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Old 09-15-2004, 09:25 PM   #1
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
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what is misogi-waza?

Today's "Doka of the day":

The purification techniques (misogi-waza),
I have learned from the Kami and Revelation.
Aiki is built by the Kami.

- Morihei Ueshiba

Does anybody know what is misogi-waza? Is it some specific technique (or set of techniques)? If so, which ones?

Thanks.
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Old 09-15-2004, 10:14 PM   #2
Misogi-no-Gyo
Join Date: May 2002
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Re: what is misogi-waza?

Quote:
Suren Baghdasaryan wrote:
Today's "Doka of the day":

The purification techniques (misogi-waza),
I have learned from the Kami and Revelation.
Aiki is built by the Kami.

- Morihei Ueshiba

Does anybody know what is misogi-waza? Is it some specific technique (or set of techniques)? If so, which ones?

Thanks.
Suren,

If you do a search on Misogi on this site, you will get some fairly detailed information that I have already posted. If you look for post under my username, you will also find them. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a private e-mail.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 09-15-2004, 10:24 PM   #3
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
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Re: what is misogi-waza?

Thanks Shaun, I will.
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Old 09-16-2004, 12:24 AM   #4
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
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Re: what is misogi-waza?

Shaun,

I assume you are talking about http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4916 thread. I appresiate your effort to introduce and present the idea of misogi-wasa, but could you be a little bit more specific what it is for a stupid person like me?
You say it could be practiced both as a spiritual excercise and as purely physical one. Could you describe the physical aspect of it (movements, breathing) w/o the spiritual part to give some basic idea what it looks like. Maybe you can refer to some books or videos that can be useful in understanding? I'm really interested because in yoga there are also some "purification" techniques and I'm curious about similar techniques in aikido.
Unfortunately I'm on West Coast and can't come to your NY dojo to see what it is, therefore any information would be highly appresiated.
Best regards,
Suren.
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Old 09-16-2004, 11:32 AM   #5
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: what is misogi-waza?

Suren,

Thank you for your reply. Actually, I was referring more to this thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1872

I hope this is more along the lines of what you are looking to find.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 09-16-2004, 12:52 PM   #6
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
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Re: what is misogi-waza?

Thanks Shaun,

That was very interesting and intriguing thread. I'm certainly interested in trying this. I find the whole idea of physical/spiritual correlation and the breath as one of the main links between them to be conseptual. The problem is - I have no idea how to practice this. Your explanations are very vage for me (again I'm too stupid to catch all this).

Do you have any references to some books or articles or some other material which can be used as a guide for this practice? I know that having a teacher is a great advantage, but unfortunately I do not have that luxury. I'll ask my teacher whom I highly respect, but I don't think he will be able to help me (I'm really speculating here, maybe he can)... I'll also try to ask Bill Witt Sensei about it since he used to train with O'Sensei, but I don't know if he can help taking in account his tight schedule.

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:
I feel more comfortable walking along side of those who may be interested, rather than leading them, for the time being.
And I'll fill much more confortable if I have somebody walking along my side rather than doing something by myself.
Thanks for information and waiting for your suggestions/references/anything that can help me to start this practice.

BTW, I'm also interested in the spiritual side of this, so maybe you can post about it in the "Spiritual" section?

Best regards,
Suren.
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Old 09-17-2004, 03:08 PM   #7
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: what is misogi-waza?

Quote:
Suren Baghdasaryan wrote:
Thanks Shaun,
The problem is - I have no idea how to practice this. Your explanations are very vage for me (again I'm too stupid to catch all this).
My feeling is, there really isn't any reason to practice this on your own. There won't be any WOW moments if there isn't someone to give you a reference point to work from.

Quote:
Do you have any references to some books or articles or some other material which can be used as a guide for this practice?
As you already noted...

Quote:
I know that having a teacher is a great advantage, but unfortunately I do not have that luxury.
I simply would recommend that you sideline your desire until you can make the time to seek someone out who will show you. It is a matter of priorities, really. I don't mean to sound glib. This is the answer that my teacher, the one who shared misogi-no-gyo with me would say to me should I have found myself in your shoes when I first met him.

Not everything can be learned from a book or a video tape. Some things can at least be observed, however, Misogi is not one of them. Once you have had a proper introduction to the fundamentals, then books or videos might help. My experience has been that what I thought I was seeing in the videos that I have from the first time I saw these practices, have very little to do with what is important anyway.

Don't get me wrong, I am not telling you not to try. Please go right ahead. Whatever you may come away with from your experiences will be useful when you finally do get the proper introduction you seek.

If you have a specific question, then I will be very happy to try and answer it for you. If I can't I will refer you to someone who can.

Quote:
BTW, I'm also interested in the spiritual side of this, so maybe you can post about it in the "Spiritual" section?
Speaking to someone that you do not know personally about spirituality is called preaching. Speaking to everyone about matters of spirituality is a sign of lunacy. Be wary of these preachers, because they know not what they do.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 09-17-2004, 05:31 PM   #8
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
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Re: what is misogi-waza?

Thanks Shaun,

I'll try to find somebody who can help me with this. Do you know anybody in Bay Area who may have been introduced to this system? I'll ask my teachers as soon as they are back from vacation.

Best regards,
Suren.
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:52 PM   #9
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
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Re: what is misogi-waza?

Hi Suren,

From another viewpoint, O`Sensei taught that all Aikido techniques and their practice constitute misogi, purification. My first teacher, Akira Tohei Shihan, used to often say, "Nage is the right hand, uke the left. Together using shihonage soap (or ikkyo, etc), washing hands.

Charles Hill
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:51 PM   #10
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: what is misogi-waza?

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
Hi Suren,

From another viewpoint, O`Sensei taught that all Aikido techniques and their practice constitute misogi, purification. My first teacher, Akira Tohei Shihan, used to often say, "Nage is the right hand, uke the left. Together using shihonage soap (or ikkyo, etc), washing hands.

Charles Hill
While this is 100 percent true, it is not exactly correct. I believe that Suren is speaking about Misogi-no-Gyo - the specific practices of misogi that O-Sensei practiced and taught. Misogi - the idea of purification - can be the focus in doing any activity, including no activity at all. Therefore, washing dishes is misogi. doing homework is misogi, taking care of your shoes is misogi, ...etc. The important thing to note is that O-Sensei said that Aikido is misogi. Logic then dictates that in order to understand Aikido, one would need to understand misogi. That is, in fact, the reason for misogi-no-gyo - to teach the practices that reveal the meaning of misogi. When one understands misogi, and not before that point, aiki-waza becomes an extension from that point. Then saying, "Aikido techniques, when practiced would constitute misogi.

Wakarimasuka?

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 09-18-2004, 12:16 AM   #11
Jeff Baldwin
Dojo: Shunshinkan
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Re: what is misogi-waza?

We practice Soku Shin no Gyo (breath/mind training) at our dojo most every Sunday morning, also called Misogi.

I've also done Sen Shin no Gyo, or what some people call water Misogi. Though doing it in Hawaii is not quite the same as in the colder months in Japan.
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Old 09-18-2004, 03:16 AM   #12
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
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Re: what is misogi-waza?

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:
Wakarimasuka?
Wakatte`ru kedo, Suren-san wa douka ni kaite aru koto ni tsuite kiite itandesho? Shaun-san wa chokusetsu ni iroirona misogi no gyo no yarikata toka, Abe Sensei ni oshiete itadaitan desu yo ne. De, dare ga kaisou no honkyaku teki na oshie wo moratta to iu gimon wo oite ite, sorezore no shihan wa "misogi" to iu koto ni kanshite sorezore no iken wo shizen ni motte iru to omoimasu. Dakara, misogi wa zettai ko da ka misogi wa zettai so da to iu no wa chotto inchikina nioi ga suru`n ja nain desu ka. Ma, kore wa tada no watashi no iken nan desu kedo, zehi, Shaun-san jibun no iken dashite kudasai.

Charles Hill
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Old 09-18-2004, 09:52 PM   #13
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: what is misogi-waza?

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
Wakatte`ru kedo, Suren-san wa douka ni kaite aru koto ni tsuite kiite itandesho? Shaun-san wa chokusetsu ni iroirona misogi no gyo no yarikata toka, Abe Sensei ni oshiete itadaitan desu yo ne. De, dare ga kaisou no honkyaku teki na oshie wo moratta to iu gimon wo oite ite, sorezore no shihan wa "misogi" to iu koto ni kanshite sorezore no iken wo shizen ni motte iru to omoimasu. Dakara, misogi wa zettai ko da ka misogi wa zettai so da to iu no wa chotto inchikina nioi ga suru`n ja nain desu ka. Ma, kore wa tada no watashi no iken nan desu kedo, zehi, Shaun-san jibun no iken dashite kudasai.

Charles Hill
Translation:
I know, but Suren asked about Doka (Poems of the way), didn't he? Shaun must have been taught about Misogi by Abe Sensei. Separate from that question, each Shihan who was taught the essence of Misogi from (Ueshiba) Kaiso may have a different opinion, as things go, I suppose. I feel doubtful when I hear someone say Misogi must have been conducted strictly in this way or that way, That's my personal opinion, but I'm eager to hear Shaun's opinion.


...prelude
While it would certainly be interesting to have this conversation in Japanese, as it would be much more relevant using the particular kanji from O-Sensei's kojiki references to clearly illustrate my points, it would quickly lose all value to both Japanese and non-Japanese, alike. For example, when I take the notes Abe Sensei uses for his lectures and try to have native Japanese Aikidoka translate them, there are more blank stares then understanding eyes. Of course, the lectures takes hours and hours and hours just to strip away the typical Western Bias and Eastern misunderstandings. Therefore, my request is to keep it simple, and in English - at least publicly. If you care to take the conversation deeper, and have a true interest in devoting a dozen or so hours to the subject matter, please feel free to write me privately either in English Japanese, or whatever your preference may be - as long as it is not in French.

...replying to your post
While it is nice to talk about opinions, they would do a huge injustice when it comes to dealing with O-Sensei's misogi-no-gyo. While I may grant you that there are differing opinions on what the purpose, meaning, or origin of the practices are, there is no question as to what the actual practices themselves are. So, Charles, you are right to say that Shuren asked about the point from O-Sensei's doka, of which Abe Sensei is perhaps the foremost authority. You would also be correct to assume that there are many different opinions as to their meanings. However, that doesn't preclude the fact that O-Sensei meant something particular when he wrote his doka. Therefore, it would be prudent to conclude that while it is certainly one's right to form an opinion, that while some opinions may even be correct, either by understanding or accident, many if not most will certainly be incorrect - some more than others. Shuren's question was with regards to Misogi waza. Of course, this can be looked at as the path of purification (michi - gyo) or the way of purification (do - as in aikido). These are two very distinct points. Misogi-no-Gyo is an objective conversation while the way of Misogi is, as you point out, quite subjective .

I think that outside of this distinction, it may not even matter. One can completely miss the mark and still have powerful techniques, or be sincerely spiritual, regardless if it has anything to do with what O-Sensei did, said or meant.

Mo iidesuka?

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Old 09-19-2004, 12:17 AM   #14
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
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Re: what is misogi-waza?

Shaun,

Thanks for replying. My main reaction to your response on my first post was that of slight dismay. In my second post, I most certainly gave my own opinion. However, in the first post, what I wrote was the basic teaching of a very prominent shihan. For you to write that Tohei Shihan`s teaching is "not exactly correct" kind of sticks in the craw, if you know what I mean. I don`t think we misunderstand each other here, I believe that what Tohei Shihan taught is different from what you write. As for who is correct (or even if one is correct and not the other), I honestly don`t know. I have been following your posts with interest, often learning new things. You could very well have a deeper understanding than he did. I am certainly not in a place to judge.

As for the Japanese, I must confess a bit of deviousness on my part. I was interested in knowing your level of Japanese ability and thought it would be a slightly amusing way to find out. I also have noticed that in other posts you have challenged people to meet various teachers to whom you would personally introduce the challengees to, even offering to spring for plane tickets. I was hoping you would challenge me and personally introduce me to Abe Shihan next time you come to Japan.

Charles Hill
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Old 09-19-2004, 02:07 AM   #15
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: what is misogi-waza?

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
Shaun,

Thanks for replying. My main reaction to your response on my first post was that of slight dismay. In my second post, I most certainly gave my own opinion. However, in the first post, what I wrote was the basic teaching of a very prominent shihan. For you to write that Tohei Shihan`s teaching is "not exactly correct" kind of sticks in the craw, if you know what I mean.
Mr. Hill,

If you look a bit more carefully, I say two things.

1. What you said is 100% true...

What I specifically meant is that what your teacher said is absolutely true.

2. ...and not exactly correct.
What I specifically meant is that the use of this teaching in the specific instance that Shuren and I had been discussing, was, shall we say less correct...


Quote:
I don`t think we misunderstand each other here, I believe that what Tohei Shihan taught is different from what you write. As for who is correct (or even if one is correct and not the other), I honestly don`t know.
I do believe that we are speaking the same language here --->pun intended. As for correct, I would only goes as far as saying that depending on the usage and or application, both, or neither may be, in fact .

Quote:
I have been following your posts with interest, often learning new things. You could very well have a deeper understanding than he did. I am certainly not in a place to judge.
I would never presume to know what your teacher knows. I certainly was not critiquing his position. It may simply be a case of how it was referenced in your post, or a misunderstanding, or misinterpretation of Tohei Sensei's thinking on the matter. However, I have come to realize - and this is not a judgment or condemnation of any particular Shihan - that regardless of age, rank, or training proximity to the founder, there was (and is) a lot of misinterpretation going on when it comes to what O-Sensei did, said and meant. Taking all of that into account, it still doesn't negate the positive results one might attain while studying with anyone who has spent the better part of their life sincerely dedicated to a particular path.

Quote:
As for the Japanese, I must confess a bit of deviousness on my part. I was interested in knowing your level of Japanese ability and thought it would be a slightly amusing way to find out.
I laughed out loud when I realized that you responded to my one-worded Japanese summation. I never do that, and in doing so this time hardly expected to get back something in Japanese. Of course, my Japanese is not what it was 10 years ago, by any means. I am lucky if I don't get attacked for saying something offensive when ordering sushi at the local restaurant.

Quote:
I also have noticed that in other posts you have challenged people to meet various teachers to whom you would personally introduce the challenges to, even offering to spring for plane tickets.
I would much rather say I was being "highly encouraging" rather than challenging. I don't believe that it was a case of, "Come and I'll prove it to you..." It was more of an invitation that I believe would have positive reverberations after the fact due to the number of students that individual might impact based upon what he takes for himself frmo the experience.

Quote:
I was hoping you would challenge me and personally introduce me to Abe Shihan next time you come to Japan.
Of course, Abe Sensei teaches at the Osaka Dojo. Anyone training or visiting there can see him without waiting for me to return to Japan. However, I am sure that you understand how these things work as well as the next person.

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