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Old 02-01-2006, 11:44 AM   #76
Amir Krause
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Edwin

I have a very simple problem with your suggestion - it would likely keep people like my Sensei as fraudulent. While in fact he is not. I learn Korindo aikido, a style that does not consider it self connected to Ueshiba, rather, we consider our founder to be Minoro Hirai, and often look at ourselves as a different M.A. My teacher studied Korindo aikido (and Judo and Karate) in Japan for several years and has kept practicing (here and in Japan) and perfecting his studies in the last 30-35 + yrs. And I would consider him as first class world wide (heard similar comments from a friend who studies Tomiki Aikido in Japan now).

I have seen Ueshiba Aikido more then once. Mostly it looks very similar, but the devil is in the details, and there, there are many differences.

My main point is -- any governing body of "Aikido" like you described is likely to count us as frauds, for no valid reason.
I have seen Ueshiba Aikido more then once. Mostly it looks very similar, but the devil is in the details, and there, there are many differences. The end result is when I practice at Ueshiba Aikido dojo I am told to correct multiple things, that I do correctly in the context of my system and vice-versa. No "Governing body of Aikido" selected by the majority of practitioners would have approved my current Dan rank or my teacher's (though in fact he currently is higher ranked and more veteran than all the other Aikido instructors here). The "Governing body of Aikido" would probably have claimed we make multiple basic mistakes and should correct things that are basic to our way of performing techniques, practicing etc.

This is my reason for asking on how you view a unified Aikido; and my reason for currently objecting for the concept you are trying to propagate. Unification the way you described is a long process that eventually turns every member of that body to a "robotic copy". Since this is against human nature, in the process, most would leave the unified organization and generate multiple other organizations.

Frauds are a problem. But the solution to it must not limit the growth of diverse Aikido dojos.

Amir
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Old 02-01-2006, 12:07 PM   #77
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

i am unfamiliar with Korindo Aikido... please link me to any info you could... my belief and understanding is that Osensei developed aikido and i believe historical evidence backs this up... it is unlikely that anything called aikido came from a source other than Osensei, and is possible that there may be politics and ego that we are not aware of that are the real reason your style claims to be independent of Osensei... as i have said before i am not advocating "uniform" techniques, teaching styles or ranking criterion, be adopted... please let me know more about your style...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-01-2006, 12:16 PM   #78
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Hi All (John, I see you lurking),

Amir just wrote a fantastic post for this thread, but I'd like to point out an additional factor. There are people teaching aikido in new and different ways all the time. Some of them not very highly ranked in terms of the major aikido organizations. One example from my training this past weekend is Ellis Amdur. We all know of him from his Koryu background, but he is a yudansha in the Aikikai as well. He has had the opportunity to train with many of the best aikido instructors in Japan, as well as some not so well known. Because he moved on to other things for a while, I don't believe he is very highly ranked. But his overall experience in martial art in general and aikido in particular should be unquestionable.

Someone asked a person who was at the seminar this weekend "what rank is he?" Personally, I think this shows a fundamental flaw in how we look at aikido and it's instructors. Ellis's seminar was simply beyond issues of rank. It was beyond issues of style. It was beyond the sort of formulaic training we see and participate in 90% of the time. He worked on showing us how to organize our bodies, how to flow from one technique to another, how to work with resistance, how to put what we've learned from our own styles into practice in a free form environment with varying levels of resistance with atemi. With people that in many cases, barely knew each other, if at all. With no injuries that I am aware of, and no bad feelings (even when I had a brown belt kicking my butt ).

I am beginning to think that people like David Valedez, Bob Wolfe, Ellis Amdur and others are often more on the forward edge of aikido than some of us stuck in the mud of organization, affiliation, and rank. A governing board of aikido would have no place for people like that, and it would be to the detriment of Aikido and each and every person who practices it.

The frauds will eventually take care of themselves...self-selection. It is inevitable. But the un-affiliated gems...where will they come from once Big Brother is watching the hen house???

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 02-01-2006, 12:20 PM   #79
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Edwin, use google. Korindo Aikido is a fantastic art, one which I wish was more available. If you get a chance, look up John Goss. Although he is from an off-shoot, he can certainly expose you to a significant portion of the art.

The Ueshiba family did not choose the name aikido. A governing body of martial arts (Butokukai, I believe) made the selection based on many factors. It was originally meant as a broad category of non-sportive martial art, and it certainly applies in the case of Korindo Aikido. Here is an article on the founder of Korindo Aikido. There are more references available by searching the AJ archives.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article...light=korindo+

Best,
Ron


Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
i am unfamiliar with Korindo Aikido... please link me to any info you could... my belief and understanding is that Osensei developed aikido and i believe historical evidence backs this up... it is unlikely that anything called aikido came from a source other than Osensei, and is possible that there may be politics and ego that we are not aware of that are the real reason your style claims to be independent of Osensei... as i have said before i am not advocating "uniform" techniques, teaching styles or ranking criterion, be adopted... please let me know more about your style...

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 02-01-2006 at 12:21 PM. Reason: added link

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Old 02-01-2006, 12:30 PM   #80
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

my original intent was to insure that if someone claimed to teach aikido that they indeed could 'do' aikido, not just make some stuff up and call it aikido and claim some fictitious rank... its not what your rank or organization is but what you can do... if you say you can do it then you should be able to do it...
thanks for the links i will check them out...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-01-2006, 12:44 PM   #81
Amir Krause
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Ron

The check is on the way

And if you ever come this way - you are invited and I'll be happy to let you kick my but in Randori



Edwin

I will not answer your questions here since it will change the entire thread direction. As I wrote previously, I know I am not learning from a fraud (I met my sensai teachers in Japan). Let us suffice ourselvs with that.

My point is that a unification with some governing body that gives a "quality stamp" would almost always mean standartization. The quality body has to have some standards.
Those standards would be based on the major styles and unify the, toghether. The smaller styles would not be able to stay within and would become outsiders, suspected frauds because they can never qualify to the standard.

It is difficult enough to be a member of a small style as it is (see your response and immidiate suspicion). Any governing body would only make it more difficult (and then the politics in it would start ... )


Amir
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Old 02-01-2006, 12:48 PM   #82
John A Butz
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Re: Towards a unified Aikido ?

Yeah Ron, I am around. I find this subject to be interesting for two reasons, the first being the issues you mention in your post re: Ellis, David and Bob and what they are working towards.

The other reason actually stems from an old Aikido Today Magazine interview with Kuroiwa Sensei. In this interview, as I recall, Kuroiwa Sensei stated that he believed that aikido had died with Ueshiba O-Sensei, and that we as practitioners now had to figure it out for ourselves. I take that to mean that falling back on the idea that we are doing the exact martial art of Ueshiba or that certain kinds of practice can maintain the art EXACTLY as he practiced it or give us the ability he possessed, is a deeply flawed perspective.

In my opinion, striving to preserve Aikido as Ueshiba practiced it(and there is a whole 'nuther can of worms re: Iwama vs. Hombu, pre-war v.s post-war etc. that I won't even try to touch on) is forcing us to inbreed, to avoid any new ideas or input in an attempt to keep us "pure". But inbreeding eventually leads to stagnation and weakness. New blood, new ideas, new approaches are necessary to grow and survive. The down side to this is we end up with frauds and approaches that don't pan out.

The upside is that we can also encounter wonderful moments like the seminar Ellis ran last weekend, where a group of people from many different backgrounds came together to see things in a new light, with the explicit permission to take what was taught, keep what worked in your practice and reject what didn't. My image of a unified aikido, if such a thing is possible, is this: all of us, on the mat, without regard to rank, tradition, or who's right and wrong, just training. Walk a mile in the other guys shoes, as it were, and then look at what you do from a slightly different light.

Thats my two cents.


--John A Butz

Last edited by John A Butz : 02-01-2006 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 02-01-2006, 01:22 PM   #83
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

i would say from after reading through the informational links that the distinction is political... there is a clear lineage to Osensei and thus it is aikido... all you late comers to MY thread please read the entire thread if you have not already, as many of these points have been discussed before... aikido was never meant to be a stagnant unchanging art... pre war post war whatever it is aikido... we preserve the legacy and spirit of Osensei... not a collection of techniques... the splintering of aikido after the founders death has facilitated the hijacking of our art by frauds... this is my concern... please reread and feel free to add your thoughts... do not be concerned with drift in this thread... i'm cool with it... discuss whatever this thread moves you to...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-01-2006, 02:30 PM   #84
Budd
 
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Edwin,

Are you claiming this thread as yours? Or are you referring to the thread in the testing section that you started?

Ron and John,

This past weekend was lots of fun. I enjoyed getting to play with so many people.

RE: This unification stuff:

A problem I have with the idea of any kind of centralized group mandating what is or isn't aikido is that I couldn't really care less what the mainstream thinks of my practice.

The issue of fraudulent activity is always going to be present and will always need to be combatted. I agree with others regarding the best way to do that is to make information available rather than by group mandate. And by making the information available, I don't necessarily mean through drawn-out witch hunts like I've seen on other message boards.

I already have experienced enough people telling me that my groundwork and strikes "Aren't Aikido", nor would I want to force anyone to follow my training paradigm in order to be "Doing Aikido".

As for getting any number of people to agree on what aikido "is" or "should be" -- I'd be mildly interested to see how far that goes. I only care to the extent that my teacher, my dojomates and myself are all aligned on what our aikido practice will consist of.

I think one of the problems that Edwin (unintentionally or otherwise) may have pointed out is the notion that aikido mostly comes from Ueshiba (one way or another) or via Takeda as Ueshiba's aikido came, largely, from Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu. In both cases, there are splinter groups, frauds, squabbles, historical interpretations, etc. that don't necessarily align (between aikido and DRA groups and within aikido and DRA groups). It's easy to just shrug and say, "Politics", but part of training and belonging to a group is to do your part in maintaining the health of the group. I've been lucky to take part in a few Olive Branch extensions, which help goodwill, but ultimately haven't really changed how I've dedicated myself to training.

One could argue that it's a result of an art hinging so largely on one person, or the idea that people have of one person. Witness some of the discussions on Aikido Journal regarding who got what from Ueshiba (or who went outside to get it). There's Ueshiba's uchideshi that are still teaching, then their students . . . and so on. Each with differing interpretations (which I don't think can be dismissed by saying, "Well, they all do ikkyo, right, it's just politics?").? Is one right more than the others? Is one embodying the "spirit of O-sensei" more than others? Who gets to make that call and why?

Ultimately, I think what it comes down to is that you practice an activity that you enjoy with honesty. Meaning, the instructor is clear and honest regarding where the curriculum comes from. You are honest about your goals for and the benefits of practice (even if it's just, "I like it" and "it helps me relax" -- I think it's much more realistic than becoming an enlightened mystic -- no offense to any enlightened mystics that might be reading).

My practice of aikido is between my teacher, my training partners and myself.

I prefer to keep it that way.

Though I do have a lot of fun visiting other schools and attending seminars like Amdur Sensei's this past weekend . . .

Last edited by Budd : 02-01-2006 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 02-01-2006, 02:39 PM   #85
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Quote:
there is a clear lineage to Osensei and thus it is aikido...
ahem...did you read the sections about where the term *aikido* comes from? Or did you just skip all that...

Best,
Ron (Hey Budd!)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 02-01-2006, 02:41 PM   #86
Budd
 
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Ron (Hey Budd!)
Hi Ron!

Sent you a PM.
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Old 02-01-2006, 03:00 PM   #87
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

as an enlightened mystic i take no offense... thanks Budd, for keeping me honest i had forgotten that i had stopped posting on that thread and started dicussing it here... for interested parties this is my original thread on this, good reading...you can see how this has evolved...

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9597

as i keep saying i am not saying anything like a Mandated Standardized Aikido, enforced by the Aikipolice... but rather something loose and comfortable and friendly so we can address the issue of frauds... and isn't time for a reconciliation? am I the only one that finds it ironic that the art with the aim of unifying and harmonizing can't even do it amongst themselves?

and Budd don't worry if they say your strikes and ne waza aren't aikido... there is good video/photo evidence as well as some direct students of Osensei that will back it... it may not be the main 'core' of aikido, but it certainly falls in the overall scope of aikido...Takemusu Aiki! i too don't think aikido by committee is applicable each person studies for their own reasons, and has unique goals they don't even have to be the same as your dojomates or sensei's... Honesty and sincerity are values I think we all can agree on...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-01-2006, 03:28 PM   #88
Budd
 
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

I think strides are already being made towards "reconciliation" through the wonderful Aiki Expo (gonna make it one of these years, I swear) events that Mr. Stan Pranin has organized as well as the other smaller seminars that take place (such as the one by Ellis Amdur Sensei las weekend) where a variety of aikido/aikijutsu is represented from a number of affiliations.

Basically, keep training, meet new people, keep training, rinse, repeat . . . budo is good.

And I don't worry about what people say about my strikes or ne waza (unless they are giving me advice or constructive criticism for improvement -- then I'm all ears!), it's just that I don't really want anyone deciding that my aikido practice can't include them.
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Old 02-01-2006, 03:52 PM   #89
odudog
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

You can't open an Aikido dojo in South Korea without government approval. Yoon Sensei {sp?} is in charge of this. He was appointed by the South Korean government. He teaches Aikido and Muy Thai and is a really nice guy and good practitioner. I don't know how he goes about sanctioning the instructors though.

Dai Nippon Butokukai is the Japanese governing body that came up with the term Aikido. In the old days it was an official government body but was disbanded by the US government after the war. If you wanted your style of budo to be legitimized, then you had to get their stamp of approval. They have since come together again but is no longer an official government body and their main purpose is to see that classical budo is preserved and disseminated. My first Aikido instructor is the head of the Dai Nippon Butokukai International Division.
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Old 02-01-2006, 04:05 PM   #90
deepsoup
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
...all you late comers to MY thread...
Sit tight, Edwin, the delusions of grandeur ambulance is on the way. I just hope they can get to you while your head will still fit out of the door.
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Old 02-01-2006, 04:22 PM   #91
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Budd, i think aikido must include them by the very nature and definition of aikido, but if people don't want to play that way its okay by me... i keep saying it but, most of the oldtimers and Osensei had experience in judo,jj,karate,kendo,yawara,sumo... so these skills were 'assumed', but most aikidoka today and even sensei's don't have that background, so you get wimpy atemi, no groundwork, and then you add on that idea of can't question your sensei, or study other things, and you can't 'add' to aikido, and thats 'not' aikido... well it gets kind of murky... and you end up with stuff that while it can be useful for SD is more like an exercise... i think Osensei meant for aikido to work in all fighting ranges, so to ignore this is bad and potentially very bad for a student in a SD situation...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-01-2006, 05:16 PM   #92
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

There's an Old Saying about Enlightenment. Something about those who declare themselves to be...

Q
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Old 02-01-2006, 05:21 PM   #93
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

i did not claim to be 'enlightened'... but an 'enlightened mystic'... yes a small difference but all i need is a small loophole to wriggle through...;-))

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-02-2006, 03:17 AM   #94
Amir Krause
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Edwin

First- if you have not understood the hints this is not "your thread". You only started it. You are not the only poster nor have you (or me for that matter) any privilege compared to any poster that posts in the next page.


Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Actually I believe in the last couple of years, we do see some sort of unification, of Aikido and many other M.A. it is not done via organizations. But rather, on an individual voluntary basis: internet sites that assist us to recognize others and learn to value their opinions, their different ways, their different techniques, etc.

This also supplies us with communication between students and practitioners. People can ask about the legitimacy of suspect teachers. You can find out about other styles, their history, their views etc. As some have mentioned, this also opens the route for some meetings and seminars.

Reality is stronger then any organization. Frauds will always be there. So long as they can earn something (with Aikido I don't know why they bother - the money is certainly not the reason). Any board that tries to give quality assurance, in order of dealing with fraud,
is bound to generate more harm to the smaller styles and organizations, then the benefit.

As I heard someone define it, with regard too styles - so long as a student can come from one place to another, and practice there, it is still Aikido.

Amir
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Old 02-02-2006, 03:31 AM   #95
Edwin Neal
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

i admitted my mistake about this thread earlier when Budd pointed it out... i have discussed this topic in several threads and just got confused... your point about the internet helping to build bridges is very good... it is my hope that this can lead to a less virtual, more real reconciliation among groups that have "bad blood" nothing is worse than a feud among family members... again my concern of quality has nothing to do with styles or organizations of any size, and i do not think an attempt at unifying/reconciling should result in harm to them... the definition you give is a good one...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-02-2006, 06:05 PM   #96
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
I am beginning to think that people like David Valedez, Bob Wolfe, Ellis Amdur and others are often more on the forward edge of aikido than some of us stuck in the mud of organization, affiliation, and rank. A governing board of aikido would have no place for people like that, and it would be to the detriment of Aikido and each and every person who practices it.
I think that, now that a generation of Aikido teachers has reached 6th Dan, you will see a number of them getting "creative" so to speak. No approach is without its inherent limitations and many of the folks that have gotten to this level are aware of the limitations in what they have been doing and are looking for something to take them to the next level.

In my own case, Saotome sensei has been adament that there is no "style" in Aikido so I have been operating with no constraints in that department for years. Since I haven't even come close to exhausting what Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei have been teaching , I still put alot of focus on mastering what they've been teaching but not in a detailed technical way, but focusing on the principles of what they are doing.

When it comes to teaching, I am completely different from any of my teachers... totally different. And I think that this is precisely what is needed for folks within our organization. The new generation of teachers should provide different ways of looking at what our teachers have been doing, emphasizing different aspects of what we've been taught, providing alternative explanations, etc What would be the point of developing another generation of clones?

Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei are both quite active; one can train with them whenever one wishes to make the effort. We don't need clones, we need people who can give different perspectives on what they are doing. There are folks out there who have been training for decades. If the any particular method of training or explanation of principle was going to work for them it would have by now. They need to see other ways of training, different explanations of the principles, etc. That's why people like Ellis Amdur and Mike Sigman are so important because, although they have enough Aikido to undretsand what we do, they are primarily from outside and can bring fresh insight into the mix. The Aiki Expos have been an integral part in changing the Aikido of many of the senior folks I know. You can even see how someone like Ikeda Sensei has actually changed what he does and how he teaches based on what he learned from various people he connected with at the Expos.

Then there are the folks from "inside" Aikido who are trying to be craetive about how they train themselves and how they teach what they know. They are the ones who have sought out these "alternative" teachers and are now engaged in incorporating the insights they've had into their Aikido. I think these teachers wil lbe integral in keeping Aikido "alive" as it goes into the future.

But don't sell the "stylists" short... Teachers like Shioda, Mochizuki, Tomiki, Hikitsuchi, Saito, Tohei, Shirata, Nishio, etc. had their own unique approaches to the art and we don't always need to look to "outside" influences to make the jumps in our training that we want; often we simply need exposure to different Aikido approaches. Teachers like Auge, John Stevens, Pat Hendricks, Clint George, Wiliam Gleason, etc. are preservers of knowledge that can be of great value. But people need to look beyond the boundaries of their own little "boxes"... We should be training with all of these teachers, not simply training with the folks who "do what we do".

The combined knowledege contained within these different styels as passed on by the different teachers who have chosen to pass it on as it was taught to them is vast indeed. But in my opinion, the people who will end up recognized as the foremost practitioners and teachers of the next generation will be the folks who took the elclectic approach and not the people who specialized in a given style or approach.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 02-02-2006 at 06:08 PM.

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Old 02-02-2006, 06:49 PM   #97
Adam Alexander
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
but freedom is not carte blanche... ..
Agreed. That's why when someone misrepresents something to you, you can file a lawsuit.

There you go!!! All the freedom you need, with the threat of law if you lie. And, you didn't even have to try to infringe on everyone else
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Old 02-02-2006, 09:15 PM   #98
crbateman
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Lawsuits are nowadays less about law, or truth, or even principle, and more about greed, avarice or revenge. Sigh...
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Old 02-03-2006, 12:11 AM   #99
Charles Hill
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Just a couple comments on Mr.Ledyard`s post and the thread in general. I think that Mr.Ledyard`s comments on Aikido and Aikido teachers should be read as "non-Japanese" Aikido or even "American" Aikido. In my (admittedly limited) experience, Japanese 6th dan and up teachers generally can not be labelled as "creative." The fact that they have advanced so far up the rank chain means that they have been squeezed to fit some model of what someone else thinks is correct. It is my opinion that the Japanese shihan in the US "escaped" from Japan. It seems that none of them were sent by Honbu if you read the various interviews carefully enough. They are all highly individualistic, creative people to put it positively, weird is a less positive word. I believe that they sensed that they would not be able to fufill their vision for what they believed was correct so they sought freedom in the States.

Chiba Sensei has expressed concern for what will happen to his students after he passes. He has said that he doubts that there will be meaningful communication between them and Honbu. This has to be true for every student of Japanese shihan in the US. I think that from a Japanese perspective the only way to a unified Aikido would be through Japan. I also think that the future of Aikido lies outside Japan. So a unified Aikido is just not going to happen.

Charles
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Old 02-03-2006, 07:42 AM   #100
kokyu
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
I think that from a Japanese perspective the only way to a unified Aikido would be through Japan. I also think that the future of Aikido lies outside Japan. So a unified Aikido is just not going to happen.Charles
This might be a stupid question, but could we take some lessons from how Judo and Karate have been organized?
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