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Old 10-28-2005, 03:33 PM   #1
seph
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Tomiki Aikido

was just wondering what are everyones views on the tomiki style aikido, what are the pros and cons, how does it differ from other styles etc.
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Old 10-28-2005, 05:41 PM   #2
tony cameron
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Hi Mathew,

i lifted this quote from the Aikido FAQ webite (which is very informative btw). judge for yourself. i tend to agree with O Sensei because, after all, he is the founder of Aikido... but hey, what do i know i'm just a beginner!

-Masakatsu Agatsu Hayabi (True victory is victory over oneself)



Founded by Kenji Tomiki, and early student of O Sensei and of Judo founder Jigoro Kano. Tomiki Sensei believed that a "rationalization" of Aikido training, along the lines that Kano Sensei followed for Judo would make it more easily taught, particularly at the Japanese Universities. In addition, he believed that introducing an element of competition would serve to sharpen and focus the practice since it was no longer tested in real combat. This latter view was the cause of a split with O Sensei who firmly believed that there was no place for competition in Aikido training.
Tomiki-ryu is characterized by using Kata (prearranged forms) in teaching and by holding competitions, both empty handed and with a rubber knife.
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Old 10-28-2005, 06:20 PM   #3
crbateman
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

The competitive aspect is the biggest difference. And it is one of philosophy, rather than technique. Tomiki Sensei was a dyed-in-the-wool judo man before undertaking aikido, and thus the desire to measure oneself against another in competition was there already, and remained. Ueshiba O'Sensei had adopted a more peaceful path for Aikido (particularly after WWII) and did not want any competitive flavor in Aikido (after all, this was the way of peace, of harmony, of HALTING conflict). Tomiki Sensei knew that, if competition was to be part of HIS Aikido, he would have to take it elsewhere, and eventually, he did. The fundamental physics between the two styles remains similar, as they are from the same root. The attitude and training regimen is different, and works well for some, not so well for others.

Last edited by crbateman : 10-28-2005 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 10-28-2005, 07:56 PM   #4
Zato Ichi
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote:
Tomiki Sensei was a dyed-in-the-wool judo man before undertaking aikido, and thus the desire to measure oneself against another in competition was there already, and remained.
Mistake number one. Much like Kano-sensei, Tomiki-sensei believed that competition was a form of training for yourself and your opponent - not to see who's aikido was better. From training at honbu, as well as most of the visitors we've had from various parts of the world, I'd say this is pretty accurate in my limited experience (the BAA not withstanding).
Quote:
Tomiki Sensei knew that, if competition was to be part of HIS Aikido, he would have to take it elsewhere, and eventually, he did.
Mistake two. Ueshiba Morihei never told Tomiki to take it elsewhere - that was his son (I forget his name at the moment).
Quote:
The attitude and training regimen is different, and works well for some, not so well for others.
I'm curious, what is the attitude of shodokan aikido and what is it different from?
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Old 10-28-2005, 08:36 PM   #5
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Hi folks,
I've just begun training in Shodokan Aikido here in Himeji and I'd certainly recommend the dojo I'm at to anyone. My primary experience comes from an organization that is somewhat obscure, but in compareing the two, I find them perfectly complementary. I think the biggest difference is the very structured nature of training at Shodokan.
Regarding competition, I think there's a fine line between the attitude of sincere training and competing. At my old dojo, someties a senior student would point out flaws in my technique by countering it. Students of relatively equal ability would try to do the same...very carefully of course. It's all about attitude. Like someone said, if you approach competition as being truly a competition with yourself and using the other person as an opportunity to find weaknesses in your method, then I think there's little difference. Having trained with a highly accomplished competitor I can say my limited experience with those who compete has demonstrated one can compete and still be humble and carefull. Shodokan Aikido is good stuff, and I recommend at least a taste of it to anyone.
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-28-2005, 08:44 PM   #6
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Um just to point out to other Shodokan people who might be reading this - the highly accomplished competitor is not me.

Perhaps Mathew is referring to Hara-sensei or Omonishi-san or some other competition.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-28-2005, 10:05 PM   #7
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Quote:
Rob Haruo Hori wrote:
Mistake number one. Much like Kano-sensei, Tomiki-sensei believed that competition was a form of training for yourself and your opponent - not to see who's aikido was better. From training at honbu, as well as most of the visitors we've had from various parts of the world, I'd say this is pretty accurate in my limited experience (the BAA not withstanding).
Competition is competition is competition... you yourself chose to use the word "opponent". This is where the differences in philosophy begin. Call it what you will. Many will say that any "training" value to be gained from competition may be gained equally as well by earnest cooperative practice between a good uke and nage, without the need for there to be a "winner" and a "loser".

Quote:
Rob Haruo Hori wrote:
Mistake two. Ueshiba Morihei never told Tomiki to take it elsewhere - that was his son (I forget his name at the moment).
If you read my post again, you will see that I did not say that O'Sensei asked anybody to leave, only that Tomiki Sensei knew that he would have to go elsewhere to include competition in his Aikido. You are entitled to your opinion, as am I, but I would appreciate it if you would refrain from putting words in my mouth.

Quote:
Rob Haruo Hori wrote:
I'm curious, what is the attitude of shodokan aikido and what is it different from?
Please re-read my initial statement, and look at your own responses for one possible answer to that question. I tried to give a balanced and non-judgemental answer, from my own perspective, to a "loaded" question. I neither supported nor decried either view of the issue. "Attitudes" vary, because perspectives and backgrounds vary. There is nothing negative inferred in that statement. That an attitude works for some, and not for others, can be said of almost ANY attitude. I could have used the word "philosophy" instead of "attitude", but thought it too grandiose a word. I do not understand why you have taken offense, but as I have said, you are entitled to your point-of-view. Please excuse me if I have wronged you, or anyone else, in some way. I have nothing against the Tomiki style.
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Old 10-28-2005, 10:14 PM   #8
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
Um just to point out to other Shodokan people who might be reading this - the highly accomplished competitor is not me.
Perhaps Mathew is referring to Hara-sensei or Omonishi-san or some other competition.
Yes, i was refering to Omonishi-san. He threw me around like a rag-doll, but was very carefull (I never once felt like I was anywhere close to being hurt) and always seems like a very humble and all-around friendly person. I know my experience is rather limited, but wanted to offer it since I know many people think competition creates ego-maniacs who are dangerous to their partners.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-28-2005, 11:49 PM   #9
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Tomiki-ryu = Academia aikido,

Yoshinkan-ryu = Kick-ass aikido but definitely debatable,

Aikikai = Bureaucrat aikido par excellance,

Ki-Soc = Esoteric Shinto priest wannabe,

Iwama-ryu = stick swinger par excellance.

Once I was accused of pigeon hole'ing the various style. I know I will stir up a hornet nest for saying the above. That is why I will change my address, my look and my identity to escape being lynched by the aikiweb mob.

Falsely,
Boon but not for long...

P/S Praying feverishly that aiki-people still have a sense of humour.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 10-29-2005, 01:40 AM   #10
Charles Hill
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Tomiki Sensei was of the older generation of the Founder`s students. This generation was of a high economic class and thusly very highly educated. Like Kano Sensei, Tomiki Sensei seems to have applied a Western intellectual approach to education to his teaching of martial arts. This seems to be similar to Mochizuki Sensei, Shirata Sensei and Shioda Sensei to some degree. As far as differences btwn Tomiki and Aikikai, they may be there but I have heard that Honbu Dojo`s Okumura Sensei was strongly influenced by Tomiki Sensei and shares a similar sensibility.

Charles
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Old 10-29-2005, 01:42 AM   #11
Zato Ichi
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote:
Competition is competition is competition... you yourself chose to use the word "opponent". This is where the differences in philosophy begin. Call it what you will. Many will say that any "training" value to be gained from competition may be gained equally as well by earnest cooperative practice between a good uke and nage, without the need for there to be a "winner" and a "loser"
With this statement, you have shown your utter ignorance of how the shodokan system works. I think I've had enough with the know-it-alls and so-called masters on Aikiweb.

Goodbye.
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Old 10-30-2005, 08:30 PM   #12
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

The intent might have been to provide a non-biased view on the differences between Shodokan/Tomiki and Aikikai but assumptions and incorrect information still worked its way in.

Of course the entire homepage is worth a read but to the question at hand I suggest the FAQ.
http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/faq.html
It's not that long and pretty concise.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-30-2005, 08:35 PM   #13
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
Tomiki-ryu = Academia aikido,

Yoshinkan-ryu = Kick-ass aikido but definitely debatable,

Aikikai = Bureaucrat aikido par excellance,

Ki-Soc = Esoteric Shinto priest wannabe,

Iwama-ryu = stick swinger par excellance.

Once I was accused of pigeon hole'ing the various style. I know I will stir up a hornet nest for saying the above. That is why I will change my address, my look and my identity to escape being lynched by the aikiweb mob.

Falsely,
Boon but not for long...

P/S Praying feverishly that aiki-people still have a sense of humour.
Well, that cracked me up! I've been told a sense of humor is the most important thing anyone can have...but especially martial artists. Take care, martial-artist-formerly-know-as-Boon,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-30-2005, 09:17 PM   #14
crbateman
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

If I have been incorrect, then I stand corrected. I can only go by what I have read and heard, as I have not personally trained in the system.

I stated that the main difference in the Tomiki style is the competition. Is there a bigger one? If so, please tell me what it is, because I have not seen mention of it anywhere. It also seems irrefutable that O'Sensei did not want competition in HIS Aikido, or it would have been there. And knowing this, it goes without saying that Tomiki Sensei must have known that he would have to do his own thing to include that aspect in the training.

These are not controversial statements, and I made them non-judgementally, and without even a hint of disrespect. But the immediate hostility and personal attack was disrespectful and nonproductive. It would have represented the system in a better light if the reaction had been "I disagree... Here's how I was taught..." instead of "Mistake One... Mistake Two..." or to throw around words like "know-it-alls", "so-called masters" and "utter ignorance". I deserve better than that; everyone does.

I know enough Shodokan people to know that he doesn't speak for you all. My apologies to any I may have offended, and that is all I have to say about this.
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Old 10-30-2005, 10:03 PM   #15
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Clark - it is the Internet and nothing is in isolation. Your statements were one of many that accumulate and got Rob to respond in the way he did. Rob Hori is a Shodokan Honbu yudansha and his frustration with the mis-informed is shared be many - including myself. If you haven't trained in the system why comment on it? For him you may have been the straw that broke the camel's back. I've gone off on my own rants at other times for much the same reason and that little behavior is not style specific. I suspect using the term "different attitude" is what set him off.

Tomiki and the randori method were practiced within the Aikikai while Ueshiba was alive and surprise surprise there are Aikikai dojos that still utilize the method. The JAA as a separate organization was only formed in 1974 and still maintains quite close ties with certain Aikikia dojos. Shodokan Honbu is also an Aikikai dojo by the way. Yoseikan utilizes its own form of shiai, and I know for sure that Enbu competitions are and have been held within Ki-society (Taigi), Yoshinkan and even the Aikikai. There is a winner and looser in these as well. I would say the major difference between Tomiki Aikido and other styles is the particular combination of kata and the randori method. Shiai (and it is optional) was never specifically condemned by Ueshiba M. - it seems to me he was very careful with his choice of words. He uses the term kousou which is more like brotherly rivalry (I do think he thought shiai is a potential source of this) but that occurs everywhere doesn't it.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-30-2005, 10:05 PM   #16
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote:
It also seems irrefutable that O'Sensei did not want competition in HIS Aikido, or it would have been there.
Here's a thread you might find interesting regarding the term often translated into English as "competition" which I started a few years back. Of particular interest, perhaps, is message # 15, Peter Goldsbury's very first post to these Forums:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=998

I've had the pleasure of training with Tomiki folks in the past and found them very friendly, engaging, and competent -- to the point that I appreciate what they've taught me. In fact, I've used some of the thoughts that were given to me in classes I've lead.  Heck, I can say the same regarding folks in judo, karate, and other arts which include shiai.

I'll end this by saying that, in my mind, every single aikido dojo has competition in it in its myriad forms and definitions. It may not be shiai, but it's there, for better or for worse.

-- Jun

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Old 10-30-2005, 10:49 PM   #17
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

I did Tomiki Aikido for my first ten years of Aikido training. I started Akikai four-five years into that first ten and had no problem with doing both at the same time. You just learn to keep them separate and keep your mouth shut. Anyone who tries both will simply learn to look at advantages and ignore disadvantages. I quit Tomiki Aikido when I went to Japan as there wasn't much around and have done Aikikai ever since.

The hoopla that people have with competition is mostly misinformation or mystical conversion to 'love and peace man' having started Aikido. Within a Tomiki Aikido club people tussle around a lot but it usually remains friendly co-operation - the aim is to improve. When some smart alec tries it on and wants to win too often, no one wants to train with him. It's much the same in Judo. Within the club is friendly co-operation to learn, the way it should be. It rarely goes beyond that - except between clubs, when people fight strangers and often develop an anything-goes attitude, which includes bending the rules to the edge of cheating in order to win etc. Which is also the same in Judo. That, like it or not, is the reality of it.

For me, the philosophy of it is not as important as what it offers, what it can give you, what you can get out of it. Tomiki Aikido gives you techniques that work, and encourages you to MAKE them work against your peers who refuse to go down. It can get ugly, but real beauty - superb technique - can emerge, from time to time. Also, Tomiki Aikido has lots of katas with tons more stuff than you'll likely find in an Aikikai dojo. I am no longer a member of any Tomiki club but I still go through the katas by myself. I think Tomiki Aikido gave me a good start to Aikido and it helps clear my mind when witnessing a lot of the Cr@p I see being done in certain other places.

At the very least, Tomiki Aikido offers the idea to be able to make the techiques you do actually work. Like, as far as I can tell, some people do not seem to have that simple idea. Surely, what we do should work ... and ... how do you know?

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Old 10-31-2005, 12:56 AM   #18
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
I would say the major difference between Tomiki Aikido and other styles is the particular combination of kata and the randori method. Shiai (and it is optional) was never specifically condemned by Ueshiba M. - it seems to me he was very careful with his choice of words. He uses the term kousou which is more like brotherly rivalry (I do think he thought shiai is a potential source of this) but that occurs everywhere doesn't it.
On page 128 of "Take Musu Aiki" Morihei Ueshiba says "for this reason competition in Aikido is strictly prohibited". He uses the word "shiai", not "kyousou".

There are other quotes in "Take Musu Aiki", such as "using martial technique for winning and losing is not true budo", but the above one is clear in that it specifically uses the term "shiai".

If by "specifically condemn" you mean some kind of "official" statement, then I think that would have been out of character in Japan, especially for some one of Morihei's generation.

Randori and kata training methods are, of course, different from "standard" Aikikai (if there is such a thing), but my hunch is that those differences would have been overlooked without the presence of shiai.

Best,

Chris

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Old 10-31-2005, 01:31 AM   #19
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Chris is this the same quote that Peter G. referrs to in the thread and post Jun pointed to earlier.

Quote:
2. Where does O Sensei discuss competition in Aikido? I have seen no evidence for any general declaration made by O Sensei against competition. There is a reference to sports understood by O Sensei in a western sense on Page 50 of Hideo Takahashi's book, "Takemusu Aiki", which records lectures given by the Founder. A translation of O Sensei's ideas is given on Page 21 of Issue 117 of Aikido Journal. There O Sensei does talk about competition as applied to aikido, always using the Chinese character I explained above. His views are clearly old-fashioned and he makes statements about Japan and western sports which are no longer true.
Possible different editions have different page numbers.

In that same post Peter G. refers to Ueshiba's objections regarding Aiki Taiso which interestingly has no bearing on the subject being a series of solo exercises now refered to as unsoku and tegatana dousa. But I digress.

In any case competition is not unique to Tomiki Aikido and neither is shiai which is basically the point I was trying to make in addition to the basic problem of describing the motivations behind a system and/or person one has no experience of. I would say heresay but that would be hypocritical since I can't read Japanese and can not check "Takemusu Aiki" directly myself.

Last edited by PeterR : 10-31-2005 at 01:38 AM.

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Old 10-31-2005, 02:04 AM   #20
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
Chris is this the same quote that Peter G. referrs to in the thread and post Jun pointed to earlier.
I don't believe so.

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
In any case competition is not unique to Tomiki Aikido and neither is shiai which is basically the point I was trying to make in addition to the basic problem of describing the motivations behind a system and/or person one has no experience of. I would say heresay but that would be hypocritical since I can't read Japanese and can not check "Takemusu Aiki" directly myself.
Well it's easy enough to interpret the word "competition" in a broad enough sense to cover just about any situation, but in the section I quoted it is clear, I think, that Ueshiba was referring to competitive matches. Certainly, such matches are not unique to Shodokan, nor are they the only difference - but it can't be denied that they are one of the major sticking points.

Best,

Chris

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Old 10-31-2005, 02:27 AM   #21
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
Certainly, such matches are not unique to Shodokan, nor are they the only difference - but it can't be denied that they are one of the major sticking points.
Well I can certainly agree with that but also definately with Rob's corrections in post #3.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-31-2005, 02:46 AM   #22
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

I think its safe to say that in the Shodokan view the presence or absence of competition does not define Aikido but rather the techniques learnt from Ueshiba M.. Certainly Tomiki K. was accomodated in the Aikikai fold while his teacher lived and by accounts quite shocked by the events in the early 70s.

Last edited by PeterR : 10-31-2005 at 02:52 AM.

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Old 10-31-2005, 04:23 AM   #23
Ian Upstone
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

As far as I know (I may be wrong!), Waseda university (where Tomiki sensei was on the staff) would only allow an aikido group to be created there on the proviso that an element of competition would be introduced... Had the university not asked for this, would Shodokan aikido be different today, or would Tomiki sensei's judo background have included this aspect of practise anyway?

I would be interested on others' opinion on this, and also at what point does a budo become a sport? Is there an overlap - can a martial art be both?
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Old 10-31-2005, 05:15 AM   #24
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

A good question one of which I have never gotten a satisfactory answer to. Classic chicken and egg situation.

I will speculate that if Waseda hadn't made the requirement Tomiki would have continued to teach Aikido without to interested members of the Judo club under the premise that the particular benefit of shiai can be transfered between both arts quite easily. Hard resistive randori to test and develop your own Aikido would exist in some form - possibly toshu - mainly because of no nonsense demands of Judoka but a formalized competition format would at least be delayed. Tomiki's main critique of Aikikia Honbu was the lack of previous Budo training among the new students (as opposed to the good old days - sound familiar?) but this was not the problem with his pool of new students which tended to be experience Judoka. Even so, actual organized competitions were not held right away.


I have been told that Ueshiba M. wanted his Aikido taught at Waseda and was aware of the requirement. When one talks about an understanding being reached it is not just between Tomiki and his teacher. Ueshiba M. could have nixed the idea at any time.

Kendo is Budo, Judo is Budo, Kyudo is Budo, Karate has shiai. Various Koryu have held matches throughout the Edo period. Name your Budo and you will find a means of testing your skill. Those that do find it keeps their Budo alive in a time of peace.

Still I will say that striking a balance is key to maintaining the martial integrity. What exactly that balance is needs to be debated and constantly re-evaluated. You often hear critics with no experience of Tomiki's method saying that we train to win tournaments. Frankly speaking it is very rare to see randori as part of the class at Honbu - its kata kata and more .... basics. Someone once send we compete to train rather than train to compete and that really does reflect the situation at Honbu.

So yes I think that a martial art can have elements of sport and still maintain its sanctity of Budo. Generally what Rupert stated in his post is pretty much close to the mark.

Quote:
Ian Upstone wrote:
As far as I know (I may be wrong!), Waseda university (where Tomiki sensei was on the staff) would only allow an aikido group to be created there on the proviso that an element of competition would be introduced... Had the university not asked for this, would Shodokan aikido be different today, or would Tomiki sensei's judo background have included this aspect of practise anyway?

I would be interested on others' opinion on this, and also at what point does a budo become a sport? Is there an overlap - can a martial art be both?

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-31-2005, 06:01 AM   #25
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Tomiki Aikido

Quote:
Ian Upstone wrote:
As far as I know (I may be wrong!), Waseda university (where Tomiki sensei was on the staff) would only allow an aikido group to be created there on the proviso that an element of competition would be introduced... Had the university not asked for this, would Shodokan aikido be different today, or would Tomiki sensei's judo background have included this aspect of practise anyway?

I would be interested on others' opinion on this, and also at what point does a budo become a sport? Is there an overlap - can a martial art be both?
If you have not done so already, I think you need to read Tomiki Sensei's Budo-ron, which sets out his views on the possible educational aims of aikido training in great detail. Tada Hiroshi Shihan, also a graduate of Waseda (along with Kisshomaru Ueshiba), taught at more strictly 'aikikai' flavored club, also set up at that university.

As for my earlier post, cited by Jun Akiyama, I made it with reference to the portions of Takemusu Aiki that had appeared in Aikido Journal and had been translated by into English.

It seems clear to me that the Founder regarded ŽŽ‡ (shiai, by which I think he meant Olympic-style tournaments, where participants compete under the eye of judges who hold up scores or flags when someone wins or loses) as incompatible with aikido as he understood it. However, in Takemusu Aiki he also talks about ‹£‘ˆ kyousou, in far less derogatory terms and seems to regard it as beneficial, other things being equal.

This term has a stronger nuance of rivalry, as, for example, among Toyota car dealers here, who sometimes strongly compete to sell an identical car to the same customer. When I bought my car, I had to deal with five different dealers, all frantically competing to sell me the same model. But this situation is hardly a shiai and less directly related to wining and losing. True the unsuccessful dealers lost my order, but they hardly lost a tournament.

Apart from Takemusu Aiki and Aiki Shinzou, there are no texts attributed to the Founder where he discusses competition. Aikido Ichiro, which I mentioned in my earlier post contains a long section about Tomiki Sensei and I think that this has to be balanced with Budo Ron, which I referred to earlier. Neither Tomiki Sensei nor Kisshomaru Doshu were the first disciples of the Founder to make some crucial decisions concerning what they had learned from him. In Stanley Pranin's Modern Masters, it seems clear that Minoru Mochizuki, having trained at the Kobukan, also decided to go his own way.

As for the difference between budo and sport, the Japanese Budo Association accepts aikido, along with judo, sumo, kendo, naginata, shorinjikempo, jukendo, kyudo and karate, as a member of this association, but it is understood that in aikido there are no torunaments, only demonstrations.

Best regards to all,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 10-31-2005 at 06:03 AM.

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