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Old 10-31-2012, 08:58 AM   #51
DH
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I am arguing for the possibility that this is a very myopic view of what these men were after, in the case of Kodo, Sagawa, and Takeda, about which we know comparatively little.

That Taichi guy...who didn't build a house for his family because it would cut into his training time...that's a powerful cautionary image but I don't think it is the proper cookie cutter for the four aiki greats we are discussing.

In the case of Ueshiba, "martial power" was clearly a trivial matter to him in his latter decades. His focus was spiritual. And going back further, what is your explanation for the whole Omoto involvement? Why go to Mongolia? Why get involved in politics? The huge investment in personal time and energy he put into these things, at the expense of training his internal power, really indicates that the martial power aspect was a minor piece of the puzzle.

I would go so far as to say that a solo training / internal power training method cognate to what Ueshiba was doing, followed simply for the benefit of pushing oneself off of walls and avoiding joint-locks and such, is a far more degenerate version of what Ueshiba was doing than Aikikai Aikido.
I would say that if one were guilty of simplifying an argument your is the worst case.
I would say there are people with unusual power, that did not sacrifice family, job, or even other hobbies.
What I think is pertinent to the discussion is that there is almost no one involved in these discussions who:
1. Has unusual power.
2. Knows what it took to get it.
3 Therefore understands in a far more definitive fashion just how ludicrous this idea of "obsession" to the point of twisting and limiting the persons life ..truly is.

Again, I can't help but note that I think it is outsiders looking in and judging values of a skill set they do not possess, have no understanding of, don't even know how to pursue it, much less what it took others to attain it. The discussion for most people is over the heads. And in the greatest sense of hubris, they now insinuate that those who did manage to get it...had to be weird, unbalanced, OCD people incapable of sustaining healthy relationships.
Good job!

I don't mind making comments, but I am not going to argue about it. As one well known teacher said about the internet:
"Why argue with students?"
Dan
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:15 AM   #52
DH
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
In the case of Ueshiba, "martial power" was clearly a trivial matter to him in his latter decades. His focus was spiritual. And going back further, what is your explanation for the whole Omoto involvement? Why go to Mongolia? Why get involved in politics? The huge investment in personal time and energy he put into these things, at the expense of training his internal power, really indicates that the martial power aspect was a minor piece of the puzzle.

I would go so far as to say that a solo training / internal power training method cognate to what Ueshiba was doing, followed simply for the benefit of pushing oneself off of walls and avoiding joint-locks and such, is a far more degenerate version of what Ueshiba was doing than Aikikai Aikido.
The statements I outlined in bold are absurd.
1. Trivial matter?
Ueshiba practiced Internal power and displayed till the day he died. It was what all the push tests are about, as well as his solo training. Again -to point to the absurd- please point to any of his peers who ONLY practiced his spiritual pursuits who had any...any...unusual physical power. Beyond certain practices that offered physical training (as in certain chanting breath training) His spiritual pursuits had nothing to do with his physical power. It is a separate topic.
2. He put aside internal training for his spiritual practice and pursuits?
That is just more nonsense as in "it makes no sense." They can be-though not necessarily so- intertwined, and solo training was his daily practice which he ...like everyone else who knows better, took with him. One does not discount the other

3. Degenerate?
Since the entire thrust of Ueshiba's solo regimen was for building power, since much of his personal demonstrations in latter life involve push tests displays of power you are essentially calling your own founders practices degenerate to his own art. And you don't even understand why or how.

Overall, I think the responses are damaging to your own cause and futures... and even unkind to the founders of your own arts. You're shooting yourselves in the foot and reducing your practice to external mechancis like every other lower level martial art, and missing his message almost entirely. There is so much more for you, if you would just follow what he discussed and actually did.
It won't leave you weird, or self absorbed, blind or with hair on the palms of your hands!
Dan

Last edited by DH : 10-31-2012 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:42 AM   #53
David Orange
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
You really think that captures what these guys were doing with their lives? Obsessive-compulsive, consuming drive towards training for "martial strength" and power?

Is that why Ueshiba went to Mongolia to help found a utopia? Because he thought it was a path to internal power?

I think in Ueshiba's case, "martial power" was a trivial, childish goal as he got older. His training was aimed at becoming a conduit of the kami, and to that end his aim was to be able to attain a state of open awareness and a totally uncritical non-consciousness.

As to why some Aikido teachers have reputations as brutes, two words: Imperial Army.
Having had little exposure to "mainstream aikido," I'm not really familiar with any of the "brutes" among the most well-known teachers, but I believe very few of those were in the Imperial army. They were post-war students of O Sensei who just got mad with power, especially after they found what aikido technique, alone, could do against much larger westerners. They began to feel like gods, especially with all these westerners bowing and scraping to them and treating them like gods.

However, these were the same people who didn't understand O Sensei's words and mostly rejected all his spiritual teachings, which in large degree turn out to be allegorical instruction on using yin and yang in the body. And while O Sensei was thrusting a spear into trees, alone, and doing all his solo martial training, these students were doing the typical Japanese social thing of getting drunk and steeling themselves for the next day's efforts--using will power and muscle to bear the heavy load of all that training. It did make them godlike to naive westerners, but it left them with tremendous gaps in their knowledge, including deeper understanding of what it was in their training that had made them so strong--even though they never approached the mysterious skills of O Sensei.

So mere "mainstream aikido" training made them physically very good, but also produced a lot of people who were womanizers and bullies--not that I've ever encountered such people, but I can say that the "tough" schools I've encountered tend to be safer than the "spiritually" oriented schools because everyone knows why they're in the tough school. At the "spiritual" places, it's a weird mishmash of half-martial/half-spiritual, the "martial" side being overly casual and vague, and the "spiritual" side is a mishmash of the teacher's idiosyncratic interpretation of some mistranslated words from O Sensei....while the whole thing parades under an imitation of the martial strictness of the more famous teachers.

And none of these people begin to approach O Sensei's abilities.

Mark has done a great job of profiling four major aiki masters: Takeda, Sagawa, Horikawa and Ueshiba. All, clearly, had devastating physical power, but none were famous for hurting people in general. We mostly know about aiki and the masters mentioned because of Morihei Ueshiba's spreading a version of the art as aikido. So we have 10,000,000 practitioners of aikido (according to Lee, at least), but almost none of them have power like the masters mentioned above. However, in aikido, we do have a lot of dirty-shot artists and in my experience, these are found mostly among the "spiritual" adherents, who get easily frightened by a little realistic technique and respond with violence.

We often make the mistake of thinking that Morihei Ueshiba was really more spiritual than the others mentioned, but we don't really know much at all about the spiritual beliefs of the other people (except, as Chris Li noted, the document posted in Sagawa's dojo that sounds exactly like the things Ueshiba said). Ueshiba did not become more famous than all the others because he was fantastically more skilled than they, nor because he was a "better" human being (though, apparently, he was truly a great person), but because he was a proselytizer who wanted to develop a huge following around the world. Sagawa and Horikawa seem to have been just as skilled as Ueshiba, but they preferred to retain the ancient truths intact, while Ueshiba was happy to send out thousands (or tens of millions) to do a standardized physical routine which only hinted at the deeper content, and that form was then distorted by the intellectual errors of those who felt themselves able to understand words that had already been mistranslated.

No question about it. You have to look far below the surface of modern aikido to understand its place in history and its true import on the spiritual level.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 10-31-2012, 10:26 AM   #54
David Orange
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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I will also make a prediction that in ten years those "doing the work" will not have achieved Ueshiba's level...and between then and now many are going to have problems. It's just the nature of the beast.

Go ahead and build a different body and you have no control over some things at all...those that claim to have studied deeply should know better or at least be a little worried...or haven't you been really listening to what was said by those that went before....

You can end up in a right mess and many have...all to feed someone's ego (maybe even you're own) and follow the dream of being a Budo giant...lol...you people have no idea.

It should be noted that out of 10,000,000 people doing aikido only 1000 has met Mr Harden. I would be asking for some kind of insurance and how he will support even the few people he personally knows if things go wrong....

It should also be noted that most enlightened people don't do MA do they? they don't kick or punch anyone? so what have you got? you don't have aikido for sure....
Lee, in all the years I've been involved with martial arts, Japan and China, I've come to find two major types of responses when people first encounter aikido: the natural response of the normal person with no prejudice is one of wonder and amazement, mixed with fear and respect; the other is from those with an agenda, usually religious, who, while knowing no more about the art than the "normal" person, nonetheless run their initial impressions through a set of filters and processors that spits out a predictably biased reaction consisting mostly of fear and condemnation.

For instance, I once talked with a radio preacher who was in the business of making money off people's need for spiritual comfort and assurance. Part of his business was selling books about how nasty all the other religions and spiritual practices of the world were. He covered all kinds of cults and religions and, in one section, dealt "comprehensively" with Orientalism and such martial arts as aikido, tai chi, kung fu and so on.

Interestingly, your tone and statements call this fellow strongly back to mind. With no understanding of the practices and beliefs he was criticizing, he set up a straw sensei and knocked him down and stood on his head in the name of Jesus. You do something similar in the name of O Sensei. You give your location as "Japan," but I'd like to know some more about that: where are you in Japan, how long have you been there, what are you studying and with whom, and how long, altogether, have you trained in aikido (also where and with whom)?

However, my main reason for responding here is to say that, whatever your existing knowledge, you are speaking with no knowledge at all of what Mark is speaking about. How do you feel qualified to pass such judgments on that subject?

One night, when the famous radio preacher was in town, I went by the radio station and had a talk with him. He was unmoved and unconcerned as I pointed out the many mistakes he had made in condemning martial arts.

I told him, "As an aikido man, I believe that a force like living water comes from my lower abdomen."

He said, "Well, that's obviously cultish thinking."

I said, "But listen to Jesus, who said, "Who believeth in me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."

This caught him, but he finally said, "David, do you know what I think about you?"

I said, "Yes."

Startled, he said, "Really? What do I think about you?"

I said, "You think I'm terribly confused and in serious danger of becoming demon possessed."

He nodded and admitted that I did, in fact, know what he was thinking. Then I said, "Do you know what I think about you?"

He was at a loss. He could not imagine what I was thinking.

I told him, "I think you are terribly confused and in serious danger of becoming demon possessed."

That shook him up. As I drove away, I listened to him on the radio, telling the audience that he was "believing God for a blue Mercedes car."

In other words, don't be so eager to condemn the serious study undertaken by others when you seem to be taking whatever you're given at face value and looking no further.

Best to you.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:41 AM   #55
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Ueshiba was happy to send out thousands (or tens of millions) to do a standardized physical routine which only hinted at the deeper content, and that form was then distorted by the intellectual errors of those who felt themselves able to understand words that had already been mistranslated.
David
Granted, there is some lame aikido in the world, but this is a gross exaggeration. There are far too many truly excellent aikido practitioners in the world for this to possibly be true.

Sorry, it's just obvious.

Conrad
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:01 AM   #56
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Since the entire thrust of Ueshiba's solo regimen was for building power, since much of his personal demonstrations in latter life involve push tests displays of power you are essentially calling your own founders practices degenerate to his own art. And you don't even understand why or how.
I might be splitting hairs, but couldn't this depend a little on how we look at it? If his overarching goal was to come into accord with kamisama, and this was a way of doing that couldn't we say the building of power was a means to this end? ...That the entire thrust of his actions (which includes the solo regimen) were about realizing a kind of Heaven on Earth?

Might it not be a fair suggestion that O Sensei was more concerned with realizing the purposes of kamisama than of building power? And that this is reflected in how he taught and allowed his students to then teach?
Take care,
Matt

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Old 10-31-2012, 11:12 AM   #57
David Orange
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
Granted, there is some lame aikido in the world, but this is a gross exaggeration. There are far too many truly excellent aikido practitioners in the world for this to possibly be true.

Sorry, it's just obvious.
Believe me, I got plenty of good from "standard aikido" over the many years I trained before I felt the power from Minoru Akuzawa and Dan Harden. And while my aikido never failed me when I needed it, I had to admit, after all, that it was much closer to a type of jujutsu than to the type of aiki displayed by Morihei Ueshiba, Yukiyoshi Sagawa and Kodo Horikawa.

It has, indeed, been "hidden in plain sight."

Best to you.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 10-31-2012, 11:15 AM   #58
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I might be splitting hairs, but couldn't this depend a little on how we look at it? If his overarching goal was to come into accord with kamisama, and this was a way of doing that couldn't we say the building of power was a means to this end? ...That the entire thrust of his actions (which includes the solo regimen) were about realizing a kind of Heaven on Earth?

Might it not be a fair suggestion that O Sensei was more concerned with realizing the purposes of kamisama than of building power? And that this is reflected in how he taught and allowed his students to then teach?
It's worth splitting hairs on this subject, I believe. But we have to split them as finely as we can and I notice a distinct split between Ueshiba's "purpose of the kamisama" and the general, vague pursuit of "universal love" espoused by so many who have no power.

Best to you.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 10-31-2012, 11:37 AM   #59
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I might be splitting hairs, but couldn't this depend a little on how we look at it? If his overarching goal was to come into accord with kamisama, and this was a way of doing that couldn't we say the building of power was a means to this end? ...That the entire thrust of his actions (which includes the solo regimen) were about realizing a kind of Heaven on Earth?

Might it not be a fair suggestion that O Sensei was more concerned with realizing the purposes of kamisama than of building power? And that this is reflected in how he taught and allowed his students to then teach?
Take care,
Matt
Hi Matt
Well, I would seriously ask you to consider why someone with a supposedly purely religious ideal would pursue budo at all?
And that being said...why would he continuously explore, train in and continue to display demonstrations of POWER...all commensurate with the typical tests done in internal MARTIAL ARTS...if all he was really concerned about was God or The Gods?

Spiritual pursuits
I have no issue with a spiritual pursuit what so ever. In fact I think it is part of understanding or appreciating Aikido. It just isn't a source for power or aiki that the founder displayed and never was.
Doubt it?
Why is it that no one, anywhere, who only pursued the spiritual practices, demonstrated ANY power whatsoever?
Why?
Because there is no power to be had from only pursuing a spiritual practice sans any physical training exercises. And for those who keep saying otherwise I repeat "Tell me who? and if it's you...step up, and let's test that out!" They won't because other than talk, they simply have nothing to show.

Again all of this conveniently avoids the fact that there was, and is a method to train for power that existed before him, he pointed to it, he practiced it continuously, and others who will simply do it will achieve similar results.
The second fact being most don't know it, can't practice it because they don't know what to practice and thus will NEVER achieve what he did to any degree.
They are practicing the art from the outside-in..instead of from inside-out.

Dan
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:06 PM   #60
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

And for those who keep repeating that we are only talking about three people? Please stop it. Everyone pretty much agrees there is list of greats in Aikido. It's been stated over and over. That was never an issue. The issue is...what about you? What are you doing to go beyond Shihan level with soft power? Why aren't...you...there?
What are...you... doing to get there?
Dan
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:39 PM   #61
Cliff Judge
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
And for those who keep repeating that we are only talking about three people? Please stop it. Everyone pretty much agrees there is list of greats in Aikido. It's been stated over and over. That was never an issue. The issue is...what about you? What are you doing to go beyond Shihan level with soft power? Why aren't...you...there?
What are...you... doing to get there?
Dan
Dan, the original post in this thread regarded Takeda, Ueshiba, Kodo, and Sagawa. That's actually four. Perhaps you are...too focused on one thing to remember??
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:46 PM   #62
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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David Orange wrote: View Post
...I notice a distinct split between Ueshiba's "purpose of the kamisama" and the general, vague pursuit of "universal love" espoused by so many who have no power.

Best to you.

David
Hi David,
Or, at the least, a more common kind of power. I wonder if O Sensei reached a point where he figured people tend to do and see what they want and in certain regards started leaving people to their own aims, since they often do that anyway. Perhaps he felt as long as a handful of people maintained the "heart," it was ok if so many other people, who were essentially interested in other goals than his, did something a little different. His principle of developing yourself first, then your household, etc. suggests that at times he was probably much more concerned with his own role in the Universe than that of others, including his own family to a small degree; leaving it to them on some level to sort things out for themsleves.
This ties into the idea of "monomania" insofaras his personal training probably took greater importance than that of his students; that his training seemed to be part of his spirituality implies to me that it was of the highest importance to him, to the point where circumstances probably meant occassionally excluding other very important aspects of his life.
Of course, I'm just spitballin': I am in no position to guess at much more than my own little corner of things, and I'm just a novice even there, so I'll go back to practicing the art of listening, which I'm generally better suited for anyway.

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Old 10-31-2012, 01:12 PM   #63
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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I will add something though...while Ueshiba may have been very focussed in certain areas we have no information that his vision for aikido is what you think. Let's think about that...at what point did he speak to the westerners on mass and say...you guys should do what Mark etal says?

When finding his students trying to make things work in real life he stopped them saying basically he spent his whole life doing that so they didn't have to.....were those kind words of protection I wonder.....did you?

And so you see while not a definitive answer by any means you think he wanted you to be the same as him...whilst you don't have any idea what he really went through. And if you don't know how can you say that you are doing his aikido and others should too?.

Now if you start to think a bit more you will see that you generally point to only 3 or more people really with power out of a nation of how many?. So is it a safe thing for the masses to have?....I guess at your stage you don't really know. I've stated you can get very sick...this stuff can mess you up big time...

Practises have to be followed correctly and imho its essential to be be led by someone with true understanding that's been passed down for a long time...do you have that? do others?....even simple things can mess up a person when done wrongly. You're spouting to lots of people who you don't know who can then easily go and get things very wrong...hence I say you are irresponsible.

I have little more to say.

All the best

Lee
If you are aware that Aiki training is dangerous, I think the responsible thing would be to discuss how it is dangerous, if it is possible to train in a manner to mitigate the danger, and provide evidence for why it is particuarly dangerous. Otherwise, one might construe your comments as being deliberately provacative.

I will state that if you can do "aiki", like having any other knowledge of things others might not be able to do, one could easily develop a big head and lord that knowledge over others, but I assume this is not what you are referring to.

I don't think anyone who is talking about aiki, or IS/IP has ever said only three people have it. I'm pretty certain that names of other people in japan have popped up like Kuroda, Akuzawa, Ushiro etc let alone those in Chinese based arts.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:22 PM   #64
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
... I wonder if O Sensei reached a point where he figured people tend to do and see what they want and in certain regards started leaving people to their own aims, since they often do that anyway. Perhaps he felt as long as a handful of people maintained the "heart," it was ok if so many other people, who were essentially interested in other goals than his, did something a little different. His principle of developing yourself first, then your household, etc. suggests that at times he was probably much more concerned with his own role in the Universe than that of others, including his own family to a small degree; leaving it to them on some level to sort things out for themsleves.
This ties into the idea of "monomania" insofaras his personal training probably took greater importance than that of his students; that his training seemed to be part of his spirituality implies to me that it was of the highest importance to him, to the point where circumstances probably meant occassionally excluding other very important aspects of his life.
I think any person has to be considered as a total being and the insistence so many people show on dividing his martial devotion from his spiritual devotion seems like a mistake to me. It results in dilution of his serious martial commitment (in their minds) and this leads them to pass on something that is neither his real spirituality nor his real martial practice, as they try to pass off Takeda as someone of a lower character whom Morihei had surpassed. He may have been a nicer guy than Takeda, but I don't necessarily believe that. Each man was what he was. Actually, to me, Omotokyo seems more or less like a cult that Morihei strongly believed in. I'm not sure it really added anything. He was a devoted person in his heart. Omotokyo just gave him something to be devoted to. And aikido was neither daito ryu nor Omotokyo. I'm content to accept it for what it is rather than trying to extract ores that it doesn't really contain.

I do think he was pretty monomaniacal, like any great artist. Some like Van Gogh, show it to an extreme, while others, like Picasso, are able to live with it.

FWIW.

Best to you.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 10-31-2012, 02:29 PM   #65
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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I am arguing for the possibility that this is a very myopic view of what these men were after, in the case of Kodo, Sagawa, and Takeda, about which we know comparatively little.

That Taichi guy...who didn't build a house for his family because it would cut into his training time...that's a powerful cautionary image but I don't think it is the proper cookie cutter for the four aiki greats we are discussing.

In the case of Ueshiba, "martial power" was clearly a trivial matter to him in his latter decades. His focus was spiritual. And going back further, what is your explanation for the whole Omoto involvement? Why go to Mongolia? Why get involved in politics? The huge investment in personal time and energy he put into these things, at the expense of training his internal power, really indicates that the martial power aspect was a minor piece of the puzzle.

I would go so far as to say that a solo training / internal power training method cognate to what Ueshiba was doing, followed simply for the benefit of pushing oneself off of walls and avoiding joint-locks and such, is a far more degenerate version of what Ueshiba was doing than Aikikai Aikido.
I disagree that martial power is a minor part of the puzzle - if you look at what Ueshiba said in the context of the training method it is clear to me, at least, that the training is what powered everything else.

If martial training were minor he would have abandoned it. If that had happened, then people like Saito, trained directly by Ueshiba post-war, would have been unconcerned with the martial aspects.

Of course, for Saito it was quite the opposite - he often criticized the way Aikido was done in Tokyo as having lost those very aspects.

Someone can be driven, and sacrifice parts of their life, and yet still do more than one thing. Nobody said differently. Kisshomaru Ueshiba, for example, expressed regret over how he treated his wife and the things that he sacrificed in developing the post-war Aikikai organization. Most people who achieve great things are probably a little bit monomaniacal in some ways.

And I think that solo training is a little bit more than pushing yourself off walls and avoiding joint locks.

I could talk about how Aikikai Aikido is about dressing up in skirts and twirling around in circles - but that kind of comment isn't very constructive either, is it?

Best,

Chris

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Old 10-31-2012, 02:32 PM   #66
gregstec
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
10,000,000 people doing Aikido? where does that number come from ?

Greg
Since no one decided to answer my question and provide any reference for this number, I did a little research on my own.

Looking at the websites of the major Aikido organizations (ASU, AAA, AWA, Kokikai, Takemasu, Yoshinkan, Yuishinkai, Ki Society) for affiliated dojo lists, I found that there are approximately a total of 801 dojos within these organizations worldwide. I then went to the Aikikai World Federation and looked at two of the larger organizations in there and found that the USAF has 201 dojos and CAF has 67 - this give us a hard fact of 1069 dojos. The Aikido World Federation had another 65 organizations listed, so I gave them a generous estimate of 100 dojos each as an average for the rest of the organization - now we have a very generous number of 8,638 Aikido dojos worldwide within the major Aikido organizations. Of course, we all know there are independents out there as well, so continuing with a generous trend, I gave the same number of 8,638 for the independents; this gives a very generous estimate of about 25,914 Aikido dojos worldwide. Let's round that up to 26,000 for simplicity sake.

OK, we have 26,000 dojos, and still following a generous path, let's estimate we have an average of 25 members per dojo (actually, IMO, I think it is closer to 10 to 15) but I am trying to be as fair as possible here. Doing the math, this only gives us 650,000 Aikido students worldwide - no where close to the 10,000,000 that was thrown out here in this thread. IMO, I think it is really closer to 350,000, give or take a few thousand.

And just for some quantification and qualification of the other number thrown out in the same post, of those 1000 students of Dan's, not all are Aikido students - there are folks from Daitoryu, Koryu, Karate, and various Chinese arts as well. I would at best estimate that only 50 percent are strictly Aikido with another 20 percent that do Aikido and other MAs. As to the quality of all those 1000 students, at least 95 percent have 20 plus yeas experience in the MAs and their ranks range from mid level yudansha up to 7th dan; these people are considered within the top 1% of their arts and do not casually follow anyone or do anything that does not have substance and can improve their skills at their high levels. It just amazes me that relative newbies in the art can summarily dismiss what these people are doing simply because they don't understand what is going on and it appears to be counter to what they have picked up in their limited experiences.

IMO, you need to embrace the unknown if you want to be in a position to grow and learn; any other approach will just not lead to anything of any substantial accomplishment.

Greg

Last edited by gregstec : 10-31-2012 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:38 PM   #67
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Since no one decided to answer my question and provide any reference for this number, I did a little research on my own.

Looking at the websites of the major Aikido organizations (ASU, AAA, AWA, Kokikai, Takemasu, Yoshinkan, Yuishinkai, Ki Society) for affiliated dojo lists, I found that there are approximately a total of 801 dojos within these organizations worldwide. I then went to the Aikikai World Federation and looked at two of the larger organizations in there and found that the USAF has 201 dojos and CAF has 67 - this give us a hard fact of 1069 dojos. The Aikido World Federation had another 65 organizations listed, so I gave them a generous estimate of 100 dojos each as an average for the rest of the organization - now we have a very generous number of 8,638 Aikido dojos worldwide within the major Aikido organizations. Of course, we all know there are independents out there as well, so continuing with a generous trend, I gave the same number of 8,638 for the independents; this gives a very generous estimate of about 25,914 Aikido dojos worldwide. Let's round that up to 26,000 for simplicity sake.

OK, we have 26,000 dojos, and still following a generous path, let's estimate we have an average of 25 members per dojo (actually, IMO, I think it is closer to 10 to 15) but I am trying to be as fair as possible here. Doing the math, this only gives us 650,000 Aikido students worldwide - no where close to the 10,000,000 that was thrown out here in this thread. IMO, I think it is really closer to 350,000, give or take a few thousand.
I can't find it, but I thought I read somewhere that the estimated aikido population was around one million. I'm thinking that encompassed total students and teachers (both active and non active members). And if I remember correctly, it was an old statistic. Done when the economy was very good. Now, I think your calculations are more accurate.

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
And just for some quantification and qualification of the other number thrown out in the same post, of those 1000 students of Dan's, not all are Aikido students - there are folks from Daitoryu, Koryu, Karate, and various Chinese arts as well. I would at best estimate that only 50 percent are strictly Aikido with another 20 percent that do Aikido and other MAs. As to the quality of all those 1000 students, at least 95 percent have 20 plus yeas experience in the MAs and their ranks range from mid level yudansha up to 7th dan; these people are considered within the top 1% of their arts and do not casually follow anyone or do anything that does not have substance and can improve their skills at their high levels. It just amazes me that relative newbies in the art can summarily dismiss what these people are doing simply because they don't understand what is going on and it appears to be counter to what they have picked up in their limited experiences.

IMO, you need to embrace the unknown if you want to be in a position to grow and learn; any other approach will just not lead to anything of any substantial accomplishment.

Greg
Very nicely said.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:19 PM   #68
wxyzabc
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Blimey Greg you must have been bored...the figure came from a very well known source...it's availabe to read...did you find that? ^^

It's a common claim especially by Mr harden etal that if someone shows alarm it must be someone who doesn't have the skills and is looking in with no idea...lol. This is far from the case and is merely self protection but only on his side. Generally he may have started something he has very little control over imho...but ego led will have you believe that you too will be a budo giant and that there are no risks to this. Yet logically if this were the case everyone..and I mean everyone would have done that wouldn't they. Even he says he thinks others refused to do the work...why was that? is it evolution or devilution of aikido and possibly you...take care is all I say.

Mr Harden will not support you if you get sick..and you can. Don't even expect a reasonable reply by mail.....which to be fair Mark did try and provide. But again he is not an authority and truly does not have skills/understanding of Japan imho to say what he often does here (again read back through those thousands of posts/propoganda)

What can go wrong can be very very dangerous...to you....it's an insipid thing this in someways...you've let someone walk into aikido...lie to you about a lot of things (and you need to think about that) for personal reasons only..not yours. History will show that people didn't just shout to the world about this...men were specially chosen that could do something safely and would keep quiet. Ueshiba wasn't directly given some information because he was in someways a show off....can I say that? Think about how he approached a Judoka on a train. The others kept quiet for other reasons than personal glory...to protect. Even Sagawa had the foresight to see what could happen if westerners had any understanding, hence he said don't teach them...ever. Again those words may have been screwed by some here to make you feel you're not enough..and can't do....ahhh but he's the answer...mmm

Don't you think a regular normal guy wouldn't have just invited a few people to his dojo/barn and gone about things quietly. Strange that at the age of 55 ish he constantly has to bicker and attack people in aikido to get attention/fame/money?....look back and you will find a constant stream of this. Dubious in the extreme is what I would say..coming from a place where people do and can have real skills but are very responsible. They don't do that do they? they don't stand and say "you've all failed to a man"....be wary..be very wary of this one..

Last edited by wxyzabc : 10-31-2012 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:45 PM   #69
phitruong
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
IMO, you need to embrace the unknown if you want to be in a position to grow and learn; any other approach will just not lead to anything of any substantial accomplishment.

Greg
nah! you don't want to embrace the unknown. you might get sue for harassment. or at best get a slap in the face and be told to look but not touch. it's better to stick with the known. it's safer that way.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:53 PM   #70
wxyzabc
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Real accomplishment is to get through life safely, grow with the people around you and understand that the unknown is exactly that imho. There is a very real difference between excellence and success...

All the best
p.s. whilst you may take my posts lightly....you may also be lightly taking on board some of the warnings of those before..because it's outside you're understanding..and those words must mean something different
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:57 PM   #71
phitruong
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Lee Price wrote: View Post
Blimey Greg you must have been bored...the figure came from a very well known source...it's availabe to read...did you find that? ^^
if you have the source, then post it. hints and innuendos are a passive-aggresive kind of thing. we are better than that don't you think? asians tend to talk round and round and don't always get to the point. doesn't work well on the internet. reasonable men discuss things on the up and up. take the high road.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:45 PM   #72
David Orange
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

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Lee Price wrote: View Post
....be wary..be very wary of this one..
Lee....I have no doubt that Dan has far deeper experience in Japan than you.

What is it you're trying to prove, bud?

You're attacking a thing and many people you really know nothing about.

You're equally guilty of every charge you press.

But it's Halloween here. Maybe you're just masquerading as a saint.

FWIW.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:52 PM   #73
wxyzabc
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Hya

It's a number I recall very well...but I can't and don't have the time to find the source again for you to look at...sorry. Does it really matter? I'm not asian btw ^^ but they wouldn't just say something stupid now would they. These are ancient cultures, with real understanding of a lot of things....but from afar it's easy to look and misunderstand.

Regardless let it be said that other cultures can often abound with competitiveness...and in the rush for supremacy of something you don't really know at all you can become very unstuck. Few years back you knew of none of this did you? it's a fair comment isn't it. And now you have to change your body, which will also change your subconciousness to be something..or that's what others will have you do....and that can go very wrong ....damaging both your mind and your body.

Now can you do that safely? if you can then go ahead and try if you will, but I wouldn't publisice it to anyone until you are well assured of their safety...and hence people have kept very very quiet. People need to think on this. We can easily see looking in a very limited way that people had lots of problems...and these are the ones you are allowed to see...think about that too.

Changes made should be very very slow...I can't emphasise this enough....but in reality everything everyone needs is already in aikido isn't it. You'd have to be totally in love with a person not to believe that..it's already there and can be done very safely. Other things maybe can't..I can assure you. If you're not very good at aikido...and others have said basically they weren't...then accept that and think why and how you could become better in a natural way is my advise. People do forget the basics...I see it all the time.

Then safely over time you can and will achieve excellence in aikido...maybe not MMA....but most are not doing that are they? and that's the thing..this is basically poaching on a large scale in a way imho....telling others to go out and see if you can use your practise in different venues other than aikido. In truth many think that their aikido as it stands will allow them to do this..and to be fair usually it won't, but then aikido as it stands can become destroyed by the egomanical behaviour of those that have done something different.

It's a fair warning and I won't have my name behind that...will you? I've already met some doing some work that didn't have any real idea imho but had already strengthened themselves to a degree that made practise very uncomfortable for others...thats not a step forward...it's clearly a degeneration.

So you can see I say this with care...be careful

Last edited by wxyzabc : 10-31-2012 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:56 PM   #74
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

"Lee....I have no doubt that Dan has far deeper experience in Japan than you"

Is that so? I've spent most of the last 12 years here. Yet maybe it is.....what's Dan's true experience here then?

My first posting here in some time was met with basically an attack by him...that's just damaging.

All the best

Lee
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:27 PM   #75
David Orange
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Re: Ueshiba the monomaniac?

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post
It's a number I recall very well...but I can't and don't have the time to find the source again for you to look at...sorry. Does it really matter?
Does it not? 350,000 or 10,000,000??? At least naming the source will shed some light on how you think.

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post
...And now you have to change your body, which will also change your subconciousness to be something..or that's what others will have you do....and that can go very wrong ....damaging both your mind and your body.
Yeah...so what have you been doing with your mind and body?

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post
Now can you do that safely? if you can then go ahead and try if you will, but I wouldn't publisice it to anyone until you are well assured of their safety...and hence people have kept very very quiet. People need to think on this. We can easily see looking in a very limited way that people had lots of problems...and these are the ones you are allowed to see...think about that too.
The main reason for secrecy in this field has been the fighting advantage. If anything, rather than keep quiet about it, the Japanese would be more likely to spread misinformation to weaken potential opponents.

Everyone I know who's into this has cautioned people to be careful and think deeply about what they're doing. Aneurysm and stroke are but two of the potential results from wrong training. But in the aikido world, we already see enough megalomania to recognize that danger, as well.

Last edited by David Orange : 10-31-2012 at 08:31 PM.

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