View Full Version : HIPS - Diet

Dean Whittle
14th September 2009, 09:01
Mr Amdur,

Thank you for the quick delivery of the book half way around the world.

I enjoyed the book even though I have nothing more than a passing interest in Aikido and Daito ryu. Learning more about Ueshiba Morihei's influences and the development of his power was nevertheless very interesting.

One question I do have is during your research did you find any references to impact that diet played on Ueshiba's (or Takeda's etc) internal work. I noticed a reference to brown rice somewhere but nothing more ...

With respect

Ellis Amdur
20th September 2009, 17:36
Dean - sorry I did not reply sooner. The Misogi-kai made a brown rice diet part of their shugyo training. Abe Seiseki, one of the senior surviving students of Ueshiba, who studied with him out of the mainstream (he was Ueshiba's calligraphy teacher) has centralized the misogi practices - and emphasizes the genshoku (brown rice) both as a standard part of the diet and also in a special practice with the aim, as I understand it, of permanently altering the metabolism.
Ueshiba did not keep a brown rice diet, but Abe reportedly gave this to Ueshiba during his visits.
So here's where it gets a little convoluted. Ueshiba, in the fifties and sixties was said to have circulated among several dojos that focused more on his complete "vision" than Tokyo - these would be Shingu, Iwama, Sudanomari's Kyushu dojo, and in Osaka, several schools, including that of Abe Seiseki. It has been asserted that he spent up to 1/3 of his time in Osaka, but this is not borne out from what I've heard from various Tokyo teachers, who describe Ueshiba as being present much of the time.
In sum, if one wanted to follow one avenue of training - the pure Misogikai style, with is a modern (allegedly ancient beyond ancient) amalgam of Shinto practices melded with some practices derived from China - Abe Seiseki's dojo would be the place to do so - and they do centralize brown rice diet as part of their training.
I once asked a friend outside of Abe's organization (those inside any organization are sometimes not the best to dispassionately evaluate things) how "strong" he really is. And my friend replied, "Well, I saw him skip up six flights of stairs, teach a three hour class and skip down six flights of stairs. And he's 95. That's strong enough for me."

Ellis Amdur

Dean Whittle
21st September 2009, 09:33

Thank you for the reply.

With respect