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Old 07-21-2002, 06:46 AM   #1
Chris Li
 
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One Liners

gThere is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.h

OK, without starting any religious wars, the above is a pretty good one line summation of Islam.

What would be your one line summation of Aikido and why? What I have in mind is a one line summation that grasps the central core or purpose of the art - I have a pretty good idea what I would say, but I'm curious as to what other people think...

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-21-2002, 06:58 AM   #2
DaveO
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One line? OK, how about:

"OW! My arm!!"



Dave

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 07-21-2002, 07:31 AM   #3
Liz Baron
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If Aikido is the way of love, I could borrow a line from the new Rush album and say "There is never love without pain..."



Liz

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Old 07-21-2002, 07:37 AM   #4
alex
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aikido is a graceful art but can deliver powerful attacks! that is why it is as good as any other,karat,kung fu etc...

people think it to be rubbish cos it has no punches or kicks they are very wrong as it can be more effective then karate and any other offensive art
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Old 07-21-2002, 07:38 AM   #5
mike lee
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Freaky! fear and beer

Twisted arms and twisted legs,

after practice, let's go tap some kegs

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Old 07-21-2002, 08:10 AM   #6
mike lee
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seriously

There is no god but Kami, and O'Sensei is his prophet.

P.S. All unbelievers, GET OUT OF MY DOJO!
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Old 07-21-2002, 09:00 AM   #7
erikmenzel
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Re: fear and beer

Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
Twisted arms and twisted legs,
Aikidoka are pretty twisted anyway

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 07-21-2002, 11:20 AM   #8
Deb Fisher
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grab my wrist

Deb Fisher
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Old 07-21-2002, 11:57 AM   #9
Kat.C
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Redirect, relocate, dislocate.

(The latter is optional)

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 07-21-2002, 01:36 PM   #10
shihonage
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Great for parties !
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Old 07-21-2002, 01:49 PM   #11
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oops I did it again !
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Old 07-21-2002, 05:59 PM   #12
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Mushin Mugamae

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-21-2002, 06:09 PM   #13
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Mushin Mugamae
Thanks Peter .

This is exactly the kind of thing that I was looking for. As the Islamic profession of faith is the core upon which Islam is built, I'm trying to find out what the essential core is that people are building their Aikido around. That is, what is the central concept that drives your training? It doesn't have to be a set phrase, or even anything anybody has said before, just a basic concept that summarizes the core of your training.

For me, I would say something like "Aikido is the way of misogi through Budo", which is actually pretty close to "mushin mugamae", if you think about it...

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-23-2002, 08:43 AM   #14
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Quote:
Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
...I'm trying to find out what the essential core is that people are building their Aikido around. That is, what is the central concept that drives your training? It doesn't have to be a set phrase, or even anything anybody has said before, just a basic concept that summarizes the core of your training.
"Masagatsu-Agatsu-Katsuhayahi"

During the time I spent studying with Seiseki Abe Sensei, we spent quite a lot of time on the origination of this phrase. He mentioned how O-Sensei drew from specific passages within the Kojiki to create this dynamic life-principle to rest at the core of his art. There is quite a bit of depth to each individual part of the expression, but it is the triangular relationship between them from which Aikido gets it strength. Many have tried to "translate" the words. However, this does not reveal anything about the intention (kotodama) of the words, nor how one should internalize the concept as a whole.
Quote:
Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
For me, I would say something like "Aikido is the way of misogi through Budo", which is actually pretty close to "mushin mugamae", if you think about it...
Hmmm, interesting thought. However, I would like to refine your statement based upon my direct experience of Misogi. How does, Aikido is the way of Budo through Misogi strike you?

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 07-23-2002, 09:18 AM   #15
Nacho_mx
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All you need is love...
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Old 07-23-2002, 09:28 AM   #16
Rinja Hents
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Harmony

Rinja Hents
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Old 07-23-2002, 03:55 PM   #17
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Shaun Ravens (Misogi-no-Gyo) wrote:
"Masagatsu-Agatsu-Katsuhayahi"

During the time I spent studying with Seiseki Abe Sensei, we spent quite a lot of time on the origination of this phrase. He mentioned how O-Sensei drew from specific passages within the Kojiki to create this dynamic life-principle to rest at the core of his art.
This phrase was (as you say) drawn directly out of the Kojiki - John Stevens calls it the Aikido "slogan" . It's actually not so different than what I had in mind, but I prefer to leave emphasis on the "budo" element, since that's how M. Ueshiba presented his approach.

Still, if I had to pick a one-liner based on actual quotes from M. Ueshiba (or in this case, from phrases that he used often) that would probably be the one.

Quote:
Shaun Ravens (Misogi-no-Gyo) wrote:
Hmmm, interesting thought. However, I would like to refine your statement based upon my direct experience of Misogi. How does, Aikido is the way of Budo through Misogi strike you?
I wouldn't, because it implies that you are doing misogi practice in order to further your budo - I believe that M. Ueshiba had the order the other way around.

Best,

Chris

Last edited by Chris Li : 07-23-2002 at 03:58 PM.

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Old 07-24-2002, 08:15 AM   #18
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Quote:
Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
This phrase was (as you say) drawn directly out of the Kojiki - John Stevens calls it the Aikido "slogan" :) . It's actually not so different than what I had in mind, but I prefer to leave emphasis on the "budo" element, since that's how M. Ueshiba presented his approach.
...John Stevens... Funny that you mention him here as I almost put a caveat in my original post pointing to the shallow understanding of the phrase that he has published to date. Well, suffice it to say that Mr. Stevens may have his take on the meaning of the phrase, but it is clearly a definition of words based upon a cultural/religious understanding only. My Talks with Abe Sensei seem to reveal a definition much more grounded in reality, and requiring a daily practice of misogi to reveal the inner meaning.

I, as have many others of late, would venture to say that Mr. Stevens has done the world as much harm as good when it comes to shedding light on the mysteries of O-Sensei's Aikido. One could go as far as saying that he is but a scholar in Aikido Clothing. I have over the years met many whose aikido was in their head, and their head in some mystical cloud somewhere... O-Sensei was not in is head, and I might go far as saying that one may search a long time and never find aikido in their head or in a cloud...
Quote:
Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
I wouldn't, because it implies that you are doing misogi practice in order to further your budo - I believe that M. Ueshiba had the order the other way around.
I am glad to see that you understand the distinction that I was trying to make. I wonder what you might think, or how you might alter your training if O-Sensei were still to be alive, and you were to meet him, if he happened to make that same distinction to you? In fact, would not the entire aikido community have to spin itself on its axis and re-orient itself along that line of thinking, incorporating Misogi into their daily training as a way of discovering the real essence of Budo? Perhaps this might be what seems missing in so many of the "modern" lineages of aikido (and other "DO").

Perhaps we should move this over to its own thread...

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 07-24-2002, 10:11 AM   #19
Duarh
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Oneliners...about both I'm not sure whether I thought of them or read them somewhere

Give the devil your little finger and take the whole devil

There are no mistakes - only opportunities for more pain
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Old 07-24-2002, 04:12 PM   #20
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Shaun Ravens (Misogi-no-Gyo) wrote:
...John Stevens... Funny that you mention him here as I almost put a caveat in my original post pointing to the shallow understanding of the phrase that he has published to date. Well, suffice it to say that Mr. Stevens may have his take on the meaning of the phrase, but it is clearly a definition of words based upon a cultural/religious understanding only. My Talks with Abe Sensei seem to reveal a definition much more grounded in reality, and requiring a daily practice of misogi to reveal the inner meaning.

I, as have many others of late, would venture to say that Mr. Stevens has done the world as much harm as good when it comes to shedding light on the mysteries of O-Sensei's Aikido. One could go as far as saying that he is but a scholar in Aikido Clothing. I have over the years met many whose aikido was in their head, and their head in some mystical cloud somewhere... O-Sensei was not in is head, and I might go far as saying that one may search a long time and never find aikido in their head or in a cloud...
Have you trained with him? I have, and I had no complaints about his Aikido. I've talked with him, and read a lot of the sources that he uses, in the original Japanese, and he knows his stuff. It's the nature of the material that the presentation of it is quite difficult, even in the original language, but I think that he gets a bum rap a lot of the time. Certainly he gets a lot of criticism from people who haven't (and are incapable of) reading the original sources.

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-25-2002, 03:06 AM   #21
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Quote:
Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
Have you trained with him? I have, and I had no complaints about his Aikido. I've talked with him, and read a lot of the sources that he uses, in the original Japanese, and he knows his stuff. It's the nature of the material that the presentation of it is quite difficult, even in the original language, but I think that he gets a bum rap a lot of the time. Certainly he gets a lot of criticism from people who haven't (and are incapable of) reading the original sources.

Best,

Chris
Chris,

It's not his sources or the material, per say, that people take issue with. It's his commentary and presentation (a difficult task to undertake or not.) He'll initially represent the material pretty much as I've seen it elsewhere, say, in Aikido Journal articles or in translated Shioda snippets.

Unfortunately, then he'll slip in a phrase like, "Surely, Morhihei was invicible or the strongest martial artist in the region," or some other unsubstantiated claim. And, of course, there are no footnotes to be found in his literature--something serious scholars always place after an unbelievable or likely to be challenged statement.

He's obviously too close to the material to give an objective presentation, and makes no attempt to hide bias, or to even consider that others may come along and question his conclusions.

So your relationship with him notwithstanding, there is just cause for people taking issue with his publications.

And you, Chris, are the first to criticize any unsubstantiated claim made by anyone in Aikido forums you frequent, so you of all people should be equally hesitant to put the seal of approval on Stevens' work. For some reason you're not, though. I'm guessing it's because you have a personal relationship with him and not because you've thoroughly read the Japanese sources. I know others who have studied the sources and very much dislike Stevens' slant on the material.

I believe Kisshomaru Ueshiba himself showed some concern, albeit mostly in private, about the nature of the claims presented in Stevens' work--something to think about. As I believe you also trained with him, and he of all people should have known his Father's life story.

Regards,
James Bostwick
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Old 07-25-2002, 05:44 AM   #22
JJF
 
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My best attempt of a 'one-liner' describing Aikido is in my signature below.

- Jřrgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 07-25-2002, 06:06 AM   #23
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
James Bostwick (sanskara) wrote:
Unfortunately, then he'll slip in a phrase like, "Surely, Morhihei was invicible or the strongest martial artist in the region," or some other unsubstantiated claim. And, of course, there are no footnotes to be found in his literature--something serious scholars always place after an unbelievable or likely to be challenged statement.
That's true, but it's also true that the bulk of what he's put out is not for serious scholarship - it's for popular consumption.
Quote:
James Bostwick (sanskara) wrote:
He's obviously too close to the material to give an objective presentation, and makes no attempt to hide bias, or to even consider that others may come along and question his conclusions.
I don't think that there's anything wrong with bias - just so long as you don't attempt to represent yourself as being unbiased. Speaking as a professional translator, there are (roughly speaking) two types of translation, literal and interpretive. Literal translation is technically the most accurate - a direct translation, if you will. Interpretive translation is less technically accurate because it is filtered through the viewpoint of the translator, but it may actually be more faithful to the meaning of the original in many cases. Literal translation is usually the best for technical documents, factual material and so forth, but fails miserably when translating (for example) fiction or poetry. I've read the sources he refers to, and there's really no way to translate M. Ueshiba literally and preserve anything like the flavor he has or the impression that he made in Japanese and on Japanese people. IMO, John Stevens does as good a job at what he does as Stan Pranin does in his own areas - and the two areas are really quite seperate.
Quote:
James Bostwick (sanskara) wrote:
So your relationship with him notwithstanding, there is just cause for people taking issue with his publications.
We don't really have a *relationship*, I've met him, spoken with him, and trained with him, but I'm not sure that whether or not he'd remember my name or not if we met tomorrow.
Quote:
James Bostwick (sanskara) wrote:
And you, Chris, are the first to criticize any unsubstantiated claim made by anyone in Aikido forums you frequent, so you of all people should be equally hesitant to put the seal of approval on Stevens' work. For some reason you're not, though. I'm guessing it's because you have a personal relationship with him and not because you've thoroughly read the Japanese sources. I know others who have studied the sources and very much dislike Stevens' slant on the material.
See the above.
Quote:
James Bostwick (sanskara) wrote:
I believe Kisshomaru Ueshiba himself showed some concern, albeit mostly in private, about the nature of the claims presented in Stevens' work--something to think about. As I believe you also trained with him, and he of all people should have known his Father's life story.
K. Ueshiba's presentation and approach is quite different, although I like it a great deal. I think that too much has been made out of the so-called "denunciation" of Stevens by Kisshomaru - if you examine the complaints that were made you'd see that most of them were quite minor. FWIW, K. Ueshiba also made some complaints about factual errors in Gozo Shioda's "Aikido Jinsei". Didn't do a bit to discredit Gozo Shioda in my eyes .

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-25-2002, 06:11 AM   #24
mike lee
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the tangled webs we weave

Quote:
I'm trying to find out what the essential core is that people are building their Aikido around. That is, what is the central concept that drives your training?
If you want to get the right answer, you have to ask the right question -- while not hoping for an "expected" response.

"The essential core that people are building their Aikido around" is (haromony) with (energy). Most white belts know this.

Last edited by mike lee : 07-25-2002 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 07-25-2002, 06:45 AM   #25
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
If you want to get the right answer, you have to ask the right question -- while not hoping for an "expected" response.

"The essential core is that people are building their Aikido around" is (haromony) with (energy). Most white belts know this.
Well perhaps you are, but that doesn't mean that everybody is . People seem to have a number of different opinions on this point, which was why I was asking...

I wasn't expecting Peter's response (for example), since I tend to think mostly from an Aikikai viewpoint, but I don't disagree with it.

I have to note, however, that "aiki" is not really two words, it's a single word, and not one originated by M. Ueshiba.

Interestingly, in the beginning of "Take Musu Aiki" (which is really the most extensive work on the subject of Aikido in the founder's own words) M. Ueshiba attempts to define "Aikido", but he doesn't use (haromony) with (energy) as one of the examples . FWIW, he does give four definitions of what he believes that Aikido is. There's an accompanying passage for each point, but I'm not going to translate all that! Disclaimer - these are quick rough translations:

1) Aikido is the path of the eternal principles of the universe.

2) Aikido is the truth bestowed from heaven in the workings of Take Musu Aiki.

3) Aikido is the great way of harmony and entrance into the service to the path governing the universe.

4) Aikido is the mystery of Kotodama, the great way of universal Misogi.

Best,

Chris

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