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Old 09-04-2014, 12:08 PM   #351
oisin bourke
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Joshua Landin wrote: View Post
Have you *read* any of the interviews on Aikido Journal with the people who actually trained with O-sensei? If you did, you would know that they openly admitted he was doing stuff to them that they didn't understand. That he had *unusual power*.

Why don't you get a subscription to Aikido Journal and do your own fucking research for a change, instead of relying on cheap lawyer debate-club tactics on an Internet forum.
Yet another reason why I no longer partcipate in this forum. Any arguments against the prevailing propaganda promoting IP and "aiki" as being the same thing, just gets bogged down in abuse and personal attacks.
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:52 PM   #352
Jeremy Hulley
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Who says that aiki and IP are the same? IP supports and aiki but is not the same..

Jeremy Hulley
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:53 PM   #353
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Yet another reason why I no longer partcipate in this forum. Any arguments against the prevailing propaganda promoting IP and "aiki" as being the same thing, just gets bogged down in abuse and personal attacks.
Yet this thread has some very interesting stuff in it. Much less personal stuff than before.

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Old 09-04-2014, 01:05 PM   #354
oisin bourke
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Jeremy Hulley wrote: View Post
Who says that aiki and IP are the same? IP supports and aiki but is not the same..
In your opinion.
You know what I mean: The ongoing assumption that if one is not au fait wth "IP" then one can't understand "aiki". For the intents and purposes of these discussions, one is indispensable to the other, according to IP proponents.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:33 PM   #355
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

wow, it's like going back in tiiiiiiime!
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:07 PM   #356
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Something about this thread that seems familiar.
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:15 PM   #357
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I think you're hitting a straw man, here. All of the "aiki in me" teaching methods that I have seen absolutely include partner feedback. They attempt to isolate "aiki" effects from aikido waza -- the idea being to limit the number of variables that the student has to deal with -- and solo exercises are certainly important, but partner practice is seen as a critical part of the process.

Katherine
I have no idea what you have done but what you say sounds good to me. My point was that anything we learn about aiki comes from what you can pick up training with a partner. Only then can we start to figure it out training by ourselves, which one absolutely must do. I was critiquing the notion of 'aiki in me' - being first. I had never heard of 'aiki in me' before, by the way. I just say - search for a principle, it will appear at random unless directly taught, and then remember and train it. There are many little 'ideas' we can call principles. Collect them and train them. Because of the amount of partner practice already done in Aikido, I place more emphasis on the solo aspect - in myself. I find it almost impossible to convince others though - they just want to practice with a partner. It is their learning paradigm.

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Old 09-04-2014, 04:23 PM   #358
Chris Li
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
I have no idea what you have done but what you say sounds good to me. My point was that anything we learn about aiki comes from what you can pick up training with a partner. Only then can we start to figure it out training by ourselves, which one absolutely must do. I was critiquing the notion of 'aiki in me' - being first. I had never heard of 'aiki in me' before, by the way. I just say - search for a principle, it will appear at random unless directly taught, and then remember and train it. There are many little 'ideas' we can call principles. Collect them and train them. Because of the amount of partner practice already done in Aikido, I place more emphasis on the solo aspect - in myself. I find it almost impossible to convince others though - they just want to practice with a partner. It is their learning paradigm.
Morihei Ueshiba spoke about "Aiki in me" quite a bit, but nobody reads that stuff... Tohei's model seems to have agreed with that BTW, and it was a point of disagreement between him and Kisshomaru, as I mentioned here.

Also, it's been talked about right here on Aikiweb for a number of years.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-04-2014, 06:25 PM   #359
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Referring back to the topic... we worked on developing mind, body co-ordination tonight all class as usual.

For one exercise,one person walked forward with 2 people holding them back by the shoulders. The first person walked looking up, not down and extending forward. All levels practiced this with the resistance being appropriate for the amount of training each person had. It was a great opportunity to practice positive mind when you become frustrated and then remember that you can if you think you can.

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Old 09-04-2014, 10:22 PM   #360
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
@Erick:
From which sources did you get your understanding of kan/li?
I don't have sources for kan 水and li 火 -- other than relating them to water and fire in Ueshiba's text. I have no background in Bagua or even the Iching conceptions of these old ideas. They may be helpful from Chinese sources, but the simpler way is to look at what he himself said:

Quote:
Aikido is the Way of the principle of the eternal, unchanging system of the Universe. The Great Emptiness was created before the birth of the Universal "SU" voice, the One Original Source (Ichigen), our parent God. Life is the history of the acts of God since then, since the ancient age of deities of our country, and the practices of aikido originate in this history. My aikido is a Way to perform ascetic practices guided by Divine Providence, while expressing the significance of the Divine Sword (matsurugi) and being a manifestation of the sword itself. I regard it as the true martial art (bujutsu). The workings of the Universe are called "takemusu aiki," and are born from the One Original Source, and unify water and fire, that is, the Breath of Heaven and the Breath of Earth, in order to produce one unified breath.
I would like to explain what this means. When the soul and body bestowed upon me interact with each other as an inseparable union through the workings of "SU" and "U", I produce the voices "A, O, U, E, I" from the bottom of my abdomen letting them emanate from my physical mouth. This form is exactly the same as the manifestation of the frictional actions produced by the movements of water and fire, that is, the interactions of the two dieties, Takami Musubi and Kami Musubi (see Takemusu Aiki in AJ116), when they dance while ascending spirally to the right and descending spirally to the left.
And then he relates the water and fire to the Kojiki -- and tacks the interwined spirals to the image of the floating bridge and 'jeweled' ('tama-form' -- spiral):

Quote:
Aikido is a true martial art and is manifested in all martial arts that have thus far come into the world, and in the workings of the Universe, that is, the core of the Original Source of aikido. It is firmly rooted and especially expressed in the actions of the two deities, Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto (see AJ116), when they gave birth to islands and deities, that is, the conspicuous workings of the interaction between fire and water. In other words, the interaction between fire and water are the workings of Ame no Minaka Nushi (see AJ116),
The modern Japanese have their bodily hangups but their ancestors were notably more earthy in their imagery: "Male who invites" is a concrete image -- of the male -- rising, extension, expansion; "female who invites" is the counterpart -- receiving, compressing, enfolding. These are tied to the interacting fire and water ascending and descending spirals of tensile and compressive stress and the "frictional actions produced by their movements." This is a correct physical description of torsional shear action -- just using different words to describe it.

I may not be entirely right in my exposition of those physical principles of this manner of action into full blown mechanical terms but I am damned close to the sense the man intended -- and more right than not. I think taking his concerter imagery and mapping it like this onto concrete and well-understood principles is a good way of trying to break thought the seeming esoteric usage-- It isn't esoteric -- it is just imagery-- and actually useful and descriptively concrete imagery. Same in the Doka and similar expressions regarding water and fire even in Budo Renshu.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 09-04-2014 at 10:24 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:36 PM   #361
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Morihei Ueshiba spoke about "Aiki in me" quite a bit, but nobody reads that stuff... Tohei's model seems to have agreed with that BTW, and it was a point of disagreement between him and Kisshomaru, as I mentioned here.

Also, it's been talked about right here on Aikiweb for a number of years.
If you just lay out your own exposition of it as you yourself have written and put it into the matching mechanical and physiological terms -- it really is nearly all right there.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:11 AM   #362
David Orange
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
If you just lay out your own exposition of it as you yourself have written and put it into the matching mechanical and physiological terms -- it really is nearly all right there.
Chris has laid it out very well.
As far as "matching" mechanical and physiological terms, I think you're missing the boat.

How do you know they "match"?

And "nearly all there" can be quite far off base.

I was involved in a "discussion" on a LinkedIn group where, apparently, no one had any real training in any kind of actual martial art. They liked to discuss some kind of "bitch slap" as the ultimate martial arts technique and they all demanded "scientific proof" of anything, though none of them could even define the basic ideas they wanted "proven." Also, when I tried to bring them into some kind of scientific rigor, none of them knew what that was about, either. Things like "get all the people that does this and study them for sixty years." I said, "No, find people that have been doing it for 40-60 years and compare them to a control group..."

It was like trying to wade through monkeys.

The point here is that your ideas explain some mechanical things, but it's not IP/IS or aiki.

From what you say, it's clear you've never experienced what people are referring to.

You can spend another several years pushing your "explanations" that are about as useful as Jenny McCarthy's views on vaccines. You need experience much more than anyone here needs your "explanations."

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

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 09-05-2014, 07:23 AM   #363
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
If the above is what you think, there is nothing I can say. I wish you a happy journey.
I'm not sure where this comment is supposed to lead. Specifically, I was talking about the point at which the exercise of defining the aiki body becomes a regular part of your body movements. And if I am wrong, it will be neither the first time nor last time. In addition to my comment about aiki being a perishable skill, I would also add that it is a quantitative skill (i.e., you can have more than me). There is a photo of O Sensei standing with a gentleman (Kuki Takaharu). In the photo, O Sensei has clearly been pulled off balance; notable because it is one of the few photos or videos that show O Sensei being compromised by his partner. I think a solid piece of evidence that even O Sensei had peers in aiki. Amusing because you can tell by his face the opportunity was not planned. A great demonstration of aiki with no tatami in sight.

As for the later comments, I would argue that the Aikiweb community seems to have difficulty with defining "aiki", regardless of those IP jerks who happen to point out that issue. They are just pointing out that issue, which is sensitive since the observation is directed to an art with aiki, or not. Yes, internal power is necessary for aiki. Although, if we understand aiki, then we understand internal power, right? I think the rub is that we maybe don't understand aiki (as well as we think), as evidenced by our mis-understanding of internal power. Not to mention the number of direct students who confess they did not understand O Sensei's aiki. I am not sure this is a bad thing, unless we are unwilling to concede we don't know as much as we think we know. This thread contains some level of internal power knowledge because it is necessary to understand aiki (and argue the point if differentiating aiki from aikido). 300+ posts in and I agree with Mary, things are not as bad as previous threads have been.

If you want to buck the system and claim that aikido does not have internal power, fine. I am still looking for examples of aiki, not expressed using jujutsu (aikido kata). If we are using aiki, we should be able to express it is in a variety of demonstrations, although I am not sure I buy tying one's shoes.


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Old 09-05-2014, 08:01 AM   #364
Cliff Judge
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I'm not sure where this comment is supposed to lead. Specifically, I was talking about the point at which the exercise of defining the aiki body becomes a regular part of your body movements. And if I am wrong, it will be neither the first time nor last time. In addition to my comment about aiki being a perishable skill, I would also add that it is a quantitative skill (i.e., you can have more than me). There is a photo of O Sensei standing with a gentleman (Kuki Takaharu). In the photo, O Sensei has clearly been pulled off balance; notable because it is one of the few photos or videos that show O Sensei being compromised by his partner. I think a solid piece of evidence that even O Sensei had peers in aiki. Amusing because you can tell by his face the opportunity was not planned. A great demonstration of aiki with no tatami in sight.

Why do you look at this picture and think Osensei has been off balanced? It looks to me more like he is leaning on his friend. They are both probably drunk. That's probably the only Aiki on display here - too old men, drunk together.

I think a lot of the IP/Aiki mythology that has developed on the internet is the result of reading too much and too selectively into anecdotes, folklore, and translations that may be biased.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:23 AM   #365
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
They are both probably drunk. That's probably the only Aiki on display here - too old men, drunk together.
i like the idea of drunken aikido. the question is how does one differentiate between drunken aikido versus regular aikido, other than the usage of a breathalyzer? and would aiki even needed for drunken aikido?

talking about picture, are there pictures of him wearing yoga pants so we can promote aikido with yoga pants? and what would we call that, yaikido?

Last edited by phitruong : 09-05-2014 at 09:36 AM.

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Old 09-05-2014, 09:41 AM   #366
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Talking Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Um, actually the whole reason for this extended discussion of pedagogy is that it's *not* clear that the skills Takeda and Ueshiba had were transmitted to their students. Certainly the list of people who even arguably have those skills is very short compared to the number of people studying aikido.

Katherine
So then are you saying that as a student in ASU under Saotome Shihan that he did not learn the true aikido from O'sensei? Consequently, when you see him teach are you saying that you are not being shown the "true aikido" of Osensei or if he one of the few postwar Shihan who learned it (in your opinion), that he is for some reason holding back? I don't believe that a reasonable person can imagine him (and others of his generation who have been here for decades) concluding that it would simply be a cultural and/or language barrier?

Train Hard,
Jason
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:45 AM   #367
Dan Richards
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
If we are using aiki, we should be able to express it is in a variety of demonstrations...
John, I think where the quagmire is in that equation – and in the title of this topic – is in the word "demonstration." I'm sure you're familiar with Ueshiba and his reluctance to give a demonstration of Aikido to the public. And this is the founder we're talking about. Not his students, or their students, or their student's students, ad infinitum.

First of all, how do you take something that's esoteric and "demonstrate" it for an exoteric - or even mesoteric - public audience, and have them "get it?" Answer is, you don't. And you certainly don't do it by visually demonstrating – whether with a live audience or on video.

All that anyone in those cases can do is wiggle a worm in the waters, and then see what kind of fish are going to come and take a bite. Most, by design, will have no interest. Some may even take a sniff or a small taste, and simply not like it. A few will taste, and recognize something deeper, and will want more.

That's true with anything. There are small microbreweries that have popped up that have really gotten back to the time-honored, esoteric traditions of making beer. By design, they're always going to be small in scale. Now, how are they supposed to "demonstrate" that the quality of what they are doing and making is worth someone's time and dime? In most cases it's simply word of mouth, from those who've tasted and liked it, and some guerilla marketing.

You can't give someone a real "taste" of anything unless they actually taste it and get a feel for it. Sure, you can write about it a bit, to get some interest. But that's about it. You can't really "demonstrate" the beer anymore than you can demonstrate aiki.

Youtube is full of poorly-shot videos of old Chinese people, usually outside, showing amazing Aiki skills. Sometimes they're just damned near standing there and hardly moving. Who's supposed to "get that?" Certainly not an exoteric general public. Someone who's never tasted it and gotten a feel for it will not only not see it, they'll write it off – even laugh at it.

I don't think aiki arts can be "demonstrated" publicly. But like wine, beer, cheeses, they can be tasted and experienced. And from there, people who are interested can decide what feels right, and then, later on, decide how far down the rabbit hole they want to go.

I also don't think anyone in the IS/IP/Aiki communities has a right to declare that what they do is "right" or even necessarily "better." But certainly like many in the artisan beer and wine communities, can say that they've gone back to the classic roots of the craft, and have arrived at a level of skills and artistic interpretations that they feel is worthwhile. And that kind of movement is growing in popularity at a rapid rate.

There are people who are absolutely wanting a deeper and more authentic experience. And those are the very people who are not expecting to "get it" from a video demonstration or online flamewars.

I'll be going out to a brewery tonight to drink some local, handcrafted beer straight out of the tap. And there is no way I could "demonstrate" the taste and feel of the absolute heavenly – and yes, I'll say "esoteric" – experience.

You've got to feel it. You have to actively participate. It - like Aiki - is not a spectator sport.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 09-05-2014 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:06 AM   #368
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Jason Rudolph wrote: View Post
So then are you saying that as a student in ASU under Saotome Shihan that he did not learn the true aikido from O'sensei?
correct. that's not the true aikido from O Sensei. it's an interpret aikido which the interpreter, in this case, is Saotome sensei. the true aikido had long since dead.

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Old 09-05-2014, 10:15 AM   #369
Chris Li
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Jason Rudolph wrote: View Post
So then are you saying that as a student in ASU under Saotome Shihan that he did not learn the true aikido from O'sensei? Consequently, when you see him teach are you saying that you are not being shown the "true aikido" of Osensei or if he one of the few postwar Shihan who learned it (in your opinion), that he is for some reason holding back? I don't believe that a reasonable person can imagine him (and others of his generation who have been here for decades) concluding that it would simply be a cultural and/or language barrier?

Train Hard,
Jason
I'm not in ASU, but I was, and I got my ni-dan directly from Saotome back in the 1980's.

It's not an either or.

First, to qualify, Saotome spent some nine years at hombu with O-Sensei - Morihei Ueshiba was there perhaps a third of the time and when was there he sometimes taught and sometimes didn't, he wasn't directly involved in day to day teaching and development of students. He was extremely difficult to understand and really never explained himself - except in terms that were (perhaps) even more confusing, especially to a group of people who didn't have the right background to know what he was talking about. IMO, Saotome was probably more influenced by Seigo Yamaguchi than Morihei Ueshiba.

It's also interesting to look at his story from the other side - I've spoken to one of his instructors in Japan who characterized Saotome as young and impulsive in rushing off to the states, and claimed that he had told him that he should stay in Japan to study a little more.

There's a definite language and cultural barrier - even if he spoke perfect English (which he doesn't, far from it) the things that he's explaining often require a specific background of culture and language that most people (even in Japan) don't have.

As for the "stuff" - Saotome has a lot of "stuff", IMO, even certain people who have been cast from Aikiweb into the outer darkness acknowledge this frequently.

Now the problem - when I trained with him he had a very difficult time transmitting what stuff he had. I think that he still does, several of his long time students still training with him have stated flatly that this is the case. He says himself that he doesn't really know how he does what he does, or how he learned it. One of his primary teachers, Seigo Yamaguchi, said something quite similar.

So we have a version of the telephone game. Student 1 gets some stuff from the source, but doesn't really understand what he's getting or how he got it, and without that level of comprehension they don't really get everything that's going on. When the time comes for Student 2 to teach they have they same problems, in great part because Student 1 doesn't understand what he does or how to teach it. Student 2 gets some stuff, but probably less than Student 1, who had access to the clearer transmission, and what he gets is more likely to be a little garbled. Student 3...and so on.

Everybody in the telephone game is convinced that they understand the message that they heard, and is convinced that they transmitted it faithfully and clearly - but by the end of the chain the message is almost always quite different from what it was when they started.

Best,

Chris

Last edited by Chris Li : 09-05-2014 at 10:27 AM.

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Old 09-05-2014, 10:21 AM   #370
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Talking about aiki on this site is a lot like this:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=X8GYjpJapwk

dps
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:22 AM   #371
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
John, I think where the quagmire is in that equation -- and in the title of this topic -- is in the word "demonstration." I'm sure you're familiar with Ueshiba and his reluctance to give a demonstration of Aikido to the public. And this is the founder we're talking about. Not his students, or their students, or their student's students, ad infinitum.

First of all, how do you take something that's esoteric and "demonstrate" it for an exoteric - or even mesoteric - public audience, and have them "get it?" Answer is, you don't. And you certainly don't do it by visually demonstrating -- whether with a live audience or on video.

All that anyone in those cases can do is wiggle a worm in the waters, and then see what kind of fish are going to come and take a bite. Most, by design, will have no interest. Some may even take a sniff or a small taste, and simply not like it. A few will taste, and recognize something deeper, and will want more.

That's true with anything. There are small microbreweries that have popped up that have really gotten back to the time-honored, esoteric traditions of making beer. By design, they're always going to be small in scale. Now, how are they supposed to "demonstrate" that the quality of what they are doing and making is worth someone's time and dime? In most cases it's simply word of mouth, from those who've tasted and liked it, and some guerilla marketing.

You can't give someone a real "taste" of anything unless they actually taste it and get a feel for it. Sure, you can write about it a bit, to get some interest. But that's about it. You can't really "demonstrate" the beer anymore than you can demonstrate aiki.

Youtube is full of poorly-shot videos of old Chinese people, usually outside, showing amazing Aiki skills. Sometimes they're just damned near standing there and hardly moving. Who's supposed to "get that?" Certainly not an exoteric general public. Someone who's never tasted it and gotten a feel for it will not only not see it, they'll write it off -- even laugh at it.

I don't think aiki arts can be "demonstrated" publicly. But like wine, beer, cheeses, they can be tasted and experienced. And from there, people who are interested can decide what feels right, and then, later on, decide how far down the rabbit hole they want to go.

I also don't think anyone in the IS/IP/Aiki communities has a right to declare that what they do is "right" or even necessarily "better." But certainly like many in the artisan beer and wine communities, can say that they've gone back to the classic roots of the craft, and have arrived at a level of skills and artistic interpretations that they feel is worthwhile. And that kind of movement is growing in popularity at a rapid rate.

There are people who are absolutely wanting a deeper and more authentic experience. And those are the very people who are not expecting to "get it" from a video demonstration or online flamewars.

I'll be going out to a brewery tonight to drink some local, handcrafted beer straight out of the tap. And there is no way I could "demonstrate" the taste and feel of the absolute heavenly -- and yes, I'll say "esoteric" -- experience.

You've got to feel it. You have to actively participate. It - like Aiki - is not a spectator sport.
I don't necessarily disagree.

Why is an aikido demonstration a choreographed presentation on a floor that is not open to public participation? Is it that we are not using the right terminology? Or, is it that we are not demonstrating aiki?

If demonstrating aiki is as simple as creating a hands-on experience, why are there not more of them? Why not visit a jujujtsu dojo, let the students touch you and parade off with new students who have felt something they want to train?

I can talk about beer all night long at a brewery while I sample the flavors. We can argue about IPAs and why anyone would want to drink them. But there is one requirement... I have to know about beers. Imagine a conversation about beers if your partner didn't know what was a lager, or a pilsner, or a stout. How would that stifle your conversation? How awkward would it be to be in a brewery drinking beer with some one who clearly does not have working knowledge about beers, but is energetic and confident in her opinions?

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Old 09-05-2014, 11:58 AM   #372
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I'm not in ASU, but I was, and I got my ni-dan directly from Saotome back in the 1980's.

It's not an either or.

First, to qualify, Saotome spent some nine years at hombu with O-Sensei - Morihei Ueshiba was there perhaps a third of the time and when was there he sometimes taught and sometimes didn't, he wasn't directly involved in day to day teaching and development of students. He was extremely difficult to understand and really never explained himself - except in terms that were (perhaps) even more confusing, especially to a group of people who didn't have the right background to know what he was talking about. IMO, Saotome was probably more influenced by Seigo Yamaguchi than Morihei Ueshiba.

It's also interesting to look at his story from the other side - I've spoken to one of his instructors in Japan who characterized Saotome as young and impulsive in rushing off to the states, and claimed that he had told him that he should stay in Japan to study a little more.

There's a definite language and cultural barrier - even if he spoke perfect English (which he doesn't, far from it) the things that he's explaining often require a specific background of culture and language that most people (even in Japan) don't have.

As for the "stuff" - Saotome has a lot of "stuff", IMO, even certain people who have been cast from Aikiweb into the outer darkness acknowledge this frequently.

Now the problem - when I trained with him he had a very difficult time transmitting what stuff he had. I think that he still does, several of his long time students still training with him have stated flatly that this is the case. He says himself that he doesn't really know how he does what he does, or how he learned it. One of his primary teachers, Seigo Yamaguchi, said something quite similar.

So we have a version of the telephone game. Student 1 gets some stuff from the source, but doesn't really understand what he's getting or how he got it, and without that level of comprehension they don't really get everything that's going on. When the time comes for Student 2 to teach they have they same problems, in great part because Student 1 doesn't understand what he does or how to teach it. Student 2 gets some stuff, but probably less than Student 1, who had access to the clearer transmission, and what he gets is more likely to be a little garbled. Student 3...and so on.

Everybody in the telephone game is convinced that they understand the message that they heard, and is convinced that they transmitted it faithfully and clearly - but by the end of the chain the message is almost always quite different from what it was when they started.

Best,

Chris
Chris,

I don't want to get into the argument of how much and with who anyone studied. Distill it down to the "product" being presented. This is probably more appropriately directed to those such as Katherine and Phil who are in ASU under Saotome Shihan. However, it could be easily applied to anyone in any Shihan's organization in any martial art. Specifically, if there are serious doubts as to whether or not a teacher (in this case Saotome Shihan) actually learned something (in this case "aiki" as she is defining it but regardless, it is deemed important going on whomever's definition) that a select group of students (Katherine and others) allege was either not learned by the teacher or if learned, not being transmitted, then why stay in his organization? Why continue to take and hold rank from that individual? Its not as if he is the only game in town on the American aikido landscape. There of lots of other choices out there. Wouldn't it make more sense to find a Shihan who one feels does transmit "aiki" as they are defining it?

Train hard,
Jason
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:16 PM   #373
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Chris,

I don't want to get into the argument of how much and with who anyone studied. Distill it down to the "product" being presented. This is probably more appropriately directed to those such as Katherine and Phil who are in ASU under Saotome Shihan. However, it could be easily applied to anyone in any Shihan's organization in any martial art. Specifically, if there are serious doubts as to whether or not a teacher (in this case Saotome Shihan) actually learned something (in this case "aiki" as she is defining it but regardless, it is deemed important going on whomever's definition) that a select group of students (Katherine and others) allege was either not learned by the teacher or if learned, not being transmitted, then why stay in his organization? Why continue to take and hold rank from that individual? Its not as if he is the only game in town on the American aikido landscape. There of lots of other choices out there. Wouldn't it make more sense to find a Shihan who one feels does transmit "aiki" as they are defining it?

Train hard,
Jason
Sure, and some people do that. But as I said, it's not a yes/no answer as to whether somebody has it or can transmit it. And then you have to consider what the other available choices are.

Also, being in an organization often has little to do with who the head of the organization is. Moriteru and Mitsuteru Ueshiba are fine people - there are people who are certainly more skilled, but I'm still in the Aikikai.

My comments on his training history was to put things in a little context, so it might be clearer why a "student of the Founder" might not have actually gotten everything that Morihei Ueshiba had. That doesn't mean that Saotome or anybody else has nothing, or doesn't have a lot - just that there's a lot more out there to be found.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-05-2014, 12:24 PM   #374
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Jason Rudolph wrote: View Post
So then are you saying that as a student in ASU under Saotome Shihan that he did not learn the true aikido from O'sensei? Consequently, when you see him teach are you saying that you are not being shown the "true aikido" of Osensei or if he one of the few postwar Shihan who learned it (in your opinion), that he is for some reason holding back? I don't believe that a reasonable person can imagine him (and others of his generation who have been here for decades) concluding that it would simply be a cultural and/or language barrier?
Please read what I wrote. I said that the number of people with Ueshiba-class skills is small relative to the number of people studying aikido. I did not mention names and am not commenting on the skills of any particular individual.

My point was that the small number of individuals with Ueshiba-class skills suggests that perhaps further research into effective teaching methods might be helpful. I am somewhat astounded that this statement appears to be controversial.

Katherine
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:28 PM   #375
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Jason Rudolph wrote: View Post
Specifically, if there are serious doubts as to whether or not a teacher (in this case Saotome Shihan) actually learned something (in this case "aiki" as she is defining it but regardless, it is deemed important going on whomever's definition) that a select group of students (Katherine and others) allege was either not learned by the teacher or if learned, not being transmitted, then why stay in his organization?
Again, I did not say that. Please do not attribute opinions to me based on your misinterpretation of the plain language of my post.

Katherine
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