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30th November 2000, 16:29
Hello all! I am new to this forum.

My question to you, is where do you see Aikido heading into the third millenium?

Gil Gillespie
30th November 2000, 18:51
Hello Jeff

Wecome to E-budo! The future of Aikido will be more fractionalized as Ueshiba Sensei's inner circle leave the picture and the third generation Aikidoka promulgate the art with their more varied interpretations and explorations. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Aikido will thus become bigger and more all-encompassing than ever. And also more multi-national.

This will also entail a lessening of Japan's hold on the art, which is regrettable, but also not necessarily a bad thing. In 1990 in his Shizuoka hombu dojo Mochzuki Sensei of Yoseikan Budo confided to me that he saw Aikido dying out in Japan, and it saddened him. He took Aikido to France in the early 1950's so in a huge way he is responsible for its explosive international growth. He acknowledged that the true passion and excellence in not only Aikido but classic Japanese budo is now found in Europe, America, Australia, etc.

Ironically your question comes hard on the heels of my completing John Bluming's book. His experiences as a world class Dutch judoka and karateka dealing with entrenched Japanese hombu organizations may provide a roadmap for your question. It seems in the nature of great human enterprises: Buddhism was born in India, but whithered there to flourish worldwide. Christianity was born in the Holy Land but only in worldwide expansion would it truly grow.

As to Aikido, the question could largely be whether the spiritual message of the art and/or it's practical effectiveness be diluted or enriched by this international growth and gradual detachment from the land of its birth. As Doctor Dave Jones said in his Foreward to Mitsugi Saotome's first book ("Aikido and the Harmony of Nature"):
"Aikido isn't Japanese; only the word is."

Russ Qureshi
30th November 2000, 19:56
Timely question. I recently attended a seminar with Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei instructing and I had an opportunity to ask him: "What do you see for the future of aikido in North America?" He answered; "More cooperation." then asked if I understood what he meant. I nodded and shook my head in all four directions and said "Hmmmmm..." so he continued with; "More advanced students (I took this to mean seniors in the dojo) should go and make connections with other students (peers?). When they do they will grow from what they learn. Then they will take what they learned back to the dojo and the dojo will grow. They will have questions for their teachers, and if their teachers don't know the answer they will have to find out, then the teacher will grow." By this time there were a few more listeners at the table so he asked again; "You understand?" Everybody replied; "Yes, Sensei!" he shook his head and went on;"If two governments hate each other and declare war, but the people of the two countries say 'No, we like each other' there is no war. You understand now?"
He finished with; "Don't wait for your teacher to tell you what to do or to make the connection themselves, you make the connection."

So..., I took this to mean that the future of aikido will not be decided by the organizations who presently oversee the art but by the students who are sincere and, essentially, know what the right thing to do is. Aikido should be made more inclusive. One way is to make sure you get outside your own dojo once and a while, that you make a connection with others regardless of organizational affiliations.

With the experience I have to go on I'm under the impression that aikido in Japan (and the rest of the world for that matter) is becoming more exclusive. ie. "I train with so and so sensei and it would be disloyal to visit someone else." This attitude, I fear, will be the death knell of aikido in a generation or two.



Ron Tisdale
30th November 2000, 20:18
Maybe not aikido, but its already killed more than one dojo.

Ron Tisdale

1st December 2000, 12:19
Hi Gil,

Good insights! I am particularily interested in your meeting with Mochizuki Sensei. I practice the Yoseikan Budo Style that he developed, and train under the direction of Augé Sensei who was sent by Mochizuki Sensei to develop Aikido in North America.
Did you train with Mochizuki Sensei? How long? Do you know Augé Sensei?
I practice at the University of Ottawa Dojo. We have several clubs in and around the Ottawa, Ontario, Canada region with Augé Sensei's dojo in California.

Hi Russ!

I am very curious as to what other styles are doing in order to learn from them and lend ideas at the same time. Your thoughts are valid, but my opinion is that we may all be practicing different styles of Aikido or other martial arts but when it comes down to it our goal is a Budo way of life.

I guess my question as to where do we see Aikido heading should really be re-phrased to:
"Where do you see Budo heading into the third millenium?"

In Samurai times a man could take the life of another man for survival reasons (Bujutsu). A famous roman once said "Prepare for war if you want Peace". We train for combat so that we don't have to fight (Budo). What is the next step in this evolution, or will it come full circle as most life cycles do?

Thank you all for your insightful comments and perspectives.

Jeff Jodoin

Gil Gillespie
1st December 2000, 23:32
Hi again Jeff!

When I saw Auge Sensei's quote in your signature I knew you were a Yoseikan guy. Great quote! In spirit of what I tell members of my paint crews when they open with: "I have a stupid question. . ." to which I always respond "the only stupid questions are those that remain unasked."

As to meeting Mochizuki Sensei I stumbled into his dojo as a lower kyu Aikikai student in 1990. I had never heard of him. I was visiting my Japanese wife's family in her home town of Shizuoka and was just looking to train in a real Japanese dojo during my visit. Little did I know. . . My Yoseikan experience was exhilerating including the French white belt that tried to snap my right elbow across his thigh in that cute kote gaeshi pin y'all favor. I still can't carry 5 gallon buckets of paint in my right hand!

No, I do not know Auge Sensei, although he returns to hombu frequently to train. I returned to Yoseikan in 1999 and Mochizuki Sensei at 92 was hospitalized. He is now in France with his son Hiroo, soke of Yoseikan, and Sensei actually taught classes this summer. He is an amazing example of the heights a budoka on The Path can scale. I also think he is the best kept ecret on this website!

My Yoseikan brother Eric Laverdure is lurking about Ottawa these days. If you know him, tell him not to ignore those who love him :oD

5th December 2000, 01:52
Gil, thank you for your reply!
It must have been a great experience to see the sites of Japan, and most of all see Master Mochizuki. I hope one day to makie a trip to Japan to visit the Yoseikan.
I'm sorry I don't know Eric Laverdure.
Where and with whom are you practicing presently?

George Hyde
8th December 2000, 15:14
Hi All,

As Jeff pointed out, maybe this should refer more generally to Budo. As such...

Originally posted by Russ Qureshi
So..., I took this to mean that the future of aikido will not be decided by the organizations who presently oversee the art but by the students who are sincere and, essentially, know what the right thing to do is.

What's the general feeling on this? I think Russ' interpretation is probably correct and it would be interesting to see if you all share Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei's optimism in this regard?

In Shorinji Kempo, we go to great lengths to emphasise budo as opposed to bujutsu. However, even as an instructor I feel that I'm only just beginning to grasp a few tiny threads of understanding in budo. Whilst this is to be expected, it only serves to show me just how long the 'path' is and how easy it is to stray from it (even with the most sincere of intentions). When I turn my thoughts to the future the hope of a lineage of continued understanding seems very fragile indeed.

Am I being too pessimistic?