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Old 07-08-2002, 11:29 AM   #26
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered 3
Well, it seems like the "rogue" organization in question takes the high road on public forums and attacks on the sly. Their website is full of subtle and not so subtle attacks on the AAA style of instruction and Aikido. The least of which is that it is "watered down." I think that a covert attempt to cause derision to create a situation where the leader could take over an organization by force is attack enough.
I'm a little confused by this statement. I assume you mean www.shinjinkai.org but I see very little mention of AAA and I certainly saw nothing derogatory but I'm a little slow in the morning. Certainly as an outsider I would have no questions based on the website.

Quote:
In regards to the rank question, most people don't question the leader's technical skill but do question his character and motives. Plus many have witnessed incidents where weaknesses in his character have influenced his technique, causing very unsafe situations for uke.
Character is an interesting thing. I think there are more than a couple of organizations that would be seeking new leadership based on some people's perceptions (mine for one) of character.

Quote:
This is a no win situation. Perhaps we should all let it go and let our practice and actions speak for our characters. In time, people will figure it out for themselves.
If so, I think you would not have written this post.

Last edited by Erik : 07-08-2002 at 11:42 AM.
 
Old 07-08-2002, 12:06 PM   #27
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Checking to see if this is anonymous

I'm posting this to see if my name shows up before I make any comments.
 
Old 07-08-2002, 12:22 PM   #28
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I have several comments:
1. Mr. Baker I question your interest. While in Memphis you made several critical comments regarding Toyoda sensei's health and his local dojos on issues you had no business being involved in. In fact, you or your representatives even wrote the IAF regarding dan exams you only observed part of and took issue with. Your behavior was so out of line, as a local aikidoka I personally wrote a letter to your shihan anonymously requesting he reel in your non aiki comments. Toyoda sensei seemed to want to let it go. Perhaps you have turned over a new leaf.
2. This whole thing does not have a very Buddhist flavor to it. Egos have definitely not been transcended on either side of the issue. This appears to be very money motivated and ego motivated.
3. Instructors of AAA should be given the entire details of the issue so they can make appropriate judgements. Mr. Moore's web site is somewhat innocuous so I can't see what was so offensive. Obviously something else must have transpired. Stripping someone of their rank and relationship with hombu is a serious response and should be limited to serious acts-theft, molestation, etc. I know of one other student of Toyoda's that was responsible for stealing membership dues and he just went to another organization (this was according to Toyoda somewhere in the area of $10,000).
4. The issue of airing dirty laundry publically is inappropriate. Internal political issues should be kept internal among management personnel and not aired in the public arena. This makes the everyone look bad. A simple letter to the affected parties could have accomplished the same thing.
5. I wonder if Doshu heard both sides of the story before making a decision.
6. O'Sensei would not be happy with this kind of behavior from any aikidoka. The way of harmony is not very harmonious. How you treat another human being says little about the other human being but loads about you.
 
Old 07-08-2002, 01:29 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by Erik


If so, I think you would not have written this post.

Erik--touche. You are absolutely right. I guess I came to the realization that this is a "no win situation" only after I had vented.

I think that many people just have really strong feelings about this. Not just reactions to what the leader has done or said, but also coming from deeper emotional places. Many in the organization are very hurt and disappointed in the actions of this person. Sometimes this comes out in the form of negativity toward him and his organization. I was also motivated by anger and a need for people to know the "truth." This, of course, is my truth and my perception.

One truth that I know for sure is that the AAA is a very positive, supportive organization. It is a close community and I think many of us are just very protective of it and each other. That does not excuse my lashing out against someone else even though I felt that I was just giving the "facts."

Thank you for pointing this out to me.
 
Old 07-08-2002, 01:45 PM   #30
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Enough, huh ?

Perhaps, Jun, it may be time to end this thread.
 
Old 07-08-2002, 02:48 PM   #31
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered 3
I think that many people just have really strong feelings about this. Not just reactions to what the leader has done or said, but also coming from deeper emotional places. Many in the organization are very hurt and disappointed in the actions of this person. Sometimes this comes out in the form of negativity toward him and his organization. I was also motivated by anger and a need for people to know the "truth." This, of course, is my truth and my perception.
I do know what you mean here. If you look at my profile you'll see I'm in the Bay Area which for many means being in the AANC. The AANC has had more than it's share of intrigue over the years, everything from the event mentioned earlier to continued tension within the divisions. It finally came to a head and was disolved.

At first I was angry with the other side which for me was the Bill Witt segment and I have friends in that segment. Eventually, I just became angry with all four of those involved in the leadership positions. Running an organization shouldn't be that hard. Finally, I realized that in the context of my practice it didn't make a bit of difference. I could still practice at any of the dojos in question and they are still the same people regardless of the organization.

So what was I mad about? That people I barely knew couldn't get along? That an organization was disolved? I'd be hard pressed to even define any value that the organization provide me. In other words, in my context as a student it really should have made no difference whatsoever to me.

All worked up about nothing. Yep, I can relate.

Last edited by Erik : 07-08-2002 at 03:09 PM.
 
Old 07-08-2002, 03:42 PM   #32
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Re: Re: Power struggle/ minorities

Quote:
Originally posted by Blaine Feyen
I really value Chris Li's opinion regarding the plusses and minuses of being affiliated with an organization, however, his feelings about organizational affiliation are, and I could be wrong Chris, probably because he lives in Japan and can go train at any one of 100 dojo. In America, we are forced to be a little more discriminating in our choice of dojo because Aikido, Judo, and Kendo are not required physical education courses in our culture and there are not dojo on every street corner in every town.
It's true that I'm in a dojo-rich situation right now, but I've lived and trained in the states, and spent years in places not nearly as dojo-rich as the Chicago area. That doesn't change my point of view, really. I wouldn't stay somewhere that threatened to kick me out of the organization because of contact or training with "forbidden" members (I'm not saying that happened in this case, but it was certainly alleged), whether it were the only game in town or not - the morals involved don't change because your personal situation happens to be less convenient.

Best,

Chris

 
Old 07-08-2002, 03:46 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by Erik
I'd be hard pressed to even define any value that the organization provide me. In other words, in my context as a student it really should have made no difference whatsoever to me.

All worked up about nothing. Yep, I can relate.
That's an important point. There's almost nothing that a large organization can give you that you can't get from a single dojo - even Aikikai recognition (and the right to give rank) only requires (IIRC) a two dojo organization. What benefits does any organization larger than that really give anyone?

Best,

Chris

 
Old 07-08-2002, 07:22 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li


Ah, OK I guess that I mis-read the original post. As I understand it, even K. Tohei didn't have his rank revoked, nor did any of the people who broke off with hombu at one time or another (such as M. Saotome), so this case seems to be a little bit different.

Best,
Chris

Not that I really want to step into this, but Saotome Sensei and Toyoda Sensei were both part of the original group of teachers that broke off from the Aikikai Hombu in 1974 when K. Tohei
Sensei resigned. They were part of the very early core of Tohei Sensei's Ki Society.

It seems that once they left to form their own organizations (ASU and AAA) that eventually grew into importants groups in their own right, that were not associated with Tohei Sensei, then there was a possibility of reaffiliation with the Aikikai. There did seem to be a somewhat lengthy process in reconnecting to the Aikikai (several years IIRC) during which I could imagine the discussion of recognizing rank had to come up. Obviously Tohei Sensei's stature being what it was, there never will be any compelling reasons to make a reconnection (from either side) at a high level. It would be like M. Ueshiba Sensei reaffiliating with the Daito Ryu in 1960's.

I recall that when Toyoda Sensei left with Tohei Sensei, he was a yondan in his 20's, and so would have been promoted twice by Tohei Sensei before leaving Ki Society to form AAA around 1983 (?). So Aikikai Hombu had to recognize his rokyudan rank awarded by Tohei Sensei via Ki Society. That must have been an interesting negotiation. His rank clearly deserved to be recognized.

I am only dimly aware of the bad feelings and sharp words that existed at the time in the 1970's over that split since it is all before my time. Family spats are never pretty and can generate ugly feelings and ugly words from otherwise good people.

Cearly both Saotome Sensei and Toyoda Sensei both proved themselves by their example over many years as teachers and leaders. This made it possible for them to reconcile with Aikikai Hombu and K. Ueshiba Sensei.

As one of those students who walked into an Aikido dojo completely unaware of the history and organizations, I can identify with the new students that will come into the this new group called Shinjinkai . I ended up joining a Ki Society dojo because I liked the teacher, the fellow students and the practice. In fact it was about six months before I really became aware that Aikido had more than one organization ( :-) ).

Now, even though I am a Ki Society instructor, I enjoy visiting and playing with my AAA, ASU, and USAF cousins when possible.

The AAA can only just let them go and time will be the judge not people.

Craig
 
Old 07-08-2002, 07:42 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by kironin
Not that I really want to step into this, but Saotome Sensei and Toyoda Sensei were both part of the original group of teachers that broke off from the Aikikai Hombu in 1974 when K. Tohei
Sensei resigned. They were part of the very early core of Tohei Sensei's Ki Society.
Are you saying that Saotome sensei was one of the people in Tohei sensei's Ki Society and that he broke off from Aikikai because of Tohei sensei's leaving that organization? Or are you referring to Toyoda sensei's past affiliations?

-- Jun

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Old 07-08-2002, 08:43 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by akiy

Are you saying that Saotome sensei was one of the people in Tohei sensei's Ki Society and that he broke off from Aikikai because of Tohei sensei's leaving that organization?
-- Jun
Yes.

According to the details given by Roy Y. Suenaka Sensei in his book (book title - Total Aikido), where he lists names of the original senior people Tohei Sensei sent to the USA. It explains some things and I see no reason why Suenaka Sensei would be lying about this. After all, he runs his own independent organization in the Southeast USA now (Wadokai Aikido). He just matter-of-fact lists some who were in the early group while recounting some early meetings.

IIRC, by Suenaka's account Saotome Sensei did not stay long (1-2 years ?). He left when it was still forming. My guess is that he was one of the more senior people at the time (a bit more independent?) ? Wasn't ASU formed in 1977 ?
I bet none of senior of the ASU students really had any association with Ki Society except through Aikikai teachers that just happen to still be in the Ki Society. Just no time.

Perhaps Toyoda Sensei's association with the Ki Society is better known because he was with the Ki Society a much longer time. He left when the Ki Society had been pretty well established and many of his oldest students in AAA (now godans) originally did start and can remember his days as head of the Chicago Ki Society.

I have chatted with Toyoda Sensei and number of senior most teachers and they all seem to be from Chicago and started in the Ki Society. I bet that's not true of the ASU. So it's easily forgotten. Ikeda Sensei began Aikido in 1968, so perhaps you should ask him, though was he associated with Saotome Sensei before 1978 ?

A lot of the terminology in the Ki Society and the formation of taigi's did not occur till the late 1970's after Saotome Sensei left. So while I dig what you guys do in the ASU, and can often relate based on my Ki Society training. The AAA curriculum is a much more obvious cousin to Ki Society as it retains much of Tohei Sensei's basic exercises.

anyway, it's only of passing interest in understanding why some people ended up where they did and why there might be motivations to open dialogue with, K. Ueshiba, the doshu at the time, who they certainly knew from being instructors at the Aikikai Hombu in the late-60's and early 70's.

Craig
 
Old 07-08-2002, 08:46 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by kironin
Not that I really want to step into this, but Saotome Sensei and Toyoda Sensei were both part of the original group of teachers that broke off from the Aikikai Hombu in 1974 when K. Tohei
Sensei resigned. They were part of the very early core of Tohei Sensei's Ki Society.
Saotome was never a member of the Ki Society, and he didn't break off to leave with K. Tohei. Not surprising, as Saotome was a Yamaguchi student, and Seigo Yamaguchi never really got along well with K. Tohei. M. Saotome stayed at Aikikai hombu for a brief time after the split and then moved to the United States. He ended up forming ASU and breaking with hombu because of some problems with some of the other Aikikai instructors already in the US and later re-affiliated when the furor died down (10 years or so later).

Best,

Chris

 
Old 07-08-2002, 08:54 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered

According to the details given by Roy Y. Suenaka Sensei in his book (book title - Total Aikido), where he lists names of the original senior people Tohei Sensei sent to the USA. It explains some things and I see no reason why Suenaka Sensei would be lying about this. After all, he runs his own independent organization in the Southeast USA now (Wadokai Aikido). He just matter-of-fact lists some who were in the early group while recounting some early meetings.
Ah, I see what you're talking about now. Yes, Saotome was invited to some of the original meetings, where K. Tohei tried to recruit him (and many other) instructors, but he did not, AFAIK ever become a member of Ki Society, or break off to follow Tohei.

Best,

Chris

 
Old 07-08-2002, 08:56 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li


Saotome was never a member of the Ki Society, and he didn't break off to leave with K. Tohei. Not surprising, as Saotome was a Yamaguchi student, and Seigo Yamaguchi never really got along well with K. Tohei. M. Saotome stayed at Aikikai hombu for a brief time after the split and then moved to the United States. He ended up forming ASU and breaking with hombu because of some problems with some of the other Aikikai instructors already in the US and later re-affiliated when the furor died down (10 years or so later).

Best,

Chris


Well, I would have to go find Suenaka's book, but I recall being surprised by his mentioning Saotome Sensei, because I had never heard of the connection before. I wouldn't be surprised if a personal remembrance contradicted some official Aikikai version of events as told in Japan.

Craig
 
Old 07-08-2002, 09:00 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by kironin

Well, I would have to go find Suenaka's book, but I recall being surprised by his mentioning Saotome Sensei, because I had never heard of the connection before. I wouldn't be surprised if a personal remembrance contradicted some official Aikikai version of events as told in Japan.

Craig
Not so official - I got my first two dan rankings from Saotome, and I know most of the people who invited him to the US in the first place.

In any case, the Aikikai rarely issues versions, official or otherwise, they're too "Japanese" for that .

Best,

Chris

 
Old 07-08-2002, 09:10 PM   #41
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Well, the ASU still seems pretty Ki friendly

g'night
Craig
 
Old 07-08-2002, 10:27 PM   #42
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Chris Li is correct. Saotome Sensei was never a member of the Ki Society. Toyoda Sensei was with the original group that broke away from Hombu Dojo.

In his book Book of Ki:Co-ordinating Mind and Body in Daily Life page 91, Tohei lists Fumio Toyoda as being part of the original Ki Society instructors. He also lists Toyoda Sensei as 5th dan. I believe he received promotion to 6th dan when AAA affiliated with Aikikai.

Toyoda Sensei was originally sent to be head instructor of the Chicago Ki Society. However after years of running battles with Ki Society headquarters, he was expelled. When that happened, Tohei was asked, "What do you want to do about Toyoda?", implying possible legal action to wrestle the dojo away from him. Tohei replied, "Forget it."

This is also good advice for those involved in this split. If you know who you are, then you know where you should be. Don't worry about everyone else. They can take care of themselves.

This is a very emotional time. Toyoda Sensei's first year memorial has just occurred and many people are now feeling the full loss of his passing. However the lessons he taught should be more alive than ever.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 07-09-2002, 06:24 AM   #43
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Ted - I was under the impression that Toyoda sensei held the rank of yondan at the time of the Tohei / Japan split, then was promoted via Tohei to godan and rokudan. During negotiations of reaffiliation with Japan, the CONFIRMATION of his 6th dan was an issue, yet ultimately approved and confirmed by Humbu. Perhaps Peter Goldsbury can shed some light on this matter, as he, I believe, alluded on another aikido web-board of his familiarity of the negotiations (and Peter, please correct me if I misunderstood).... I had heard rumors of his promotion to 7th dan would have occured had he not passed. Anyway, AAA's own biography of him seems to allude to his 5th and 6th dan promotions while with Tohei -

http://www.aaa-aikido.com/toyoda.htm
 
Old 07-09-2002, 07:42 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hogan
Ted - I was under the impression that Toyoda sensei held the rank of yondan at the time of the Tohei / Japan split, then was promoted via Tohei to godan and rokudan. During negotiations of reaffiliation with Japan, the CONFIRMATION of his 6th dan was an issue, yet ultimately approved and confirmed by Humbu. Perhaps Peter Goldsbury can shed some light on this matter, as he, I believe, alluded on another aikido web-board of his familiarity of the negotiations (and Peter, please correct me if I misunderstood).... I had heard rumors of his promotion to 7th dan would have occured had he not passed. Anyway, AAA's own biography of him seems to allude to his 5th and 6th dan promotions while with Tohei -
http://www.aaa-aikido.com/toyoda.htm

about 7th dan, yeah there were rumors.

I recall comments about him being rokyudan for 20 years.
I am pretty sure that Tohei Sensei had promoted him to 6th.

You have to respect that unlike others he never used the organization he founded to promote himself.

Craig
 
Old 07-09-2002, 09:30 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hogan
Ted - I was under the impression that Toyoda sensei held the rank of yondan at the time of the Tohei / Japan split, then was promoted via Tohei to godan and rokudan[/url]...
You are probably correct. I was thinking that Tohei could have promoted Toyoda Sensei to 5th Dan and then listed him as such in his book.

I'm not really that precise on rank promotion. The only thing I can say for sure is that when AAA was affiliated with Aikikai, Toyoda Sensei was 6th Dan. Which seemed to me, to be the correct rank for the founder of an organization of that size.
 
Old 07-09-2002, 10:26 AM   #46
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Put it to bed

How about we put this one to bed, eh?

Bad enough we have anonymous postings from ghosts, let alone your crys of WOLF!

Let the drama play out.

If it goes the way of many simular events I have seen, the ostrichsized person will either dissappear, or turn up again being vindicated and quite successful.

Since no one has the exact details, this thread has become the old ladys telling tales from partial facts.

Put it to bed, and let it be.

Your focus should not be the correction of other people's lives, but of your own.

That is the strength of training and understanding Aikido. Sometimes the choices are not correct, or the situation is not approvable by most watching, but that is learning process, and the natural Aiki of our baser animal nature.

Whatever happened here is done. Now the opposing parties must find the Aiki to resolve it ... and move one.

So should we all.
 
Old 07-09-2002, 07:46 PM   #47
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politics and aikido

I have been a quiet practitioner of Aikido for 35 years and after reading the shameful finger pointing, muck raking and public laundering of grievances by MANY people who should know better, it makes me wonder why they would think this kind of hyperbole serves the purpose of harmony.
If my neighbor or aquaintance serves ill to the public, does it further the cause of good or harmony for me to amplify his weaknesses?
It makes me think some practitioners would do well to go back to the basics of O'Sensei's teachings of Love and Harmony.
Why would anyone want to publicly point out another persons shortcomings when better time would be spent trying to polish their own?
 
Old 07-09-2002, 08:58 PM   #48
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Sorry for the bandwidth but I just can't let this go by.
Quote:
Originally posted by

1. Mr. Baker I question your interest. While in Memphis you made several critical comments regarding Toyoda sensei's health and his local dojos on issues you had no business being involved in. In fact, you or your representatives even wrote the IAF regarding dan exams you only observed part of and took issue with. Your behavior was so out of line, as a local aikidoka I personally wrote a letter to your shihan anonymously requesting he reel in your non aiki comments. Toyoda sensei seemed to want to let it go. Perhaps you have turned over a new leaf.
The comments about his health were by my wife, a physician, who noticed his feet had a bluish tint. It frightened her and she mentioned it to people within his group, so they could keep an eye on him while he was there. That he wasn't healthy at the time was simply a fact.

Neither I, nor any person in my dojo, EVER contacted the IAF about anything, never mind something to do with another dojo, EVER. It wouldn't have ever even occured to me to try and I'm not exactly sure how one actually contacts the IAF.

In fact, I only ever voiced my concerns about those particular dan tests on two occasions, and only because I was directly asked; once by you in our dressing room and the other by a visiting AAA yudansha. If you've ever read the things I write here or elsewhere, you would know that I do not discuss my opinions of other teachers or styles, except privately. That is, by the way, how I know who you are, the choices being only two.

I might add that Yamada Shihan never reads anonymous letters as a matter of policy and I never heard anything about this.

I return you all to your normal bandwidth.

jimbaker
 
Old 07-10-2002, 06:11 AM   #49
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Apparently, you don't know who I am since I never had such a conversation with you EVER. In fact, I don't believe we've ever had a conversation about anything.

I might ask how it is that Toyoda sensei had to respond to allegations of sub par dan exams to the IAF if no one in your organization contacted the IAF-there was no other aikido organizations or visiting yudansha in town? I doubt students from his own dojo had complained.

Toyoda sensei had a life long struggle with gout-his feet didn't turn blue but did swell and have knots on them.

There was also an anonymous letter written by someone in your group questioning the rank of the instructor of another dojo (that person had already been kicked out) to ATM.
 
Old 07-10-2002, 06:20 AM   #50
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Re: reply

Quote:
Originally posted by

I might ask how it is that Toyoda sensei had to respond to allegations of sub par dan exams to the IAF if no one in your organization contacted the IAF-there was no other aikido organizations or visiting yudansha in town? I doubt students from his own dojo had complained.
Is (or was) AAA even a member of IAF? I had thought that the one-country rule is still in force in the IAF. IIRC, the USAF was the only IAF member in the US until it pulled out and now there are no IAF affiliated groups in the US (or maybe I missed something).

Also (as I understand these things), ranks (and testing) all go through Aikikai hombu. Does the IAF even have anything to do with that?

I'm with Jim - I wouldn't even know where to file such a complaint .

Best,

Chris

 

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