Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-05-2011, 11:08 AM   #101
Chris Knight
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 138
England
Offline
Confused Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

i'm so confused
 
Old 12-05-2011, 11:32 AM   #102
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Ken. You must understand that people believe criticism is good. They call it constructive. I could find fault with and criticize a Rolls Royce.

Maybe many could learn from O'Sensei. I don't hear of him going around criticizing others to make himself look good and according to his history he had plenty of opportunity to do so.

Criticism vs. Validation. Now there's a thought. Validation without criticism. Now there's a discipline.

Regards.G.
 
Old 12-05-2011, 11:42 AM   #103
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
United_States
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Graham,

The way you try to live non-violence is admirable. I admire pacifists but I am not one. I will not drink the hemlock.

I look at it this way. If I'm attacked on the street I don't want to hurt the attacker and will be merciful if I can. Chances are I will hurt the attacker. The more of a threat the attacker poses the more likely I'll have to hurt him. If I were good enough, an ideal that not even O Sensei could achieve 100% of the time, then I would never need to hurt the attacker. Sometimes criticism is the only (given ones abilities) or quickest way to achieve what's needed. They are criticizing and you are criticizing them for criticizing in a manner you find objectionable.

What is important, is that Aikido survive as an art based on the harmonious notion of Aiki. This is the most important thing. If the average Aikido practitioner is somewhat less effective in a cage match as a consequence of this changed focus, and yet a wider variety and larger number of people are able to train in the art, then I'll call that a bargain. Not that I accept this claim.

All the forest for the trees that goes on in these debates. The problem is that the forest is being depleted. Individual efforts take various forms, chainsaw, ax, fire. It is a beautiful forest that should be preserved. I see this general trend as an existential threat. War is peace, freedom is slavery, love is hate. Definitions matter.

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 12-05-2011 at 11:46 AM.
 
Old 12-05-2011, 12:33 PM   #104
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
Graham,

The way you try to live non-violence is admirable. I admire pacifists but I am not one. I will not drink the hemlock.

I look at it this way. If I'm attacked on the street I don't want to hurt the attacker and will be merciful if I can. Chances are I will hurt the attacker. The more of a threat the attacker poses the more likely I'll have to hurt him. If I were good enough, an ideal that not even O Sensei could achieve 100% of the time, then I would never need to hurt the attacker. Sometimes criticism is the only (given ones abilities) or quickest way to achieve what's needed. They are criticizing and you are criticizing them for criticizing in a manner you find objectionable.

What is important, is that Aikido survive as an art based on the harmonious notion of Aiki. This is the most important thing. If the average Aikido practitioner is somewhat less effective in a cage match as a consequence of this changed focus, and yet a wider variety and larger number of people are able to train in the art, then I'll call that a bargain. Not that I accept this claim.

All the forest for the trees that goes on in these debates. The problem is that the forest is being depleted. Individual efforts take various forms, chainsaw, ax, fire. It is a beautiful forest that should be preserved. I see this general trend as an existential threat. War is peace, freedom is slavery, love is hate. Definitions matter.
Do you believe the forest is being depleted? Well as far as I can see so do they so maybe you are all in agreement.

You see things as a threat? So do they from what I can make out.

As I've said before, paranoia. When things seem to be a bit less than optimum we may all get a bit worried or paranoid but to recognise it in ourselves is the thing for it leads nowhere any good.

What's all this war is peace stuff? War is war. Are you at war?

As far as I'm concerned O'Sensei planted some seeds and those seeds grew into trees like Saotome and in turn he plants some seeds etc. Along comes some outside influence with some fertilizer and if it works those trees will flourish, if it doesn't then the trees of their own free will will change the fertilizer.

Meanwhile more trees grow and all is good.

How would nature be if all trees looked exactly the same? All flowers were the same?

Can we control nature or can we admire it in it's diversity? Within which we can choose which trees or flowers we like best.

He who believes an outside influence can wreck what he considers to be Aikido has no faith either in himself or his teachers.

Regards.G.
 
Old 12-05-2011, 02:12 PM   #105
inframan
Location: atx
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 30
United_States
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
What is insulting is to say that all the direct students of O Sensei had no idea what he was doing and therefore made stuff up. What is insulting is to state or imply that these direct students must be mistaken or dishonest when they recount stories of being taught directly by O Sensei. What is insulting is to state that the direct students of O Sensei had very little experience with him, that Doshu watered down the art intentionally, and all the other things that are frequently repeated.
I don't think that O-Sensei was directly teaching anyone exactly how to do anything. They had to take what the could get and put their own spin on it. Here's a quote from Henry Kono, a guy who studied at Hombu daily for 4 years.

How often did you see O-Sensei?
If he was in the back of the dojo he might come out every day. If he was away, you might not see him for three weeks. If he was there, he might come out for five or ten minutes then go back in. I saw him about 300 times in four years. He never explained what he did, he just did it! This is what I mean by magician. He did it and if you couldn't discern what he did, there was no way to figure it out. He never explained anything but he left hints which were very difficult to discern because of the way he stated his ideas in very short phrases that no one could understand.

I saw a tape of Shioda Sensei being interviewed in England. He was with O-Sensei for ten years from about 1930-40, he said O-Sensei never explained once in that 10 years as to what he was doing!

He wasn't a teacher in the sense that he was teaching. The Japanese may look at that as teaching, but in the western sense it isn't. You had to intuit what he was doing and saying, read between the lines, so to speak.


http://www.martijnvanhemmen.nl/?p=216
 
Old 12-05-2011, 03:14 PM   #106
Mark Gibbons
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 177
United_States
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
Graham,

The way you try to live non-violence is admirable. I admire pacifists but I am not one. I will not drink the hemlock.

I look at it this way. If I'm attacked on the street I don't want to hurt the attacker and will be merciful if I can. Chances are I will hurt the attacker. The more of a threat the attacker poses the more likely I'll have to hurt him. If I were good enough, an ideal that not even O Sensei could achieve 100% of the time, then I would never need to hurt the attacker. Sometimes criticism is the only (given ones abilities) or quickest way to achieve what's needed. They are criticizing and you are criticizing them for criticizing in a manner you find objectionable.

What is important, is that Aikido survive as an art based on the harmonious notion of Aiki. This is the most important thing. If the average Aikido practitioner is somewhat less effective in a cage match as a consequence of this changed focus, and yet a wider variety and larger number of people are able to train in the art, then I'll call that a bargain. Not that I accept this claim.

All the forest for the trees that goes on in these debates. The problem is that the forest is being depleted. Individual efforts take various forms, chainsaw, ax, fire. It is a beautiful forest that should be preserved. I see this general trend as an existential threat. War is peace, freedom is slavery, love is hate. Definitions matter.
Why is the concept expressed by the sentence in bold the most important thing? I'm really not trying to be snarky but I don't see it. In what context is the survival of Aikido the most important thing? In my daily life I can't say it makes the top 10. Could you explain what you mean by aiki? To me it seems like "harmonious notion of Aiki" has odd redundancies and it's hard to tell what you mean.

Regards,
Mark
 
Old 12-05-2011, 03:24 PM   #107
Gerardo Torres
Location: SF Bay Area
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 193
United_States
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Mark Gibbons wrote: View Post
Why is the concept expressed by the sentence in bold the most important thing? I'm really not trying to be snarky but I don't see it. In what context is the survival of Aikido the most important thing? In my daily life I can't say it makes the top 10. Could you explain what you mean by aiki? To me it seems like "harmonious notion of Aiki" has odd redundancies and it's hard to tell what you mean.

Regards,
Mark
A koryu person would be scandalized at hearing that the survival of your art doesn't make your top 10.
FWIW I share the koryu approach and think that the survival/preservation of the art is the most important thing, perhaps even the only important thing. Everything else - including discussions of personalities - is a distraction. I think this is the healthiest approach to practicing aikido or any art.

Last edited by Gerardo Torres : 12-05-2011 at 03:26 PM.
 
Old 12-05-2011, 04:52 PM   #108
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
United_States
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

I am merely trying to say that it would be nice if all the insults, stated directly or implied, would stop.

Unfortunately, I don't think they will stop as the claims that some people are invested in are themselves insulting. They depend, for example, on the idea that the direct students of O Sensei made things up (or some other related version of this) when they allegedly weren't actually instructed on what Aikido is supposed to be. I have suggested a way for new things to be added without the need for such implied or stated insults. But it will require compromise from those who are bringing what they take to be a new or rediscovered influence, both in terms of claims and arguments made, as well as in conforming to training norms in Aikido.

The extent to which the existence of the voices who advance these connected claims and beliefs about Aikido even matters is debatable. Maybe it won't matter in the end. Already on Aikiweb as an example it is pretty much impossible to have a discussion based on the mainstream notion of Aiki as non-resistance and harmony. So it already matters there. To the extent that people who are drawn to this other way of training, as described in the post I linked to above, try to infiltrate with an approach that differs from the usual Uke Nage training system, it may be a serious problem for the practice of Aikido. What is Aiki and how should we train in the dojo are central questions that must be asked and answered, if even implicitly, every time someone enters the mat. If we don't agree about these things, are we even training the same art? And if the training process for each approach is different, then we cannot train both approaches at the same time.

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 12-05-2011 at 04:55 PM.
 
Old 12-05-2011, 05:12 PM   #109
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
I am merely trying to say that it would be nice if all the insults, stated directly or implied, would stop.

Unfortunately, I don't think they will stop as the claims that some people are invested in are themselves insulting. They depend, for example, on the idea that the direct students of O Sensei made things up (or some other related version of this) when they allegedly weren't actually instructed on what Aikido is supposed to be. I have suggested a way for new things to be added without the need for such implied or stated insults. But it will require compromise from those who are bringing what they take to be a new or rediscovered influence, both in terms of claims and arguments made, as well as in conforming to training norms in Aikido.

The extent to which the existence of the voices who advance these connected claims and beliefs about Aikido even matters is debatable. Maybe it won't matter in the end. Already on Aikiweb as an example it is pretty much impossible to have a discussion based on the mainstream notion of Aiki as non-resistance and harmony. So it already matters there. To the extent that people who are drawn to this other way of training, as described in the post I linked to above, try to infiltrate with an approach that differs from the usual Uke Nage training system, it may be a serious problem for the practice of Aikido. What is Aiki and how should we train in the dojo are central questions that must be asked and answered, if even implicitly, every time someone enters the mat. If we don't agree about these things, are we even training the same art? And if the training process for each approach is different, then we cannot train both approaches at the same time.
Training approaches and meeting on the mat. I don't see a problem. In Bills dojo you follow his approach, in Jack's you follow his. It's manners and etiquette as much as anything else and thus there is no problem.

Central questions as you put it are only central to your particular way, no one elses. If one style emphasizes competition, another softness from the start, another tough physical exercise, another spiritual, another any depending on the individual teacher, all different styles or approaches in the same art.

The truth is get better or if you can even supreme at your own style and represent. Then you or I or anyone wouldn't have to worry about anyone elses and indeed would expect them to have their own way.

Only then can people meet and compare and learn from each other without the need to put the other way down or prove betterment. It would just be harmonious sharing.

A bit like the first friendship demos were meant to project.

Regards.G.
 
Old 12-05-2011, 05:24 PM   #110
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 994
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
As far as I'm concerned O'Sensei planted some seeds and those seeds grew into trees like Saotome and in turn he plants some seeds etc. Along comes some outside influence with some fertilizer and if it works those trees will flourish, if it doesn't then the trees of their own free will will change the fertilizer.

Meanwhile more trees grow and all is good.
I disagree with you on a lot of things, but you pretty much nailed this.

Are sugar maples lessened by the existence of aspens?

Katherine
 
Old 12-05-2011, 05:34 PM   #111
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I disagree with you on a lot of things, but you pretty much nailed this.

Are sugar maples lessened by the existence of aspens?

Katherine
Thank you. We all have our moments ha, ha.

Regards.G.
 
Old 12-05-2011, 06:02 PM   #112
Gary David
 
Gary David's Avatar
Location: Long Beach, CA
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 329
United_States
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Thank you. We all have our moments ha, ha.

Regards.G.
Graham
We have had our moments.....though it seems we are drifting together...........

In any case what we are talking about here is really only our own training history. As noted it should be varied and diverse.....it should be ours only...... in whatever directions it takes. To defend someone else's training history to me can be an effort to defend one's own training history.....get out and see what else is out there...add what is useful and disregard what is not. and remember a tree grows in Brooklyn.....

And Saotome Sensei's capabilities is what matters in the end I don't think there is any questions here. .......darn...the questions I could have ask him and what I might have figured out for myself in 1980 if I only had the understanding and breath of experience I have now.......missed opportunities I am trying to correct now from whatever source I can get it from........

keep after it.....

Gary
 
Old 12-05-2011, 06:48 PM   #113
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
United_States
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

This discussion thread has grown to be about how to avoid insulting others. I think Graham would argue just don't feel insulted. We can't all be Graham. And I don't believe that deciding not to recognize disagreement makes the disagreement go away. A lasting resolution that prevents future insult, intentional or implied is possible. But when the claims that are made themselves lead to insult then the underlying issue has not been resolved. It will come back as it has for years in new manifestations. Give it a week. Again I say, it would be better to avoid implied or stated insults in the future all together.

Now if the etiquette that Graham describes were followed, then people could do their own thing and it wouldn't matter in a given dojo. Problem is that people sometimes want to bring their new approach into a dojo were it is not wanted by all, as discussed in this thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...ki+back+aikido

The etiquette is not followed for the same reasons that the insults are implied or stated.

The idea that Aikido can be anything anyone wants it to be is a very generous idea. It is an extreme example of refusing to fight. I don't think that Gary, Katherine, or most Aikido artists would agree with that idea. Moreover, we are not talking about whether people differ over how to approach Aikido on a continuum, some stronger than others, some more spiritual than others. We are at the basic level of whether O Sensei taught Doshu and other students of that Aikido as an art of non-resistance and harmony. An art without some basic agreed upon definition of what it is cannot survive.

But this is all for another discussion unless related to how to avoid causing insult.
 
Old 12-05-2011, 07:15 PM   #114
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
This discussion thread has grown to be about how to avoid insulting others. I think Graham would argue just don't feel insulted. We can't all be Graham. And I don't believe that deciding not to recognize disagreement makes the disagreement go away. A lasting resolution that prevents future insult, intentional or implied is possible. But when the claims that are made themselves lead to insult then the underlying issue has not been resolved. It will come back as it has for years in new manifestations. Give it a week. Again I say, it would be better to avoid implied or stated insults in the future all together.

Now if the etiquette that Graham describes were followed, then people could do their own thing and it wouldn't matter in a given dojo. Problem is that people sometimes want to bring their new approach into a dojo were it is not wanted by all, as discussed in this thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...ki+back+aikido

The etiquette is not followed for the same reasons that the insults are implied or stated.

The idea that Aikido can be anything anyone wants it to be is a very generous idea. It is an extreme example of refusing to fight. I don't think that Gary, Katherine, or most Aikido artists would agree with that idea. Moreover, we are not talking about whether people differ over how to approach Aikido on a continuum, some stronger than others, some more spiritual than others. We are at the basic level of whether O Sensei taught Doshu and other students of that Aikido as an art of non-resistance and harmony. An art without some basic agreed upon definition of what it is cannot survive.

But this is all for another discussion unless related to how to avoid causing insult.
Ken. I'm interested. Where is this etiquette not followed? I have heard the rule of leaving all what you know at the door when training in another dojo their way and have heard it said on this forum a number of times.

I believe O'Sensei did the same by what he has said.

I also believe it is the responsibility of the person in charge to see this happens.

Now, add to that that any trying this against that outside of normal training can also be incorporated by giving it it's own space either in another part of the dojo or 'after hours' so to speak. Then it would come under research or some such label. Thus it's all a matter of organization rather than right or wrong or even interruptive.

That's how I see it and do it but I can't speak for how others do.

I have said before I have come across various people doing various forms of internal things to try and thwart the effectiveness of Aikido in practice. Usually I would reprimand such a person not because he was doing it but because he wasn't practicing the prescribed way and was surrupticiously introducing it. I would then do one of two things. Either show the person I can do the technique no matter what they are doing or otherwise tell them that after class they may do this and students may try to do their techniques whilst that person uses their 'other' way.

Once again organization.

I will in no uncertain terms now and again blatantly say 'that's not Aikido' but then the oness is on me to show why and what is. But hey, what's new? The same goes for all arts and sports and businesses etc. ie: 'Here we do it this way.'

Regards.G.
 
Old 12-05-2011, 07:18 PM   #115
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Gary Welborn wrote: View Post
Graham
We have had our moments.....though it seems we are drifting together...........

In any case what we are talking about here is really only our own training history. As noted it should be varied and diverse.....it should be ours only...... in whatever directions it takes. To defend someone else's training history to me can be an effort to defend one's own training history.....get out and see what else is out there...add what is useful and disregard what is not. and remember a tree grows in Brooklyn.....

And Saotome Sensei's capabilities is what matters in the end I don't think there is any questions here. .......darn...the questions I could have ask him and what I might have figured out for myself in 1980 if I only had the understanding and breath of experience I have now.......missed opportunities I am trying to correct now from whatever source I can get it from........

keep after it.....

Gary
Drifting together? Ha,ha. Watch out, we'll soon be dancing.....

Regards.G.
 
Old 12-06-2011, 07:42 AM   #116
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Andy Strawn wrote: View Post
I don't think that O-Sensei was directly teaching anyone exactly how to do anything. They had to take what the could get and put their own spin on it. Here's a quote from Henry Kono, a guy who studied at Hombu daily for 4 years.

How often did you see O-Sensei?
If he was in the back of the dojo he might come out every day. If he was away, you might not see him for three weeks. If he was there, he might come out for five or ten minutes then go back in. I saw him about 300 times in four years. He never explained what he did, he just did it! This is what I mean by magician. He did it and if you couldn't discern what he did, there was no way to figure it out. He never explained anything but he left hints which were very difficult to discern because of the way he stated his ideas in very short phrases that no one could understand.

I saw a tape of Shioda Sensei being interviewed in England. He was with O-Sensei for ten years from about 1930-40, he said O-Sensei never explained once in that 10 years as to what he was doing!

He wasn't a teacher in the sense that he was teaching. The Japanese may look at that as teaching, but in the western sense it isn't. You had to intuit what he was doing and saying, read between the lines, so to speak.


http://www.martijnvanhemmen.nl/?p=216
Well those are interesting observations. And if Kono said it, it must be true.
Kono also said that Ueshiba told him that no one can do what he does because they do not understand in yo ho. But McGrew says in yo ho (the corner stone of the asian arts) ...is only a small part of aikido. So this must be right. It has to be true.Modern deshi said so.
And with your other point in the post, if Shioda said it, it all was undeniably true. If other dead teachers say different…it's only because they are right too. As Janet and Ellis and George have pointed out; everything is true.
To take it off of specific teachers and once again place things in context; there are many angles that have been introduced regarding Ueshiba. I think we would do well to heed Ken McGrew's advice to listen to our teachers and no one else. Anything other than that is strictly propaganda. And if it is contrary to what his teacher said then it must be a plot. It must have nefarious motivations behind it it of the worst kind. The only other acceptable explanation is that contrary statements are being put out by simpletons or crude unrefined people who do not understand the complexities of interpersonal relationships, the Asian mind, what they have done and said to so many sincere students (and for us). In his view most of this is put out by people most likely with money grubbing motivations who are only concerned with trying to be somebody themselves (a very compelling argument that would explain how apparently awful these people are) at the detriment of the aikido community and to harm the absolutely stellar examples put forth by its teachers who brought the truth of aikido to so many. During my own 23 years in Aikido and my long history of training with several Shihan back then and fourteen Shihan now, I have seen many Chinese techniques in the art, as well as Koryu weapons seemingly everywhere. I have heard of so many teachers telling these stories, that naturally they all must be true.

I guess we need to rethink everything. The new line of logic would have the following history of Morihei Ueshiba be true..
1. Ueshiba's emphasis on hard style training might just have been after Sokaku's trouble in Okinawa. I think it is most probable that this connection to Tae kwon do and Hapkido was the first major in-road of the Korean arts heavy influence on Takeda down to Ueshiba.
2. Naturally, this probably changed again with his study of Bagua and wushu during his long tenure in China.
3. This would make sense and tie in with Kisshomaru's biography of noting how little Daito ryu actually played a part, and it was a religeous focus all along that birthed a certain some thing or other, that made him able to do something or other to opponents after he reached satori -and this shortly after being given a teaching license in Daito ryu and no one could touch him.
4. The fact that his satori was not to serve, but rather to fight for the next twenty years carries no weight or meaning worthy of consideration. He wanted to contest with those who wanted to contest with him, he showed up at the judo dojo to carry out shaminstic rituals and people who think he was about fighting just have not read all the stories from the many teachers who all disagree but are all completely correct.
5. Aikido Weapons Are Koryu Samurai arts. Why? Because Mr McGrew's standards would say Ueshiba, himself a descendent of the Samurai would have used his many years of training in the Samurai arts to go from soft to hard and after his mastering those arts...his genius -operating free from budo concerns-joined with the will of God to create a transcendant art.
6. According o Mr McGrews new standards, all of these various stories put forth by his son and his deshi are the best source we have for what happened and we should pay close attention to them and avoid the propaganda put out by certain journalist trying to sell magazines and others trying to sell something to the Aikido community apparently only to benefit themselves. All of it is negative and very harmful to the community.

Apparently we are being asked to consider, there is no conflict in the record. It is quite simple. If the deshi is alive, his story is true, if the deshi is dead, it's not, where they meet in the middle, it is because they met a physical and metaphysical Ueshiba. I suspect this was what gave him the ability to see bullets before they hit him and made the mountains shake behind his house. We know these things are also true, they come from his deshi, and see....you have to understand the nature of memory. Many of his deshi, dreamed they saw him, and thus their training under him continues.

There are several stories afoot about all of the above, and truth being as subjective as it is, all should be considered. I am not even going to debate anyone point, It is ALL TRUE. Why? Because everyone is in a lineage under any number of deshi who said these things. Just imagine the new more accurate history we are now going to get to discuss now that McGrew has established a personal relationship as the new standard that puts Stanley's work out of the picture.

For my part, this has caused me to step back and re-think my entire schedule for next year and my involvement with the community. I have many invitations that were being put off due to prior commitments. I will be pulling back and making new plans only with select groups. It's much easier on me. And that way people don't feel burdened to put up with me.
To the community I would say good luck with your Japanese Shihan. Though I would never in my life time do it, and therefore it would not appear after I was dead either; Imagine if I published what so many of you have said about
a. your Japanese teachers
b. this material
c. what YOU truly believe and feel
d. the value of my teaching on your art.
It would blow the minds of so many debating these issues. But...alas, after all, we do need to support our teachers....indeed!

As for protocols and behavior. I have never had a problem between what I say in private and what I say in public. I avoid saying things in public that would contradict what I say in private. I make sure I am consistent. To do otherwise -in my line of work- can cost my clients millions. Oddly, I have never had that level of transparency and honesty referred to as being simple or unsophisticated....until I met people in Japanese Budo.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 12-06-2011 at 07:53 AM.
 
Old 12-06-2011, 08:23 AM   #117
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,219
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Hi Dan,

that's one helluva post...

Why change what you are doing? you know that those who you teach, appreciate what you have to offer. There will always be folk who believe what they want to believe. One only has to look around the world to see that people will believe all sorts of stuff, regardless of fact or proof, Creationists and Scientologists are prime examples of this all too human capacity. Folk will kill and die to protect, weird ways of thinking. So a few martial artists getting steamed up about a history that will probably always be in dispute, is not really that much to worry about.

Unless they have a direct impact on your own wellbeing, why be concerned at all?

The truth of budo is on the mat and in actions in the world, not on the page or in pixels. How people conduct themselves, is one measure. Can they deliver is another. Can they pass on their knowledge and wisdom? there's a question..

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
 
Old 12-06-2011, 08:43 AM   #118
Demetrio Cereijo
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,919
Spain
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Well Dan,

This is how the the aikido world is.

 
Old 12-06-2011, 09:20 AM   #119
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Well Dan,

This is how the the aikido world is.
Well....not really. Some of the most remarkable people I have met were "in" Japanese Budo, among which, many of the stand outs are Aikido teachers. Ellis was right about that.

Dan
 
Old 12-06-2011, 09:38 AM   #120
Joe McParland
 
Joe McParland's Avatar
Dojo: Sword Mountain Aikido & Zen
Location: Baltimore, MD
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 309
United_States
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
For my part, this has caused me to step back and re-think my entire schedule for next year and my involvement with the community. I have many invitations that were being put off due to prior commitments. I will be pulling back and making new plans only with select groups. It's much easier on me. And that way people don't feel burdened to put up with me.
To the community I would say good luck with your Japanese Shihan. Though I would never in my life time do it, and therefore it would not appear after I was dead either; Imagine if I published what so many of you have said about
a. your Japanese teachers
b. this material
c. what YOU truly believe and feel
d. the value of my teaching on your art.
It would blow the minds of so many debating these issues. But...alas, after all, we do need to support our teachers....indeed!
Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
As always, it's our willingness to put value in understanding the mystery that gives these folks their power. The assertion of a mystery and an interest in a mystery are not fundamentally different than any other "attack" and connection--the foundation of aikido practice. Amusingly, the verbal techniques and principles are often analogous to physical techniques and principles... Can you spot them?

There are "lineages" and "teachers" that use their teachings so that their advocates free themselves of this this (masakatsu agatsu), and there are those that use them only for self-benefit--whatever the assertion to the contrary (just another technique). One leads to actual harmony; one does not. It's an interesting exercise to evaluate the different legends and personalities here in this light.
Don't worry: I'll guard your secret...

 
Old 12-06-2011, 10:07 AM   #121
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Hi Dan,

that's one helluva post...

Why change what you are doing? you know that those who you teach, appreciate what you have to offer. There will always be folk who believe what they want to believe. One only has to look around the world to see that people will believe all sorts of stuff, regardless of fact or proof, Creationists and Scientologists are prime examples of this all too human capacity. Folk will kill and die to protect, weird ways of thinking. So a few martial artists getting steamed up about a history that will probably always be in dispute, is not really that much to worry about.

Unless they have a direct impact on your own wellbeing, why be concerned at all?

The truth of budo is on the mat and in actions in the world, not on the page or in pixels. How people conduct themselves, is one measure. Can they deliver is another. Can they pass on their knowledge and wisdom? there's a question..

regards,

Mark
Hi Mark. Why not? I don't think he said stop. Review is something we all have to do a specific times.

I don't think it's any more significant than that. Learn, apply, have success, come across situations, review and consider, learn more, realign, progress.

That's a kind of sequence if you like. All good.

Regards.G.
 
Old 12-06-2011, 10:25 AM   #122
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,950
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
As for protocols and behavior. I have never had a problem between what I say in private and what I say in public. I avoid saying things in public that would contradict what I say in private. I make sure I am consistent.
Rule to live by.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
 
Old 12-06-2011, 10:30 AM   #123
Cliff Judge
Dojo: Aikido Shobukan Dojo
Location: Columbia, MD
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 981
United_States
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
I am merely trying to say that it would be nice if all the insults, stated directly or implied, would stop.
There is a really simple way to obtain these results, Ken. It's called stop posting.
 
Old 12-06-2011, 10:46 AM   #124
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 994
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
The idea that Aikido can be anything anyone wants it to be is a very generous idea. It is an extreme example of refusing to fight. I don't think that Gary, Katherine, or most Aikido artists would agree with that idea.
It doesn't matter whether I agree with it or not, as there's nothing I can do about it.

Certainly I can decide where and how I choose to train, and what I teach, but that's about the limit of my ability to influence things. Message board posts can encourage people to explore, but that's about it.

As for whether "aikido" -- for however you want to define it -- survives, that ultimately depends on whether aikido students are getting something they value out of their practice. If they are, it will. If not, it won't. If a particular approach appeals to more people, it will be more successful.

On the other hand, sheer number of students is not the only measure. Look at the koryu.

Katherine
 
Old 12-06-2011, 11:13 AM   #125
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Saotome Sensei's Training History

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Hi Dan,
that's one helluva post...
Why change what you are doing? you know that those who you teach, appreciate what you have to offer. There will always be folk who believe what they want to believe. One only has to look around the world to see that people will believe all sorts of stuff, regardless of fact or proof, Creationists and Scientologists are prime examples of this all too human capacity. Folk will kill and die to protect, weird ways of thinking. So a few martial artists getting steamed up about a history that will probably always be in dispute, is not really that much to worry about.

Unless they have a direct impact on your own wellbeing, why be concerned at all?
The truth of budo is on the mat and in actions in the world, not on the page or in pixels. How people conduct themselves, is one measure. Can they deliver is another. Can they pass on their knowledge and wisdom? there's a question..

regards,

Mark
Hi Mark
I had a series of long conversations over the last two years that I have been doing this. And another series of topically unrelated, yet strangely similar discussions last night and this morning with a group of teachers who are really pissed off by certain things. This thread, and Mr. McGrew have angered more than a few people and has brought certain issues to the surface. I have noticed an incredible double standard between what is acceptable behavior, both coming from, and then toward Japanese teachers, and the way those Japanese teachers treat their students and the way those student/teachers treat other teachers in contrast to the way they treat their Japanese teachers. The double standard can be quite profound.

With Saotome here, I was the first lone voice offering readers to review the context in which these things are discussed and an understanding of how it is perfectly acceptable. I also expanded to include the fact that Saotome was among the bright lights who was not exactly treated with the level of support from Hombu that lesser lights were offered. I was also the one to go out on a limb in pissing off other teachers who host me, by stating that I think that Saotome was the best modern practitioner I have seen and no one in the aikikai I have seen comes close.
That will undoubtedly cost me!! I thought about for quite a while before I wrote that. I said it in support of him, because I believe it is true.
The result?
I was insulted over and over, had statements twisted that were not true, old attackers showing up, and had my motives painted in an incredibly poor light. Okay. fine. Then spin off threads going after me. All approved and accepted. I got it. Have you ever been invited to a dinner party where you didn't really belong and then subtly put in your place? If you are like me, you don't really mind the perceived insult as your host would like, I have a confidance, well earned, on what I can actually do, versus many of these internet jocks who's own teachers can't touch it never mind themselves. But you get the intent behind the set up, and the message, loud and clear.

Now, understand, that in fact, (real facts-as in proof, not Japanese fact, as in an agreed public farce) I have made certain sacrifices in certain places where I have taught for hours and hours at a deeply discounted rate in order to "help." It sure as HELL was not to my benefit. Now, imagine reading how much of a bastard I am or "Thanks, but your just another date on my dance card." That's cool, no big deal, but it helps to see the value of my efforts. Hence my own choice to draw back in and reduce efforts to those who understand what I am doing and why. There are any number of people who have been after me to teach and I have turned them down in support of prior commitments.

What I am doing is very hard to do and there are VERY.. few of us attempting this-fewer still when you add in provable results! And the few Japanese that have anything at all, suck at teaching it. It isn't always fun, the traveling really...sucks. When I teach seminars I will sit in the back seat, pay for my own meals when I can, refuse the sensei treatment, and try to be as low maintainance as possible. I don't hold back information, and try to get as much hands on time as possible with each person, then I give free training time after the seminar.
Contrary to the incredibly insulting, many times singular treatment I have received here, I could do seminars with larger crowds, offer less hands on time, systematize and really use it to make much more money and be the bastard I am accused of being almost on a regular basis here. There are too many of us who are resolved and understand the nature of the work, and it's place in history, its place in the arts and how it effects Aikido, to squander my time with just anybody.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 12-06-2011 at 11:26 AM.
 

Please visit our sponsor:

Handmade Aikido Gifts - Handmade functional ceramic art with aikido themes



Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 17 Peter Goldsbury Columns 41 06-03-2010 10:46 PM
George's Short Guide to Cross Training George S. Ledyard External Aikido Blog Posts 2 06-11-2009 03:42 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12 Peter Goldsbury Columns 32 05-16-2009 07:05 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10 Peter Goldsbury Columns 200 02-04-2009 07:45 AM
Saotome sensei's vs Ikeda sensei's video Shipley Supplies 2 08-26-2000 12:41 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:40 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate