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Old 01-26-2006, 05:13 AM   #51
crbateman
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Re: Towards a unified Aikido ?

Edwin, I see your point, BUT... What about the instructor who has never "gotten married" to any particular organization, but has instead trained within many diverse syllabi, and brought the best of each to his Aikido? Both his techniques and his instruction might be excellent. I know many such people. Is it really fair for some outside jurisdiction to sit in judgment of these people? If you were one of them, surely you would not think so. That is where you will hear that what this or that person does "is not Aikido", when who really is to say what IS or IS NOT Aikido? Much less whether it is or is not GOOD Aikido... The bottom line is that an instructor puts himself out there for judgment every time he/she steps on the mat, and the judges are, and should be, his students. The egomaniac and the huckster are quickly found out, even by the newest student. An instructor who is good, who makes sense, and who gives benefit to his students will gain their loyalty. It doesn't take a rokudan (or a panel of them) to recognize a bad one.

As for the makeup of your proposed jurisdictional body, wouldn't everybody want to be running the show? Would anyone settle for less than superior positioning for his own organization? This is where the politics comes in, and politics has no place in the arena where objective judgment is required. (That is also why the executive and judicial branches of even our own misguided government are fundamentally separated.)

The individual is, and should be, responsible for his training. Those who feel comfortable by belonging to a core organization have numerous opportunities to do so. Those who prefer the ronin's approach, likewise have the opportunity. Each individual has the freedom and ability to vote with his feet. IMHO, I don't see it getting any better, in the long or the short run.
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Old 01-26-2006, 05:37 AM   #52
Mark Freeman
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Hi Edwin,
Quote:
sorry mark, inner secrets I cannot reveal my co grandmasters... but we are legion and mighty!
I'ts ok I understand.....

As for the remainder of your post, wow that's alot of hypotheticals to digest in one sitting. I feel a possible heartburn coming on.

I get the feeling that the 'frauds' you speak of really get to you, I also see that the root cause of this is your desire to see the art you love stay uncorrupted. I really do empathise with that sentiment, however, Unless we all form some kind of Aiki thought police and travel the length and breadth of the land trying to root out the frauds, we are not going to stop them. So what do we do, let them be, perhaps.
My own teacher was the first to receive aikido training in the UK in the mid 1950's. Over the years he has had many thousands of students, some have stayed for a while, left, and reappeared miraculously higher ranked, heading their own organisations.
His reaction... let them get on with it.. he continues to teach and be true to the heritage and the aikido of his teachers.
The BAB (British Aikido Board) The governing body for 'all' Aikido in the UK does not include the federation of the UK's first British teacher.
So the idea of unity here is a fair way off.

Perhaps we can stem the possible idea that some hypothetical ban might shut aikido down, by aikidoka en masse going out and being nice to people. We should decend in our hoardes and perpetrate acts of extreme pleasantness! if we kept our gi and hakama on there would be no mistaking who carried out the wanton good deeds!

Cheers,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 01-26-2006, 05:52 AM   #53
Amir Krause
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Quote:
this idea of unification
Could anyone try and explain how does he view an imaginary unified M.A. ? (Aikido or "Ultimate fu-do")
What does this unification mean in practice? How is it supposed to work in a practical world ?
How is it supposed to stop fraud? Can it develop ? Can it be adjusted for different people ? Are the techniques fixed or the principles? Is the curriculum fixed ? What happens if the group is small and a new student joins in?


I can not imagine any human occupation that can be fixed without flexibility. Even M.D. each has his own way and may decide differently on when to give medicine and which in many situations.

Amir
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:11 AM   #54
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

yeah my main focus is frauds, and how they affect aikido, martial arts, and prospective students... as i posted in another thread i did indeed run into one of these Mcdojo's and many of the students of this huckster were totally turned off to any MA ever again, a few even went so far as to liken it to a cult... even the kindest were pissed about the money they had lost for basically nothing...
Clark, we have both trained with people who are outside of the mainstream aikido organizations, as we discussed in a previous message, but they have a LINEAGE back to Osensei and are recognized by some of the mainstream organizations, although they do not belong to them...
my postings are mostly rhetorical, but i do believe this is an important issue that is being avoided (how very aiki!) by senior aikidoka... we see things like my hypotheticals all the time in the news... gun manufacturers responsible for gun violence, tobacco companies, fast food companies, whatever... If i were ever to consider opening a dojo, these things would probably be the issues that would squash that... even ronin can say i trained with so and so and they trained with so and so, and thus have some authority... mail order sensei's need not apply!!!

Edwin Neal


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Old 01-26-2006, 06:22 AM   #55
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

hey amir good questions... i think the idea you gave about M.D.'s is a good one... the medical board(?) doesn't say this doctor is the best or his medicine is no good, but you know they went to medical school!... i am not really saying sensei's should apply for a license from the aikido board, but some control should be available IMHO... and i agree a certain amount of flexibility would be required in this kind of endeavor... once again i am NOT suggesting uniform waza, testing criteria, methodology, etc... i believe that aikido covers a wide range and thats is good and okay... i just don't like posers and liars...

Edwin Neal


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Old 01-26-2006, 01:08 PM   #56
crbateman
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Like I said, Edwin, if they're truly fakes, incompetent, mentally defective, or whatever, then nobody is going to take them seriously, anyway, and one day they'll get their come-uppance on the mat. One is probably better off just to ignore them, as challenging their credentials (or lack thereof) gives them a means of resolve, and a moment in the spotlight, which is probably what they're craving. People of good judgment and conscience are sensible enough to steer clear of them, and those with less experience will eventually learn a valuable lesson. I certainly have learned my share of them the hard way.

The whole credibility through credentials thing is flawed, anyway. I know some people with legitimate credentials who are very poor teachers, and others who are poor technically. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. I'm not going to make decisions about quality of training by looking to see what's hanging on the dojo wall. I'd rather give somebody the benefit of the doubt if he's good. All that really matters to me is whether there is something I can learn from him. After all, isn't that why we train? I have learned valuable things from people who have no rank, lineage, or anything else, and WHAT they know is more telling than HOW or FROM WHOM they learned it. Just my humble opinion. Is it Friday yet? I need a beer.....
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Old 01-26-2006, 02:56 PM   #57
LouieLouie
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
Unless you have copyright or trademark on the word or design "aikido," what business is it of yours how others use it?
Boy, you're loosing me here. I was just asking a question. Getting that kind of an answer won't help in any way.

Heck, how others do A´kido is none of my business for sure. But from I understand A´kido, or on a broader sense, from what I understand from human relations, respect always comes first to my mind.

If anybody was ever shocked or insulted by this thread or by a remark I made, I'm sorry.

Geez!

Louis.
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Old 01-26-2006, 04:24 PM   #58
Adam Alexander
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Quote:
Louis Tremblay wrote:
Boy, you're loosing me here. I was just asking a question. Getting that kind of an answer won't help in any way.

Heck, how others do A´kido is none of my business for sure. But from I understand A´kido, or on a broader sense, from what I understand from human relations, respect always comes first to my mind.

If anybody was ever shocked or insulted by this thread or by a remark I made, I'm sorry.

Geez!

Louis.
No offense taken or intended. It's a sincere question that's just worded sharply--has nothing to do with "respect."

If you look closer at the answer, you may see the "help" you don't see is there.

The bottom line is that Ueshiba, apparently, didn't constrain the use of the word or the art. Further, Ueshiba said that everyone's Aikido was their own. So, if Aikido is different for everyone and he made no effort to limit the use of his word, how do you know what it means? How do any of us know what it means?

You say that it's out of concern for fraud, but what's fraud? After just learning ikkyo, he sent the Yoseikan founder out to teach Aikido. Is that fraudulent? Maybe to you, but not necessarily to everyone.

There's no reason a person can't pick up a copy of Total Aikido or The Dynamic Sphere and copy those techniques while supporting a dojo and calling it Aikido. It' s up to the student to investigate the source of instruction and go from there.


To believe that because you've got a large organization to oversee the art is going to give you some sort of positive benefit is naive. The only positive benefit gained from beauracracy is those gained by those politically adept...not necessarily technically adept.
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:06 PM   #59
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

i agree totally clarke, but i still think ignoring these frauds does a disservice to aikido and potential students, who in some cases just don't know enough to make an "informed" decision... and some of the hucksters out there are very slick at self promotion, marketing, public relations, even cult type "mind control"... it seems kind of disingenuous for us (aikidoka) to simply throw the unsuspecting students into the water and leave it to them to sink or swim... especially with sharks circling to snap up the unlucky ones...
to Jean... you like some others have some serious reservation about a beauracratic organization which i share, but that is not really what i am getting at... it IS wrong and fraudulent to just pick up a book and then claim to teach aikido... would you go to a guy who read a medical book for serious medical care or would you prefer someone who actually WAS a doctor?
there is a very fine line (and alot of misunderstanding) about "everyones aikido is there own"... at its essence I agree (takemusu aiki), but on the other hand you can't say just any thing is aikido... if i walk my dog for instance that is not aikido even if i claim it is "my" aikido... aikido is a specific body of knowledge that is broad and open to "some" personal interpretation, not just whatever anyone says...

Edwin Neal


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Old 01-26-2006, 07:22 PM   #60
James Kelly
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Edwin,

Here's the thing. I really do sympathize with your dislike of aikido frauds -- they bug me too sometimes -- and you make a reasonable case for why you think a unified aikido is a good thing (though some of your hypotheticals are stretching it). But... you haven't proposed a practical means for carrying out your vision. You're not saying you want a licensing board (though in fact there are many such organization throughout the world) and you're not suggesting uniform waza -- great. What are you suggesting? From the previous thread you suggest that we the aikidoka should be responsible -- the aikido community. But there is no aikido community per se. There are many aikido communities that overlap and chafe. Many of the leaders of these organizations hate each other explicitly. Some hide their dislike. Harmony between the practitioners of the art of harmony would be great, but it doesn't exist.

The only possible way I could see unification is if an individual came along with the strength of character and technique to convince all the factions to band together (we'll call Ĺem the aiki messiah). Not likely, and certainly not while the issei (first generation shihan) are still active but even if this fantasy came true, there'd be people who descent because that's the nature of people. Leaving, again, room for frauds.

I'm sorry to say, but the frauds are something we're all just going to have to get used to living with.

Last edited by James Kelly : 01-26-2006 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 01-26-2006, 09:12 PM   #61
LouieLouie
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
No offense taken or intended. It's a sincere question that's just worded sharply
That's ok. Sorry if I got you wrong.

Louis.
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Old 01-26-2006, 09:28 PM   #62
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Hey James... sadly TOO much of what you say is true... i like many are disheartened by the "bad blood" among some organizations, but that is another rant ;-)... i do think unification is possible without the "aikimessiah" ... reconciliation among the feuding factions should be a primary goal, since that speaks directly to the heart of aikido philosophy... some kind of "umbrella" organization( not all powerful) that would speak to the authority/legitimacy/experience of anyone claiming to teach aikido... yeah i know this is problematic, but most things that are worthwhile are not easily achieved... this group would not be a judiciary committee, but something more like consumer awareness, better business, etc... as i said to clark even ronin aikidoka have a training history that can and should be available at the request of students who wish to research this... instead of having some dude mail order his Grandmaster of aikido certificate, there would be a legit umbrella organization that presented factual information about senseis... perhaps membership with this organization (no dues please!) or registration with said organization would help uninformed consumers (students) know what to look for...
i appreciate everyones thoughts, my personal opinion is that just letting frauds be is like just letting a stab wound continue to bleed when you could staunch the bloodflow ... this in no way means that those who feel that it should be overlooked are wrong (but you are! ;-) )... i just think it is important, and worth the effort to address this issue
thanks for everyones thoughts!

Edwin Neal


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Old 01-26-2006, 09:43 PM   #63
Adam Alexander
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
1)it IS wrong and fraudulent to just pick up a book and then claim to teach aikido..

2). would you go to a guy who read a medical book for serious medical care or would you prefer someone who actually WAS a doctor?


3)there is a very fine line (and alot of misunderstanding) about "everyones aikido is there own"... at its essence I agree (takemusu aiki), but on the other hand you can't say just any thing is aikido... if i walk my dog for instance that is not aikido even if i claim it is "my" aikido.

.4). aikido is a specific body of knowledge that is broad and open to "some" personal interpretation, not just whatever anyone says...
1)That's your personal opinion. Who are you to set limits on others? Do YOU understand the techniques so clearly that you can set limits? I doubt it. None of us do.

2)You ever watch M.A.S.H.? Every few shows, Hawkeye's reading through a book to do a procedure. I like Hawkeye.

3)Sure it is. It's Aikido to you. I'd disagree about it being Aikido, but I also disagree that what I see in plenty of dojos is Aikido...but who am I?

4)Aikido is what each of us make it.


Louis,

I didn't ask.

Forgive me if I don't post in this thread anymore. I don't have time.
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:22 PM   #64
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

reading a book on any topic does NOT make you qualified to teach or even explain it... if that were the case I would teach an astounding range of disciplines!!!, my understanding is not the topic of discussion... Hawkeye WAS a DOCTOR, i have no problem with a qualified doctor researching the specifics of any procedure he is performing, in fact that is an acknowledgement that even an expert or master continues to learn and develop... now you are just being contrary!!! walking the dog is not aikido no matter what any one says... Takemusu Aiki doesn't mean anything in the world is aikido... it means infinite variety and creativity IN the art of aikido... come on dude don't just be contrary for the sake of it...

Edwin Neal


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Old 01-27-2006, 03:58 PM   #65
Adam Alexander
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Excellent. I think you're now understanding where I'm coming from. Toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe. We can disagree and that's okay...as long as no-one tries to infringe on another. All you gave me for a response was, basically, "that's not how you SHOULD pronounce the word."

I promise to always let you judge your instructors and decide whether they're suitable for you or if they fit your idea of a fraud. How about you not worry about obstructing others to do the same...let freedom ring
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Old 01-28-2006, 10:20 AM   #66
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

freedom is great Jean, but freedom is not carte blanche... you can't kill someone and claim freedom as an excuse... we should all judge things based on their merit... i just have a problem with frauds who make spurious claims to teach aikido, when you and I would both probably agree that it is not aikido, but some crap they cooked up to bilk unsuspecting students of their money... again i think this issue is important, which is why i continue to discuss it... and i think that ignoring it or placing the burden completely on the prospective student to investigate "senseis" validity is IMHO a little irresponsible and in fact counter to the fundamental principles of aikido...

Edwin Neal


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Old 01-28-2006, 11:21 AM   #67
crbateman
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Re: Towards a unified Aikido ?

Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
...you and I would both probably agree that it is not aikido, but some crap they cooked up to bilk unsuspecting students of their money...
Aikido is NOT profitable. No "con man" in his right (or wrong) mind would choose it as a way to turn a dollar. And there is no reason that any student be "unsuspecting". Caution is just a part of making a careful decision.

Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
...placing the burden completely on the prospective student to investigate "senseis" validity is IMHO a little irresponsible and in fact counter to the fundamental principles of aikido...
I would be willing to bet that your typical student is going to have some doubt on his own about a questionable instructor, long before the outside world even gets a whiff. Most people are not stupid. And I cannot fathom being part of any organization whose purpose is to conduct "witch hunts" and investigate instructors.

Another thing to consider is that, even if such a mechanism were put in place, all those teaching at the time of its inception would be legally protected, "grandfathered in" (in the U.S. at least, if engaged in teaching for money) and would be GIVEN OUTRIGHT the very credentials you are seeking to protect. There would be court battles ad infinitum.

Yours is a valid ideal, Edwin, but in reality, it just won't work. Students have the right to choose, and the responsibility for the outcome of a poor choice. That's just the way it is. If you consider this very plausible example: You see a notice on here that Joe Blow Sensei is going to be conducting a seminar in your town, at a cost of $200. You say to yourself "I have never heard of Joe Blow, and neither has anyone else I know in Aikido... I'm staying away." You have made the very same choice, with little or no difficulty, and arrived at the correct solution, only this is just for a weekend and $200. I would have to think that you (and everybody else) would put at least as much thought into a similar decision involving YEARS and THOUSAND$. JMO.

Last edited by crbateman : 01-28-2006 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 01-28-2006, 11:45 AM   #68
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

much of what you say is too true clark, but still see some of my earlier posts about my personal experience here in my hometown... as to witch hunts and investigations and such... well i don't think it needs to go that route, nor indeed to court battles and such... again if you watch your local news it probably has someone like the lady on my local news who investigates "bad" businesses or ones that flat out rip off their customers, and thus informs prospective customers so they don't have to learn it the hard way... just call me the aikido better business beaureau or some such

Edwin Neal


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Old 01-28-2006, 12:08 PM   #69
crbateman
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Re: Towards a unified Aikido ?

Yes, but without an accepted public standard, someone must sit in judgment of what is acceptable, else the "action reporter" would have no one to quote, and no context for the report. That, in itself, would be irresponsible. And if you think that someone eking out a living in his dojo, or protective of his public reputation, would hesitate to test the "certification" system in court, you really ARE dreaming. We can't arbitrarily appoint an "Aikido President" or create the "Aikido Police" without being genuinely unfair to SOMEBODY (probably many somebodies). It's too Orwellian, and just not realistic. What IS realistic, is that it simply doesn't mean enough to enough people...
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Old 01-28-2006, 12:28 PM   #70
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

yeah thats the feeling i get... most of the other posters seem to think oh well thats just the way it is... too much ego, politics, trouble, etc... my experience really was an eye opener and a few other MA instructors/schools caught some flak because of this guy that i ran into... as a result there is only one MA school in my town now... at one time there were as many as five, and i would never open my own dojo, because of the lingering stink that this guy left... i practice with a few fellow ronin here in town, but we all wish there was something better as the itinerant lifestyle can be costly... gas hotels fees etc... i am not necessarily calling for certification or licenseing perhaps an aikido database that listed "reputable" aikido teachers... yeah i know it has similar problems, but almost all the organizations that are currently active have a legitimate lineage back to osensei... that idea of lineage and time training etc should be openly available so that people like this guy can't mail order his certificate of grandmastery and just suddenly be an aikido master... i'll go out on a limb and say i feel like WE (all aikidoka) could be umbrella-ed under Hombu regardless of style/organization... the only problem there is politics and ego... yeah it's a mess, but just because it is messy and diffucult doesn't mean we shouldn't try

Edwin Neal


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Old 01-31-2006, 04:54 PM   #71
Adam Alexander
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Well, here's a solution: Run around the country checking out dojos and giving it your GoodMA seal of approval. You can call it Edwin'sList. There we'll all find the right Aikido dojo.

How's that? I think it's a great idea. Is that "responsible?"

Since this service is of such significance, I'm certain any potential martial artist worth his/her salt will be willing to pay...oh...I don't know...ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!!

Irresponsible? Come on. Get a grip. I'm not responsible for other MAists and they're not responsible for me.

But since there's a percieved need, there you go: You can get in on the ground floor.

For the love of God. You'd think that your little idea here would be free.
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Old 01-31-2006, 05:07 PM   #72
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Thanks Jean, i have been looking for my "million dollar idea"... aren't we as humans all responsible for each other's, indeed all of creation's, well being... i think this is a fundamental principle of aikido...

Edwin Neal


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Old 01-31-2006, 05:41 PM   #73
Adam Alexander
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
aren't we as humans all responsible for each other's well being
No.
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Old 01-31-2006, 06:08 PM   #74
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

i believe the principles of aikido say we are responsible for each other... we are all one family... even an attacker...we are guided to lovingly protect them...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-01-2006, 05:10 AM   #75
crbateman
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Edwin, as you are no doubt aware, what you may believe in principle is often NOT what you may see in practice. It is much easier to subscribe to an ideal than it is to make it work on command in real life. What you propose sounds good, but won't happen, because everyone would have to believe in the same ideals as you do, and it is human nature that people don't all think the same. The fact that there are good and verifiable lineages among instructors out there makes it possible to simply choose from those whose lineage you recognize and respect, and avoid those that you don't. If a guy won't talk of his teachers or training history, that doesn't make him a bad guy, just one that you might want to avoid "on principle" if you have a choice. That mechanism, and that choice, is already in place for each of us. Nothing more needs to be done.
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