did. At least the young uchideshi including myself didn't understand him.

11. Aiki News Issue 062
Shirata Sensei: Ueshiba Sensei's way of explaining techniques was first of all to give the names of kamisama (deities). After that, he explained the movement.

12. Black Belt 1980 Vol 18 No 4
Mochizuki states, "Every time Uyeshiba couldn't explain something, he'd say it was because of God. He had a strong sense of intuition because he was not educated. He could explain with actions what Kano conceived intellectually."

13. Black Belt 1981 Vol 19 No 10
Article by Yoji Kondo and Karl Geis about Tomiki.

Uyeshiba's training method was quite a change from that of Kano's.

Uyeshiba, on the other hand, was a man of premodern tradition.

… was a genius whose mastery and understanding of the martial arts were strictly at an intuitive level. However, where Kano enunciated his thoughts lucidly and clearly in terms of scientific principles, Uyeshiba would invoke the divine spirit.

Uyeshiba's understanding of the aikido principles was not articulated but was simply expressed as ki; hence, it was very difficult, if not altogether impossible, to transmit the gokui (secret) of his art to anyone but another genius like himself.

14. Black Belt 1988 Vol 26 No 4
Article about Virginia Mayhew by Chuck Bush
"O-Sensei taught entirely differently from any of the other teachers," Mayhew relates. "He had no set form when he taught."

15. http://aikidocanberra.com/Docs/main/doc/MasaoIshii
Masao Ishii
1965-ish Started training at Hombu
NCT: Really? So you started training there. Did you have a chance to train with O'Sensei then?
Ishii Sensei: Well, at that time he was already retired and he didn't have a regular class. I was only 15 years old. I went to Hombu dojo many times, where there were many teachers teaching regular classes. I expected to see O'Sensei at the dojo. His home was just next to Hombu dojo, and I expected him to come out of his room to teach us. But he didn't come to the dojo often. After a few months I learned that it was only for Yamaguchi Sensei's and Kisshomaru Sensei's classes that he came to the dojo to join us. This means that O'Sensei was not interested in other teachers training.

16. Aikido Shugyo by Gozo Shioda
As mentioned earlier, at the Ueshiba Dojo in the old days we didn't explicitly have any pre-set forms. The only thing the students could do was copy the techniques that Sensei performed on their own. In terms of instruction, the only thing we were told was to "become one with heaven and earth."

17. Aikido Journal 103
Interview with David Lynch
Shioda Sensei, like many other former students of O-Sensei, felt that O-Sensei's teaching was unsystematic, and he therefore devised his own set of basic exercises that were intended to make the art easier for the average person to learn.

18. Aikido Today Magazine; #31 Dec.93/ Jan. 94
Interview of Henry Kono sensei by Virginia Mayhew and Susan Perry.
ATM: When you had conversations like these with O'sensei, what would you talk about?
HK: Well, I would usually ask him why the rest of us couldn't do what he could. there were many other teachers, all doing aikido. But he was doing it differently - doing something differently. His movement was so clean!
ATM: How would O'sensei answer your questions about what he was doing?
HK: He would say that I didn't understand yin and yang [in and yo]. So, now I've made it my life work to study yin and yang. That's what O'sensei told me to do.
Mr. Murray, hello. I am very impressed by you. That is allot of work. I appreciate greatly the time you took to help me. I will keep a copy of this on hand for conversations with those you mentioned. Thank you again for such a fine effort.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:36 AM   #187
Ellis Amdur
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The Student's Learning Ability

You know, one thing that is neglected is what it takes to be a good student. Consider Takeda - he was willing to get his teeth busted out (making himself embarrassed to smile for the rest of his life) just to learn what it felt like to try a certain technique against a real spear. Would you? Consider Ueshiba, who struggled for twenty + years with a teacher who was NOT congenial on a personal level. Kamata, one of Ueshiba's oldest deshi stated that one of the strongest impressions he had about Ueshiba was his exemplary conduct towards his teacher every time he came to Tokyo - and say what you will, I doubt there are many, if any, who could have tolerated the way Takeda treated Ueshiba on an emotional basis. Eventually, it exploded - and its a lot to ask that such a fraught situation would have ended gracefully. (And I know from whence I speak, having lived 13 years in a someway analogous situation). Would you tolerate decades of incessant stress at never pleasing one's teacher and having him shame you on a regular, public basis as being incompetent (note Sugino's account of Takeda handily dispatching some judoka in a late life demo and as he was doing so, deriding them in loud, demeaning words).

Consider how MUCH work it would take to achieve Takeda's skill or Ueshiba's. As I noted in HIPS, Chen Xiao Wang, another great one, simply abandoned building a larger house for his family, because it cut too much into his training time.

So these guys were difficult personalities. Tough. There's a new movie out on Japan's greatest sushi master - and I cannot recall how many years it takes before one of his disciples is ever allowed to TRY to make the egg sushi and how many thousands of rejections of the product. The meticulous attention to detail, the endless repetition.

I've been teaching koryu for twenty-five years, and I'm actually regarded in some quarters as a GOOD teacher. Yet no one is close to me - yet. Why? No one is willing to throw away enough of their lives to make what I offer the central fact of their existence. Why should I teach step two or three when a person, years in has not learned step one. And contrary to the complainers, perhaps the teacher has made numerous attempts to show the student, but they are too willful or lazy or blind to see it. That's certainly been my experience - and it applies even when I've looked them in the eyes and said, "you need to do this in the following order."

Consider all the talk about Sagawa not teaching the real goods until he was very old. And the consensus is that he was a withholding, selfish man. Maybe so. But maybe, just maybe, he had criteria - he'd show something - maybe once - but maybe deliberately let a student "inadvertently" see him doing one of his solo exercises in the garden, one that should, with enough practice, produce an effect. And he watches, and sees no change and sees the student is not really his student, because he'd consider what his teacher was doing as important, but no, all he wants is more instruction on nikajo - the angle of the lock, etc. Perhaps Sagawa said that he began to teach openly, but like a lot else, this may have been misdirection. Perhaps Kimura simply manifested enough progress that there was a POINT in teaching openly. And interestingly, the consensus in some quarters is that after he started teaching openly, only Kimura really got "it." So it made little difference.

Perhaps each of these great men simply said, "I got it. My teacher got it. And I learned the same way my teacher learned. And here it is." HIPS. And perhaps a skill rooted in a pre-modern time requires a pre-modern mind, and that even meticulous, supportive, rational explanation and demonstration will take a student no further than the old-school way. How about if Ueshiba having his deshi carry his bags, which was exactly what Takeda did - and how he expected his students to awake in the middle of the night, just when he did to attend to him - was an essential component to greatness?

And even if it's not - People have cited Dan H., for one example, and how open he is to teaching all he knows and what a nice guy he is (hi, Dan). For those who are actively studying with him, how many are putting in a fraction of the hours he put in (and probably still puts in?). Repeat? Are you? Or do you have excuses, like work, a sick child, a spouse going through emotional troubles, a job that you have to go to, or you'll be evicted from your home? Trivial things - at least if you want to be great.

So yeah, he's a nice guy and you probably have a much more enjoyable time studying with him than you would have with Takeda Sokaku, or Sagawa or Ueshiba, but are you really getting better? I don't mean a little better. How many of you are putting two hours a day dedicated practice? Three? Four? How can one criticize anyone as not being a "good" teacher unless they have offered the bare minimum requirement of getting good? Much less getting great? Getting great requires monomania, which is not the most prosocial trait. I recall a story of a Chassidic rabbi who, when talking of his teacher, said something like, "Everyone said they went to study with him to hear his exegesis on the Talmud, to learn the Kabala, I just went to see him lace up his boots."

To be sure, Ueshiba, post-war, was not Ueshiba pre-war in his teaching style and when he got very old, his pre-occupations were different. (Interestingly, read Shirata's memories in AJ - he stated that Osensei taught Yukawa directly and specifically). But this entire discussion smacks to me of a little too much entitlement - "these guys don't make it easy." I'm increasingly coming to the opinion that whether the teacher explains openly or not makes little difference, as long as they manifest it in a way that the student can see it. I think the "good" teacher will have the same low number of great students as the "not good or skilled" teacher. This method of teaching was common in Japan and in China and for hundreds of years produced superlative martial artists. In xingyi, one might only learn pi ch'uan for several years. The student's dedication demanded the teacher instruct more - not the student "deserving" to be taught because they want it. The only thing that would make a teacher "not good," is IF a student did catch what was HIPS and manifested it's effect, if the teacher didn't honor that by offering him more.

In short, if you are not willing to practice many hours a day, and willing to take damage to your own life, if you are not willing, perhaps, to not attend as much to your children or your spouse, if you are not willing to sacrifice an opportunity at certain employment because the low paying job you have now gives you more opportunity to train, then you'll never be great. I'm not saying you should do those things, whoever you are - but if greatness is what you want, then sacrifice is the requirement. It is no accident that entry into an old ryu started with the shedding of one's own blood (keppan).

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Old 04-06-2012, 09:16 AM   #188
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Re: The Student's Learning Ability

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
In short, if you are not willing to practice many hours a day, and willing to take damage to your own life, if you are not willing, perhaps, to not attend as much to your children or your spouse, if you are not willing to sacrifice an opportunity at certain employment because the low paying job you have now gives you more opportunity to train, then you'll never be great. I'm not saying you should do those things, whoever you are - but if greatness is what you want, then sacrifice is the requirement. It is no accident that entry into an old ryu started with the shedding of one's own blood (keppan).
Nice post Ellis.

That seems to be a commonality amongst those who are considered "great" at anything, not just budo. They devote their lives to that thing at the expense of everything else in their lives and they are almost universally regarded as assholes by those who can't understand what it is to devote your life to something so completely. Steve Jobs, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, etc, etc, etc. It doesn't matter what the pursuit is, only a handful will ever be above average and of them only a few will ever really be great.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:29 AM   #189
Chris Li
 
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Hello Chris

Sorry to keep responding so late to your posts and thanks for making them at all. I very much appreciate your answers.

So if Osensei and possibly even Takeda were not very good at transmitting their knowledge, who is? In order to make that kind of relative judgement you must have experienced people who were better. That would mean that there must be people out there whom you have trained with who have the kind of skills Ueshiba had and were able to pass them on to create equals or people who surpassed them. Who are these people? Who are the students who have equalled or surpassed them?

Also, and I apologise for the barrage of questions here, what were the skills that were not passed on effectively (IP? Something from CMA?) and how are they getting passed on in a good way elsewhere?

Regards

Carl
There are a few, I think, Dan Harden and Sam Chin - to name two. There are more, I'm sure, that I haven't felt.

Keep in mind that I'm not saying that they are (or aren't) the equal in skill of Ueshiba, Takeda, or whomever. You don't have to have a Nobel Prize to teach high school physics - and in fact the high school physics teacher may well be better at actually transmitting those principles than the Nobel Prize winner.

As to equaled or surpassed - that's hard to judge right now since they are alive and still training and progressing. However, both of them produce students with the skillsets and power to potentially equal or surpass them. It'd be interesting to go down a couple of generations and see how it works out.

What the skills are? Well, everybody has techniques - kotegaeshi is everywhere from Tae Kwon Do to Capoeira - it's what your're doing with your body inside (IMO) that makes the difference, call it IP, or whatever.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-06-2012, 09:51 AM   #190
Marc Abrams
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Re: The Student's Learning Ability

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
You know, one thing that is neglected is what it takes to be a good student. Consider Takeda - he was willing to get his teeth busted out (making himself embarrassed to smile for the rest of his life) just to learn what it felt like to try a certain technique against a real spear. Would you? Consider Ueshiba, who struggled for twenty + years with a teacher who was NOT congenial on a personal level. Kamata, one of Ueshiba's oldest deshi stated that one of the strongest impressions he had about Ueshiba was his exemplary conduct towards his teacher every time he came to Tokyo - and say what you will, I doubt there are many, if any, who could have tolerated the way Takeda treated Ueshiba on an emotional basis. Eventually, it exploded - and its a lot to ask that such a fraught situation would have ended gracefully. (And I know from whence I speak, having lived 13 years in a someway analogous situation). Would you tolerate decades of incessant stress at never pleasing one's teacher and having him shame you on a regular, public basis as being incompetent (note Sugino's account of Takeda handily dispatching some judoka in a late life demo and as he was doing so, deriding them in loud, demeaning words).

Consider how MUCH work it would take to achieve Takeda's skill or Ueshiba's. As I noted in HIPS, Chen Xiao Wang, another great one, simply abandoned building a larger house for his family, because it cut too much into his training time.

So these guys were difficult personalities. Tough. There's a new movie out on Japan's greatest sushi master - and I cannot recall how many years it takes before one of his disciples is ever allowed to TRY to make the egg sushi and how many thousands of rejections of the product. The meticulous attention to detail, the endless repetition.

I've been teaching koryu for twenty-five years, and I'm actually regarded in some quarters as a GOOD teacher. Yet no one is close to me - yet. Why? No one is willing to throw away enough of their lives to make what I offer the central fact of their existence. Why should I teach step two or three when a person, years in has not learned step one. And contrary to the complainers, perhaps the teacher has made numerous attempts to show the student, but they are too willful or lazy or blind to see it. That's certainly been my experience - and it applies even when I've looked them in the eyes and said, "you need to do this in the following order."

Consider all the talk about Sagawa not teaching the real goods until he was very old. And the consensus is that he was a withholding, selfish man. Maybe so. But maybe, just maybe, he had criteria - he'd show something - maybe once - but maybe deliberately let a student "inadvertently" see him doing one of his solo exercises in the garden, one that should, with enough practice, produce an effect. And he watches, and sees no change and sees the student is not really his student, because he'd consider what his teacher was doing as important, but no, all he wants is more instruction on nikajo - the angle of the lock, etc. Perhaps Sagawa said that he began to teach openly, but like a lot else, this may have been misdirection. Perhaps Kimura simply manifested enough progress that there was a POINT in teaching openly. And interestingly, the consensus in some quarters is that after he started teaching openly, only Kimura really got "it." So it made little difference.

Perhaps each of these great men simply said, "I got it. My teacher got it. And I learned the same way my teacher learned. And here it is." HIPS. And perhaps a skill rooted in a pre-modern time requires a pre-modern mind, and that even meticulous, supportive, rational explanation and demonstration will take a student no further than the old-school way. How about if Ueshiba having his deshi carry his bags, which was exactly what Takeda did - and how he expected his students to awake in the middle of the night, just when he did to attend to him - was an essential component to greatness?

And even if it's not - People have cited Dan H., for one example, and how open he is to teaching all he knows and what a nice guy he is (hi, Dan). For those who are actively studying with him, how many are putting in a fraction of the hours he put in (and probably still puts in?). Repeat? Are you? Or do you have excuses, like work, a sick child, a spouse going through emotional troubles, a job that you have to go to, or you'll be evicted from your home? Trivial things - at least if you want to be great.

So yeah, he's a nice guy and you probably have a much more enjoyable time studying with him than you would have with Takeda Sokaku, or Sagawa or Ueshiba, but are you really getting better? I don't mean a little better. How many of you are putting two hours a day dedicated practice? Three? Four? How can one criticize anyone as not being a "good" teacher unless they have offered the bare minimum requirement of getting good? Much less getting great? Getting great requires monomania, which is not the most prosocial trait. I recall a story of a Chassidic rabbi who, when talking of his teacher, said something like, "Everyone said they went to study with him to hear his exegesis on the Talmud, to learn the Kabala, I just went to see him lace up his boots."

To be sure, Ueshiba, post-war, was not Ueshiba pre-war in his teaching style and when he got very old, his pre-occupations were different. (Interestingly, read Shirata's memories in AJ - he stated that Osensei taught Yukawa directly and specifically). But this entire discussion smacks to me of a little too much entitlement - "these guys don't make it easy." I'm increasingly coming to the opinion that whether the teacher explains openly or not makes little difference, as long as they manifest it in a way that the student can see it. I think the "good" teacher will have the same low number of great students as the "not good or skilled" teacher. This method of teaching was common in Japan and in China and for hundreds of years produced superlative martial artists. In xingyi, one might only learn pi ch'uan for several years. The student's dedication demanded the teacher instruct more - not the student "deserving" to be taught because they want it. The only thing that would make a teacher "not good," is IF a student did catch what was HIPS and manifested it's effect, if the teacher didn't honor that by offering him more.

In short, if you are not willing to practice many hours a day, and willing to take damage to your own life, if you are not willing, perhaps, to not attend as much to your children or your spouse, if you are not willing to sacrifice an opportunity at certain employment because the low paying job you have now gives you more opportunity to train, then you'll never be great. I'm not saying you should do those things, whoever you are - but if greatness is what you want, then sacrifice is the requirement. It is no accident that entry into an old ryu started with the shedding of one's own blood (keppan).
Ellis:

GREAT POST! I have always simply referred to what you are saying as The Bell-Shaped Curve. That statistical outcome does not seem to lie....Malcom Gladwell refers to the Outliers. The rare mix of inherent abilities with countless hours of sweat is indeed rare.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:16 AM   #191
jackie adams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Often times I think people coming into martial arts feel they are entitled because they pay for it, like a service, like being waited on at a restaurant. I think too, because for many to take up Japanese martial arts don't see that it is something from a foreign place. Then the don't see the proper similarities. They cross their culture with the Japanese martial arts subculture. Expecting the Japanese martial art to behave as they think it should, and become disgruntled if they it doesn't. We also have to consider the communication and culture gaps.

Now I would like to bring things into terms familiar to modern society and out of feudal Japan. Having a sports background both in volleyball and swimming. The hardest and most demanding coaches created the champions. Hungry athletes with hearts willing to endure the rigors and the unrealistic demands of the coach become champions.

Here is a good time to drop some Bela Karolyi quotes.

BELA KAROLYI
You're late again Teodora, that's 200 sit ups.

OLDER TEODORA UNGUREANU
[sarcastically] Why not make it 400?

BELA KAROLYI
That's a very good idea. Make it 400.

--------------------------------------------

BELA KAROLYI
Don't cry about today.

YOUNG NADIA COMANECI
I'm not crying. I never cry.

BELA KAROLYI
You should. So that I can tell you not to. Nadia, the tragedy isn't that you fell. It's that you were the best and you didn't live up to it. You completely lost your concentration

YOUNG NADIA COMANECI
It will never happen again.

BELA KAROLYI
You're not serious about gymnastics

YOUNG NADIA COMANECI
Yes, I am

BELA KAROLYI
No you're not, you should quit
YOUNG NADIA COMANECI
No.

BELA KAROLYI
Did you see *anyone* as bad as you were today?

BELA KAROLYI
Neither did I. Quit!

YOUNG NADIA COMANECI
No!

BELA KAROLYI
Go back to doing cartwheels if you just want to play.

YOUNG NADIA COMANECI
No! I want to be a champion!

BELA KAROLYI
I have a confession to make to you. I've been playing too. When I first met you I only knew four sports. I wasn't even a real gymnastics coach So instead of teaching you what I don't know. I wanna teach you what I do know. I will teach you how to have a runner's strength. The cunning of a handball player, and how, like a boxer to be fearless of pain. Are you interested? [Nadia nods] I'm talking about a lot of work, total concentration, total committment, don't take up my time and then quit.

YOUNG NADIA COMANECI
I'll never quit.

BELA KAROLYI
No one has ever worked as hard as I'm going to work you.

YOUNG NADIA COMANECI
I shall work.

BELA KAROLYI
You do, and you will be the best in the world
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:39 AM   #192
jackie adams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Thank you everyone again, and hope no one will take offense to this, because really life is too short to argue. It is better to have a good day, than not.

A person's personal teaching/coaching/mentoring (what a sensei is) style in no way dictates their ability to teach. Those who don't have the right attitude to work hard to succeed quit and seek someone or something else who will give them information on their terms, which usually is of lesser quality and degree, they usually don't become champions. A teacher who caters to student demands spares the rod. Some capitalize on that in form of exploiting students via by pay or adulation. But too tough of a teacher also can drive talent away, and cause other problems. Two sides to every coin. Many good students today have other commitments, demands, and responsibilities who can't devote time and effort to being a champion. Ideally, then the middle road is best for student and teacher. Yes, there will be less students becoming champions, but many who will enjoy and appreciated it. That is my opinion.

It has been a pleasure have people to are willing to converse.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:27 AM   #193
Marc Abrams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
Thank you everyone again, and hope no one will take offense to this, because really life is too short to argue. It is better to have a good day, than not.

A person's personal teaching/coaching/mentoring (what a sensei is) style in no way dictates their ability to teach. Those who don't have the right attitude to work hard to succeed quit and seek someone or something else who will give them information on their terms, which usually is of lesser quality and degree, they usually don't become champions. A teacher who caters to student demands spares the rod. Some capitalize on that in form of exploiting students via by pay or adulation. But too tough of a teacher also can drive talent away, and cause other problems. Two sides to every coin. Many good students today have other commitments, demands, and responsibilities who can't devote time and effort to being a champion. Ideally, then the middle road is best for student and teacher. Yes, there will be less students becoming champions, but many who will enjoy and appreciated it. That is my opinion.

It has been a pleasure have people to are willing to converse.
Jackie:

I do not agree with your position. You need a teacher with the capacity to teach as much as you need a student with the capacity to learn. You need a teacher who does teach ans much as you need a student who does learn.

marc abrams
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:34 AM   #194
lbb
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability



Something to think about.
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:37 PM   #195
gregstec
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Re: The Student's Learning Ability

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
You know, one thing that is neglected is what it takes to be a good student. Consider Takeda - he was willing to get his teeth busted out (making himself embarrassed to smile for the rest of his life) just to learn what it felt like to try a certain technique against a real spear. Would you? Consider Ueshiba, who struggled for twenty + years with a teacher who was NOT congenial on a personal level. Kamata, one of Ueshiba's oldest deshi stated that one of the strongest impressions he had about Ueshiba was his exemplary conduct towards his teacher every time he came to Tokyo - and say what you will, I doubt there are many, if any, who could have tolerated the way Takeda treated Ueshiba on an emotional basis. Eventually, it exploded - and its a lot to ask that such a fraught situation would have ended gracefully. (And I know from whence I speak, having lived 13 years in a someway analogous situation). Would you tolerate decades of incessant stress at never pleasing one's teacher and having him shame you on a regular, public basis as being incompetent (note Sugino's account of Takeda handily dispatching some judoka in a late life demo and as he was doing so, deriding them in loud, demeaning words).

Consider how MUCH work it would take to achieve Takeda's skill or Ueshiba's. As I noted in HIPS, Chen Xiao Wang, another great one, simply abandoned building a larger house for his family, because it cut too much into his training time.

So these guys were difficult personalities. Tough. There's a new movie out on Japan's greatest sushi master - and I cannot recall how many years it takes before one of his disciples is ever allowed to TRY to make the egg sushi and how many thousands of rejections of the product. The meticulous attention to detail, the endless repetition.

I've been teaching koryu for twenty-five years, and I'm actually regarded in some quarters as a GOOD teacher. Yet no one is close to me - yet. Why? No one is willing to throw away enough of their lives to make what I offer the central fact of their existence. Why should I teach step two or three when a person, years in has not learned step one. And contrary to the complainers, perhaps the teacher has made numerous attempts to show the student, but they are too willful or lazy or blind to see it. That's certainly been my experience - and it applies even when I've looked them in the eyes and said, "you need to do this in the following order."

Consider all the talk about Sagawa not teaching the real goods until he was very old. And the consensus is that he was a withholding, selfish man. Maybe so. But maybe, just maybe, he had criteria - he'd show something - maybe once - but maybe deliberately let a student "inadvertently" see him doing one of his solo exercises in the garden, one that should, with enough practice, produce an effect. And he watches, and sees no change and sees the student is not really his student, because he'd consider what his teacher was doing as important, but no, all he wants is more instruction on nikajo - the angle of the lock, etc. Perhaps Sagawa said that he began to teach openly, but like a lot else, this may have been misdirection. Perhaps Kimura simply manifested enough progress that there was a POINT in teaching openly. And interestingly, the consensus in some quarters is that after he started teaching openly, only Kimura really got "it." So it made little difference.

Perhaps each of these great men simply said, "I got it. My teacher got it. And I learned the same way my teacher learned. And here it is." HIPS. And perhaps a skill rooted in a pre-modern time requires a pre-modern mind, and that even meticulous, supportive, rational explanation and demonstration will take a student no further than the old-school way. How about if Ueshiba having his deshi carry his bags, which was exactly what Takeda did - and how he expected his students to awake in the middle of the night, just when he did to attend to him - was an essential component to greatness?

And even if it's not - People have cited Dan H., for one example, and how open he is to teaching all he knows and what a nice guy he is (hi, Dan). For those who are actively studying with him, how many are putting in a fraction of the hours he put in (and probably still puts in?). Repeat? Are you? Or do you have excuses, like work, a sick child, a spouse going through emotional troubles, a job that you have to go to, or you'll be evicted from your home? Trivial things - at least if you want to be great.

So yeah, he's a nice guy and you probably have a much more enjoyable time studying with him than you would have with Takeda Sokaku, or Sagawa or Ueshiba, but are you really getting better? I don't mean a little better. How many of you are putting two hours a day dedicated practice? Three? Four? How can one criticize anyone as not being a "good" teacher unless they have offered the bare minimum requirement of getting good? Much less getting great? Getting great requires monomania, which is not the most prosocial trait. I recall a story of a Chassidic rabbi who, when talking of his teacher, said something like, "Everyone said they went to study with him to hear his exegesis on the Talmud, to learn the Kabala, I just went to see him lace up his boots."

To be sure, Ueshiba, post-war, was not Ueshiba pre-war in his teaching style and when he got very old, his pre-occupations were different. (Interestingly, read Shirata's memories in AJ - he stated that Osensei taught Yukawa directly and specifically). But this entire discussion smacks to me of a little too much entitlement - "these guys don't make it easy." I'm increasingly coming to the opinion that whether the teacher explains openly or not makes little difference, as long as they manifest it in a way that the student can see it. I think the "good" teacher will have the same low number of great students as the "not good or skilled" teacher. This method of teaching was common in Japan and in China and for hundreds of years produced superlative martial artists. In xingyi, one might only learn pi ch'uan for several years. The student's dedication demanded the teacher instruct more - not the student "deserving" to be taught because they want it. The only thing that would make a teacher "not good," is IF a student did catch what was HIPS and manifested it's effect, if the teacher didn't honor that by offering him more.

In short, if you are not willing to practice many hours a day, and willing to take damage to your own life, if you are not willing, perhaps, to not attend as much to your children or your spouse, if you are not willing to sacrifice an opportunity at certain employment because the low paying job you have now gives you more opportunity to train, then you'll never be great. I'm not saying you should do those things, whoever you are - but if greatness is what you want, then sacrifice is the requirement. It is no accident that entry into an old ryu started with the shedding of one's own blood (keppan).
Points well presented, as usual. Maybe the question should not be Ueshiba's teaching ability but more his teaching desire. It is difficult to assess an ability without a clear set of measurable criteria, and I don't think we have that here. And, as you point out, the student plays an equally important role in measuring ability as well. IMO, it takes a desire from both parties to be successful, coupled with a certain level of aptitude. I don't care how much ability and desire a teacher may have, the true success of his teaching will be based on the qualities of the student. As I mentioned before, I don't think Ueshiba had a mission to teach - I believe he was more interested in his own leaning.

As a student of Dan's, I understand what you are saying there and I can only tell you Dan is a training monster - he just won't stop. Personally, I know I can not put in the same amount of time he does, but being retired, I guess I have more time than most to put into it, and I also try to incorporate aiki principles in all my movements even when not specifically doing an exercise, but even at that, I fall short of Dan's efforts, Bottom line is that I don't want to achieve greatness nor do I want to be Dan, I want to me and I enjoy the challenge of learning without a specific goal to be great - however, everything is relative, so I guess to those that have no skill in this area at all, I imagine someone will a little skill just may appear great to them

Greg
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:47 PM   #196
jackie adams
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
Thank you everyone again, and hope no one will take offense to this, because really life is too short to argue. It is better to have a good day, than not.

A person's personal teaching/coaching/mentoring (what a sensei is) style in no way dictates their ability to teach. Those who don't have the right attitude to work hard to succeed quit and seek someone or something else who will give them information on their terms, which usually is of lesser quality and degree, they usually don't become champions. A teacher who caters to student demands spares the rod. Some capitalize on that in form of exploiting students via by pay or adulation. But too tough of a teacher also can drive talent away, and cause other problems. Two sides to every coin. Many good students today have other commitments, demands, and responsibilities who can't devote time and effort to being a champion. Ideally, then the middle road is best for student and teacher. Yes, there will be less students becoming champions, but many who will enjoy and appreciated it. That is my opinion.

It has been a pleasure have people to are willing to converse.
Everyone, I am so sorry. I was rushed and needed to attend to other things at the time I was trying to compose and edit my thoughts. I am embarrassed by the results of the lack of my attentiveness.

I hope I will not be judged harshly and given a second chance.

Not wanting to sound like an over zealous disciplinarian rooted in dictatorship with a flair for the masochist after posting the Korolyi quotes, was a concern of mine. A concern I want to extinguish from the minds of everyone here.

After reflection and review, I thought to soften it up a bit to avoid misunderstanding by giving an explanation centered around the middle road. The purpose was to avoiding confusion with things I said before. I want to stress I still support the onus and responsibility of learning is still placed upon the student as a component integral to success.

A major ingredient to the student's success in obtaining skill is discipline; the willingness to work hard and be dedicated under demanding conditions leads to success. The more effort you put in, the greater amount of success there is. I do believe the more disciplined students under someone like Korolyi makes champions. Modern daily lives are very demanding. My hope is not want to inadvertently diminish the efforts of disciplined and dedicated students. Students who are good and talented people making the effort to the best of their abilities to succeed under restrictions of modern daily life.

Making a champion grade Aikido practitioners at the level of the Founder- or anyone in martial arts including MMA, a student must be more than dedicated to constant practice under an environment of great discipline and difficulty. Under current modern conditions that would be very difficult for most people. Champions do take the hard road, they don't take the easy road to success. I don't think anyone is given skill, I too believe it is earned though blood and sweat.

I am grateful to everyone for their patience and understanding. Have a great weekend or the rest of the weekend where ever you be.

Last edited by jackie adams : 04-06-2012 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:01 PM   #197
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Greg - the bottom line is, did Ueshiba teach? The answer is - yes. I, personally, do not particularly want to teach. But I have an obligation to teach, incurred when others felt obligated by my sincerity, to teach me.
When we talk (myself among them) about Ueshiba's failure to pass on what he knew - how about if raw talent and hours of training are the difference? Some assert that Shioda or Shirata or Mochizuki or Tomiki had some understanding of what Ueshiba had. Not as much, but some. They didn't equal him. So two questions:
1. Did they train as hard as he did? Because if they trained 5000 hours and he trained 50,000, there WILL be a difference
2. Were they talented? Some people are better than others. Some are a better breed. You have thoroughbreds and you have nags. And a highly trained nag will be special, perhaps, but never equal a highly trained thoroughbred.

Most people will never be very good. They will not "eat bitter," as the Chinese saying goes, and even among those who will, most will never have the innate talent to amount to much.

Ouch.

But only in a martial art like aikido could that result in hurt feelings or offense. In boxing, there is an understanding that truth is inescapable in the ring. There an innumerable people who train their hearts out. Only a few become champions. Does this mean that Angelo Dundee, Freddie Roach or Cus D'Amato were not good coaches?

What it comes down to is most of you will NEVER train hard enough, and of those who will, most do not have the talent.

Ellis Amdur

P.S. Even without the talent, those who train hard enough will be something special none-the-less. I played basketball against Bill Bradley, Sam Jones (I scored on him twice ), George Karl, Geoff Petrie, John Hummer, Tom McMillan, and I think a few other pros. None of them were close to Michael Jordan - some were not even top-level talent. Yet each of them were unbelievable! Not great - that's how far Takeda or Ueshiba was from a top-level pro. So, perhaps we ought to reconsider this "no-a-good teacher thing" - because making pros who can stop the room is something in itself, even if they aren't literally <stars>.

P.P.S - but all of this is irrelevant if you are not willing to grind your gears to bare metal to get to the top.

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Old 04-06-2012, 03:43 PM   #198
lbb
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
P.P.S - but all of this is irrelevant if you are not willing to grind your gears to bare metal to get to the top.
Your gears, and everything and everyone around you. Everything you have, and much that is not yours. If we're talking truth here, let's tell the truth that these "masters" were carried by others -- often by people who got no thanks and no acknowledgment, who were themselves denied opportunity. As much as I respect sacrifice, I have deeply ambivalent feelings about "mastery", which seems inevitably built on the backs of other people. "Live simply so that others may simply live" -- perhaps that's the best way to be, and to hell with "mastery".
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:47 PM   #199
dalen7
 
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
I'm asking if he didn't understand basic teaching methods or was too crazy to stick to them. Or did he actually have some degree of pedagogical skill? In the latter case, did he deliberately choose not to use it in order to keep the goods to himself?
Carl
First, Im no historian - there are those here who can go into the smallest details about the founder.

However, my own journey through Aikido has me looking at it as a missing piece to a larger puzzle.
The full picture is Judo, Aikido, BJJ, and Thai Boxing for atemi.

Sound familiar?

Personally the founder took an art and took a chunk of it and left the rest.
Same can be said about BJJ that they took the ground portion of Judo [if you watch the old videos]
And I suppose modern Judo can be said to have gotten rid of the ground portion.
[At least its not what you typically see or think of when you hear the name Judo]

And it all came back together in MMA.
MMA allowed what wasnt practiced in Judo [though they had it, just not in competition] which is full on atemi.

BJJ, unlike Aikido was tested against resistance.
The only Aikido move I can think of right off that you can see potentially being pulled of is Rokkyo, or the "standing arm lock"

With the acception of kotegaeshi perhaps being used on a surprised person who is a white belt.

Does not mean its useless... its is more about range though.
Aikido closes the range, and from there you go quickly to the ground with Koshinage, Judo type moves. [So we will just say Judo] And on the ground its BJJ.

In a way the founder may have 'hurt' things by not being more clear about where he was coming from.
Or perhaps he was clear, but people made Aikido out to be what it was not meant to.
Or a little of both.

The guys he first taught all had dan ranks, if Im not mistaken, in other arts such as Judo, etc.
In fact I believe even the founder first taught ground work as well. [not talking about knees]
Could be wrong though.

When you take an art and strip it to your liking and others come in without the knowledge you have - it begins to miss some key elements that you may well take for granted as base knowledge that everyone has... everyone who has a black belt already in Judo, etc.

So misperceptions sneak in, and are not dealt with as at the same time a lively hood and 'new art' is being built up. Marketing is marketing no matter what day and age you live in. No matter how true it is.

There is the fact, or so it would seem, that his religion played a big role in it.
For some [Christians, not all] there is the perception that Aikido is 'evil' as they use spiritual power to flip people. [Talk about not knowing what is going on and misperceptions.] But the whole religious bit feeds into this.

Along that line, his religious views tied in with his stage of martial arts practice.
And what worked for him, with the foundation he had, may not work for others - at least not in a defense sort of way.

And it leads to embarrassing videos like on youtube when you believe your ki is actually moving people and you offer money to a MMA fighter who can beat you. [yes, I know he was not an Aikido guy - as Im sure most of you will know what video Im referring to], but the mentality is there.
[Would the founder be like the guy on youtube?]

Not tested, and years go by and you believe your own untested theories based on people who throw themselves.

So, no he was not a good teacher from my personal view point.
But that does not mean he was wrong... he did what he felt he needed to, and that too is fine.

Peace

Dalen

Last edited by dalen7 : 04-06-2012 at 03:51 PM.

dAlen [day•lynn]
dum spiro spero - {While I have breathe - I have hope}

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Old 04-06-2012, 05:26 PM   #200
gregstec
Dojo: Aiki Kurabu
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Greg - the bottom line is, did Ueshiba teach? The answer is - yes. I, personally, do not particularly want to teach. But I have an obligation to teach, incurred when others felt obligated by my sincerity, to teach me.
When we talk (myself among them) about Ueshiba's failure to pass on what he knew - how about if raw talent and hours of training are the difference? Some assert that Shioda or Shirata or Mochizuki or Tomiki had some understanding of what Ueshiba had. Not as much, but some. They didn't equal him. So two questions:
1. Did they train as hard as he did? Because if they trained 5000 hours and he trained 50,000, there WILL be a difference
2. Were they talented? Some people are better than others. Some are a better breed. You have thoroughbreds and you have nags. And a highly trained nag will be special, perhaps, but never equal a highly trained thoroughbred.

Most people will never be very good. They will not "eat bitter," as the Chinese saying goes, and even among those who will, most will never have the innate talent to amount to much.

Ouch.

But only in a martial art like aikido could that result in hurt feelings or offense. In boxing, there is an understanding that truth is inescapable in the ring. There an innumerable people who train their hearts out. Only a few become champions. Does this mean that Angelo Dundee, Freddie Roach or Cus D'Amato were not good coaches?

What it comes down to is most of you will NEVER train hard enough, and of those who will, most do not have the talent.

Ellis Amdur

P.S. Even without the talent, those who train hard enough will be something special none-the-less. I played basketball against Bill Bradley, Sam Jones (I scored on him twice ), George Karl, Geoff Petrie, John Hummer, Tom McMillan, and I think a few other pros. None of them were close to Michael Jordan - some were not even top-level talent. Yet each of them were unbelievable! Not great - that's how far Takeda or Ueshiba was from a top-level pro. So, perhaps we ought to reconsider this "no-a-good teacher thing" - because making pros who can stop the room is something in itself, even if they aren't literally <stars>.

P.P.S - but all of this is irrelevant if you are not willing to grind your gears to bare metal to get to the top.
Hi Ellis, I never said Ueshiba did not teach, I said I believed his primary mission was not teaching; two different things. I think he taught to those that showed a certain level of talent, but really left the core development of the skills to the student; Of course, all this opinion is pure speculation based on nothing but opinion The basic formula for success in any endeavor is talent (aptitude) x attitude (amount of effort) simple formula really - a person with 5 for aptitude and 10 for effort is the same as a person with 10 for aptitude and 5 for effort - both equal 50. Granted, with all things considered equal in the aptitude area, the person with more effort will have more success. Another point to consider in this equation is the problem with working too hard on the wrong thing; that just will not lead to the desired results. Personally, I think a lot of the talent in the aiki area was simply based on luck. There was no obvious road map to follow and I believe that some folks just stumbled on to a few things that worked and then they ran with that - and some were just more lucky than others. I agree that in order to be successful, you just got to have that ‘fire' in you to continue, and if your direction is not getting the results you want, move into another. When I started down this path in the mid 70s, I was looking for that aiki magic, and when I did not find it, I moved on - that is why I am a relative nobody with no long history (or rank) in any organization, but I think I did accumulated some things along the way to place in my ‘bag of tricks' My path has sort of been like Dan's, but he has been way more successful than me in accumulating skill, so maybe there is something to that level of effort after all

P.S. Glad to hear you played with Bill Bradley; was that before or after he went into politics

Greg
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