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 > Voices of Experience

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 08-26-2012, 10:58 AM   #1
iwamaki
 
iwamaki's Avatar
Dojo: Westlake Village Aikido
Location: Pahrump, NV
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 23
United_States
Offline
Elegance

Unfortunately, Aikido is riddled with politics. O-Sensei would probably roll over in his grave if he could see it.
I personally hate politics and never got involved at all. I never even joined a federation.
The only thing that ever meant anything to me is actual ability. I've seen too many people with high rank and pathetic technique. One would think that these people would be ashamed to be ranked above their ability, but it seems that all they want is more rank.
Rank never meant anything to me. The only reason I was promoted to rokudan is because Saito-sensei periodically told me it was time to be moved up to the next level. He was my teacher and mentor; what was I supposed to say? No? But there are many who think that rank actually means something and gives them political power over others.
As described in my article entitled "Constructive and Counterproductive Use of Resistance in Aikido Training", after training under a good teacher for several years, it is possible to develop "Kokyu ryoku" (loosely translated as "abdominal breath power").
Most trainees do not get Kokyu, especially if they omit "Katai" (rigid) training and practice "Ki no Nagare" (flowing style) exclusively. If many of them are grabbed with strong power, they can't even move. On the contrary, in Iwama in the 70's, for a student who trained hard, getting Kokyu was almost a given.
For someone with good, clean technique and Kokyu Ryoku, he or she is able to perform a technique effortlessly against a strong person who is resisting with full power. This is real Aikido, and would make O-Sensei proud.
So, this is my definition of elegance in technique; "Effortless against full power".
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2012, 05:34 AM   #2
niall
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
niall's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 394
Japan
Offline
Re: Elegance

I have no problem with your points about politics and rank and ability and resistance and kokyu ryoku.

But I don't like your title or your definition of elegance. First it implies aestheticism for the sake of aestheticism. Second perhaps a very few budo teachers have had a certain elegance in their movements. But Morihiro Saito Sensei? Powerful? Yes. Effective? Yes. Elegant? No.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
w b yeats


aikiweb blog|wordpress blog
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2012, 09:56 PM   #3
iwamaki
 
iwamaki's Avatar
Dojo: Westlake Village Aikido
Location: Pahrump, NV
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 23
United_States
Offline
Re: Elegance

I would like to thank Mr. Matthews for his reply to my posting. I was hoping to get more replies, but since most of my postings are anecdotes from my time in Iwama rather than topics for discussion, it seems reasonable that there are not more replies.
However, I respectfully submit that Mr. Matthews missed the point of this particular posting. It has nothing to do with Saito-sensei, aestheticism, or visually graceful technique. It is very simple and summed up in the last sentence of the posting; it is my personal opinion that being able to perform a technique effortlessly against a strong person who is resisting with full power is elegance in technique.
But since Mr. Matthews raised the point, I believe that Saito-sensei's technique is elegant in a different way. O-sensei spent decades perfecting his Aikido techniques so that they would be in harmony with and an expression of Ki. Saito-sensei told me about his early days in the dojo where O-sensei would work on a single technique for weeks until he finally felt that it was right. This can be summed up as "Takemusu Aiki", which means "the Aiki spirit that creates a martial art". The result is Aikido, which was born from Ki.
Saito-sensei learned these techniques directly from O-sensei over a period of 23 years. His techniques are not flashy or spectacular; instead they are extremely tight, efficient and effective with no wasted movement, and in harmony with Ki.
A person watching might see only the power and effectiveness since the movements are so abbreviated, but a closer look (slow motion would be great) will show how clean and graceful his movements actually are.
Every time he threw me it was kind of surreal. I never felt any physical force being exerted on my body. I would go from attacking him to flat on my back on the mat with no idea of what happened in between.
It's subtle and not readily apparent, but it is my humble opinion that Saito-sensei's technique is elegant.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2012, 08:10 AM   #4
niall
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
niall's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 394
Japan
Offline
Re: Elegance

My difficulty is because you seem to be using idiosyncratic definitions of elegant and elegance. But anyway this is a link to a video of Saito Sensei. People can make up their own minds.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
w b yeats


aikiweb blog|wordpress blog
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2012, 09:05 AM   #5
iwamaki
 
iwamaki's Avatar
Dojo: Westlake Village Aikido
Location: Pahrump, NV
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 23
United_States
Offline
Re: Elegance

I don't know what an idiosyncratic definition is and can't respond to that.

However, I remember the video well because I am in it. We made it for NHK Japanese national television in 1973, and it was distributed to countries all over the world. I am the person attacking Saito-sensei with a tanken in the beginning of the video, and appear throughout it.

And yes, I agree; let people watch and make up their own minds.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 09:27 AM   #6
niall
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
niall's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 394
Japan
Offline
Re: Elegance

I didn't know you were in the video when I put the link. That was completely by chance. Very cool. And the story is an elegant addition to this thread.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
w b yeats


aikiweb blog|wordpress blog
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



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 Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Catholic Aikidoka AugustV General 95 07-31-2005 07:11 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:06 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