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

  1. #46
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    Much of the discussion concerning the relationship of Minoru Hirai to Morihei Ueshiba can be found in an interview conducted by Stanley Pranin, of Aiki News / Aikido Journal. I think the issue was No. 100 and subscribers to Stan's AJ forum can read the entire interview.

    Salient points of the interview include:
    Hirai trained in the martial arts long before he met M Ueshiba;
    The Dai Nippon Butotokai aimed to organize all martial art as part of the war effort;
    There were moves to include aiki-budo (i.e., general jujutsu), but the name had to be such that judo and kendo would not object: aikido was decided on as the least offensive name: calling the art a DOU was also a plus, in view of the spiritual connotations;
    Hirai was Soumu Bucho (Head of the General Affairs section) of the Kobukan Dojo.

    The article was originally conducted in Japanese and then translated. I have all the other articles published by Stanely Pranin, in Japanese and also in English. They are good translations, but still translations. For example, 'Soumu-bucho' has a nuance that is difficult to convey in English.

    My take on the interview is that Mr Hirai's assistance to Morihei Ueshiba was primarily of a political nature, for he was well connected. Considered overall, I think it is fair to say that the relationship of the two men with aiki-budo / aikido was quite different.

    Best regards to all,
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    I have read this thread with interest. I have trained in most of the major 'styles' for an extended period and from my point of view, they are all 'styles' with the exception of one - the Aikikai. No matter where you go Iwama, Yoshinkan, Tomiki etc. tend to be quite similar in what they do. Aikikai can be similar too, but contains more different flavours - teachers perhaps are given more freedom to develop in their own way - unlike the others that seem more controlled by their syallbi. In my opinion, the 'styles' constrain their teachers, whereas in Aikikai,the teachers have the chance to rise above their style, developing it more towards their own body or character. It's not that the others don't, just that Aikikai does it more - as I said, according to my observations. I don't know about about Yoseikan though - have never seen it.

    And as for who fell out of favour with who etc, Ueshiba - Tohei - Tomik etc., I view it as I view politics: If you really want to understand it you need look no further than your own immediate life. People fall out / become friends with others all the time. It's completely normal. As they say, all you need to learn about politics can be found in any children's playground. And in that sense, most of us never grow up.

    Rupert Atkinson

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    Peter


    This is off-topic but:

    Naturally, as a Korindo Aikido practitioner I am familiar with Hirai's history. I have bothered to buy the A.J. no. 100 in which the interview was.
    I later on heard comments from both my teacher and more senior people in Korinkai, That some parts of the interview as published are inexact. One such comment was about Hirai's role as a representative of Ueshiba: according to my info Hirai was not only a Martial Arts teacher of his own standing long before he met Ueshiba, he was also a member of the Dai Nippon Butotokai on his own, and was never Ueshiba's representative as the interview states (in a question, not in Hirai's answer translation).
    Hirai believed he established his own singular Martial Art in Korindo Aikido, not a flavor or style of Ueshiba. Whose way he rejected (as can be read in the interview).

    Back on topic, I don't wish to divert the talk into discussing Korindo Aikido, I am merely asking why does everyone feel he must prove the legitimacy of his style through their connection to Ueshiba ?
    Why can't they simply say : "Our style founder considered it to be Aikido, so it is! ". And let any contestant try and convince the style doesn't conform with any standard about the Martial Arts group named Aikido ?

    Amir
    Amir Krause

  4. #49
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    Originally posted by Amir

    This is off-topic but:

    Naturally, as a Korindo Aikido practitioner I am familiar with Hirai's history. I have bothered to buy the A.J. no. 100 in which the interview was.
    I later on heard comments from both my teacher and more senior people in Korinkai, That some parts of the interview as published are inexact. One such comment was about Hirai's role as a representative of Ueshiba: according to my info Hirai was not only a Martial Arts teacher of his own standing long before he met Ueshiba, he was also a member of the Dai Nippon Butotokai on his own, and was never Ueshiba's representative as the interview states (in a question, not in Hirai's answer translation).
    Hirai believed he established his own singular Martial Art in Korindo Aikido, not a flavor or style of Ueshiba. Whose way he rejected (as can be read in the interview).
    PAG. Yes, it would not surprise me. I have learned over the years that in Japanese conversations, the silences are as important as what is said, but this can never come out in the translation. I have not seen the Japanese text of the interview, but this is what I meant when I stated that it seemed to me that their relationship was primarily political, in the sense that M. Hirai was in a position to do something to put Ueshiba's art in the Butotukai. The presentday Aikikai has a huge phalanx of politicians and other worthies who are 'riji' (directors), only some of whom have been even near an aikido tatami. The reason is similar: to give the organization legitimacy vis-a-vis the Japanese government.

    Originally posted by Amir

    Back on topic, I don't wish to divert the talk into discussing Korindo Aikido, I am merely asking why does everyone feel he must prove the legitimacy of his style through their connection to Ueshiba ?
    Why can't they simply say : "Our style founder considered it to be Aikido, so it is! ". And let any contestant try and convince the style doesn't conform with any standard about the Martial Arts group named Aikido ?
    PAG. Well, one reason is that a large section of the aikido community, at least in Japan, still think aikido belongs to the Ueshiba family in a very real sense and seek to confirm their own legitimacy by the connection with M. Ueshiba and now with his successors. The title of this sub-forum is some indication of this.

    M Ueshiba clearly approved of the name, but it was a general name not tied to a person or place (unlike Shibukawa-ryu, or even Daito-ryu aikijujutsu). Thus, to borrow a metaphor from Wittgenstein, aikido derives its meaning and significance from a set of 'family resemblances', one of which is the name. M. Hirai had no need to confer any legitimacy of his art by emphasizing this personal relationship, but he used the name. M. Mochizuki seems to have emphasized the personal relationship to a greater degree, but did not. Others, like K. Tomiki and G. Shioda had a rather longer relationship with M Ueshiba, and also retained the name.

    So it seems to me.

    Best regards,
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    Hi Peter,

    Will this thread still be "stuck" to the top of the forum? I like the fact that newbies can see this info promptly on their entry to our forum. Just a thought,

    Ron

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    I unstuck the thread in order to have the Rules thread, which we have locked, at the head of the forum. Probably the stuck threads come in alphabetical order. Anyway, since we all seem to be following the rules, I have restuck the Flavours thread.

    Best,
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    Then change the name of the thread to "Aikido Forum -- Important Guidelines" and it should be first....

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    Thanks for the Idea but it doesn't work. Oh well.
    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

  9. #54
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    I have unstuck this thread because nothing much has happened in the past week or two and much of the contents have been repeated in other, more ephemeral, threads. So I think there is no reason for preserving this thread in a privileged position.

    Tony Manifold and I have long considered a digest of good posts, which need to be kept near the top of the forum, but I myself have not yet had the time to trawl through the forum for all the gems. To find them we need to hack through much undergrowth and this takes time.

    Perhaps a digest of posts which should really be near the bottom would also be a good idea...

    If anybody has any good ideas of how this forum could be improved, please let us know, either by PM or via this thread.

    Best regards to all,
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    Hi Peter,

    I know that some forums have sub folders; perhaps a sub folder for digests on certain topics would work well. Then the folder would always be visible for newbies, but you wouldn't have to "stick" it to the top.

    Ron Tisdale

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    Not sure of the mechanics of doing it, but having it available as a reference is the way to go.

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    Default Re: Do me a flavour ...

    Originally posted by bruceb
    In 1985 I coined a phrase of 'Do me a Flavour .."

    I did not realize it would become popular for a number of years, or become the name of a Sandwich/ Ice Cream Shoppe in Beach Haven, NJ, but it did.
    I apologize for making such a trivial comment after coming to this thread rather late in the game. However, Mr. Baker, I must let you in on something of little importance, but still interesting.

    My mother was using that phrase to me in 1950. "Do me a flavor" was in use by lots of folks back then, at least in my family. Somehow I don't think they were the originators of that phrase.

    Thanks to everyone for lots of good information.

    Best regards,
    Chuck Clark
    Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
    http://www.jiyushinkai.org

  13. #58
    bruceb Guest

    Default Just like every invention ...

    Well Chuck ... just like every invention, or fad ... there is always some trace of it in another place at another time. Question is ... did it catch on, or die out?

    Hula-hoop, or tread for a wagon wheel, which came first and which caught on as a national pasttime for shaking your hips as the circle spun round and round?

    I have heard thousands of phrases that are not popular in NJ/ NY/ PA but are quite common in other necks of the woods, so I do take this credit for inventing with a grain of salt.

    What is in a name?

    Really ... nothing.

    What is in name when it affects the culture or society on a large scale? Just a bit more than nothing, but in the great scheme of things, it comes to nothing just the same.

    Who invented the wheel? Who cares! We have it, it works, does it really matter?

    Enough rambling for me ....

    What is in a name? Maybe a passing ray of sun lighting the horizon as it fades while the earth turns day into night ..... I don't know for sure, but all names will change when 100,000 years pass and there is no history, no human race to beat its chests, write its books, tell its storys, and declare to all that will listen, humanity is the master of its Universe.....

    We will be another layer of dirt in mother earth. Gee, I hope we have some pretty colors for whatever species comes after us to look at as they marvel how old this planet is?

  14. #59
    sorenz Guest

    Default the living word

    Hi AIKIDODOC1 - If mind leading body - just follow the eternal spirit af aikido - organizations, sensis cone and go - but the universal ki remain.

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    Default Re: the living word

    Originally posted by sorenz
    Hi AIKIDODOC1 - If mind leading body - just follow the eternal spirit af aikido - organizations, sensis cone and go - but the universal ki remain.
    Mr Dalsgaard,

    Welcome to E-Budo. I am one of the moderators of the Aikido Forum.

    One of the rules that you agreed to keep when you joined E-Budo was to sign your posts with you full name (see Forum Rules, in the bottom left hand corner of the desktop).

    Please keep this rule. You can do this easily by adding your name to your signature.

    Best wishes,

    P A Goldsbury
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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