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Old 07-16-2003, 08:49 PM   #1
Largo
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do and jutsu

This is something that my sensei said recently and I have been thinking about.

First you need to learn aikijutsu. If you don't have the power of "jutsu" then you can't understand "do".

So, what do you all think? Do we need to learn hard core "jutsu" style technique first? Or can we go straight to the more enlightened "do" aspects of our art?


(please bear in mind that this conversation was in japanese and I'm not a translator)
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Old 07-16-2003, 10:04 PM   #2
PhilJ
 
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My first instructor said something similar, repeatedly, and I tend to agree.

He said that aikido training takes place on three levels: physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual, in that order. If we jumped into class studying the spiritual aspects right away, we'd never know what's going on, much less would we have any students.

The physical is the 'easiest' for most folks to start with, because it is something we can see and experience directly without a lot of difficulty.

Case in point: I know an instructor who teaches by starting with the "do" aspect. I am sad to say that in over ten his class has never grown past five students. Not that that's bad, but rather a statement to the difficulty for someone brand new just starting out. It's great for people with experience, but I don't think it's appropriate for 'newbies'.

I don't consider it 'hardcore' to start with only technique, but really the simplest for beginners to experience. Once you get some technique under your belt, you can start expanding into other levels or modes of training and have a basis to back up your ideas.

Good question Paul.

*Phil

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Old 07-17-2003, 09:23 AM   #3
Paula Lydon
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~~IMHO, I have heard these things said and have experienced them in my own MA developemetn and in observing others. I would comment thusly:

1) I believe you must either learn jutsu first to have a solid physical foundation and understanding of the body and how to affect it and then move on to higher practice. OR jutsu and do can be taught together, though a longer and often more confusing approach (in the beginning).

2) Ultimately, I think part of this answer depends on the goal of the art/practictioner. Do you desire solid street self-defense? Preservation of a traditional art? Dance-like movement? Want to just kick butt? Life long pursuit of the physical/metaphysical balance and enlightenment that MA study can provide?

Good post, thanks!

~~Paula~~
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Old 07-17-2003, 11:51 AM   #4
opherdonchin
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Many paths up the mountain.

The problem with focusing on "do" before "jutsu" is that it encourages the fallacy that the body and its habits are not central to the process of learning.

The problem with focusing on "jutsu" before "do" is that it encourages the fallacy that the jutsu is somehow central or fundamental to the do, and that your skill in jutsu is somehow a mark of your 'skill' in do.

However, every path has its pitfalls. The hard part for me is recognizing what things about me have put me on my particular path and understanding how different other people can be from that.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 07-17-2003, 01:52 PM   #5
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Kihon is kihon for a reason.

I think it is important to start with the physical aspect of Aikido. But, I also think it is important to convey to a new student knows that there is more to the equation than just jutsu.

Mike Ellefson
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:59 PM   #6
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I like this analogy: jutsu is like to build your own boat piece by piece put all what you may need inside (engines, gps, a/c, dvd) and perfect your sailing skills, the do will last as long your life will, both needs commitment, dedication and both are joyful, and gets more interesting as the time passes.

Suposing well maintenaince and upgrades is also a life work, the sail across the oceans distant islands and far shores can make develop your life from that perspective the results of sailing the do will shows all the time, at this time the way you make your own through the oceans the sailing's technique is almost irrelevant altough high leveled the great inner changes comes from the do, keeping it simple, enjoing the little rutines.

"The problem with focusing on "jutsu" before "do" is that it encourages the fallacy that the jutsu is somehow central or fundamental to the do, and that your skill in jutsu is somehow a mark of your 'skill' in do."Opher

Great! this is the common believe right? so it is a two measure thing?

Pretoriano
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Old 07-18-2003, 01:05 AM   #7
PeterR
 
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I will disagree with the first you must learn jutsu idea mainly because the moment you begin your journey you are practicing the Do. I'ld even go so far to say that the Do begins the momemnt you start thinking about taking up whatever path you choose (Chado, Budo, etc.).

I do think that the two terms is intertwinned and really can not be seperated. As Budo you can only progress in the Do through the practice of jutsu and the converse is also true. Consider Mushin - that is really not a technique per se but a goal of the Do. Master that and your jutsu will be far better than before you did.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-18-2003, 07:54 AM   #8
jk
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Quote:
Opher Donchin (opherdonchin) wrote:
The problem with focusing on "jutsu" before "do" is that it encourages the fallacy that the jutsu is somehow central or fundamental to the do, and that your skill in jutsu is somehow a mark of your 'skill' in do.
Dunno. For me, jutsu (jitsu, jishu, technical skill, etc.) is fundamental to do (dao, etc). Granted, a decent level of jutsu means just that...a decent level of jutsu, and not necessarily a sign that you're all that advanced (if at all) along the do. However, jutsu should be recognized as a precondition (one of the signs, if you may) that you may indeed be traveling on the road, and not just theorizing about it. Ain't no do without the jutsu; jutsu is, if not central, at least fundamental to do.
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Old 07-18-2003, 08:21 AM   #9
opherdonchin
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Yeah, I don't think I said that very well, John. I have a vague idea in my head of what I mean, but I couldn't find a clear expression of it.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 07-18-2003, 12:44 PM   #10
mle
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Jutsu ... Do ...

What's the difference?

If you do Jutsu for years, you are following the Do.

If you're doing Do diligently, you're doing Jutsu.

They're different expressions of the same thing. Interchangeable. Reflective and reflexive at once. Complementary and equal.

Chuck

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Old 07-18-2003, 08:19 PM   #11
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First: your level in jutsu Doesnt have to show or to be comparable to your do level, this is not a question, is a statement, the example who prove it is easy,

Questioning just have the purpose of hearing and enhancing points of view between participants, Aanyways I have never meet any human being having simetrical developments on any area of life

My example is very easy to follow, constitutes one of my points of view and is just a though while writing.

I prefer to assume that most serious members here and in other internet forums exerpt few ones arent just intellectual people so they get along very well jutsu, do and what they write. Same case to me Computer geeks are for rule innefectual on the mat, I consider most of you as serious as I am, practising hard to gain the desired skills, searching, discovering, implementing, solid and secure on our self defense skills.

To Rehse: yes thats obvious, is like to say youre in a path of chemistry when first you though or made some chemical reaction formulas is true but..

Every one can achieve mushin through jutsu and have or not idea of the "do" but following thow.

To Emily: I need some massage, my body arrives destroyed after trainning sesions, do you offer services abroad?

Praetorian
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Old 07-18-2003, 08:50 PM   #12
jk
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Opher, I agree with the gist of what you wrote. Those who are content to remain knuckle-dragging technicians may be missing out. I'm only particular about jutsu being the rock upon which you build your do.

Regards,
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Old 07-18-2003, 10:48 PM   #13
opherdonchin
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Quote:
John wrote:
I'm only particular about jutsu being the rock upon which you build your do.
I think I know what you mean, but honestly these ideas really confuse me. For instance, I'm not sure if when we say 'do' we mean some particular 'do' (like Aikido) which is hooked up to some particular jutsu, or whether we mean each person's individual do, which may in part contain Aikido and be contained by it, but will be different from anyone else's in many ways.

If we mean a particular do, then, of course, the do is very hard to access without the jutsu. In some sense, it's a tautology: if you aren't accessing through the jutsu, then it must be some other way. On the other hand, to argue with what I just said, I've heard people say often about people or actions that were far removed from Aikido that there was a lot of Aikido in them. Maybe it is possible to be following the do without any of the traditional jutsu.

If we mean an individual do, then it's even more complicated. I guess I believe that you need some skills, bodily or mental understanding, in order to have a 'way.' I guess that these would be your jutsu and your do would be built up out of them and around them. It's sort of like saying you can't have a theory without having at least a couple of data points.

This stuff gets me very confused.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 07-18-2003, 11:23 PM   #14
DaveForis
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Jutsu a solid foundation? That's complete bull.

"Consider Mushin - that is really not a technique per se but a goal of the Do. Master that and your jutsu will be far better than before you did." -- Peter Rehse

EXACTLY. Mushin is the real foundation. Remember the phrase "True victory is victory over the self?" THAT's what that means. Once you have your own mind under control and silent--not wasting energy daydreaming (Aikido's vaunted efficiency right there) and completely aware of and connected to your surroundings (Hey! Look at that! )--then you have true self-control. I read some of "The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido" today and the author stated that O Sensei claimed that was the true beginning of training. Look at his life: he began training in Buddhist meditation techniques when he was very young. It isn't until later that he began studying the martial arts.

Let's not forget Ueshiba's intent in creating Aikido. He created it as a spiritual exercise. Aikido is not AT ALL about self-defense. It's about self-mastery. And to get that, you have to get your mind under control since, after all, it's the driver of your vehicle on this crazy highway of Life. Let's remember that once you control your own mind, it does not control YOU anymore. Anyone who doubts the accuracy of this statement can try doing a simple breath counting meditation and focus only on the counting. Watch what your mind does. In any case, in some ways the Do is a heck of a lot harder than than the Jutsu as you have an obligation, if you're a serious Aikidoist, to take that Do into your daily life. That's a lot of training. You need some serious will to keep the desire to continually refine yourself at all times.

I'd also like to add that the reason that you have to study hard-core jutsu as a foundation is that that is willpower training right there. So if you DON'T meditate, after a decade or so of rather capable people who are out for your blood (in a joyous manner, of course. ) you eventually learn to focus and be aware and have the mind go silent. If you lower the danger/reality of the situation, there just isn't enough reason there for the mind to go "Oh crap! I need to pay attention!" Spiritual growth takes a LOT of effort and determination. The kind of mental energy generated by SERIOUS combatative study can help to fuel the drive for enlightenment. Of course, for most of us, learning a method of combat isn't actually a matter of life-and-death as we won't take much of the technique we learn off of the mat into our everyday life.

So anyway. My out-of-left-field reply to this thread is that it is developing true self-control--of the mind--and thus willpower that is the firm basis of Aikido. Without it, the technician of the Jutsu is just a hobbyist and the seeker if the Do is just a dreamer. If you can't meditate and develop that self-mastery in your daily life _alongside_ some regular modern-style Aikido practice, then a long course in Aikijutsu is second best.

Maybe I should put it more briefly:

The mind directs the body to work to cultivate the spirit.

Without the mind properly directing, the body works uselessly and no cultivation occurs.

Make sense?

Behind every flaw in technique is a flaw in the mind or spirit
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Old 07-19-2003, 04:55 PM   #15
Pretoriano
 
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Good post Mr. Foris but no, Mushin is just a state of being.

Take one of those seniors that have been around for a while and show him (parallel not mixed) a continous say 20 clases

show him a set of techniques of any art and show him what the "do" is about, oral, examples and writngs.

The clases ended the man

easily embraced, asimilated and made "do" his own if it have been his desire, but he will still dealing to get well trough the jutsu techniques. Well, the younger the disciple the oposite of this case comes to play.

Harder simple than this.

PRAETORIAN
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Old 07-19-2003, 07:38 PM   #16
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: do and jutsu

Quote:
Paul Mihalik (Largo) wrote:
This is something that my sensei said recently and I have been thinking about.

First you need to learn aikijutsu. If you don't have the power of "jutsu" then you can't understand "do".

So, what do you all think? Do we need to learn hard core "jutsu" style technique first? Or can we go straight to the more enlightened "do" aspects of our art?

(please bear in mind that this conversation was in japanese and I'm not a translator)
I would not worry about it too much. I have heard many shihans here state that you should practise in accordance with your age. Younger people will train harder than older members and this is not merely because the latter have more experience. But this really is an example of a general Japanese cultural rule: that age influences the way we (should) behave.

Note that this is a separate question from that of making the technique actually work (a fundamental 'jutsu' question) and a still separate question from whether your teacher meant 'jutsu'/'dou' as an abstract concept or as a concrete martial art.

In general I thinki it best to take Japanese nouns as abstract and uncountable, unless the context is obvious and counting words are included.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 07-29-2003, 05:35 PM   #17
Jesse Lee
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An aikijutsu Sensei, commenting on the "crime if contemporary aikido":
Quote:
http://www.ishiyamaryu.com/history.html
Seemed relevant to the current discussion, jutsu vs. do.

, can't find m s
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Old 07-30-2003, 10:08 AM   #18
Ron Tisdale
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Quote:
Jesse Lee wrote:
An aikijutsu Sensei, commenting on the "crime if contemporary aikido":

Seemed relevant to the current discussion, jutsu vs. do.
[cough]...

I wouldn't refer to this site myself...certainly not as an appeal to "authority"...

Or maybe I'm missing the sarcasm?

Ron (I'm a little dull today)
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Old 07-30-2003, 10:12 AM   #19
Eric Joyce
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Jesse Lee wrote: An aikijutsu Sensei, commenting on the "crime if contemporary aikido":

Seemed relevant to the current discussion, jutsu vs. do.

Jesse,

I read this sometime ago and I think it makes a good point, especially for this discussion. Ron, I don't think it was an appeal to authority, but rather a view that some aikidoka are beinging to question. Good discussion all around.

Eric Joyce
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Old 07-30-2003, 10:40 AM   #20
kironin
 
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Confused

Quote:
Jesse Lee wrote:
An aikijutsu Sensei, commenting on the "crime if contemporary aikido":

Seemed relevant to the current discussion, jutsu vs. do.
Well, the historical nonsense in the first section of that page doesn't exactly instill confidence in the opinion. Ueshiba specifically altered his techniques for older people. huh ? So when Saito Sensei or Chiba Sensei started aikido as teenagers in 1950's, O-sensei told them, I am going to teach you arts for older people. Koichi Tohei Sensei became 8th dan at 33 in 1954, OSensei told him, you are now 8th dan of arts for older people. If you want to learn the arts for younger people you need to go see Shioda or Tomiki. And by the way none of those early guys ever use soft technique. mmmm....

I guess I have to Tohei Sensei when I see him that I would be mocking him by trying to do what he is teaching me and not do some "real-world bone crunching jujutsu".

but what do I know, I don't have a Guiness World Record certificate.

Craig
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Old 07-30-2003, 10:55 AM   #21
opherdonchin
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I found the Aikijutsu writeup interesting and thought provoking. I particularly wondered about their description of their training and how similar it is to the training I've encountered or how different.

I tend to credit anyone's description of their own experience as legitimate and assume that they are honestly trying to express what they feel they've learned. The author feels that moving in a way that feels fast and deadly heightened his/her awareness and clarified their thoughts. I'm curious and intrigued and I wonder whether this is something I've missed out on in my training, or, perhaps, this is something I've been experiencing but haven't really noticed or put a name to.

The thing I feel is missing, though, is an awareness that, while their form of training offers them benefits that they are aware of, other forms of training may offer benefits that they simply haven't experienced and are not aware of. This kind of humility is very important to me, personally.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 07-30-2003, 01:34 PM   #22
Jesse Lee
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Ron wrote:
Quote:
I wouldn't refer to this site myself...certainly not as an appeal to "authority"...
Ron, thanks for giving me the benefit of your doubt... I only threw it out there for discussion, and personally I don't at all agree with the viewpoint expressed.

This Ishiyamaryu school is local to me, and I wish I had time to look into it w/o giving up training time in Aikido or BJJ. I would imagine training there would enrich any aikido student's aikido training. As long as s/he did not get too sucked up in the "crime of contemporary aikido" rhetoric.

, can't find m s
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Old 07-30-2003, 01:37 PM   #23
Jesse Lee
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Quote:
The thing I feel is missing, though, is an awareness that, while their form of training offers them benefits that they are aware of, other forms of training may offer benefits that they simply haven't experienced and are not aware of. This kind of humility is very important to me, personally.
Excellent point, well said!

, can't find m s
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Old 07-30-2003, 02:44 PM   #24
Ron Tisdale
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Hi Jesse,

If you do a search on E-Budo, you'll turn up some interesting things. Do you know where the instructor there claims to have learned "aikijutsu"? I tend to think of that term is certain specific ways...and when someone isn't up front about their "source" for it...

'Nough said.

RT

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 07-30-2003, 03:05 PM   #25
Jesse Lee
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Hi Ron,

No, all I know is what is on the www.ishiyamaryu.com site.

Do you have any links that point to those interesting things? I am intrigued but lack the patience to dig around in another forum looking for gold nuggets

, can't find m s
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