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Old 06-08-2003, 03:53 PM   #1
Mark Nicoll
 
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Exclamation Aikido Origins

If you imagine a tree. It has it's roots, strong and unmoving, no matter the storm. It has branches that reach out for the rain that may fall and for the sun that might shine. In it's centre you have a massive trunk. It may sway this way or that, but it will always remain strong. The trunk will grow and grow and remain strong. The branch will grow and grow, but eventually, it will break off. If you remove a branch, does the tree cease to be a tree?

With this in mind, why is there a need to create branches in Aikido? Good examples are Tomiki Aikido, Ki Aikido & Yoshin Aikido.
The roots will always be the same, strong and unmoving, but the branch will eventually break away and no longer be a part of that tree.

I appreciate that Aikido must evolve and grow as O'Sensei wished it to, but is there really a need for so many different styles of Aikido?

"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box."
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Old 06-08-2003, 05:47 PM   #2
Greg Jennings
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A: Reasoning by analogy is always highly suspect.

B: Do you think that someone creates an aikido organization just for the fun of it? Or do you think it more likely that the creation addressed a preceived need?

Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 06-08-2003, 05:55 PM   #3
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Re: Aikido Origins

Quote:
Mark Nicoll wrote:
With this in mind, why is there a need to create branches in Aikido? Good examples are Tomiki Aikido, Ki Aikido & Yoshin Aikido.

The roots will always be the same, strong and unmoving, but the branch will eventually break away and no longer be a part of that tree.
Nice analogy but by exclusion I assume you imply that Aikikai is the root. If that's the case there are some who consider the root changing and not as strong as it once was. If by root you just mean Ueshiba M. there are some who consider that his budo changed over the years and the end product not as strong as it was.

That doesn't mean that the different schools were created because a certain deshi thought he could do it better. There were a number of reasons, many beginning before Ueshiba M. died and certainly many after.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-08-2003, 07:10 PM   #4
Charles Hill
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How about this for an analogy?

Over a hundred years ago, a seed from a Daito Ryu Sokaku Takeda tree was planted in the fertile soil made up of Shingon Tantric mysticism, sumo, judo, and spear/bayonet training all practiced by Morihei Ueshiba. The seed was nourished by rich nutrients from the teachings of Omoto Kyo and Onisaburo Deguchi and the warmth of the sun of personal spiritual and martial experience. The seed eventually became the tree known as the Aikikai.

This tree produced its own seeds which fell into various environments. These seeds grew into trees themselves, all related to and influenced by that original seed. While there is some resemblance, the influence of the various environments was strong, and they can't be said to be the same tree. They all have to be judged on their own merits.

Also, they don't rely on each other. If the Ki Society were to disappear tomorrow, there'd be no effect on the other trees. (just an example!)

Just a thought,

Charles
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Old 06-08-2003, 07:25 PM   #5
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Works for me.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-08-2003, 09:00 PM   #6
Dave Miller
 
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Thumbs down

Very nice indeed, Charles.


DAVE

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Old 06-09-2003, 01:53 AM   #7
erikmenzel
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Quote:
Greg Jennings wrote:
B: Do you think that someone creates an aikido organization just for the fun of it? Or do you think it more likely that the creation addressed a preceived need?
Yes, I do think that a lot of organisations are created for the fun.

Unless you of course see the stroking of the leading men's ego, the filling of their wallet and the satisfaction of their need for power and control as a preceived need.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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Old 06-09-2003, 02:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Erik Jurrien Knoops (erikknoops) wrote:
Unless you of course see the stroking of the leading men's ego, the filling of their wallet and the satisfaction of their need for power and control as a preceived need.
What are you implying?

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-09-2003, 06:29 AM   #9
Greg Jennings
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Quote:
Erik Jurrien Knoops (erikknoops) wrote:
Yes, I do think that a lot of organisations are created for the fun.

Unless you of course see the stroking of the leading men's ego, the filling of their wallet and the satisfaction of their need for power and control as a preceived need.
Issues of this ilk is why I said "perceived".

There are many other "perceived needs" some good, some not so good.

E.g., Elitism.

Sincerely,

Greg Jennings
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Old 06-09-2003, 08:57 AM   #10
erikmenzel
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
What are you implying?
Not all things men do are good or from good intentions, not even if the result in the end seems ok. The same holds for aikido organisations.

The same holds for individual dojo, heck even for individual aikidoka, but at that level the interests involved then seem often smaller hence easier to deal with or ignore.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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Old 06-09-2003, 11:53 AM   #11
Ron Tisdale
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Erik,

Can you use some specific examples please? I do realize that you are trying to be rather coy...unfortunately, I personally don't find "being coy" attractive in women, let alone men, and certainly not in a martial artist.

Ron Tisdale

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Old 06-09-2003, 12:43 PM   #12
opherdonchin
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I like coyness in men and women and in martial artists, especially.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 06-09-2003, 12:58 PM   #13
Ron Tisdale
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1) Tending to avoid people and social situations; reserved.

Nothing wrong with this one, I simply prefer people who are more outgoing.

2) Affectedly and usually flirtatiously shy or modest. See Synonyms at shy

This is a pain in the a[cough]

3) Annoyingly unwilling to make a commitment.

In a martial artist, this usually means a short career. Or a good thumping. Sometimes both.

Just to be clear.

RT

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Old 06-09-2003, 04:20 PM   #14
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To be honest, I dont like the inter Aikido politics, we are all part of the same family, learning a wonderful art. I dont know about you, but I focus more on actually learning than worrying about trees.

I dont mean this disrespectfully to Mark, ofcourse our History is important, but thats all it is, our history. Never let it dictate who you are, but let it be part of who you'll become.

I'd be pretty upset if Aikido had remainded unchanged, because this goes against the very fabric of nature, which, in essence, is what Aikido is all about, becoming more natural. Conflict, Dynamics, Power, Softness, lightness are all part of the reconciliation of opposites which makes Aikido so fansinating.

In my ever humble opinion,

"Minimum Effort, Maximum Effciency."
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Old 06-09-2003, 06:07 PM   #15
PeterR
 
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There are some men who were given little choice, made no money or ever intended to, and by all accounts fully understood the do.

They didn't create the organization for fun either.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-09-2003, 10:27 PM   #16
Edward
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I agree with Erik Knoops that the initial reason for creating aikido organizations has more to do with egos and full wallets and poor aikido spirit. If Ron wants me to name organizations, I would say all the off-shoots of the founders' aikido, and their own off-shoots, without any exception.

However to look at the bright side, this shism has allowed us to freeze in time M. Ueshiba's style at various periods of its development, and consequently is an invaluable treasure for aikido historians and the serious practitioner. When I look at Yoshinkan and Tomiki techniques for instance, I see some amazing stuff which has been - very unfortunately - neglected by the Aikikai Hombu and Ki Aikido.

I doubt very much that the founders of the off-shoot styles had such a noble purpose in mind when they did what they did. Luckily, the end result is not so bad, after all.
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Old 06-09-2003, 11:19 PM   #17
PeterR
 
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To be blunt Edward I put the fragmentation of Aikido pretty squarely on Ueshiba K.'s shoulders. In the case of Kenji Tomiki he was esentially frozen out and then only after Ueshiba M. had passed away. I can't comment of Shioda S.'s reasons other than to say that out of all of Ueshiba's uchideshi he most clearly saw the future storm. The attacks on Kenji Tomiki went far beyond what will be discussed here.

Ego - his only other choice would have been to stop practicing Aikido. His teacher never asked him to do that.

Wallet. Show me the cash. Unlike the Aikikai the JAA does not expect grading fees from beyond its shores. No one, least of all Kenji Tomiki made money off Aikido.

Poor Aikido spirit - where is the Aikido spirit in rolling over and allowing yours life's work to be trampled on.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-10-2003, 12:24 AM   #18
Bronson
 
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Quote:
I would say all the off-shoots of the founders' aikido, and their own off-shoots, without any exception.
As someone who practices in an off-shoot of an off-shoot I find this mildy offensive. That's a pretty broad statement to make about the intent and character of some highly respected people that you have never met.

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 06-10-2003, 01:10 AM   #19
Edward
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
To be blunt Edward I put the fragmentation of Aikido pretty squarely on Ueshiba K.'s shoulders.
I have always respected and supported your position against the idealization and idolization of the person of M. Ueshiba, and agreed with it completely, Peter.

But now, I am starting to feel that this anti-idealization position of yours is not entirely based on an disinterested love of the truth, but rather as a grudge against the founder and his successor and plainly taking sides with Tomiki Sensei.

I was expecting a reply from you to my post, but I am a little disappointed as I counted on more objectivity from you in dealing with this subject.
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Old 06-10-2003, 01:20 AM   #20
PeterR
 
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Edward read the post - Ueshiba K. is not the founder of Aikido last I checked. His father Ueshiba M. was.

I do think Kenji Tomiki was seriously done by and from what I have been told was hurt and surprised by what occured. He had long before reached an understanding with Kaiso and with several of his deshi.

And yes - in response to insinuations that Kenji Tomiki's actions were dictated by ego and love of money - I will definately take his side. I see no reason to perpetuate a slander.

Last edited by PeterR : 06-10-2003 at 01:29 AM.

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Old 06-10-2003, 01:29 AM   #21
Edward
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Poor Aikido spirit - where is the Aikido spirit in rolling over and allowing yours life's work to be trampled on.
I am not taking sides here, but consider it logically. Osensei has always repeated that there is no competition in aikido, and the reason explained quite clearly. You do not possibly expect to stay in good terms with the founder if you insist on going against your teacher's will and include competiton into His art.

I myself believe that some kind of competition would benefit aikido. The lack of competition has created a situation where any a**hole with good public relation abilities can become a very highly respected personality regardless of his aikido abilities. Competition would reduce such individuals, and they are not a few, to their original size.
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Old 06-10-2003, 01:36 AM   #22
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
I do think Kenji Tomiki was seriously done by and from what I have been told was hurt and surprised by what occured. He had long before reached an understanding with Kaiso and with several of his deshi.

And yes - in response to insinuations that Kenji Tomiki's actions were dictated by ego and love of money - I will definately take his side. I see no reason to perpetuate a slander.
Well, regarding the ego and money part, I didn't mean any disrespect to anyone, but what I am saying that we are all human. Osensei was no saint, neither was Tomiki sensei or Shioda sensei or others. Certainly there must have been a combination of many considerations into these separations, where definitely egoistical and financial factors must have played a certain role.

As for the agreement of Tomiki sensei with M. Ueshiba and his Deshi, I would be very interested to learn more about that, and would appreciate any links to the information
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Old 06-10-2003, 01:42 AM   #23
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Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Can you use some specific examples please?
No. It is not my intention to discredit people or organisations. As I just want to point out that aikido is something done by men and thus not free of all the aspects and pitfalls connected to ordinary life, I dont see any need to specificly mention names. Most people can find these examples they need themselves without any trouble.
Quote:
I do realize that you are trying to be rather coy...unfortunately, I personally don't find "being coy" attractive in women, let alone men, and certainly not in a martial artist.
As English is not my native tongue had to use a dictionary to understand what you mean by that. Maybe I misunderstood this, but it came across as deliberatly insulting, especially because it deals with what you find attractive, something in which I am not interested and against which no reasonable respons seems possible. Within dutch cultur this would be seen as picking a fight.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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Old 06-10-2003, 02:09 AM   #24
PeterR
 
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Edward - there is no doubt that Ueshiba M. (Kaiso) was not happy with the idea shiai and its potential to develope into kousou but the break was seriously exagerated. Kenji Tomiki was teaching at Aikikai Honbu well after he introduced his system although increasingly he went his own way. You see mention of him popping up at various Aikikai events for example Tohei's ninth dan promotion party and he continued to visit his old teacher. It is debateable when if ever he stopped being a member of the Aikikai.

No doubt some of the later deshi took him to task although some, like Kobayashi H. ended up supporting him. The latter helped Kenji Tomiki introduce the randori method to the Kansai Universities and took Tetsuro Nariyama (Tomiki's chosen successor) as uchideshi for six years (the real meaning - he lived with Kobayashi Shihan). The last embu I was at had judges that were not from our Aikido organization.

While the founder was alive Kenji Tomiki was left pretty much to his own devices. It did get very ugly a few years after Ueshiba M. died and I think the concept of shiai was used more as a weapon than the reason.

Now I got to back off a bit because it is beginning to feel I am doing the same to Ueshiba's son that I feel is being done to Tomiki. He was put into a difficult position in that although he had effectively built up the Aikikai his postion relied on his connection to his father. The old uchideshi were a threat if not directly, indirectly to his prestige. His response, not atypical of Japanese organizations was to clear house culminating in the leaving of Tohei. There are a number of people who believe that methods that he employed went beyond the pale but that is only a matter of opinion.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-10-2003, 02:48 AM   #25
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Thanks, Peter, for the interesting information. I knew that Tomiki Sensei was still teaching at the Aikikai from an interview of Kobayashi Shihan, eventhough he made it a point to mention that Tomiki Sensei was teaching classical aikido not competition aikido at the Aikikai hombu.

It is always intreaguing to learn about aikido history, and remember that aikido, as any other human activity, has its fair share of ugliness too.
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