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!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-21-2000, 02:02 PM   #26
fudo
"fudo"
IP Hash: 97197115
Join Date: Sep 2000
Anonymous User
Offline
The Aikido-L mailserv folks have (I believe) had two seminars where everyone on the list -- from widely disparate styles -- were invited. I went to the second, which was held in the Virginia suburbs of DC, and it was great. The seminar was structred so that one teacher from each style represented had a 2-hour class. There were (if memory serves me correctly), sensei from the Ki Society, Yoshinkan, Aikikai, ASU, and some offshoot of jujitsu/aikijujitsu. The theme was "celebrate our similarities", not differences, and everyone had a great time.

So, it CAN work.

-mf
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2000, 02:03 PM   #27
fudo
"fudo"
IP Hash: 97197115
Join Date: Sep 2000
Anonymous User
Offline
The Aikido-L listserv folks have (I believe) had two seminars where everyone on the list -- from widely disparate styles -- were invited.

I went to the second seminar, which was held in the Virginia suburbs of DC, and it was great. The seminar was structred so that one teacher from each style represented had a 2-hour class. There were (if memory serves me correctly), sensei from the Ki Society, Yoshinkan, Aikikai, ASU, and some offshoot of jujitsu/aikijujitsu. The theme was "celebrate our similarities", not differences, and everyone had a great time. Needless to say, I learned a lot.

So, it CAN work.

-mf
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2000, 10:20 PM   #28
Mike Collins
Location: San Jose
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 189
United_States
Offline
Still, it's a lovely ideal, and Jun, you should know there are a good many of us who not only agree, but to some degree, try to do just what you've said.

Aikido is like this beautiful jewel, and most, if not all of us are looking at a given light splinter from one prismed refraction and declaring that Aikido. We owe it to our teachers to gradually and naturally unite Aikido, if not in it's physical manifestation, then in the spirit of our own training atmosphere.

In the one dojo where I train, there are differing splinters who spend a great deal of time and energy bitching about this and that. It has recently come to me that I have a responsibility both for my own happiness, and for the passing on of this beautiful and life-changing art, to make my training atmosphere joyful rather than a clouded bitchy mess. It's hard to take responsibility for this stuff, but we all (at least those of us who have benefited from this art)have incurred a debt, to our teachers, their teachers, and to Osensei, to make the art alive and well.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2000, 02:35 PM   #29
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,624
Offline
Little minded ......

Quote:
Niadh wrote:
Some of the students however, were very "this is my way and it is good and right" especially if trying to do a technique a way that was not like they had learned. I feel it only fair to point out that these were the more advanced students.
Niadh
I am reminded of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in which one psuedo Frenchman taunted his enemies using a phrase which started with Little minded ...etc.

If you take a technique like kotegaeshi, there are as many versions of that technique as there are martial arts. Many of the people with whom I trained made a big deal of why their particular version was the superior version and the others were deficient in some way. Fortunately for me, my teacher is Saotome Sensei whom I have never heard say such a thing aboout any technique. My particular take was that every version I have learned would work in the proper context so I have incorporated all of them into what I teach my students.

I think that the worst thing a teacher can do to his students(aside from abuse)is to narrow their vision. The idea that there is only one way to do a technique is just as dangerous as the idea that one religion or one political philosphy has a lock on the truth. Training should result in an expansion of horizons. But what often happens is that the more experience students have, the more they are insecure about admitting that there is something they don't know or understand. If some does something differently, they dismiss it so that they can continue to be important. This is absolutely the worst when those people eventually become teachers. They are forced by their own limitations to forbid their students to look at other options as that would expose their own deficiencies. It results in small spirit and virtually guarentees that they will be mediocities in the long run.

Always remember the story of the Zen Master who was asked for instruction by an arrogant Samurai. The master proceeded to offer him tea. When the master poured he didn't stop when the cup was full and kept on pouring. The Samurai protested in shock and the master replied that it would be impossible to teach someone whose cup was full just as it was impossible to put more tea in to this teacup.

Ignore all this BS. It is all about insecurity and trying to make oneself feel secure by associating with rigid authorities who claim special insight. Just train, look at everything, try everything, and make your own Aikido. You can't do anyone else's Aikido, not even your own teacher's. Don't pay attention to people who have traded their broad vision for some silly status within an organization of insecure people.

[Edited by George S. Ledyard on September 22, 2000 at 02:45pm]

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2000, 04:03 PM   #30
Russ
Dojo: Pacific Aikido Kensankai
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 32
Offline
Re: Little minded ......

Sorry, I can't figure out how to use the reply with quote thingy..., but George Sensei said:

"But what often happens is that the more experience students have, the more they are insecure about admitting that there is something they don't know or understand. If some does something differently, they dismiss it so that they can continue to be important. This is absolutely the worst when those people eventually become teachers."

Ain't that the truth, George sensei! Man! As mentioned in another thread at another time, the more I train the less I know. I will assume that this feeling doesn't abate with experience and I will hope that, as Gleason sensei puts it so well, experience of the hara will cultivate trust in oneself to apply the correct technique..., whenever. (I'm paraphrasing Gleason sensei of course.)

The hardest battle for intermediate and advanced students (teachers included) is to not get trapped by that damn ego. This oft said truism manifests itself when you cling to what you know and feel defence is needed when confonted with something that is simply..., different. A different take or style is, in a general sense, neither better nor worse than ones own and, quite frankly, there is room enough in Aikido for all that is out there.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2000, 08:07 PM   #31
kironin
 
kironin's Avatar
Dojo: Houston Ki Aikido
Location: Houston,TX
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,032
United_States
Offline
Cool Re: Report from the Front

Quote:
tedehara wrote:
When was the last time you trained with a dojo completely outside your style/organizaton?
Last week...

I'm Ki Society and I spent five days training with a shihan (8th dan) from Aikikai Hombu. He was nothing but gracious and friendly and paid as much attention to me in class as anyone else. The host dojo, from the sensei on down to new students made me feel very welcome. This was the first time I had been there.

In the past year, I have dropped in
in at AAA, Aikikai, ASU and some independent dojos. Taken classes or did seminars with major teachers in those organizations.


Quote:
What were your feelings at that dojo and how did they treat you?
see above.

I've heard about bad experiences years ago, but I have never had one.
Perhaps it's because I always go in
expecting the best rather than the worst. The world is what you make it.
You can choose to focus on the conflict out there or you can look for openings where compassion and friendship are in everyone.

That isn't to say I haven't shaken the dust off my sandals upon leaving a few places, but I don't make generalizations from individuals nor
do I repeat stories to others.

and I do visit two dojos in town that
have head sensei that have a individual history and don't speak to each other. They know I visit the other dojo, I make no secret about it. When I go to either one, we don't talk about the past we just do aikido. I don't attempt to get involved in the politics.
I am respectful at both places and only say good things.


Quote:
What were the reactions of the teachers and fellow students in your dojo, when you told them of your visits?
No big deal. In fact I can recall many
a good time in the Virginia Ki Society
when a number of fellow students would get together and have a good time chatting about their experiences with this or that sensei at seminar and something funny or interesting happened.

Now, I am the head of the Ki Society
school in Houston, so I set the tone
and attitude. I don't try to teach them
non-Ki Society style but my senior students always know that I come back and show them some insight or
move I picked up at these wayward wonderings through the larger aikido landscape. We play with it. It's a non-issue with me if they want to go to a seminar out Ki Society because I am likely to be right there with them.
When I was a sankyu, I remember my first teacher taking me and several other students to a seminar with Saito Sensei.

The attitude always was, if what we teach doesn't withstand scrutiny, then what good is it ?

You learn what each group's assumptions are and what their goals are. Some I agree with and some I don't, but it's almost always educational.


Quote:
Were you foolish enough to tell someone in your dojo, what you were doing?
see above...


Quote:
Sorry to play Devil's Advocate, but I really don't see any change in attitude among Aikido organizations.
By their very nature, organizations will be slow to change in attitude.
But individuals can and do change
and new generations of students don't need to carry on the grudges of older generations if the seniors can recognize that forgiveness is a powerful tool and that passing on bad stories is like dealing in poison.

Quote:
No one said human nature was all sweetness and light - learning to get along with each other is an important lesson. It's a lesson that has to be constantly relearned and practiced daily.
hear, hear,

and one of the best ways to practice it is to enter a room of strangers, accept what is human nature in all the varied forms of imperfection, and leave with a new set of friends.

Craig
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2000, 12:27 PM   #32
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,624
Offline
Re: Report from the Front

Quote:

I once was visiting a Chicago dojo and mentioned a suburban dojo to a senior member. He got very upset. The group from the suburban dojo had come from the dojo I was visiting and there was some bad feelings on their "departure". I'd like to note that the suburban dojo was still a member of the same organization and had the same Shihan. If people treat others like this within their own organizaton, how would they treat someone from a completely different group?[Edited by tedehara on August 26, 2000 at 09:49pm]
This is exactly the type of bad karma people pass on from one generation to another. It is the fault of the teachers involved to let that type of thing happen but it also the willingness of the students to take on all their teacher's baggage that makes it possible.

I make it a point to draw all my own conclusions personally. I am great friends with other Aikido teachers who are from very different backgrounds and we have agreed that it would be silly to carry on the conflicts from a previous generation as if they were our own.

Years ago I went to Hombu dojo for a week to train. This was before Saotome sensei and the ASU were back under the wing of the home dojo. Saotome Sensei gave me various letters of introduction and I was extremely cordially received. I was able to take extensive ukemi from Doshu and Osawa Sensei and just had a tremendous time. But when I was in the locker room the other Americans were busy trying to figure out who I was and where in their universe I fit in. Finally one came up and actually read the kanji on my belt. It was Saotome Sensei's own belt that he had given me on the occasion of my San dan test. This fellow actually had the temerity to suggest that I keep it covered up as my affiliation with Saotome Sensei was a problem.

This little minded fellow was quite busy trying to perpetuate a conflict that he was far to young to even understand and that his seniors were at that moment trying to reconcile. It was laughable. As if I would train anywhere that I had to hide my relationship with my teacher.

People look for any excuse to find fault with others because it defines them in their own minds when they are actually very insecure.It is completely unnecessary and just shows off ones openings to the world.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2000, 10:59 AM   #33
BC
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 432
Offline
Ai symbol Re: Report from the Front

[quote]tedehara wrote:

You can probably see this seminar as some sort of Platonic Ideal, since (in my experience) the Chicago Metro area is very "splintered".

I once was visiting a Chicago dojo and mentioned a suburban dojo to a senior member. He got very upset. The group from the suburban dojo had come from the dojo I was visiting and there was some bad feelings on their "departure". I'd like to note that the suburban dojo was still a member of the same organization and had the same Shihan. If people treat others like this within their own organizaton, how would they treat someone from a completely different group?....
_____________________________________

I definitely view it as an ideal. I think ideals are things that we should aspire to, and I think it would be a worthy one to attain. I understand that it might not ever happen, but wouldn't it be wonderful if it did?

I hope the dojo you visited in Chicago wasn't where I train, and if it was, I would like to apologize for your having to see such behavior. I believe that it would not be truly representative of our membership. That kind of behavior is totally inappropriate, and it is unfortunate when encountered - especially from sempai.

Also, based on my experience visiting other dojos, it wouldn't be representative of most aikidoists I have encountered. I have visited a few dojos outside of my home dojo's affiliation, and have always been treated with the utmost in courtesy, respect and graciousness. One of the dojos actually had been affiliated with our organization (USAF) until a few years ago. That didn't stop them (instructor and students) from welcoming me to practice with them for the whole week that I was there, and since I have family there, I'll definitely go back. I occasionally have to travel for my job, and always make an effort to go to the local dojos to practice. I think that it is definitely good to broaden your horizons, and see what others do and how they do it. Many other members of our dojo also travel, and practice at other dojos when they do so. I have always been encouraged when I shared my experiences with fellow students and my instructors.

I agree that the US situation appears to be very splintered, but some strides have been made in the past several years (the ASU and AAA being welcomed back into the Aikikai, multi-organizational seminars given). Given the diversity of American culture, one view could be that it's surprising that there isn't more splintering than what we see now. While being aware of the negatives, I think its very important to see the positives as well, because that's where I would like to see things headed. It's kind of like constantly looking behind you to see where you've been. If you keep doing it, you're eventually going to stumble, fall, or get lost because you can't see where you're going. You have to look forward to where you want to be.

In the meantime, I simply do what I can by chasing after my "ideals" by training earnestly, conducting myself with courtesy, respect and grace, and treating others as I would like to be treated. IMHO.

-BC

[Edited by BC on September 25, 2000 at 11:16am]
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2000, 02:50 PM   #34
Magma
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 168
Offline
Ai symbol

Sometimes I wonder if this legacy was left behind by O'sensei purposefully. What better way to test aikido in a student's life than by watching how that student deals with someone who believes as strongly in something just different enough to cause contention? It's as if the strength of the conviction feeds the dissension, but more importantly, it focuses in on those very beliefs to show whether or not they are actualized in our lives. The more we believe without actualization (ie, talking without action), the greater the risk of splintering in the aikido community.

Hope this makes sense.

M.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2000, 03:59 AM   #35
Konni
Dojo: DAB Deutscher Aikido Bund (German Aikido Association)
Location: Germany
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 6
Offline
Do symbol

Hello everybody!

I've followed this discussion with a great interest up to now and I would like to ask all of you a question: Would it be a positive action for a 5. Kyu-Aikidoist to train frequently in another dojo? I mean it may be good for a black-belt, who already has a basic experience in the technique of Aikido, but concerning a lower grade, wouldn't it produce akind of "mess of techniques" which would lead to misconceptions in his development? I ask you this question, becaue I've read in an Aikido-book that a juniior student should not try to get everything from different teachers, because the result would be a multiplication of faults and total misconception of this student.

Thanks for your replies,

Konstantin.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2000, 03:32 PM   #36
DJM
Dojo: Two Rivers Dojo, York
Location: York, England
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 47
Offline
Quote:
Konni wrote:
Hello everybody!

I've followed this discussion with a great interest up to now and I would like to ask all of you a question: Would it be a positive action for a 5. Kyu-Aikidoist to train frequently in another dojo? I mean it may be good for a black-belt, who already has a basic experience in the technique of Aikido, but concerning a lower grade, wouldn't it produce akind of "mess of techniques" which would lead to misconceptions in his development? I ask you this question, becaue I've read in an Aikido-book that a juniior student should not try to get everything from different teachers, because the result would be a multiplication of faults and total misconception of this student.

Thanks for your replies,

Konstantin.
A very valid question Konstantin, one I've considered myself in the past. I think I would have to argue that Aikido is Aikido is Aikido... Granted there is different emphasis in the different 'styles', but I feel that, as the principles are the same across the board, having experience of different perspectives can only enhance your apreciation of Aikido.. Granted this opinion is from someone who's a newcomer to Aikido, but I have experienced both Tomiki and Aikikai Aikido - and have been honoured to watch amazingly gifted Sensei from both organisations (British Aikido Board (Aikikai) and British Aikido Association (Tomiki)) - and it's been my observation that the two styles complement each other, hand in glove...
Peace,
David

Sunset Shimmering,
On Water, Placid and Calm,
A Fish Touches Sky
--
David Marshall
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2000, 08:05 PM   #37
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,624
Offline
Different Dojos

Quote:
Konni wrote:
Hello everybody!

I've followed this discussion with a great interest up to now and I would like to ask all of you a question: Would it be a positive action for a 5. Kyu-Aikidoist to train frequently in another dojo? I mean it may be good for a black-belt, who already has a basic experience in the technique of Aikido, but concerning a lower grade, wouldn't it produce akind of "mess of techniques" which would lead to misconceptions in his development? I ask you this question, becaue I've read in an Aikido-book that a juniior student should not try to get everything from different teachers, because the result would be a multiplication of faults and total misconception of this student.

Thanks for your replies,

Konstantin.
It depends on what your purpose is to attend different dojos. Many people say that they like to move about to broaden their horizons but it is really a way of "hiding out" and avoiding making a commitment to a particular teacher or school. They can float around and fall in between the cracks without having anyone place any demands on them. They are almost inevitably mediocre in their practice.

On the other hand you may be very commited to a teacher or school but find that there is something else going on at a different school that you really want to try out. Years ago I was attending Mary Heiny's school. We had a particular style of practice that was excellent but was quite specific to Mary Sensei as a teacher. Bookman sensei came back from Japan and set up shop in Seattle. He was very strong and had a different style. I wanted to learn ukemi from his style of throwing. He also did weapons work which Mary Sensei didn't. And he taught iaido which i wanted to do. So I split my time between the two schools and paid full dues at both. Of course in some ways this was possible because it was always understood by everyone concerned that I was Saotome Sensei's student. It worked out well and I have enjoyed a great relationship with both Mary Heiny and Bookman Senseis for fifteen years. It didn't screw up my technique. But then again I not only don't look like Mary sensei, or Bruce Sensei, I don't even look like Saotome sensei or Ikeda Sensei. But if you look carefully you can see elements of every one of these teachers in what I do. Maybe that isn't ok with some others but it works fine for me.

[Edited by George S. Ledyard on September 26, 2000 at 08:08pm]

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2000, 10:09 PM   #38
Kestrel
Dojo: Aikido Shobukan Dojo
Location: College Park, Maryland
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 15
Offline
Cool Training between schools and teachers.

As I mentioned on another thread I am very new to Aikido (2 weeks of lessons) but I am enjoying it greatly. Most of the practices are with the people from our university. So far there have been three different instructors..one for each of the days that we practice, and we have also been encouraged to go to the local ASU dojo if we would like extra practice. I went (with much trepidation) last night and found it to be an excellent experience (I like the traditional mats MUCH better than the mats they use in the padded gym) and everyone to be extremely welcoming. Each of the instructors that I have practiced under so far has a different aikido style and also a different teaching style. All of them welcome comments and questions and are very courteous. I was very much warmed by my reception at the dojo and plan to go back there at least once a week if possible...
On the issue of whether or not different styles "mess up" your Aikido, I am not really qualified to comment but I will relate my experience from yesterday at the dojo. One of my partners..one of the advanced students...was guiding me through the form that we were doing..(I cant remember the japanese name for it )and suddenly I was going down over his knee. I remember getting up..rather shaken..and thinking "we didnt do THAT in the other classes!"..and then realizing that it was just an addition to the form and was more of a personal little fillip than a major change. I dont think that practicing with the gentleman in question messed me up...but I guess we'll see when I go to my regular practice tomorrow. :P

Tim

"Are you *sure* thats safe?"
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


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
Aikido in Amsterdam, Terry Lax style... tiyler_durden General 11 11-03-2008 08:31 AM
Mixing Aikido with other martial arts Guilty Spark General 146 05-04-2008 10:10 AM
Women and Everybody Else in Aikido George S. Ledyard Teaching 113 03-16-2008 07:27 PM
Dilution of aikido eugene_lo General 40 02-07-2006 11:22 AM
Omoto-kyo Theology senshincenter Spiritual 77 12-04-2005 09:50 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:12 PM.



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