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Old 03-25-2002, 11:10 AM   #1
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Discuss the article, "Did Morihei Ueshiba Invent Aikido?" by Peter Boylan here.

Article URL: http://www.aikiweb.com/general/boylan1.html
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Old 03-25-2002, 09:19 PM   #2
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Nothing under the sun is new....right?
-Dean
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Old 03-26-2002, 02:17 AM   #3
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If you take it from this point of view, yes, Peter is right! Osensei did not invent Aikido, Kano did not invent Judo, Funakoshi did not invent Karate. If you want to push this concept further, Jesus Christ did not invent Christianity because all the concepts existed befor in other eastern religions. Buddha did not invent Buddhism since in china Taoists had already discovered his principles many hunderd years before.... etc.

Isn't it much simpler to say, Ueshiba is the father of modern aikido as we know it today?
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Old 03-26-2002, 09:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dean H.
Nothing under the sun is new....right?
-Dean
It depends on whether you are a Platonist or a Nominalist....

Best,

Greg Jennings
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Old 03-26-2002, 09:57 AM   #5
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Actually, I'd say that Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Gozo Shioda, Kenji Tomiki and Koichi Tohei are responsible for aikdio as we know it today. Ueshiba M. wasn't known for teaching things. He did something, and it was your job to figure it out. His students organized and codified the art, giving us the 4 very distinct branches of Aikido that most people know of: Aikikai, Yoshinkai, Shodokan, and Ki No Kenkyukai. These are really the creations of the first generation, not of the founder.

Peter Boylan

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Old 03-27-2002, 06:49 AM   #6
Bruce Baker
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Did Ueshiba invent Aikido?

If we look at the facts of who gets credit verses taking the ingredients and baking the cake, I guess for marketing K. Ueshiba, the son, should get credit, by the standards of the business world? Right?

This is the first post that actually touches on the subject of Aikido the practice, not the invention of the word Aikido, not entirely being the invention of O'Sensei? But, like a chef who cooks the same meal, cake, or recipe better than anyone else, should that constitute being crowned the inventor, or the creator, or merely the best there was at that particular time with the clearest vision?

Actually, Christ did not invent Christianity, he merely pointed the way to become closer to God, as did many other religious figures ... within the knowledge and understanding of moral and social values of the day? What the followers did with what they were taught or enhanced to learn bring it to the masses, then it became those religions. In that context, Morehei Ueshiba became the icon of Aikido much like the corporate businessmen who found international company's? He did encourage student to go abroad, didn't he?

Yeah, even Ginchin Funakoshi talks about the history of Karate being very old, not his invention, but the clarification of the word 'Kara' being changed from the meaning of China to 'open' when introduced to Japan as Open-hand. That has to do with ethnic friction between China and Japan over centurys of invasion/warfare.

In this, less godly manifestation, our MA Icons/ religious Icons become human beings who show skill and determination to provide for their family, enhance the public welfare, and generally try to make the world a better place. If that means taking the ingredients of what exists today, mixing them into something slightly different from what has come before with a new name, then that could be an invention, but I wouldn't forget to find its history? History explains a lot of the hardships people try to overcome with their efforts .... some of them being the efforts and teachings hundreds, or a thousand years old ... baked into a better tasting cake?

Marketing sells the product, BABY!
That and throwing people across the room ...
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Old 03-31-2002, 04:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Boylan
Actually, I'd say that Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Gozo Shioda, Kenji Tomiki and Koichi Tohei are responsible for aikdio as we know it today. Ueshiba M. wasn't known for teaching things. He did something, and it was your job to figure it out. His students organized and codified the art, giving us the 4 very distinct branches of Aikido that most people know of: Aikikai, Yoshinkai, Shodokan, and Ki No Kenkyukai. These are really the creations of the first generation, not of the founder.

Peter Boylan
Hmm, so if I organize and sytemize a system for presenting and teaching the concepts embodied in the theory of relativity would you say that I was the creator of the theory of relativity and not Einstein? After all, he never created a comprehensive system for instruction in his theories...

Not to discount the contributions of any of the people above, but IMO there's a large difference between what M. Ueshiba did and what they did. Eliminate any one of them and Aikido (while it would be different) would still be around. Eliminate M. Ueshiba and Aikido wouldn't exist at all.

As to the "the elements already existed" argument, I don't agree with that one either. Glass, wire, and electricity were already in existance, but we still say that Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb. By your line of reasoning it would be impossible for anyone ever to create anything, because the elements are always in existance previously. Now, I suppose that you could argue that (some people do), but it seems to me to fly in the face of the normal usage of the word "create" or "invent".

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-31-2002, 10:34 PM   #8
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I have had the chance last weekend to review my old Daitoryu and Aikijujitsu videos. I have to admit that sometimes when we read the posts on this forum, our thoughts become sometimes confused and we're not sure anymore if our knowledge is correct or not, and we start doubting.

Fortunately, after having seen the videos, I am very relieved to reach the very obvious conclusion that M. Ueshiba did actually "create" Aikido. Eventhough several throws and armlocks do look somehow similar in their conclusion, but also do many techniques that I see in WWF. Did WWF evolve from Daitoryu too? Now seriously, if you're not able to see the huge gap between Aikido and its predecessors, and the genius of M. Ueshiba, then there is no need to discuss this matter further

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 03-31-2002, 10:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
Fortunately, after having seen the videos, I am very relieved to reach the very obvious conclusion that M. Ueshiba did actually "create" Aikido. Eventhough several throws and armlocks do look somehow similar in their conclusion, but also do many techniques that I see in WWF. Did WWF evolve from Daitoryu too? Now seriously, if you're not able to see the huge gap between Aikido and its predecessors, and the genius of M. Ueshiba, then there is no need to discuss this matter further

Cheers,

Edward
I've trained in more than one line of Daito-ryu (including the main line) and seen most of the others (and not on video). I've also trained in most of the major Aikido groups at one time or the other.

I have to disagree. Technically the gap between Daito-ryu and Aikido is not that great. Probably not great enough, IMO, to say that M. Ueshiba "created" the technical side of the art.

OTOH, I think that M. Ueshiba had a conception of a purpose and philosophy of training that very clearly delineates it from Daito-ryu.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-01-2002, 12:11 AM   #10
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Actually, one of the videos I have seen is a demonstration in Japan commemorating some anniversary (sorry my memory about dates really sucks!) of Daitoryu. I think the demonstration possibly took place in 1986 (or 96?), I can verify that later. The thing is many Japanese arts were invited to demonstrate including the Hombu Dojo (both Aikikai and Yoshinkan). Aikikai was represented by Osawa Sensei (Junior), that time he was 6 dan.

His demonstration was simply brilliant! And clearly in a class of its own compared to the stiff and linear styles of the different Daitoryu schools present at the event. This is in no way criticising these arts, but simply saying that Aikido was on a different level.

I do agree that Aikido uses basically the same techniques as its predecessors (obviously much less in number) but the way the attacks are intercepted and dealt with before reaching the final conclusion of the technique with a pin or throw, together with the dynamism of the attacks and the flow and grace of the whole thing, this is what makes Aikido unique.

Or maybe I'm just blinded by my bias for Aikido

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 04-01-2002, 12:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
His demonstration was simply brilliant! And clearly in a class of its own compared to the stiff and linear styles of the different Daitoryu schools present at the event. This is in no way criticising these arts, but simply saying that Aikido was on a different level.
All I can say is, if you think that Daito-ryu is stiff and linear then you need to feel some more Daito-ryu .

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-01-2002, 02:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li

As to the "the elements already existed" argument, I don't agree with that one either. Glass, wire, and electricity were already in existance, but we still say that Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb. By your line of reasoning it would be impossible for anyone ever to create anything, because the elements are always in existance previously. Now, I suppose that you could argue that (some people do), but it seems to me to fly in the face of the normal usage of the word "create" or "invent".
This isn't really relevant to the discussion about Aikido, but on the subject of the light bulb, Thomas Edison isn't the best example you could choose to support your point!

A year or so before Edison patented his invention it had already been patented and commercially exploited by Sir Joseph Swan.

Swan and Edison hadn't been aware of each others' work. There was a legal battle (though I dont know who was suing whom), and in the end Edison took Swan on as a business partner. Together they founded the enormously successfull Edison-Swan company.

Neither man was the first to actually make a light bulb though, by almost a century. They were both building on work done by lots of earlier engineers. (Humphrey Davy demonstrated a light bulb of sorts in 1902, almost 80 years before Swan and Edison's patents.)

I did a little Google search and found a page about the invention of the light bulb with a final paragraph which might be relevant to a debate about whether Ueshiba M. was really the 'inventor' of Aikido after all though:

"There is no single inventor of any great technology. Ideas rise out of a whole community. But people who can put full-blown systems together are rare. And in that sense, maybe it is fair to say that Edison invented the light bulb, after all."

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Old 04-02-2002, 06:19 AM   #13
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Freaky! huh...

Quote:
(Humphrey Davy demonstrated a light bulb of sorts in 1902, almost 80 years before Swan and Edison's patents.)
We didn't have light bulbs until 1982? No wonder the seventies were so dark.


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Old 04-02-2002, 06:20 AM   #14
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Talking

Sorry, I tried, but I couldn't help myself. It was too obvious and funny.

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Old 04-02-2002, 10:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by thomson
Sorry, I tried, but I couldn't help myself. It was too obvious and funny.
No that's just fine, I walked into that one chin first didn't I ?
(I did of course mean 1802, Swan patented his light bulb in 1879 and Edison patented his in 1880)

Sean
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Old 04-02-2002, 02:20 PM   #16
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Exclamation Understanding Aikido

During the last year of Morihei Ueshiba's life, Isao Takahashi Sensei was invited to join the founder for two weeks at Iwami. When he got back, he spoke about a moment he had with O Sensei.

They were walking down a road, when O Sensei suddenly turned to him and said, "I'm finally beginning to understand what this Aikido thing is.".

For O Sensei, Aikido was something that was already there. Like the sky, earth or ocean, it was there before he was born and would exist long after he was gone.

Aikido was something that happened when O Sensei practiced. He didn't consciously invent or plan it. He would also have to try and understand Aikido, just like the rest of us.

Last edited by tedehara : 04-02-2002 at 08:29 PM.

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Old 04-03-2002, 02:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
For O Sensei, Aikido was something that was already there. Like the sky, earth or ocean, it was there before he was born and would exist long after he was gone
So if we run with that would it be more correct to say that O Sensei "discovered" aikido?

Bronson

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Old 04-03-2002, 12:57 PM   #18
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Exclamation Aiki Spirit

Quote:
Originally posted by Bronson Diffin
So if we run with that would it be more correct to say that O Sensei "discovered" aikido?
Discovered seems too strong of a word for me. I would say O Sensei emphasized Aiki in his practice. Other people did Aiki Arts like Daito Ryu Aiki-jitsu, but no one displayed the Aiki Spirit as strongly as Morihea Ueshiba.

Both the founder and his teacher, Sogaku Takeda, realized that what he was doing was sufficiently different from Aiki-jitsu that it needed a different name. Among these other possible names were Aiki Budo and Aiki No Michi, both emphasizing Aiki and a way of life.

Some people portray the founder like he was some highly intelligent Martial Arts Engineer, who came up with a break-through design in the Combat Arts. But that is just a reflection of their own perspective of a westernized, modern view. Actually the founder was a throwback, someone with the psychological make-up of Ancient Japan. This was reflected in his writings and language. Modern Japanese had a difficult/impossble time understanding him, since he wasn't really from their time.

Like Peter Boylan remarked, it would be up to his students to present Aikido to the modern world.

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Old 04-03-2002, 03:11 PM   #19
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Re: Aiki Spirit

Quote:
Originally posted by tedehara

Discovered seems too strong of a word for me. I would say O Sensei emphasized Aiki in his practice. Other people did Aiki Arts like Daito Ryu Aiki-jitsu, but no one displayed the Aiki Spirit as strongly as Morihea Ueshiba.
First thing - "aiki" as Daito Ryu talks about it and "aiki" as M. Ueshiba talked about it can be two quite different things. Also, emphasizing aiki in his practice or not is not really the same thing as his conception of Aikido as a seperate art, which is really delineated on a philosophical basis.

As to "no one displayed the Aiki Spirit as strongly as Morihea Ueshiba", well, there are plenty of people that would argue that point. He's certainly the most well known. At this point who was strongest in aiki is sort of a moot point, since there's no real way to tell for sure.

Quote:
Both the founder and his teacher, Sogaku Takeda, realized that what he was doing was sufficiently different from Aiki-jitsu that it needed a different name. Among these other possible names were Aiki Budo and Aiki No Michi, both emphasizing Aiki and a way of life.
He went through a bunch of names, for various reasons, but I don't think that Takeda was quite as complacent about it as you make him appear.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-03-2002, 03:59 PM   #20
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Re: Aiki Spirit

Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li
First thing - "aiki" as Daito Ryu talks about it and "aiki" as M. Ueshiba talked about it can be two quite different things.
Could you explain what you see as the difference?
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li
...Also, emphasizing aiki in his practice or not is not really the same thing as his conception of Aikido as a seperate art, which is really delineated on a philosophical basis...
Are you saying that the only diffence between Aikido and Aiki-jitsu is the philosopy? There is no different direction that can be found in the techniques of the two Arts?
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li
...He went through a bunch of names, for various reasons, but I don't think that Takeda was quite as complacent about it as you make him appear...
I mentioned the name change and Takeda to show that two experts both agreed that what Morihei Ueshiba was doing should no longer be called Aiki-jitsu.

Why do you think Takeda was more actively involved?

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Old 04-03-2002, 04:24 PM   #21
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Re: Re: Aiki Spirit

Quote:
First thing - "aiki" as Daito Ryu talks about it and "aiki" as M. Ueshiba talked about it can be two quite different things.

Originally posted by tedehara


Could you explain what you see as the difference?
For the most part, when Daito-ryu folks talk about "aiki" they're making a technical reference. M. Ueshiba talked about "aiki" in a philosophical sense. He said himself many times that the "aiki" that he was talking about was different from the previous uses of the word.


Quote:
Are you saying that the only diffence between Aikido and Aiki-jitsu is the philosopy? There is no different direction that can be found in the techniques of the two Arts?
Are there technical differences? Sure, but you have to remember that neither Aikido nor Daito-ryu are monolithic. They both cover wide ranges of technical variation. They're close enough that, IMO, if M. Ueshiba had kept the name Daito-ryu nobody would have thought it odd (in the technical sense).


Quote:

I mentioned the name change and Takeda to show that two experts both agreed that what Morihei Ueshiba was doing should no longer be called Aiki-jitsu.

Why do you think Takeda was more actively involved?
I didn't say involved, I said not "complacent". So far as I know there was never any "agreement" between the two. The had various disagreements for a number of reasons and M. Ueshiba ended up going his own way. Ueshiba changed the name several times, but the name of Daito-ryu itself was also in flux around that time. What I was saying was that the split was probably not as amicable as you made it appear.

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Chris

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Old 04-06-2002, 06:59 AM   #22
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Re: Aiki Spirit

Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li
For the most part, when Daito-ryu folks talk about "aiki" they're making a technical reference...
Whe I started to read The Way to Union with Ki by K. Tohei, I realized he was talking about the cosmic or philisophical level, rather than the individual and technical level of aiki, that I'm used to. So its not only Daito-ryu folks who think like that. Perhaps Morihei Ueshiba's use of the term was new at that time, but I personally don't see this as a difference today.

BTW can you buy the Japanese version of Tohei's book? The English version is only sold to KS members so far. If you can, what is the price? I thought you might know since you're in Japan.
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li

...They're close enough that, IMO, if M. Ueshiba had kept the name Daito-ryu nobody would have thought it odd (in the technical sense)...
We're not living in individual villages, developing our own styles of martial arts. People get out and train with each other. I'm sure Aiki-jitsu and Aikido will inspire each other as long as people train in both arts. Perhaps this is the reason they both look so much alike today.
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li
I didn't say involved, I said not "complacent". So far as I know there was never any "agreement" between the two...
I think we're talking pass each other here. The only agreement I was talking about was the fact that both Takeda and M. Ueshiba agreed that the founder's practice should be called something other than Daito-ryu Aiki-jitsu. This has nothing to do with their long-term relationship.

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Old 04-06-2002, 03:11 PM   #23
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Re: Re: Aiki Spirit

Quote:
Originally posted by tedehara

BTW can you buy the Japanese version of Tohei's book? The English version is only sold to KS members so far. If you can, what is the price? I thought you might know since you're in Japan.
No idea. I'm still working my way through "Take Musu Aiki" - it'd go faster if M. Ueshiba ever used anything like normal Japanese .


Quote:
We're not living in individual villages, developing our own styles of martial arts. People get out and train with each other. I'm sure Aiki-jitsu and Aikido will inspire each other as long as people train in both arts. Perhaps this is the reason they both look so much alike today.
The reason that they look alike is that Aikido is almost entirely based (on a technical level) on Daito-ryu.


Quote:
I think we're talking pass each other here. The only agreement I was talking about was the fact that both Takeda and M. Ueshiba agreed that the founder's practice should be called something other than Daito-ryu Aiki-jitsu. This has nothing to do with their long-term relationship.
Well, that's the thing, I don't think that they ever agreed on anything much concerning the split that formed between them. M. Ueshiba did change the name to Aikido later on, but that had nothing to do with Takeda. The names changed around before that, but I don't ever recall an instance in which they reached any kind of agreement on that point - what's your source for this?

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-06-2002, 01:16 AM   #24
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It seems to me that Ueshiba invented aikiDO from the preexisting aikiWAZA. He established it as a way instead of just empty technique.

Drew
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Old 05-06-2002, 02:00 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Suru
It seems to me that Ueshiba invented aikiDO from the preexisting aikiWAZA. He established it as a way instead of just empty technique.

Drew
Hmm...

1) What's "empty" about Daito-ryu?

2) Have you studied enough Daito-ryu to have any idea whether it's "empty" or not?

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Chris

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