Aikido

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Re: Aikido

Postby Ashura on Mon May 15, 2017 1:13 am

C.J.W. wrote:My view on techniques vs. body method "tanren" is somewhere in the middle.

While I agree it's true that in the end a high-level practitioner should become "formless," learning techniques should still be an integral part of training -- at least for beginners. If we think about it, those famous JIMA masters of the past all went through the stage where they had to meticulously learn hundreds of techniques. And that, when coupled with the "hush-hush" body method training done behind closed doors, is what allowed them to eventually reach the point where techniques were no longer needed, and that their aiki bodies were able to respond instinctively and create techniques upon contact.

Developing an aiki body is they key to building the power that drives the techniques, and the techniques are outward expressions of an aiki body -- two sides of the same coin.

On the other hand, if you've only done body training but not techniques, you may very well end up with an aiki body that you do not know how to use in fighting. How can you expect to be able to apply a proper choke hold or an ankle lock in a fight if you haven't practiced it countless times on a compliant partner first?


I am not sure to really understand what "hush-hush" means even though the sound is funny :) but I do think that this is a very well written post with a lot of good information in it.
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Re: Aikido

Postby RobP3 on Mon May 15, 2017 1:39 am

C.J.W. wrote:On the other hand, if you've only done body training but not techniques, you may very well end up with an aiki body that you do not know how to use in fighting. How can you expect to be able to apply a proper choke hold or an ankle lock in a fight if you haven't practiced it countless times on a compliant partner first?


Simple, you build those techniques or "expressions of principle" into your body training. That way your application and method work develop alongside each other. The problem is more, IMHO, that some types of training are or have become way too formalised to allow the free expression necessary to work in such a way
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Re: Aikido

Postby Ashura on Mon May 15, 2017 2:26 am

RobP3 wrote:
C.J.W. wrote:On the other hand, if you've only done body training but not techniques, you may very well end up with an aiki body that you do not know how to use in fighting. How can you expect to be able to apply a proper choke hold or an ankle lock in a fight if you haven't practiced it countless times on a compliant partner first?


Simple, you build those techniques or "expressions of principle" into your body training. That way your application and method work develop alongside each other. The problem is more, IMHO, that some types of training are or have become way too formalised to allow the free expression necessary to work in such a way


IMHO, finding training partners willing to learn that way on a long term is even harder than the training per se.
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Re: Aikido

Postby RobP3 on Mon May 15, 2017 7:58 am

Ashura wrote:
RobP3 wrote:
C.J.W. wrote:On the other hand, if you've only done body training but not techniques, you may very well end up with an aiki body that you do not know how to use in fighting. How can you expect to be able to apply a proper choke hold or an ankle lock in a fight if you haven't practiced it countless times on a compliant partner first?


Simple, you build those techniques or "expressions of principle" into your body training. That way your application and method work develop alongside each other. The problem is more, IMHO, that some types of training are or have become way too formalised to allow the free expression necessary to work in such a way


IMHO, finding training partners willing to learn that way on a long term is even harder than the training per se.


I must've been lucky :)
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Re: Aikido

Postby Ashura on Mon May 15, 2017 10:44 am

RobP3 wrote:
I must've been lucky :)


You happy 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-)
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Re: Aikido

Postby C.J.W. on Mon May 15, 2017 6:45 pm

Ashura wrote:
C.J.W. wrote:My view on techniques vs. body method "tanren" is somewhere in the middle.

While I agree it's true that in the end a high-level practitioner should become "formless," learning techniques should still be an integral part of training -- at least for beginners. If we think about it, those famous JIMA masters of the past all went through the stage where they had to meticulously learn hundreds of techniques. And that, when coupled with the "hush-hush" body method training done behind closed doors, is what allowed them to eventually reach the point where techniques were no longer needed, and that their aiki bodies were able to respond instinctively and create techniques upon contact.

Developing an aiki body is they key to building the power that drives the techniques, and the techniques are outward expressions of an aiki body -- two sides of the same coin.

On the other hand, if you've only done body training but not techniques, you may very well end up with an aiki body that you do not know how to use in fighting. How can you expect to be able to apply a proper choke hold or an ankle lock in a fight if you haven't practiced it countless times on a compliant partner first?


I am not sure to really understand what "hush-hush" means even though the sound is funny :) but I do think that this is a very well written post with a lot of good information in it.


Hush-hush means highly secretive and only known to a few people. ;)
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Re: Aikido

Postby C.J.W. on Mon May 15, 2017 6:59 pm

RobP3 wrote:
C.J.W. wrote:On the other hand, if you've only done body training but not techniques, you may very well end up with an aiki body that you do not know how to use in fighting. How can you expect to be able to apply a proper choke hold or an ankle lock in a fight if you haven't practiced it countless times on a compliant partner first?


Simple, you build those techniques or "expressions of principle" into your body training. That way your application and method work develop alongside each other. The problem is more, IMHO, that some types of training are or have become way too formalised to allow the free expression necessary to work in such a way


True. That's what choreographed solo and pair training was meant to achieve in traditional Japanese and Chinese arts: to develop both the the internal body mechanics as well as the techniques. After you've acquired the techniques and the body, the next step would be to engage in some form of free sparring and grappling involving resistance. Sadly, however, this is where most traditional stylists fall short of the expectation.
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Re: Aikido

Postby Ashura on Mon May 15, 2017 10:37 pm

C.J.W. wrote:
True. That's what choreographed solo and pair training was meant to achieve in traditional Japanese and Chinese arts: to develop both the the internal body mechanics as well as the techniques. After you've acquired the techniques and the body, the next step would be to engage in some form of free sparring and grappling involving resistance. Sadly, however, this is where most traditional stylists fall short of the expectation.


Sad but true.

Thank your for the hush hush translation. Do you mind if I borrow it? ;D

I have always been intrigued by this quote from Takeda Tokimune which is also relevant to the discussion:

Question: Did Sokaku go to Ayabe on Ueshiba Sensei´s invitation?

Actually, there were a number of people from the navy training at Mr Ueshiba´s dojo. All of the navy members had experience in sumo wrestling and were quite strong. Since Ueshiba would have had difficulty in handling such individuals he asked Sokaku Takeda Sensei to come. These men were huge, while Mr Ueshiba was smaller than me. I would imagine that he wasn´t able to pin them because he wasn´t using precise techniques. After all, it would be difficult using only aiki.
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Re: Aikido

Postby WVMark on Wed May 24, 2017 9:24 am

Since we have Deguchi prompting Takeda to rename his art and add aiki to the title, we should take note that this was a time when Takeda, Ueshiba, and Deguchi were all in the same place at the same time. Daito ryu aikijujutsu.

Then, in the early 1940's, the Butotukai wanted to create a separate entity for these new and different arts, namely Daito ryu and aikido. They weren't koryu nor judo. And in Japan, you have to have a legitimacy. When the name aikido was suggested, Morihei Ueshiba nodded approvingly. Why not? He was doing aikijujutsu and was looking more towards the change from "jutsu" to "do" anyway. In Ueshiba's mind, Daito ryu aikijujutsu or Daito ryu aikido ... it's all good. Even better because he can just say "aikido" now and distance himself further from Takeda (that's a completely different topic).

In the end, though, Morihei Ueshiba, had always been Daito ryu. Up to his last day. Chris Li gives us a bit more in depth look at this:
http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/ueshiba-ha-daito-ryu-aiki-jujutsu/

Modern Aikido is doing something different than Morihei Ueshiba. Modern Aikido altered the definition of "aikido" and went a very different path than Daito ryu. Ueshiba remained true to Takeda's ideals of Daito ryu aiki. It was why Takeda favored Ueshiba so much. To have any kind of connection to the lineage of Morihei Ueshiba, you must have Daito ryu aiki. That kind of training cannot be found in Modern Aikido.
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Re: Aikido

Postby Ashura on Wed May 24, 2017 12:49 pm

Takuma Hisa is also significant in that he was one of the few people who had a chance to directly compare Sokaku Takeda and Morihei Ueshiba in depth over an extended period of time:

Takeda’s instruction gave Hisa the chance to compare the techniques that he had been taught for the previous three years (1933-1936) by Ueshiba with those taught by Takeda. His conclusion was that they were the same—meaning that Ueshiba had not by that time significantly modified or evolved what he had been taught by Takeda. In later years, Hisa was adamant about Ueshiba’s and Takeda’s techniques being identical. He stated this clearly at a round table talk, “When Tomiki came to Osaka to teach aiki-bujutsu to the Asahi people, the techniques that both master Ueshiba and Takeda taught were the same. Definitely the same. Master Ueshiba should say that he was taught them by master Takeda. He should say that it was Daitoryu. But he never said that. Mr. Tomiki (who also traveled from Tokyo to Osaka to teach Ueshiba’s system at the Asahi dojo) knows this, doesn’t he. But Ueshiba never said it.” And Tomiki answered, “Definitely not. ‘I [Ueshiba] established everything…[smiling mysteriously]’. However old martial artists would often do that way.” [Shishida (Ed.), 1982, p.1]

“The Process of Forming Aikido and Japanese Imperial Navy Admiral Isamu Takeshita: Through the analysis of Takeshita’s diary from 1925 to 1931”
– Fumiaki Shishida (Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan)


This quote is contraticted by Hisa Takuma himself:

[... of course, we had already heard from Ueshiba Sensei thast he had learned techniques known as Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu from a teacher called Sokaku Takeda, but it was difficult to believe that this old man was that person.....] [....Ueshiba Sensei was always accompanied by three or four of his personal students whom he would use as his practice partners when he demonstrated. But Takeda Sensei did not have a single student with him and always demonstrated his techniques using anyone who was brave enough to step forward. He did not have anyone with him that time either, so the strong students scrambled one after another to attack him. He sent them flying like he was twisitng the wrists of babies, pinning them so thoroughly that they could not even cry out for mercy. Everyone had been absorbed in Ueshiba´s beautiful techniques, but right then we became completely fascinated by the strong techniques of this old master. Just as Benkei had done when he pledged his loyal service to Ushiwakamaru, every person there immediatly bowed low at Sensei´s feet and asked to become his student.]

Q: After that you learned directly from Takeda Sensei?

No matter how many times Sokaku Sensei said he would teach me, I could not believe it was true. It was unbelievable. At that time, I was the Director of the General Affairs section and leader of all those sturdy fellows. I did not mention my position to Takeda Sensei, however, and instead placed myself at the back of the line. What Sokaku taught was incomparably rougher than what we had learned from Ueshiba, and I thought, "This is the real thing"..............


Not quite the same. While Ueshiba´s encounter with Sokaku allowed him to give up his hard life in northern Hokkaido and to become the Master he became, I´m not convinced that Ueshiba was doing pure Daito-ryu. Pure Daito-ryu would be hard to define as the art has so many flavors and interpretations. As for Aiki, even among Sokaku´s senior student there was not a clear consensus for a common technical definition and understanding.

To be honest though, Sokaku was sometimes accompanied by some students, Ueshiba included who would sometimes teach on his behalf.
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Re: Aikido

Postby Chris Li on Wed May 24, 2017 1:41 pm

Ashura wrote:
This quote is contraticted by Hisa Takuma himself:


The way that I read the quote you cited (there are a couple of versions in Japanese I've read that came directly from Takuma HIsa) is more about the level of what they were doing rather than implying that they were doing two separate arts.

Now, talking about who's better than who is rarely productive, but I'd think that if my teacher suddenly walked into the room that I wouldn't be surprised if they were performing at a higher level then I was.

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Re: Aikido

Postby Ashura on Wed May 24, 2017 10:57 pm

Hisa probably implied that what Sokaku was teaching was more useful and better suited their needs in the very context of the Asahi news.

Even when watching the first Ueshiba´s video, I already see some major differences with Daito-ryu. In this movie, Ueshiba is already using a lot of wide, circular movements. You notice how he throws his Uke rather far away from him while Daito-ryu advocates otoshi in order to keep the opponent under control and to pin him down.

Ueshiba and Sokaku had different personalities and views, those differences are reflected in their respective techniques and there is nothing wrong about it. Ueshiba chose very clearly, for whatever reason, to sever ties with Sokaku and Daito-ryu and this is what he did, and he did that rather early.
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Re: Aikido

Postby WVMark on Thu May 25, 2017 5:49 am

Ashura wrote:Ueshiba and Sokaku had different personalities and views, those differences are reflected in their respective techniques and there is nothing wrong about it. Ueshiba chose very clearly, for whatever reason, to sever ties with Sokaku and Daito-ryu and this is what he did, and he did that rather early.


I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Ueshiba did not sever ties "rather early". Ueshiba was associated with Takeda from 1915 to around 1937. 22 years. In 1937, Ueshiba was 54 years old.

As for personalities and views ... Ueshiba repeated what he had learned under Takeda. See Chris Li's article for references of the similar sayings of Sagawa, Horikawa, Ueshiba ... all via Takeda. Ueshiba was Takeda's favorite. We only have 1 person who said anything about Takeda and Omoto -- that was Tokimune who said his father "didn't like the Omoto religion very much". But, when those events transpired in 1922, Tokimune was 6 years old.

Ashura wrote:I have always been intrigued by this quote from Takeda Tokimune which is also relevant to the discussion:

Question: Did Sokaku go to Ayabe on Ueshiba Sensei´s invitation?

Actually, there were a number of people from the navy training at Mr Ueshiba´s dojo. All of the navy members had experience in sumo wrestling and were quite strong. Since Ueshiba would have had difficulty in handling such individuals he asked Sokaku Takeda Sensei to come. These men were huge, while Mr Ueshiba was smaller than me. I would imagine that he wasn´t able to pin them because he wasn´t using precise techniques. After all, it would be difficult using only aiki.


Another view of that:

Allen Beebe wrote:It should be noted that Takeda Tokimune supposes that the reverse is true: “Actually, there were a number of people from the navy training in Mr. Ueshiba’s dojo. All of the navy members had experience in sumo wrestling and were quite strong. Since Ueshiba would have had difficulty in handling such individuals he asked Takeda Sokaku Sensei to come. These men were huge, while Mr. Ueshiba was smaller than me. I would imagine that he wasn’t able to pin them because he wasn’t using precise techniques. After all, it would be difficult using only aiki.”

I think that Takeda Tokimune “imagines” incorrectly here for a couple of reasons: Ueshiba and Sagawa, for example, clearly point to their development of Aiki as being that which made their techniques unique, not the other way around. If it were as Takeda Tokimune asserted, there would be a rather lot of individuals easily handling “huge Sumotori” and the like today. Sadly, that clearly is NOT the case. While for Ueshiba and Sagawa it WAS the case, both of whom pointed to Aiki as “the difference that made the difference” for them.

One other reason I think Ueshiba learned Aiki from Takeda at this time is that, even though it is documented that Aiki existed in Daito Ryu prior to Takeda Sokaku’s visit to Ayabe, Ueshiba seems to only begin using the term from that point forward.


So, there are three people who disagree with how you're presenting Tokimune's words. We've presented mounds of research ...


Ashura wrote:Even when watching the first Ueshiba´s video, I already see some major differences with Daito-ryu. In this movie, Ueshiba is already using a lot of wide, circular movements. You notice how he throws his Uke rather far away from him while Daito-ryu advocates otoshi in order to keep the opponent under control and to pin him down.



Here's more research from Allen Beebe, who states that Ueshiba continued doing Daito ryu his entire life.
https://trueaiki.com/2016/12/25/aikido-daito/

Further, if you're just going by techniques alone, John Driscoll covers that. He finds an 82% correlation.
http://kogenbudo.org/reflections-on-the-origin-of-ueshiba-moriheis-koshinage-the-relationship-of-daito-ryu-and-aikido-waza/

And then more words from Allen Beebe
Allen Beebe wrote:According to Takuma Hisa, Ueshiba and Takeda taught the same things. The first books of the Soden are a record of what Ueshiba taught, which, if we are to believe Takuma Hisa are not different from what Takeda Sokaku taught. It is also easily seen that many of Soden techniques and Aikijujutsu Densho (later renamed Budo Renshu) techniques are found in Daito Ryu’s Hiden Mokuroku. Presumably the contents of Daito Ryu’s Hiden Mokuroku were, at some point, transmitted by Takeda Sokaku. It is also known that Ueshiba taught techniques from other Daito Ryu scrolls and also awarded students other Daito Ryu scrolls.

I find the statement that Ueshiba did not teach pinning with the legs curious, as I know and teach pinning with the legs. I suggest that the greater question is: When and, to whom, did he teach this. Also, such pins were for a particular purpose and only later did they become “show pieces.”

I heartily agree that these techniques are little seen in modern Aikido demonstrations. But having learned from someone who was present when they were being taught in Osaka, and taught them as well, it seems to me a bit risky to assert they no longer exist in Aikido.

The bottom line though is that, while it is patently obvious Ueshiba Morihei was firmly grounded in Daito Ryu, he didn’t hesitate to point out that the Way of Aiki is not to be found in techniques.

This fact, in my opinion, is a major blind spot for many, if not most, practitioners of both modern Daito Ryu and Aikido.

But that is just my opinion, and that opinion should come as no surprise when one considers the title of my blog!



Ueshiba stayed true to his Daito ryu roots and did not have "major differences". We've presented mounds of research ...
Unfortunately, if all you're going by is Modern Aikido, then you won't have access to the truth. Think not? Start doing the research. Below is a start...

Stan Pranin's work (get the back issue DVD):
http://aikidojournal.com/

Chris Li's Sangenkai Blog:
http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/

Allen Beebe's Blog:
https://trueaiki.com/

Ellis Amdur's books:
http://edgeworkbooks.com/dueling-with-o-sensei/
http://edgeworkbooks.com/hidden-in-plain-sight/
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Re: Aikido

Postby RickMatz on Thu May 25, 2017 7:32 am

Aikido is a beautiful form of Budo, like Kyudo.
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Re: Aikido

Postby yeniseri on Thu May 25, 2017 8:51 am

I am thinking on a different and "low level" ;D so bear with me

Part of the secret teaching is understanding the core concept and principles of an art so here's my take based on experience:

1. AIkido was never Daito-ryu though it is is one part of an unknown whole. No doubt Ueshiba was used to training, physical conditioning and tools of his experience. It is acknowledged that both the founder of Hapkido and AIkido used Daito as a reference but they were expressed differently based on the character of each persona.

2. I see parallels with Chenshitaijiquan where Yang evolved as did Wu, Sun etc as their vision when beyond that of their former well know teachers but it also showed that martial system differentiation was necessary based on personality characteristics of said individuals and the status of having one's own shi (family system-not sure of ccoorect descriptive but it seems to fit) and pass on that heirloom instead of adhereing someone's else version where one has no control of present or futiure. In short, each having their rice bowl and not sharing with the undeserving, as it were.
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