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

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    Quote Originally Posted by younggun
    I just finished reading through this thread, and though it is a pretty old post, Professor Goldsbury mentioned that he was working on an "Aikido Family Tree" Any chance you completed it Professor? I'd love to see it if so. If it has been posted elsewhere, please redirect me.

    Thanks,

    Michael Young
    Alas, not yet. Like articles and blogs, it is taken out worked on as time permits.

    Stanley Pranin, of Aikido Journal, once produced a chart of the various generations of the Founder's deshi. It was a revision of the chart in the Encyclopedia of Aikido. Have you seen these?

    Regards,
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil Gillespie
    Yoseikan Budo, founded by Minoru Mochizuki of Shizuoka, is another pre-war branch of O-Sensei's wonderful aikido tree. Often overlooked on this forum, there are now a couple (at least) Yoseikan representatives who can speak with far more knowledge and depth than I. I am an Aikikai "stylist" who had the great good fortune to train with Mochizuki Sensei at his hombu dojo in my wife's hometown of Shizuoka.
    Gil, when were you in Shizuoka? I was there 1990 to 1995. Did we meet back then?
    David Orange, Jr.

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    Default Tohei and Kisshomaru Ueshiba

    Quote Originally Posted by aikidoc1
    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.
    Minoru Mochizuki told me that he got a call from Kisshomaru Ueshiba one night in the early 1970s. Kisshomaru was concerned because all the students wanted Tohei's name on their dan certificates and didn't care for Kisshomaru's name. Since he had inherited aikido from Morihei sensei, he was insulted by this.

    Mochizuki sensei told him, "What do you do for your living?"

    Kisshomaru told him, "I'm a stock broker."

    Mochizuki sensei told him, "You have to decide if you're a stock broker or a budo man. A budo man is in the dojo. They want Tohei's name on their certificate because he's the one who teaches them. He's the one they see and know. If you want them to want your name on their certificates, you have to be in the dojo."

    He said that Kisshomaru resigned as a stock broker soon after that and began spending all his time at the aikikai dojo. And he "nudged" Tohei out.

    This wasn't just a thing of Tohei getting mad.

    One of the worst things about aikido is how people try to discredit those with whom they are no longer associated. And it's a big reason there are so many "styles."
    David Orange, Jr.

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    "That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
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    Default Amicable Branching Off

    Quote Originally Posted by P Goldsbury
    The only mutually amicable split appears to have been with the Yoshinkai and this is reflected in its present relationship with the Aikikai.
    Mochizuki Minoru maintained a great relationship with Morihei Ueshiba from 1930 or so until Ueshiba sensei died. It's well known that when Ueshiba sensei went to Osaka, he would usually stay in Shizuoka for some time on his way back to Tokyo. Sometimes Kisshomaru would have to come and get him. He liked to train with Mochizuki sensei because Mochizuki was a real full-hearted budo man, of Ueshiba's own heart.

    Mochizuki Minoru was uchi deshi to Morihei Ueshiba from 1930 but seems not to have trained more than a few months in that capacity. He came down with a severe lung condition from harsh training in severe weather. He was doing karate and kobudo (with kenjutsu) in the mornings, judo competitions in the afternoons and aikido training at night. And he nearly died from a lung problem. He was in the hospital for six months, then moved back to Shizuoka.

    In 1932, Ueshiba Morihei came to him in Shizuoka and presented him the menkyo kaiden in daito ryu aikijujutsu. So his total time as uchi deshi would not have been more than about 1 year at the outside. Yet he received the certificate of mastery and taught Yoseikan Aikido for the rest of his life.

    Was there a relationship to the aikikai? After the war, Mochizuki sensei was the first to teach aikido outside Japan and I understand that he was technical director of aikikai for some years after WWII.

    In about 1992 or so, sensei hosted the Yoseikan's 60th Anniversary taikai and brought back all his "old boys." Kisshomaru Ueshiba sat at a table at the joseki, with Mochizuki sensei and Sugino Yoshio sensei. I don't think you can get more amicable than that.
    David Orange, Jr.

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    "That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
    Lao Tzu

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    Quote Originally Posted by kimiwane
    Minoru Mochizuki told me that he got a call from Kisshomaru Ueshiba one night in the early 1970s. Kisshomaru was concerned because all the students wanted Tohei's name on their dan certificates and didn't care for Kisshomaru's name. Since he had inherited aikido from Morihei sensei, he was insulted by this.

    Mochizuki sensei told him, "What do you do for your living?"

    Kisshomaru told him, "I'm a stock broker."

    Mochizuki sensei told him, "You have to decide if you're a stock broker or a budo man. A budo man is in the dojo. They want Tohei's name on their certificate because he's the one who teaches them. He's the one they see and know. If you want them to want your name on their certificates, you have to be in the dojo."

    He said that Kisshomaru resigned as a stock broker soon after that and began spending all his time at the aikikai dojo. And he "nudged" Tohei out.

    This wasn't just a thing of Tohei getting mad.

    One of the worst things about aikido is how people try to discredit those with whom they are no longer associated. And it's a big reason there are so many "styles."
    My understanding is that Kisshomaru Ueshiba stopped working for Osaka Shoji in 1956. At least this is what he states in his own autobiography (p. 132).
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    Quote Originally Posted by kimiwane
    Was there a relationship to the aikikai? After the war, Mochizuki sensei was the first to teach aikido outside Japan and I understand that he was technical director of aikikai for some years after WWII.

    In about 1992 or so, sensei hosted the Yoseikan's 60th Anniversary taikai and brought back all his "old boys." Kisshomaru Ueshiba sat at a table at the joseki, with Mochizuki sensei and Sugino Yoshio sensei. I don't think you can get more amicable than that.
    I think there was clearly a relationship to the Aikikai after World War II. There is a book "Aikido", co-authored by Morihei Ueshiba and his son Kisshomaru. It was published in 1957. At the back of the book is a list of dojos which are part of, or affiliated to, the Aikikai. The Yoseikan appears in this list as Shizuoka Shibu, with the Shibu-cho as Mochizuki Minoru.

    However, the names of Shioda Gozo and the Yoshinkan do not appear in this book and it is clear that the Yoshinkan was established soon after the war as a separate dojo and organization. In fact, the Yoshinkan predated the restarting of training in the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo.

    I would think that during this time Kisshomaru was very much the 'new boy' and would have regarded people like Mochizuki, Shioda and Sugino as his 'sempai'. But this is a personal relationship and is different from the more 'official' relationships between organizations. I do not think there is such a relationship at present between the Yoseikan and the Aikikai.
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    David:

    You list Yoseikan Budo as your style of martial art. I was unaware there was a Yoseikan dojo in Birmingham, AL. Where do you trian and who do you trian with?
    Robert Cheshire
    Yoseikan Teacher
    www.yoseikanbudo.us
    www.fagri-igraf.org/

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    Default Where do you train?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Cheshire
    David:

    You list Yoseikan Budo as your style of martial art. I was unaware there was a Yoseikan dojo in Birmingham, AL. Where do you trian and who do you trian with?
    I train in the world with nature as my partner. I take my dojo everywhere I go because the "do" is everywhere.

    Sensei told me always to do his martial art and I find very little that his martial art does not include. It's really hard not to do it.
    David Orange, Jr.

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    "That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
    Lao Tzu

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    Default Full Splits and Partial Splits

    Quote Originally Posted by P Goldsbury
    My understanding is that Kisshomaru Ueshiba stopped working for Osaka Shoji in 1956. At least this is what he states in his own autobiography (p. 132).
    Well, I don't know. That's just what sensei told me and he placed it in the early 70s, just before the big split between Tohei and Kisshomaru.

    To me, the whole issue of splits and styles is misunderstood in the US.

    Here, people argue and dislike each other over disputes, decades ago, between people they never met, over matters they don't understand.

    You can see by many comments that some people dislike Shioda for "breaking away" from Ueshiba Morihei. Or Tohei for "taking his toys and leaving", when they don't know what really happened.

    It seems people think that Ueshiba was always in one place and that all his students were in one place for many decades. But very few of the pre-war masters he trained actually stayed directly "with" him for a decade or more.

    For instance, some people say that Mochizuki Sensei was uchi deshi to Ueshiba OSensei "for several years", but this is not the case. He apparently lived as uchi deshi to Ueshiba Morihei only for a matter of months before he became seriously ill. He started training in aikido in 1930, spent six months in the hospital and was living in Shizuoka running his own dojo when Ueshiba sensei came to him with the menkyo kaiden in 1932. With a full year for illness and recovery, he could only have been uchi deshi to Morihei Ueshiba for about one year. In his case, that was enough. He was a broadky experienced martial artist and he got the menkyo kaiden.

    The fact is, teachers and students in pre-war Japan would often cross paths at various times and places and train together for hours, days or weeks. Various types of certificates would be awarded. This is clear from Ueshiba Morihei's training with Takeda Sokaku.

    And so with Morihei Ueshiba and his students. Before the war, he moved around a good bit and many of his students were also moving around. One shows up just as another one leaves. It's unclear exactly how long each person was uchi deshi to OSensei, but they all had to leave the dojo eventually, if only for their own human lives. Their lives took them all over Japan and to other countries.

    Shioda sensei, for instance, tells a harrowing story of his wartime experiences and Mochizuki sensei was in Mongolia for eight years.

    It's only natural that they and many others should have developed their own schools. It shows that they were real human martial artists and not little black-belt clones. They didn't always get along with each other, but they all had some kind of relationship to Ueshiba Morihei and it's pointless for Americans to try to judge some stream of teaching, decades down from the origins, and fight amongst themselves because Ueshiba and Takeda had a money dispute or Tomiki "broke away" or Tohei "left in a huff."

    I've seen and heard too much of that through the years. Men create arts and organizations are built to own the arts, and then they try to own the men. It doesn't work that way and no one should expect it to.
    David Orange, Jr.

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    "That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
    Lao Tzu

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    Default Yoseikan Budo in Shizuoka

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Cheshire
    David:

    You list Yoseikan Budo as your style of martial art. I was unaware there was a Yoseikan dojo in Birmingham, AL. Where do you trian and who do you trian with?
    David Orange was training at the Yoseikan Hombu in Shizuoka when I was there in 1991. He had already been studying in Alabama in the art for many years and it was evident from his practise at that time. It seemed to me that his sword was one of the more advanced at the time in the dojo. He seemed to emphasize aikido and karate over judo skills but everybody at the dojo had to know more than a bit of each gendai budo style at that dojo at that time and each seemed to have a different mix.

    Mike Fore was also from Alabama and training at the hombu at that time. I had heard he relocated to Florida.
    Matthew Rogers
    Scarborough Martial Arts Training Group
    http://www.spiritforging.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mateo
    Mike Fore was also from Alabama and training at the hombu at that time. I had heard he relocated to Florida.
    Mike is living in Pensacola, FL and teaching Yoseikan there as well.
    Robert Cheshire
    Yoseikan Teacher
    www.yoseikanbudo.us
    www.fagri-igraf.org/

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    [QUOTE=kimiwane]Well, I don't know. That's just what sensei told me and he placed it in the early 70s, just before the big split between Tohei and Kisshomaru.[QUOTE]

    Mr Orange,
    I see from your training history, in another thread, that you were an uchideshi of Mochizuki Sensei and knew him well. Though I was not an uchideshi, I knew Kisshomaru Ueshiba quite well and sometimes discussed with him the early history of aikido. The reason I think that Mochizuki Sensei is mistaken about the date is that working fulltime for a company and at the same time as being a fulltime Doshu would be difficult to conceal.

    The book whose page I cited in an earlier post is Aikido Ichiro. Kisshomaru recounts the argument he had with O Sensei about working for a company, and for such a company. Of course, his father told him to stop and Kisshomaru said he would stop, but tells us that he continued working until Showa 31, which is 1956. If Mochizuki Sensei is right about the date, then Kisshomaru not only lied in his book, but also continued working for nearly 20 more years, right up to and beyond O Sensei's death in 1969m when Kisshomaru became the second Doshu. I find this very hard to believe.

    Yours sincerely,
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    Default Kisshomaru's Job

    Quote Originally Posted by P Goldsbury
    The reason I think that Mochizuki Sensei is mistaken about the date is that working fulltime for a company and at the same time as being a fulltime Doshu would be difficult to conceal.
    Hi, Peter,

    Another interesting question. I enjoy reading your posts.

    My impresssion about sensei's comments was that Kisshomaru sama was not concealing his work. According to sensei, it was known in aikikai. Or, more precisely, the common student at the dojo didn't know who Kisshomaru was. All the teachers knew, of course, but ordinary students were paying attention to the charming and charismatic Koichi Tohei, who was doing most of the teaching. If someone came there for aikido, they wanted the black belt from Koichi Tohei. (According to what sensei told me.) I, of course, was not at the aikikai in those days.)

    But Mochizuki sensei said that this was the problem concerning which Kisshomaru called him. Sensei just pointed out that Kisshomaru was working outside at a demanding job. I don't mean to be harsh in saying that. And sensei wasn't being harsh when he told me. I don't even know how the subject came up, but he told it as an anecdote while talking on a larger vein.

    He did say this happened after the death of OSensei and he did say that immediately after their conversation, Kisshomaru began to make big changes and gradually forced Tohei out. I don't know. Tohei and Kisshomaru were brothers-in-law, you know. So there were a number of personal and professional matters all mixed in.

    I originally commented on this to say there are two sides to every organizational split and that high-level teachers invariably find dojos too small for the both of them. Especially those who were uchi deshi together under a really great master like Ueshiba Morihei.

    The book whose page I cited in an earlier post is Aikido Ichiro. Kisshomaru recounts the argument he had with O Sensei about working for a company, and for such a company. Of course, his father told him to stop and Kisshomaru said he would stop, but tells us that he continued working until Showa 31, which is 1956. If Mochizuki Sensei is right about the date, then Kisshomaru not only lied in his book, but also continued working for nearly 20 more years, right up to and beyond O Sensei's death in 1969m when Kisshomaru became the second Doshu. I find this very hard to believe.
    Can you quote that section? There may be some subtle loophole in the phrasing. You know, life in Tokyo is very expensive and stock brokers do support families on their money. And by all accounts I've seen, it took a large cashflow to keep Morihei Ueshiba going--and he never seemed to worry about where it would come from. Is it possible that Kisshomaru was talking very narrowly about one particular company and that he then began working perhaps as a private investor somehow, so that he technically wasn't working for a company but was still very busy with stocks? Or that he worked for a different company in some other capacity that somehow satisfied Morihei's objections?

    In this way, he would not have lied, exactly...

    Now another point comes up here. According to Mochizuki sensei, when Kisshomaru sensei was very young, he had some kind of abdominal surgery, which prevented his doing some of the more aggressive entering type of movements that Morihei had used, such as pushing forward into the attacker's grip ( I have seen it called "aiki age" in a daito ryu reference. Sensei taught it but I didn't hear him name it). He said that Kisshomaru had some limitation in that way and unlike Tohei, he had no judo background (may be my misunderstanding). But it seems that he didn't have the same kind of power and range of expression that Tohei and the other top teachers at aikikai had. But he obviously did have a talent for making money. It seems reasonable that he would be raking in money as long as Morihei sensei needed it.

    Just my thoughts.

    But one last thing on dissimilation from the aikikai. I met Stanley Pranin in 1986 at the office of Aiki News. He showed us an old photo of Morihei Ueshiba seated in front of a wall-hanging scroll that read "daito ryu aiki ju jutsu". And then he showed us the version of that same photograph published by the aikikai. It was clearly the same photograph, but now the scroll simply said "aiki ju jutsu". The top part had been very skillfully airbrushed out, and a new top edge created for the scroll.

    As I recall, Mr. Pranin started Aiki News in the early eighties to try to get to the bottom of these kinds of discrepancies.

    I think a lot of it happens because the Japanese always thought of themselves as a separate people in the world, in many ways outside the interest of anyone not Japanese. They were never expecting any of the many parties to get together and hear all sides of a story, but with the internet, Stanley Pranin and the thousands of foreigners interested in aiki arts, all the sides are becoming known.

    I think this is a cultural thing that will slowly go away in Japan as people around the world just naturally understand that everything can be found out eventually and we cannot safely bolster our rightful positions with artificial embellishments.

    If we in America are smart, we won't pick up the bad habit the Japanese are dropping.

    Does any of this sound reasonable to you?
    David Orange, Jr.

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    "That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
    Lao Tzu

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    Mr Orange,

    I think you really need to read Aikido Ichiro and make up your own mind. I have cited one page, but the whole of Chapter 2 (entitled Youran = Cradle) makes for interesting reading. The section entitled "Nisoku on waraji wo oweru" (pp. 153-154) recounts the circumstances of Kisshomaru's departure from Osaka Shoji, lists the positions he held during the seven years of his employment, and makes clear that this was the first and last time that he ever worked for a company. The idea that he really continued working for this company, and that the Aikikai was aware of the deception, does not really bear serious examination.

    The Japanese is fairly straightforward and should not present much difficulty (I presume that you learned the language during you time in Shizuoka).
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    Default Critical Mass in the Dojo

    Quote Originally Posted by P Goldsbury
    you really need to read Aikido Ichiro and make up your own mind. I have cited one page, but the whole of Chapter 2 (entitled Youran = Cradle) makes for interesting reading. The section entitled "Nisoku on waraji wo oweru" (pp. 153-154) recounts the circumstances of Kisshomaru's departure from Osaka Shoji, lists the positions he held during the seven years of his employment, and makes clear that this was the first and last time that he ever worked for a company. The idea that he really continued working for this company, and that the Aikikai was aware of the deception, does not really bear serious examination.
    I don't intend to demean Kisshomaru sensei. Since I had never heard that he quit working, I just accepted what sensei said.

    I wonder where I would find Aikido Ichiro here? Was it ever translated? I have done a good bit of translation over the years but I always labored it out with help. I was never a smooth, fluent reader. I'm fairly conversational.

    When did you know Kisshomaru Doshu?

    I only saw him from a few yards away once, at the yoseikan dojo's 60th anniversary and didn't actually meet him. He must have been interesting to hear.

    Other people I would like to have known include Gozo Shioda, Koichi Tohei and Morihiro Saito.

    Of course, top of the list (in aikido terms) would be Morihei Ueshiba, himself.

    Since Mochizuki Minoru had been his uchi deshi, I really wanted to get to know him, but I learned that Mochizuki sensei was a deeply worthy person in his own right. It's a shame that the many very worthy personages of aikido don't blend better than they do.

    Following behind a great master like Morihei Ueshiba, many strong people struggle to get closer to him and get a better sense of his abilities, get more favor and recognition from him and to become known as his close favorite among all those great people. It's human nature. Miyamoto Masao wrote a great book called "Straitjacket Society" concerning Japanese psychological development. He says that envy is actively encouraged and cultivated in Japanese society. I guess the martial arts carries a strong vein of that into the psychology of those who become deeply involved, even non-Japanese, living in other countries.

    And so people get very jealous of one another. When I read Stanley Pranin's book, "Prewar Masters of Aikido," I was struck by how little the old uchi-deshi had to say about each other. I expected Minoru Mochizuki to have some great memories of training with Gozo Shioda. But he seemed a little vague on that, as if he had to search his memory for some young guy named Shioda.

    He allowed that "Shioda-kun" had come along some years after he, himself, and wasn't really there that much...

    And read "Prewar Masters," I noticed that each uchi-deshi or high level student would mention two or three others that he trained with and had some good things to say about them, but otherwise, they hardly mention the other great masters you would think they remembered so well.

    I guess, in my amateurish way, that this was because they really all got on each other's nerves and didn't feel like giving each other any glory. You couldn't expect them all to continue year after year in the same dojo. Clearly, even to try to keep them in the same organization seems too much. Packed in too tightly, they reach a critical mass and blow apart.

    What do you think about that?

    When I said earlier that the Japanese thought their Japan-only arguments would never be examined internationally, I meant that they were used to having disputes and splitting for good. Each side would tell his version and no one from either side would ever hear (or seriously consider) the opposite version. Thanks to Stanley Pranin, we have learned a lot about martial arts and have been fortunate enough to see how deeply rooted they are in human nature.

    Are you training now in Hiroshima? Atsui da na?

    Best wishes,
    Last edited by kimiwane; 25th July 2005 at 14:55. Reason: Correct Author's name (Miyamoto Masao--not Masato)
    David Orange, Jr.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    "That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
    Lao Tzu

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