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Thread: Aikido Flavours: Aikikai to Yoshinkan: What's in a Name?

  1. #31
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    Default

    Here are a couple of links that do a pretty good job of identifying various styles.
    http://www.shugenkai.com/astyles.htm
    http://www.shugenkai.com/newschools.htm
    http://www.aikidojournal.com/new/art...p?ArticleID=29

    This is what I provide to prospective students who ask about such things, or come from one of the styles listed.

  2. #32
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    Default Styles

    This might be an interesting quote for the forum. It is take from Best Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Moriteru Ueshiba, first edition 2002, pages 18 and 19.

    Q: "Are there different schools of Aikido?"

    A: "To be sure, there are many systems that claime to be "such-and-such Aikido," even without really knowing what Aikido is. And there are some splinter groups that have been established by former students of the Founder, with a few even going so far as to introduce organized competition, something that is totally contrary to the spirit of Aikido. Regardless of how similar the techniques appear, if they are divorced from the spirit of the Founder it is not Aikido.

    We do not like to think that there are separate schools of Aikido. If we draw too many distinctions between different interpretations of the techniques, the universal character of Aikido will be degraded."


    John Riggs
    Ta Ch'U Academy
    Midland, TX

  3. #33
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    Of course he's entitled to his opinion but there is reality and wishful thinking.

    My opinion is that his father was directly responsible for the fragmentation of Aikido and now his son will just have to live with it.

  4. #34
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    Peter:

    I'm curious as to why you feel O'Sensei started this fragmentation and not the egos of his senior students like Tohei.

    There is constant fragmentation of the art at all divisions: groups split off and do their own thing because someone' feelings are hurt or they do not want to play the game their way. Tohei's ki society for example has splintered many times. One group I was affiliated with is an example: Suenaka left or was kicked out of ki society (I'm not sure which), then he formed his own group. A California group then split off and formed Dojin Aikikai. This is just one example. Toyoda was part of Ki Society until he was kicked out and then when he died some of his people split off and formed their own group even though they are aikikai affiliated. Probably personalities or political.

    A lot of these seem very political or personal to me. Something gets lost as to the reason we are together in the first place so people get pissed off and go away.

    This is purely my opinion and I'm sure many will disagree. I feel the core should be aikikai requirements and then others can expand on it if they want as long as the core stays intact. Having started in a splinter group and moved to an aikikai affiliation, I did so by design. We can always diagree about the management, personal points of view or political views but the core of aikido should evolve from the source with refinements or evolution driven by the aikikai or it's members with aikikai sanction. I continue to evolve my aikido closer and closer to the aikikai requirements and foundations on purpose.

  5. #35
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    Default Not just egos

    I come from a style, Yoseikan, that split off early from Ueshiba. Our creator, Minoru Mochizuki, felt that Ueshiba was moving away from a martial approach to his art. Mochizuki, in order to preserve the martial aspects of aikido developed his own. Is it still aikido? Well, let's look at a couple of facts. First, Mochizuki was the one student of Ueshiba Sensei who always took care of Ueshiba. Ueshiba often visited the Yoseikan dojo in Shizuoka and never disapproved of the art being practiced there. Second, when Mochizuki Sensei was offered 10th Dan, Meijin, he went to the Ueshiba family first and asked for their approval, which was given by Doshu at the time.

    There are core techniques perhaps, but the movements of aikido are the key. Circular movement and ideas like "when pushed turn" and "when pulled, enter" are the core of what aikido is. As Yoseikan has further developed, what makes the karate applications of the art different is the use of aikido tai sabaki movements with karate punches, kicks, and blocks. At a recent clinic, shotokan practitioners had a tough time catching on to the circular movements while aikido students had much less trouble learning to punch and kick. I'm sorry but just because a person develops a branch of an art, does not mean the art has ceased to exist. While O Sensei may have said this, he did not act it out in life.

    Phil Farmer
    docphil

  6. #36
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    Default FYI

    Aikidoc1 says:

    "A California group then split off and formed Dojin Aikikai. This is just one example. Toyoda was part of Ki Society until he was kicked out and then when he died some of his people split off and formed their own group even though they are aikikai affiliated. Probably personalities or political."

    Just to give you some info on Toyoda sensei, he wasn't kicked out, he left the organization and started his own organization called the American Aikido Association. Apparently, from what I have read and heard from the students at his Chicago dojo where I trained/visited, Tohei made some promises to Toyoda sensei that never came to fruition. Needless to say, Toyoda was let down, so he started his own organization. It is a real interesting story. Just a FYI.
    Sincerely,

    Eric Joyce
    Otake Han Doshin Ryu Jujutsu

  7. #37
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    AikiDoc1 welcome to e-budo and please sign with your full name as required by the forum rules.


    As Peters statment, I think he is partly right. Ueshiba to my knowledge was a very free form kind of guy. He wouldn't care if people taught things different then him. Similar to Hatsumi Sensei in the Bujinkan, there is his way and then his students way niether is right (well Hatsumi's is the base). On the other hand Ego does get in the way. If the Founder taught you one way and now the founders son (who in many cases studied with the founder for less time then O-Sensei's uchi deshi) tell you it is to be done that way and that way only, it could cause friction. You could believe you were taught the way and by golly you aren't going to teach it different.
    Tony Manifold
    " Attack, attack, attack- come at your target from every possible direction and press until his defenses overload. Never give him time to recover his balance: never give him time to counter"
    Stover

    http://members.shaw.ca/tmanifold

  8. #38
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    Sorry about not posting my real name. That should be in the sign up thing somewhere so we don't have to add it every time.

    John Riggs

    As to Toyoda sensei being kicked out, I have heard many stories on this issue. However, sensei told me personally that Tohei called him out and said Toyoda you're out. To me that means he was kicked out.

    As to the statement I quoted, I did not make the statement. It was in the latest book by Moriteru and Kisshomaru Ueshiba. I'm not making judgment on it just reporting it. I'm sure there are many sides to this issue.

    It is my belief and personal preference however to stick with the aikikai. Everyone has to beat to their own drum.

    Dr. John Riggs
    Midland, TX

  9. #39
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    If you go to user CP then edit profile you can put it in your sig. Then just forget it. Its easy.
    Tony Manifold
    " Attack, attack, attack- come at your target from every possible direction and press until his defenses overload. Never give him time to recover his balance: never give him time to counter"
    Stover

    http://members.shaw.ca/tmanifold

  10. #40
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    My fault - I keep thinking of Best Aikido as
    Moriteru Ueshiba's coming into his own as Dosho book, forgetting that officially its co-authored by father and son.

    So to clarify in light of subsequent posts.

    Ueshiba Kaiso basically wanted Aikido to follow the Iemoto system of succession which the Aikikai did upon his passing and with the passing of Ueshiba K. (his son) did again.

    The level of fragmentation that was seen after Ueshiba M. died was not because of the system but by the way it was handled.

  11. #41
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    Default Flavors

    How was it handled?

    I know there was a rift with Tohei and nidai doshu on the teaching of ki and Tohei took his toys and went home so to speak.

    I believe Shioda was encouraged to do his own thing but I don't know the timing element.

    I guess my concern is it seems a lot of the fragmentation was and continues to be over ego and personal issues that have nothing to do with aikido. There was a lot of non-aiki behavior as a result. Shihan's throwing other shihans out of their seminars because they sided with one point of view. Some of them never did patch up their bruised egos.
    Dr. John H. Riggs
    Aikido of Midland
    Midland, TX

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Flavors

    Originally posted by aikidoc1
    How was it handled?

    I know there was a rift with Tohei and nidai doshu on the teaching of ki and Tohei took his toys and went home so to speak.

    I believe Shioda was encouraged to do his own thing but I don't know the timing element.

    I guess my concern is it seems a lot of the fragmentation was and continues to be over ego and personal issues that have nothing to do with aikido. There was a lot of non-aiki behavior as a result. Shihan's throwing other shihans out of their seminars because they sided with one point of view. Some of them never did patch up their bruised egos.
    Perhaps this will help:

    http://65.119.177.201/cgi-bin/ubb/ul...&f=13&t=000048

  13. #43
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    Hello Dr Riggs,

    I am very pleased to welcome you as a member of this forum and look forward to some good discussions in the future.

    From all I have read of Morihei Ueshiba, I wonder how seriously he thought about the question of budo organizations. I am sure he thought they were necessary in some vague way and the Kobukan became the Zaidan Hojin Kobukai (a tax-free foundation) quite early on. But I doubt whether he saw his art in these terms.

    This thread is called the 'Flavours of Aikido' and in my opinion, all the flavours were pretty well formed when Morihei Ueshiba was still alive. The increasing antagonism between K Tohei and K Ueshiba occurred and flourished under his very nose and he appears to have done little to stop it. Much earlier on, there was a love-hate relationship with Noriaki Inoue, and this became a split after the second Omoto Incident in 1935. Minoru Hirai came to M Ueshiba as a budoka in his own right and did not stay with him for very long. Mr Farmer has mentioned M Ueshiba's relationship with Minoru Mochizuki, and, though he was attached to the Aikikai until well into the sixties, Kenji Tomiki increasingly went his own way not long after he was repatriated soon after the war. The only mutually amicable split appears to have been with the Yoshinkai and this is reflected in its present relationship with the Aikikai.

    I have done nowhere near enough research on the matter, but I think it is received wisdom in some quarters that Kano Jigoro tried to make a new start and end the progressive fragmentation of martial arts that developed in Tokugawa / Meiji, as each master sought for a distinctive mark for his own ryuha.

    Why the tendency to fragmentation in the Japanese martial arts? I do not know, but I would point out that the tendency to form 'habatsu' (small groups always centred around a prominent figure, sometimes called factions), has been pretty endemic in Japanese culture from well before the Tokugawa period. This tendency governs the decision-making process in my own university and also lies behind the stagnation in Japanese politics at present. The writings of Chie Nakane discuss this to some extent.

    Some have suggested that it is a mark of tribalism, and aikido organizations do seem to bear the marks of tribes in some sense. There is a strong awareness of historical origins (always correctly interpreted), a strong sense of relying on elders, a strong sense or mutual solidarity, of the need to keep the 'true faith' and to be true to the collective ideals of the tribe.

    I think that Kisshomaru Ueshiba acted against this tendency and thus the Aikikai after the war became a repository of quite different ways of training. Initially at least, K Ueshiba led from behind and tried to be a different Doshu from his father. I believe the split with K Tohei was a major scourge for him. It is interesting that the IAF was created immediately after this split.

    Best regards,
    Peter Goldsbury
    Hiroshima, Japan

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  15. #44
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    Default Flavors

    Peter:

    Thanks for your warm welcome.

    Sounds like O'Sensei did not really care about or pay much attention to such issues. I guess he was more focused on developing his art.

    Given the ryu system, my question is did the rift with Tohei and nidai doshu result from Tohei believing he should be the next doshu?

    Do you think the sandai doshu will do more for bringing back different factions? Is he charismatic? I did not perceive from my readings that Kisshomaru was very charismatic as a leader.

    I think I would also suggest that perhaps the factions form around charismatic leaders. This seems to be a tendency of large groups to start forming alliances around various leaders. There also seems to be an issue of succession planning that is not addressed to prepare for the untimely death of a leader. It was my impression that this happened in AAA when Toyoda passed very young-it was totally unexpected and the organizational leadership for a short time was not established or contested leading to some splintering.
    Dr. John H. Riggs
    Aikido of Midland
    Midland, TX

  16. #45
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    An "innocent question"

    To Phil and others:
    Why do you try to prove the validity of your system as an Aikido style through it's connection with Ueshiba ?

    As I wrote earlier, the style I learn does not claim any affiliation to Ueshiba , and is still Aikido. Actually, the founder (Minoro Hirai) of the system (Korindo Aikido) had more to do with the term "Aikido" then Ueshiba had. He was the chairman of the 3 person committee that decided on that name.
    While Hirai did have some connection with Ueshiba (Was the General manager of the Kobukan (spelling?)), he didn't consider himself to be Ueshiba's student. And had a different path he established even before he met Ueshiba .
    Hirai named his system Korindo Aikido because in his view, Aikido is the appropriate name for practical modern M.A. systems based on Ju-Jutsu, rather then his connections to someone else.


    So why do you check your system connection to Aikido through the Lineage to Ueshiba ?
    Is this the only criteria you can think of ?


    Amir
    Amir Krause

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