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Old 06-05-2004, 11:07 PM   #1
Charles Hill
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Aikikai/Kodokan history question

I recently read the article on "soke" by William Bodiford and have a question. Mr. Bodiford quotes another author as saying, "If the Kodokan does not recognize something as `judo`, then it is not judo. Therefore, there is no such thing as a new style of judo." How is it that the Kodokan has such power and the Aikikai does not. I`m sure that if the Aikikai had the power, it would have prevented Kinokenkyukai and Tomiki Ryu from using the word "aikido" in their respective names. Does anyone have historical info that would explain the difference?

Charles Hill
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Old 06-06-2004, 12:00 AM   #2
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
I recently read the article on "soke" by William Bodiford and have a question. Mr. Bodiford quotes another author as saying, "If the Kodokan does not recognize something as `judo`, then it is not judo. Therefore, there is no such thing as a new style of judo." How is it that the Kodokan has such power and the Aikikai does not. I`m sure that if the Aikikai had the power, it would have prevented Kinokenkyukai and Tomiki Ryu from using the word "aikido" in their respective names. Does anyone have historical info that would explain the difference?

Charles Hill
In the case of Tomiki, at least, they tried to pursuade him not to use the word "Aikido" in the name. He didn't listen, so short of going to court there's not much they could do. In fact, it's stll (AFAIK) the position of the Aikikai that Shodokan is not "Aikido", although I'm sure that they don't agree .

The "power" of the Kodokan is no more than that of the Aikikai, or of any organization with a trademark. Some arts (Kyokushinkai and Daito-ryu) are actually legally registered trademarks because of this kind of problem. So far as I know neither Judo nor Aikido is formally registered as a trademark in Japan - but trademark rights come through use (although registration is a great help in proving use), so the Kodokan and the Aikikai would probably have strong positions if it ever came into the legal arena (although you never know for sure what a court will decide).


Best,

Chris

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Old 06-06-2004, 01:31 AM   #3
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
The "power" of the Kodokan is no more than that of the Aikikai, or of any organization with a trademark. Some arts (Kyokushinkai and Daito-ryu) are actually legally registered trademarks because of this kind of problem. So far as I know neither Judo nor Aikido is formally registered as a trademark in Japan - but trademark rights come through use (although registration is a great help in proving use), so the Kodokan and the Aikikai would probably have strong positions if it ever came into the legal arena (although you never know for sure what a court will decide).

Best,
Chris

Oh that would really be a positive approach. One international organization that's really a federation of different organizations attempts to sue other international organizations decades after the fact over a name that has become nearly as generic as the term karate or kungfu. Lets sue Yoshinkan, AAA, Seidokan, etc. and various independents while you are at it.

Craig
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Old 06-06-2004, 01:56 AM   #4
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
Oh that would really be a positive approach. One international organization that's really a federation of different organizations attempts to sue other international organizations decades after the fact over a name that has become nearly as generic as the term karate or kungfu. Lets sue Yoshinkan, AAA, Seidokan, etc. and various independents while you are at it.

Craig
Well, I assume that they would, as with Kyokushinkai and Daito-ryu, go first into Japanese courts and Japanese jurisdictions, but yes, that's pretty much what it entails. Large international companies and organizations spend a great deal of time doing pretty much what you described above in an effort to protect their trademarks. Is it wrong when Coke, IBM, or the Red Cross does it?

Certainly the Ueshiba family doesn't think that the word "Aikido" has become generic - and it wasn't decades either, they were disputing with Kenji Tomiki about this very issue in the 1950's.

Note that I'm not saying that I recommend this kind of "solution". In any case, most of the offshoots from the Aikikai at least partially accomodated them by modifying their name in one way or another (Shodokan Aikido, Yoshinkan Aikido, Shin-shin Toitsu Aikido, etc.), which seems to make sense to me...

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-06-2004, 08:27 AM   #5
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Advertisment:

Have you had an accident in the dojo, was it someone elses fault? Then call WhingeDirect on 0800 666.

If someone used my name I can't sue em! Or can ...Mark Walsh associate editor of business week eh! I love Google.

Real (slightly off topic) opinion: Sueing is ruining the world, - civil legal action is nearly always dishonhourable. I guess the wider issue is how do you stop the spead of frauds (calm down, I dont mean Shodokan, Yoshinkan, etc) from giving a martial art a bad name. apparently a very senior instrucor, once in the Uk, said, "Kill them". Views?

Fact? Apparently there are as many lawers in the whole of Japan as there are in Washington (uraban myth? - please dispel or confirm).

Mark
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Old 06-06-2004, 12:54 PM   #6
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
Certainly the Ueshiba family doesn't think that the word "Aikido" has become generic....
Chris,

Didn't "aikido" actually begin as a generic term of which Ueshiba's art would be only one? I never quite understood that.

Thanks.

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Old 06-06-2004, 02:39 PM   #7
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Quote:
Mark Walsh wrote:
Fact? Apparently there are as many lawers in the whole of Japan as there are in Washington (uraban myth? - please dispel or confirm).

Mark
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Maybe, there are certainly fewer lawyers in Japan. The down side is that many injustices go unaddressed because the Japanese have a tendency to avoid litigiousness.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-06-2004, 02:45 PM   #8
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
Chris,

Didn't "aikido" actually begin as a generic term of which Ueshiba's art would be only one? I never quite understood that.

Thanks.
Well, yes, but the "department" which it covered really consisted of Ueshiba and not much else (and he was instrumental in the choosing of the name itself in any case). Also, Ueshiba adopted the name of the art from the early 1940's, and the Butokukai (along with the "Aikido" division) was disbanded in 1946. The Ueshiba family was the only group (with the possible, but undocumented, exception of Nihon Goshin) using that name from then until the mid 1950's when the Yoshinkan came along. Prior use is usually the standard for trademark rights, and I think that the Ueshiba family would probably be able to establish that to a court's satisfaction.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-06-2004, 06:48 PM   #9
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

I don't even think trademark is the issue. In my understanding, Kano Sensei had standardized and defined what "Kodokan Judo" was long before his students started teaching for themselves. Modernizing old style Jujutsu into a sport, one of the first things he needed was a consistent set of rules and conventions to be followed. I think he did this by structuring the various techniques of the Kodokan and laying out the kata standard and definition for the techniques to be used in Kodokan Judo as well as in shiai competition. It's sort of like in Soccer, if you deliberately play the ball with your hands and you're not the goalie, it's not soccer, you get penalised.

Ueshiba M. and the Aikikai never had this, all one has to do is look at how many different expressions of a basic technique appear among Aikikai Senseis themselves, not to mention outside the organisation. Depending on what point Ueshiba M. was in his budo journey different students learnt from and trained with a slightly different Ueshiba M. whose techniques reflected the stage of development he was at. Many of us know of the ongoing talk of Pre-WWII Aikido vs Post-WWII Aikido. - as Ueshiba M. changed, so did the Aikido he taught.

If there is no standard definition for what one is doing, then there is no way to control expressions of it that may arise through students' own interpretations of what one may do. Kano defined exactly what Judo was, Ueshiba M. did not do the same for Aikido imho.

In fact, this is exactly what Tomiki tried to do with Aikido, define the techniques and principles in a way that sets Aikido defined and apart from other Japanese Budo. Of course this ended up in him coming at odds with Ueshiba K. (not Ueshiba M.) for his trouble.

When one starts defining things in relation to one's own personal perception of the universe etc. etc. etc., there leaves a lot of room for interpretation, Kano did not leave too much room for this in his definitions imo, approaching things from the scientific standpoint of physical education and sport.

Just my 2 cents.
LC

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Old 06-07-2004, 12:40 AM   #10
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
I don't even think trademark is the issue, Kano Sensei had standardized and defined what "Kodokan Judo" was long before his students started teaching for themselves.
Actually, it's the use, not the content, that defines the right to use a particular trademark.

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
In fact, this is exactly what Tomiki tried to do with Aikido, define the techniques and principles in a way that sets Aikido defined and apart from other Japanese Budo. Of course this ended up in him coming at odds with Ueshiba K. (not Ueshiba M.) for his trouble.
Are you saying that you can't walk into an Aikikai school and see clearly that it is different from other Japanese Budo? I certainly can. It may not be as clearly defined as some other organizations, but that doesn't mean that it isn't very clearly a seperate entity.

In any case, I don't think that it was defining the principles and techniques clearly that started the troubles with the Ueshiba family - other people both in and out of the Aikikai have done the same without any major problems.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-07-2004, 01:17 AM   #11
Charles Hill
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

[quote=Larry Camejo] Of course this ended up in him coming at odds with Ueshiba K. (not Ueshiba M.) for his trouble.
QUOTE]

Is this really true? There is an interview at Aikido Journal with Walter Todd, in which Mr. Todd says that Tomiki told him that Ueshiba M. was "very angry" at him for introducing shiai into Aikido.

BTW, thanks for all the replies.

Charles Hill
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Old 06-07-2004, 02:26 AM   #12
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

As I understand it Ueshiba M. was not happy with the inclusion of Shiai by Tomiki K. Now you can take the implied understatement of not happy at face value or you can use the term very angry but it is very clear that Ueshiba M. had serious problems over this matter. On the one hand he never condemned Shiai but he did feel that it would lead to Kousou which he railed against on many occasions.

A lot of effort was put in by Okumura S. (I think) to mediate between Ueshiba M. and Tomiki K. and although an understanding was reached I also believe that the relationship was not what it was before. Tomiki showed up to teach at Honbu, attend parties (Tohei's ninth dan for example) and communicate privately with his old teacher. Kobayashi H. first contact with Tomiki in the latter years of Ueshiba M.'s life was with the intent of admonishing the old guy for his wrong thinking. Of course an understanding was reached there also leading to some interesting relationships that continue to this day.

So yes Tomiki had problems with Ueshiba M. - one can even say the latter was angry with him. However, I understand Tomiki K. was completely blindsided by the vehemence displayed by some after Ueshiba M.'s death.

Two Tomiki quotes come to mind.
Quote:
Those who understand, understand perfectly
I believe Ueshiba M. might not have been completely behind the idea of shiai but at least understood Tomiki K.'s intent. Of course one can argue that point till one is blue in the face but I base this on a conspicuous absence of Shiai condemnation by Ueshiba M.
Quote:
I have got only one teacher and that is Ueshiba Sensei. Only he can excommunicate me.
The point being is that Ueshiba M. never did.

Last edited by PeterR : 06-07-2004 at 02:37 AM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-07-2004, 03:06 AM   #13
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Peter, as usual you have beaten me to that post...

Ueshiba M and Takeda S did have their arguments but remained on good terms. I think that Tomiki and Ueshiba M had the same thing happen to them. That's what happens when you encourage people to go on their own path.

I am under the impression (Please, correct me if I am wrong) that when Ueshiba M died, there was a bit of a power struggle between Tohei and Ueshiba K which lead to the split between Ki-soc and the Aikikai. I suspect that the animosity between Tomiki and Ueshiba K really kicked off at that time.

Fundamentally, I believe that Aikido is about harmony. There is no point in arguing who is pure, better or more authentic. I don't care to learn Ueshiba's Aikido as I am not Ueshiba. I care about learning MY Aikido. However is willing to teach me that, I will follow.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
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Old 06-07-2004, 06:38 AM   #14
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Quote:
Yann Golanski wrote:
I am under the impression (Please, correct me if I am wrong) that when Ueshiba M died, there was a bit of a power struggle between Tohei and Ueshiba K which lead to the split between Ki-soc and the Aikikai. I suspect that the animosity between Tomiki and Ueshiba K really kicked off at that time.
I don't think the animosity between Tohei K. and Ueshiba K. triggered the events. The smartest of the old uchi-deshi was Shioda who saw the coming storm the most clearly and set himself up long before Ueshiba M.'s final years. Considering that the succession turmoil followed a very typical pattern with respect to Japanese Budo I would say that Tomiki K. demonstrated an amazing level of naivety surpassed only by Tohei K. (IMHO) who was part of it until his turn came.

Before anyone gets their obi in a knot, I'm not talking about good person, bad person, but the way of things.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-07-2004, 01:23 PM   #15
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
Well, yes, but the "department" which it covered really consisted of Ueshiba and not much else (and he was instrumental in the choosing of the name itself in any case). Also, Ueshiba adopted the name of the art from the early 1940's, and the Butokukai (along with the "Aikido" division) was disbanded in 1946. The Ueshiba family was the only group (with the possible, but undocumented, exception of Nihon Goshin) using that name from then until the mid 1950's when the Yoshinkan came along. Prior use is usually the standard for trademark rights, and I think that the Ueshiba family would probably be able to establish that to a court's satisfaction.

Best,

Chris
Much obliged. Thanks.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 06-07-2004, 03:09 PM   #16
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
I believe Ueshiba M. might not have been completely behind the idea of shiai but at least understood Tomiki K.'s intent. Of course one can argue that point till one is blue in the face but I base this on a conspicuous absence of Shiai condemnation by Ueshiba M.
Well, there are several reports of private conversations on the matter, as seen above. As for a "condemnation", I don't think that Ueshiba ever condemned anybody in public:

1) He pretty much left his students alone to do as they pleased unless they were right in front of him.
2) Public "condemnation" is a tool not commonly used in Japan.
3) He was pretty much out of the public scene by the time shiai came around anyway - Kisshomaru was running the public show by then.

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
The point being is that Ueshiba M. never did.
But he did make statements that there was no "hamon" (excommunication) in Aikido (for anyone), which makes the point less telling.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-07-2004, 05:17 PM   #17
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
Considering that the succession turmoil followed a very typical pattern with respect to Japanese Budo I would say that Tomiki K. demonstrated an amazing level of naivety surpassed only by Tohei K. (IMHO) who was part of it until his turn came.
I would say that was a pretty fair statement. They are both by all acounts great teachers. Tohei Sensei has never been known for his organizational savvy.

But was Shioda really all that successful ? At least not initially it seems like. Iwao Tamura Shihan, a 9th dan in Ki Society, in an interview he did before he passed away described his initial experiences at Aikikai Hombu around 1960. He had begun Aikido in the 1950's at a Yoshinkan school where he got shodan or nidan. His situation changed and he began attending Aikikai. He says he didn't understand the animosity that existed between the two groups until around the time of getting sandan (sorry, exact details are fuzzy). He was asked to do randori. Shortly into the randori he realized he wasn't in an exercise but in a real fight and ended up punching one of the ukes hard enough to knock them out. I guess he got a little more respect after that. Tamura Shihan's randori demonstration was always something to watch. His favorite was 5-7 attackers with mixed weapons. There was never any pauses or ukes waiting around.

Craig
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Old 06-07-2004, 05:58 PM   #18
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Good point Craig

In my experience the ones that make the most stink tend to be middle ranked.

I personally have always been treated politely (and well) by Aikikai Shihans. Those I've met anyhow.

And Chris do you know the context of no hamon. Was it said to protect someone from other's demands?

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Old 06-07-2004, 07:13 PM   #19
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
And Chris do you know the context of no hamon. Was it said to protect someone from other's demands?
In the context that I've read it it was stated as a general principle. My feeling was that he was expressing the change in environment from more traditional arts, which much more closely regulated the activities of their students. In any case, AFAIK he never formally expelled anybody.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-07-2004, 07:55 PM   #20
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Thanks Chris

Charles


Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
Is this really true? There is an interview at Aikido Journal with Walter Todd, in which Mr. Todd says that Tomiki told him that Ueshiba M. was "very angry" at him for introducing shiai into Aikido.
I read the public part of the interview (I've let my subscription to Aikido Journal lapse) and it does not refer to the introduction of Shiai into Aikido (that isn't even mentioned) but the teaching of Aikido techniques at the Kodokan.

Peter gives Charles the school marm of death look while gently reminding him that context is everything in historical discussion. It's a common mistake - after WWII Tomiki K. demonstrated some individual exercises he developed while in prison. He called them Aikitaiso to which Ueshiba M. replied that there would be trouble if you called it Aiki. Now Tomiki K. changed the name (even though the Aikikai today has individual exercises preceded by the aiki prefix) but lo and behold you have that statement brought forth that Ueshiba M. uttered the statement with respect to Shiai and therefore proof that he was against shiai. Now he may have been, he was certainly uncomfortable about the idea but to use these statements is like hearing me say I hate this while eating nato and telling people I expressed my disgust with sushi. <-----not true.

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Old 06-07-2004, 11:07 PM   #21
Charles Hill
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Peter,

That school marm of death look made me think of all the times I was called into the principal`s office for causing trouble. I guess things haven`t changed. I went back and looked at the article and pretty much agree with you. I just wish the interviewer or interviewee had made it as clear as you did in your post.

Charles Hill
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Old 06-07-2004, 11:25 PM   #22
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

I'd also like to point out that the likelihood of one being an uchideshi to Ueshiba M. and not getting yelled at for infractions real or imagined was infinitesimally low. With someone associated with Ueshiba M. as long as Tomiki K. was I am sure there were many instances beyond those documented.

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Old 06-08-2004, 12:18 AM   #23
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

It's nice when people who actually know what they are talking about chime in to clarify things. I remembered the whole question of whether Ueshiba M. was referring to shiai or aiki taiso when he gave Tomiki K. the official speech off that many people like to quote. Thanks Peter for adding some clarity to things. You too Yann and others.

As far as the ability to CLEARLY identify Aikido from other Japanese Budo, I think it depends on how far or wide one has travelled. I've been to both Judo and Jujutsu schools where if I did not read the sign at the entrance, I might think things being done were Aikido (or at least the Aikido I know).

There is a lot of stuff out there, which is why I brought up the point about definitions. We can't clearly say what something is not without clearly defining what it is first. Depending on who we talk to we can get a variety of definitions of what Aikido is and is not. All I indicated in the beginning was that in order to make Judo into a modern sport, Kano had to go through the process of objectively being able to identify and clarify the technical and competitive structure so that anyone could understand how it operated as a sport based on the rules, even if they had never heard of it or seen it before. The same goes for sport TKD and Karate - there are accepted standards and definitions that can give one the power to say what is and is not a particular art. Imho in Aikido (or at least in some areas of Aikido) this is not necessarily as clearly defined, making things a bit more dificult to state categorically what it is and is not.

Just my 5 cents. Great replies all.
LC

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Old 06-08-2004, 12:43 AM   #24
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

But there is Kosen Judo?
Nice replys everybody...
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Old 06-08-2004, 01:17 AM   #25
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Re: Aikikai/Kodokan history question

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
As far as the ability to CLEARLY identify Aikido from other Japanese Budo, I think it depends on how far or wide one has travelled. I've been to both Judo and Jujutsu schools where if I did not read the sign at the entrance, I might think things being done were Aikido (or at least the Aikido I know).
But I thought that your argument was that Kano had clearly defined and designed Judo in such a way that it could not be mistaken or confused with other arts. How, then, could the above problem occur in a Judo school?

Certainly the definitions of what Aikido practice consists of are looser in the Aikikai than they are in Yoshinkan or Shodokan, but that doesn't mean that they don't exist at all. In any case, I still don't think that has very much to do with whether or not the Ueshiba family has (or ought to have) the rights to the term "Aikido".

Best,

Chris

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