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Old 07-14-2014, 10:31 AM   #1
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YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968



Here's an aikido video of Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968 teaching at Aikikai Hombu Dojo.

From its description: Filmed in 1968 by Mr. Pierre Holzacker at Aikikai Hombu Dojo (Tokyo). This film was discovered in Israel in 2014 by Ms. Carole Habib - daughter of Pierre Holzacker - French Air France pilot who practiced Aikido with his wife Esther in France in the 1960'. Pierre and Esther Holzacker were students of the Late Tsuda Itsuo Sensei.

What are your thoughts on this video?

-- Jun

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Old 07-14-2014, 11:33 AM   #2
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

Those are the purest kokyuho and kokyu-nage I've ever seen.
The shiho-nage and irimi-nage which were performed by O-Sensei are just like magic and they're a true demonstration of using Ki.
Thanks for the link.
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:58 PM   #3
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

Amazing.

Really.
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:17 PM   #4
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

Pretty cool to see new footage.

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:42 PM   #5
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

Hey, the old guy moved pretty good, huh!

Sorry, but that's what I said out loud here sitting with it blown up on my 24" screen. I just WISH I could flow like that.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:07 PM   #6
Mihaly Dobroka
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

It is very good to see a new footage of the Founder. I have heard that there are some never before seen footage in the store of Hombu Dojo too. Anyway this video of fantastic!

Thank you for sharing!

Mihaly
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:59 AM   #7
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

Please enjoy all three clips from the newly discovered film with O-Sensei:
http://budothought.blogspot.co.il/20...iscovered.html

Ze'ev from Masatake Dojo Rehovot
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:04 AM   #8
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968



Here is part 2.

-- Jun

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Old 07-15-2014, 11:39 AM   #9
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

What a wonderful gift. A series of close moments with O Sensei the year before he died. He's like a black hole drawing all mental energies into himself. Yet he brilliantly returns it all. The movement is so perfect and the spirit is so kind. His teaching appears deeply penetrating. It's no wonder people loved him. Even 25 years after O Sensei's death, Mochizuki sensei spoke of him with a longing reverence. This little bit of new old film is a very nice series of examples of why. Deep thanks for posting these clips.

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Old 07-16-2014, 12:20 PM   #10
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968



Here is part 3 (of 3) of this series of videos of Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968 teaching at Aikikai Hombu Dojo.

From its description: Filmed in 1968 by Mr. Pierre Holzacker at Aikikai Hombu Dojo (Tokyo). This film was discovered in Israel in 2014 by Ms. Carole Habib - daughter of Pierre Holzacker - French Air France pilot who practiced Aikido with his wife Esther in France in the 1960'. Pierre and Esther Holzacker were students of the Late Tsuda Itsuo Sensei.

-- Jun

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Old 07-17-2014, 07:05 AM   #11
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
Here is part 2.
I'm struck by how similar Nishio-sensei's sword work was to what O-sensei displays in this clip.
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Old 08-11-2014, 04:48 PM   #12
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Youthful

A friend of mine, Antoine Camilleri, wrote to me regarding this set of tapes:

Quote:
I'm surprised at how sprightly his footwork was at 85 yrs of age! In some instances the coiling/uncoiling of his body is very overt, even exaggerated, for teaching purposes I presume. , , , Strangely it seems to me that he was as if unaware of being caught on camera. Hence he was much more at ease and natural than what is shown on old clips, and here he seemed to be actually trying hard to teach while showing the physical art, stopping frequently to explain verbally as if punctuating a pertinent point!
Antoine makes a really good point here. Ueshiba looks more agile, in some ways, than he does in the pre-war Osaka tapes. I wonder if this is true - that, unaware of the camera, he stops posing (one has a sense that he was very aware of the cameras to the point of vanity). It underscores how fraught the idea that one can define someone's skill by what is shown in a few films. Here we see some aspects of Ueshiba's skill that are not seen in the more staged demos on film.

Ellis Amdur

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Old 08-14-2014, 09:17 PM   #13
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

The footage is really valuable because it has never been seen before...
Now, this been said it is a footage that should have stayed hidden and buried.
It is very obvious that at the time O' sensei was very old (and maybe very ill also) so although he is using his ki and kokyu principles and moves rather vigorously for his age, for the most part what I see are uke falling on their own, trying to make o'sensei's life little...easier.
He should have been protected by his students and not exposed like that.
It is these kind of footage that make aikido look fake and staged and not effective.
Still, thanx for sharing...
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:46 PM   #14
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

I do not think I have ever seen a video of Ueshiba in which his uke do not "tank." You see Yonekawa Shigemi taking falls in the 1936 Osaka video that would do one of Watanabe sensei's uke proud. That's part of aikido, part of its essence. That's why Ueshiba was furious at Ohba Hideo, in the famous demonstration at the 10th anniversary of the "founding" of Manchukuo. OHba, thinking it a mark of respect, attacked for real. Per the Aikido Journal article regarding him, he stated that "Ueshiba was a little stiff but he knew then he was in the presence of a true master." What is significant is that Ueshiba was absolutely furious with him until he was mollified by the praise of a well-known naginata teacher, who, essentially said that she'd never seen something so "for real." The irony is that, despite the praise, which pleased him, that was NOT what Ueshiba wanted to do, and he continued to expect and require compliant uke throughout. To be clear - Ueshiba's aikido required compliant uke.---Ueshiba could definitely function without compliant uke, but that's what he wanted when he presented and when he taught.

Personally, I'm decades beyond watching a film of Ueshiba for martial techniques or realistic fighting simulation. I'm watching how he uses his body. His uke are simply tools for his own study. To be sure, I am uninterested with the arm-waving no-touch throws, be they done by Ueshiba or anyone else (I think the shin-taido people do it far better and more elegantly). But what he is doing when there is body contact is remarkable.

There are some moments that Ueshiba truly shows some internal strength and technique that would be something to be proud of at any age. For just one example, the hara atemi at 2:15 of the first video. There are a lot more such moments.

Ellis Amdur

Last edited by akiy : 08-15-2014 at 11:36 AM. Reason: Fixed typo

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Old 08-15-2014, 04:59 AM   #15
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Smile Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I do not think I have ever seen a video of Ueshiba in which his uke do not "tank." You see Yonekawa Shigemi taking falls in the 1936 Osaka video that would do one of Watanabe sensei's uke proud. That's part of aikido, part of its essence. That's why Ueshiba was furious at Ohba Hideo, in the famous demonstration at the 10th anniversary of the "founding" of Manchukuo. OHba, thinking it a mark of respect, attacked for real. Per the Aikido Journal article regarding him, he stated that "Ueshiba was a little stiff but he knew then he was in the presence of a true master." What is significant is that Ueshiba was absolutely furious with him until he was mollified by the praise of a well-known naginata teacher, who, essentially said that she'd never seen something so "for real." The irony is that, despite the praise, which pleased him, that was NOT what Ueshiba wanted to do, and he continued to expect and require compliant uke throughout. To be clear - Ueshiba's aikido required compliant uke.---Ueshiba could definitely function without compliant uke, but that's what he wanted when he presented and when he taught.

Personally, I'm decades beyond watching a film of Ueshiba for martial techniques or realistic fighting simulation. I'm watching how he uses his body. His uke are simply tools for his own study. To be sure, I am uninterested with the arm-waving no-touch throws, be they done by Ueshiba or anyone else (I think the shin-taido people do it far better and more elegantly). But what he is doing when there is body contact is remarkable.

There are some moments that Ueshiba truly shows some internal strength and technique that would be something to be proud of at any age. For just one example, the hare atemi at 2:15 of the first video. There are a lot more such moments.

Ellis Amdur
At long last, that's an honest view, really. Long overdue. Thank you for sharing, Ellis. Who else would have dared.
It's also how I've come to see things.

Best wishes,
Bernd
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:52 AM   #16
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I do not think I have ever seen a video of Ueshiba in which his uke do not "tank." You see Yonekawa Shigemi taking falls in the 1936 Osaka video that would do one of Watanabe sensei's uke proud. That's part of aikido, part of its essence. That's why Ueshiba was furious at Ohba Hideo, in the famous demonstration at the 10th anniversary of the "founding" of Manchukuo. OHba, thinking it a mark of respect, attacked for real. Per the Aikido Journal article regarding him, he stated that "Ueshiba was a little stiff but he knew then he was in the presence of a true master." What is significant is that Ueshiba was absolutely furious with him until he was mollified by the praise of a well-known naginata teacher, who, essentially said that she'd never seen something so "for real." The irony is that, despite the praise, which pleased him, that was NOT what Ueshiba wanted to do, and he continued to expect and require compliant uke throughout. To be clear - Ueshiba's aikido required compliant uke.---Ueshiba could definitely function without compliant uke, but that's what he wanted when he presented and when he taught.

Personally, I'm decades beyond watching a film of Ueshiba for martial techniques or realistic fighting simulation. I'm watching how he uses his body. His uke are simply tools for his own study. To be sure, I am uninterested with the arm-waving no-touch throws, be they done by Ueshiba or anyone else (I think the shin-taido people do it far better and more elegantly). But what he is doing when there is body contact is remarkable.

There are some moments that Ueshiba truly shows some internal strength and technique that would be something to be proud of at any age. For just one example, the hare atemi at 2:15 of the first video. There are a lot more such moments.

Ellis Amdur
Well, what o sensei did or didn't do, what he wanted or not does not define in any way the nature of aikido.
Aikido is Budo in it's essence and if one cannot make it work effectively then it's better to take up aerobic or dancing and forget about it.
If one watches the videos of Steven Seagal sensei, Larry Reynossa sensei or Haruo Matsuoka sensei it becomes pretty obvious that this is the effective approach to aikido. It's principles and techniques pre dated O sensei or even Sokaku Takeda by centuries and the fact that Ueshiba gave aikido it's name doesn't make him the art's creator, only a very important link in a huge lineage of warriors who happened to be the art's modern expressionist.
What is aikido's essence and what were o'sensei's choices, are two very different things.
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:03 PM   #17
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I do not think I have ever seen a video of Ueshiba in which his uke do not "tank." You see Yonekawa Shigemi taking falls in the 1936 Osaka video that would do one of Watanabe sensei's uke proud. That's part of aikido, part of its essence. That's why Ueshiba was furious at Ohba Hideo, in the famous demonstration at the 10th anniversary of the "founding" of Manchukuo. OHba, thinking it a mark of respect, attacked for real. Per the Aikido Journal article regarding him, he stated that "Ueshiba was a little stiff but he knew then he was in the presence of a true master." What is significant is that Ueshiba was absolutely furious with him until he was mollified by the praise of a well-known naginata teacher, who, essentially said that she'd never seen something so "for real." The irony is that, despite the praise, which pleased him, that was NOT what Ueshiba wanted to do, and he continued to expect and require compliant uke throughout. To be clear - Ueshiba's aikido required compliant uke.---Ueshiba could definitely function without compliant uke, but that's what he wanted when he presented and when he taught.

Personally, I'm decades beyond watching a film of Ueshiba for martial techniques or realistic fighting simulation. I'm watching how he uses his body. His uke are simply tools for his own study. To be sure, I am uninterested with the arm-waving no-touch throws, be they done by Ueshiba or anyone else (I think the shin-taido people do it far better and more elegantly). But what he is doing when there is body contact is remarkable.

There are some moments that Ueshiba truly shows some internal strength and technique that would be something to be proud of at any age. For just one example, the hara atemi at 2:15 of the first video. There are a lot more such moments.

Ellis Amdur
I agree completely with these statements.

It's not for me, but I think it's fine for people to practice this way [with compliant uke] if that's what they want to do and they admit it to themselves and their students. It's not for me simply because I think such compliant training significantly stalls or even prevents the learning of martial skill sets.

Even when training with a (relatively) more mainstream aikido group, I have never been one who thinks Ueshiba's skills were magical or greater than human (or not attained or exceeded by others), but I think what Ueshiba displays here is interesting despite the tanking uke. My only sadness is that I truly believe that one can keep increasing their skill set well into this age range if they have uke who give better feedback than simply falling down without being touched. How good would his skills have been in the training paradigm was tweaked to allow him more feedback? <shrug> It doesn't matter now.

Regards,

Tarik

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Old 08-16-2014, 04:40 AM   #18
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish;339014

It's not for me, but I think it's fine for people to practice this way [with compliant uke
wrote:
if that's what they want to do and they admit it to themselves and their students. It's not for me simply because I think such compliant training significantly stalls or even prevents the learning of martial skill
Some martial skill sets. Compliant ukes help considerably with others, though.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:27 AM   #19
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

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Some martial skill sets. Compliant ukes help considerably with others, though.
Language is always difficult. Cooperation is not the same as compliance IMO.

It's really a whole new thread.

Let's say we want our uke to be compliant. Compliant with what? Falling down and 'respecting my ki'? Making it difficult for me to achieve a technique?

Our training goals together, or yakusoku are what we should both be "compliant" with. That should include honest feedback. One (among many) reasonable agreements should be, "if I can do it, I should" with in the rest of the agreed upon ruleset.

I don't think falling down out of respect, or because I'm afraid I'll be sandbagged and then scolded for not respecting someone's ki is a good way for me to practice. A good partner can put me down without hurting me.

Best,

Last edited by tarik : 08-16-2014 at 09:35 AM.

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:33 AM   #20
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

What are you training? If the goal is to practice a specific technique, then at the minimum uke needs to attack in a way that allows that particular technique. If the goal is to practice free movement, then uke's movement needs to be free as well. Conversely, if the goal is to learn how to move a grounded, centered opponent from a static position, then uke needs to be grounded and centered.

I always remind people that uke is studying aikido, too. If you know what technique is coming, it's not that difficult to create a situation where nage is forced to do something else. And in some circumstances that's the appropriate thing to do. But you don't learn how to fall by refusing to be thrown, and you don't learn how to feel (and ultimately reverse) a technique by preventing it from happening.

Teaching situations are different, too. If I'm trying to explain something, it helps for uke to allow me to do whatever it is. Otherwise, I get to explain where uke's openings are, or the options for henka waza if the original technique is blocked. Which is fine for my own training, but not necessarily something that I want to show in that particular class.

Katherine
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:05 AM   #21
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post

I always remind people that uke is studying aikido, too. If you know what technique is coming, it's not that difficult to create a situation where nage is forced to do something else. And in some circumstances that's the appropriate thing to do. But you don't learn how to fall by refusing to be thrown, and you don't learn how to feel (and ultimately reverse) a technique by preventing it from happening.

Teaching situations are different, too. If I'm trying to explain something, it helps for uke to allow me to do whatever it is. Otherwise, I get to explain where uke's openings are, or the options for henka waza if the original technique is blocked. Which is fine for my own training, but not necessarily something that I want to show in that particular class.

Katherine
There are a lot of contradiction in this approach.

First, i.e. in judo competition, particularly at very high level, your adversary knows very well what are your favorite techniques(and they are 2 or 3 max) and despite of this fact, in 99% of cases, you are able to apply them successfully. So it is not a good excuse for aikidoka either, judo players fully resist and counter in every second.

Second, if your partner in aikido always falling down, you don't know what opening is. It is not theoretical concept, perception of the opening must be developed physically with the eyes and with different senses of the body and mind, and not only understood intellectually from your lecture

Nagababa

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Old 08-18-2014, 08:38 AM   #22
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

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Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Second, if your partner in aikido always falling down, you don't know what opening is. It is not theoretical concept, perception of the opening must be developed physically with the eyes and with different senses of the body and mind, and not only understood intellectually from your lecture
This is not true at all. Whether or not uke decides to take a fall, and no matter to what degree they resist before choosing to fall, nage can readily tell the difference between that they have caused and what uke has caused. Its not a difficult thing.
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:54 AM   #23
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

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This is not true at all. Whether or not uke decides to take a fall, and no matter to what degree they resist before choosing to fall, nage can readily tell the difference between that they have caused and what uke has caused. Its not a difficult thing.
Not untrue at all either. Human nature fosters self delusion and without feed-back it is very easy to fall into that trap. I am sure that the extremes can be picked up by anyone - but there is a whole grey area.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:31 AM   #24
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
This is not true at all. Whether or not uke decides to take a fall, and no matter to what degree they resist before choosing to fall, nage can readily tell the difference between that they have caused and what uke has caused. Its not a difficult thing.
Usually what you see when uke is falling by himself, nage is not getting any feedback in the moment of entering into the technique, because uke is anticipating nage movements very early and following hypothetical path of the technique without any threat from nage side.

This lack of sensory feedback is a clear source of illusion of greatness we find so often in many aikido dojo. This illusion is created because of the repeating experience - so nage affirm himself that yes, many times uke fall down in this situation so the way of executing technique must be correct.

The key moment here that was missed here is HOW / WHEN / WHERE nage has to enter into uke attack. The information needed to make correct decision must be acquired by repeated try/error process. If nage never get error message during this process(because uke is always falling by himself), he can't discover personally what opening is.

Nagababa

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Old 08-18-2014, 09:39 AM   #25
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Re: YouTube: Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968

Another point is, when you enter into real opening, there is no resistance. To be able to discover opening, you need to experience resistance when you enter into wrong direction. So when uke is always tanking, this will be impossible. As a consequence, you may live all your life in the illusion of doing 'REAL' aikido

Nagababa

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