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Old 04-26-2004, 09:15 AM   #51
Mark Balogh
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Yann,

Ok lets say they are just different. Tamura Sensei is the only one I've seen who looks similar to the old school shihan or O'sensei. I think this is because he was O'sensei's favourite uke (so I've been told) and that he started a little bit earlier than the most of the current Aikikai Shihan teaching in America and Europe.

I could guess that you don't think different is a bad thing. I think IT IS "further away" from O'sensei. Tamura Sensei is closer to O'sensei IMO. What happens if everyone keeps changing and becoming further away? See where I'm coming from?
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Old 04-26-2004, 09:47 AM   #52
AsimHanif
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Ted, I enjoy the premise of your argument. I think it makes for an interesting discussion.
The first line of your post says
"The term O Sensei indicates a truly great teacher. This is someone who not only instructs, but inspires. It is a term that can apply to a teacher on any subject."

Can this not be attributed to Ueshiba Sensei? I think there is ample evidence to support this. For he has truly inspired many; some who were born many years after his death.
Although you listed 3 great innovators of aikido can you factually state that any of them has had the impact on the art of aikido as Ueshiba Sensei? It says something significant that O'Sensei produced THOSE great leaders. Have those same great leaders produced as high a quality?
Remember O'Sensei also produced Nishio, Hikitsuchi, Ueshiba K., not to mention Kanai, Yamada, Tamura, Saotome, etc. I don't know but sounds like a Great Teacher to me.

If others have elated O'Sensei to divine status, then IMO they just don't get it.
Also when you say
"...Morihei Ueshiba cannot be called O Sensei because in their estimation, he was never able to train someone up to his level."

This is like talking about the value of capital in todays market compared to the market of 60 years ago. You have to look at what would be the worth of that capital in todays terms or vice-versa. This is a struggle to really nail down.

I love the argument though.
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Old 04-26-2004, 09:02 PM   #53
David Yap
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Hi all,

Did Marco Polo introduced spaghetti to the Chinese or did he introduced Chinese noodles to the Italians? That's a hot discussion topic in the office last night. Finally, someone suggested that it boils down to the ingredients that are required to make noodles/spaghetti and the source of the ingredients during Marco Polo's time.

I tend to agree with the majority that M Ueshiba truly deserved the title of O Sensei. He left us his recipes and instructions and it is up to us to vary to satisfy our taste buds - a more of this or a less or that, more heat or less heat etc. Years after his passing, we are still fascinated with the "dishes" he created albeit they are not identical (in appearance & favor) with his.

Quote:
AsimHanif wrote:
<snip>.. It says something significant that Osensei produced THOSE great leaders. Have those same great leaders produced as high a quality?
Remember Osensei also produced Nishio, Hikitsuchi, Ueshiba K., not to mention Kanai, Yamada, Tamura, Saotome, etc. I don't know but sounds like a Great Teacher to me..(snip>
Asim (& others),

Not meant to offend/discredit any Shihan (living or demised). I have posted this in another thread before but did not receive any direct answer (sensitive issue I believe). Coming from my professional backgrounds where accuracy and specifics count, who are/were direct and who are/were indirect students of O Sensei? I read somewhere in the Aikido Journal that except for Kanai sensei, the first wave and most of the second wave of teachers from Aikikai in the States were direct students of Tohei sensei who was the head instructor at Hombu at that time.

Regards

David

Last edited by David Yap : 04-26-2004 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 04-27-2004, 12:32 AM   #54
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Quote:
David Yap wrote:
Not meant to offend/discredit any Shihan (living or demised). I have posted this in another thread before but did not receive any direct answer (sensitive issue I believe). Coming from my professional backgrounds where accuracy and specifics count, who are/were direct and who are/were indirect students of O Sensei? I read somewhere in the Aikido Journal that except for Kanai sensei, the first wave and most of the second wave of teachers from Aikikai in the States were direct students of Tohei sensei who was the head instructor at Hombu at that time.

Regards

David
My teacher is Saotome Sensei. I started Aikido with him in his newly opened Washington, DC dojo. After five years I moved to Seattle where I trained with Mary Heiny Sensei and also with Bookman Sensei. I got a lot of exposure and inspiration from Tom Read Sensei during those years. But I kept going back for seminars and camps, we invited Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei out for seminars and eventually I opened my own place.

Now I trained with a lot of different folks. But no one ever questioned who my teacher is. Saotome Sensei is my teacher. He is the reason I got into Aikido, the reason I stayed, and he has provided the entire framework around which I have built my practice. I respect Ikeda Sensei and all the other wonderful teachers with whom I have trained but I am Saotome Sensei's student, period.

Most of the post war Deshi trained extensively with teachers other than O-Sensei. But it was the time they spent with O-Sensei that made the deepest impression on most of them. I have talked at length with Saotome Sensei and also a bit with Chiba Sensei and it is clear that in their own eyes they were students of the Founder. They may have taken classes with other teachers, Yamaguchi Sensei influenced Saotome Sensei quite a bit, but it was O-Sensei that provided the center around which they based their practice. He didn't have to be there for every class to still be the strongest influence oin these teachers. They trained with him, took ukemi for him, travelled with him, etc. He was their formative influence. When you listen to these people talk about their training years, it isn't Tohei Sensei that they mention, not even the Nidai Doshu, but it's O-Sensei that had the primary influence on them. Calling them "indirect" students is simply ignoring the power of the effect that the time they spent with the Founder had on their development.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 04-27-2004, 05:11 AM   #55
David Yap
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Lightbulb Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
snip.. Calling them "indirect" students is simply ignoring the power of the effect that the time they spent with the Founder had on their development.
Thank you, George sensei, for the reply.

I guess this sums up what is thread is leading to - it is the core of aikido (beyond techniques) that is the utimate goal we should seek. He took us on a path lined with mirrors; either one sees his/her own physical self or see beyond ones shell. That is the measurement for growth. "Spiritually" we will always be direct students of O Sensei.

David
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Old 04-27-2004, 05:18 AM   #56
Mark Balogh
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Nicely put David, I hope that is true. I certainly try and endeavor to stay as close as possible to O'sensei's teachings.
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Old 04-27-2004, 09:02 AM   #57
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Quote:
Mark Balogh wrote:
Tamura Sensei is the only one I've seen who looks similar to the old school shihan or O'sensei.
Sounds like you're assuming that the older ways are automatically better.

Quote:
Mark Balogh wrote:
What happens if everyone keeps changing and becoming further away?
The art grows?

YMMV,

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 04-28-2004, 06:47 AM   #58
David Yap
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Quote:
David Yap wrote:
<snip> I read somewhere in the Aikido Journal that except for Kanai sensei, the first wave and most of the second wave of teachers from Aikikai in the States were direct students of Tohei sensei who was the head instructor at Hombu at that time.
Hi all,

I also read this from Gaku Homma sensei's article "Fumio Toyoda Sensei, A Memorial Tribute". (My apology to Stanley Pranin sensei if my quote above is never anywhere from the AJ)

I believe Pranin sensei's article in the AJ is also timely - Aikido in the Postwar Years - Part 1: 1946-1957

David
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Old 04-28-2004, 07:12 AM   #59
Chad Sloman
 
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

wow, thanks Ledyard Sensei, that really puts things into perspective. In any case, M. Ueshiba is O'Sensei to me because he is the founder. Aikido to me is beyond techniques, beyond martial principles and beyond philosophy. It is an amalgamation of all these things plus then some. It is a way for me to live my life. All of this would not have been possible without M. Ueshiba and his students. The skill of our shihan is just a testiment to the skill of our founder.

A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.
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Old 04-28-2004, 06:34 PM   #60
Charles Hill
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Quote:
akiy wrote:
One thing about the "O" in "O-sensei" that some folks outside of Japan don't know is that it's not the character for "dai" meaning "big but, rather, "okina" meaning "venerable old man."
Another thing most people outside of Japan don`t know is that using the terms Osensei and Wakasensei is very common when two generations of "sensei" work in the same place. There is a dental clinic in my town run by a father and son, both named Hayashi. To avoid confusion, one is Osensei and one is Wakasensei. This has to be the origin of our "Osensei" as both Morihei and Kisshomaru were active in the dojo. However, contrary to what Jun wrote, our Osensei is referred to with the character "dai" in Japan (at least in Aikikai literature.) I am very interested in learning when the change took place. (Professor Goldsbury?)

A couple more points/opinions:

1. "Sensei" is not a title, it is a word of respect that denotes a relationship between two people. "Shihan," "Shidouin," and the like are titles that are given from top down. That is, a group or person with some kind of power hands down the title, and whether we agree or not, that person is Shihan and can refer to him/herself as such. "Sensei," on the other hand, is given up. That is, I feel respect for someone and wish to show it, so I call that person "Sensei" because I am lower in status. I think it is much more personal than a title.

2.As to whether most of the current Shihan are direct students of the Founder or not, I understand this argument to be at its core, a disagreement of who got the "real" teaching, and exactly how much time did the Founder spend at Honbu vs. Iwama. It seems to me that we may never really know.

3.I think that the lack of emphasis in Japan on the Founder is due to the idea that we learn Budo through touch. My teacher touches me (does techniques with me) and THAT is the teaching. I think that this is reflected in the Aikikai`s decision not to publish "Budo" in Japanese. My personal opinion is that both sides are necessary; a living teacher and a study of the teachings of the Founder.

Sorry about the length,
Charles Hill
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Old 04-29-2004, 02:52 AM   #61
Mark Balogh
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Quote:
Bronson wrote:
Sounds like you're assuming that the older ways are automatically better.

The art grows?

YMMV,

Bronson
1) Well I haven't been on anyone's mat who is better than Tamura Sensei!!!

2) In to what?

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Old 04-29-2004, 03:22 AM   #62
David Yap
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
Another thing most people outside of Japan don`t know is that using the terms Osensei and Wakasensei is very common when two generations of "sensei" work in the same place. There is a dental clinic in my town run by a father and son, both named Hayashi. To avoid confusion, one is Osensei and one is Wakasensei. This has to be the origin of our "Osensei" as both Morihei and Kisshomaru were active in the dojo.
This could more likely be the case. When Gichin Funakoshi (father of modern karate and founder of Shotokan/Shotokai) and his son, Giko, were both teaching in the 1930s and mid 40s, the father was referred as O Sensei and the son Waka sensei by their students.

David
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Old 04-29-2004, 07:02 AM   #63
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

When I typed おおせんせい, withe おお (Japanese kun reading) I was immediately given 大先生, with no kanji variations. The reading for 翁 is オウ (Chinnese ON reading), but the only combinations I have seen are proper names. In the literature Morihei Ueshiba is usually referred to as 開祖 kaiso, which is usually translated as Founder, and, of course, there is usually only one.

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 04-29-2004 at 07:05 AM.

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Old 04-29-2004, 08:50 AM   #64
Bronson
 
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Quote:
Mark Balogh wrote:
1) Well I haven't been on anyone's mat who is better than Tamura Sensei!!!
I can appreciate that, but "better" is a relative term. There are people here who talk about how good so-and-so sensei is because he can throw them so hard their teeth get knocked loose. There are others who like a different sensei because they are so soft you end up on the ground without really knowing why. Which is better?

Quote:
Mark Balogh wrote:
2) In to what?
Something bigger, better, and more relevant to a wider variety of people. Yes I realize that all of my descriptors fall into what I was talking about in the previous paragraph...that's the beauty

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 04-29-2004, 09:02 AM   #65
Mark Balogh
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Bronson - This is getting interesting.

1) Saotome Sensei said that being uke for O'sensei was like attacking and being thrown by a ghost. I believe (and some may disagree) that O'sensei at his peak was the finest practioner of aikido that has ever been. He was soft, relaxed and immovable. Tamurai Sensei is like this, that is what I mean by the best I've seen (in the flesh). I have never come across anyone (hard style or soft style) who has disputed his aikido. I think following O'sensei's example it is clear what "better" is.

2) A wider variety of the people? You are suggesting a martial art for the masses? Is that good for aikido technically? I don't have the answers but personally I am very intrigued by how and what O'sensei taught his close students, when they had one on one tuition and like.

What do you think BD?
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Old 04-29-2004, 09:38 AM   #66
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Hum... If Osensei "soft, relaxed and immovable" then why was Hell dojo named as such?...

Ueshiba changed and his Aikido changed a lot between the pre-war years and the post war years. Shioda and Tomiki both learned at around the Hell dojo times and their Aikido is harder than Tohei's. All three are teaching different things, all called Aikido. So, does that mean that they are all wrong? No, they just learned different things.

Aikido, as taught by Ueshiba, was a living and evolving art. He encouraged his students to find their own Aikido. At least that's what I understand from the research I have done.

Sure, Ueshiba was awesome. Sure there are other Aikido sensei out there that are awesome -- Tamurai, Nariyama, Doshu, Inoue, etc... The best thing about them is you can go and learn from them directly while they are still alive. *grin*

Maybe if you wanted to know the Aikido of Osensei you'd have to get shodan in Yoshinkan, Shodokan, Aikikai, Ki-soc and Imawa... And even then, what would you really know?

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
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Old 04-29-2004, 09:47 AM   #67
Mark Balogh
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

I would say that O'sensei had not completed developing Aikido at the time of the 'Hell Dojo', but you have a good point. Shioda was pretty much as good as it gets physically/technically (if a little rough with his ukes!!!). Even then though, I have met a VERY high ranked karate sensei who saw O'sensei around this period and he said that he was so pliable and flexible in his technique it was fantastic.

I think you have some good points though Yann, maybe I am very focused on what I believe to be the best type of aikido. As you say, your own Aikido.

I wonder if there is someone who has trained extensively in all 4 styles? I know Chiba Sensei went to the Hombu's of 3 of those styles.

Last edited by Mark Balogh : 04-29-2004 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 04-29-2004, 12:30 PM   #68
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Peter Goldsbury has trained pretty extensively in more than one linneage...and he threw me with no problemo...

RT (It was a fun ride, too...)

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Old 04-29-2004, 05:22 PM   #69
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

I get the impression from reading this thread that some think Tohei was a post-war student. Check your history, he was quite pre-war. His unique approach to Aikido fits his preferences and is not necessarily indicative of the training he received from Ueshiba. At one time he suggested that only 60% of his taijutsu was Ueshiba influenced--I'd have to dig up that quote, I can't recall where it is exactly. In any event, he was very much a part of the Hell dojo climate; he simply chose another expression of the art.

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James Bostwick
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Old 04-29-2004, 09:56 PM   #70
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Hi all,

Though the AJ's Chart of O Sensei's direct students does not specifically state O Sensei trained who at where and for how long, etc. it does show when these students commenced their training in aikido. Besides this chart, reading other historical literature do show that Shioda, Tohei and Tomiki did commenced their training before WW2, came back after the war and recommenced training with O Sensei at Iwama.

Most people perceived styles as "fighting" styles. In reality, they are about teaching methodology - the communication skill of the teacher and the teachers who came after him. Tomiki chose another path, blending judo and aikido to create competitive "games" in aikido. Shioda was chosen by people to teach aikido as self-defense. Dealing with mass of people (staff in departmental stores and police personnel in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police), Shioda had to take a different approach - the style of teaching in Yoshinkan is quite similar to karate classes where each techniques is taught in a step-by-step (kata) manner.

If one understands the concept of Shu-Ha-Ri, one would see ultimately that the "styles" lead to the same goal and point. Over time, O Sensei had trained students at various stages of his life - at the time when he was in his physical prime and at the time of his spiritual prime. This was evolution of his chosen art throughout his lfetime and if the students had/have stayed with him throughout this time, they too would have evolved with him and their skill and perceptions would also continue to evolve after him - this is a natural process of growth of wisdom. (Just compare the Wright brothers' plane a 100 years ago and the supersonic jets now).

It is getting too long. Maybe, other sensei can explain better.

Onegaishimasu

David
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Old 04-30-2004, 01:30 AM   #71
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Quote:
sanskara wrote:
I get the impression from reading this thread that some think Tohei was a post-war student. Check your history, he was quite pre-war. His unique approach to Aikido fits his preferences and is not necessarily indicative of the training he received from Ueshiba. At one time he suggested that only 60% of his taijutsu was Ueshiba influenced--I'd have to dig up that quote, I can't recall where it is exactly. In any event, he was very much a part of the Hell dojo climate; he simply chose another expression of the art.
Tohei Sensei started in 1939 and trained until he was drafted in 1942 (Source: Aiki Encyclopedia) but he didn't have the "flavor" of the pre-war folks. I think he and O-sensei were very much in sync as they came out of the war... both had a vital spiritual compenent to their training which influenced how they percieved and executed their waza. That's why O-Sensei invested so much responsibility in Tohei Sensei. It was only later that Tohei had problems with other Honbu teachers and the Doshu wwhich lad to the split.

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Old 04-30-2004, 09:55 PM   #72
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Tohei Sensei started in 1939 and trained until he was drafted in 1942 (Source: Aiki Encyclopedia) but he didn't have the "flavor" of the pre-war folks.
Not sure what this means, George. Flavor? He was there, he trained with those people, he was respected amongst said peers, he went in a different direction than Shioda et al--end of story.

Quote:
I think he and O-sensei were very much in sync as they came out of the war... both had a vital spiritual compenent to their training which influenced how they percieved and executed their waza.
Apparently, they were in sync before as well. Tohei's fifth Dan, rewarded long before the draft, is a perfect example. Additionally, Ueshiba's Spirituality and that of Tohei's was drastically different post war. I would suggest that they were more in sync technically than Spiritually. Ueshiba saw many of the fundamental components of Aikido as being supernatural (Kami, etc.); Tohei views Ki and martial competency as the product of training that anyone can do.

For confirmation, please see the story on AJ about Ueshiba chiding a student for not being able to push Tohei over during a morning class. Tohei had been drinking the night before, and in Ueshiba's mind, could not have been an adequate host for Kami. Consequently, he shouldn't have been able to demonstrate such a feat of stability. But to Tohei, there is no relationship between such skill and Divine collaboration. Even in the current Ki Society, the emphasis is on Shin Shin Toitsu Do and not on Ueshiba's post-war peace, love, and harmony philosophies.

Quote:
That's why O-Sensei invested so much responsibility in Tohei Sensei. It was only later that Tohei had problems with other Honbu teachers and the Doshu wwhich lad to the split.
Again, ability probably had more to do with this than Spirituality (on both counts.) Tohei post-war was developing his own theories about the importance of Ki, influenced primarily by the Ichikukai (not Ueshiba) and then later, the Tempukai.

George, I wouldn't sell Tohei short, the man's phenomenal. He didn't get special attention and consideration from Ueshiba because his philosophies jibed. Perhaps, your experiences with his organization have yet to adequately confirm this.

You know, I've followed your posts on AJ related to your new found love of Systema--congratulations, by the way. When I read them and your dissection of the art's components, however, I can't help but think that much of what you speak of has been practiced in the Ki no Kenkyukai since its inception. I guess sometimes packaging matters. By your own admission, you couldn't find those precepts in Aikido.

In any event, this is the second post of mine about Tohei that you've seen fit to correct or "clarify" in the past week. Meanwhile, you mention Saotome ad nauseum, often in a way that directly contradicts my experiences with Schools of Ueshiba dojos, and yet I hold my tongue. Oh well, to each his own...

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James Bostwick
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Old 04-30-2004, 11:17 PM   #73
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Quote:
Mark Balogh wrote:
1) Saotome Sensei said that being uke for O'sensei was like attacking and being thrown by a ghost. I believe (and some may disagree) that O'sensei at his peak was the finest practioner of aikido that has ever been. He was soft, relaxed and immovable. Tamurai Sensei is like this, that is what I mean by the best I've seen (in the flesh). I have never come across anyone (hard style or soft style) who has disputed his aikido. I think following O'sensei's example it is clear what "better" is.
I would probably tend to agree with you, others may not. There are high ranking instructors out there who have a reputation for being hard and brutal yet there are people who seek them out as instructors. These people want/need something different so for them the "soft, relaxed" aikido is not better. I have my preferences but that is exactly what they are, preferences. I can't honestly drop a blanket over a style or way of doing things and call it better. I can say it's better for me but that's about as far as I can comfortably take it.

Quote:
Mark Balogh wrote:
2) A wider variety of the people? You are suggesting a martial art for the masses?
OH NO!! HEAVEN FORBID!! Sure, why not? I'm not saying everyone will do it but everyone who's interested should be able to give it a go. I was lucky enough to find an instructor that I "fit" with right off. If there's a bigger pool of personalities to pull from there's a better chance others will find an instructor they "fit" with too.

Quote:
Mark Balogh wrote:
Is that good for aikido technically?
Again, this could go either way. If I"m a person who believes that we all need to follow the path that O-Sensei took with his personal training, from hard/uber-martial to soft/squishy, I'd probably say no. If I'm some one who thinks that we can stand on what came before us to reach even higher I'd more than likely say yes (I'll let you guess which one I am )

Quote:
Mark Balogh wrote:
I don't have the answers
I think we're in the same boat here
Hell, I don't know the questions most of the time.

Quote:
Mark Balogh wrote:
personally I am very intrigued by how and what O'sensei taught his close students, when they had one on one tuition and like.
That's cool. It's never been a concern of mine. I have a hard enough time just trying to understand what's going on in our little dojo.

Quote:
Mark Balogh wrote:
What do you think BD?
  • That we probaly agree more than disagree
  • That it'd be fun to meet on the mat someday and train with you.
  • That fried egg and smoked provolone cheese sandwiches are yummy

Best,
Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 05-01-2004, 07:37 AM   #74
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Quote:
sanskara wrote:
Not sure what this means, George. Flavor? He was there, he trained with those people, he was respected amongst said peers, he went in a different direction than Shioda et al--end of story.


Apparently, they were in sync before as well. Tohei's fifth Dan, rewarded long before the draft, is a perfect example. Additionally, Ueshiba's Spirituality and that of Tohei's was drastically different post war. I would suggest that they were more in sync technically than Spiritually. Ueshiba saw many of the fundamental components of Aikido as being supernatural (Kami, etc.); Tohei views Ki and martial competency as the product of training that anyone can do.

For confirmation, please see the story on AJ about Ueshiba chiding a student for not being able to push Tohei over during a morning class. Tohei had been drinking the night before, and in Ueshiba's mind, could not have been an adequate host for Kami. Consequently, he shouldn't have been able to demonstrate such a feat of stability. But to Tohei, there is no relationship between such skill and Divine collaboration. Even in the current Ki Society, the emphasis is on Shin Shin Toitsu Do and not on Ueshiba's post-war peace, love, and harmony philosophies.



Again, ability probably had more to do with this than Spirituality (on both counts.) Tohei post-war was developing his own theories about the importance of Ki, influenced primarily by the Ichikukai (not Ueshiba) and then later, the Tempukai.

George, I wouldn't sell Tohei short, the man's phenomenal. He didn't get special attention and consideration from Ueshiba because his philosophies jibed. Perhaps, your experiences with his organization have yet to adequately confirm this.

You know, I've followed your posts on AJ related to your new found love of Systema--congratulations, by the way. When I read them and your dissection of the art's components, however, I can't help but think that much of what you speak of has been practiced in the Ki no Kenkyukai since its inception. I guess sometimes packaging matters. By your own admission, you couldn't find those precepts in Aikido.

In any event, this is the second post of mine about Tohei that you've seen fit to correct or "clarify" in the past week. Meanwhile, you mention Saotome ad nauseum, often in a way that directly contradicts my experiences with Schools of Ueshiba dojos, and yet I hold my tongue. Oh well, to each his own...
Ok, hold on... a) I don't recall EVER saying anything that in any way referred to Tohei Sensei's abilities. It happens that my own teacher always spoke VERY highly of him.

b) my post this time (I don't remember the last one you refer to) did not in any way contradict what you were saying. In fact I threw it in as a factual detail SUPPORTING what you had said. You said he was a pre-war deshi and I supplied the dates.

As for what I added, it wasn't in contrast to anything you had previously said that I can see. It was merely my take on what seemed to happen after the war. Tohei Sensei was the pre-eminent representative of the art, as far as most of the world was concerned. When I said he was in sync with O-Sensei, I didn't mean he believed the SAME things, just that his Aikido did have a spiritual side to it, unlike many of the other deshi who just seemed to want to do the waza. Anyway, you clarified that from the standpoint of your superior knowledge of the Tohei side of it... thanks it is clearer now. I still don't see a conflict here, I thought we were having a discussion.

I am sorry I talk about Saotome Sensei "ad nauseum". I try to talk about what I know. I have been his student for almost thirty years. Almost all of my Aikido experience is thoroughly colored by that experience. Rather than try to pass off things that I know as my own, I try to give credit where the ideas came from. I'll do that whether it's Saotome Sensei or any of the other teachers I have trained with. If I don't mention another teacher then I feel it is something I understand well enough to really call it my own.

Why you felt it necessary to attack the ASU as agroup I don't get at all... did I say something negative about the Ki Society or whther it reflects the abilities of its Founder? I don't recall ever commenting on that. Nor do I ever recall contrasting what I have seen in Systema with any particular group in Aikido. I have merely pointed out that the way they train may have some benefits for Aikido in GENERAL. If you look at my posts on the subject you can see that any implied criticism can be applied to the folks from within my own organization as well as without.

If you felt that what I, or any of the other folks who posted about Systema, had to say could have been augmented with information about areas in which Tohei Sensei's system accomplished the same things within a traditional Aikido structure it would have been great to hear from you. You act like I was attacking you in some way I can't fathom. In fact, from what little I know about what you guys do, there may be some very interesting areas to explore that would benefit Aikido folks in general. If I had happened to have experienced them myself I would certainly be telling others about it.

Anyway, I am sorry if I have somehow offended you in my posts. I was completely unaware of having done so. When I have criticized any aspect of Aikido I have always been careful NOT to single anyone out but rather to keep the observations general. That means they may apply to what you do or they may not. Actually I would think that some of the ideas in my posts recently would be very much in agreement with someone from your side of things but I could be wrong.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 05-01-2004, 11:15 AM   #75
sanskara
 
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Re: Is Morihei Ueshiba really O Sensei

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Ok, hold on... a) I don't recall EVER saying anything that in any way referred to Tohei Sensei's abilities. It happens that my own teacher always spoke VERY highly of him.

b) my post this time (I don't remember the last one you refer to) did not in any way contradict what you were saying. In fact I threw it in as a factual detail SUPPORTING what you had said. You said he was a pre-war deshi and I supplied the dates.
Sounds like there was a bit of a communication breakdown on this one. The way I read your post was different than what you intended.

Quote:
As for what I added, it wasn't in contrast to anything you had previously said that I can see. It was merely my take on what seemed to happen after the war. Tohei Sensei was the pre-eminent representative of the art, as far as most of the world was concerned. When I said he was in sync with O-Sensei, I didn't mean he believed the SAME things, just that his Aikido did have a spiritual side to it, unlike many of the other deshi who just seemed to want to do the waza.
Okay, I'm with you on that one. It's just that for someone who was so instrumental in the spread of Aikido, Tohei's contributions are very much under-valued in the current technical landscape of Aikido. FYI for those following this discussion: I'm not a current member or supporter of the Ki no Kenkyukai.

Quote:
Anyway, you clarified that from the standpoint of your superior knowledge of the Tohei side of it... thanks it is clearer now. I still don't see a conflict here, I thought we were having a discussion.
We always were, George. Perhaps, some of my statements near the end of the message gave an alternate impression.

Quote:
I am sorry I talk about Saotome Sensei "ad nauseum".
Alright, a bit harsh on my part. My apologies. Still, although it can be argued that you give credit where credit's due, to extol Saotome for all things Aikido undermines your contribution to the study of the art and what you've acquired through hard work and firsthand experience. It's like looking up the chain of command for the answers--something I abhor about the hierarchical structure of Aikido.

Quote:
Why you felt it necessary to attack the ASU as agroup I don't get at all...
I don't think I crossed that far over the line. I simply said that your experiences with the organization and mine don't gist. Some of it could be simply a difference in taste, or experience with different schools.

Quote:
If you felt that what I, or any of the other folks who posted about Systema, had to say could have been augmented with information about areas in which Tohei Sensei's system accomplished the same things within a traditional Aikido structure it would have been great to hear from you.
The truth is that my Aikido is not necessarily Tohei-centric, although there are strong influences in that vein. Generally speaking, if you find something in another art that complements your Aikido, there's not much else to say. I certainly don't want to be the guy on AJ that always chimes in with "Tohei Sensei taught us that" everytime somebody mentions something of value gleaned from a seminar.

Quote:
You act like I was attacking you in some way I can't fathom.
Well, tone is something impossible to convey over the Internet. Truth be told, I was just laying it out as I saw it. I can't honestly say that I felt defensive or angered by your post, for what it's worth.

Quote:
In fact, from what little I know about what you guys do, there may be some very interesting areas to explore that would benefit Aikido folks in general. If I had happened to have experienced them myself I would certainly be telling others about it.
There's good and bad, like in any approach to the art.

Quote:
Anyway, I am sorry if I have somehow offended you in my posts. I was completely unaware of having done so.
I really wasn't offended, and I apologize if I gave you that impression. As I said earlier, I was just calling it as I see it--nothing more.

Quote:
Actually I would think that some of the ideas in my posts recently would be very much in agreement with someone from your side of things but I could be wrong.
We probably agree more than we disagree. Communication's a b*tch.

Regards,
James Bostwick
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