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Dan Harden
11th June 2014, 19:28
Aiki is not owned by an art form, neither is internal power and all its related concepts. Aiki is an old concept. Internal strength as well. Both are discussed and outlined in Koryu.

In recent discussions of aiki, both here and on other forums much has been stated about qualifications of those in various arts being able to judge what aiki is or not according to those specific art forms.

E-budo history
1.Traditionalists in Daito ryu
We have a small number of low level members (not deeply initiated in anything, nor representatives) saying aiki is one thing in DR.
2. Traditionalists in Aikido We have (G1) stating that Aikido aiki has nothing to do with Daito ryu aiki.
3. Split off traditionalists
a. We have a member of two Daito ryu groups who trained and reached teaching approval who out rank the men in the prior group who states that one of their groups shihan didn't have aiki! He went to internal training and it is his opinion that IP and IP related aiki is essential to DR aiki. Although he openly states DR aiki application is different.
b. Interestingly a senior from (G1) told another member of (G1) that Daito ryu doesn't own aiki and one of their own shihan and senior teachers went outside of their art to learn aiki from another related art.
c. A shihan from another DR art went outside of their art to train somewhere else to get aiki.
d. Two students from Sagawa went to a taiji ICMA master in their own words...to get aiki. One of whom publicly stated when asked that the ICMA guy had better skills and more power than Sagawa at a seminar in Taiwan.
4. Non traditionalists
We have the IP crowd stating that what drives Aikido and Daito ryu aiki is the same essential elements in the ICMA arts-although the use is different.

Contentions
6.
a. Traditionalists (G1.) states Non tradionalists (G4) have no qualifications to say what DR aiki even is... and their opinion is void because they have not trained enough in those arts (even though they themselves by their own standard are not yet qualified to even say that).
b. Traditionalists (G1.) state Aikido-ka (G2) don't know Daito ryu aiki- even though they (G1) themselves have not attained Shihan level in Aikido (G2).
b. Logical analysis follows that Traditionalists (G1) have no deep initiation into Non traditionalists (G4) methods and what they are doing nor can they exhibit those skills. They have no deep initiation into Aikido (G2) Therefore their own opinion of Non traditionalists (G4) and Aikido (G2) methods are void and not open for discussion from them as well. Their own standards leave them unqualified.

Stalemate!
Blah blah blah....who cares anymore.
I am uninterested in discussing the arguable ownership of something they themselves refuse to define and discuss. Or what some mid-level guys think of aiki. Let them have their art and their own corner.
___________________________________________________________

Changing directions
I am interested in what someone can do.
There is a way to practice aiki without contacting with someone else's center, or using sticky hand waza or muscle cramping and locking people on the mat, launching men to a standing position from seiza- including 6'5" Iwama guys- or giving velocity concussion from aiki age, blah, blah. I walked away from that kata oriented stuff years ago for other things. I have never met anyone since, in any aiki arts, teacher or otherwise who's aiki will work on me, yet my aiki works on them.
So...Let's say my aiki is neither Daito ryu aiki or Aikido aiki...and I am incredibly happy about that.

How is that possible? Aiki as yin and yang (in yo ho) from the hara...out.
1. No ukemi, and training in what is essential to aiki..internal strength as its base. The marked ability TO NOT CONNECT TO SOMEONE ELSE'S CENTER, retain my center against anyone's access to it, hence their aiki simply hitting a wall and failing 100% of the time.
This enhanced dynamic stability in freestyle at this level...has never been displayed... in any Daito ryu teacher I have seen, touched, or know about. It was in a small part in two and that is it. Ueshiba displayed it as well.
2. Aiki as a name
I really don't care what the detractors call it. They quite literally man after man, simply cannot stand up against it. And 98% (not all) return to train it.

We should support the traditional arts. All koryu were once gendai. Many traditional arts were started by men of vision....not deeply initiated into anything. We should also support the innovators.
Dan

*Note to moderators*
There is no need for personal insults, discussions of marketing (particularly from stylists here who's own teachers trademarked names and sold books and videos and host seminars and make adds in magazines and appear on television. Let's see discussion of content.

Cliff Judge
12th June 2014, 15:59
Aiki is not owned by an art form, neither is internal power and all its related concepts. Aiki is an old concept. Internal strength as well. Both are discussed and outlined in Koryu.

I am glad you are choosing to split the terms here.

In what Koryu is Aiki discussed and outlined? I don't believe it is used to reference the same thing, and that makes a big problem for you, Dan.

I have to agree with you on the matter of Internal Power, because that's a fine definition for what is manifested in many lines of Chinese civilian self-defense and "virtue cultivation" systems. Ellis Amdur has written about how knowledge of this type of power made its way into some Japanese ryuha. I don't believe he made a strong case for training methods being transmitted, though. That could mean that there was hands-on transmission that survives to this day, or it could mean that the internal power training of these Japanese systems (the antecedents of Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin Ryu, if I recall correctly) are entirely different things that may happen to look the same or result in the same types of ability.

But at the end of the day that says to me that Internal Power is not a single thing, but is a general category of ability that can be trained in different ways, and can certainly manifest in different ways. It is kind of a pity that we can't have a discussion about what the various types of Internal Power are and what they are like, but these things tend to be traditionally not open topics for discussion. And of course there is a group of people who insist, with zeal, that they are all in fact the same thing, so pretty much nails in the coffin for that discussion.

Aiki on the other hand. I have heard that this term exists in the Kashima Shin ryu tradition, but have no idea what it means to them or whether it is anything similar to the Aiki of Aikido and Daito ryu. I believe Toda ha Buko ryu has a concept of Aiki, and I don't recall what it means in that system but I do recall hearing that it means nothing like Aiki as used in Aikido.

Dr. David Hall's Encyclopedia of Japanese Martial Arts states that the term was not often used before the turn of the 20th century when it emerges as a kind of mystified and mysterious concept. The ancient ways of the warrior that we cannot understand today as it were. I don't have my copy of the book with me but I can quote it later if the thread goes anywhere productive.

I haven't seen anything really compelling that Aiki was something that was taught or demonstrated as a manifest ability before Sokaku Takeda.

And that means that Daito ryu and Aikido really do own Aiki. You cannot in good faith talk about it outside of the context of those arts. You certainly cannot in good faith teach it, and it is in even worse faith to claim to teach it while teaching something else entirely. if you do so you are appropriating a term that is not yours to use.

It is a fair argument to make that Aikido did this to Daito ryu. I think if you have a lineage - you can name your teacher's names and talk about what you were taught - then your own body of research and training can be represented as Aiki - because it was given to you and it's yours. But the Aikikai intentionally obfuscated the lines of transmission from Daito ryu, That's problematic. But it does not make it okay for someone to teach taiji to Aikido people and call it Aiki just because.




*Note to moderators*
There is no need for personal insults, discussions of marketing (particularly from stylists here who's own teachers trademarked names and sold books and videos and host seminars and make adds in magazines and appear on television. Let's see discussion of content.

You could have framed your post as a conversatrion starter, you know. "I think this, based on this. What do you other folks think?"

Cady Goldfield
12th June 2014, 16:52
Folks,
A reminder to please refrain from personal criticisms and inflammatory language. This goes for everyone. If you haven't read the E-Budo forum rules, please do so. If you have read them, please do so again.

I do not want to have to close another thread due to escalation of hostilities.
Stick to the subject matter itself, which is a good topic with many valid points to debate in a civil manner.

Thank you.

Dan Harden
12th June 2014, 17:09
The term and use of aiki is in several ryu I know of. Do you know when and where it appeared in the ones I am referring to? No...you don't. Aspects of what it takes to create internal strength and the ensuing aiki are there as well with references going back as early as the 1400's.

I am uninterested in Daito ryu's attempts at trademarking the name of a concept...that they've never defined or demonstrated to be in anyway proprietary to them alone. It worked with the name Daito ryu and aikijujutsu in Japan but not with the term aiki. Why was that?

As for Ueshiba? You don't know what transpired with any of Takeda's people. You don't even know the arts origins, or why the scrolls kept multiplying and changing. Other than hearsay and myth, you have no argument of origins, transmission oaths or kaiden being violated by virtually anyone in the art (as in a koryu) either. Therefore Ueshiba or anyone was free to do whatever their verbal agreements or understandings did or did not allow. If you or anyone else has evidence to the contrary it has yet to be seen. I know the process and what it means to take an oath in an art. Do you know of a DR branch that has keppan?

The aspects of the debate are a bit ridiculous. I still cannot find factual basis for any particular side in this:
1. (G1) claims, usually as low to mid level practitioners
*That those outside Daito ryu do not know what you do....as aiki...
*All while the group of you state repeatedly that you yourselves don't know what aiki really is because...
*It is higher level learning requiring deep initiation.... that none of you as yet have.
That is a pretty fair assessment of your argument.

2. Popkin, with decades in as a (G1) is also in (G4) and he claims what we do in (G4) is DR aiki... just used differently.

3. (G4) claims that you do not know what we do....as aiki. As an aside I find this even more absurd as we in (G4) openly state that what we in fact do....is not the same as in (G1) or (G2)'s...aiki. Personally, I am distinctly uninterested in DR aiki. If people want DR, I send people to DR, (usually Howard Popkin). Several of my people are his students.

As for your proprietary claim of the term, Aiki? I reject it at face value.

Dan

Cliff Judge
12th June 2014, 17:40
The term and use of aiki is in several ryu I know of. Do you know when and where it appeared in the ones I am referring to? No...you don't. Aspects of what it takes to create internal strength and the ensuing aiki are there as well with references going back as early as the 1400's.

What ryu are you talking about? The very first postulate of your whole argument here is that Aiki is a concept that has been passed along in different koryu.

Kendoguy9
12th June 2014, 17:43
The term and use of aiki is in several ryu I know of. Do you know when and where it appeared in the ones I am referring to? No...you don't. Aspects of what it takes to create internal strength and the ensuing aiki are there as well with references going back as early as the 1400's.

In an effort to continue this topic in a civilized direction I would love to hear about the ryu you mention and how they define and use "aiki." This seems like it could be a fruitful and interesting conversation.

Best regards,
Chris

Dan Harden
13th June 2014, 01:39
In an effort to continue this topic in a civilized direction I would love to hear about the ryu you mention and how they define and use "aiki." This seems like it could be a fruitful and interesting conversation.
Best regards,
Chris
Sure Chris
Care to begin with both of your inner teachings?
There will be no conversation.
No one talks about DR's aiki.
No one talks of their koryu.
I'm not offering to sit here and explain what two Menkyo's revealed first hand of their use of aiki in their ryu and of others. Nor of a translated section of scroll nor translations of books. It was not my point. My point was that it is there and moreover the comparisons of:
(G1)-(G4) reveal that the subject is stalemated by all hands.
And...No one has even touched that point.
I offered it for everyone to see how ridiculous the debate is...and the ensuing animosity over a concept no one can discuss by the standards you impose on everyone else....now applied to you.
And I really don't care to discuss it from this point forward. It's a meaningless debate.
Go train and have fun.
Dan

LGatling
13th June 2014, 05:22
http://www.e-budo.com/images-ebudo/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by Kendoguy9 http://www.e-budo.com/images-ebudo/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?p=501565#post501565)

In an effort to continue this topic in a civilized direction I would love to hear about the ryu you mention and how they define and use "aiki." This seems like it could be a fruitful and interesting conversation.
Best regards,
Chris[/UNQUOTE]


[QUOTE=Dan Harden;501584]Sure Chris
Care to begin with both of your inner teachings?
There will be no conversation.
No one talks about DR's aiki.
No one talks of their koryu.
I'm not offering to sit here and explain what two Menkyo's revealed first hand of their use of aiki in their ryu and of others. Nor of a translated section of scroll nor translations of books. It was not my point. My point was that it is there and moreover the comparisons of:
(G1)-(G4) reveal that the subject is stale mated by all hands.
And...No one has even touched that point.
I offered it for everyone to see how ridiculous the debate is...and the ensuing animosity over a concept no one can discuss by the standards you impose on everyone else....now applied to you.
And I really don't care to discuss it from this point forward. It's a meaningless debate.
Go train and have fun.
Dan
I applaud Mr. Covington's attempt to salvage something from this discussion. The response, to the limited extent I understand it, seems less laudable.

In fact, in honesty I didn't understand the initial post, too many inside baseball references. But it's clear to me that anyone that might think to try aiki or ki training or whatever would probably be put off it completely by the discourse of experts herein, as training in 'it' doesn't seem to add much if anything useful to the human condition.

(Put differently, if you could completely master aiki, but were stricken down and bedridden for the rest of your life, unable to walk, would anyone still want to talk to you?)

Anyhow, I have a theory that all the tempest in a teapot about aiki or whatever is mostly a modern construct, in that any number of people today that bother to train a bit probably have stronger balance / ki / integration / whatever, nearly all, if not all, of the ancients. And all of the results of that training can be explained in biomechanical terms, without resort to esoteric training or gods or anything else.

But, in trying to justify the claim that this ability derives from ancient teachings, some people look well beyond what can be proven historically, going well beyond speculation.

Looking at the past and trying to decipher who had what training and their understanding could be interesting, but I can't see what could be decisively proven. In his excellent Transmission column in Aikiweb (incidentally, pretty much derailed by one of this forum's members) Professor Goldsbury cited a number of early 1800's mentions of aiki in old schools, with the clear note that aiki is used with a different meaning. He and very few others go to source documents, yet a lot of talk about this and that being known to come from 'ancient times'.

I've seen text mistranslated, or taken out of context, etc. Ofttimes, there's simply no way for anyone to know what was meant hundreds of years on, particularly if you can't read the ancient texts. And that is really hard, even difficult to explain how hard.

Lance Gatling

知る者は言わず
言う者は知らず
- 老子

Raff
13th June 2014, 07:22
2. [/B]Popkin, with decades in as a (G1) is also in (G4) and he claims what we do in (G4) is DR aiki... just used differently.

Dan


How could possibly a former G1 guy, who, by your own words, is a low level practionner, not deeply initiated in anything, nor representative of the faction of Daito-ryu he studies, suddenly be in a position to state that what you do is Daito-ryu aiki just used differently?

If you do not know what it is (whatever the word you might choose to add) then you simply do not know what it is and thus you are not able to recognize or vouch for it. When you really strive for something you eventually never get, whatever the reason, it is only natural to go somewhere else and try to get it. Once you finally meet someone who possesses skills above the average level and who is willing to teach openly, then you tend to believe that you have finally found what you were looking for.

Dan Harden
13th June 2014, 09:50
[QUOTE=LGatling;501597
I applaud Mr. Covington's attempt to salvage something from this mess. [/QUOTE]
Really?
Then lets see him start discussing aiki in either of his ryu's teachings?
I'm all ears...............................(crickets)


The inside baseball comment you made is appropriate:
Generally, people in Koryu don't talk about their ryu to outsiders.
I train with people from various Koryu, all in the same room on a regular basis. Try getting them to talk about their ryu.....crickets! ;)
Generally, There is NO CONVERSATION about their ryu. It's just the way it is. We have an old and friendly joke in a koryu. "You talk about koryu, you just don't talk about koryu."
No harm no foul.
Aiki:
When it comes to aiki, the DR folks make claims of propriety on the word as a method. I have simply said "Okay. Support that claim."
They can't for various reasons. One, is you would have to identify and expose it to discuss it. That is a non starter to any discussion hence, why neither Chris or anyone else is actually going to discuss anything of substance..

An attorney (also a koryu member) once jokingly said about this topic. If we pressed this logic and I was on the other side, I would subpoena all your written records and depose all your staff and students to then compare it to others schools teachings in order to determine what is in the written and verbal record to establish any teachings that were indeed unique to your school. The process of which would fully expose your school's teachings.
So...everyone is stuck.

The rest of your post-while excellent points- discusses what most can't and or won't discuss in their ryu. There are specific and detailed training models and key words that have spanned centuries in the Asian arts for creating internal power and its associated effects in various ryu.
I offered the comparisons of where people are in the debate to highlight the stalemate that everyone is in, myself included.
Dan

Dan Harden
13th June 2014, 10:06
How could possibly a former G1 guy, who, by your own words, is a low level practionner, not deeply initiated in anything, nor representative of the faction of Daito-ryu he studies, suddenly be in a position to state that what you do is Daito-ryu aiki just used differently?

The person I referred to is a teacher of Daito ryu. And other than a topic point to show the silliness of the debate, I don't care about that either.


If you do not know what it is (whatever the word you might choose to add) then you simply do not know what it is and thus you are not able to recognize or vouch for it. When you really strive for something you eventually never get, whatever the reason, it is only natural to go somewhere else and try to get it. Once you finally meet someone who possesses skills above the average level and who is willing to teach openly, then you tend to believe that you have finally found what you were looking for.
Personally, I don't care anymore. Of course many arts have secrets. Then, players go out and discover their arts secret was in another art, too. It's a twice told tale.

There is no substantive debate over aiki that can be had on the net.
Dan

P Goldsbury
13th June 2014, 11:07
Dr. David Hall's Encyclopedia of Japanese Martial Arts states that the term was not often used before the turn of the 20th century when it emerges as a kind of mystified and mysterious concept. The ancient ways of the warrior that we cannot understand today as it were. I don't have my copy of the book with me but I can quote it later if the thread goes anywhere productive.

I have a vested interest in making E-Budo threads productive and I have Dr Hall’s book in front of me. His discussion of aiki can be found on pp. 21-22. He makes three main points.

1. He begins with a definition of Aiki.

“Aiki essentially means harmony (or unity) of spirit and/or energy. However, this term has developed many shades of meaning over the years. In the area of combative behavior and performance, the Japanese martial concept of aiki is synchronicity of physical movements, breath, and/or spirit. This is characterized as one of the eight innate combative traits.” In support, Hall cites p. 62 of “Hayes, 1991,” but there is no such date in his bibliography. There are references to a nine-part article written by Richard Hayes and published between 1987 and 1994 in Hoplos: The Journal of the International Hoplology Society. Parts 6 and 7 were published in 1990 and 1992, but not in 1991, so we do not know from Hall’s reference to which part he is referring.

Hall states that proponents of early martial traditions were familiar with aiki, but then states that the concepts of aiki, ki and kiai “took on a new vogue and their mystery was greatly inflated in the popular Japanese press.” He adds a bracket with a reference to two chapters in E J Harrison’s book, The Fighting Spirit of Japan, entitled “The Esoteric Aspects of Bujutsu.”Hall is referring to the 1955 edition of this work and the relevant pages are pp. 115 – 116, where he makes lengthy quotes from a discourse by Kunishige Nobuyuki, who was a bujutsu polymath, on the relationship between aiki and shin-ki-ki-itsu, the latter being a method for studying the former. He adds that one of the early texts on aiki, published in 1899, like Kunishige, made extraordinary claims for the powers of aiki.

One of Hall’s sources seems to be Draeger’s discussion about "Essence, Aims and Techniques" in his chapter on Aikido in Modern Bujutsu and Budo. pp. 137 – 161. Hall quotes a definition of aiki that appears on p. 142 of this volume. (There is one mistake in the quotation and the reference, like that for the article by Richard Hayes, is not quite accurate. I have some grounds for thinking that this is due to sloppy editing.)

2. Hall then discusses Daito-ryu and quotes Takeda Tokimune’s definition of aiki from the interview published in Stanley 1969 Pranin’s volume, entitled Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: Conversations with Daito-ryu Masters. However, Dr Hall omits part of Tokimune’s definition. Pranin’s question was:

“Could you explain in a little more detail about the concept of aiki?”

Tokimune’s answer began as follows:

“Aiki is to pull when you are pushed, and to push when you are pulled. It is the spirit of slowness and speed, of harmonizing your movement with your opponent’s ki. Its opposite, kiai, is to push the limit, while aiki never resists.
The term aiki has been used since ancient times and is not unique to Daito-ryu.” (Pranin, 1969, pp. 53-54.)

Dr Hall concludes this section by noting the similarities between Tokumune’s discussion of aiki (as go no sen, compared with kiai as sen no sen) with the approach of Sasaki Kazunosuke, discussed in a 1991 article in the magazine Hiden Koryu Bujutsu.

3. Dr Hall’s third point is a brief discussion of Morihei Ueshiba. According to Hall, Ueshiba “greatly refined the concept of aiki he studied in Daito-ryu. To him, aiki indicated a ‘creative life force’, the nature of which was ‘all-embracing love.’ In application this can mean completely controlling an aggressive opponent without harming him.”

I do not think that Dr Hall’s discussion here is entirely satisfactory. I have in mind two points.

First, he spends much time on discussing the ‘new vogue’ of discussions given by people like Kunishige, but he has very little to say about the aiki of ‘early martial traditions’. He traces the earliest discussion to 1899, but there is evidence that there were older texts and there is also the statement from Takeda Tokimune himself, that the term was used from ancient times and that the term is not unique to Daito-ryu. All this evidence needs to be weighed and seen for what it is.

Secondly, it is not clear from his bibliography to what extent Dr Hall is acquainted with the published discourses of Morihei Ueshiba. In this connection, I think it is of great importance to study these in the original and then to compare the various translations made. I remember being taught the importance of this when I was studying the Greek Classics at Harvard. You need to establish a reliable text, which includes all the judgments made by those who produced the text, assuming that it was not the original author. Then you need to assess the various judgments made by those who translated the texts into various languages. There is a highly respectable Arabic tradition with Aristotle, for example.

It is reasonably clear to me that Ueshiba takes an awful lot for granted in his discourses about aiki. He appears to assume a knowledge of Onisaburo Deguchi’s writings on Omoto doctrine and kotodama, for example, and also with the ancient Japanese myths recorded in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki.

I also need to respond to your points about the Aikikai, but this will have to wait for another post. This is long enough as it is.

Best wishes,

PAG

Raff
13th June 2014, 12:28
The person I referred to is a teacher of Daito ryu. And other than a topic point to show the silliness of the debate, I don't care about that either.


Personally, I don't care anymore. Of course many arts have secrets. Then, players go out and discover their arts secret was in another art, too. It's a twice told tale.

There is no substantive debate over aiki that can be had on the net.
Dan

That the person you refered to was a teacher of Daito-ryu is something that I had understood and especially because he is/was a teacher of Daito-ryu makes your exemple even more interesting.

Let´s face the fact straight. I´m more than probably a member of your G1 classification in the sense that, while not being too stubborn, I have no special skills or knowledge about Aiki. I might have had some direct experience with the concept, but in all honnesty, I cannot decently make any claims of mastery of Aiki. That´s why I belong to G1.

Let´s say that we meet on your next seminar in Germany and that you show me some skills, which I believe are above the average level and I´m not being ironic here, I still won´t be able to define that what you are doing is Aiki or not. All I would be able to say is that on this occasion, you proved that you had an advanced knowledge and that your skills proved to be far superior than mine.

Back to the person you were refering to. You have stated that he used to belong for decades to the G1 in your classification. As I understand it, he was teaching nonetheless and he probably shown some of the skills which are characteristic of this very faction of Daito-ryu namely the skill to toss around people in a seemingly effortless way. At this point, was he teaching Aiki or was it something else? Did he know that he indeed belonged to G1?

We might consider (and the argue) the following elements about Daito-ryu aiki:

1. It never existed.
2. It did exist but does not anymore.
3. It still exists and is openly taught with almost nobody being able to grasp its very essence or to apply it freely in a non conventional physical confrontation.
4. It still exists but its access is limited to some "happy few" and even tough it is still very hard to master.
5. It still exists but you need to find out by yourself and, why not? even improve it.


Around 1912, Ernest John Harrison, a British gentleman wrote a very fascinating book about Japan and japanese martial arts. The fighting spirit of Japan. May be it is safer to assume that the book was published in 1912 in London but that some of the experiences made by Harrison are actually a little bit older. Harrison spent 14 years in Japan starting from 1897. In Japan, Harrison took up the study of the Tenjin Shin´y o ryu before switching to Kodokan Judo. At the Kodokan, he met some legendary figures like Yokoyama Sakujiro and Mifune Kyuzo.

In one chapter, the ninth, Harrison gives a remarkable account of a rather unknown master of the Shinden Isshin-ryu, Kunishige Nobuyuki. Kunishige stats with a lecture about martial arts and then gives a concrete demonstration. Kunishige approaches the concept of Aiki during his lecture and gives a definition which bears some common points with the Aiki we are currently talking about. Harrison states in his book that he met Kunishige during the Russo-japanese war, around 1904-05 then.

We may safely assume that no one in 1912 in London or anywhere else in Europe had ever heard about Takeda Sokaku, Morihei Ueshiba nor about Aiki.

I only have a copy of this book translated in italian, but if someone has the english version, I think that the content of this chapter might arouse some interesting comments.

Dan Harden
13th June 2014, 12:31
Hello Peter
Establishing the text is of course going to leave out the written and verbal record where it mattered most; the teachings of aiki in extent ryu ha's various methods.

It is much the same for internal power. Just consider one of the quotes from Ueshiba wherein he was mentioning a method (word for word, as outlined in Shinto ryu out of Katori Jingu from 1441) for power and stability and he said ".....This is taught orally."
To strain the point; recently in one ryu a visiting Japanese Menkyo was asked about details of a certain aiki teaching method by western students within the ryu. To which he replied "This is reserved for the Japanese" even though another western Menkyo had outlined it years earlier. There are many examples of this sort of thing in the arts. Teachers are of course individual entities to do with what they will with the arts teachings.
On the whole, in trying to establish text and context within ryu (where the information you are looking for are held) you are going to run head long into the admonition:
"It's okay to talk about koryu
Just don't talk about koryu."

Aiki within the Daito RyuContrary to all the comments here

Cliff Judge:
...In what Koryu is Aiki discussed and outlined? I don't believe it is used to reference the same thing, and that makes a big problem for you, Dan.
...I haven't seen anything really compelling that Aiki was something that was taught or demonstrated as a manifest ability before Sokaku Takeda.
And that means that Daito ryu and Aikido really do own Aiki. You cannot in good faith talk about it outside of the context of those arts. You certainly cannot in good faith teach it, and it is in even worse faith to claim to teach it while teaching something else entirely. if you do so you are appropriating a term that is not yours to use.
We have Takeda's Quote: The term aiki has been used since ancient times and is not unique to Daito-ryu.”
And an often quoted public comment from the east coast representative of the Kodokai. "Daito ryu doesn't own aiki."
We can temper that by saying various branches of the Daito ryu *do* have their own ideas of aiki. But this is no more, no less credible, than saying art X has its own version of aiki.
Again to my original points over the debate:
Who, has truly established any credible proprietary rights over the term as a method? No one. And no one...can, without all showing their hand, and examining the methods. I don't see how that can ever happen.

Dan Harden
13th June 2014, 12:45
Around 1912, Ernest John Harrison, a British gentleman wrote a very fascinating book about Japan and japanese martial arts. The fighting spirit of Japan. May be it is safer to assume that the book was published in 1912 in London but that some of the experiences made by Harrison are actually a little bit older. Harrison spent 14 years in Japan starting from 1897. In Japan, Harrison took up the study of the Tenjin Shin´y o ryu before switching to Kodokan Judo. At the Kodokan, he met some legendary figures like Yokoyama Sakujiro and Mifune Kyuzo.

In one chapter, the ninth, Harrison gives a remarkable account of a rather unknown master of the Shinden Isshin-ryu, Kunishige Nobuyuki. Kunishige stats with a lecture about martial arts and then gives a concrete demonstration. Kunishige approaches the concept of Aiki during his lecture and gives a definition which bears some common points with the Aiki we are currently talking about. Harrison states in his book that he met Kunishige during the Russo-japanese war, around 1904-05 then.

We may safely assume that no one in 1912 in London or anywhere else in Europe had ever heard about Takeda Sokaku, Morihei Ueshiba nor about Aiki.

I only have a copy of this book translated in italian, but if someone has the english version, I think that the content of this chapter might arouse some interesting comments.
Hello Raphael
I was the first person I know of to discuss Mr. Harrisons mentioning of this on the old Aikido list server (actually Ellis and I argue over who noticed it first). It is mentioned here as well. Do a search on the AJJ forum.


That the person you refered to was a teacher of Daito-ryu is something that I had understood and especially because he is/was a teacher of Daito-ryu makes your exemple even more interesting.

Let´s face the fact straight. I´m more than probably a member of your G1 classification in the sense that, while not being too stubborn, I have no special skills or knowledge about Aiki. I might have had some direct experience with the concept, but in all honnesty, I cannot decently make any claims of mastery of Aiki. That´s why I belong to G1.

Let´s say that we meet on your next seminar in Germany and that you show me some skills, which I believe are above the average level and I´m not being ironic here, I still won´t be able to define that what you are doing is Aiki or not. All I would be able to say is that on this occasion, you proved that you had an advanced knowledge and that your skills proved to be far superior than mine.

Back to the person you were refering to. You have stated that he used to belong for decades to the G1 in your classification. As I understand it, he was teaching nonetheless and he probably shown some of the skills which are characteristic of this very faction of Daito-ryu namely the skill to toss around people in a seemingly effortless way. At this point, was he teaching Aiki or was it something else? Did he know that he indeed belonged to G1?

We might consider (and the argue) the following elements about Daito-ryu aiki:

1. It never existed.
2. It did exist but does not anymore.
3. It still exists and is openly taught with almost nobody being able to grasp its very essence or to apply it freely in a non conventional physical confrontation.
4. It still exists but its access is limited to some "happy few" and even tough it is still very hard to master.
5. It still exists but you need to find out by yourself and, why not? even improve it.
That "person" is a close friend of mine. It really doesn't matter what his opinion is, others here will debate it to death. I don't care to discuss it either. I wanted to merely show how convoluted and pointless any argument is.
Germany meeting
I don't have any vested interest in proving anything to anyone about what they think aiki is, or what it is in this or that art. What I do is not relevant to the points I made about establishing proprietary ownership.

LGatling
13th June 2014, 14:53
Hello Raphael
I was the first person I know of to discuss Mr. Harrisons mentioning of this on the old Aikido list server (actually Ellis and I argue over who noticed it first). It is mentioned here as well. Do a search on the AJJ forum. ........

No clue as to the relevancy of this point. Harrison's work has been well known to judoka for many years. Noticing something does not conclude anything regarding its veracity. Harrison's works have many problems.


.....Personally, I don't care anymore. Of course many arts have secrets. Then, players go out and discover their arts secret was in another art, too. It's a twice told tale.

There is no substantive debate over aiki that can be had on the net. (Emphasis added....)
Dan
While I wholeheartedly agree with the latter sentiment, unless we're talking about concrete, written examples of references to aiki in old Japanese texts, I have to ask, is this a recent revelation? If this is your belief, may I ask the purpose of starting this by your definition non-substantive debate?

I personally think aiki/ki is a mystical term substituted for common sense and biomechanics, but I love the history of martial arts and how people develop MA capabilities.

So, like you, instead of some possible discussion of aiki over the 'net, I would ask you for a measured response to Mr. Covington's question - (in my own words) do you have references to 'ancient Japanese arts' that refer to aiki? Anything beyond what Prof G posted? Because what I understand from his posts on the matter is not what I understand from yours (but certainly there's room for me to misunderstand).

LGatling

Cliff Judge
13th June 2014, 15:17
[
Looking at the past and trying to decipher who had what training and their understanding could be interesting, but I can't see what could be decisively proven. In his excellent Transmission column in Aikiweb (incidentally, pretty much derailed by one of this forum's members) Professor Goldsbury cited a number of early 1800's mentions of aiki in old schools, with the clear note that aiki is used with a different meaning. He and very few others go to source documents, yet a lot of talk about this and that being known to come from 'ancient times'.

I've seen text mistranslated, or taken out of context, etc. Ofttimes, there's simply no way for anyone to know what was meant hundreds of years on, particularly if you can't read the ancient texts. And that is really hard, even difficult to explain how hard.

Lance Gatling

知る者は言わず
言う者は知らず
- 老子

Mr. Gatling, which edition of Professor Goldsbury's column are you mentioning here? I'm really interested in reading that.

Dan Harden
13th June 2014, 15:19
Why bring it up?
There was a raging debate on a recent thread here (now pulled from the forum) over who owns aiki. There have been countless threads in the AJJ forum over the same issue. I wanted to state how ridiculous the animus was and is and why there can be no consensus on the word or theory.

Chris asked me to talk about references
You ask me...to talk about references
Here is the irony.
Why not ask Chris?
Chris is in two koryu. Chris is NOT going to represent or discuss his koryu here. But he would love to talk about others? Really?
No one else will either.
Neither has anyone...EVER...discussed Daito ryu aiki.
Get the point?
I had no intention of discussing it. I wanted to point out that; in the history of the entire internet, no one has ever discussed the inner teaching of their koryu or the details of Daito ryu aiki.
And they never will.

As I stated earlier, I am in rooms of Koryu and Daito ryu people, regularly. I just left a group Mon. with people from four Koryu and two schools of Daito ryu there. Nobody was asked, because no one would offer; information on their school. No one is mad about it. It's expected. Placing a post about it makes it more clear for people to see why the conversations go no where. For many it is a violation of their word, and or and understanding that they are as yet not qualified.
Hence
"Its okay to talk about Koryu
Just don't talk about koryu."
Just sit by and wait.....Nothing substantive is going to be said by anyone on the topic. Everyone can and will only talk around the subject. It's no ones fault, but it needed to be said.


Oh...the Harrison thing. I didn't bring it up, but I didn't want to just blow off Raphael's comment. I just didn't care about repeating it all when it is here in the archives.

Dan Harden
13th June 2014, 15:36
I personally think aiki/ki is a mystical term substituted for common sense and biomechanics, but I love the history of martial arts and how people develop MA capabilities. LGatling
There are certain things outside of peoples own oaths or limitations that they can refer to. Some are more free than others.
This is one of those talk around topics.
Actually Aiki and ki were and are related to power development, real and whole and are not mystical/magical. The study of which has spanned cultures and eras when it mattered a hell of lot more than it does now. Warriors and Asian Martial artists didn't buy into something with no measurable results. It creates highly unusual dynamic stability against throws as well as power to hit and kick like a freight train. This is proven regularly in open rooms by various men to many doubters. Personally, if I can't use something to fight, I don't want to know. This...also is very good for the body and gets better with age.
It has never been common and it is hard to learn.

Cliff Judge
13th June 2014, 15:43
We have Takeda's Quote: The term aiki has been used since ancient times and is not unique to Daito-ryu.”
And an often quoted public comment from the east coast representative of the Kodokai. "Daito ryu doesn't own aiki."
We can temper that by saying various branches of the Daito ryu *do* have their own ideas of aiki. But this is no more, no less credible, than saying art X has its own version of aiki.
Again to my original points over the debate:
Who, has truly established any credible proprietary rights over the term as a method? No one. And no one...can, without all showing their hand, and examining the methods. I don't see how that can ever happen.


Obviously aiki is just a word. if you choose to apply it to the firmness of a matress, or the smokiness of a bourbon, that's between you and the people you are trying to communicate with.

The point is that you are using the term to attract students for whom the word has a fairly specific referent. You capitalize on the use of this word - a use that is considered proprietary inside of systems you do not train in. Legally wrong? Clearly not. But it raises serious questions of ethics for us who train in traditional systems. All of these problems could be solved if you changed your messaging by talking less, being more open and forthright about your training background and relationship with your teachers, demonstrated humility, etc.

(note to mods: I do believe that was a civil reply that was completely on-topic with regard to "why the fuss").

Dan Harden
13th June 2014, 16:02
Cliff Judge writes: The point is that you are using the term to attract students for whom the word has a fairly specific referent. You capitalize on the use of this word - a use that is considered proprietary inside of systems you do not train in. Legally wrong? Clearly not. But it raises serious questions of ethics for us who train in traditional systems. All of these problems could be solved if you changed your messaging by talking less, being more open and forthright about your training background and relationship with your teachers, demonstrated humility, etc.
(note to mods: I do believe that was a civil reply that was completely on-topic with regard to "why the fuss").

You are wrong in thinking aiki is owned by an art form. Peter told Nathan in the other aiki thread that he essentially rejected that view point. I do as well. You disagree with me. You need to find a way to express it reasonably.

My background
I don't have to discuss anything with you. I am not teaching an art form of any kind nor claim to be. I tell people in open rooms around the world not to call me a sensei and since many are teachers I say "That's your job."
I say I will offer something and I do. People come to me mostly by word of mouth and 98% of them stay, 2% don't. It has been wildly successful. Too successful. We are teachers and students of Daito ryu, Aikido, Karate, Koryu, ICMA and MMA. Whether they are gullible, just plain stupid, or wise will be decided on in the near future. In the interim, we really don't care what you think of what we are doing.
FWIW, since most of my friends are in them, I send people to train in traditional arts all the time including Daito ryu. ;)

Cliff Judge
13th June 2014, 16:43
No one is judging anyone Cliff. It is a fair attempt at describing where everyone is at; respecting of arts, ranks and or skills, affiliation, oaths and restrictions, and to help see why no one ...still...has as yet in the history of the net, to actually say anything about doing aiki. :(

Say something distinctive about the performance and details of aiki in Daito ryu, Cliff (I'm not really asking or trying to put you on the spot, but rather to get you and others to see the dilemma it causes when asked). So...no discussion has ever been had on the net regarding these topics. I'm perfectly okay with that and see no need to insult you because of it.

My point is that your "fair attempt at describing where everyone is at" could actually be insulting. If you don't see that, please consider. If you did understand hackles being raised and posted it anyway, then it is wrong to me that you take insult when I try to make my own fair attempt at describing where YOU are at.

For example, I said your appropriation of the term aiki to describe what you teach "raises ethical concerns for those of us who practiction traditional arts."

For you that is equivalent to me "challenging your ethics and calling you a fraud." But I am not actually accusing you of anything, i am tal;king about MY ethical concerns.

Chris Li
13th June 2014, 20:12
Obviously aiki is just a word. if you choose to apply it to the firmness of a matress, or the smokiness of a bourbon, that's between you and the people you are trying to communicate with.

The point is that you are using the term to attract students for whom the word has a fairly specific referent. You capitalize on the use of this word - a use that is considered proprietary inside of systems you do not train in. Legally wrong? Clearly not. But it raises serious questions of ethics for us who train in traditional systems. All of these problems could be solved if you changed your messaging by talking less, being more open and forthright about your training background and relationship with your teachers, demonstrated humility, etc.

(note to mods: I do believe that was a civil reply that was completely on-topic with regard to "why the fuss").

If you feel that the ethics of the system that you are training in don't permit you to discuss something then that's fine, but that has nothing to do with the ethics of someone who's using a term that Tokimune Takeda himself said was not proprietary to Daito-ryu.

Suppose we put that aside, suppose we assume that the term was, at one point, proprietary to Daito-ryu - didn't Morihei Ueshiba let that cat out of the bag in the 1930's? If we assume that you think that Ueshiba was in the wrong, why do you call that other art you do "Aiki-do"? Are you complaining to Mitsugi Saotome about his ethics? What about his ethics when he broke off from the Aikikai and was no longer affiliated with the Ueshiba family? Will you tell him that you believe that he was wrong to be using the term then?

It can well be argued that there are dozens of splinter groups in Daito-ryu and no real central lineage anymore. Did you complain to Oisin about his use of the term, since he comes from one of those splinter lineages? What about Nathan, who comes from another?

What about me, who comes out of yet another? I have, certainly, more time in formal training in a clear lineage than you have, and my teachers (former teachers now, but we keep in touch) have no problems at all with our usage the term "Aiki" - so what business is it of yours?

Dan, FWIW, has never been less than straightforward about anything concerning his training background or his relationship with his teachers. If I ask him (nicely) he answers. It only becomes frustrating for those who believe that personal information ought to be public information for anybody who asks. Now, if he said that he were teaching Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu in a recognized lineage, advertising that and charging fees, then I would expect him to be more public about those details. But he's not, in any way shape or form, saying that, so who he shares the details of his personal life with are entirely his business as far as I'm concerned. If you want to know more, then I suggest that you go meet him and try asking nicely.

Best,

Chris

Dan Harden
13th June 2014, 21:53
Hi Chris
Along with Peter and myself very good points. It does raise another aspect of questionable ethics:
Since the soke (and other teachers who outrank them all) of their own art says THEY don't own the term, who are they and what rights do they actually have in pursuing ownership? Under who's authority?

Dan Harden
13th June 2014, 23:07
That's a good question to ask your teachers Chris. I'll ask Howard Popkin and other people I know in the art. Just "who" says this is the orthodox view in the art? I've never heard it accept on e-budo. Maybe it's a personal opinion they share. maybe it's a private in-house view they aren't even supposed to be sharing.
Like you, I have heard and been told that Daito ryu didn't own the term and concept from teachers more qualified to make that assessment. This included Kondo on his first visit here as well as the words of the soke.
Now... Actual teaching methods? Of course like koryu or all methods- that's a completely different story and rightfully so.

LGatling
14th June 2014, 00:37
I'd edit an early post but can't on this forum.

I incorrectly wrote that PAG wrote of the history of aiki in his 'Transmission...' column in AikiWeb, but it was Mr. Josh Reyer, quoted below.

I find this sort of analysis very useful to remind people that the definitions of aiki et al has changed dramatically over time, and applying an absolute statement along the lines of 'I teach the aiki of the ancients' is simply unsupportable.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12008

Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18
Quote:


Shishida Fumiaki by way of Peter A Goldsbury wrote: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=271821#post271821)
「合気の概念
 合気武道という名辞が他の武道と識別されるのは、「合気」という概念にある。合気という言葉は、日本の江戸時代の武術伝書、例えば、一七六四年の起倒流 柔術書「灯火問答 」に見ることができる。そこでは、「あいき(相気)」を、技の攻防の際に相手と気筋が合って闘うのに困難な状態になる意味で用いている。「合気」という用 語の使用は、一八 〇〇年代の多くの武術伝書にも見いだすことができるが、これらの意味も「灯火問答」と同義である。こうした意味内容を転換させたのは一八九二年の「武道秘 訣合気の術」であ り、ここで、「合気」の意味は武道の奥義であり、「敵より一歩先んずる」こととしている。ここには、「先んずる」前提として「敵人読心の術」と「掛声の合 気」が説明されて いるが、具体的内容について記していない。
 大東流柔術において合気の意味をどのように定義付けていたのは、現在ではあまり明確に伝えられていない。それは同流中興の祖武田惣角が、日本武術の秘密 主義の伝統に従っ てその内容を書物として残さなかったことによる。しかしながら、高弟の一人佐川子之��は一九一三年のノートに「合気をかける (Mark, notice that Shishida writes aiki in kanji. The katakana reference clearly means little to him.) としばしば記しておる、大東流柔術おいて合気という言葉や技法が大東流合気柔術改称以前から指導されていたことが知られる。合気という言葉のこうした不明 確性が、大東流合 気柔術教授代理・植芝の合気の解釈に曖昧さを生んだ。
 しかし、植芝流が大きくなるにつれて、植芝の門下生や後継者たちはその曖昧さを補うように、合気道における合気という言葉に次ぎのような解釈を行った。 つまり、「合気」 が 「合」と「気」からなる文字の構成から「天地の気に合わせる道」という解釈や、体験的悟境から生まれた自然の動きや、動きのリズムに合わせるという 「天人合一」の解釈 などである。」




The Concept of Aiki
The term "aiki budo" is distinguished from other budo by the concept of "aiki". The word "aiki" can be seen in Edo period martial arts texts, for example Kito-ryu Jujutsu's "Touka Mondou" (Lamplight Dialogue) of 1764. There, "aiki" (相気) is used to refer to the difficult state of engaging in attack and defense when in the same kisetsu* as the opponent. The use of "aiki" (合気) can be found in many martial arts writings of the 1800s, with the same meaning as in the Touka Mondou.** The shift away from this meaning began with the 1892 "Budo Hiketsu Aiki no Jutsu" (The Secret Budo Techniques of Aiki); here "aiki" is an inner teaching of budo, with the meaning of "being one step ahead of the enemy" (敵より一歩先んずる). Here, "techniques of reading the mind of the enemy" (敵人読心の術) and "the aiki of battle cries" (掛け声の合気) are explained with "being ahead" (先んずる) as a presupposition, but specifics are not noted.

It has not currently clearly been communicated what kind of meaning "aiki" has in Daito-ryu Jujutsu. The reviver of this ryu, Takeda Sokaku, left no writings on that subject, in accordance with the secretive practices of Japanese bujutsu. However, one of his top students, Sawaga Nenokichi, often wrote in some 1913 notes, "apply aiki" (合気をかける) [Here Professor Goldsbury draws attention to Shishida's use of kanji - JAR], so we know that the word aiki and instruction thereof was in Daito-ryu Jujutsu before the name change to Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu. This non-specificity of the word "aiki" led to the vagueness of the interpretation of "aiki" used by Ueshiba, a Kyouju Dairi of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu.

However, as Ueshiba-ryu spread, and as Ueshiba's students and successors sought to compensate for this vagueness, interpretations such as this came about: as "aiki" is made up of the characters for "ai" and "ki", it is interpreted as "a way of joining with the energy (ki) of heaven and earth", or alternatively, a "unity of the heavenly and the human" through the matching of rhythm of movement, or natural movement born of an experiential state of understanding.
----------------------

* kisetsu 気節 is one of those words that lends itself better to explanation than pithy translation. It is a compound of "ki", in this case meaning "feeling, intention", and "setsu", which carries a sense of both "time/rhythm" and "joint/break". In this context, it refers to the ebb and flow of intention and timing between attack and defense. 気節が合う, then, is talking about both opponents engaging in attack, or both opponents engaging in defense, or matched in permutations thereof, creating a stalemate.

** This meaning of "aiki" matches with the one reference to 合気 I've found in all of Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, indeed, in a document dating to the early 1800s. There it refers to a state of stalemate created by both opponents embodying 攻防一致, a unity of attack and defense.

Quote:


The question then becomes, why did Sagawa's father write aiki in katakana and not kanji?




Generally, when one wanted to keep things secret in historical budo writings, one did not write in kana, but used ateji; different kanji that would be read with the proper pronunciation by those in the know, but would make little sense to those who had not received the proper oral instructions. (I could list several examples of this in Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, but then I'd have to kill you.) The most likely reasons for writing in kana would be 1) emphasis, 2) to make clear the pronunciation of an unusual term, or 3) to utilize the existence of homonyms by not pinning down the word to any particular kanji, which carry some semantic meaning. And example of this can be seen in Yagyu Munenori's Heiho Kadensho, where he writes the word "utsusu" in kana, so that it can mean both "move" and "reflect", without being restricted by the meanings inherent in the kanji normally used to make that distinction.

Just as personal speculation, in this case I expect it's mostly 1) with a dash of 2).

Edit: Actually, I just thought of another common reason for writing in kana, one that is probably most likely in this case. If these are Sagawa Nenokichi's personal notes, and given that Takeda was not keen on writing much down, it's possible that Nenokichi simply wasn't sure what kanji were best used for "aiki" 相気 or 合気, and so merely wrote the word in kana as an expedient.

Last edited by Josh Reyer : 01-05-2011 at 10:52 PM.
Josh Reyer

*********

Lance Gatling

Chris Li
14th June 2014, 00:45
I'd edit an early post but can't on this forum.

I incorrectly wrote that PAG wrote of the history of aiki in his 'Transmission...' column in AikiWeb, but it was Mr. Josh Reyer, quoted below.

I find this sort of analysis very useful to remind people that the definitions of aiki et al has changed dramatically over time, and applying an absolute statement along the lines of 'I teach the aiki of the ancients' is simply unsupportable.

Lance Gatling

I'm not sure what the point is here except that words change over time. If I say "I cook lamb like the ancient Greeks" the fact that they would have used a different word for "lamb" is immaterial to whether or not we are cooking the same thing in the same way.

In any case, there are some interesting theories floating around as to how that terminology got started, and some of the more interesting ones (and not from anyone associated with Dan, BTW) hook into some of the things that Dan was talking about before. But that's another discussion.

Best,

Chris

LGatling
14th June 2014, 01:21
I'm not sure what the point is here except that words change over time. If I say "I cook lamb like the ancient Greeks" the fact that they would have used a different word for "lamb" is immaterial to whether or not we are cooking the same thing in the same way.

In any case, there are some interesting theories floating around as to how that terminology got started, and some of the more interesting ones (and not from anyone associated with Dan, BTW) hook into some of the things that Dan was talking about before. But that's another discussion.

Best,

Chris
The point is not that words change over time, which is self evident, but that the very concept of aiki, the topic of this thread, has changed dramatically over time.

My thesis is that what I understand to be a definition of aiki used by Mr. Harden today has about as much to do with the old definitions of aiki as his saying 'I'm cooking lamb like the ancient Greeks' while microwaving salmon.

Sort of a stretch to me.

Lance Gatling

Chris Li
14th June 2014, 01:31
The point is not that words change over time, which is self evident, but that the very concept of aiki, the topic of this thread, has changed dramatically over time.

My thesis is that what I understand to be a definition of aiki used by Mr. Harden today has about as much to do with the old definitions of aiki as his saying 'I'm cooking lamb like the ancient Greeks' while microwaving salmon.

Sort of a stretch to me.

Lance Gatling

I don't think that Shishida has shown that at all, but that's just me.

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge
14th June 2014, 03:02
I don't think that Shishida has shown that at all, but that's just me.

Best,

Chris

It seems to me that if one were to argue that they have the right to use the term aiki to describe what they do based on the fact that the term has been used elsewhere and in other contexts than those that are strictly proprietary, then one bears the burden of argument that the wider / older usages of the term have anything to do with what one is actually using the term to refer to. But that's just (G1).

And thanks to Lance Gatling for clarifying which post he was referring to. Reyer-san. Shinkage ryu. Good stuff.

Chris Li
14th June 2014, 03:17
It seems to me that if one were to argue that they have the right to use the term aiki to describe what they do based on the fact that the term has been used elsewhere and in other contexts than those that are strictly proprietary, then one bears the burden of argument that the wider / older usages of the term have anything to do with what one is actually using the term to refer to. But that's just (G1).

And thanks to Lance Gatling for clarifying which post he was referring to. Reyer-san. Shinkage ryu. Good stuff.

Two completely seperate discussions.

Best,

Chris

Dan Harden
14th June 2014, 03:36
In Lance's argument, G1 has no more credible link to aiki than anyone else.

Nathan Scott
14th June 2014, 05:24
What about Nathan, who comes from another?

Chris, I don't study from a "splinter line" of Daito-ryu - unless you consider ALL lines of Daito-ryu "splinter lines". Either way, if you could find ways of making your points without involving me in them I'd appreciate it.

Dan, nobody ever claimed that Daito-ryu "owned" the term aiki. I've written my point of view and position on aiki within Daito-ryu as it pertains to the use of the term in other arts (ie: the exploitation of the arts inner teachings, unsupported claims, etc) clearly here many times. I do realize that some are driven to harvest these teachings until "Daito-ryu aiki" is in every martial art (at which point it will of course always have been there), but in the meantime I don't want to chase after each aiki thread in the IP forums re-posting the same things over and over. If you and Peter don't agree with my point of view, then so be it.

LGatling
14th June 2014, 06:13
It seems to me that if one were to argue that they have the right to use the term aiki to describe what they do based on the fact that the term has been used elsewhere and in other contexts than those that are strictly proprietary, then one bears the burden of argument that the wider / older usages of the term have anything to do with what one is actually using the term to refer to. But that's just (G1).

And thanks to Lance Gatling for clarifying which post he was referring to. Reyer-san. Shinkage ryu. Good stuff.

Mr. Reyer is of course translating and augmenting the words of my friend and colleague Professor Shishida, who is currently on a sabbatical looking into the thoughts of Kano shihan, including, I think, some of this stuff.


In Lance's argument, G1 has no more credible link to aiki than anyone else.
I'm not sure I'd cut it so fine, but would agree that no one has a monopoly on the term and its practice. I used the term 'aiki' just today in practice.

I practice judo, koryu jujutsu, and Nihon Jujutsu. Nihon Jujutsu is essentially what Ueshiba Morihei sensei and Tomiki Kenji sensei (instructor of my sensei and Professor Shishida, and the founder of Shudokan Aikido [AKA 'Tomiki ryu aikido']) taught to the Imperial Japanese military in the 1930's and 1940's, which Ueshiba called 'aikibujutsu'.
http://www.nihonjujutsu.com/history.php?HistoryID=7
Tomiki sensei was recruited by then Colonel Tojo Hideki (later General / Army Minister / Prime Minister / Class A war criminal), the provost marshall (i.e., head of the Imperial Army Military Police hence reporting directly to Tokyo, not the local commander) to teach that aikibujutsu, which Ueshiba sensei and his deshi Shioda Gozo taught on military bases all over the Kanto region. Tomiki sensei was later augmented by Oba Hideo sensei because the number of students was so high (primarily they were teaching the physical education instructors of the Military Police, a huge organization. And they were not simply a gendarmerie (mostly rear area police organizations) but also the Imperial Army's espionage, counterespionage, and direct action (like US Special Forces) forces, and took hand to hand combat very seriously. (see link below)

Ueshiba sensei himself went to Manchuria four times and stayed for months.
https://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=203

I have the original classified lesson plans from Manchuria which Tomiki sensei used to teach the Kantogun Kempeitai (Japanese Imperial Manchurian Army Military Police), and think that plus over 20 years of practice with one of Tomiki sensei's first postwar students provide me some idea into what Ueshiba Morihei meant by 'ai ki', at least his prewar version. And we do it two to three times a week. It's not flowery, it's not expansive and round, it's short, sharp and effective, the sort of thing you'd teach a professional soldier.

That doesn't mean I have a clue as to what everyone else is going on about (what is G1, anyhow?? are we so out of it we can't refer to real ryuha?), but I don't claim I have a monopoly on the term, either, while I do relate to the simple versions:
- understand your opponent's intent and blend with it
- pull when pushed, push when pulled

Lance Gatling

Chris Li
14th June 2014, 06:47
Chris, I don't study from a "splinter line" of Daito-ryu - unless you consider ALL lines of Daito-ryu "splinter lines". Either way, if you could find ways of making your points without involving me in them I'd appreciate it.[/QUOTE]

That was exactly my point - everybody's a splinter at this point, although some of them are further off then others. I included your name because you have commented directly on the subject in the past. Once you comment on a subject in a public forum you have to expect that people will cite your name at some point in subsequent discussions on the same or similar topics. It wasn't a personal comment on you or anything you may or may not believe, just an example of the hypocrisies involved here.



Dan, nobody ever claimed that Daito-ryu "owned" the term aiki.

Cliff Judge did:



The point is that you are using the term to attract students for whom the word has a fairly specific referent. You capitalize on the use of this word - a use that is considered proprietary inside of systems you do not train in.

Are you saying that he's wrong, that it's not proprietary?

Best,

Chris

muden
14th June 2014, 06:54
post deleted

Nathan Scott
14th June 2014, 07:00
Chris,

Thanks for the clarification.

I don't know what Cliff meant or didn't mean, but it is the collection of principles, tactics, etc. and the method in which they are applied that makes each martial art "unique". I think those that use terms like aiki in their art should have the ability to clearly define what it means to them if they are going to use it, but IMO the word itself is not "owned" by any one art. However, "Daito-ryu aiki" is just that - Daito-ryu aiki.

P Goldsbury
14th June 2014, 07:03
E-budo history
1.Traditionalists in Daito ryu
We have a small number of low level members (not deeply initiated in anything, nor representatives) saying aiki is one thing in DR.
2. Traditionalists in Aikido We have (G1) stating that Aikido aiki has nothing to do with Daito ryu aiki.
3. Split off traditionalists
a. We have a member of two Daito ryu groups who trained and reached teaching approval who out rank the men in the prior group who states that one of their groups shihan didn't have aiki! He went to internal training and it is his opinion that IP and IP related aiki is essential to DR aiki. Although he openly states DR aiki application is different.
b. Interestingly a senior from (G1) told another member of (G1) that Daito ryu doesn't own aiki and one of their own shihan and senior teachers went outside of their art to learn aiki from another related art.
c. A shihan from another DR art went outside of their art to train somewhere else to get aiki.
d. Two students from Sagawa went to a taiji ICMA master in their own words...to get aiki. One of whom publicly stated when asked that the ICMA guy had better skills and more power than Sagawa at a seminar in Taiwan.
4. Non traditionalists
We have the IP crowd stating that what drives Aikido and Daito ryu aiki is the same essential elements in the ICMA arts-although the use is different.

Contentions
6.
a. Traditionalists (G1.) states Non tradionalists (G4) have no qualifications to say what DR aiki even is... and their opinion is void because they have not trained enough in those arts (even though they themselves by their own standard are not yet qualified to even say that).
b. Traditionalists (G1.) state Aikido-ka (G2) don't know Daito ryu aiki- even though they (G1) themselves have not attained Shihan level in Aikido (G2).
b. Logical analysis follows that Traditionalists (G1) have no deep initiation into Non traditionalists (G4) methods and what they are doing nor can they exhibit those skills. They have no deep initiation into Aikido (G2) Therefore their own opinion of Non traditionalists (G4) and Aikido (G2) methods are void and not open for discussion from them as well. Their own standards leave them unqualified. [/I]

I should have made this request right at the beginning of the thread. Please explain what you mean by G1, G2, G4. Lance Gatling mentioned 'inside baseball references', but I think you need to explain this for those who are not part of a baseball culture.

muden
14th June 2014, 07:04
Chris,

Thanks for the clarification.

I don't know what Cliff meant or didn't mean, but it is the collection of principles, tactics, etc. and the method in which they are applied that makes each martial art "unique". I think those that use terms like aiki in their art should have the ability to clearly define what it means to them if they are going to use it, but IMO the word itself is not "owned" by any one art. However, "Daito-ryu aiki" is just that - Daito-ryu aiki.

Terms such as "asagao" have specific meanings when referred to in the context of Daito ryu too. Outside of that context, anyone is free to use the term: It's only a flower after all.

Chris Li
14th June 2014, 08:04
Terms such as "asagao" have specific meanings when referred to in the context of Daito ryu too. Outside of that context, anyone is free to use the term: It's only a flower after all.

Well, you can copyright an expression of an idea, but not the idea itself.

In any case, I think that it would be quite difficult to establish who would actually have exclusive rights to "asagao", which was used by Morihei Ueshiba in Aikido as far back as 75 years or more (pre-dating your own kaiha, who might well have difficulty establishing their own usage rights), and is used by a large number of separate and independent organizations who all have some kind of link to Sokaku Takeda.

Takeda himself, of course, took both principles and expressions from various other places, and said so, at times. He also borrowed technical terminology - of course, everybody did, and then put their own process in place.

All of which are somewhat moot points, since the person who is the primary subject of this thread doesn't teach Daito-ryu and doesn't claim to.

Best,

Chris

muden
14th June 2014, 09:16
Well, you can copyright an expression of an idea, but not the idea itself.

In any case, I think that it would be quite difficult to establish who would actually have exclusive rights to "asagao", which was used by Morihei Ueshiba in Aikido as far back as 75 years or more (pre-dating your own kaiha, who might well have difficulty establishing their own usage rights), and is used by a large number of separate and independent organizations who all have some kind of link to Sokaku Takeda.

Takeda himself, of course, took both principles and expressions from various other places, and said so, at times. He also borrowed technical terminology - of course, everybody did, and then put their own process in place.

All of which are somewhat moot points, since the person who is the primary subject of this thread doesn't teach Daito-ryu and doesn't claim to.

Best,

Chris

So Dan doesn't clam to teach asagao as demonstrated in Daito Ryu? Or aiki as demonstrated in daito ryu? It's his own take on the terminology?

Raff
14th June 2014, 12:36
Daito-ryu is a ju-jutsu school which emphasizes Aiki. I have the feeling that the word ju-jutsu is just as misunderstood and misused as the word Aiki can possibly be. In the West (Europe + USA) we do find dozen, perhaps hundred of made-up ju-jutsu which are basically nothing more than countless collections of what, more than often, appear to be ill-assorted techniques mainly taken from judo, karate and aikido among others. Virtually anybody can claim to teach ju-jutsu, bujutsu, bugei or whatever even people who have no background in any japanese martial art. This is, to say the least, a little bit of concern for those who are deeply and sincerely involved in genuine japanese ju-jutsu.

I think we are all familiar with those kind of schools which might look on the outside like ju-jutsu to the unintiated in the subject or the "non really caring practioners", which even use the name but which are in no way representative of what ju-jutsu is, thus misusing the name and in the process damaging the art. If we take Mr Harden´s classification even a G1 in Daito-ryu has more skills and more to "offer" than any of the guys practicing that kind of made up ju-jutsu. This, simply, because Daito-ryu is indeed a very sophisticated system and that there is a lot to learn, enough to get busy for the rest of your life.

The same can be said about Aiki. Since the name ju-jutsu is already being largely misused, it does not take much to realize that even the word Aiki is also misued by the same kind of individuals above mentioned. Somebody with real skills using the word Aiki does not damage the name or the concept, he might even embodies it. Problems arise when non qualified people use the word Aiki to define what they are doing/teaching/selling and sometimes even proudly broadcating on youtube.

E-Budo must not become the tree which hides the whole forest. Even though some outstanding expeets are browsing this site, the average martial art practioner nowadays is not interested in exploring the story and the concepts of the art(s) he studies.

I hate to do this but I would like some of the posters on this thread to follow this link and then to tell me if they would call what follows "Aiki" or even "ju-jutsu". I do not want to be disrespectful but I felt that we somehow needed a concrete (and hopefully telling) example of the misuse of the term Aiki.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2v3o3AIlxQ

Chris Li
14th June 2014, 17:23
So Dan doesn't clam to teach asagao as demonstrated in Daito Ryu? Or aiki as demonstrated in daito ryu? It's his own take on the terminology?

You said "in the context of Daito-ryu", so no. In any case, my point was that once you go down the intellectual property rabbit hole there are a lot of twists and turns.

Best,

Chris

gavinslater
18th June 2014, 08:39
Even in this thread we can see 2 polarising ideas as an explanation of aiki.

Idea 1 - Aiki is pull when pushed, and push when pulled.
Idea 2 - Aiki is working ahead of your enemy.

I dont think it can be both.

Gavin

Cliff Judge
18th June 2014, 17:50
Even in this thread we can see 2 polarising ideas as an explanation of aiki.

Idea 1 - Aiki is pull when pushed, and push when pulled.
Idea 2 - Aiki is working ahead of your enemy.

I dont think it can be both.

The only other thing is I hope to use the term bucolic gloaming over a 25 year old whiskey in a sentence or maybe even do it, it does sound quite good.

Gavin

In Daito ryu, Aiki is a technique that is a component of what a student learns as he or she trains. I was kind of surprised when I first encountered Tokimune Takeda's definition when I first read it, but it fits with the "palace police art" idea of Daito ryu nicely.

Ueshiba made quite a bit more of the concept, extrapolating it out into a theology for resolving conflict between the heaven and earth. While most Aikido people settle for a less grandiose definition, there is a tendency to blend other martial principles and skills, which used to be distinct pieces of a whole, and try to roll them into a katamari of "Aiki."

One of them is kiai, A lot of times Aikido people say aiki when they mean kiai.

IMO "Internal power" is another separate concept that has been recently blended into the definition of aiki.

WVMark
18th June 2014, 19:31
In Daito ryu, Aiki is a technique that is a component of what a student learns as he or she trains. I was kind of surprised when I first encountered Tokimune Takeda's definition when I first read it, but it fits with the "palace police art" idea of Daito ryu nicely.


Are you speaking on behalf of the Takumakai, Kodokai, Sagawa line, Roppokai, Tokimune line, or other branches/lines of Daito ryu? If so, are you authorized to speak on their behalf? It's my understanding, and I could be wrong, that "Daito ryu aiki" was one of the deeper teachings. Are you stating that you have been initiated into those deeper teachings? Because I am unsure if you're qualified to speak on what "Daito ryu aiki" is and I'd like to know if I can rely on your statements. If I can, I will certainly point people in your direction for questions regarding "Daito ryu aiki". If I can't ... could you please point to the research you've done, the official representatives in Daito ryu who have stated what you have, and the hands-on with those who have been deeply initiated into "Daito ryu aiki"? At least with that, I can show people that you've completed some due diligence and have the background to state what "Daito ryu aiki" is or isn't.



Ueshiba made quite a bit more of the concept, extrapolating it out into a theology for resolving conflict between the heaven and earth. While most Aikido people settle for a less grandiose definition, there is a tendency to blend other martial principles and skills, which used to be distinct pieces of a whole, and try to roll them into a katamari of "Aiki."


Hmmm ... that's not what I've discovered in my research. For instance, when Ueshiba talked about "kami", quite often he meant "ka" of fire and "mi" of water and not the spirits/gods that is normally meant by kami. Fire and water are subsequently used as a reference for opposing forces or in/yo or yin/yang. He also used Izanami/Izanagi in the same manner at times. Ueshiba was a heavy reader of the Chinese classics and wrote notes in the books. Heaven/Earth or Heaven/Earth/Man is a very popular martial principle, not a theological one. If you compare/contrast Deguchi's writings on the Universe, heaven, earth, man, god with Ueshiba's writings (See Chris Li's translations) on the same subjects, you'll note the difference between Deguchi's spiritual slant and Ueshiba's martial slant from having Daito ryu aiki (Ueshiba stating, with aiki we'd do it this way, is a good reference too).

Mark

pgsmith
18th June 2014, 20:04
Are you speaking on behalf of the Takumakai, Kodokai, Sagawa line, Roppokai, Tokimune line, or other branches/lines of Daito ryu? If so, are you authorized to speak on their behalf? It's my understanding, and I could be wrong, that "Daito ryu aiki" was one of the deeper teachings. Are you stating that you have been initiated into those deeper teachings? Because I am unsure if you're qualified to speak on what "Daito ryu aiki" is and I'd like to know if I can rely on your statements. If I can, I will certainly point people in your direction for questions regarding "Daito ryu aiki". If I can't ... could you please point to the research you've done, the official representatives in Daito ryu who have stated what you have, and the hands-on with those who have been deeply initiated into "Daito ryu aiki"? At least with that, I can show people that you've completed some due diligence and have the background to state what "Daito ryu aiki" is or isn't.

That sounded to me like Cliff was merely stating a personal opinion as he mentioned nothing about any official stance by any school. That being the case, why in the world would you cross examine him as if he was a criminal? Expressing opinions is what makes for conversation. Suppressing other's opinions is both confrontational and deters conversation. If you are looking for definitive answers and statements that you can "rely on", then I suggest you go and conduct interviews of knowledgeable individuals and not attempt to conduct your research on an internet forum.

Just my opinion.

WVMark
18th June 2014, 20:12
That sounded to me like Cliff was merely stating a personal opinion as he mentioned nothing about any official stance by any school. That being the case, why in the world would you cross examine him as if he was a criminal? Expressing opinions is what makes for conversation. Suppressing other's opinions is both confrontational and deters conversation. If you are looking for definitive answers and statements that you can "rely on", then I suggest you go and conduct interviews of knowledgeable individuals and not attempt to conduct your research on an internet forum.

Just my opinion.

I would suggest reading through this thread. Let me quote:


I haven't seen anything really compelling that Aiki was something that was taught or demonstrated as a manifest ability before Sokaku Takeda.

And that means that Daito ryu and Aikido really do own Aiki. You cannot in good faith talk about it outside of the context of those arts. You certainly cannot in good faith teach it, and it is in even worse faith to claim to teach it while teaching something else entirely. if you do so you are appropriating a term that is not yours to use.

It is a fair argument to make that Aikido did this to Daito ryu. I think if you have a lineage - you can name your teacher's names and talk about what you were taught - then your own body of research and training can be represented as Aiki - because it was given to you and it's yours. But the Aikikai intentionally obfuscated the lines of transmission from Daito ryu, That's problematic. But it does not make it okay for someone to teach taiji to Aikido people and call it Aiki just because.


My post asks valid questions as Cliff Judge has laid the groundwork for how he wants to discuss "Daito ryu aiki".

Cliff Judge
18th June 2014, 21:34
Are you speaking on behalf of the Takumakai, Kodokai, Sagawa line, Roppokai, Tokimune line, or other branches/lines of Daito ryu? If so, are you authorized to speak on their behalf? It's my understanding, and I could be wrong, that "Daito ryu aiki" was one of the deeper teachings. Are you stating that you have been initiated into those deeper teachings? Because I am unsure if you're qualified to speak on what "Daito ryu aiki" is and I'd like to know if I can rely on your statements. If I can, I will certainly point people in your direction for questions regarding "Daito ryu aiki". If I can't ... could you please point to the research you've done, the official representatives in Daito ryu who have stated what you have, and the hands-on with those who have been deeply initiated into "Daito ryu aiki"? At least with that, I can show people that you've completed some due diligence and have the background to state what "Daito ryu aiki" is or isn't.


Hi Mark. The answer is no. These are my own opinions based on what I have read and been taught by Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei, and my attempts to square everything with the quotes from Tokimune Sensei.



Hmmm ... that's not what I've discovered in my research. For instance, when Ueshiba talked about "kami", quite often he meant "ka" of fire and "mi" of water and not the spirits/gods that is normally meant by kami. Fire and water are subsequently used as a reference for opposing forces or in/yo or yin/yang. He also used Izanami/Izanagi in the same manner at times. Ueshiba was a heavy reader of the Chinese classics and wrote notes in the books. Heaven/Earth or Heaven/Earth/Man is a very popular martial principle, not a theological one. If you compare/contrast Deguchi's writings on the Universe, heaven, earth, man, god with Ueshiba's writings (See Chris Li's translations) on the same subjects, you'll note the difference between Deguchi's spiritual slant and Ueshiba's martial slant from having Daito ryu aiki (Ueshiba stating, with aiki we'd do it this way, is a good reference too).

Mark

That's great, Mark, i am really happy for you. Will you be able to cite your references or are you just providing a gloss?

The problem with making claims as to what a dead person writing in an antiquated mode of a foreign language is, it is very difficult to make a strong claim. Prof. Goldsbury touched on this earlier in this thread, conveniently enough. The best claims are builf by examining other documents from the same timeframe, similar authors and subject matters, and then you've got a thesis but not a proven fact. (I'll let the scholars on here straighten me out if I am explaining this incorrectly.)

I enjoy and appreciate Chris Li's translations very much for all of the forum-fencing he and I do, and he has the respect of those I respect. However when it comes to the couple of columns of his where he seems to try to explain the "true meaning" behind Ueshiba's writings I find them rather lightweight in terms of this kind of support.

In general i think we are in agreement that practitioners of Aikido have a concept of aiki that has some problems, my problem is that the term is used as too big of an umbrella and obscures martial principles which are well worth study of their own, sometimes mystifying them unnessarily.

Cliff Judge
18th June 2014, 22:10
My post asks valid questions as Cliff Judge has laid the groundwork for how he wants to discuss "Daito ryu aiki".

Sorry, missed this while replying. Yes, it does indeed appear that this is what I have done. I think your quote makes it sound like I don't think Aiki should be discussed outside of the context of Daito ryu, and I didn't mean that I was opposed to talking about it on forums or even by non-trainees.

P Goldsbury
19th June 2014, 01:04
To Cliff Judge,

I would like to continue my response to your earlier post as it relates to aikido and the Aikikai. Earlier in your post you mentioned the article in Dr Hall’s Encyclopedia of the Martial Arts and so I looked it up. As I stated in my earlier post, Dr Hall focuses on three aspects of the term: its use as a ‘mysterious’ art in post-Tokugawa Japan, exemplified by someone like Kunishige; its use for the Daito-ryu of Takeda Tokimune and most probably of his father; its seemingly quite different use for Morihei Ueshiba. You then move to a different area of discussion and I would like to look at this, especially in view of the fact that another poster has also cited this part of your post.



I haven't seen anything really compelling that Aiki was something that was taught or demonstrated as a manifest ability before Sokaku Takeda.

You state this immediately after your reference to Dr Hall’s book and the issue for me is what you would count as supporting evidence for your statement, ‘taught or demonstrated as a manifest ability’. I assume that what you are looking for are activities resembling those of Takeda Sokaku, as he travelled round the country giving seminars. However, the issue for me is that the absence of such activities is no evidence for the absence of what was called aiki in the training of Takeda’s predecessors.


And that means that Daito ryu and Aikido really do own Aiki. You cannot in good faith talk about it outside of the context of those arts. You certainly cannot in good faith teach it, and it is in even worse faith to claim to teach it while teaching something else entirely. if you do so you are appropriating a term that is not yours to use.

You now move from an individual, Sokaku Takeda, to two arts, but in my opinion this omits a good deal in between. Ueshiba was a student of Takeda, and evidence for his knowledge of aiki (in addition to what can be deduced from films about him) is that he discusses it in his discourses. Mr Harden has called attention to the differences between texts and oral teachings, but this distinction is hard to make with Morihei Ueshiba, since all the material published under his name as texts, and translated by those like John Stevens, are precisely oral teachings – that have been edited and collected together by his students. Kuden 口伝 are sometimes taken to refer to oral teachings given to individual students, such as those cited or quoted by Morihiro Saito in his Traditional Aikido volumes, but Ueshiba gave a great deal more than these. His discourses became legendary, apart from the content that nobody seems to have understood, as a sore trial for the knees of the students those who were subjected to them.

One issue here is what these discourses mean and I would think that one could also amend your statement to refer to, “anything compelling that Aiki was something that was taught or demonstrated as a manifest ability after Morihei Ueshiba.”

However, you regard this lack of ‘anything really compelling’ as sufficient grounds for the following statement, namely, that Daito-ryu and Aikido ‘really do’ own Aiki. Ueshiba certainly mentions aiki and discusses what he thinks it is, but I understand your statement about ownership as a statement about Ueshiba’s students, teaching or demonstrating aiki as a manifest ability. I think one can reasonably state this of some of Ueshiba’s students, such as Rinjiro Shirata, but with others the question is moot.


It is a fair argument to make that Aikido did this to Daito ryu. I think if you have a lineage - you can name your teacher's names and talk about what you were taught - then your own body of research and training can be represented as Aiki - because it was given to you and it's yours. But the Aikikai intentionally obfuscated the lines of transmission from Daito ryu, That's problematic. But it does not make it okay for someone to teach taiji to Aikido people and call it Aiki just because.

Wait a minute. You state on the one hand that aikido owns aiki (even providing an acceptable context with which the concept can be discussed) and you also state that it is a ‘fair argument’ that aikido was guilty of bad faith, in appropriating the term that it should not have used and also in intentionally obfuscating the line of transmission from Daito-ryu. Ueshiba received a transmission from Takeda and then transmitted all or some of this transmission to his own students. Ueshiba also separated himself from Takeda and eventually called the art, or happily acquiesced in the naming of the art by others, aikido. He also happily acquiesced in the establishment in 1940 of the Kobukai, the legal entity that eventually became the Aikikai in 1948, again, with Ueshiba’s blessing. It is not clear to me where the misappropriation actually lies and who was guilty of it.

Best wishes,

PAG

Joseph Svinth
19th June 2014, 02:50
In this area, I suspect "Sensei sez" is a consideration. For a discussion of this in the context of martial arts, see "Sense in Nonsense: The Role of Folk History in the Martial Arts" by Thomas A. Green, in _Martial Arts in the Modern World_ (2003), pp. 1-11. You should be able to read most of the essay online via Google Books:

http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=CayyJJg0KIsC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=info:hpjEs8eWv1sJ:scholar.google.com&ots=KX2K73xibe&sig=axaKRRt2dNcrkVp7qEgSfgqNlpA#v=onepage&q&f=false

On a separate note, I have no idea how his technique compares to the people posting here, but the late Ron Duncan was reportedly a grandmaster of aiki-jujitsu. I have been there while Japanese martial art students and teachers giggled through his videos, but there is no doubt that Duncan used the word "aiki" in his explanations and discussions.

Conversely, I know several people who met Morihei Ueshiba and have all kinds of documented rankings in various martial arts. Asked for a technique that worked on almost everybody, regardless of training or style, these folks consistently replied, "Kick 'em in the nuts." So far, I have not heard anyone say that "Kick 'em in the nuts" is the stupidest advice they've ever heard coming out of the mouth of a martial art teacher.

With that said, I return you to the ongoing attempt to discern how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Cliff Judge
19th June 2014, 04:21
Professor Goldsbury,

The forum software stole all of my formatting…I clicked to preview post, I have nice preview here, but cannot figure out how to actually post it. So here is just what I meant to reply without the quotes from your post and my previous post. I hope this serves to clarify my points.

A particular concern of mine is the use of the term aiki. The initial post of this thread led with the argument that aiki (as differentiated from internal power) is an old concept, discussed and outlined in Koryu. I had some hope that we could have a discussion about other koryu that use the term aiki. My contention is that, where it appears before the Meiji period, it does not describe anything like the subtle technique for unbalancing an opponent that exists in Daito ryu nor is it an overloaded, hallowed term as it is in Aikido. Ellis Amdur and Meik Skoss have both mentioned that the term aiki appears in Toda ha Buko ryu; I have not found the reference but I recall it meaning something very different than a constructive joining of opposing forces. I believe I have come across the concept that "ai-" anything is generally a state you don't want to be in many soho bujutsu. We certainly train hard to avoid "joined rhythm" in Yagyu Shinkage ryu.

It would be interesting to hear more about the term being used in other, older arts.

Now as far as a general category of "mysterious skills," well obviously every ryu had those, and they all certainly had some element of body mechanics to them. Toby Threadgill said at one of his seminars for non-TSYR folk that I attended that these were called in fact "mysterious skills" in TSYR. My belief is that "power" was not the usual thing that was sought after by a student seeking these teachings until later in the Edo period. Psychological dominance and the ability to see through subterfuge were far more useful skills. The general disposition of "mysterious skills" and whether the body mechanics or "internal power" are the true meat of them in the various koryu arts is an interesting discussion that I certainly think could be had on the internet.

As far as Sokaku Takeda's predecessors transmitting a mysterious skill that was called aiki goes, I personally buy into the idea that this was a component of a system of etiquette that taught a proper method for policing warriors in a highly formal setting. It makes more sense to me that it would be trained and manifested in the way that it is than if it were meant for battlefield use.

...

I actually think that Ueshiba retained the right to use the term aiki to describe his essential practice and teaching after splitting with Takeda, due to the licenses he received from Takeda. And that Kisshomaru and all the other post-Daito ryu students of Ueshiba kept that right as long as they framed their training and teaching as efforts towards spreading Ueshiba's art. But there are people who are of the opinion that the whitewashing of the link to Daito ryu was a disreputable move and I have to grant them something, it is an uncomfortable matter. Moreover, some people use the fact that the Aikikai hid the link with Daito ryu as justification for calling whatever they are doing aiki.

LGatling
19th June 2014, 07:34
Are you speaking on behalf of the Takumakai, Kodokai, Sagawa line, Roppokai, Tokimune line, or other branches/lines of Daito ryu? If so, are you authorized to speak on their behalf?。。。。。 At least with that, I can show people that you've completed some due diligence and have the background to state what "Daito ryu aiki" is or isn't.
。。。。。
Hmmm ... that's not what I've discovered in my research. 。。。。 Heaven/Earth or Heaven/Earth/Man is a very popular martial principle, not a theological one. If you compare/contrast Deguchi's writings on the Universe, heaven, earth, man, god with Ueshiba's writings (See Chris Li's translations) on the same subjects, you'll note the difference between Deguchi's spiritual slant and Ueshiba's martial slant from having Daito ryu aiki (Ueshiba stating, with aiki we'd do it this way, is a good reference too).

Mark
Mark,

This may be off topic, but the Heaven / Earth, Heaven/Earth/Man etc idioms are primarily philosophic, not martial arts-related (some academics claim they are equal to a religion, but that discussion is for another time).

If you have any references supporting the claim I'd be very interested. Any notion that these are more martial arts than philosophy is novel, in my thirty years of looking.

They're also not 'principles'; rather, they represent relationships that in turn illustrate and are ruled by principles. They extend back 3-4000 yrs, and have been in Japan since around 600 CE.

In Japan, neo-Confucianism, established over 1,000 years ago, was the basis of culture, education, and thought. The relationships you cite above are only a glimpse of the human universe; one version of its entire world view is:

修身斉家治国平天下 (old Japanese: 修身齊家治國平天下)
read しゅうしんせいかちこくへいてんか shū'shin'sei'ka'chi'koku'hei'ten'ka

Kano shihan's writings and the writing of close associates are full of this or homegrown derivatives. Roughly, without elaboration, it means something like:
修身 (proper) ethical education leads to
=> 斉家 governing your family (properly and ethically) leads to
=> 治国 governing the nation (properly and ethically) leads to
=> 平天下 in accordance (literally 'at peace') with the will of heaven

I.e., stick to your knitting, train and polish yourself as an ethically individual first, as the true path to peace and harmony builds from proper ethics and training of individuals to families to nations to proper relations with the will of Heaven (which is where some claim that is sufficient to be called a religion).

I defer to Prof G or someone else to talk about the details of the world view of Ueshiba sensei but I reckon you'd not find it much astray.

And therein lies the difference between a būdō and a bujutsu - while the bujutsu school or individual instructor may have such education as a goal, by definition that spiritual education and perfection of the individual is a built in goal of true būdō. (I once had a long exchange with a bunch on Kendoforum.com about this - several could not get their head around kenjutsu [bayonet fighting] for children as a būdō, but had no problem with their kids splitting skulls and disemboweling each other with bamboo swords. I thought that instructive how about blind people can be but really, really weird.)

Kano shihan went much further, said you practiced jūdō to better the world (now, that does sound familiar for Ueshiba sensei) as he placed jūdō all along that continuum to ruling the nation in peace and harmony with the mandate of heaven.

Lance Gatling

PS - it's such an important concept there's an entire webpage devoted to how to write out the idiom
http://kanji.quus.net/jyukugo893/idiom268130.htm

Chris Li
19th June 2014, 09:21
Mark,

This may be off topic, but the Heaven / Earth, Heaven/Earth/Man etc idioms are primarily philosophic, not martial arts-related (some academics claim they are equal to a religion, but that discussion is for another time).

Heaven-earth-man is a basic given in many Chinese martial arts. Off the top of my head see:

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/mike-sigmans-blog-6969/simple-look-at-i-s-training-approach-pt-i-4272/

and


In this discussion, the idea of triads – groups of three – will be used to help understand the concept of ‘internal’. Triads are an important concept in Chinese thought. The most basic triad in Chinese philosophy is that of Heaven, Earth and Human Beings. This is often depicted with Heaven above, Earth below and Human Beings in the center. This Triad is the basis of San Ti Shi, the “Trinity” posture, or ‘Three Body Pattern’ in Xing Yi Quan (Form-Intention or Form-Image Boxing). From this fundamental triad, many other triads can be developed to explain internal arts and internal training. Heaven’s energy (yang qi) flows downward and is received by Earth. Earth’s energy (yin) flows upward. The two interact and co-mingle in living things. Earth manifests and upholds physical forms in response to Heaven’s movement and image. There is an interaction of form and intention, images and manifestations, qi and substance.

http://www.internalartsinternational.com/free/what-is-an-internal-art/

Simply searching on Google will show how ubiquitous this concept is.

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge
19th June 2014, 15:03
Chris,

Do you argue that Ueshiba meant to use these terms only in the sense that they are used in ICMA? Primarily?

If so, could you clarify what your basis for this belief is, given that Heaven-Earth-Man is an omnipresent Neo-confuscian concept? I don't think that any extra work is required to accept the idea that Ueshiba meant the same general things as Kano did, whereas quite a bit is required to show that he was speaking in terms of internal power development.

I am not sure the best place for it would be this particular thread, but a general primer on these Chinese texts that are often referenced would probably be useful for e-budo. What the texts are, why they are considered important to Chinese martial arts, whether they are exclusively Chinese martial arts treatises, etc.

Chris Li
19th June 2014, 16:24
Chris,

Do you argue that Ueshiba meant to use these terms only in the sense that they are used in ICMA? Primarily?

If so, could you clarify what your basis for this belief is, given that Heaven-Earth-Man is an omnipresent Neo-confuscian concept? I don't think that any extra work is required to accept the idea that Ueshiba meant the same general things as Kano did, whereas quite a bit is required to show that he was speaking in terms of internal power development.

I am not sure the best place for it would be this particular thread, but a general primer on these Chinese texts that are often referenced would probably be useful for e-budo. What the texts are, why they are considered important to Chinese martial arts, whether they are exclusively Chinese martial arts treatises, etc.

Well, it's quite common in Japanese Budo as well - those just happened to be the most explanatory sources that came off the top of my head. Ask Bill Gleason about it when he teaches at summer camp, he wrote some explanations of it in "Aikido and Words of Power" (pre-Dan Harden, if that matters).

All of the personal and societal development implications (which neither Kano nor Ueshiba originated) are true as well, it's a pretty standard package in the Chinese and....Japanese martial arts.

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge
19th June 2014, 16:53
So it is a common thematic language used to describe a great many things? Are all of these things aiki?

Chris Li
19th June 2014, 17:12
So it is a common thematic language used to describe a great many things? Are all of these things aiki?

You're reaching here - go back and read Morihei Ueshiba's original statements in context for the answer.

Best,

Chris

LGatling
19th June 2014, 23:35
Heaven-earth-man is a basic given in many Chinese martial arts. Off the top of my head see:

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/mike-sigmans-blog-6969/simple-look-at-i-s-training-approach-pt-i-4272/

and

http://www.internalartsinternational.com/free/what-is-an-internal-art/

Simply searching on Google will show how ubiquitous this concept is.

Best,

Chris
Yes, these concepts are ubiquitous. They do not originate in the martial arts, but rather in the 四書五経 the Four Books and Five Classics of Confucianism and their hundreds of later commentaries. These broad cultural philosophies were used to guide and enlighten everything from familial relations to tax policy. Adopted by the martial arts, they were modified to enlighten, explain and expand biomechanics, tactics and strategy.

Mr. Sigman's intro to seems right.

This is a selfish question, perhaps. Chinese grammar is not my forte, but I don't understand Mr. Bisio's use of the term 'triad' below. AFAIK a 'triad' is a Chinese criminal gang. There are many famous binary elements such as 陰陽 yin/yang 文武 civil/military 明暗 light/dark etc, and four- and more character idioms 成語 chéngyǔ (Japanese: yojijukugo 四字熟語). I just don't know if there's a specific name for a three-character idiom outside of 三字 san'ji (three characters), and have never seen the use of 'triad' in that context. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chengyu

[QUOTE] In this discussion, the idea of triads – groups of three – will be used to help understand the concept of ‘internal’. Triads are an important concept in Chinese thought. The most basic triad in Chinese philosophy is that of Heaven, Earth and Human Beings. This is often depicted with Heaven above, Earth below and Human Beings in the center. This Triad is the basis of San Ti Shi, the “Trinity” posture, or ‘Three Body Pattern’ in Xing Yi Quan (Form-Intention or Form-Image Boxing). From this fundamental triad, many other triads can be developed to explain internal arts and internal training. Heaven’s energy (yang qi) flows downward and is received by Earth. Earth’s energy (yin) flows upward. The two interact and co-mingle in living things. Earth manifests and upholds physical forms in response to Heaven’s movement and image. There is an interaction of form and intention, images and manifestations, qi and substance. [\UNQUOTE]

Note I'm not questioning the basic introduction regarding the element 天地人tiān dì rén but rather the use of the term 'triad' only.

I don't know enough about it to comment on the notion of Westerners developing their own 'triads', especially by people who don't understand Chinese and the culture behind the words.

Lance Gatling

Chris Li
20th June 2014, 00:34
Yes, these concepts are ubiquitous. They do not originate in the martial arts, but rather in the 四書五経 the Four Books and Five Classics of Confucianism and their hundreds of later commentaries. These broad cultural philosophies were used to guide and enlighten everything from familial relations to tax policy. Adopted by the martial arts, they were modified to enlighten, explain and expand biomechanics, tactics and strategy.

Mr. Sigman's intro to seems right.

This is a selfish question, perhaps. Chinese grammar is not my forte, but I don't understand Mr. Bisio's use of the term 'triad' below. AFAIK a 'triad' is a Chinese criminal gang. There are many famous binary elements such as 陰陽 yin/yang 文武 civil/military 明暗 light/dark etc, and four- and more character idioms 成語 chéngyǔ (Japanese: yojijukugo 四字熟語). I just don't know if there's a specific name for a three-character idiom outside of 三字 san'ji (three characters), and have never seen the use of 'triad' in that context. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chengyu

[QUOTE] In this discussion, the idea of triads – groups of three – will be used to help understand the concept of ‘internal’. Triads are an important concept in Chinese thought. The most basic triad in Chinese philosophy is that of Heaven, Earth and Human Beings. This is often depicted with Heaven above, Earth below and Human Beings in the center. This Triad is the basis of San Ti Shi, the “Trinity” posture, or ‘Three Body Pattern’ in Xing Yi Quan (Form-Intention or Form-Image Boxing). From this fundamental triad, many other triads can be developed to explain internal arts and internal training. Heaven’s energy (yang qi) flows downward and is received by Earth. Earth’s energy (yin) flows upward. The two interact and co-mingle in living things. Earth manifests and upholds physical forms in response to Heaven’s movement and image. There is an interaction of form and intention, images and manifestations, qi and substance. [\UNQUOTE]

Note I'm not questioning the basic introduction regarding the element 天地人tiān dì rén but rather the use of the term 'triad' only.

I don't know enough about it to comment on the notion of Westerners developing their own 'triads', especially by people who don't understand Chinese and the culture behind the words.

Lance Gatling

I don't think it really matters whether it originated in Confucianism or not for our purposes. By "triad" I believe that he means just what he said - a group of three things, which is quite common (as he also says) in China (and also Japan, FWIW). I don't know of anybody who's making up their own "triads", although there must be someone, somewhere.

Best,

Chris

LGatling
20th June 2014, 01:52
....
I am not sure the best place for it would be this particular thread, but a general primer on these Chinese texts that are often referenced would probably be useful for e-budo. What the texts are, why they are considered important to Chinese martial arts, whether they are exclusively Chinese martial arts treatises, etc.
That's a pretty tall order. Here's a primer:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Books_and_Five_Classics
Note that there was a sixth classic, the Music Classic, lost forever, but mentioned in many other texts. There are tons of websites that go through them line by line. Note that interpretations change (sometimes dramatically) over time.

The 易経 I Ching (Japanese: Eki Kyō) actually predates the basic Confucian and Taoist texts, and shaped and informs them both.

(I've been defeated by the website formatting, so here's a cut and paste:)
Chris Li wrote:
I don't think it really matters whether it originated in Confucianism or not for our purposes. By "triad" I believe that he means just what he said - a group of three things, which is quite common (as he also says) in China (and also Japan, FWIW). I don't know of anybody who's making up their own "triads", although there must be someone, somewhere.
Best,

Chris
***
Sure, it it works for you.

I think keeping that keeping that in mind grounds the discussion in context; if nothing else, it provides a cultural perspective. (As Joe Svinth said, we're discerning the number of angels on a pinhead, so it helps to remember the context of Christianity. Or, in this case, Taoism and Confucianism, or for Ueshiba sensei, Omoto or whatever it was he ended up espousing, I dunno. I think Ellis Amdur's HIPS places Ueshiba sensei's later oral teachings, including Prof G's knee-killing endless lectures, into a persuasive spiritual / philosophic context.)

I can find no other mention of 'triads' in this context on the net, so let's assume as you seem to that he made the term up to mean a three-character chéngyǔ set idiom. To me, Mr. Bisio using - the idea of triads – groups of three – ... to help understand the concept of ‘internal’ misses the point. That seems to change the discussion from the centrality of relationships - starting with the relationships of Heaven/Earth/Man, which just happens to be 三字 three characters - to mere numerology - the importance of 'three' versus four, five, etc. I think it that flaw mars the entire analysis, which although well written I could only follow it part way through.
And he implies others are developing or can develop their own 'triads', not me: From this fundamental triad, many other triads can be developed to explain internal arts and internal training.

I don't have a clue if anyone is doing that - could be standard practice in the IP community for all I know. My suspicion is there is a lot of it, people departing from the demonstrating ancient texts and making up new relationships and explanations. (To me it's kind of like a new Catholic convert that doesn't speak Latin or theology suddenly making up his own new Old Latin catechisms - don't plan for a great result, but hey! who's going to know anyhow? Just keep jabbering, no one speaks Latin anymore anyhow. :o )

If the concepts being discussed have any significance or utility then their origin and context seem important. Otherwise, how would you know what is orthodoxy, novelty or heresy, or made up modern crap? :confused:

Just me, perhaps reading too much into it, or I've missed something, which is why I asked the question.

Lance Gatling

Cliff Judge
20th June 2014, 03:59
Yes, these concepts are ubiquitous. They do not originate in the martial arts, but rather in the 四書五経 the Four Books and Five Classics of Confucianism and their hundreds of later commentaries. These broad cultural philosophies were used to guide and enlighten everything from familial relations to tax policy. Adopted by the martial arts, they were modified to enlighten, explain and expand biomechanics, tactics and strategy.


You know the funny thing is, I can actually picture Osensei saying "this is how we do filial piety and tax policy….with aiki." It is just that I don't believe he would be referring to not moving when people pushed on him. :)

Cliff Judge
20th June 2014, 15:01
I've never had any problems or criticism with what you guys are doing. It is mostly the appropriation of the term aiki that I take issue with, I don't hear Ark use this term, the Systema guys don't use it. You guys discard any number of other traditional trappings, Dan describes his training methods as fairly revolutionary, so why insist on keeping the term?

You say it is Aiki. I ask why you call it aiki, you reply that a great many things are and have been aiki, what you are doing fits into that general category that includes Daito ryu and Aikido. I ask for some examples (which seems to result in some feather ruffling), and you explain that the Chinese classics explain what Aiki is. We all seem to agree that the Chinese classics have had a deep, wide, pervasive influence on the philosophy of Asia. I ask, are all of these things aiki then? More feathers ruffled. So I make a lame joke about it. About where we were in the discussion, not about you directly.

WVMark
20th June 2014, 16:00
My clownish barb, which was probably in poor taste, was not really meant to refer to you (or y'all) nor to what you are doing. I sincerely apologize if you felt offended.

In fact awhile after I posted that I realized that i most certainly could imagine Osensei demonstrating with a kokyu throw that "this is how we do tax policy with aiki."

I've never had any problems or criticism with what you guys are doing. It is mostly the appropriation of the term aiki that I take issue with, I don'thear Ark use this term, the Systema guys don't use it. You guys discard any number of other traditional trappings, Dan describes his training methods as fairly revokutionary, so why insist on keeping the term?

You say it is Aiki. I ask why you call it aiki, you reply that a great many things are and have been aiki, what you are doing fits into that general category that includes Daito ryu and Aikido. I ask for some examples (which seems to result in some feather ruffling), and you explain that the Chinese classics explain what Aiki is. We all seem to agree that the Chinese classics have had a deep, wide, pervasive influence on the philosophy of Asia. I ask, are all of these things aiki then? More feathers ruffled. So I make a lame joke about it. About where we were in the discussion, not about you directly.

Again, sorry if I offended.

Fair enough post. Let me see if I can provide some answers. While I am guilty of being blunt, I am rarely guilty of being vindictive or angry. Ask anyone who knows me. I'm probably laughing more than I'm serious.

I used group terms to indicate more than one and in a timeframe more than just current. But the context stands. Let's frame it this way, if I were to say that I am doing Kondo's aiki ... it would be akin to a mid level aikido person saying he knows what a specific koryu inner secret is, what it is like, how to train it, etc. It just goes downhill from there. Especially if I ask for research from anyone who disagrees with me as I have provided none myself, nor do I have the necessary training background to uphold my claims. Then if anyone calls me on my posts and a senior moderator jumps on that person (of which this has been done more than once) ... can you see how much of conversation killers these become?

As to aikido ... that's a different story altogether. I consider myself a mid level aikido person. However, I've had conversations with Bill Gleason, a shihan, who has stated that what we are training is aiki. Chris Li, another person who has a solid background in aikido, also states that this is aiki. Marc Abrams, who also has a solid background, states this is aiki. Meyer Goo, who has a solid background in aikido and trained with the founder, has stated this is aiki. Someone else whom I cannot name who trained with the founder has stated that this is aiki. I trained with another person who trained with the founder (sorry, can't mention a name) and I found that a lot of the training principles were the same. Gary Welborn, who has a solid training history in aikido, states this is aiki. Allen Beebe, who has a solid training history in aikido from Shirata, has said this is aiki. Those are top level aikido people. That doesn't even touch on all of us mid level people, some of whom do have extensive training records.

The last time I checked, of the total shodan through 7th dan aikido people who have gone and trained this stuff ... I think 99.9% of them (there might be one, maybe) stated this is aiki.

So, on the one side of the aisle, we have those people who haven't trained this stuff saying that there's no way it can be aiki, how can you call it aiki, etc. And on that side of the aisle, all those people have various definitions of aiki. On the other side of the aisle, we have the aikido people with 20 and 40+ years of training (some of which were with the founder) saying that what we're training is aiki in a 99.9% rate. On this side of the aisle, we all tend to have a common one, have a better understanding of what Ueshiba's lectures really meant, and can see similarities in other martial systems from Chinese to koryu. Either we've all drunk a whole lot of Kool-Aid (but remember, many of these people wanted to prove that this wasn't aiki prior to training in it. Some publicly posted they were wrong) or we all have a much greater understanding of what Ueshiba was doing with aiki.

Finally, you ask for what aiki is from us. Except in a Daito ryu context, you have neither the basis nor training to actually say if what we do is Daito ryu aiki or not. Nothing against you personally. I don't have that context either. Until one is initiated and has the deeper teachings for the inner secrets, none of us can say. Kondo's Daito ryu is koryu to him and has its own inner teachings and secrets, aiki being one. In regards to your asking from an aikido background ... why is it that you have not had this conversation with Bill Gleason, a 7th dan shihan in your own organization? I would think that Bill would be a very good resource for getting answers and explanations. I've found him to be an excellent teacher who really does care if his students progress.

Cliff Judge
20th June 2014, 17:46
You are essentially making an argument from authority to justify the label. It may be that we all are. Why do you personally consider it aiki?

WVMark
20th June 2014, 19:07
You are essentially making an argument from authority to justify the label. It may be that we all are. Why do you personally consider it aiki?

Actually, no. That you don't understand that is a personal issue that could be addressed by one of your own shihan. But again, you ask and expect details, research, verifiable results while you have presented none to the contrary. It's a hollow endorsement. You expect the readers to take you at your word without any verifiable justification that your view of aiki is solid while pushing me for research and justifications on aiki.

Just taking into account this thread, you have no foundational basis for the conversation. I have pointed to high level aikido people's hands-on experience (not their authority as there are shihan everywhere who do not have the real world experience with either Ueshiba or his deshi) in which they have determined from years of training that this is aiki.

You have presented:
...

I have presented:
Ueshiba-Yamaguchi/Saotome-Gleason
Ueshiba/Takeda-Shirata-Beebe
Ueshiba-Imaizumi-Abrams
Ueshiba-Meyer Goo
Ueshiba- unnamed (and I apologize but the info was in confidence)
Ueshiba - unnamed (again in confidence). This was only that certain IP/aiki training exercises/principles between Ueshiba and IP/aiki group were the same. Conversation didn't go further than that.

These are years of hands on experience. It's the tip of the iceberg. But, then again, why should I keep going when all that's been given on the other side is ... silence.

TimothyKleinert
20th June 2014, 19:25
I hesitate to get involved because on the practical matters of IP/IS I agree with Dan, Cady, etc. But I'm still on the fence in regards to the (purely intellectual) matter of defining Aiki as "the quality or state of harmonizing/unification of opposite forces (Yin-Yang/In-Yo) that we self-generate within our own bodies." I bring it up just to help clarify communication.

Cady, Dan, Chris, or whoever---how do you respond to these statements:


Sokaku Takeda: "Aiki is to remove power from the opponent, a technique for making them non-resistant."

Tokimune Takeda: "Aiki is to pull when you are pushed, and to push when you are pulled."

Yukiyoshi Sagawa: "Aiki is to make the power of the enemy into nothing, and to apply an attack with the focused power of Aiki to the enemy in that state."

While I think Chris Li has made a pretty strong argument on his blog that Ueshiba's writings were getting at a definition of Aiki as the harmonizing/unification of opposite forces in the body, the above quotes by other Daito-ryu teachers still seem to place Aiki as a thing you do to to another person. (Of course you can ask, "how do you accomplish those things?", to which the answer is IS/IP, similar to CIMA, etc. But that's not how the above quotes seem to be framing the term "Aiki", to my ears at least.)

Cliff Judge
20th June 2014, 19:53
Actually, no. That you don't understand that is a personal issue that could be addressed by one of your own shihan. But again, you ask and expect details, research, verifiable results while you have presented none to the contrary. It's a hollow endorsement. You expect the readers to take you at your word without any verifiable justification that your view of aiki is solid while pushing me for research and justifications on aiki.

Just taking into account this thread, you have no foundational basis for the conversation. I have pointed to high level aikido people's hands-on experience (not their authority as there are shihan everywhere who do not have the real world experience with either Ueshiba or his deshi) in which they have determined from years of training that this is aiki.

You have presented:
...

I have presented:
Ueshiba-Yamaguchi/Saotome-Gleason
Ueshiba/Takeda-Shirata-Beebe
Ueshiba-Imaizumi-Abrams
Ueshiba-Meyer Goo
Ueshiba- unnamed (and I apologize but the info was in confidence)
Ueshiba - unnamed (again in confidence). This was only that certain IP/aiki training exercises/principles between Ueshiba and IP/aiki group were the same. Conversation didn't go further than that.

These are years of hands on experience. It's the tip of the iceberg. But, then again, why should I keep going when all that's been given on the other side is ... silence.


I was looking for something more along the lines of why you personally care about whether it is called aiki or not, Mark.

That is a funny way to deny that you are making an appeal to authority by the way, to name a bunch of names like that.

WVMark
20th June 2014, 20:47
I was looking for something more along the lines of why you personally care about whether it is called aiki or not, Mark.

That is a funny way to deny that you are making an appeal to authority by the way, to name a bunch of names like that.

This is the last I'll say on this because it's way off topic:

Appeal to Authority: Using an authority as evidence in your argument when the authority is not really an authority on the facts relevant to the argument. As the audience, allowing an irrelevant authority to add credibility to the claim being made.

So, basically, you're saying that Bill Gleason, Meyer Goo, Chris Li, Allen Beebe, Marc Abrams, etc, are clueless and irrelevant? An "appeal to authority" is used when the "authority" is irrelevant. That is definitely not the case here, unless of course you really do believe these people don't have the necessary real-world experience and training? Good, now that we have that out of the way ...

It's Ueshiba's aiki per your very own 7th dan shihan. Have you asked him about why he personally calls it aiki? Personally, I agree with Bill, Chris, Allen, Marc, Meyer, etc. Their combined experience has the necessary real-world training in aikido to give an extremely informed decision on what is or isn't Ueshiba's aiki.

Cliff Judge
20th June 2014, 22:13
I was asking why the whole thing matters to you persoanlly. Why does it matter whether we call all of these interal power modalities "aiki" or not? I think those of us who don't like to see the label applied everywhere have offered some explanation for why.

P Goldsbury
21st June 2014, 00:47
Wait a minute, both of you. I think you are talking past each other, as so often happens in discussions such as this. I think it is becoming a good discussion, but it might be useful for someone else, not directly involved, to see where you are both going. Timothy Kleinert posed some interesting questions in his post (Post #76) and responding to these would be good.

I have been around for a long time, but the only persons out of all those who Mark cited, whom I myself have met, are Allen Beebe and his own teacher, Rinjiro Shirata. The others are names, well-known names, but names nonetheless and of people I am probably unlikely to meet. So I have to go on what they write in books or in forums such as this. Of course, you can argue that you need to go and 'feel' these people to understand what they are doing -- and thus what they are saying, but this argument is of only limited value, for until this happens -- if it happens, it is still a matter of words in books or discussion forums.

I have never met Mr Gleason, but his name stands out for me, since I have read his books and, more importantly, I was also taught for many years by his own teacher. Mr Judge has the advantage or training in aikido and also in a koryu under the guidance of Dr David Hall, the author of the encyclopedia I discussed earlier. So I think the questions he asks about aiki are different questions from the ones I would ask, for instance. I think this difference in viewpoint has to be recognized and acknowledged -- but this also means that any discussion has to be conducted with a certain care.

Mr Judge asks why it matters whether 'we call these internal power modalities "aiki" or not' and this is an important question. For me, one who practices aikido, it matters because Morihei Ueshiba himself used this term, quite freely, as it happens. However, it is still a moot question for me whether 'these internal power modalities' can be identified with what Morihei Ueshiba called "aiki".

There are several other issues here, one major issue being, 'How would we find out?'

1. One way would be to approach Morihei Ueshiba through his published discourses. I have stated before that these have not been adequately studied, but this lack is now being remedied to some extent. It has to be recognized, however, that Ueshiba's published discourses are difficult to deal with, one reason being for what they take for granted in terms of assumed knowledge, and another reason being the way they were edited and put together. In this connection, the Aikikai itself is of little use, since the art they claim to be teaching is aikido and, to my knowledge, no one from the Aikikai is officially teaching 'aiki'. Individual teachers might well do this unofficially, but it will be up to the individual to find these teachers.

2. Another way would be to practice some form of Daito-ryu, the supposition being that Morihei Ueshiba himself practiced this and that this is what he was 'really' doing all his life. The Aikikai is seen as the villain here, since they have presented Ueshiba in such a way as to diminish the importance of his links with Takeda Sokaku, but this argument tends to ignore the fact that Ueshiba himself distanced himself from Takeda and became increasingly aware that he was practicing another art. Thus the move to diminish the connection came from Ueshiba himself, but was taken up by the Aikikai for its own reasons. The very close connection between Kisshomaru Ueshiba and his father is also a moot question here.

3. Another way would be to combine this approach with some practical hands-on training and this has the advantage of being what Ueshiba's own students appear to have done. The question then would be who to train with or under. Someone like Akuzawa Minoru, who is independent of any koryu or gendai art, but who does something that is clearly effective and important, but which he does not call aiki and which he claims is valid for any bujutsu? Notice that it is quite possible in this case to combine this (admittedly severe) personal training via Akuzawa, while still training in aikido. However, it is likely that one's aikido training would be affected by this -- and that this would not necessarily be a bad thing.

4. Another way would be to stop aikido altogether, for the supposedly pernicious effects aikido might have on the new way of training, and do something that is recognizably IP / IT, perhaps with a teacher from a lineage in CMA. It has been stated many times that IP / IT training is quite different from traditional aikido training and any mutual interaction can be an obstacle: the longer the aikido training, the greater the obstacle. I think the only way to test this hypothesis is to try it.

We are still left with the question whether any of these four ways will bring us closer to understanding what Morihei Ueshiba himself meant by 'aiki' and for me this is the point of the whole discussion here.

Best wishes,

P Goldsbury
21st June 2014, 01:10
I hesitate to get involved because on the practical matters of IP/IS I agree with Dan, Cady, etc. But I'm still on the fence in regards to the (purely intellectual) matter of defining Aiki as "the quality or state of harmonizing/unification of opposite forces (Yin-Yang/In-Yo) that we self-generate within our own bodies." I bring it up just to help clarify communication.

While I think Chris Li has made a pretty strong argument on his blog that Ueshiba's writings were getting at a definition of Aiki as the harmonizing/unification of opposite forces in the body, the above quotes by other Daito-ryu teachers still seem to place Aiki as a thing you do to to another person. (Of course you can ask, "how do you accomplish those things?", to which the answer is IS/IP, similar to CIMA, etc. But that's not how the above quotes seem to be framing the term "Aiki", to my ears at least.)

Like Takeda Sokaku before him, Morihei Ueshiba taught by way of using waza 業/技 for practicing which he needed an uke. So I think you cannot get away from the matter of the other person. I think the issue is how you focus on the waza. If you regard effective accomplishment of the waza as the main aim -- which is quite plausible given that aikido is regarded as a self-defence art, you might be tempted to ignore the other aspects and this will have consequences for how you conceive of the art and the importance of aiki within it.

Best wishes,

Cady Goldfield
21st June 2014, 01:27
Timothy,
My belief is that what Ueshiba was saying (via Chris Li's translations) and what Sokaku Takeda and Yukiyoshi Sagawa were saying, are just different aspects of the same thing -- with Ueshiba speaking of the tangible nature of aiki (the state itself; not the training or actions one can do to achieve this state), and Sokaku and Sagawa speaking of its effect in application -- the products of aiki. But, Tokimune Takeda... I'm not sure of his intention with the pull-when-pushed/push-when-pulled, because that seems like a very narrow tactical application that is not limited to aiki arts. The first time I read that in the original (translated) interview, it felt like a dodge or deflection to avoid providing any substantial hints as to the nature of aiki. But, that may have been something lost in the translation, or perhaps there are writings that go into greater detail of what his meaning was.


I hesitate to get involved because on the practical matters of IP/IS I agree with Dan, Cady, etc. But I'm still on the fence in regards to the (purely intellectual) matter of defining Aiki as "the quality or state of harmonizing/unification of opposite forces (Yin-Yang/In-Yo) that we self-generate within our own bodies." I bring it up just to help clarify communication.

Cady, Dan, Chris, or whoever---how do you respond to these statements:

Sokaku Takeda: "Aiki is to remove power from the opponent, a technique for making them non-resistant."
Tokimune Takeda: "Aiki is to pull when you are pushed, and to push when you are pulled."
Yukiyoshi Sagawa: "Aiki is to make the power of the enemy into nothing, and to apply an attack with the focused power of Aiki to the enemy in that state."

While I think Chris Li has made a pretty strong argument on his blog that Ueshiba's writings were getting at a definition of Aiki as the harmonizing/unification of opposite forces in the body, the above quotes by other Daito-ryu teachers still seem to place Aiki as a thing you do to to another person. (Of course you can ask, "how do you accomplish those things?", to which the answer is IS/IP, similar to CIMA, etc. But that's not how the above quotes seem to be framing the term "Aiki", to my ears at least.)

LGatling
21st June 2014, 09:13
What if the original meaning was not much more than that push / pull?

I give you the words regarding aiki from one of Ueshiba Morihei sensei's earliest and most accomplished students, Tomiki Kenji shihan, the first aikido 8dan, a personal student from around 1922, and a co-instructor of aiki-bujutsu coordinated and sometimes paired with Ueshiba for years.

******
EXPLANATION OF AIKIDO* TECHNIQUES
(According to the Principles of Judo)

SECTION I. FUNDAMENTALS OF AIKIDO

....
Of all jujutsu schools continuing up to the present day, the aiki-jujutsu of the Daito school is perhaps the best in respect of atemi-waza and kansetsu-waza. According to den-sho (manuscripts of instruction and records of the secrets of the martial arts), the aiki-jujutsu dates as far back as the Kamakura period (1185-1336). It was found by Yoshimitsu Minamoto (d. 1120) and handed down in the Minamoto family for generations, and then was taken over by the Takeda family in the Aizu clan. After seven generations the legitimate successor of the art is now Mr. Moritaka Ueshiba. A man of profound religious beliefs, he made many additions to the art, and it is now known as aikido. It consists of a large number of techniques, 2,664 in all, including offensive and defensive techniques to be applied in sitting or standing positions, or with the use of a weapon, such as the sword, spear, or club. There is no rationally laid down method of training in this art. Pupils have to acquire skill in the techniques one by one under the instruction of the master. It requires many years to become versed in the principles of the techniques and well trained in them, so the art is regarded as difficult for the general public to learn.
*******

* The meaning of "aikido". The old saying goes, "It is the spirit that carries the mind and controls the body." The people of ancient time believed that the man's mind and body and consequently his strength were under the control of the spirit. Aiki means making your spirit "fit in" with your opponent's. In other words it means bringing your movements into accord with your opponent's. After all it means the same thing as the "principle of gentleness," for it is an explanation of the principle from within.

(emphasis added. The footnote at * is Tomiki's.)

Tomiki Kenji. Judo: Appendix Aikido. Japan Travel Bureau: Tokyo, 1956, pp 101-102

NOTES:
- Tomiki knew Ueshiba from before he changed his name from Moritaka to Morihei
- Tomiki calls aiki simply an explanation of the principle of flexibility "from within", while making it clear there is an external explanation, too
- 柔 can be read jū or yawara, and means flexibility or gentleness  
- 柔の理 jū-no-ri, the principle of flexibility, is one of the fundamental principles of jūdō, jū being the first syllable of jūdō, hence literally 'the way of flexibility'
- see my earlier post on the Huáng Shígōng Sān Lüè, the Three Strategies of Huang Shigong, for the apocryphal origins of jū-no-ri (Kano shihan himself once wrote he had doubts about that origin but never offered a reasonable alternative origin. Tomiki discusses some of this, see below)
- by 1956, Tomiki had been teaching aikido for over 20 years, yet still notes 'There is no rationally laid down method of training in this art.' He had rationalized (and recorded) the aiki-bujutsu he taught to the Japanese Imperial Manchurian Army, because they required it, being the bureaucratic warriors they were.

COMMENTS:
- Note that Tomiki does not cite Daitō ryū as primarily known for aiki, but rather for atemi-waza (striking techniques) and kansetsu-waza (joint techniques); those techniques are the focus of this section of his book. While he does not specifically cite a lack of ability of aiki or jū in Daitō ryū, of which he was very aware, he reserves his praise for superb command of jū-no-ri for Kitō ryū, the most esoteric jūjutsu school, now essentially extinct, long ago absorbed into Kōdōkan jūdō.
- The Koshiki no kata (ancient form) of jūdō is about all left of the school, once a complex sōgō bujutsu with multiple armed and unarmed forms. BTW, Koshiki no kata is almost never performed well, much less correctly, for a number of reasons, so unless you've seen it performed correctly, don't bother pointing out that most examples suck. I know.
- Tomiki's comments make it clear that aiki or jū is not a 'state' (although I am not sure what that means, really), and certainly not a static 'immovable object' exercise, but an appropriate, measured physical response to an opponent's attack. If an opponent does not move, move around them and keep going. That, too, is jū.
- If weasels do not rip my flesh*, some day I will post Tomiki's (rather long) exposition of the physical and philosophic details, which draws on jū, wa, ancient Japanese history, the Analects of Confucius, describes appropriate responses, and how to win in randori.
- What is seen today in postwar jūdō is not the jūdō that Tomiki shihan knew, so don't bother pointing that out, either.

Lance Gatling

* apologies to Mr. Zappa

WVMark
21st June 2014, 10:58
Wait a minute, both of you. I think you are talking past each other, as so often happens in discussions such as this. I think it is becoming a good discussion, but it might be useful for someone else, not directly involved, to see where you are both going. Timothy Kleinert posed some interesting questions in his post (Post #76) and responding to these would be good.

I have been around for a long time, but the only persons out of all those who Mark cited, whom I myself have met, are Allen Beebe and his own teacher, Rinjiro Shirata. The others are names, well-known names, but names nonetheless and of people I am probably unlikely to meet. So I have to go on what they write in books or in forums such as this. Of course, you can argue that you need to go and 'feel' these people to understand what they are doing -- and thus what they are saying, but this argument is of only limited value, for until this happens -- if it happens, it is still a matter of words in books or discussion forums.

I have never met Mr Gleason, but his name stands out for me, since I have read his books and, more importantly, I was also taught for many years by his own teacher. Mr Judge has the advantage or training in aikido and also in a koryu under the guidance of Dr David Hall, the author of the encyclopedia I discussed earlier. So I think the questions he asks about aiki are different questions from the ones I would ask, for instance. I think this difference in viewpoint has to be recognized and acknowledged -- but this also means that any discussion has to be conducted with a certain care.

Mr Judge asks why it matters whether 'we call these internal power modalities "aiki" or not' and this is an important question. For me, one who practices aikido, it matters because Morihei Ueshiba himself used this term, quite freely, as it happens. However, it is still a moot question for me whether 'these internal power modalities' can be identified with what Morihei Ueshiba called "aiki".



Hello Peter,
I keep wondering how people can discount experience?

Bill Gleason with about 45 years of aikido experience. He trained with Koichi Tohei, Mitsugi Saotome, Seigo Yamaguchi, and Kisshomaru Ueshiba. He trained in Yamaguchi's private dojo. He's had hands on with some very high profile people. That's more than a lot of us can say. Your experiences in Japan would allow you far more breadth and depth with training with high profile people, so I'm fairly sure you can understand how much that hands on experience means. While Bill never trained with the founder, his 45 years of aikido experience is not something to be lightly dismissed. Tohei, Saotome, Yamaguchi, were all highly regarded for their skills. Kisshomaru is in his own class because he was doshu. Something which took him a bit outside of things.

Meyer Goo.
http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/finding-aiki-aikido-hawaii/

Here’s what he said to Dan at that workshop – “Thank you, I never thought that I would feel Ueshiba Sensei’s power again. What you are doing is very important. Don’t stop. No matter what they say.”.


When told that some people believe that the material covered at the workshops is unrelated to Aikido, Meyer Goo’s answer was short and to the point – “Who are these people, did they train with Ueshiba Sensei?”.

Jamie Yugawa writes, "One senior participant, a long time martial artist in his 90′s who felt O Sensei during his 1961 visit, declared this man to be the closest he has seen to O Sensei…..ever. I heard that with my own ears."

Allen Beebe
Studied with Rinjiro Shirata. Shirata. There's a piece by Ellis Amdur on Aikiweb about how Shirata shows up at the hombu dojo and tosses people around. The important part being that Shirata felt completely different than everyone else there.

The list goes on and on with aikido students of long training histories and experiences saying about the same thing. How can we discount all of these people? How are their experiences of limited value? That's what I don't understand.

Thank you,
Mark

TimothyKleinert
21st June 2014, 18:26
The Tokimune quote is difficult, for at best it's a veiled explanation of aiki. But if "aiki" represents a general strategy/philiosophy of jin use (internally generated force), then there might be a kernel of truth in that statement.

I brought up that quote not to explain "aiki", but just because it seems to paint aiki as a thing you do to another person.

Cady Goldfield
21st June 2014, 18:52
Lance,

A few thoughts, FWIW...
Sometimes "a cigar is just a cigar," and the "pull-when-pushed..." might just be what it is. But, by accounts Tokimune was taught aiki by his father and admonished not to show it. So, the remark could well have been subterfuge, or, as Timothy pointed out, a definition of an aspect or quality that can be a part of aiki -- without giving away anything.

There has never been any concrete proof of an ancient provenance for Daito-ryu aiki. Certainly, the practical martial-combat system itself could well date way back, as other clan systems, now koryu, do, but the "internal" I'm not so sure about. Some have noted that it seems to have mysteriously appeared with Sokaku. There's a possibility that Sokaku might have obtained it from Saigō Tanomo (AKA Chikanori Hoshia), the Shinto priest to whom Sokaku was sent by his father to learn "oshikiuchi" and to keep out of trouble.

If I recall the historical info (provided by Ellis Amdur, et al.) correctly, Tanomo had some Chinese ancestry and connections, and although he was not himself a martial artist, perhaps he had a possession of neigong/qigong (internal conditioning exercises) used by the Chinese for health and wellness for centuries, and which - when discovered to also be relevant to enhancing physical combat - had found its way into Chinese martial systems. The question has been raised as to whether that oshikiuchi may have included such instruction. It's conjecture and unprovable (lacking the discovery of authentic historic documents), yet it seems to me to be the most plausible of answers.

Aiki means making your spirit "fit in" with your opponent's. In other words it means bringing your movements into accord with your opponent's. After all it means the same thing as the "principle of gentleness," for it is an explanation of the principle from within.


Again, the above (along with Tomiki's comment that aiki is about flexibility "from within" is yet another facet of the same thing. All parts of the same elephant. :) In the Taoist approach to the nature of things, non-resistance -- going with the flow, water fitting the vessel, etc. -- is a key aspect. In the CIMA of tai chi chuan, for example, non-resistance is put into physical application. If your opponent pushes you, you take advantage of his commitment to that force. If your opponent pulls you, you also take advantage of his commitment to that force. And you fit into it, either way.

But even though the fit-in is non-resistant, intent is involved - it's not mindless like water, even though the movement seems naturally non-resistant like water. After all, we're mindful beings. Your push contains the ground. Your pull contains the ground. And, you are willfully manipulating your "innards" in such a way that you can draw/suction and expel/expand musculature considered to be In/Yin and Yo/Yang to both stabilize yourself and to increase the amount of force you are, without resistance, giving back to your opponent. I believe that this is a key way in which the non-resistance of an internal system differs from those of certain schools of Aikido in which you must use timing and "psyche-out" to lead uke externally into a void, rather than connecting physically with him on the inside, internally sucking him into a void whether he is "tricked" into it or not.

The note about Tomiki saying that Daito-ryu was not known for being about "aiki" and was more technique-based. Possibly, aiki was reserved for a select group of students, but the larger student populace was given the jujutsu techniques. This has been discussed in a number of places, in online forums and in books and essays, many times.

- Tomiki's comments make it clear that aiki or jū is not a 'state' (although I am not sure what that means, really), and certainly not a static 'immovable object' exercise, but an appropriate, measured physical response to an opponent's attack. If an opponent does not move, move around them and keep going. That, too, is jū.

Just because a demo or an exercise in "static immovable object" mode is given, doesn't mean that in fighting application a person can't make it work. Moving from conditioning-training to fighting application involves another set of practices. You train to be able to make rapid changes from mobile to "rooted" in an instant, and to know when and for how long. Transitional movements have a science and art all their own. But, IME, as long as you have one foot (or butt cheek, or connection with an opponent who is standing/sitting on the ground) on the ground, you can receive, ground and neutralize force.

People lose sight of the forest because they are looking at individual trees. It's better, IMO, to think about the principle(s) involved and what drives them, rather than getting overly caught up in the demos themselves and whether they would "work in a fight." That's not the point.

"Aiki is not a state." I can't know what Tomiki meant by that, either, since I never met him and will never know how he experienced aiki. If he meant, you can't do one thing and maintain it forever, as a state, under any circumstance, without changing... then that, I think I can comprehend.

Another concept that is embraced in mindful internal training, is that Nature (and, thus we, as a part of it) is unstable and change is a constant.
The state you were stable in, one second ago, is no longer stable if the conditions around you/it have changed, so you have to adjust with it. To remain stable, we have to change with the change. It's a matter of relativity. In that respect, you can never remain in the same state, so, aiki can't be a static state of being. We're in a constant state of flux, trying to maintain stability in an "infinite" number of present moments. To make your aiki fit the present conditions, you have to be constantly adjusting the processes - the counterbalances of In and Yo (Yin and Yang) within your body.

Anyway, a few cents' worth.

P.S. I hope weasels don't rip your flesh, and you can post more of Tomiki's material.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lance wrote:

Default Earliest English definition of aiki?

What if the original meaning was not much more than that push / pull?

I give you the words regarding aiki from one of Ueshiba Morihei sensei's earliest and most accomplished students, Tomiki Kenji shihan, the first aikido 8dan, a personal student from around 1922, and a co-instructor of aiki-bujutsu coordinated and sometimes paired with Ueshiba for years.

******
EXPLANATION OF AIKIDO* TECHNIQUES
(According to the Principles of Judo)

SECTION I. FUNDAMENTALS OF AIKIDO

....
Of all jujutsu schools continuing up to the present day, the aiki-jujutsu of the Daito school is perhaps the best in respect of atemi-waza and kansetsu-waza. According to den-sho (manuscripts of instruction and records of the secrets of the martial arts), the aiki-jujutsu dates as far back as the Kamakura period (1185-1336). It was found by Yoshimitsu Minamoto (d. 1120) and handed down in the Minamoto family for generations, and then was taken over by the Takeda family in the Aizu clan. After seven generations the legitimate successor of the art is now Mr. Moritaka Ueshiba. A man of profound religious beliefs, he made many additions to the art, and it is now known as aikido. It consists of a large number of techniques, 2,664 in all, including offensive and defensive techniques to be applied in sitting or standing positions, or with the use of a weapon, such as the sword, spear, or club. There is no rationally laid down method of training in this art. Pupils have to acquire skill in the techniques one by one under the instruction of the master. It requires many years to become versed in the principles of the techniques and well trained in them, so the art is regarded as difficult for the general public to learn.
*******

* The meaning of "aikido". The old saying goes, "It is the spirit that carries the mind and controls the body." The people of ancient time believed that the man's mind and body and consequently his strength were under the control of the spirit. Aiki means making your spirit "fit in" with your opponent's. In other words it means bringing your movements into accord with your opponent's. After all it means the same thing as the "principle of gentleness," for it is an explanation of the principle from within.

(emphasis added. The footnote at * is Tomiki's.)

Tomiki Kenji. Judo: Appendix Aikido. Japan Travel Bureau: Tokyo, 1956, pp 101-102

NOTES:
- Tomiki knew Ueshiba from before he changed his name from Moritaka to Morihei
- Tomiki calls aiki simply an explanation of the principle of flexibility "from within", while making it clear there is an external explanation, too
- 柔 can be read jū or yawara, and means flexibility or gentleness  
- 柔の理 jū-no-ri, the principle of flexibility, is one of the fundamental principles of jūdō, jū being the first syllable of jūdō, hence literally 'the way of flexibility'
- see my earlier post on the Huáng Shígōng Sān Lüè, the Three Strategies of Huang Shigong, for the apocryphal origins of jū-no-ri (Kano shihan himself once wrote he had doubts about that origin but never offered a reasonable alternative origin. Tomiki discusses some of this, see below)
- by 1956, Tomiki had been teaching aikido for over 20 years, yet still notes 'There is no rationally laid down method of training in this art.' He had rationalized (and recorded) the aiki-bujutsu he taught to the Japanese Imperial Manchurian Army, because they required it, being the bureaucratic warriors they were.

COMMENTS:
- Note that Tomiki does not cite Daitō ryū as primarily known for aiki, but rather for atemi-waza (striking techniques) and kansetsu-waza (joint techniques); those techniques are the focus of this section of his book. While he does not specifically cite a lack of ability of aiki or jū in Daitō ryū, of which he was very aware, he reserves his praise for superb command of jū-no-ri for Kitō ryū, the most esoteric jūjutsu school, now essentially extinct, long ago absorbed into Kōdōkan jūdō.
- The Koshiki no kata (ancient form) of jūdō is about all left of the school, once a complex sōgō bujutsu with multiple armed and unarmed forms. BTW, Koshiki no kata is almost never performed well, much less correctly, for a number of reasons, so unless you've seen it performed correctly, don't bother pointing out that most examples suck. I know.
- Tomiki's comments make it clear that aiki or jū is not a 'state' (although I am not sure what that means, really), and certainly not a static 'immovable object' exercise, but an appropriate, measured physical response to an opponent's attack. If an opponent does not move, move around them and keep going. That, too, is jū.
- If weasels do not rip my flesh*, some day I will post Tomiki's (rather long) exposition of the physical and philosophic details, which draws on jū, wa, ancient Japanese history, the Analects of Confucius, describes appropriate responses, and how to win in randori.
- What is seen today in postwar jūdō is not the jūdō that Tomiki shihan knew, so don't bother pointing that out, either.

Lance Gatling

* apologies to Mr. Zappa

P Goldsbury
21st June 2014, 22:21
Hello Peter,
I keep wondering how people can discount experience?

Thank you,
Mark

Hello Mark,

I think this shows both the attractiveness and the limitation of a formula like IHTBF: the problems involved in using language to convey experiences, especially inner experiences, the problems themselves being a result of the strain of skepticism embedded in our intellectual tradition. This intellectual tradition goes right back to the Greeks, especially the rhetoric associated with Aristotle. It is not commonly known that the works that had the most influence in Western Europe were his rhetorical works: the Rhetoric and Poetics, which were both concerned with language. The Latin name for the first work was Ars Rhetorica: the art of using language to persuade people to do what you want them to do. It is also not commonly known that one of the aims of Aristotle's philosophizing, like the work of his teacher, Plato, was to counter the traditions of skepticism and sophism, both of which, it is argued, distort the role of language in describing experiences.

Thus, some might take issue with your account of Rinjiro Shirata at the Hombu Dojo. Shirata's aikido was unusually good, but he did not feel completely different. Or, if he did, no one saw this. The difference was either 'hidden in plain sight', because those who experienced it did not know what to look for, or was not there to begin with.

Ellis Amdur's IHTBF columns over at AikiWeb are successful (some more successful than others) because they are verbal portraits of experiences that by their very nature are not replicable.

Best wishes,

PAG

EDIT: I have added an 's' to experience because it shows the problem more clearly. The term you used is an abstraction, a name for a collective residue of knowledge built up over time, but the knowledge itself comes from successfully encountering and negotiating a vast number of discrete items. Last week I had members of a class try to answer the question, 'What is it like to do X?' or 'What would it be like to be X?' They found it harder to see that the way you pose the question in some sense determines what you are going to accept as a possible answer.

gavinslater
22nd June 2014, 07:59
I wonder a few things about Ueshiba Sensei;
1. If Ueshiba Sensei used the chinese classics as his way of understanding what he was taught, or if it was what he was actually taught from Takeda Sensei? Tenchijin can explain many things.
2. Did what he learnt from Takeda Sensei make him into the more religious/spiritual person he became?
3. There are many accounts of him praying/meditating for long periods during the night etc. I wonder if he had to do this, or if he wanted to do this?

The problem I think about having a definition of aiki is you really need to understand Daito Ryu to understand the definition.

Gavin

WVMark
23rd June 2014, 13:16
Hello Mark,

I think this shows both the attractiveness and the limitation of a formula like IHTBF: the problems involved in using language to convey experiences, especially inner experiences, the problems themselves being a result of the strain of skepticism embedded in our intellectual tradition.



This is true, especially for anyone whose own experiences lie outside of all the listed people. It is far easier to believe what one's own sensei is saying in one's own dojo than read some words on a page about people neither you nor your sensei know, let alone have trained with. However, for those who have two degrees of separation or less to these people, it is far, far harder to ignore the mounted experiences given. To do so requires effort of a nature beyond skeptical.

Skepticism can be healthy. It can save one from "drinking the kool-aid" as the saying goes. In fact, quite a lot of the highly ranked people who, when first going to train in IP/aiki, displayed various amounts of skepticism. Their long years of experience backed that healthy view up. Yet, in nearly 99% of the time, all skepticism fell away.

So, I can understand anyone well outside the growing "circle" of people who have trained IP/aiki keeping their healthy skepticism when reading threads like these. We have all been there. On the other side of that skepticism is "emptying the cup". To look at something foreign and say something like, "yeah, I can't believe what I'm reading, but what about the chance that what these people are saying is true?" It is extremely easy to toss aside one person's view, even a 7th dan shihan, of aiki when it is outside the normal range of what is talked about. However, it it begins to get harder and harder to do that when more and more experienced people start espousing similar views of aiki. When anyone reads that a person who trained with the founder of aikido is on board with this different view of aiki ... healthy skepticism should still have room for an open mind.

And that is where I ask the question, how can people discount experiences? Most especially when they are close to the sources. No matter the distance to the source, the open mind allows one to look for opportunities to gain the experiences to create an informed decision. Of course, the question is partially rhetorical as many people can discount experiences in all manner of ways and means from rationalizations to being closed minded.

Nothing here is new to you, but maybe those reading this thread will be able to remain skeptical while keeping an open mind and see that discounting experiences, especially from people who have long training histories, is really not a good choice.

Cliff Judge
24th June 2014, 03:16
Relying on IHTBF accounts to define what a thing is or is not raises a couple of problems. It is a celebrity endorsement at best and does not rise to the level of "expert testimony" until you subject it to thorough cross-examination. Seven individuals who you take for granted to "know what aiki is" may in fact have very different ideas of what aiki is. And what are these people's motivations for making the endorsement?

But this skips past what is probably the most important issue, which has honestly been a problem for the aiki arts since they were initially began by Takeda. IHTBF accounts all talk about aiki as though it were an effect. He did something, and I felt this unusual power, yada yada yada.

Well the reason why the Daito ryu people get upset is because to them Aiki is not only the effect, it is more the whole process of training that leads you there. And the effect isn't necessarily something that is meant to be applied. It is not necessarily the end goal.

It matters quite a bit what the training is, and where it comes from. Daito ryu folks don't want to see their training methods whored out. On the Aikido side, there is less general confidence and devotion to a training method, but there is still the problem of using the founder's name and being like "you guys are worthless, we're the ones practicing the true art of your founder over here" and then there winds up being a considerable philosophical and pedagogical disconnect.

Carina Reinhardt
24th June 2014, 08:20
This thread and most of the threads regarding aiki remind me the tale fo the Elephant and the blind men

http://www.jainworld.com/literature/story25.htm

WVMark
24th June 2014, 13:02
Relying on IHTBF accounts to define what a thing is or is not raises a couple of problems. It is a celebrity endorsement at best and does not rise to the level of "expert testimony" until you subject it to thorough cross-examination. Seven individuals who you take for granted to "know what aiki is" may in fact have very different ideas of what aiki is. And what are these people's motivations for making the endorsement?

But this skips past what is probably the most important issue, which has honestly been a problem for the aiki arts since they were initially began by Takeda. IHTBF accounts all talk about aiki as though it were an effect. He did something, and I felt this unusual power, yada yada yada.

Well the reason why the Daito ryu people get upset is because to them Aiki is not only the effect, it is more the whole process of training that leads you there. And the effect isn't necessarily something that is meant to be applied. It is not necessarily the end goal.

It matters quite a bit what the training is, and where it comes from. Daito ryu folks don't want to see their training methods whored out. On the Aikido side, there is less general confidence and devotion to a training method, but there is still the problem of using the founder's name and being like "you guys are worthless, we're the ones practicing the true art of your founder over here" and then there winds up being a considerable philosophical and pedagogical disconnect.

Wow, simply amazing. In one breath you discount named people with solid training histories ranging from directly training with the founder to training with deshi of the founder and in the very next microsecond you use nameless, faceless "Daito ryu people" to bolster your argument. And readers are supposed to take you seriously when you do that? We must examine "expert" (7th dan shihan such as Bill Gleason isn't an expert in the field of aikido?) witnesses while we must believe nameless, faceless "Daito ryu people" without the same scrutiny?

To go even further, you are once again talking about koryu secrets of which you have already stated you are neither deeply initiated nor a public spokesperson. Which brings up the critical point about how you can talk about the secrets, the training of the secrets, or the defining characteristics of the secrets, if you haven't even been initiated into them yet? How is it that you know the secrets of Kondo's Daito ryu aiki as it is compared to the IP/aiki training? You would have to be deeply initiated into the former koryu and have trained long and hard in the latter. You have done neither, but yet post as if you are an authority on both with some mud slinging thrown in. I quote "their training methods whored out". I think you owe an apology for at least that. All of that doesn't even take into count that you're talking about the whole Daito ryu world in a grand, sweeping gesture.

Then, let's go back to the first paragraph. You wrote, "individuals who you take for granted to "know what aiki is" may in fact have very different ideas of what aiki is". You don't know. You haven't asked them. It's why you used "may" and then tried to bolster the baseless argument with the words "in fact". Next you try to assign some kind of ulterior motive to the people I named with "And what are these people's motivations for making the endorsement?" Let's not forget the mud slinging with tossing in "being like "you guys are worthless"". None of the IP/aiki people have ever said that, we have all stated again and again that all of the aikido world has value and worth.

These are the kinds of posts that are conversation killers. They are back handed insults doled out with a hint of authority under the guise of knowing what is the truth ... all the while they are insults, there is no authority nor deeply initiated into koryu secrets nor advanced training, and without the hard training into the other side (in this case, the IP/aiki group) there can be no foundation for any kind of "truth" to the matter.

Really to stay on topic, I would look for a post that talks about Kondo's Daito ryu aiki, how he trains it, how he defines it, and what characteristics are there to show it? Except that it is, according to Kondo, koryu and koryu secrets. So, I expect it to be only shown to the few that are deeply initiated. Everyone else will have extremely little to no knowledge of it. (Think about it. If they did, it wouldn't be secret and everyone would be able to do it.) So, in that regard, it's already a non starter for a topic. Now, if anyone who isn't deeply initiated starts comparing/contrasting anything to koryu Daito ryu aiki ... I would think that everyone would immediately begin to wonder how that is even possible, let alone why this person is talking about koryu secrets on the Internet. And then, when it is learned that this person doesn't even have the training in the area they are comparing/contrasting ... I would think that everyone would immediately begin to wonder how that is possible and start asking for extremely detailed research to back up the claims. When back handed insults are added ... I would think that forum owners/moderators would take a much closer look at the person posting such things. But, that's me and my views.

IMO,
Mark

WVMark
24th June 2014, 13:12
This thread and most of the threads regarding aiki remind me the tale fo the Elephant and the blind men

http://www.jainworld.com/literature/story25.htm

In my experience, that's not the case. I can talk about aiki to any of the people training IP/aiki and understand most of the things we talk about. Sometimes we get definitions of training words mixed, but that's to be expected in this kind of training. For example, trying to talk about "intent" in training terms on a forum is tough. However, we can talk about Ueshiba's words and we're pretty much all on the same page. We point to Chris Li's translations and go, Oh yeah, I understand that now! :D

So, back to what Dan posted in the first post:


How is that possible? Aiki as yin and yang (in yo ho) from the hara...out.
1. No ukemi, and training in what is essential to aiki..internal strength as its base. The marked ability TO NOT CONNECT TO SOMEONE ELSE'S CENTER, retain my center against anyone's access to it, hence their aiki simply hitting a wall and failing 100% of the time.


We talk about yin/yang, in/yo, ka/mi, Izanagi/Izanami in training and we know what we mean. We understand that you have to have opposing forces in the body for aiki. That it is intent which drives the training. When Ueshiba talked about being the universe, it applied to the concept of NOT connecting to someone else's center. They became part of him, which was an effect of Ueshiba's aiki. And after training some amount of time, we begin to start to be able to do that. We don't have to connect to someone else's center, to try to lead them off balance, to try to draw them out with timing and movement. Small steps for sure, but they are at least some progress forward.

While the rest of the aikido world creates various definitions for aiki, the IP/aiki group tends to understand each other. There is no blind men and elephants in our room. We have the universe. :D

Mark

Cliff Judge
24th June 2014, 14:28
Let's put this thing in the bag, Mark, I'm doing my best to explain where I am coming from, here, and can't even get you to talk a little bit about why you care about the whole issue.

Carina Reinhardt
24th June 2014, 18:53
There is no blind men and elephants in our room. We have the universe. :D

Mark



Then I'm relieved ;)

pgsmith
24th June 2014, 18:58
I don't see what all the fuss is about personally. Trying to pin an exact definition on anything in a context driven language such as Japanese is an exercise in futility and frustration. It reminds me very much of the old budo, bujutsu arguments that used to rage on and on.

Dan Harden
24th June 2014, 19:17
Let's put this thing in the bag, Mark, I'm doing my best to explain where I am coming from, here, and can't even get you to talk a little bit about why you care about the whole issue.
You asked Mark why he cared about this issue. I have stated over and over that ...I don't care... about this issue. I DO care about the way you three have comported yourselves over this issue. I see it as low level, overly zealous, students run amok, making claims and statements your own teachers will not publicly support and even refute. You three need a more even and tempered response to people about these issues.
As for your answers?
You have as yet to enter into any discussion. You just keep restating your points
*aiki and its teaching methods to attain aiki are owned by DR.
*You, Nathan, Chris and Brian keep telling people that they do not know what aiki is in DR
*Secondarily, no one does unless they are deeply initiated in DR.

Those we quoted who refute your claim are your seniors from your own arts. They state categorically that DR DOES NOT OWN AIKI.

Point 1.
Why should anyone care what you think?

Next we have the idea that aiki exists in other arts and that it might be the same or even better.
The problem is that none of you (by your own standards) are familiar enough or have substantial skills in those other methods and as yet are not yourselves deeply initiated into anything in your own arts to present any credible argument, comparisons and or analysis. Thus you are disqualified by your own standards.

Point 2.
Why should anyone care what you think?
The entire line of argument you have presented here over the years never had any value as a supported factual claim on aiki.
I can't help but quote Peters answers to Nathan from the other thread.
I reject your claims at face value
I don't care what you think.

The OP:
My opening post was to demonstrate for one and all that no one related to the topic will actually discuss the topic. You are reading what I stated earlier:
"It's okay to talk about koryu
As long as you don't talk about koryu."

It's just the way it is.
Let DR be DR. Let all Koryu do their thing and be proprietary about their methods. Having to keep your stuff in your art, as it may be integral to that art, is a necessary thing. However, presuming, and/or stating that your stuff simply cannot exist in a series of other arts is simply ignorant. So far in my journey I have seen very surprised Shihan, Menkyo, and Chinese Grandmaster Taiji teachers, refusing to believe that this or that came from or existed in the....."other side." And from others, that it even exits ...at all! :rolleyes:

Cliff Judge
24th June 2014, 19:39
Why do you call what you do "aiki", Dan?

WVMark
25th June 2014, 00:58
I don't see what all the fuss is about personally. Trying to pin an exact definition on anything in a context driven language such as Japanese is an exercise in futility and frustration. It reminds me very much of the old budo, bujutsu arguments that used to rage on and on.

You're right about it being a fuss, for the most part. The real stuff is in the training. When not training, it's a good distraction to talk to peers and others that are farther along in the training about definitions, ideology, spirituality, etc. That kind of talk sort of drives home your understanding of the training outside the physical. Since they're peers, etc, it helps to see that others are nearly on the same page with a few differing opinions. Course, it usually turns out that those differing opinions were misunderstandings by the person. lol. Sort of like, you hear your teacher say the same thing over and over again ... and then one day, you finally realize what he/she meant. Then we get to the public interactions with people from all over the world and, yes, sometimes it does become a fuss. :D But, that's to be expected. I know a lot of us who were that fuss before we went to train hands-on. :D

All the fuss just melts away when you're holding a bokken across from someone who has IP/aiki and can use it. There are no openings. No chance to find a cut. You're undone as soon as the bokken's touch. All from the simple concept of in/yo, yin/yang. Simple concept that we now understand, but hard to build in the body. Heaven/Earth/Man. Standing on the bridge between heaven and earth, in the middle of in/yo. A concept once unclear but now clear in training that changes the body. aiki. The fuss is well worth it.

WVMark
25th June 2014, 13:06
How is that possible? Aiki as yin and yang (in yo ho) from the hara...out.
1. No ukemi, and training in what is essential to aiki..internal strength as its base. The marked ability TO NOT CONNECT TO SOMEONE ELSE'S CENTER, retain my center against anyone's access to it, hence their aiki simply hitting a wall and failing 100% of the time.
This enhanced dynamic stability in freestyle at this level...has never been displayed... in any Daito ryu teacher I have seen, touched, or know about. It was in a small part in two and that is it. Ueshiba displayed it as well.


"enhanced dynamic stability". Ueshiba would often display static stability in his push tests. Ueshiba did these often. If you look at the phrase "Aiki as yin and yang (in yo ho) from the hara...out", then you have a centralized stability within yourself. yin/yang can be looked at as inward/outward. If you have that in six (really in Japanese that would be equivalent to all) directions, then you begin to build a stability where you are at the center. This starts with static push tests. If allows you to begin to change the body so that incoming forces do not have an affect. When Tenryu pushed on Ueshiba and couldn't move him, Ueshiba said it was because he knew the secret of aiki. It's at least a starting point for looking at what Ueshiba was doing that other people couldn't replicate. What if in/yo ho, the method of yin/yang, was actually an integral part of how Ueshiba withstood pushes from a various range of other competent martial artists? And this gives way to an enhanced dynamic stability which causes instant capturing of uke's center?

Dan Harden
25th June 2014, 14:25
"enhanced dynamic stability". Ueshiba would often display static stability in his push tests. Ueshiba did these often. If you look at the phrase "Aiki as yin and yang (in yo ho) from the hara...out", then you have a centralized stability within yourself. yin/yang can be looked at as inward/outward. If you have that in six (really in Japanese that would be equivalent to all) directions, then you begin to build a stability where you are at the center. This starts with static push tests. If allows you to begin to change the body so that incoming forces do not have an affect. When Tenryu pushed on Ueshiba and couldn't move him, Ueshiba said it was because he knew the secret of aiki. It's at least a starting point for looking at what Ueshiba was doing that other people couldn't replicate.
What if in/yo ho, the method of yin/yang, was actually an integral part of how Ueshiba withstood pushes from a various range of other competent martial artists? And this gives way to an enhanced dynamic stability which causes instant capturing of uke's center?
You might want to realize you are talking in a foreign language to most western teachers of budo. Both in theory and practice and skill they have no idea of what you're talking about. Daito ryu, Aikido and just about every other JMA attaches to the other guy in various ways to control him. Which is sort of okay in an uke/nage/kata relationship on normal people...total flippin disaster on someone who actually has a dantian and knows what to do with it. All of that stuff simply fails, dead, null, without value. Every one I have ever met so far, teacher and student alike, going back to the 90's...simply...fails to connect and always will. There is a better way to train aiki than the kata model, but Mark, most western practitioners of JMA are at a loss to enter in any discussion.


*(The following defies the DR thread about no solo training in DR. That is simply a proven lie certain people spread either through forgivable ignorance (lack of being taught the good stuff by their teachers) or by intentional disinformation).
Solo training
Aiki starts at home; Aiki in me before aiki between thee and me.
Tokimune had a series of solo training regimens. He demonstrated them and wrote about a few including aiki in yo ho
Kondo demonstrated a few during his first visit to America on Sunday afternoon.
Kobyashi showed several he learned from Tokimune.
Sagawa had many
Kodo did as well
Okomoto had them as well as few very interesting push hand type training drills that were extremely soft taiji like paired exercises
Ueshiba kept his to only a few students as well. As Peter recently wrote when two of his people appeared at Hombu after training with me, and the teachers acknowledged the power, but they were told it was trained in a clandestine manner.
Tomiki had his
Shioda had his
Shirata as well. Interesting that Shirata told one of his last deshi that he did not teach them to some very famous students of his. He kept them close to the vest.
Side bar- These exercises are all but identical, in principle and many times in form, to the ICMA. To restate an earlier point on the profound ignorance of many martial art teachers: one of whom recently expressed his disdain for the ICMA right here on this forum- most JMA's very foundations are built on the same material as in ICMA. A fact that many are simply unaware of at this point in their training.
Shirata: Sensei can you talk more clearly on makes aiki?
Ueshiba: Aiki is the joining of the two ki's as opposing forces in you. This is best practiced in heaven/earth/man.
*Across eras and cultures among Martial artists-(including the founder of Shinto ryu who stated that it made his sword unstoppable) heaven/earth/man and six direction theory, related to soft power.
Sensei what is your takemusu aiki
Working of the attraction point between yin and yang (in yo ho). THIS...is my takemusu aiki; spontaneaous aiki ("the birthplace of all techniques" When I move, techniques are born.
Note* This is ONLY accomplished through agonizing solo training. It is worth consideration that solo training has been the foundation of thousands of years of Martial arts. In fact stating you or your art doesn't have any????? Is truly an embarrassment to anyone educated in the Asian arts. Trying to get to this level from training kata is possibly the dumbest thing I have seen. Perhaps that is why they left the westerners out of the one true method to get anywhere meaningful.

Training your own body to retain in yo (in yo ho) creates a body damn difficult to throw, hides your own center while in motion, and creates spontaneous aiki on contact. There is no thought of kusushi, there is no plan of kuzushi, you become kuzushi, you become...aiki.

No one I have ever met in the JMA is capable of this, not even close. There were a couple of teachers I know who could have achieved it if they had changed their training method to chase it and then gone back, but...nope. Most budo peope are happy doing kata and think everything they need is there.

Sagawa:
"Aiki is about training the body. Only amateurs think you can learn aiki from techniques."

Cliff Judge
25th June 2014, 16:10
Solo training is the exception and not the rule in koryu arts. Toby Threadgill has shown some from Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin ryu. Yagyu Shingan ryu Taijutsu has some. Jikishinkage ryu has some suburi.

If solo training was so omnipresent in Japan, how much sense does it make for it to be so rare in koryu arts? There was a marketplace for these things in Edo, if the key to unbeatable internal power was in solo training, the teacher who was most open with that kind of teaching would have the most students who were dominant, and he would attract more students, and eventually that would be the default mode: lots of solo training and perhaps kata.

Even Ellis Amdur, by way, I think, of Mr Threadgill, has really only placed kind of a faddish fascination with some Chinese boxing manuals in the 1600s. So why didn't this knowledge lead to everybody going out and crushing the other arts, and students leaving the kata-based arts for the solo training based ones?

Even if it were somehow more profitable for urban instructors to closely guard the IP secrets the way Takeda allegedly did, out in the provinces you had local arts that were, towards the middle and late Edo period, taught to all the local gentry's kids at the equivalent of a middle school or high school. Would it do these provincial bushi any good to withhold the secrets from their own kids in their own domain?

If ueshiba thought it was important for his students to practice solo to develop aiki, why wasn't that the default mode of training? Wouldn't that have been helpful when dealing with the GHQ, for example, to say "no these are not martial arts were are practicing, they are just solo drills!"

it just makes more sense to me that they were never considered very important. And the scenario you and Mark describe in these last few posts - resisting being thrown - just doesn't quite fit into what I think the skillset is that warriors were interested in developing.

Dan Harden
25th June 2014, 17:12
Solo training just simply ...is...in Koryu. I meet with koryu people regularly. I just got back from training with more in Europe. I am unconcerned as to the number of people who do NOT know that there are solo training regimens and teachers talking about some specific power building drills in their ryu-ha. Or that most within the ryu don't do them anymore. As one older Chen Taiji teacher recently said. "Pole shaking separates the men from the boys, but we can't even get our own kids to do it anymore."
Solo training just is a staple in many arts from India to China to Japan
Mark and I gave examples of empty hand, yet he and I do weapon training of all types on a routine basis. All weapons do is greatly enhance the effect of IP/aiki. It is so effective at overpowering with non-dedicated and fluid changing of force, hence being so controlling, that you simply cannot use in in kata. It is extremely difficult to manage as there is little to do in response to it. It makes it easy to understand why solo training of various types has been a standard in arts from India, China to Japan in time periods where weapons were the order of the day.

As for your statement about Toby commenting that solo training is really only attributable to a kind of a faddish fascination with some Chinese boxing manuals in the 1600s? I strongly doubt that Toby said what you are saying and that his information is that faulty. It doesn't line up with many of Toby and my discussions, so I dismiss this alleged quote out of hand.
Using Ellis might not be the best example to make your case either as he found his IP training to be extremely beneficial to his weapons, as did his soke who said it was in the ryu in the past and they needed to revive it. He has written about this publicly.

Your comment about bushi
"Would it do these provincial bushi any good to withhold the secrets from their own kids in their own domain?"
What the bushi actually learned by way of martial arts, what we think these koryu are and were in teaching real warriors to be ready for a field of combat is waaayyy overblown. Even in their own time many of these now famous ryu were considered a bit faddish and out of touch with the realities of equipping and readying an army. Much like westerners-hell even modern Japanese- thinking samurai were all about going at it with swords on a battlefield. As for dragging in Ellis and Toby? I could name drop a few menkyo and researchers like you are trying to do, but doesn't it seem unfair to them? It would be like expecting Kondo to understand weapons. Teachers are just teachers. Trying to make them experts on such broad topics is unfair to them and yourself. It will limit you.

The fact that -you- consider solo training to be unimportant is no surprise to me at all.
Your soke was asked:
Sensei they like the kata we brought back, but we can't get them to do the solo training.
Tokimune: Yes I know, I can't get my people to do them either.

Sensei who do I teach the real art?
Only teach one or two people per generation.

To Ueshiba:
Sensei why isn't we cannot do what you do?
Ueshiba: Very simple. You so not understand in/yo.


it just makes more sense to me that they were never considered very important. And the scenario you and Mark describe in these last few posts - resisting being thrown - just doesn't quite fit into what I think the skillset is that warriors were interested in developing.

Training IP/aiki is very hard and certainly not for grunts and whole armies. It is not for the average person. And that is so obvious...on contact.

gavinslater
26th June 2014, 03:06
Hi Dan,

The Daito Ryu you seem to be describing seems to be very different to what I learnt. I was always told aiki is all about you, no one else. There is not a 4 legged animal in sight, although we had some interesting discussions about chickens.

My teacher always said there are no secrets in Daito Ryu, some of the most important things I learnt were the first things I was taught. Secrets are bad luck. So I dont think there are any secrets, secret scrolls, or secret aiki inyoho tanren or special ways to hold your hands doing aiki age in daito ryu. Actually what is aiki age? My teacher never mentioned it ever, but I did ask him about it once.

In my opinion the way Ueshiba Sensei explains his aiki (or at least the way I think he does as Ive never done Aikido, so I can only base my idea on things like Chris Li's articles) is different to how he learnt it from Takeda Sensei. Do you think it is better then the way you learned Daito Ryu?

Regards,

Gavin

Cliff Judge
26th June 2014, 03:51
Paired kata training, now that is absolutely a staple of Japanese martial arts. Which is exactly the opposite of what one would expect if paired kata was a training method that was less suited towards instilling the qualities in a student that the instructors of a ryu wanted to instill. If solo training was considered to be so much better than paired kata training from the 1500s through the Meiji period, it would be the default mode, a staple.

But even more than that, since koryu are extremely conservative of their teachings, I'd expect to see them much more commonly in surviving koryu, even if they weren't very considered to be very good. IMO.



Mark and I gave examples of empty hand, yet he and I do weapon training of all types on a routine basis. All weapons do is greatly enhance the effect of IP/aiki. It is so effective at overpowering with non-dedicated and fluid changing of force, hence being so controlling, that you simply cannot use in in kata. It is extremely difficult to manage as there is little to do in response to it. It makes it easy to understand why solo training of various types has been a standard in arts from India, China to Japan in time periods where weapons were the order of the day.

Ahh…so maybe they dropped the solo training drills because they were just too damn powerful, they'd blow up the dojo, burn down the countryside.



As for your statement about Toby commenting that solo training is really only attributable to a kind of a faddish fascination with some Chinese boxing manuals in the 1600s? I strongly doubt that Toby said what you are saying and that his information is that faulty. It doesn't line up with many of Toby and my discussions, so I dismiss this alleged quote out of hand.


I apologize for the confusion, I was making a vague reference to the Chinese boxing manuals Mr. Amdur mentioned on page 22 of Hidden in Plain Sight, and a regrettably spurious claim that these were part of a Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin ryu narrative. I meant to put no words in either gentleman's mouth. Upon rereading the chapter now I suppose I might be missing the mark by saying that it was a faddish fascination with Chinese systems the way the few Chinese boxing manuals were "passed around like Playboys" among instructors of various ryuha, and I am not sure where I got the idea that one of them landed in the library of old documents that Mr. Threadgill holds for his ryu. Anyway, that's what that was all about.

I am not denying that Chinese civilization had a huge influence on Japan or that Chinese culture was "looked up to" by the lights of Japanese culture, including the founders and leaders of the various ryuha. I am just saying, I look around and I don't see "aiki" and I don't see solo training being a historically significant thing.



Your comment about bushi
"Would it do these provincial bushi any good to withhold the secrets from their own kids in their own domain?"
What the bushi actually learned by way of martial arts, what we think these koryu are and were in teaching real warriors to be ready for a field of combat is waaayyy overblown. Even in their own time many of these now famous ryu were considered a bit faddish and out of touch with the realities of equipping and readying an army. Much like westerners-hell even modern Japanese- thinking samurai were all about going at it with swords on a battlefield. You need a better library.

The argument you are trying to make is that Donn Draeger didn't quite have it right when he divided bujutsu and budo between "practical battlefield combat skills" on the one hand and "personal spiritual development" on the other. Because swords were hardly ever used on the battlefield in Japan, some of the most important battles were decided by massed rifleman, and there was almost nothing by way of group tactics in koryu. Exactly right.

The ryuha definitely provided training methods that instilled certain qualities and skills in their exponents. But these were skills that needed to be usable in situations where there was no physical contact, or where things would be decided long before there was any physical contact. And after a conflict was over. Essentially psychological skills. Paired kata training, with the teacher providing clear, objective instruction (perhaps with some imagery component) and the senior providing carefully metered resistance and feedback, is very good for this type of thing.

Is solo training good for this? Better for this? Why are the kata preserved and not solo training methods?

I suppose one way you could go here, is to say that paired kata are more easily "curricularized" (I don't think that is a word) and that it was more difficult to pull the solo training methods along through the generations. But every ryu I have seen has many small rituals and cultural items that are passed on forever. If solo training methods were considered important, they'd be things that "have always been done" such as proper attire for an embu, reiho, etc. Because at some point a soke had his students line up and do them together every morning and the practice would just be continued. And we'd now, perhaps, be having an argument as to which solo training exercises were the correct ones as opposed to the empty ones.

Another thing is, good martial artists tend to do solo training anyways. if you are learning kata you have things to rehearse, after you have learned them there is always something you want to pick up a bokken and work on. One of the typical things you see new Aikido students post about on the forums is 'I can only train a couple times a week - is there some way I can practice by myself?" And that's modern people with the internet and other modern things distracting them, comfortable chairs to sit in, etc. I can hardly see a Japanese person in the old days casually blowing off a solo training regime his instructor told him was important.

Fast forwarding to Ueshiba, sure, I acknowledge that Professor Goldsbury had a conversation with Hombu seniors and they affirmed that Osensei engaged in something like IP training and it should be supplemental to kihon training, Well, why should that be?

Takeda has a reputation as being paranoid and erratic, strongly desiring to set the people around him into concentric rings. (My personal belief is that Sagawa is the entry point for solo training into Daito ryu, but I won't try to argue that too strongly, we'll just let your post #102 sit here on the internet and cause all kinds of damage for the rest of time.) But why would Ueshiba keep the training secret? What's the story there?

If these methods were so important to Aikido that they are neccessary for aiki, why did they get dropped? There were some hard times for martial arts in Japan during and after the war, why didn't solo training come into its own then? No place to train regularly, but when you get up in the morning and before bed you can practice your in-yo ho and then we can meet over the weekend and push on each other and see how our power is doing. That sort of thing.

If these methods were important to these arts, then it was the responsibility of all of these teachers to get their students to do them, no?



As for dragging in Ellis and Toby? I could name drop a few menkyo and researchers like you are trying to do, but doesn't it seem unfair to them? [/quote[


I like to think of it as citing my references. Putting my cards on the table so everybody can see where I am coming from. Being honest.



It would be like expecting Kondo to understand weapons.

Just going to leave that sitting out there by itself between two quote tags.



Teachers are just teachers. Trying to make them experts on such broad topics is unfair to them and yourself. It will limit you.

This is a great point, Dan.

But importantly - you just don't have to make these claims. You have the respect and admiration of however many senior practitioners, I'm sure you rattled off the numbers in this thread but I don't feel like going back and quoting you. You earned that respect because of skills you have acquired through your own hard work and genius. Those guys don't care whether you are giving them shortcuts to Katori Shinto ryu or Daito ryu inner teachings, they care about what you can do, what you prove to them every time they come out to train with you.

Cliff Judge
26th June 2014, 04:17
My teacher always said there are no secrets in Daito Ryu, some of the most important things I learnt were the first things I was taught. Secrets are bad luck. So I dont think there are any secrets, secret scrolls, or secret aiki inyoho tanren or special ways to hold your hands doing aiki age in daito ryu.

There is an argument that Takeda might have withheld secrets from rank-and-file students because he considered them too valuable for just anybody, or something. There are certainly enough quotes from the main people in Daito ryu (many of them mentioned in this thread) that it has become a part of general Daito ryu culture. There arises from this idea a view that the inner, true teachings are more valuable than the dreary, busted-up, fake, outer teachings.

But in the old days, certainly before the Edo period really solidified, there was no incentive to withholding effective teaching from students. They'd go out and die, and you'd have trouble finding students to replace them, because they died. There were always secrets withheld for senior practitioners and for the inheritor(s) of the system, but these wouldn't be anything like "this is how this is all actually supposed to work, don't tell the punters."

gavinslater
26th June 2014, 07:35
Hi Cliff,

I can only go on what my teacher taught me, I only learnt Daito Ryu from him. He told me in times of war there are no time for secrets, you teach the most important things first.

But maybe he didn't teach me the secrets, I have no idea. Anyway my teacher had to quit Daito Ryu a long time before I met him as he was busy with his work at the newspaper. So maybe he forgot things and to be honest I prefer doing randori.

Regards,

Gavin

WVMark
26th June 2014, 13:15
There is an argument that Takeda might have withheld secrets from rank-and-file students because he considered them too valuable for just anybody, or something. There are certainly enough quotes from the main people in Daito ryu (many of them mentioned in this thread) that it has become a part of general Daito ryu culture. There arises from this idea a view that the inner, true teachings are more valuable than the dreary, busted-up, fake, outer teachings.

But in the old days, certainly before the Edo period really solidified, there was no incentive to withholding effective teaching from students. They'd go out and die, and you'd have trouble finding students to replace them, because they died. There were always secrets withheld for senior practitioners and for the inheritor(s) of the system, but these wouldn't be anything like "this is how this is all actually supposed to work, don't tell the punters."

Your very own teacher, in his own words, refutes what you claim. I added the bold.

http://www.daito-ryu.org/en/kondo-katsuyuki.html



When my teacher Tokimune was still active and in good health, many of his students from all over Japan came to Abashiri once a year to take part in the annual Headquarters meeting. Several times, when I came to participate in the headmaster direct transmission seminars (soke jikiden kai) that were always held on these occasions, the meeting was divided into two groups, one taught by Tokimune sensei himself, the other taught by me acting as his instructional representative. Naturally, the day before these my teacher would go over with me in detail about what he wanted me to teach on his behalf, and he always told me that I must not teach the true techniques that I had learned from him. Even in regard to the very first technique taught in Daito-ryu, ippondori, I was strictly prohibited from teaching the real version I had learned directly from Tokimune sensei, and was told to teach only the version of ippondori he always taught in his own Daitokan dojo.


My teacher explained his purpose in this by saying, "What will you do if you teach people the true techniques and the next day they leave the school? The oral and secret teachings of Daito-ryu will flow outside of the school." He also said, "Out of a thousand people, only one or two are genuine students. Find them out and teach them what is real; there is no need to teach such things to the rest." My teacher only taught real techniques to a person if he could ascertain, from his questions, technical and physical ability, apprehension, and diligence, that they carried a sincere and genuine attitude. He inherited this method of teaching from Sokaku sensei.

Cady Goldfield
26th June 2014, 14:52
Gentlemen:

Once again, the E-Budo admins/mods are imploring everyone to watch their tone, and to keep in check the temptation to criticize and/or patronize individuals. All criticism must be directed to the ideas and opinions themselves, not the individual.

Ad hominem and inflammatory comments will be removed from posts at the moderators' discretion.

There is some good content being submitted here, but, like the diamonds buried in the bottom of the privy, it is immersed in too much personally-directed criticism from all directions.

Let's all do our best to keep the conversations here civil. This applies to everyone... Everyone. Debate and arguments are fine as long as they are keep on-point and away from attacking each other as individuals.

LGatling
26th June 2014, 16:23
Cady Goldfield wrote:
"Lance,

A few thoughts, FWIW...
Sometimes "a cigar is just a cigar," and the "pull-when-pushed..." might just be what it is. But, by accounts Tokimune was taught aiki by his father and admonished not to show it. So, the remark could well have been subterfuge, or, as Timothy pointed out, a definition of an aspect or quality that can be a part of aiki -- without giving away anything.

There has never been any concrete proof of an ancient provenance for Daito-ryu aiki. Certainly, the practical martial-combat system itself could well date way back, as other clan systems, now koryu, do, but the "internal" I'm not so sure about. Some have noted that it seems to have mysteriously appeared with Sokaku. There's a possibility that Sokaku might have obtained it from Saigō Tanomo (AKA Chikanori Hoshia), the Shinto priest to whom Sokaku was sent by his father to learn "oshikiuchi" and to keep out of trouble.

If I recall the historical info (provided by Ellis Amdur, et al.) correctly, Tanomo had some Chinese ancestry and connections, and although he was not himself a martial artist, perhaps he had a possession of neigong/qigong (internal conditioning exercises) used by the Chinese for health and wellness for centuries, and which - when discovered to also be relevant to enhancing physical combat - had found its way into Chinese martial systems. The question has been raised as to whether that oshikiuchi may have included such instruction. It's conjecture and unprovable (lacking the discovery of authentic historic documents), yet it seems to me to be the most plausible of answers.

Aiki means making your spirit "fit in" with your opponent's. In other words it means bringing your movements into accord with your opponent's. After all it means the same thing as the "principle of gentleness," for it is an explanation of the principle from within.


Again, the above (along with Tomiki's comment that aiki is about flexibility "from within" is yet another facet of the same thing. All parts of the same elephant. :) In the Taoist approach to the nature of things, non-resistance -- going with the flow, water fitting the vessel, etc. -- is a key aspect. In the CIMA of tai chi chuan, for example, non-resistance is put into physical application. If your opponent pushes you, you take advantage of his commitment to that force. If your opponent pulls you, you also take advantage of his commitment to that force. And you fit into it, either way.

But even though the fit-in is non-resistant, intent is involved - it's not mindless like water, even though the movement seems naturally non-resistant like water. After all, we're mindful beings. Your push contains the ground. Your pull contains the ground. And, you are willfully manipulating your "innards" in such a way that you can draw/suction and expel/expand musculature considered to be In/Yin and Yo/Yang to both stabilize yourself and to increase the amount of force you are, without resistance, giving back to your opponent. I believe that this is a key way in which the non-resistance of an internal system differs from those of certain schools of Aikido in which you must use timing and "psyche-out" to lead uke externally into a void, rather than connecting physically with him on the inside, internally sucking him into a void whether he is "tricked" into it or not.

The note about Tomiki saying that Daito-ryu was not known for being about "aiki" and was more technique-based. Possibly, aiki was reserved for a select group of students, but the larger student populace was given the jujutsu techniques. This has been discussed in a number of places, in online forums and in books and essays, many times.

- Tomiki's comments make it clear that aiki or jū is not a 'state' (although I am not sure what that means, really), and certainly not a static 'immovable object' exercise, but an appropriate, measured physical response to an opponent's attack. If an opponent does not move, move around them and keep going. That, too, is jū.

Just because a demo or an exercise in "static immovable object" mode is given, doesn't mean that in fighting application a person can't make it work. Moving from conditioning-training to fighting application involves another set of practices. You train to be able to make rapid changes from mobile to "rooted" in an instant, and to know when and for how long. Transitional movements have a science and art all their own. But, IME, as long as you have one foot (or butt cheek, or connection with an opponent who is standing/sitting on the ground) on the ground, you can receive, ground and neutralize force.

People lose sight of the forest because they are looking at individual trees. It's better, IMO, to think about the principle(s) involved and what drives them, rather than getting overly caught up in the demos themselves and whether they would "work in a fight." That's not the point.

"Aiki is not a state." I can't know what Tomiki meant by that, either, since I never met him and will never know how he experienced aiki. If he meant, you can't do one thing and maintain it forever, as a state, under any circumstance, without changing... then that, I think I can comprehend.

Another concept that is embraced in mindful internal training, is that Nature (and, thus we, as a part of it) is unstable and change is a constant.
The state you were stable in, one second ago, is no longer stable if the conditions around you/it have changed, so you have to adjust with it. To remain stable, we have to change with the change. It's a matter of relativity. In that respect, you can never remain in the same state, so, aiki can't be a static state of being. We're in a constant state of flux, trying to maintain stability in an "infinite" number of present moments. To make your aiki fit the present conditions, you have to be constantly adjusting the processes - the counterbalances of In and Yo (Yin and Yang) within your body.

Anyway, a few cents' worth.

P.S. I hope weasels don't rip your flesh, and you can post more of Tomiki's material."

Since the warning on snide posts, I won't write about the weasels.

******

Section III. Ju-no-Ri (Principle of Gentleness ) **

In the previous section (GATLING NOTE: Section II addresses The Principle of Kuzushi ) it was asserted that [B]we are never defeated if we keep our proper posture and presence of mind, and in carrying on movements and actions we use the body in a natural and reasonable manner. It was also shown how easily we are defeated when the balance of the body is lost. Next we must learn how these two principles should be put into practice in the judo contest, namely how to deal with the opponent's power when applied upon us, and to gain the final victory. The rules of this activity are called ju-no-ri, or the principle of gentleness.

......
II. The Principle of Gentleness as Viewed from the Relation of Movement

(in order to strike or move effectively).... it is necessary to have practice in adjusting the rhythm of your action to that of the opponent's motion. One cannot understand the principle of gentleness unless one learns this relation of rhythm. As with the way of movement in the natural posture, it is possible to adjust the rhythm of the motion of your body to that of the motion of the opponent's body. It is only when the rhythm of the body movement is thus in accord that you can make the rhythm of our foot and hand movements accord with that of your opponent and seize the opportunity of applying various techniques.
The application of the principle of gentleness is well manifested in the techniques and have kata (forms) of the Kito school of jujutsu which are preserved as the koshiki-no-kata (forms antique) of the Kodokan judo. The application of force and the movement of the body are effected quite naturally without causing any strain, and enable the contestant to bring the opponent under control without acting against his force. The movement makes a magnificent and beautiful rhythm. From olden time the principle of gentleness has been symbolized by a willow branch or a bamboo, which is pliant and not easily broken. It was also likened to the movement of billows rolling in and receding on the beach. Many of the old schools of jujutsu took their names from these symbols. The term aiki as used in aiki jujutsu or aikido (explained elsewhere) signifies after all "gentleness". The Orientals sought the source of all human actions in ki (spirit). Force is derived from spirit, and movement of the body is effected by spirit. so they held it of primary importance to foster spirit. Mencius says: "Will leads spirit; spirit permeates the body." Issai-Chozan, ancient swordsman, writes, "Spirit carries the mind and controls the body." To adjust one's spirit to the opponent's is to adjust one's own power to the opponent's, and this is an internal explanation of the principle of gentleness.
Jujtsu (art of jujutsu) was also formerly called wa-jutsu (art of accord). This shows that ju (gentleness) has also the meaning of wa (accord). In the Ryuko-no-maki (it. Book of Dragon and Tiger) which is regarded as one of the oldest columns expounding the secrets of the martial arts, there is a passage, "If the enemy turns upon us we meet him: if he leaves we let leave. Facing the enemy, we accord with him. Five and five are ten. Two and eight are ten. One and nine are ten. All this shows accord."
Wa, or accord, is the fundamental principle of the Japanese martial arts. Expressed in modern terms and made easy of practice to anyone, it became the principle of gentleness. The principle of gentleness teaches that one go, not against, but with, the opponent's force, and yet maintain one's proper position so as not to lose one's balance. This corresponds to the spirit set forth in Confucius' remark in his Analects, "The superior man is compliant but not blindly yielding." Jujutsu originated as a method of fighting between men. But through practice through many years it has been refined as an art, with its principles more and more studied and invested with moral significance, until it has developed into judo as we learn and practice it today. Judo is neither a mere manifestation of violence nor a means of fighting, but can be studied and followed as a doctrine of life.

(emphasis added)

Judo: Appendix Aikido, Tomiki Kenji. Japan Travel Bureau: Tokyo, 1956, pp 47, 50-53

*********
NOTE: recall that Tomiki equates aiki with jū in the earlier quote (which is actually later in the book).

Dan Harden
26th September 2014, 16:42
I should have made this request right at the beginning of the thread. Please explain what you mean by G1, G2, G4. Lance Gatling mentioned 'inside baseball references', but I think you need to explain this for those who are not part of a baseball culture.
Hello Peter
I walked away from this when all the personal attacks came out. The inside baseball comments all apply as various people who study DR and Koryu will not EVER discuss their arts in public. Therefore no definitive discussion will ever be had.

I outlined various factions
(G1) Traditionalists in Daito ryu
We have a small number of low to mid level members. They (not deeply initiated in anything, nor representatives) saying aiki is one thing in DR. They also state that Aikido aiki has nothing to do with Daito ryu aiki.
Split off traditionalists (still G1)
a. We have a member of two Daito ryu groups who trained and reached teaching approval (who out rank the men in the prior group) who states that one of their own groups shihan didn't have aiki! He went to internal training and it is his opinion that IP and IP related aiki is essential to DR aiki. Although he openly states DR aiki application is different.
b. Interestingly a senior from (G1) told another member of (G1) that Daito ryu doesn't own aiki and one of their own shihan and senior teachers went outside of their art to learn aiki from another related art.
c. A shihan from another DR art went outside of their art to train somewhere else to get aiki.
d. Two students from Sagawa went to a taiji ICMA master in their own words...to get aiki. One of whom publicly stated when asked that the ICMA guy had better skills and more power than Sagawa at a seminar in Taiwan.
(G2) Traditionalists in Aikido
They state they have aiki and a right to use the name of the concept as aiki, G1 states they have no right or a begrudging right to use the name aiki
(G3) Traditionalists in either the (G1) or (G2) camp that are going out to train aiki with others
The IP crowd, Daito ryu and AIkido people claiming aiki is the same essential elements in the ICMA arts-although the use is different.
(G4) Non traditionalist using aiki in mixed combatives (traditional and modern)

Contentions
a. Traditionalists (G1) state (G2-G4) have no qualifications to say what DR aiki even is... and their opinion is void because they have not trained enough in those arts (even though they themselves by their own standard are not yet qualified to even say that) and their own teachrs say aiki is in many arts. That alone is hilarious. Are their own Sokes and Shihans who say Aiki is in other arts lying? Not qualified? What?
b. Traditionalists (G1.) state Aikido-ka (G2) don't know Daito ryu aiki- even though they (G1) themselves have not attained Shihan level in Aikido (G2).

Logical analysis follows that Traditionalists (G1) have no deep initiation into Non traditionalists (G2-G4) methods and what they are doing nor can they exhibit those skills. Therefore their own opinions of aiki in (G2-G4) are void and not open for discussion using their very own guidelines. Their own standards of expertise required leave them unqualified to discuss their own arts, much less anyone else's.
c. Add to this that (G1) representatives here have never made any type of compelling argument-ever- for what aiki is or is not in their art. It makes their entire argument meaningless. Secondarily their own seniors, teachers and sokes contradict them.
d. Last, as I stated, no Koryu art is going to reveal their concepts publicly and discuss them in depth either.
And for the ultimate in comedy in inside baseball, we have.....
e. Sitting in rooms watching videos with (G1) Shihan and mokuroku cutting up other teachers in (G1) and saying the other guy doesn't have aiki (those styles are represented here). f. Further that others in (G1) had better aiki than in their own school and going out to train it secretly and then lying about it. Same with (G2).

My initial post was to point out that for those reasons mentioned above; the entire argument is a stalemate with no definitive talking points on aiki to be had. Everyone will talk about aiki in a non descriptive, nonsubstative, manner that borders on totally meaningless. All had without ever defining aiki in anyone's art.Go back and read. Other than once again stating that those outside whatever group doesn't have it-no one has said anything of substance about aiki anywhere. And...they never will.
Does that help clarify?
Cheers
Dan

Cliff Judge
26th September 2014, 21:16
Dan,

It sounds to me like you are saying that your original intent in starting this thread was to make a series of back-handed criticisms of the skill level of individuals who you won't name, based on facts you will not provide, involving other individuals who you will not name.

I am not really sure that is allowed on this forum.

P Goldsbury
27th September 2014, 01:49
Your comments are noted. Mr Harden's post was made in response to a question I asked earlier in this thread and I need to study this more and probably come back with more comments & questions. I certainly have not read into his reply as much as you have, for I do not practice Daito-ryu and, apart from Kondo Katsuyuki, I have never met anyone who does.

Best wishes,

Peter Goldsbury

Dan Harden
27th September 2014, 11:27
Dan,

It sounds to me like you are saying that your original intent in starting this thread was to make a series of back-handed criticisms of the skill level of individuals who you won't name, based on facts you will not provide, involving other individuals who you will not name.

I am not really sure that is allowed on this forum.
Cliff
My intentions were to clarify the animus that was going on in another thread that had nothing to do with me. Peter and Nathan and others were contending over issues involving the term "aiki."
I wanted to spell out why these discussions have never and will never go anywhere.

As for skill levels?
I never brought up skill. Actual skill shouldnt be needed for a defined topic anyway. I used your sides repeated standard of talking about rank and initiation. Your side has pretty much set a standard that you must have "deep initiation" to get DR aiki.
I dissagree, but okay. Fine.
None of you have meet your own standard. Those who have, your own seniors, disagree with you, too.
From your position you go on to comment on the aiki of others, which by your own standards you are not qualified to discuss in either your own art, or those you are debating.

You guys set the standard for *your* talking points in the debate. Chris, me, Peter, Howard, Mark, and many others all disagree with you.

Now, all that said, not a single person has defined aiki in their arts have they?
Just like I said it would be. Any reasonable person would see it will remain a waste of time to claim ownership and debate a concept that is as yet undefined.

The debate is only talking about the debate. A discussion of aiki has never occurred and it never will.

muden
27th September 2014, 15:09
Cliff
My intentions were to clarify the animus that was going on in another thread that had nothing to do with me. Peter and Nathan and others were contending over issues involving the term "aiki."
I wanted to spell out why these discussions have never and will never go anywhere.

As for skill levels?
I never brought up skill. Actual skill shouldnt be needed for a defined topic anyway. I used your sides repeated standard of talking about rank and initiation. Your side has pretty much set a standard that you must have "deep initiation" to get DR aiki.
I dissagree, but okay. Fine.
None of you have meet your own standard. Those who have, your own seniors, disagree with you, too.
From your position you go on to comment on the aiki of others, which by your own standards you are not qualified to discuss in either your own art, or those you are debating.

You guys set the standard for *your* talking points in the debate. Chris, me, Peter, Howard, Mark, and many others all disagree with you.

Now, all that said, not a single person has defined aiki in their arts have they?
Just like I said it would be. Any reasonable person would see it will remain a waste of time to claim ownership and debate a concept that is as yet undefined.

The debate is only talking about the debate. A discussion of aiki has never occurred and it never will.

Who are these people? What are their experience in the art, and what is YOUR experience in the art that qualifies you to confidently state what is or is not "DR" aiki? These are fairly simple questions. If people want to term what they are doing or training "aiki" fine, but (for the sake of clarification) they need to say what has led them to this understanding of the term, as the word can cover many things.

Cliff Judge
28th September 2014, 00:36
Your comments are noted. Mr Harden's post was made in response to a question I asked earlier in this thread and I need to study this more and probably come back with more comments & questions. I certainly have not read into his reply as much as you have, for I do not practice Daito-ryu and, apart from Kondo Katsuyuki, I have never met anyone who does.

Best wishes,

Peter Goldsbury

I am attempting to not read anything into the post, just look at it on its face.

The whole post, for me, casts aspersions on the level of initiation and skill of group one (Daito ryu students) and to denounce their teachers as lacking in skill. The support for these assertions revolve around certain teachers training outside of their traditions, and things that unnamed individuals said in private rooms. And it of course leads towards the end of the original post to the original poster's characteristic boasts of his own power, which has of course been hailed by unnamed but important individuals in "open rooms" which of course if you were anyone significant, you'd have been in. :)

I think Dan may have been trying to start a thread that addressed what he perceives as an irreparable breach between Daito ryu practitioners and others, but it is clearly not his intention for the conversation to improve this situation. i acknowledge that that's something I could be reading in. The whole thing strikes me as pretty abusive of the community in general and the forum in particular, even though we did have some good information from posters such as Lance Gatling come out in here.

At any rate, Prof. Goldsbury, I look forward to hearing your opinion on the matter.

Dan Harden
28th September 2014, 16:27
Peter
I think the last two responses give you the heads up about the atmosphere, the vilifying, and inside baseball that we were talking regarding this topic and this forum.
Cady already knows this.
Regards

Dan Harden
28th September 2014, 17:04
Oison and Cliff
The points I made have not been addressed and largely seem to escape you. I will try repeating it for you.

People around the world, from many different arts, train and discuss aiki. A few fellas here on ebudo claim it isn't aiki and/or that it most certainly isn't DR aiki, and or that DR owns the term.
Most people, myself included, don't agree on what you think aiki is or was or that you own it. If you want to beat the drum that DR aiki is different from anything in the world go right ahead. I think you will find most don't care. Your behavior surrounding the topic has certainly been worthy of note.

What you continue to avoid is this
1. You guys...let me repeat that since you decided to throw it back on me that I was discussing rank and skill to slam people.
2. YOU GUYS.... are the ones that set a standard surrounding rank (deep initiation repeated here for years)
3. Your standard nullifies all opinions-including your own to discuss your very own art or the art of others.

I have always found that argument incredibly short sighted and unsupportable. But, to be clear, it has always been YOUR ARGUMENT, and no one else's.

Since you chose to hang your hats on the that fact that only seniors in Daito ryu can discuss it, Chris Li, Peter G. Mark M. and myself have brought to your attention that Tokimune, Kondo, Haku Mori, Okomoto, Kiyama, Goldberg, Popkin among others (all your seniors in DR) have disagreed with you few, low to mid-level students here. All stating that aiki is all over the place and that DR doesn't own it.
That's on you.
Again though, by the standards you set of requiring deep initiation into an art? You cannot discuss your aiki, or anyone else's aiki and compare. I was trying to get that point across to Peter as to why there will never be a discussion here of aiki.

So, there you go. It is obvious to many that you are trying to have it both ways and apparently are unwilling, or unable to discuss this in any meaningful way. This leaves you the only option left. Don't address the topic, attack the people disagreeing with you.

So?
Anyone Care to discuss aiki in DR?
Aiki in your Koryu?
Of course not.
And no one ever will.

Point made, case closed.
I return you to talking about the topic, attacking the people, around the topic, and never the topic itself.

5...4...3...2...1...attack!

muden
28th September 2014, 17:53
Oison and Cliff
The points I made have not been addressed and largely seem to escape you. I will try repeating it for you.

People around the world, from many different arts, train and discuss aiki. A few fellas here on ebudo claim it isn't aiki and/or that it most certainly isn't DR aiki, and or that DR owns the term.
Most people, myself included, don't agree on what you think aiki is or was or that you own it. If you want to beat the drum that DR aiki is different from anything in the world go right ahead. I think you will find most don't care. Your behavior surrounding the topic has certainly been worthy of note.

What you continue to avoid is this
1. You guys...let me repeat that since you decided to throw it back on me that I was discussing rank and skill to slam people.
2. YOU GUYS.... are the ones that set a standard surrounding rank (deep initiation repeated here for years)
3. Your standard nullifies all opinions-including your own to discuss your very own art or the art of others.

I have always found that argument incredibly short sighted and unsupportable. But, to be clear, it has always been YOUR ARGUMENT, and no one else's.

Since you chose to hang your hats on the that fact that only seniors in Daito ryu can discuss it, Chris Li, Peter G. Mark M. and myself have brought to your attention that Tokimune, Kondo, Haku Mori, Okomoto, Kiyama, Goldberg, Popkin among others (all your seniors in DR) have disagreed with you few, low to mid-level students here. All stating that aiki is all over the place and that DR doesn't own it.
That's on you.
Again though, by the standards you set of requiring deep initiation into an art? You cannot discuss your aiki, or anyone else's aiki and compare. I was trying to get that point across to Peter as to why there will never be a discussion here of aiki.

So, there you go. It is obvious to many that you are trying to have it both ways and apparently are unwilling, or unable to discuss this in any meaningful way. This leaves you the only option left. Don't address the topic, attack the people disagreeing with you.

So?
Anyone Care to discuss aiki in DR?
Aiki in your Koryu?
Of course not.
And no one ever will.

Point made, case closed.
I return you to talking about the topic, attacking the people, around the topic, and never the topic itself.

5...4...3...2...1...attack!

I have no interest in "discussing aiki" (relating to DR) on the internet. Pretty much the only point I have made relating to this is that, if you really want to know, join a DR group and train. YOU are discussing it and doing seminars in training it, so I asked you how you learned it and to what level. That's nothing personal there. It's a simple question. You still haven't answered by the way, but if I'm reading your post correctly, you are imitimating that Kiyama and Goldberg are basically endorsing your teaching, so that's fine.

Dan Harden
28th September 2014, 19:36
No, I'm not. I've never said that. I don't teach DR aiki. In fact I specifically teach against some things they do. I've had that discussion in person with students and teachers of that at. I'm on record here and all over the internet saying that I don't teach anyone's aiki but my own.
We agree that if you want to learn DR ( of whatever flavor) go train in it. I am on record here suggesting that as well. I point to Popkin or the Kodokai, typically.
I really don't care about DR's aiki.

None... of that is the point, though.
What was the point of my post, Oison?
What?
It was an explanation as to why no one will discuss DR aiki or Koryu aiki.
Ever.
A very simple point with an expanded reason behind it.
THAT... Was the point of my thread. To explain what has gone on her for over a decade.
Aiki will never be discussed here.

WVMark
2nd October 2014, 05:53
People around the world, from many different arts, train and discuss aiki. A few fellas here on ebudo claim it isn't aiki and/or that it most certainly isn't DR aiki, and or that DR owns the term.


On that point, a lot of the concepts around aiki and aiki training are found in quite a few places. For instance, from the book, "Miyamoto Musashi: His Life and Writings" by Kenji Tokitsu.

1. Morita Monjuro recalls (page 263) his experiences with training in kendo. He comes to the conclusion that there must be a cross body connection. The right foot along with the left hand. Then the left foot along with the right hand. He agains mentions diagonal forces on page 266.

Ueshiba talks about spirals winding up on the right and winding down on the left. He talks about the aiki cross. Ueshiba was training diagonal forces, or cross body connections.


2. From the Footnote 84.

"Posture in strategy", hyoho. The posture that Musashi indicates is close to that used in the standing meditation that is an essential part of certain Chinese martial arts.

The footnote also states that some kendo masters practice something similar in ritsu zen. Another point of note in the footnote is that the standing meditation is used to provide a foundation for exercises with energy.

Finally in the footnote, "This is the point from which one of the paradoxes of the teaching of budo is derived: Speed is not worth as much as slowness; slowness is not worth as much as immobility - this is the significance of the exercise of standing Zen".

Immobility. Morihei Ueshiba stated that the reason he was immobile and couldn't be pushed over by Tenryu was that he knew the secret of aiki. As we know from Sagawa, aiki is a body changing method, not something gained by technique based training. Yet, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Musashi, all could move about easily. They knew that immobility was the ability to remain unperturbed by outside forces in any situation. Immobility was a body skill that allowed one to withstand an attacker's attack, whether sitting, standing, or moving, and be free in their own movement without hindrance from the attacker's energy. The extra advantage of this trained aiki body was that those who came into contact with it had their center captured immediately. They found themselves behind the curve and trying to catch up without knowing or understanding why. This allowed Ueshiba, Sagawa, Musashi, etc to be able to move slowly. Yet, another advantage of this trained aiki body is that slack is removed, allowing one to move quicker. One cannot do this without the immobility, hence speed is not worth as much as slowness and slowness is not worth as much as immobility.

3. When we look at kendo and zen, we go back to Morita Monjuro. He states (on page 265), "It is only when one goes into it in depth and learns to use the tanden in the practice that one can develop one's mind and attain a result that is close to Zen. It is in this way that the sword and Zen come together as one."

Not that one must take Zen practices and apply them to a martial art. Rather, when one trains correctly (and that involves developing and training a tanden) in a martial art, it becomes similar, or close, to Zen. In other words, thinking that training in Zen will help further one in a martial art is backwards thinking, backwards training. Training in Zen will not train a tanden. Training a tanden must be done in a martial art to attain a result close to Zen. (See page 266 for references to what tanden and koshi are. They are not the hips!)

Ueshiba stated that one didn't have to follow in his spiritual/religious footsteps to replicate his aikido. This is why.

Ueshiba also talks about training breath in one's abdomen. "Nurture the breath of heaven and the breath of earth (the tides) in the center of your abdomen." He talks about breath training as a means of developing tanden. Heaven/Earth and Heaven/Earth/Man are found in many martial arts.

WVMark
7th October 2014, 20:12
More from the book, "Miyamoto Musashi: His Life and Writings" by Kenji Tokitsu. The section on making your movements stick, nebari o kakuru. In the footnotes (136), it mentions to make one's sword stick to one's opponent's. But, it goes on to talk about using a subtle fashion to follow the opponent's sword. That's not making your movements stick. That's timing, relaxing, and body movement. You follow your opponent's sword with your own. But that kind of movement has nothing to do with being sticky. The chapter even states, "This stickiness should produce the sensation that your swords are difficult to separate". Sticky and adhesion are used to describe the sensation. If you're just following your opponent's sword, no matter how good, how well timed, you will never produce the sensation of sticky or adhesion through the sword. A few of the comments about those who had aiki were that one couldn't resist and one couldn't let go. They stuck to the aiki master and couldn't let go. That is making your movements stick. Doing this with a sword is harder than unarmed. And this kind of being sticky, from aiki, is what I think Musashi is talking about. Oh, the footnote also mentions that the old Kashima shin ryu had something similar, sokui zuke ("to stick with rice glue").

Cliff Judge
7th October 2014, 20:58
Well color me surprised that Musashi was an Aiki master. Nobody I know who practices Hyoho Niten Ichu ryu ever fessed to that. I guess we should all take the words of a karatedoka who cross-trained extensively in Chinese martial arts to tell us the truth about a 17th century Japanese swordsman!

P Goldsbury
8th October 2014, 03:13
Why should it surprise you?

I believe that aiki is being discussed in this and other threads as a general concept, applicable to more than one martial art. As such, the arguments have to be considered on their merits, including those of Tokitsu. In his book on ki, published in French in 2000 and translated into English in 2002, he discusses a concept that is similar, in the sense that it, too, can be applied to more than one martial art.

Cady Goldfield
8th October 2014, 03:30
Cliff,

Mark presented on-topic comments and documentation in hopes of a fruitful discussion, and what comes back is not a respectful debate or carefully crafted argument, but more unproductive sarcasm.

If you disagree with another person's post, then rebut it with academic objectivity and documentation to support your points. If you can't contribute something positive to the discussion, then please remove yourself from it.

Cliff Judge
8th October 2014, 16:32
Cliff,

Mark presented on-topic comments and documentation in hopes of a fruitful discussion, and what comes back is not a respectful debate or carefully crafted argument, but more unproductive sarcasm.

If you disagree with another person's post, then rebut it with academic objectivity and documentation to support your points. If you can't contribute something positive to the discussion, then please remove yourself from it.

Sorry, Cady, I am thinking of how to lay out my thoughts in more detail. I found the concept that Musashi was somehow a lineal antecedent to Ueshiba really funny, it gave me a "Shakespeare sounds best in its native Klingon" moment.

And incidentally, I am told the book is worth reading so I am planning on doing so. Though opinions on the quality of insights into swordsmanship are tepid at best, it is apparently considered to be a good look at the life of Musashi.


Why should it surprise you?

I believe that aiki is being discussed in this and other threads as a general concept, applicable to more than one martial art. As such, the arguments have to be considered on their merits, including those of Tokitsu. In his book on ki, published in French in 2000 and translated into English in 2002, he discusses a concept that is similar, in the sense that it, too, can be applied to more than one martial art.

Peter, aiki is not being discussed as a general concept.

General concepts are being discussed, and all given the label "aiki."

There are many roads, and few of them lead to Rome.

WVMark
8th October 2014, 20:54
Peter, aiki is not being discussed as a general concept. General concepts are being discussed, and all given the label "aiki." There are many roads, and few of them lead to Rome. I disagree. Aiki is being discussed as a general concept. For instance, Ueshiba, Horikawa, Sagawa were known for being immobile while someone tried to move them. Ueshiba flat out stated that the secret to doing that was aiki. In the book, immobility was being discussed as a trait of the school. In general, those two separate schools having something in common is what is being discussed. Ueshiba named it the secret of aiki. Horikawa and Sagawa didn't, yet they were aiki greats. Musashi would probably not have called it aiki in his time, but that doesn't negate it being a concept of aiki. After all, it wasn't until after a visit to Ueshiba and Deguchi that Takeda added "aiki" to his school's name. Even Takeda shied away from the name, aiki, somewhat. For my part, I have referenced books, people, articles, interviews about the subject matter at hand without attacking anyone's character. I have given my own personal views on the referenced material. You have personally attacked me and the author of the book with sarcasm while adding absolutely nothing to the subject matter of this discussion. Even in your latest post, you find sarcastic attack on the merits of my reasoning a much better response than sticking to the subject.
I found the concept that Musashi was somehow a lineal antecedent to Ueshiba really funny, it gave me a "Shakespeare sounds best in its native Klingon" moment. Seriously? My reasoning is so absurd that it's like equating a fantastical made up language to a long dead playwright? This is what you want the readers of E-Budo to take away from this thread, this discussion, this subject? That the best you can do is sarcastic attacks on people's character? Personally, IMO, I think your next post anywhere on E-Budo should be a public apology to me and to the author. Mark

Dan Harden
8th October 2014, 23:25
Sorry, Cady, I am thinking ofhow to lay out my thoughts in more detail. I found the concept that Musashi wassomehow a lineal antecedent to Ueshiba really funny, it gave me a"Shakespeare sounds best in its native Klingon" moment.
And incidentally, I am told the book is worth reading so I am planning on doingso. Though opinions on the quality of insights into swordsmanship are tepid atbest, it is apparently considered to be a good look at the life of Musashi..
I challenge that you don´t know the broad spectrum of related material to begin with and how or where it is the same or close. The Takeda´s were involved in Shingon Buddhism and many of the solo training drills I have seen are the same as the practices of the Chinese arts and the IP guys you continue to defame. My guess is this is the reason you continue to debate by attacking people and being sarcastic...you really have nothing else to offer that I have seen.


Peter, aiki is not being discussed as a general concept.

General concepts are being discussed, and all given the label "aiki."

There are many roads, and few of them lead to Rome
As it is, none of you have ever defined aiki, so just where and how do you hold the compass to Rome? And how can you stand in a position in direct opposition to your founder, his son, and your teacher, and many other teachers in the art, on aiki, and the existence of solo training?
Mind you, I really don´t care at all what you guys think aiki is or was, but it certainly leaves you with a very tenuous debate on your hands with Mark, Peter, Cady, Me or anyone really when you continually offer nothing in rebuttal, and deny everything else being said. It is very, very odd.

I consider it yet another non-answer and platform to attack the poster.

Solo training
I am currently in Europe training with several Koryu and Daito ryu people andthe Daito Ryu people are YET AGAIN demonstrating solo training exercises taught by your teachers teacher....Tokimune Takeda.
You also never addressed the comments regarding your own teacher´s first visitto the states where he spent Sunday afternoon teaching.......Solo trainingexercises.
As far as DR goes. we have,
Sokaku
Tokimune
Sagawa
Okomoto
Okabayashi
Kawabe ....post standing no less... in 2´of snow. Yet another ....cough...Chinese exercise
Ueshiba
Kiyama
All discussing and or teaching solo training drill
The latest guys I just met this weekend have identical solo and breathtraining to what I was taught and was shown by others.

I grant that every branch or teacher/ student relationship is different, sothere is no way to know when a given teacher thinks the student should learn whatever they want to reveal. Interestingly, according to two groups of guys I just met here.... these solo training drills are shown at the beginning in their branches and they in turn showed them to a room full of people right in front of me.
It is beginning to appear that the only ones WHO DON’T KNOW Daito Ryuhas solo training IS YOU FEW GUYS HERE.



Peter
As I have cautioned you, as yet not one word on what aiki is from those slamming everyone else´s views and opinions and the personal attacks go on.
The many detractors here want you to believe it is THEY who represent Daito ryu. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many teachers...even their own teachers.... are on record speaking against the stances these few have taken here. It is my guess that they are learning about something they have not been shown and didn´t know existed in their art.

For discussion purposes, DR is DR and Koryu is Koryu. It is common for a koryu teacher to deny something exists, or ignore the question from an outsider...even though it actually does. We both know enough Koryu menkyo to verify this. It is perfectly understandable. Sagawa did it with breathtraining. denied it outright in an interview. Then taught it. You can´t begrudge Koryu that, but you need to understand, going into a discussion that
a. some know and won´t say
b. others just don´t know as they haven´t been taught yet
c. and for the most part....they will not talk about it to outsiders. They are preserving their ryu.

P Goldsbury
8th October 2014, 23:30
Peter, aiki is not being discussed as a general concept.

General concepts are being discussed, and all given the label "aiki."

There are many roads, and few of them lead to Rome.

I disagree. I, for one, am discussing aiki as a general concept and have done so in several posts in this thread. I started off with the definition of aiki given in Dr Hall's encyclopedia. My main interest is how the term was used by Morihei Ueshiba in his discourses.

muden
9th October 2014, 07:54
As it is, none of you have ever defined aiki, so just where and how do you hold the compass to Rome? And how can you stand in a position in direct opposition to your founder, his son, and your teacher, and many other teachers in the art, on aiki, and the existence of solo training?
Mind you, I really don´t care at all what you guys think aiki is or was, but it certainly leaves you with a very tenuous debate on your hands with Mark, Peter, Cady, Me or anyone really when you continually offer nothing in rebuttal, and deny everything else being said. It is very, very odd.

I consider it yet another non-answer and platform to attack the poster.

Solo training
I am currently in Europe training with several Koryu and Daito ryu people andthe Daito Ryu people are YET AGAIN demonstrating solo training exercises taught by your teachers teacher....Tokimune Takeda.
You also never addressed the comments regarding your own teacher´s first visitto the states where he spent Sunday afternoon teaching.......Solo trainingexercises.
As far as DR goes. we have,
Sokaku
Tokimune
Sagawa
Okomoto
Okabayashi
Kawabe ....post standing no less... in 2´of snow. Yet another ....cough...Chinese exercise
Ueshiba
Kiyama
All discussing and or teaching solo training drill
The latest guys I just met this weekend have identical solo and breathtraining to what I was taught and was shown by others.

I grant that every branch or teacher/ student relationship is different, sothere is no way to know when a given teacher thinks the student should learn whatever they want to reveal. Interestingly, according to two groups of guys I just met here.... these solo training drills are shown at the beginning in their branches and they in turn showed them to a room full of people right in front of me.
It is beginning to appear that the only ones WHO DON’T KNOW Daito Ryuhas solo training IS YOU FEW GUYS HERE.



Peter
As I have cautioned you, as yet not one word on what aiki is from those slamming everyone else´s views and opinions and the personal attacks go on.
The many detractors here want you to believe it is THEY who represent Daito ryu. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many teachers...even their own teachers.... are on record speaking against the stances these few have taken here. It is my guess that they are learning about something they have not been shown and didn´t know existed in their art.

For discussion purposes, DR is DR and Koryu is Koryu. It is common for a koryu teacher to deny something exists, or ignore the question from an outsider...even though it actually does. We both know enough Koryu menkyo to verify this. It is perfectly understandable. Sagawa did it with breathtraining. denied it outright in an interview. Then taught it. You can´t begrudge Koryu that, but you need to understand, going into a discussion that
a. some know and won´t say
b. others just don´t know as they haven´t been taught yet
c. and for the most part....they will not talk about it to outsiders. They are preserving their ryu.




Leaving the personal defamation aside, are you stating that you are teaching solo training drills learned from a branch of daito ryu? If so, who taught you, and to what level did you learn? As you yourself have stated, DR branches consider some parts of training proprietary, so these are reasonable questions. Remember Dan, you are repeatedly making these public claims and charging money to seminars teaching this stuff And who are these DR practicioners that attend your seminars and show you solo training methods from their own traditions? BTW, consistently attacking and defaming DR practicioners who question your statements as not knowing what they are talking about is getting pretty old and is contributing to the drop in standards on this forum IMO.

P Goldsbury
9th October 2014, 12:03
[/FONT][/COLOR]
Peter
As I have cautioned you, as yet not one word on what aiki is from those slamming everyone else´s views and opinions and the personal attacks go on.
The many detractors here want you to believe it is THEY who represent Daito ryu. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many teachers...even their own teachers.... are on record speaking against the stances these few have taken here. It is my guess that they are learning about something they have not been shown and didn´t know existed in their art.

For discussion purposes, DR is DR and Koryu is Koryu. It is common for a koryu teacher to deny something exists, or ignore the question from an outsider...even though it actually does. We both know enough Koryu menkyo to verify this. It is perfectly understandable. Sagawa did it with breathtraining. denied it outright in an interview. Then taught it. You can´t begrudge Koryu that, but you need to understand, going into a discussion that
a. some know and won´t say
b. others just don´t know as they haven´t been taught yet
c. and for the most part....they will not talk about it to outsiders. They are preserving their ryu.


[/FONT][/COLOR]

Hello Dan,

Thank you for your response.

As I intimated to Mr Judge, I am not really interested in Daito-ryu. If I were, I would probably move from here to a different location, within reach of a dojo, and train. So, all the statements in this thread made by those who claim to practice Daito-ryu or represent Daito-ryu in some way, leave me unmoved. I respect the bona fides of those who make the statements. After all, this is a general discussion forum and everyone is entitled to express an opinion, but that is all.

I am much more interested in studying what Morihei Ueshiba states about aiki. Ueshiba wrote about it and talked about it in his discourses. As you know, Christopher Li made a start in publishing translations and interviews on his website and this is a major step forward. But there is much more to be done.

Best wishes,

PAG

Dan Harden
9th October 2014, 12:04
Deleted
See edited post below. I am having formatting issues

Dan Harden
9th October 2014, 12:08
Leaving the personal defamation aside, are you stating that you are teaching solo training drills learned from a branch of daito ryu? If so, who taught you, and to what level did you learn? As you yourself have stated, DR branches consider some parts of training proprietary, so these are reasonable questions. Remember Dan, you are repeatedly making these public claims and charging money to seminars teaching this stuff And who are these DR practicioners that attend your seminars and show you solo training methods from their own traditions? BTW, consistently attacking and defaming DR practicioners who question your statements as not knowing what they are talking about is getting pretty old and is contributing to the drop in standards on this forum IMO.
Standards onthis forum are being dropped by me?

Chris Covington stated that my OP reminded him of the antisocial behavior he sees everyday with criminals at work.
Cliffs comments were so off the wall that they were removed.
None of my posts were deleted.
If you are stating you object to defaming....start there.

Peter, Mark, Cady and I, on the other hand, have used statements written or spoken of other DR teachers (all of them your seniors) to make on point rebuttals of statements you guys have made about both Daito ryu and theChinese/ Japanese connection.
There is nothng about your personalities or you as people.

Rank
You guys keep bringing up rank and initiation. It has been repeated here as amantra.
When we bring up your own standards of rank as talking points...you blow a gasket.
See Oisin?
That is a an objective debate of a topic. I can challenge that you ar ewrong, without discussing your personality.


My teaching
As a case in point you keep wanting to discuss what I teach and why? What Iteach and why is my business. I don't teach Daito Ryu. I no longer have any interest in Daito ryu, other than I am surrounded by them. If people want DR, I send people ...to...Daito ryu teachers all the time.
But you really like that personal stuff that you want to air.
Okay. Care to discuss teaching and wait...charging money. Which all of yor teacherdo as well? Careto discuss your teachers departure from his organization and the two sides of that story.
How about others in the Kodokai who broke the rules and went other places insecret violating their oath to get (in their own words) betterteaching? Care to discuss that publicly?
How about the Okabayashi or Okomoto stories and what happened tothem? Why aren't you selecting them.
I don't want to discuss that stuff, but you seem to want to go after people on the internet. How about there? No= Good choice!!

I see no need for this nonsense. And as I told Peter, it is fair to allow Diato ryu and Koryu people their privacy over the teachings. In that I am on your side. However+
1. Your own people keep airing the teachings.
2. Those teachings get discussed.
3. Those teachngs? Exist in other arts as well. They stem from Tibet,India and China. So, who owns what? TO Cliff; Where did that road to Rome originate? What is in Rome that was really unique after all.
4. I have no problem with you denying all that and wanting to think; a) DR isunique in all the world. b) owns aiki. C) doesnt have solo training.

It's just that your sides argument doesn't bear scrutiny. Your seniors and shihan disagree with you guys almost on a routine basis, Your solo training drills and breath training exercises are typicial of those found throughou tAsia. And at least a few of your shihan out teachng...oh wait..(and Cliffand Oison's refrain)...AND CHARGING MONEY.... discuss it, answer questionson it, and agree.

How about you try disagreeing over the points without throwing out personal garbage. That is what is lowering the standard.

Here is some help to remain on point for the thread
1. Do you deny what Tokimune, Kondo, Okomoto, Mori, Kiyama, Goldberg,Okabayashi, Kawabe, Popkin have said about aiki being in other arts as well?
Yes or no______________________
2. Do you deny there is solo training in Daito ryu like Cliff and Chris did?
Yes or no_______________________
3. Are you stating that DR is the unique in all the world and no one outside knows what they are doing?
Yes or no_______________________
4. If you agree that there are solo drills, are you aware that other arts sharethose drills and that they are NOT secret?
4. Are you aware that branches of DR teach those drills to white belts?
Yes or no__________________

I don't really expect an on topic answer from you, but I thought it might at least point out what an on topic discussion from you might look like. And if you don’t want to discuss the topic, okay fine. But attacking me is really not a suitable option...at least over the long haul.

There really is no need for the animus here. You do your thing, everyone else will do theirs. The animus is all from your side. I wanted to Peter to see that as well.

Dan Harden
9th October 2014, 12:34
Hello Dan,

Thank you for your response.

As I intimated to Mr Judge, I am not really interested in Daito-ryu. If I were, I would probably move from here to a different location, within reach of a dojo, and train. So, all the statements in this thread made by those who claim to practice Daito-ryu or represent Daito-ryu in some way, leave me unmoved. I respect the bona fides of those who make the statements. After all, this is a general discussion forum and everyone is entitled to express an opinion, but that is all.

I am much more interested in studying what Morihei Ueshiba states about aiki. Ueshiba wrote about it and talked about it in his discourses. As you know, Christopher Li made a start in publishing translations and interviews on his website and this is a major step forward. But there is much more to be done.

Best wishes,

PAG
Hello Peter
In all honesty, Ueshiba is doing DR and quoting DR and Koryu concepts.
As for what Ueshiba was talking about? Chris’s initial awakening to retranslate Ueshiba, came from me. He was yet another detractor till we met. His new awareness of the larger picture and connections throughout Asia has brought about substantial research on his part to translate and compare the terminology, and low and behold, there was Ueshiba discussing and in fact quoting the Chinese classics, and using both Chinese and Japanese phrases (call it internal, industry terminology) that existed in both Koryu and Daito ryu training concepts. All of the heretofore ...We didn´t understand him... comments, suddenly made sense when you had the lexicon of well known terminology.

I appreciate what you, Cady and Ken are trying to do. I would gladly join in and expand on that here, and many in my own forum might join as well as we are talking about Ebudo there, but frankly we are watching to see if the rather shocking degree of vitriol on the forum is going to be kept in check so we can discuss or debate, on substance.

Dan Harden
9th October 2014, 13:08
I seem to be having formatting issues. Ieventypedinwordandthencutandpasted... and it still makes joined words!! :-)

Cady Goldfield
9th October 2014, 14:33
All,
Just a reminder for everyone to please keep your comments focused on the topic, and away from personal criticisms directed toward other individuals. If you have concerns or issues regarding the latter, take it to private messaging and off the forum threads.

Dan,
Try using a different browser and see if that takes care of your formatting problem. I've found browser issues to be the problem in a number of cases.

Dan Harden
10th October 2014, 00:58
Interestingly enough I just read yet another biography of Sokaku outlining his engaging in many esoteric, solo training austerities, at various shrines. It will be interesting to see the correlation of that to any of the Shingon Buddhism practices of the day and the extent solo training regimens that share the same roots.

gavinslater
17th October 2014, 03:22
On that point, a lot of the concepts around aiki and aiki training are found in quite a few places. For instance, from the book, "Miyamoto Musashi: His Life and Writings" by Kenji Tokitsu.

1. Morita Monjuro recalls (page 263) his experiences with training in kendo. He comes to the conclusion that there must be a cross body connection. The right foot along with the left hand. Then the left foot along with the right hand. He agains mentions diagonal forces on page 266.

Ueshiba talks about spirals winding up on the right and winding down on the left. He talks about the aiki cross. Ueshiba was training diagonal forces, or cross body connections.


2. From the Footnote 84.

"Posture in strategy", hyoho. The posture that Musashi indicates is close to that used in the standing meditation that is an essential part of certain Chinese martial arts.

The footnote also states that some kendo masters practice something similar in ritsu zen. Another point of note in the footnote is that the standing meditation is used to provide a foundation for exercises with energy.

Finally in the footnote, "This is the point from which one of the paradoxes of the teaching of budo is derived: Speed is not worth as much as slowness; slowness is not worth as much as immobility - this is the significance of the exercise of standing Zen".

Immobility. Morihei Ueshiba stated that the reason he was immobile and couldn't be pushed over by Tenryu was that he knew the secret of aiki. As we know from Sagawa, aiki is a body changing method, not something gained by technique based training. Yet, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Musashi, all could move about easily. They knew that immobility was the ability to remain unperturbed by outside forces in any situation. Immobility was a body skill that allowed one to withstand an attacker's attack, whether sitting, standing, or moving, and be free in their own movement without hindrance from the attacker's energy. The extra advantage of this trained aiki body was that those who came into contact with it had their center captured immediately. They found themselves behind the curve and trying to catch up without knowing or understanding why. This allowed Ueshiba, Sagawa, Musashi, etc to be able to move slowly. Yet, another advantage of this trained aiki body is that slack is removed, allowing one to move quicker. One cannot do this without the immobility, hence speed is not worth as much as slowness and slowness is not worth as much as immobility.

3. When we look at kendo and zen, we go back to Morita Monjuro. He states (on page 265), "It is only when one goes into it in depth and learns to use the tanden in the practice that one can develop one's mind and attain a result that is close to Zen. It is in this way that the sword and Zen come together as one."

Not that one must take Zen practices and apply them to a martial art. Rather, when one trains correctly (and that involves developing and training a tanden) in a martial art, it becomes similar, or close, to Zen. In other words, thinking that training in Zen will help further one in a martial art is backwards thinking, backwards training. Training in Zen will not train a tanden. Training a tanden must be done in a martial art to attain a result close to Zen. (See page 266 for references to what tanden and koshi are. They are not the hips!)

Ueshiba stated that one didn't have to follow in his spiritual/religious footsteps to replicate his aikido. This is why.

Ueshiba also talks about training breath in one's abdomen. "Nurture the breath of heaven and the breath of earth (the tides) in the center of your abdomen." He talks about breath training as a means of developing tanden. Heaven/Earth and Heaven/Earth/Man are found in many martial arts.

Did Musashi ever mention tanden in any of his writings? The only mention of it in that book is from a kendoka Morita Monjuro, based on his own study of Musashi's teachings. I think he gave the term it was like his lifes work walking around a labyrinth.

I think Musashi's duel with Sasaki Kojiro on Ganryu is more on topic then a cross body or tanden reference.

Gavin

Dan Harden
17th October 2014, 12:15
I would be delighted to meet anyone in the Japanese martial arts who HAD a seriously developed hara/tanden/Dantian. So far..... Zip. From shodan to famous shihan, easy to push over and off line.... Once you get past the hands? There's nothing there. For eons they talked about it and had it. But today? Seems all they do is talk....about... the center.

WVMark
18th October 2014, 13:55
Did Musashi ever mention tanden in any of his writings? The only mention of it in that book is from a kendoka Morita Monjuro, based on his own study of Musashi's teachings. I think he gave the term it was like his lifes work walking around a labyrinth.

I think Musashi's duel with Sasaki Kojiro on Ganryu is more on topic then a cross body or tanden reference.

Gavin

When I try to find out more about Morita Monjuro, I see things like, "kendo master" and "notable swordsman".

Also I'm not sure where you got the "walking around a labyrinth" idea. What I found was this, "In kendo, the difficulties arise from holding the sword with two hands. I was wandering in a labyrinth, trying a variety of methods. I did not succeed in handling the sword correctly and spent my energy uselessly. When you practice kendo using two shinai, these difficulties disappear. It appears to me that Musashi understood very early the advantage that comes from a profound principle that is also present in his technique for one sword." He's saying that normal kendo was a labyrinth until he used two swords and then things became clear.

I've brought up works done by people considered to be, at the least, somewhat of a "researched authority" (not necessarily an expert or a master level technician, but that's another thread topic) on the subject at hand. I have correlated a few items to aiki as talked about by other researched authorities (Sagawa, Ueshiba, etc) and shown that there is a good possibility that they (aiki concepts) are the same. In return, you write, "I think Musashi's duel with Sasaki Kojiro on Ganryu is more on topic then a cross body or tanden reference". There's nothing there of any research to support your thoughts. There's nothing there to even begin to understand why you think the duel is more on topic, let alone something to which the reader can add weight to the material in an effort to judge what's more on topic. Why do you think the duel is synonymous with aiki?

Mark

Chris Hellman
19th October 2014, 02:22
If we are talking about Musashi and tanden, although he doesn't specifically use the term, he does refer quite specifically to body position, including the hip/lower abdomen/koshi area. Given the importance of 'tanden' in older Japanese physical traditions (including dance etc), it would be a reasonable inference that this is what Musashi was referring to.

The relationship of tanden to aiki is another point: I see aiki as requiring a developed tanden, but I'm not sure if it can be said that development of the tanden is necessarily connected to aiki. (Actually, I have seen it referenced in several different contexts, so I'm pretty sure it's not.) Whether we can talk about degrees of tanden development or types of tanden development in a meaningful way is yet another question. Taoist meditative traditions and Chinese internal martial arts both stress the importance of this development, but the ends are quite different.

Chris Hellman

Dan Harden
19th October 2014, 15:00
If we are talking about Musashi and tanden, although he doesn't specifically use the term, he does refer quite specifically to body position, including the hip/lower abdomen/koshi area. Given the importance of 'tanden' in older Japanese physical traditions (including dance etc), it would be a reasonable inference that this is what Musashi was referring to.
Moving from center/hara/dantian is not Japanese. I know many in the Japanese martial arts like to think their arts are singular and unique. This largely stems from the Japanese themselves. In truth, the dantian is discussed as crucial in Asian arts from Tibet to India to China for thousands of years. Moving from Hara/dantian is singularly the most powerful and yet soft and ghosty way to move the entire body.


The relationship of tanden to aiki is another point: I see aiki as requiring a developed tanden, but I'm not sure if it can be said that development of the tanden is necessarily connected to aiki. (Actually, I have seen it referenced in several different contexts, so I'm pretty sure it's not.) Whether we can talk about degrees of tanden development or types of tanden development in a meaningful way is yet another question.
Contrary to the few practitioners here who apparently don't know about the practice; Solo training as done By Sokaku, Tokimune, Sagawa, Kodo, Ueshiba, Shirata, Shioda, Tomiki, Okomoto, Okabayashi, Kawabe, just to name a few...included a series of breath training exercises, and movement exercises to build the body. These exercises were not and are not, unique to that art. Like so many things Asain, low and behold they are same o'l same o'l, work-a-day methods spanning era and eons. In this case these teachings and the industrial terminology associated with them, to build dantian and have the body move from center and all their associated models are to be found in many, many places and arts. Daito ryu sayings like capturing with the breath or capturing the breath, the hand does not move without the center/ the center without the hand, place the immovable body in an invincible position, fit in with teaching models as far back as the Buddha and Indian warrior traditions, and arts like yoga, for creating whole body power. They are all part of well worn teaching model in the Asian arts that is fading.

Aiki and Hara
One might want to ask themselves:
* Were it not critical to aiki; what would cause so many teachers of Aiki arts like Daito ryu and Aikido to spend time solo training the body to move from Hara?
* Why don't more know about it? Consider how many teachers of DR in interview stated they were told to only teach one or two the real art. Peter G. ran into this at the aikikai , being told that it was always taught in a clandestine manner to just a few.
* It is interesting to consider a comment from Tokimune to Okabyashi when the later stated to the former that he couldn't get anyone interested in solo training. All they wanted was technique. Tokimune said: "I can't get my own students to do them either!"
* Then we see Sagawa (a giant in Daito ryu) stating that "You must build an aiki body. Only amateurs think you can learn aiki from techniques."
Should we even be surprised that so many don't know?

It is not a good plan to listen to the average student in any art. We have seen this type of denial over teachings in the past on Ebudo and Aikiweb. Its all here in the archives. Students, by and large saying "Aiki wont work in modern combatives." "Aiki is fine motor skills. Aiki will not work in a stress induce adreline dump. Or
"That's not in our art. I have never seen this taught or heard of it before!! If it was so important, how come I don't know about it?" And this in an art when their very own teachers, talk about and teach a method, in an open room....that they say doesn't even exist.
It has happened here with sword work as well some time ago;
* One side was stating that this particular use and teaching is not taught in their art.
* Then we all saw a video of a Menkyo Kaiden of that art specifically and in great detail teaching that very thing.
So it is with solo training and breath training to produce dantain in Daito ryu.


Taoist meditative traditions and Chinese internal martial arts both stress the importance of this development, but the ends are quite different.
Chris Hellman
They are two different things. Energy meridians and tendon muscle meridians by and large work differently, although they have certain cross-overs. That said, it is more important to realize that they have existed for eons, and that most modern Budo "experts" Asian and Western alike, don't have clue about what they were, are and the critical importance they once had..... to creating unusually capable men in budo. Today it is all about technique and, western sport science. Even Asians are increasingly walking away from things in their own traditions that were vital. Hence why most modern budo people look and feel like they do.

elder999
19th October 2014, 21:37
Lots of interesting discussion. I have to say, though, as a scientist-why is this even a discussion?

I mean, is the Indian human body all that different from the Tibetan, or Chinese, or Japanese, or Korean, or Siberian, or Native American, or African, or "Caucasian?"

I mean, it is the "human body" we're talking about for the last however many months and pages-yet again, isn't it? :laugh:

Strange......

P Goldsbury
20th October 2014, 01:24
Hello Aaron,

Well, yes, it is indeed the human body, but I am sure you are aware that the tendency to 'mysticism', linguistic and otherwise, is quite old, especially with phenomena thought difficult to explain, like elephants in rooms.:)

Best wishes,

PAG

Dan Harden
21st October 2014, 14:47
Lots of interesting discussion. I have to say, though, as a scientist-why is this even a discussion?I mean, is the Indian human body all that different from the Tibetan, or Chinese, or Japanese, or Korean, or Siberian, or Native American, or African, or "Caucasian?"
I mean, it is the "human body" we're talking about for the last however many months and pages-yet again, isn't it?
Strange......
Sure, we're all the same body. But that has nothing at all to do with topic. The topic is why no one talks about the unusual way to move/ higher level way to train/deeper aspects of Budo, that made great and unusually powerful men. For most, the discussion is all about history (telling tales of these great men) or waza within various ryuha. In my experience, discussions of aiki, have been as devoid -of- aiki, as the people discussing it. There has NEVER been a discussion of aiki on the internet, nor I suspect will there ever be. Instead we talk around aiki.


Credibility
I haven't met and or talked with a single Menkyo who didn't scoff at the idea of aiki in full-on confrontation with or without a weapon. Their opinion was it was all talk. And they had the chops to shut people up, on the spot. There are some very serious, broad spectrum cross-trained, and seriously capable Menkyo out there. Many of whom will tell you that Budo people could not defend their views on aiki when it mattered. Next up were MMA/grapplers who also realized that budo people cannot defend aiki for use in full on confrontation …as aiki…and not just some waza...called aiki. All of this started to change when certain men (whom many hated) made a public scene calling traditional budo out on it's claims and started taking expert budoka and grapplers apart…with aiki! Now...people are starting to listen. Hopefully returning to the roots of budo for a better education.

Body types
There is no relevant discussion about race, culture, or body types for this, rather how *anyone* uses the body. Very few of us move, and train to move the way it has been laid out in the higher levels of budo that was taught and spanned culture and era. That is what is being hinted at in these threads. And this has not been a discussion spanning months, but rather years.
Budo people thinking and talking about moving from center is a twice told tale. Meeting one who actually does is a very, very rare occasion. As for a developed dantian? You can go from from shodan to shihan and never feel one. That would include some world famous aiki teachers. Why? Do you "need" dantian for aiki? Nope! Can you be taken apart more easily without one? Yup!
Without hara/dantian support you have nothing to (as Sagawa taught) support the point. Get past someone's hands by putting too much force on them or making rapid fire changes and....you take them apart. You have to have an understanding of hara, what it is and how to make one (you are not born with one, you have to build it). Discussions of hara are -by default- meant to include in/yo-ho and how it is used.

Examples in budo
For me it is a bit of a divine comedy that Ueshiba spoke and gave examples of what he was doing and what budo people should be thinking. He outlined in one teaching, a joined hara with in/yo *as aiki* and named it “The dance of the gods” (other times calling it it's more well known name; heaven/earth/man). Stating flatly that "This is my Takemusu aiki. The birthplace of all techniques."
I found it brilliant (if not original) and quite hilarious! Why?
In 1447 the founder of Shinto ryu stated that "After years of esoteric training at the Katori and Kashima Jingu I had been taught and mastered Heaven/earth/man (the dance of the Gods) and from then on My sword was unstoppable."
So, here we have two men, six hundred years apart, outlining the same teaching.
Question for the internet:
Were they talking about a VERY practical training model to make soft power?
Or, as Peter just said, ”…more mysticism from the Elephants in the room.”

I thought (and teach) that it is finest, cleanest, most pure, example of practical hands on soft power, with or without weapons, defining all higher level teachings....that I have ever heard.

elder999
21st October 2014, 17:08
Sure, we're all the same body. But that has nothing at all to do with topic. The topic is why no one talks about the unusual way to move/ higher level way to train/deeper aspects of Budo, that made great and unusually powerful men. For most, the discussion is all about history (telling tales of these great men) or waza within various ryuha. In my experience, discussions of aiki, have been as devoid -of- aiki, as the people discussing it. There has NEVER been a discussion of aiki on the internet, nor I suspect will there ever be. Instead we talk around aiki.

But it does have something to do with the topic-especially the "why all the fuss?" part...

"all the fuss" is over whether Chinese internal training results in or even can result in "aiki." All the fuss is over whether what you're doing is "aiki," or even if it can be "aiki" if it's not from daito-ryu or aikido, or how you can claim to teach how to develop aiki and claim to not teach those arts.

All the fuss is over developmnent of tanden/dantien/center/hara-all different words that float around describing the same thing-part of the human body-
reduce it to that, and Professor Goldsbury's mystical elephant in the room goes away

From such a far remove from you Dan, I really have no way of knowing, but isn't that what you've been saying you've done, in all the fuss?

Dan Harden
21st October 2014, 22:29
It isn't about me, Aaron. It is about generations of men- to include the supposed masters of the aiki arts- talking about the same things.

WVMark
21st October 2014, 23:50
All the fuss is over whether what you're doing is "aiki," or even if it can be "aiki" if it's not from daito-ryu or aikido


Meyer Goo has answered your question.
http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/finding-aiki-aikido-hawaii/



Thank you, I never thought that I would feel Ueshiba Sensei’s power again. What you are doing is very important. Don’t stop. No matter what they say.

More to the point, "When told that some people believe that the material covered at the workshops is unrelated to Aikido, Meyer Goo’s answer was short and to the point"


“Who are these people, did they train with Ueshiba Sensei?”.
That's just one source, but oh, what a source. There are a multitude of others. So, I think the question of whether or not this is the aiki of Ueshiba has been answered in a most resounding yes. Whether people want to believe that ... It's hard to argue with direct personal experience of people like Goo, Gleason, Beebe, Abrams, etc. Or at least it's hard to argue the point with them directly, in-person. On the Internet ... anything can be said and doesn't have to be defended. This thread is proof of that with the myriad of posts by people who state what they think without any research to back it up and then proceed to get into talking about personalities.

As for the link to Daito ryu ... so far, I have yet to see anyone here from Daito ryu who has a valid teaching license, has been deeply initiated into the secrets. With that, I think Howard Popkin's views on the subject carry a whole lot more weight than anyone's here. Want to know what he thinks? My suggestion would be to attend one of his seminars. He's all over the US teaching.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23918

Mark

elder999
22nd October 2014, 03:08
It isn't about me, Aaron. It is about generations of men- to include the supposed masters of the aiki arts- talking about the same things.

Dude, I get that....but you, um....started the thread..:laugh:

elder999
22nd October 2014, 03:13
Meyer Goo has answered your question.
http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/finding-aiki-aikido-hawaii/


That's a separate point altogether, and one that I support, actually-I don't have a question in any regard as to what Dan's doing.

My question is why there's any argument about it at all.....

gavinslater
22nd October 2014, 04:02
This thread starts off basically putting Daito Ryu practioners in the 'dont know what they are talking about' category. People have come
on and given an idea of what Daito Ryu thinks aiki is eg.

Cliff said (which btw I think is a good basic definition);

Well the reason why the Daito ryu people get upset is because to them Aiki is not only the effect, it is more the whole process
of training that leads you there. And the effect isn't necessarily something that is meant to be applied. It is not necessarily the end goal.

But people just disregard anything that is said as they already have their definition, which doesn't matter if it is a new and revisonist
definition because anyone who comes onto this thread is 'low level', does not do any research or some such ego driven response.

Then come the testimonials! and it starts looking like some late night infomercial on the shopping channel.
Amazing! Trancendental! 100% more aiki then other leading brands!

Gavin

WVMark
22nd October 2014, 05:26
This thread starts off basically putting Daito Ryu practioners in the 'dont know what they are talking about' category. People have come
on and given an idea of what Daito Ryu thinks aiki is eg.

Cliff said (which btw I think is a good basic definition);

Well the reason why the Daito ryu people get upset is because to them Aiki is not only the effect, it is more the whole process
of training that leads you there. And the effect isn't necessarily something that is meant to be applied. It is not necessarily the end goal.

But people just disregard anything that is said as they already have their definition, which doesn't matter if it is a new and revisonist
definition because anyone who comes onto this thread is 'low level', does not do any research or some such ego driven response.

Then come the testimonials! and it starts looking like some late night infomercial on the shopping channel.
Amazing! Trancendental! 100% more aiki then other leading brands!

Gavin

wow. I point to people who have excellent and proven training bona fides. Howard Popkin does have a teaching license. You point to people who aren't deeply initiated and don't have a teaching license. Then you go on to proclaim that you and those people who aren't deeply initiated and don't have a teaching license know the historical and secret definition. While those that have been deeply initiated with a teaching license only offer "new and revisonist" definitions. Dan's initial post rings true. The really funny part is that you blast me for "Then come the testimonials" while you present Cliff as your testimonial.

I post research, theories, quotes, collations and ideas. You demean by comparing me to late night egotistical snake oil salesmen.

Yet again, another post which fails to address the topic but strikes at character instead. Do you, Aaron Cuffee, still wonder why there's any argument about it at all? I think I've kept to the topic at hand but others seem to only want to sling mud. I'd ask yet again for apologies from posters who keep attacking character but the silence is deafening in response.

Mark

gavinslater
22nd October 2014, 06:58
Mark,

I am just telling it like I see it. I offered an example of someone from Daito Ryu offering a basic definition which I agreed with, hardly a testimonial.

Now there is a secret definition? How can it be secret if you know it? Why are you even talking about what Daito Ryu is and isn't?

What is your research? I offered you a researched opinion in regards to Musashi yet you panned it because you obviously don't understand.

Gavin

Dan Harden
22nd October 2014, 13:20
That's a separate point altogether, and one that I support, actually-I don't have a question in any regard as to what Dan's doing.

My question is why there's any argument about it at all.....
Hi Aaron
I started the thread to highlight a point that should have been brought up in another thread. brought up in another thread. It was a heated discussion, where everyone was arguing over aiki. A thread I had nothing to do with.
That point?
That aiki has never been defined by anyone in any of the schools arguing and taking sides. None of the aikido or Daito ryu or koryu schools have defined it for public consumption on the internet.
They disagree with each other, they disagree with outsiders and offer nothing except to say. "That isn't _______ ryu aiki."
And a few Daito ryu people here think they actually own the term or concept known as "aiki" when their own seniors publicly disagree with them as well.

Why all the fuss over a term no one has defined and no one agrees on even in a single school.
That's it.

Dan Harden
22nd October 2014, 15:11
Mark
I am still trying to get that picture of DR's Kawabe, doing the ICMA Zan Zhuang (stake-standing) in a foot of snow.
I also am considering posting the breath work in Daito ryu's aiki-in-yo-ho that was publicly offered by Tokimune, and is taught to white belts in one line of DR under Okabayashi and place it in a post showing the exact same method being taught throughout Asia.

One mans junk...is another mans treasure
One arts secrets...are another arts everyday practice.

Cady Goldfield
22nd October 2014, 18:09
Hello, all.
Here is another reminder to please keep all exchanges and discourse civil on the forums. Mocking and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Any off-topic arguments and comments must be taken to private messaging or, preferably, off E-Budo entirely.
Thank you.

Dan Harden
23rd October 2014, 15:22
Mark,
I am just telling it like I see it. I offered an example of someone from Daito Ryu offering a basic definition.....
Gavin
Like these?

There is a method in Daito Ryu Aiki Budo known as the Hitoemi (one line) principle. This idea works primarily on the utilization of the side lines, keeping the joint alignments as you walk. It was used in old times to enable the sword to be drawn at any point while you walk, but also keeps a powerful alignment idea in place. Moreover, this idea means that the side lines can be utilized in a very interesting way. A way that allows you to harness the power of gravity, especially in throwing or striking. The method involves simultaneously releasing on side line as you step and extending the other making one side of the body ‘fall’ forward creating a powerful forward and downward motion. I have seen similar ideas in Xing Yi’s Pi Quan. The development of these lines will create consistent alignments of the shoulder, hip, hand, foot etc but later, during spiraling practices, will help to create torque and power from the paired twisting of the lines. The side lines are useful load and release structures and play pivotal roles in some of the coil and release methods found in Chinese Ba gua. In this art as you turn the side lines pull and twist creating a strong potential energy for their return, like twisting and pulling on large elastic bands. The side lines are good indicators in load play like push hand. Their misalignment through the action of the partner can highlight potential postural flaws that can then be worked on.



Benkei here is depicted as the masculine Yang/yo principle. Yoshitsune depicts the feminine Yin/In principle. The interplay of these forces are a deep teaching of the Daito Ryu. We teach a traditional school of Japanese jujutsu called Daito Ryu Aikijujtsu (http://oisinbourke.wix.com/daitoryu#!daito/cnec). Our instructors trained in Japan and we teach in the traditional manner of Japanese Budo: "武道”. We practice to develop a special kind of body usage that does not rely on conventional strength. This is known in Japanese as "aiki" 合気 . These excercises can be traced back to ancient asian methods of bodywork and benefit martial artists, yoga practicioners, dancers, and and anyone interested in maintaining lifelong good health and vitality.
How do some people -in a single art- know things....and others do not?

Again from Daito ryu teachers:

Only teach one or two the true techniques...
Tokimune Takeda as told be his father

I was told by my teacher to only teach one or two people the true art.
Kondo from his teacher Tokimune

Only recently have I begun to reveal the true art to my students. How to build an aiki body.
Sagawa

Only one or two people really dedicated people are needed in order to learn the true techniques
Inoue; Menkyo (Kodokai)

When asked about this attitude? A former Kodokai teacher says: "While I think that this attitude is fine, if only one person is entrusted to learn everything, then the art must eventually suffer. My opinion is that such a rigorous selection process engenders an attitude much like the selection process for the Olympics, where competing rivals try to outdo each other. Such rivalry is self-defeating as far as the Daito-ryu world is concerned. It causes the Daito-ryu to fragment and at a time when the ryu should be coming together to devise ways to improve the art’s power and increase its effectiveness. If this is the way we are headed, then we will be throwing away something precious."
I could include many quotes from various Koryu Menkyo, (some of it here in the archives) some, more well known than others, stating things students were not aware of. So....some people in the martial arts have more information than others. This is unique and surprising...just how?
Personally, I don't care about DR's ideas of aiki compared to others. It's just another data point in a much larger picture.
Once again, to correct your continual misstatements of my opening post. I initially offered it to Peter G. and others as an explanation of why no one has ever discussed Aiki from either Daito ryu, Aikido or Koryu and why they never will.
And as an overview to consider: One arts secret method is another arts everyday principles.

Cliff Judge
23rd October 2014, 17:41
Once again, to correct your continual misstatements of my opening post. I initially offered it to Peter G. and others as an explanation of why no one has ever discussed Aiki from either Daito ryu, Aikido or Koryu and why they never will.


You keep saying this, and I keep going back to that first post and I can't really see an explanation of anything there. You don't even make the statement that "no one has discussed Aiki and no one ever will."

Reading through this thread, though, I think maybe your point has been made.

Dan Harden
24th October 2014, 10:16
The first post explains the illogical reasoning of the "qualifications" and "qualifications for comparison" argument for all parties concerned.
And also addresses the understanding of restrictions on public disclosure by many parties.
Further discussion fleshed that out
None of which should engender any animus as it recognizes all sides standards and argument points. I didn't say "talking points" because they're was little discussion, only arguing and personal attacks.
And still no discussion of aiki. There never has been and there never will be.

Dan Harden
24th October 2014, 10:49
This thread starts off basically putting Daito Ryu practioners in the 'dont know what they are talking about' category.
Gavin
Interesting. That was established years ago here by Daito ryu practitioners themselves with their "deep initiation qualifications" standard. None of whom meet their own standard. Those who do, have routinely contradicted their views. Peter, Chris Li, Mark, Cady and myself have pointed out various quotes and other problems with that logic working within Daito ryu and also in them now setting a standard by which they cannot talk about anyone else's art either.
This is not a condemnation of any one party, but rather a statement about why these standards applied here have left no discussion possible.

Cliff Judge
24th October 2014, 17:04
The first post explains the illogical reasoning of the "qualifications" and "qualifications for comparison" argument for all parties concerned.
And also addresses the understanding of restrictions on public disclosure by many parties.
Further discussion fleshed that out
None of which should engender any animus as it recognizes all sides standards and argument points. I didn't say "talking points" because they're was little discussion, only arguing and personal attacks.
And still no discussion of aiki. There never has been and there never will be.

First of all, you may have expressed your own opinion of the "reasoning of the 'qualifications'" but if you believe that this is an "explanation" than there can be no civil discussion to follow anyway, because you've already told everyone what they think.

Secondly, you set this thread up as a meta-discussion in the first place. There have been some more-or-less productive discussions about what Aiki is on other forums. The posts on this sub-forum have been generally provocative to folks who don't like application of the term "aiki" to general assortments of neuromuscular conditioning and combative principles, by people who practice outside of liegitimate lineages.

Dan Harden
24th October 2014, 17:33
Most everyone I know of who practices what you are describing came from and still practices within your so called "legitimate" lineages. Personally, I practice with Aikido shihan and Daito ryu teachers and students as well as a wide range of koryu people.

Then again.. I will accept your inability to discuss your own arts or what these other people are doing as you have no deep initiation in either.
Which brings up another long related debate.
Who gave who legitimacy to practice what... when all this stuff was invented?
In your case...
What is a "general affairs director "of a ko ryu?
No "legitimate" koryu I know of ever heard of such a thing.
Who invents more and more makimono as they go along?


Leaders and followers have interesting, albeit different, mindsets.

Dan Harden
24th October 2014, 18:27
Edit:
Mind you I have no vested interest in questioning the legitimacy to these "generalized neuromuscular and martial concepts as aiki." It's just that anyone training under a man who invented an art in the 60's, named it one thing, called himself a soke, gave rank in it for 35 years and then switched and gave rank in something different that his father never claimed to be soke of... leaves a reasonable man to ask why on earth you would bring up legitimacy in a discussion of aiki that exists in other truly legitimate koryu? In that vein, if we are talking historical perspectives in a thread: many others are more "legitimate" in what they said and did.
I don't care either way, but gees....

Cliff Judge
24th October 2014, 22:40
why on earth you would bring up legitimacy in a discussion of aiki that exists in other truly legitimate koryu?

What are these legtimate koryu where aiki exists? Just to be clear, when we talk about these other systems, we are talking about concepts that could-be-might-be-somewhat similar to what people in Aiki arts call "aiki," but go by different names, have different purposes, and are so tightly integrated into those koryu that it is specious to call them "Aiki," right? We still haven't found any older systems that use the term aiki, have we? I'm actually curious about this one.

Dan Harden
25th October 2014, 00:24
There are few aiki arts, Cliff. Aikido is one of them, so is Yanagi ryu.
Your art is Daito ryu jujutsu. Your unproved Koryu changed its scrolls and name in the twentieth century adding aiki to it. Your self proclaimed "General affairs secretary" stated often that he just taught jujutsu to some and aiki to others.
So now we have the damning comments even in the ryu. Teachers of the more aiki oriented branches having a low opinion of a certain very famous Daito ryu teacher. Openly stating..."He has no aiki"
I have yet to meet or hear of anyone outside of his branch who thinks he does.
But, then you had Sagawa, stating no one had aiki but him... Blah blah. Who cares.
Now No koryu has aiki like Daito ryu. Aikido shouldn't be allowed to use the name aiki...

I have heard all of this before, Cliff. "Only Daito ryu has aiki." Do you know how many times I have read or heard this?
Thankfully almost none of your top teachers agree with you either
In a similar vein to what Peter said to Nathan. I will say: That's fine. I understand what you are saying. I don't agree with you either.
All I see is otherwise good intentioned people finding more ways to be upset over something. Aiki really should unite us rather than divide us. As Kiyama one said. "You can't give someone aiki. If they get it at all, it is only through shugyo. Then it is theirs."

WVMark
25th October 2014, 15:38
Mark
I am still trying to get that picture of DR's Kawabe, doing the ICMA Zan Zhuang (stake-standing) in a foot of snow.
I also am considering posting the breath work in Daito ryu's aiki-in-yo-ho that was publicly offered by Tokimune, and is taught to white belts in one line of DR under Okabayashi and place it in a post showing the exact same method being taught throughout Asia.

One mans junk...is another mans treasure
One arts secrets...are another arts everyday practice.

That pic of DR's Kawabe would be neat to see. And besides a very few handful of people here, some of whom seem to wantonly ignore the request for an apology (*shrug* says more about their character than mine), I think many would be interested in reading about the publicly offered breath work of Tokimune.

Dan Harden
25th October 2014, 16:32
Kwabe's breath work and "stake standing," Tokimune's breathwork, and solo drills, Sagawa's exercises, Okomotos push hand drill, Horikawas breath work, share much in common with Sho-Sho ryu's breathwork conditioning for atemi, the esoteric training offered at Katori and Kashima jingu (as noted by the founder of Shinto ryu) Yagyu Shingon ryu's conditioning, Goju ryu's conditioning, Wado ryu's solo training drills ( meant to generate Aiki.....are all Chinese.
The Asian arts share many common attributes for conditioning the body to create aiki. The actual execution has different flavors, but it is all based on yin/ yang.
Various martial artists have tried to perpetuate this idea that their art is unique in all the world, doesn't have solo training, stating they invented aiki, etc. etc. exposes a rather profound lack of education. From Acala Vidya raja to Fudo Myo-o, from Takuan to Shirata ( all but quoting him) the understanding of esoteric training to achieve an immovable body that created rapid and free movement, powerful, connected center driven movement is foundational to them.

Again, I am at a seminar as I write this having spent the evening with variouss MA teachers. Once again being shown and indoor solo training exercise out of an Indonesian family art. Guess what it is meant to produce ? Immovable, Dantian based movement that allows you to them go and jump and rapidly move with a tank like body. Then ? Create yin and yang to make sticky disruptive, controlling arm movements. Any of this sounding familiar?
How about this from the taiji classics:
"Adhesion caused by movement
Movement only by yin/yang
This is the true comprehension of energy. "
And so it goes.

Dan Harden
28th October 2014, 11:11
To Cliff.
Please address posts #154, #155; which were direct questions to you.

Raff
28th October 2014, 16:10
That pic of DR's Kawabe would be neat to see. And besides a very few handful of people here, some of whom seem to wantonly ignore the request for an apology (*shrug* says more about their character than mine), I think many would be interested in reading about the publicly offered breath work of Tokimune.

I wonder if Dan is not making a confusion between individuals here. It is true that there is a video on Daito-ryu breathing method available on Youtube but this video is not from Takeda Tokimune Sensei but from the probably oldest student of Tokimune Sensei who sadly passed away a couple of weeks ago.

Since what is shown was probably learnt from Tokimune Sensei, the video is indeed of great value.

My apologies to Dan if there is indeed a public video made by Tokimune Sensei or any kind of instruction in a written form available to the public.

Chris Li
28th October 2014, 22:21
I wonder if Dan is not making a confusion between individuals here. It is true that there is a video on Daito-ryu breathing method available on Youtube but this video is not from Takeda Tokimune Sensei but from the probably oldest student of Tokimune Sensei who sadly passed away a couple of weeks ago.

Since what is shown was probably learnt from Tokimune Sensei, the video is indeed of great value.

My apologies to Dan if there is indeed a public video made by Tokimune Sensei or any kind of instruction in a written form available to the public.

There's a short passage from Tokimune about breath training that appears here (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/sagawa-yukiyoshi-masaru-takahashi-breath-training-daito-ryu/).

Best,

Chris

muden
28th October 2014, 22:35
BTW, your assertions about yin and yang as used in DR are off the mark. It is an oral teaching and you are not aware of its meaning in DR.Even referring to akido, Your teaching of yin and yang as used by Henry Kono (from ueshiba) is also different. You are simply not aware of what Henry is doing in relation to this, or how Ueshiba transmitted this.

Chris Li
28th October 2014, 23:04
Your teaching of yin and yang as used by Henry Kono (from ueshiba) is also different. You are simply not aware of what Henry is doing in relation to this, or how Ueshiba transmitted this.

So far as I'm aware, Dan has never taught anything done by Henry Kono. He does quote a remark made to Kono by Ueshiba, but that's a somewhat different matter. Kono has his own take on what Ueshiba meant, which is fine, folks are free to try both approaches and decide for themselves what they think.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
29th October 2014, 00:05
BTW, your assertions about yin and yang as used in DR are off the mark. It is an oral teaching and you are not aware of its meaning in DR.Even referring to akido,

I hesitate to state my opinions as to what Dan is or isn't aware of, and I have talked and trained with him regularly over a number of years. I should think that you would be even more hesitant to make such statements based on your very limited exposure.

Be that as it may. What if you argued against the assertions themselves? If you think that your understanding is different than state what that understanding is and why it's different and let the arguments speak for themselves rather than involving the personalities making the arguments.

Best,

Chris

WVMark
29th October 2014, 02:42
1. From Invincible Warrior by John Stevens: Regarding Takeda, "His extraordinary ability was due to mind control, technical perfection honed in countless battles, and mastery of aiki, the blending of positive and negative energy."

2. Shirata: By means of the breath (iki) of the Heavens and the breath of the Earth, through the in and yo (yin and yang) the multitude of things has come to be born. The breath of the Heavens and the Earth is the abdomen of everyone, and when a person partakes of this breath the techniques of aiki are born, with and by means of the Positive and Negative Principles.

3. Michio Hikitsuchi: The Kojiki started from the birth of the universe. By studying this you will understand the true meaning of aikido. There were two gods Izanagi and Izanami, a couple from whom several other gods were born. Both of them mean the breath in and out (akatama and shirotama).

and

Everything comes like yin and yang. Izanagi is yang and heaven. Izanami is yin and heaven.

4. Henry Kono (Aikido Today Magazine; #31 Dec.93/ Jan. 94)
Interview of Henry Kono sensei by Virginia Mayhew and Susan Perry.
ATM: When you had conversations like these with O'sensei, what would you talk about?
HK: Well, I would usually ask him why the rest of us couldn't do what he could. there were many other teachers, all doing aikido. But he was doing it differently - doing something differently. His movement was so clean!
ATM: How would O'sensei answer your questions about what he was doing?
HK: He would say that I didn't understand yin and yang . So, now I've made it my life work to study yin and yang. That's what O'sensei told me to do.

ME: I think we can say that Takeda knew what yin/yang meant. I think we can say Shirata did, too. I'm not all that knowledgeable about Hikitsuchi, but it's a good guess he understood yin/yang. At least somewhat. When we get to Kono, he's asking questions. Good for him, btw. He's trying to find out how to do what Ueshiba does. But, he clearly doesn't understand yin/yang then. Not only that, but the really critical point that is inferred is that a lot of other teachers didn't understand yin/yang either.

What is it about yin/yang? Ueshiba references in/yo, ka/mi, Izanagi/Izanami, Izu/Mizu all the time. It was all his terminology for yin/yang. Contradictory forces. And yet, all those references of Ueshiba can be traced back to the body.

5. Ueshiba:
Put the active principle (yo) into the right hand
Turn the left into the passive (in)
And so guide the adversary

The Pine, the Bamboo, and the Plum
The make up of Ki that we are training to purify
From where do they arise?
The Water and Fire of the change in the self.

6. In an interview with Masando Sasaki, we read: I remember he got angry at me when I asked him, "Sensei, how should I explain when people ask me what aikido is?" (laughter) Hardly anyone had even heard of aikido back then, so I always had a hard time explaining it. I figured Ueshiba Sensei would be able to explain it since he was the one who created it. But when I asked him, he stamped the ground and exclaimed, "Aiki? I am aiki!"

7. Ueshiba: If you wish to apply Ki-no-Miyoyo from the foundation of this nen, be aware that the left side of the body will be the basis for Bu, while the right side will offer an opening for connection with the ki of the universe. When the links between left and right are complete, then one's movements become totally free.

ME: Change the body with in/yo. As stated previously, the book about Miyamoto Musashi talked about contradictory forces in the body. Morita Monjuro recalls (page 263) his experiences with training in kendo. He comes to the conclusion that there must be a cross body connection. The right foot along with the left hand. Then the left foot along with the right hand. He agains mentions diagonal forces on page 266.

Ueshiba talks about spirals winding up on the right and winding down on the left. He talks about the aiki cross. Ueshiba was training diagonal forces, or cross body connections.

We find that in/yo is part of the body. We find references to that in Transparent Power where Sagawa states boldly that aiki is a body training method.

8. In Transparent Power by Tatsuo Kimura: The elder Sagawa, who sometimes had a fiery temper, would take what he learned from Takeda and try it out on strong and mean-looking construction workers he came across. He quickly realized that if you lacked the sort of aiki that Sokaku Takeda possessed, none of the techniques would work against a persistent opponent. So Sagawa's father said to Takeda, "I'm already so old, I think it would be better if you'd teach me Aiki instead of techniques."

9. Mrs. Horikawa knew that aiki changed the body.
[I]Stan Pranin talking about training and states, It's the idea of "stealing techniques with your eyes," isn't it?
Mrs. Horikawa replies, It's not with the eyes, it's with the body.

WVMark
29th October 2014, 03:10
Kano’s concept of Ju no Ri, was based upon the Taoist precept, “reversing is the movement of the Tao,” also described by the statement “the most yielding things in the world overcome the most unyielding.” Kano combined Ju no Ri with the interplay of forces as defined by the precept of in-yo (yin and yang, hardness and softness, negative and positive, receptiveness and resistance), and used the following to explain his concept of Kuzushi founded on Ju no Ri.

Raff
29th October 2014, 06:36
There's a short passage from Tokimune about breath training that appears here (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/sagawa-yukiyoshi-masaru-takahashi-breath-training-daito-ryu/).

Best,

Chris

Thank you Chris. I wonder if this short passage is not taken from the book written by Tokimune Sensei and privately published inside his own organization.

By the way, congratulations for your blog.

muden
29th October 2014, 09:40
So far as I'm aware, Dan has never taught anything done by Henry Kono. He does quote a remark made to Kono by Ueshiba, but that's a somewhat different matter. Kono has his own take on what Ueshiba meant, which is fine, folks are free to try both approaches and decide for themselves what they think.

Best,

Chris

Yes, you've also stated that Dan doesn't teach inner level teachings of DR such as asagao and aiki age/sage (among others), so that's fine.
I chose my words very carefully Chris. If anyone is really interested, they can find out for themselves, but that's all I'm saying on this.

muden
29th October 2014, 09:52
I hesitate to state my opinions as to what Dan is or isn't aware of, and I have talked and trained with him regularly over a number of years. I should think that you would be even more hesitant to make such statements based on your very limited exposure.

Be that as it may. What if you argued against the assertions themselves? If you think that your understanding is different than state what that understanding is and why it's different and let the arguments speak for themselves rather than involving the personalities making the arguments.

Best,

Chris

This is the crux: IP guys pull out discriptions of yin and yang and aiki from disparate sources and say that they are they same thing that ye are doing, but you won't state where you learned it and to what level. The context in which this was learned is obviously crucial, for such a vague concept.

And Dan is missing stuff relating to this (IMO). Not that there's anything wrong in that, but people should be aware of this but Casting aspersions on my experience doesn't change this. I'm not going to state what it is.

Chris Li
29th October 2014, 10:21
Yes, you've also stated that Dan doesn't teach inner level teachings of DR such as asagao and aiki age/sage (among others), so that's fine.
I chose my words very carefully Chris. If anyone is really interested, they can find out for themselves, but that's all I'm saying on this.

My post as censored yet again, so you guys carry on.

If you recall I said that he does not teach those things in the context of Daito-ryu, and he doesn't. If you're asserting that those individual principles are proprietary and exclusive to Daito-ryu then I'll have to disagree.

Since you've stated that Dan doesn't know the inner teachings:


BTW, your assertions about yin and yang as used in DR are off the mark. It is an oral teaching and you are not aware of its meaning in DR.

Then I don't see how you can then imply that he is teaching those teachings that he doesn't know, in either case.


BTW, your assertions about yin and yang as used in DR are off the mark. It is an oral teaching and you are not aware of its meaning in DR.Even referring to akido, Your teaching of yin and yang as used by Henry Kono (from ueshiba) is also different. You are simply not aware of what Henry is doing in relation to this, or how Ueshiba transmitted this.

Again, if you have an argument to make then why not try making it without reference to the personalities involved and accusations about what someone may or may not know. Tell us what your understanding of yin and yang in DR are and how they are different from what Dan is doing. As I side note, tell us why what Henry is doing is relevant to what Dan's doing (I don't believe that it is, as I stated previously) and tell us (since you imply that you know above) how Ueshiba transmitted it.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
29th October 2014, 10:49
This is the crux: IP guys pull out discriptions of yin and yang and aiki from disparate sources and say that they are they same thing that ye are doing, but you won't state where you learned it and to what level. The context in which this was learned is obviously crucial, for such a vague concept.

And Dan is missing stuff relating to this (IMO). Not that there's anything wrong in that, but people should be aware of this but Casting aspersions on my experience doesn't change this. I'm not going to state what it is.

FWIW, many (most/all) of the Daito-ryu guys involved in these discussions have failed to state what they have learned and to what level as well. Isn't that relevant? Because I can state straight out that I have more time in traditional Daito-ryu training in a recognized lineage than some of the people talking here - and I don't even consider myself a Daito-ryu guy. You can't just assume that because someone says "I study" Daito-ryu (or anything else) that they necessarily know what they're talking about.

Further, I haven't cast any aspersions on your experience. I did say that you have had limited exposure to Dan, so how can you readily determine what he does and doesn't know?

It seems as if you are looking for an argument from authority, but the fallacy here is that there is no guarantee, based on the record, that just because one comes out of a particular lineage or has a particular piece of paper that they know X or can do X. I can name you dozens of lineage holders in both Chinese and Japanese arts that have plenty of papers - but little of the ability. Even within Daito-ryu it's common (as I'm sure you know) for people to have low opinions of other people (even people with plenty of papers) within the art.

As far as Dan's training history, it's not particularly secret - but you'll have to ask him nicely and directly.

In any case,it's not about Dan, not at all, and his training history (which I have no problem with) isn't particularly relevant to an online discussion. I could (perhaps) see the point if he were claiming to teach Daito-ryu or starting his own lineage with Daito-ryu in the name (as many others have) - but that's not the case, not at all.

This constant demand for proof based on lineage is just another way of shifting the argument from the message to the messenger, If you have a problem with the message, then present your argument based on the message.

Best,

Chris

Dan Harden
29th October 2014, 14:11
FWIW, many (most/all) of the Daito-ryu guys involved in these discussions have failed to state what they have learned and to what level as well. Isn't that relevant? Because I can state straight out that I have more time in traditional Daito-ryu training in a recognized lineage than some of the people talking here - and I don't even consider myself a Daito-ryu guy. You can't just assume that because someone says "I study" Daito-ryu (or anything else) that they necessarily know what they're talking about.

Further, I haven't cast any aspersions on your experience. I did say that you have had limited exposure to Dan, so how can you readily determine what he does and doesn't know?

It seems as if you are looking for an argument from authority, but the fallacy here is that there is no guarantee, based on the record, that just because one comes out of a particular lineage or has a particular piece of paper that they know X or can do X. I can name you dozens of lineage holders in both Chinese and Japanese arts that have plenty of papers - but little of the ability. Even within Daito-ryu it's common (as I'm sure you know) for people to have low opinions of other people (even people with plenty of papers) within the art.

As far as Dan's training history, it's not particularly secret - but you'll have to ask him nicely and directly.

In any case,it's not about Dan, not at all, and his training history (which I have no problem with) isn't particularly relevant to an online discussion. I could (perhaps) see the point if he were claiming to teach Daito-ryu or starting his own lineage with Daito-ryu in the name (as many others have) - but that's not the case, not at all.

This constant demand for proof based on lineage is just another way of shifting the argument from the message to the messenger, If you have a problem with the message, then present your argument based on the message.

Best,

Chris
Hi Chris
All of these discussions around who knows what are pointless.
1. Judged on the initiation argument
We have people of various ranks saying this or that is not DR, this or that is not Aikido. Then we see people of equal or higher rank saying this...IS...DR or Aikido.
2. Judged on a world and historical view?
The DR and Aikido people continue to show that they have a very limited education or understanding to compare. As Peter, Mark, Cady, and you and I have pointed out; the DR seniors pretty much categorically disagree with the very few dissenting voices here, and also with each other. I try to stay away from their acidic commentary about each others menkyo and shihan level teachers who keep saying each other style doesn't have aiki. The same goes for many in Aikido, with this or that school claiming superiority in aiki...snooze.
3. Judged on the actual skill level? And that against even mild free style sparing, much less trained aggression instead of kata? It doesn't look good at all. As you have personally seen over and over. The question I ask is why should, or would, anyone care what they think about aiki at all? I mean why? I have seen and felt so many of their various shihan all I say is...."No thank you very much. Would you like to see how to make that work in the real world and how it compares to your own historical roots?"
4. Yin Yang.
Now we have juniors from DR and Aikido upping the anti and stating that others have a) a limited view on yin yang, that b) DR doesn't have solo training or breath work and body work, or that c) aiki is NOT from changing your own body, and that d) everything they do is singular and unique in all the world.. It is so preposterous that it is embarrassing. Their founders and seniors were and are continuing to quote the Chinese, and continue showing exercises practiced throughout Asia.
It speaks for itself. Their is a bigger picture that many were not taught and unaware of because their own leaders said not to teach them.

Oisin
5.You keep getting censored because you keep attacking me personally, without cause. I find your approach odd, since you essentially re-state what I state over and over. That what we do is not DR.
6. Now furthering your argument, about yin yang. You are once again left without credibility, while all but quoting me on your web site-you also fit right in with my opening post:
If we are left to discuss based on rank and skill and deep initiation into all things... no one from any side can enter the argument. Stating our understanding of yin/yang is incomplete? Just how is that Oisin? That evaluation would mean you have to have deep initiation into DR (which you do not) and have deep initiation into what we are doing (which you do not have). Based on actual skill? If my understanding of yin/yang had to be judged on the skills of the thousands I have met practicing the aiki arts, I am content, as I am sure you are and others are as well. To each their own.

WVMark
29th October 2014, 14:12
This is the crux: IP guys pull out discriptions of yin and yang and aiki from disparate sources and say that they are they same thing that ye are doing, but you won't state where you learned it and to what level. The context in which this was learned is obviously crucial, for such a vague concept.

And Dan is missing stuff relating to this (IMO). Not that there's anything wrong in that, but people should be aware of this but Casting aspersions on my experience doesn't change this. I'm not going to state what it is.

I find this post amazing. You are stating that where and what level of our learning is crucial, but you have yet to do the very same thing in regards to yourself ... especially since you are stating we're wrong. You're trying to apply one set of standards to us but yet violate those same standards on yourself. You've cast aspersions on Dan's experience first and then find some semblance of a slight against you when you're called on it?


BTW, your assertions about yin and yang as used in DR are off the mark. It is an oral teaching and you are not aware of its meaning in DR.Even referring to akido, Your teaching of yin and yang as used by Henry Kono (from ueshiba) is also different. You are simply not aware of what Henry is doing in relation to this, or how Ueshiba transmitted this.

So, I have to ask some questions since this is the level of standard that you, yourself, are setting.

1. How many years in Daito ryu have you trained? Under whom?
2. Have you trained intensively and for long periods with the head of your school?
3. Have you been shown the inner teachings of your art? If not, how does that qualify you as knowing what those inner secrets are or are not?
4. How are you qualified to know what the inner teachings of other Daito ryu lineages are or are not? You use blanket statements about all of Daito ryu in regards to what we know or don't know.
5. How many years in aikido have you trained? Under whom?
6. Have you trained with Ueshiba?
7. Have you trained with any first generation students of Ueshiba? Those outside Tokyo?
8. Have you trained with Henry Kono? How many years?
9. How does your experience stand up to those others you say are wrong. You know, those aikido people who are shihan and are in the inner circle of their organization, those people who have trained with Ueshiba and/or first generation students, etc.

Please provide the answers before posting more about the subject matter at hand. This is your standard and as such, I think you should be held very strictly to it.

Oh, and for the record. I am NOT an "IP guy". I'm an aiki guy. More specifically, I'm an "Ueshiba's aikido" guy.

Mark

Dan Harden
29th October 2014, 14:47
I find this post amazing. You are stating that where and what level of our learning is crucial, but you have yet to do the very same thing in regards to yourself ... especially since you are stating we're wrong. You're trying to apply one set of standards to us but yet violate those same standards on yourself. You've cast aspersions on Dan's experience first and then find some semblance of a slight against you when you're called on it?



So, I have to ask some questions since this is the level of standard that you, yourself, are setting.

1. How many years in Daito ryu have you trained? Under whom?
2. Have you trained intensively and for long periods with the head of your school?
3. Have you been shown the inner teachings of your art? If not, how does that qualify you as knowing what those inner secrets are or are not?
4. How are you qualified to know what the inner teachings of other Daito ryu lineages are or are not? You use blanket statements about all of Daito ryu in regards to what we know or don't know.
5. How many years in aikido have you trained? Under whom?
6. Have you trained with Ueshiba?
7. Have you trained with any first generation students of Ueshiba? Those outside Tokyo?
8. Have you trained with Henry Kono? How many years?
9. How does your experience stand up to those others you say are wrong. You know, those aikido people who are shihan and are in the inner circle of their organization, those people who have trained with Ueshiba and/or first generation students, etc.

Please provide the answers before posting more about the subject matter at hand. This is your standard and as such, I think you should be held very strictly to it.

Oh, and for the record. I am NOT an "IP guy". I'm an aiki guy. More specifically, I'm an "Ueshiba's aikido" guy.

Mark
Hi Mark
I know his background and rank and from whom. I am not going to say anything as it is as irrelevant as if he had twenty more years and two more ranks under him. Trying to validate arguments on aiki as a concept, based on someones expertise or rank, then requires that each individual must have expertise in all things being discussed...in order to adequately compare any one thing.
As a defined control group, one would then need to have several such people to have the comparison have any actual worth. In all the world, you will not even find even...one..such person.

You are right that using their own illogical standards -which they themselves created- turned back on them has ticked them off. A few here -for some un-explainable reason- can't seem to understand how ludicrous it is as a standard.

So why justify it with further dialogue? That was my opening post in defining the various groups and my later, more expanded, explanations.

In my own view, ignoring them, and then continuing to do what we have been doing; showing their own seniors comments contradicting these few low level people's views, and then showing the historical pedagogy behind these concepts and the reasons they have remained a staple in the martial arts is the best way to go.
It is a larger more in depth discussion than any one art, regardless of any one persons starry eyed view that their art is unique in all the world. I just heard this last month from a guy who just started BJJ. He never heard of Judo ne-waza or that the triangle choke was invented by Mifune.
Who's fault is that?
The teacher?
Or the student not doing the research?
Does it matter that he is embarrassing himself publicly? Not to him, at least not right now.

Cady Goldfield
29th October 2014, 16:57
This is the crux: IP guys pull out discriptions of yin and yang and aiki from disparate sources and say that they are they same thing that ye are doing, but you won't state where you learned it and to what level. The context in which this was learned is obviously crucial, for such a vague concept.


FWIW, I wouldn't look at such things as "aiki-age," and "aiki-sage" as discrete techniques (it often seems they are being treated that way); rather, they arise from a greater cyclical body process of which aiki-age and aiki-sage are just two options for deliberate expression. That body process can be tweaked to a number of different directions, degrees of power, and uses. It is the same one that drives a number of internal martial arts systems in China and elsewhere. Daito-ryu created a couple of terms to describe two of those expressed forms of use (i.e. aiki-age/sage), but it does not mean that they created those expressive forms or the greater method behind them.

In systems where teaching is done largely by touch and feel -- hands-on transmission -- understanding of concepts and principles ends up being intuitive and non-rational for the most part. The body "feel" comes first, then the terms "yin/in" and "yang/yo" ... as well as "Heaven, Earth, Man" and "anatomy trains," for that matter... make sense and fit as the individual starts putting those terms and intellectual concepts toward describing what they are doing, enacting and feeling on the "inside," and the physical effect they are overtly having. For students who have not yet developed the basic ability to create the forces of internal power and of aiki, the words can only be a memorized, cryptic tract for which they lack the physical experience and wisdom to comprehend. This is only natural, and probably every one of us who has trained in internal systems has gone through this aspect of the training process.

Koshu
29th October 2014, 19:22
Yin and yang as a "vague concept".

I'm Asian-American, born to Asian immigrants, and grew up at a time when, in the west, many if not most non-Asians were still clueless and would ask upon first meeting me, "What part of China are you from?" (hey, given the population of China relative to the entire world then and now, I suppose they had a better-than-even chance of that question actually being appropriate in fact, if not in tone).

I've noticed that the vast majority of the vocal IP detractors over the years (now going on decades) are in Asian arts -- but aren't Asian. Anyone stop to think to wonder why that is??

In Asian culture, yin and yang is defacto. No, not every Asian kid is indoctrinated into its finer points, or even receives any formal introduction to it, if any express discussion about it at all. In some Asian cultures, the concept isn't even Daoist per se, but rather the concept of natural balance is paramount (e.g. in Filipino animism). It simply is part of the way we see the world. It is a given. The men with martial and healing power in the various Asian cultures are those indoctrinated into the specifics of the various ways of utilizing yin, yang, et al: forces that maintain the balance in nature. Whether we are fortunate to become one of them or not, matters not in terms of their existence. They're there, doing the esoteric stuff they do.

Since the Daoist Chinese and Japanese concepts have been sliced, diced and analyzed to pieces here, on Aikiweb, etc. for going on 20 years now, let's cite something else different yet related, from this article: http://www.seasite.niu.edu/tagalog/modules/modules/philippinereligions/article_indigenous_beliefs.htm. One snippet exemplifies a non "yin" and "yang" concept, that nonetheless is used in the culture to seek balance in how one conducts one's life: "Among the Bagobo, each person had a right-hand soul and a left-hand soul. The right-hand soul was the good side of the individual and went to heaven after death. The left-hand soul was the evil in each person and at death it went either to the underworld, or stayed on earth to vex the living." So, in that particular sub-culture, there wasn't a single soul that's judged then goes to either Heaven or Hell, as in prevailing western (i.e. Christian) doctrine, but rather, a premium on managing the opposing forces/natures within one's self while alive.

From my particular sub-culture: "The Ilokanos believed in three sould [sic] in the body. The eternal soul that continued after death was known as Kararwa according to Calip, while Alingaas the soul that is found at places one has been previously; and Karma the soul that inhabits the living body. Sometimes, Karma is seen as a vapor that leaves the body either as an invisible vapor or in the form of an insect travelling to far places. Sometimes, the karma even left the body while the individual was awake. For example, those returning from the forest would make recitation Intayon, Intayon, or Intayon kaddua, while striking the chest with the palm, invoking the Karma to return from the forest to the body." Oh snap, we Ilokanos have something akin to the concept of ki, to go along with the yin-and-yang-like admonitions sprinkled throughout the culture as a whole.

So, when I first met my Hakkoryu teacher, Gil Adams, a westerner who'd been indoctrinated into the okuden of his art and worked hard to make those skills his own, and he hit a tsubo that caused effects similar to what Hidemine Jibiki relates in this article (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/jibiki-hidemine-hakko-ryu-daito-ryu-aiki-budo-softness-part-1) upon meeting Ryuho Okuyama, I simply signed up to train on the spot, and haven't looked back.

When I first met Dan Harden, a westerner who'd been indoctrinated into the okuden of his art and worked hard to make those skills his own, and he asked me after a training session, seemingly surprised, outside of the Pagoda Hotel in Ala Moana, "You don't need convincing? You already know this is real?" Again, I haven't looked back.

But I didn't just meet these men before buying in. They provided irrefutable proof. Those who know me know that by trade I'm, you could say, a professional skeptic by necessity. My job involves weeding out B.S. artists, and helping prosecute them, if necessary. You must not trade on third- or even second-hand accounts. You must go to primary sources. In the martial world, my audit trail is hands-on. I've done that due diligence. Yin and yang in application as profound power and skills drops you on your butt with the slightest of contact, obliterates your force while strangely inducing kuzushi, makes you stick to the tori, impairs your breathing, messes up your vision, makes you nauseous, freezes/locks your body, and/or a bunch of other stuff depending on what that flavor of IP is in play. I've felt all these things. It syncs up with the cultural paradigms I grew up with, and with the online anecdotes of the IP crowd. It is, therefore, real.

WVMark
6th November 2014, 14:58
Immobility. Morihei Ueshiba stated that the reason he was immobile and couldn't be pushed over by Tenryu was that he knew the secret of aiki. As we know from Sagawa, aiki is a body changing method, not something gained by technique based training. Yet, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Musashi, all could move about easily. They knew that immobility was the ability to remain unperturbed by outside forces in any situation. Immobility was a body skill that allowed one to withstand an attacker's attack, whether sitting, standing, or moving, and be free in their own movement without hindrance from the attacker's energy. The extra advantage of this trained aiki body was that those who came into contact with it had their center captured immediately. They found themselves behind the curve and trying to catch up without knowing or understanding why. This allowed Ueshiba, Sagawa, Musashi, etc to be able to move slowly. Yet, another advantage of this trained aiki body is that slack is removed, allowing one to move quicker. One cannot do this without the immobility, hence speed is not worth as much as slowness and slowness is not worth as much as immobility.


From the Aikido Journal Youtube vid on Seigo Yamaguchi. Subtitled. Interesting. He says, "Motion in stillness, stillness in motion. In motion, yet immovable."

Then he goes on to give the secret to it. "They sound like Zen koans, but with our bodies, we can gain clear understanding of such ideas. We forge such a body, and such a mind, rather than simply trying to learn techniques."

Here we have another aikido shihan that most looked up to, who is stating outright that techniques aren't the way to become great. He's echoing Sagawa in that one must change the body. And he's touching on immovability as the others did (Ueshiba, Horikawa, Sagawa, etc).

Interesting that all these things tie in together with other martial systems, eg koryu, Musashi's writings, Daito ryu, etc all the way back and through Chinese martial arts, yoga, Chinese medicine, etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0CkjGyykm4

Chris Li
9th November 2014, 07:07
From the Aikido Journal Youtube vid on Seigo Yamaguchi. Subtitled. Interesting. He says, "Motion in stillness, stillness in motion. In motion, yet immovable."

Yamaguchi used to say this quite a bit (but I think that people mostly ignored him :) ). Actually, Moriteru Ueshiba said the same thing here (http://www.aikikai.or.jp/eng/aikido/message.html):


The Founder said it was more important to harmonize with people than to win by depending on power. Switching from ‘skills of fighting’ to ‘harmony’ is the purpose of training. Love is all “Ki (life energy)” based on “En No Ugoki (circle movement)”, “Irimi (entering)”, “DoChuSei (quietness in turmoil)” and “Chushin (immovable center)” to train our skills with each other. There is no conflict in this training. Aikido is “a way to absolute self-accomplishment”.

"Quietness in turmoil" (as it is translated on the Aikikai English web site) is actually more commonly translated as..."stillness in motion" (動中静). I mentioned some other instances "stillness in motion" in this article (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/morihei-ueshiba-bruce-frantzis-bagua/) (Hint: one of them is Yamaguchi, and another is Taiji's "Song of the 13 Postures").

Best,

Chris

cxt
9th November 2014, 23:49
"drops you on your butt with the slightest contact....makes you stick to the tori, impairs your breathing, messes up your vision, makes you nauseous, freezes/locks your body........"

Actually that stuff is precisely why you GET "IP detractors" in the first place.

Amazing Randi has a million bucks cash for anyone that replicate such paranormal abilities in the lab----and nobody has even come close to doing so.

Are there no widows and orphans that could use the money/help?

What is lacking is a precise definition of what is exactly meant by "IP" at any given time and discussion.

Dan Harden
10th November 2014, 14:50
"drops you on your butt with the slightest contact....makes you stick to the tori, impairs your breathing, messes up your vision, makes you nauseous, freezes/locks your body........"
Actually that stuff is precisely why you GET "IP detractors" in the first place.
Amazing Randi has a million bucks cash for anyone that replicate such paranormal abilities in the lab----and nobody has even come close to doing so.
Are there no widows and orphans that could use the money/help?
What is lacking is a precise definition of what is exactly meant by "IP" at any given time and discussion.
That is a very understandable and reasonable comment, Chris. All that said everything we train is about conditioning the body, albeit in a way most of us have never trained before. Everything we do can be explained and taught and defended mechanically. I have two world champion Bjjers, Olympic wrestlers and other wrestlers (I was a wrestler myself) and many MMA types among the traditional martial artists who train this. All of whom would agree with your comments instantly.
However, none of us would recognize your comments as belonging to or pertaining to what we actually train. I think it is the more traditional aiki guys who fall for the overly-cooperative nonsense seen in many of their practices; muscle cramping around joints to lock them, freezing/shocking diaphragms, jumping and seizing up many other antics as well as the stiff, overly complicated, Frankenstien jujutsu moves, and connecting to the opponents center are never going to work on non-cooperative players. They are simply part of a tradition and kata approach within those arts. Most people I hang with are as uninterested in that as you are.

That said, internal power training to create aiki is completely practical and pragmatic. When it comes to budo, if I cannot make it work in cross platform combatives with and without weapons, or see it improve my health and my game, I am not interested. I have better things to do.

Dan Harden
10th November 2014, 15:07
Yamaguchi used to say this quite a bit (but I think that people mostly ignored him :) ). Actually, Moriteru Ueshiba said the same thing here (http://www.aikikai.or.jp/eng/aikido/message.html):
"Quietness in turmoil" (as it is translated on the Aikikai English web site) is actually more commonly translated as..."stillness in motion" (動中静). I mentioned some other instances "stillness in motion" in this article (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/morihei-ueshiba-bruce-frantzis-bagua/) (Hint: one of them is Yamaguchi, and another is Taiji's "Song of the 13 Postures").
Best,
Chris
As you have seen and continue to professionally translate, the aiki arts are firmly rooted in Tibetan and Chinese internal practices. The repeated quotations on internal training, solo training, from so many teachers from Daito ryu and aikido support the case of these practices being known throughout Asia. I see the ignorance of these facts by so many practitioners in the aiki arts indicative of the teachers other oft quoted comments; "Only teach one or two the real art."
In fact, considering that so many aiki teachers in both Daito ryu and Aikido talk about:
*Solo training
*Breath power
*Changing the body
*Aiki not being learned in techniques
*Quoting well known Chinese internal methods
and then saying
*It was always taught in a clandestine manner
*Only teach one or two the real art
Perhaps we should take them at their word in both aspects;
1. Aiki is about solo training and internal practices known throughout Asia.
2. They in fact DON'T teach most of their own people.
Maybe they are just stating the facts!
It certainly would explain a lot of the confusion among their students

Cliff Judge
10th November 2014, 15:12
Then he goes on to give the secret to it. "They sound like Zen koans, but with our bodies, we can gain clear understanding of such ideas. We forge such a body, and such a mind, rather than simply trying to learn techniques."

Here we have another aikido shihan that most looked up to, who is stating outright that techniques aren't the way to become great. He's echoing Sagawa in that one must change the body. And he's touching on immovability as the others did (Ueshiba, Horikawa, Sagawa, etc).

I could read this as being an explanation of the traditional kata-based teaching method of koryu though. "The purpose of training the techniques is not simply to learn the techniques, but to bring about subconscious changes in how the body reacts to certain stimulus."

Dan Harden
10th November 2014, 15:50
I could read this as being an explanation of the traditional kata-based teaching method of koryu though. "The purpose of training the techniques is not simply to learn the techniques, but to bring about subconscious changes in how the body reacts to certain stimulus."
Or its that statement from Sagawa: Aiki is about training the body. Only amateurs think you can learn aiki from techniques...."

It is more compelling reading the arguments stated repeatedly in his book and to his students when you consider that Sagawa stated that Takeda told him to hide his solo training. Which he did till late in life,when he went on to say that once he started to actually teaching his people? He stated that they started to actually get aiki.
Once you realize that most all of the higher level Asian arts have solo training, and that they share the specific reasons for that, many things become clear.
Then again you wrote here:
"There is no solo training in Daito ryu...." Cliff Judge on Edudo
Even though your own teacher taught solo training in a public room, and his teacher spoke about it and taught it. This isn't as confusing as it first appears when one consideres my previous post:

In fact, considering that so many aiki teachers in both Daito ryu and Aikido talk about:
*Solo training
*Breath power
*Changing the body
*Aiki not being learned in techniques
*Quoting well known Chinese internal methods
and then saying
*It was always taught in a clandestine manner
*Only teach one or two the real art
Perhaps we should take them at their word in both aspects;
1. Aiki is about solo training and internal practices known throughout Asia.
2. They in fact DON'T teach most of their own people.
Maybe they are just stating the facts!
It certainly would explain a lot of the confusion among their students
Not all things are taught to everyone. Some branches are being taught solo training in open rooms to white belts, others hide it till later. Again the more compelling case is that what was shown to them (in DR) was shown to me (in DR), and has been shared with me by many other teachers in traditional arts, all doing essentially the same stuff from China to Indonesia to Japan.
I don't really care other than to point out the obvious to both DR and Aikido people so that they see it's place in the greater tradition of the Asian arts past a single entity.

Koshu
10th November 2014, 17:10
"drops you on your butt with the slightest contact....makes you stick to the tori, impairs your breathing, messes up your vision, makes you nauseous, freezes/locks your body........"

Actually that stuff is precisely why you GET "IP detractors" in the first place.

Amazing Randi has a million bucks cash for anyone that replicate such paranormal abilities in the lab----and nobody has even come close to doing so.

Are there no widows and orphans that could use the money/help?

What is lacking is a precise definition of what is exactly meant by "IP" at any given time and discussion.
Your comments are exactly why I dropped the post from which you quote into this thread.

All of these things can be demoed, allowing for various flavors of ukemi, to Dan's point, to demonstrate said effect: i.e. some of the things I listed require some degree of cooperative ukemi as done within the Daito-ryu lineage of arts, but others can be done against full-fledged resistance. I think this kind of continuum is good to experience to put internal skills as a whole in the right perspective: like many things in the martial arts, the more intricate and low percentage, the more you tune down the resistance (560-degree spinning back kicks work better against assistants holding boards than against live sparring partners). In any case, whether or not a given adept is interested in Randi's proposition or not does not invalidate one's first-hand experience of such skills.

Argue away, or train away: one's choice.

Koshu
10th November 2014, 17:55
Add to the list of things to argue about: drying cold, wet sheets with one's body heat.

Harvard scientists have spent decades studying, documenting and ultimately validating (albeit without determining the specific manner in which it's done) that Tibetan monks can use internal skills to raise their body temperatures beyond what's conventionally possible for humans (reference: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/2002/04.18/09-tummo.html). Can the monks do this in a blinding snow storm (akin to being in a UFC cage), or does it have to be in a serene practice environment (akin to a Daito-ryu dojo) as suggested in the article? Regardless, the skills have been verified by first-hand objective account, and the adepts don't seem to give a rip about Randi's proposition. I also doubt they argued with the Dalai Lama and their prospective senior monks for as long as people have here about IP/IT (again, going on decades), but rather took on the work and got the skills.

There's also the iron shirt demonstration by the Shaolin practitioner on Fight Science. OK, not a Harvard / academic research effort, but nonetheless scientifically measured and documented. Maybe that guy got paid for his appearance on that show. But maybe it's invalid because he didn't specifically go after Randi's money, and/or Shaolin iron shirt shouldn't be categorized as "internal" (though, like "internal" training, it involves utilization of meditative practices that result in physiological changes to the body).

Koshu
10th November 2014, 18:19
the greater tradition of the Asian arts past a single entity
Hakkoryu refers to this on its public website as "inyodo" (the study of yin and yang).

Ryuho Okuyama was a kyoju-dairi in Daito-ryu, and he carried over aiki into Hakkoryu. I think it's interesting that, despite the traditional Asian medicine in the system (both on one's own behalf and applied to others) being different than aiki on various technical levels, the label of "inyodo" was used to describe what we're going after as a whole. It really is, or at least can be, that simple. The rest is hard work.

Cliff Judge
10th November 2014, 18:24
Or its that statement from Sagawa: Aiki is about training the body. Only amateurs think you can learn aiki from techniques...."

This is a different quote by a different teacher, from a different martial art. Why do you assume they are making the same point? I think your assumptions include your conclusions.

Chris Li
10th November 2014, 18:58
I could read this as being an explanation of the traditional kata-based teaching method of koryu though. "The purpose of training the techniques is not simply to learn the techniques, but to bring about subconscious changes in how the body reacts to certain stimulus."

I suppose that you could - but I went to a lot of classes with Yamaguchi and that wouldn't be my interpretation.

Best,

Chris

cxt
11th November 2014, 01:13
Dan

I have no doubt of it.

But you also take the time to define exactly what you are doing and how it works--and why.

cxt
11th November 2014, 01:25
Koshu


"argue away or train away"

Why can't you do both?

"In any case whether or not a given adept is interested in Randi's proposition or not dos not invalidate ones first-hand experiences and skills"

Yeah....except it kind does.

Like I said, are there no widows and orphans that could use the cash? If you have the ability to do the stuff you listed in your first post---and you could so easily pay for medication for a sick child---and you refuse to do so? Well you might be a great fighter---but a terrible human being. And I would not wish to study under such a person. There is much more to life than fighting........and much more effective and efficient ways to do it.

At the very least it requires a good explanation as to why one would refuse.....given the good that can be done for so little effort.

More to the point however, the claims were made on-line, where "first hand experience" is not possible.

So one can't fully "invalidate" such claims on-line--but one can't prove them either. And burden of proof is on the one making the claim/s.

Oh.....and the monks did so in a LAB---take cash away and you still have LAB reproducible results.

Not only claims, not groupthink claims, LAB reproducible results.

Koshu
11th November 2014, 02:15
Koshu


"argue away or train away"

Why can't you do both?

"In any case whether or not a given adept is interested in Randi's proposition or not dos not invalidate ones first-hand experiences and skills"

Yeah....except it kind does.

Like I said, are there no widows and orphans that could use the cash? If you have the ability to do the stuff you listed in your first post---and you could so easily pay for medication for a sick child---and you refuse to do so? Well you might be a great fighter---but a terrible human being. And I would not wish to study under such a person. There is much more to life than fighting........and much more effective and efficient ways to do it.

At the very least it requires a good explanation as to why one would refuse.....given the good that can be done for so little effort.

More to the point however, the claims were made on-line, where "first hand experience" is not possible.

So one can't fully "invalidate" such claims on-line--but one can't prove them either. And burden of proof is on the one making the claim/s.

Oh.....and the monks did so in a LAB---take cash away and you still have LAB reproducible results.

Not only claims, not groupthink claims, LAB reproducible results.
I totally understand that someone would want empirical, scientific proof before committing to a given path of training. Again, the points you make could be valid and logical in an online discussion and/or over a beer, from a western-centric perspective.

Maybe Dan and others with a compelling degree of IP will do the lab thing one day, or take Randi up on his offer one day. Maybe they won't. There's a premium being put on that stuff, and unfair value judgments being put on people, that have nothing to do with the training, individual investigation of and uptake of the skills, and/or transfer of the skills from generation to generation. That's what really matters. I'm glad Sagawa, Ueshiba, Okuyama, et al didn't wait for lab results on Takeda to come in (I have a feeling Takeda would've balked at playing nice with the researchers as well as the orphans) before committing to their Daito-ryu training. Hands-on was then, as now, adequate. The data may be qualitative (e.g. the stuff I mentioned above), but it is still data. I'm sorry that doesn't play in Peoria among the INTJ (http://www.personalitypage.com/html/INTJ.html)s, but well, these inyodoists ain't from Peoria. A number of us in the current discussion are better off that they simply adhered to the historical, traditional cultural paradigms and busted their tails to give us something sublime and wonderful to inherit.

Anyway, plenty of westerners have done their due diligence and drawn their respective conclusions in favor of the IP's veracity. I suspect you'll get your data points in due time.

cxt
11th November 2014, 02:51
"from a western perspective"

No.....pretty sure that the various Asian cultures I am familiar with would require "proof"--after all, how many Koryu and CMA had challenge matches with people wishing to "test" said skills.

"unfair value judgments"..........IMO its only "unfair" when people make claims they can't support. Again, burden of proof is on the person making the claims. Period.

"I'm glad.........didn't wait for lab results on Takeda to come in"

And I'm glad they didn't post nonsense on-line........not that I would have expected them too. But as long as you seem to be mixing modern tech with historical figures........

"hands on was then as is now adequate"

Not for claims made on-line they are not.

Other wise I expect you to admit I am your superior in IP, I know more than you and since I know more than you about it.....you are off base in your understanding of IP..........which is a fact because I say so on-line.......right? ;)

"plenty of westerners.......due diligence.......in favor of IP veracity........I suspect you'll get your data points in due time"

And how exactly do they define IP?

And how long must we wait for said data? How many people are training in various art worldwide and for how many decades? And why don't we have the data already?

Given the numbers and time----we should have had it already..... unless of course the results/abilities are not "teachable" in the usual sense of the word.

Koshu
11th November 2014, 04:34
"Proof" is what Takeda provided the other Daito-ryu licensed instructors I mentioned (and applies to the koryu and CMA challenge matches you mentioned). So, in centuries past, they "posted" claims of prowess not on the Internet, but by word of mouth, in writing in public places, etc. That didn't obviate the need for skeptics and interested parties alike to go first hand to the source and take ukemi, and get their eyes "opened . . . to budo", as Ueshiba said about getting proof from Takeda.

"Burden of proof" is largely a western concept. The concept of ki, as I discussed in my initially entry into this thread, is relatively ubiquitous in, and inherent to / a reality in Asian culture, albeit immediately failing the whole scientific burden of proof thing. That's billions of people who can relate to something that a lot of westerners can't; and frankly, Asians by and large are happy to just let westerners pound sand in that regard. That's just the way it is.

Anyway, we're not gonna resolve this millennia-old dichotomy here, so let me ask a more hopefully productive question (apologies in advance if you've already addressed your take on this in some older thread): if you push on and/or try to throw someone as hard as you can, yet you experience kuzushi occur and your power gets negated while the person you're attacking doesn't outwardly move -- which from an Asian perspective is a demonstration of ki at work -- would that satisfy your requirements for burden of proof (albeit in a qualitative vs. quantitative/scientific manner)? If so, then go take the ukemi (yes, Dan comes to mind as someone to serve as tori, as the benchmark for proof I mentioned earlier in this paragraph comes from him). If not, then the discussion ends for all the reasons previously stated.

Cady Goldfield
11th November 2014, 14:54
I think that one reason why Western science has not really plumbed the depths of research on this method - and it is a method - is because researchers haven't themselves gone hands-on so that they could ask the kinds of questions that would lead to the right kinds of research.

For example, some years ago grad students in human gait kinesiology at Stanford University used motion-capture technology to try to figure out how a baji/taiji master was able to generate explosive, concussive power in his strikes with seemingly minimal body movement. The only things their equipment could read, were the test subject's acceleration and power outputs, and the mechanical movements of his skeletal system; they could not discern what the actual physiological or mental processes were that he was using to move. They didn't even know to ask these questions. They were going solely on what the eye could see. And, they were focusing on things pertaining to human gait motion; the unconventional nature of the baji master's actions was beyond the purview of their particular piece of science research.

But if senior researchers could put their hands on an "internal" demonstrator as he moves, they might feel things that would lead them to ask the right questions. Then, they'd do brain MRIs and explore his deep-body neuro-muscular activities to figure out was really going on when someone generates power or absorbs/neutralizes someone else's power. It's not mystical, it's body mechanics that simply haven't been adequately explored yet by Western science. Perhaps it's just not known well enough by mainstream Western science to consider seriously.

Add to that the number of fakes, poseurs and charlatans, and it's no wonder that people like Randi are not putting any effort into finding out more about it. And, the real-deal people aren't interested in proving anything... or revealing what makes their arts' skills tick, for that matter.

cxt
11th November 2014, 14:58
Koshu

Once again..."proof" is not available on-line.

"Burden of proof is largely a western concept"

Sorry, but that is pure spin.

MODERATOR EDIT. No, it is not 'pure spin'. You are clearly exaggerating here. The concept of logical proof began with the Greeks and was especially codified by Aristotle in a work called Organon. There is also some evidence that the Mohists in China discussed some of these logical issues, but Mert's qualification "largely" is accurate.

"billions of people who can relate to something that westerners can't"

Pretty racist of you dude----asserting that there is something inherent--perhaps at the genetic level???---- that would prevent a round eye from being able to "relate" to something.
If I were to suggest that "Asians" couldn't "relate" to something, could not grasp something BECAUSE they were not "western" people would quite rightly come unglued.

MODERATOR EDIT. Racist is a very loaded term, as is 'round eye' and to call someone racist breaks the rules of this forum. If it happens again, the poster will be banned.

Besides--if that is true, then perhaps that is why you can't present data--if round eyes can't "relate" to it then how can they possible learn it and use it?????

Or to look at it another way---if "billions of people"--Asians in this context--can "relate" in ways westerners can't--then why are there so few people of Ueshiba's, Takeda etc. level of abilities?

Take the CMA--vast population, they are extremely old, and over the centuries extremely large populations of students---and yet so very, very, very, few people that became "known" for their IP abilities. And they are Asians to boot ;)
Clearly something is rotten in Denmark in terms of IP and its level teachability in the normal sense of the word.

"kuzushi....power gets negated.....demonstration of ki at work"

Now your shifting the entire basis of the argument......recall that my objection was to:

"drops you at the slightest contact, makes you stick to the tori, impairs your breathing, makes you nauseous, freezes/lock up your body"

Which as I have been saying all along is a big part of the problem---people not defining precisely what they mean by IP/ki in specific discussions.

NOW, you are using a person able to resist being throwing as an example IP/ki. Which is not where we started.

Cliff Judge
11th November 2014, 15:50
Well it would be interesting to be able to record a person's whoel nervous system while they are performing full-body movement, even more interesting if you could record two people simultaneously while martial techniques were being performed. We can't do that yet, but we're getting better at reading the brain under controlled circumstances.

Interestingly, the results so far when we've looked under the hood are pretty disturbing. It looks more and more like consciousness and free will don't actually exist.

cxt
11th November 2014, 16:12
Cliff

"looked under the hood are pretty disturbing........looks more and more like consciousness and free will don't actually exist."

"shudder"

Cady Goldfield
11th November 2014, 16:46
Well, we are the product of gazillions of microorganisms, including our own genes. We're kind of a thinking gene-mobile, apparently, with the variations on human behaviors and even for how we think being driven by those rascally little drivers. Even gut bacteria are thought to affect how we think! May as well just go along for the ride... ;)

Koshu
11th November 2014, 17:35
Chris T., et al;

I stepped into the discussion to simply identify a few matter-of-fact points that help explain, and offer straightforward ways to resolve differences of opinion. I stand by what I've written as it is. Happy to repeat myself and offer up a first-hand anecdote below.

This is a public forum. Professional peers of mine read what I write online because I'm fairly open about my interest in and practice of martial and healing arts. If they just want information about these things, I refer them to e-Budo, Aikiweb and the Aikido Sangenkai website in particular. For first-hand verification regarding credibility, I refer them to my Hakkoryu instructor, Dan, Sam Chin, and Mike Sigman, for example, because they do have the ability to demonstrate internal skills (my teacher's shiatsu is top rate as well, and a lot of professionals sit at the computer way too long, so getting treated is an extra bonus for going to the source).

If one of my peers were to read this thread, for example (and I'm pretty sure one or more of them are), it makes sense that he/she would ask me if what Dan's saying here, and I and others are corroborating, is true. Well, it just so happens that Dan will be here in December. A couple said peers have expressed interest in meeting Dan and getting proof first hand. Pretty simple. Same as it was, again, for the Daito-ryu certified instructors and other martial artists we discussed earlier. All the back-and-forth banter on the Internet is confusing to people because it's an abstraction of something that is inherently physical in nature.

Sam Chin visited Hawaii in 2011. We were doing a standing drill, and my surgically repaired knee was hurting. He identified the problem as an imbalance between the yin and yang surfaces and meridians of the leg, and suggested I work on drawing ki/qi in the nominal manner assigned to the meridians (e.g. down urinary bladder and up kidney, which forms dual macrocosmic orbits that helps integrate the lower body to the upper body, vs. isolating muscle groups as I'd been taught in conventional physical therapy for the knee) to help stabilize the knee. This syncs up with the traditional medicine theory utilized in Hakkoryu, and has an analogue in Dan's model. I tried this a few times, Sam physically monitored what I was doing, and offered corrections that helped me fine tune my approach. I asked him if I could share this information with others, since many people have bad knees. He readily said "yes", qualifying, "But this information is useless by itself. The secrets protect themselves."

As I stated in my previous post, if someone doesn't have hands-on experience regarding what we're discussing, then there's really nothing else to write or talk about that can be productive. A restaurant (internal power adept of choice) is raved about on Yelp (e-Budo). The secret sauce (internal training methodology) is cited as a key difference-maker between this restaurant and others (conventional martial arts training). How do people determine if said restaurant and sauce are all they're cracked up to be? They go to the restaurant, taste the sauce, then they have something meaningful to further discuss/debate online with others.

Anyway, that seems to be a fitting parting shot. Nothing more to add.

cxt
11th November 2014, 19:14
Koshu

"helped explain in straightforward ways"

How exactly did you do that? you were talking about how IP can "drop you at the slightest contact, makes you stick to the tori, impairs your breathing, makes you nauseous, freezes/locks up your body>"

Did you explain how any of that is done??

"peers expressed an interest in meeting Dan"

Don't know what good that would do, according to YOU, "westerners" don't have the ability to "relate" to IP--so again according to YOU, how could a round eye understand it, much less teach it?

(although if asked I would be the first person to direct people to Dan and several other people)

"all the back and forth on the internet is confusing'

I'm sure it is, what with people running around making weird claims on-line....such as being able to "drop people with the slightest contact" and being able to "blur" peoples vision with IP.

"they go to the restaurant and taste the sauce, then they might have something meaningful to further the debate"

Pretty lame dude......YOU chose to make weird claims on-line......and when those claims are questioned you try to weasel out of it by saying people need to come to the "restaurant" and try the "sauce" first hand.

Sure like I or anybody else is going take off work, buy a plane ticket, fly out to wherever you are located, check into a hotel, spend a couple of days tracking you down.....and when you really can't "blur my vision"---using IP as per the claims you made. Whom is going to give me my money and time back???

You going to make good on my losses are you?

Like I have told various people over the years, its the marketing claims that get folks into trouble.

You start making spurious claims in a public forum and you should expect to have those claims questioned........and not being able to answer direct questions/observations from informed people is on you not me.
MODERATOR EDIT: Nothing is added to this discussion by calling the claims 'spurious'. The claims can be questioned, certainly, which is what you are doing, but whether the claims are spurious or not is the whole issue.

WVMark
11th November 2014, 21:17
Koshu

"helped explain in straightforward ways"

How exactly did you do that? you were talking about how IP can "drop you at the slightest contact, makes you stick to the tori, impairs your breathing, makes you nauseous, freezes/locks up your body>"

Did you explain how any of that is done??

"peers expressed an interest in meeting Dan"

Don't know what good that would do, according to YOU, "westerners" don't have the ability to "relate" to IP--so again according to YOU, how could a round eye understand it, much less teach it?

(although if asked I would be the first person to direct people to Dan and several other people)

"all the back and forth on the internet is confusing'

I'm sure it is, what with people running around making weird claims on-line....such as being able to "drop people with the slightest contact" and being able to "blur" peoples vision with IP.

"they go to the restaurant and taste the sauce, then they might have something meaningful to further the debate"

Pretty lame dude......YOU chose to make weird claims on-line......and when those claims are questioned you try to weasel out of it by saying people need to come to the "restaurant" and try the "sauce" first hand.

Sure like I or anybody else is going take off work, buy a plane ticket, fly out to wherever you are located, check into a hotel, spend a couple of days tracking you down.....and when you really can't "blur my vision"---using IP as per the claims you made. Whom is going to give me my money and time back???

You going to make good on my losses are you?

Like I have told various people over the years, its the marketing claims that get folks into trouble.

You start making spurious claims in a public forum and you should expect to have those claims questioned........and not being able to answer direct questions/observations from informed people is on you not me.

Could you please refrain from the character attacks and stick to the topic? "you try to weasel out of it" is a character attack. You're trying to degrade his character because your "skepticism" hasn't been met to *your* expectations. Meanwhile, thousands of other martial artists chose to do exactly what Mert suggested. Skepticism is valid and healthy up to a certain point. And burden of proof can be placed upon a small number of individuals who post claims online. However, this is not the case here. Burden of proof has been met by men with long training histories and experiences that are solid. If you're going to be skeptical, you're being skeptical of a whole host of martial artists with very solid, reputable training experiences ranging from aikido to Daito ryu to karate to judo to koryu to CMAs.



The answer to "Why not just let go?" after the IP/Aiki seminar. "Well, I couldn't." All my grabs became attraction points, Yin and Yang (the 2 kis from the headliner quote) were made manifest and that's all she wrote. My hands were glued to the instructor and I could not, for the life of me, get them off of him. And I tried. Never have I had that happen. Just, stuck to nage and then tossed like a pie in the oven. Now, go back and look at those photos, look at the waza O'Sensei is doing, look at the waza Saito is doing. Why can't the uke let go? What are we doing? What do we need to do?



Some can Doubt all they want... Question it ad infinitum....I did and found out when I experianced it for myself that I was a ignorant fool.

I have felt it and and not one Martial Artist in my 35 years of experience has/had the kind of Aiki Mr. Harden has...


Bill Gleason, when asked if what the IP/aiki training they were doing was related to aikido ...


This is aiki!




Thank you, I never thought that I would feel Ueshiba Sensei’s power again. What you are doing is very important. Don’t stop. No matter what they say.

Regarding Yamaguchi


Let there be no mistake in what I am saying -- he was incredibly good. One of the most remarkable things I ever saw him do was playing with a senior of mine at Kuwamori Dojo, Oliveri-san, a massively strong Italian former judoka. They'd started out with kokyu-ho, and when he strove to grab and grapple, Yamaguchi sensei lay on top of him, his back to him, and every time the big Italian tried to escape or even choke him, Yamaguchi sensei, laughing, would read his intention through his back muscles, and just shift his weight and balance. The Italian judoka couldn't escape, couldn't counter, and he eventually tapped out, pinned by a man who had his back to him!

You want to call BS on Yamaguchi or Amdur?

You can also ask people like Chris Li, George Ledyard, Allen Beebe, Howard Popkin, Rob Liberti, Marc Abrams, Gary Welborn, Greg Steckel, etc and a whole number of people outside the US for their views. All of these people have solid training histories. None of them catered to the "aiki" BS of no-touch throws. It's to a point now where one can only be skeptical if one purposefully chooses to ignore reputable martial artist's experiences and views.

Koshu
11th November 2014, 22:11
I'm out, Chris. Have a nice day.

Also, check your paraphrasing of what I've said: it's not accurate in a few instances, e.g.: 1) I've been discussing my first-hand takes on others' skills, not my own; and 2) I've stated from my first post in this thread that claims are validated in the first person, so there's nothing to "weasel out of". I won't be rejoining this thread unless there's a topic-switch of interest, so readers are cautioned to QA further third-party representations of what I've written against what I actually wrote.

Mark -- I'm a compliance officer, so character attacks come with the territory. :)

Cady Goldfield
11th November 2014, 22:54
Once again, REFRAIN from overstepping the rules that have been set forth for the forums. If you can't word your posts in a manner that is respectful, then please refrain from posting altogether. Any future personal attacks, denigrating language and mocking will be edited out of posts and the individual(s) responsible will be invited to leave the forum.

Anyone who has doubts about the existence and efficacy of IP and aiki, should simply get out and experience it hands-on with one or more of the people who've been noted as having and teaching them. Most of them post their seminars publicly. One of the main reasons why straight explanations are not forthcoming, is the nature of the "requests" for information -- which have been less than respectful.

Dan Harden
12th November 2014, 00:41
Hi Chris
The Randi paranormal test simply does not apply.
* With IP and real aiki in a sparring scenario; the human body functioning at a high level, simply isn't paranormal.
* Seeing cooperative Kata that leads to amazing results is no more paranormal than an extremely tight dance team would be. I'm no fan of that stuff, but it works on a certain level for training some things, best then retrained in a more stressful environment.

I can say that many teachers are impressed enough to have now made this their lifes work. But respectfully, Chris? Among the many people training this, there are extremely jaded, well seasoned people
All due respect to you (mostly because I share your views and am VERY sceptical about budo in general) I'm not going to defend me, or their choices over something so utterly practical that almost everyone returns to train it, once they understand it.

I hope that helps.

cxt
12th November 2014, 04:47
Dan

"does not apply"

It does when people are asserting things like being able to "blur" peoples vision....among other things.

That would be "paranormal" enough for me.

Dan Harden
12th November 2014, 15:17
Dan
"does not apply"
It does when people are asserting things like being able to "blur" peoples vision....among other things.
That would be "paranormal" enough for me.
No not really Chris. I can give you some examples of things that look paranormal but are completely expilcable.
* A man on the ground, his arm locked behind him thrashing about with no one touching him and he cannot get up?
It is done by a painful muscle cramping around a set joint which then self seizes. It looks truly bizarre. But the level of uke cooperation to get there is ridiculous.
* Various methods that seize a guys diaphragm. you walk away, he can't breath and will die or pass out.
again this is done by muscle cramping
* inverting the rings in the throat cartilage. This is done with a certain grab. It is very fast and you walk away and they are left standing there in a panic and passing out. They will aspirate as the fluid drains down the wind pipe and die unless the ring is reversed though massage or surgery
* Uke attacks that are overly cooperative and the right touch redirects the force and they drop and or they are seized. it is simple, directed force and a body trained to be ready to receive after attacking. Normal people don't work or think like that. Only those in the aiki arts.
* Sticking to someone so they cannot get away. The level of this you see in the aiki arts is done through kata. That type of stickiness doesn't work in fighting. However, there is a stickiness from IP/aiki that will work in fast changes that leads to enhanced openings for throws, punches and kicks, but it doesn't look at all like that stuff.
* Ridiculously overly complex multiple moves leading to joint locking and tie ups, that resemble stiff Frankenstein like, over extended and stretched out movements that do amazing things to an uke. I have no positive comment to add here.

All of these things looks totally fake, but they work. They are explainable and people can pull them off..... PROVIDED YOU DO IT TO A COOPERATIVE UKE!
I used to do them, I could do them well, I walked away from all of that a long time ago since they never worked on a grappler. Not even close and they NEVER will.
Now since it is real and on the surface looks paranormal (even thought it isn't because it requires cooperation) here is a Randi challenge!!
Ask any of those guys who do this stuff, to do it on a seasoned grappler for a million dollars!!

Now, all that said, IP/aki has many wonderful attributes that too me and many other people still are quite extraordinary-but will never look like that stuff. But... here's the thing. They work in the real world on normal people, without cooperation.
Does that help?

cxt
12th November 2014, 17:09
Dan

I get what you are saying but the claim/s in question are being able to "blur" peoples vision, "drop people with the slightest touch"---not FAST but "slightest" etc.

That smacks of abilities that are beyond the range of normal people---hence "paranormal"---does not have to be mystic or supernatural.

(you can "blur" peoples vision with a good punch in the head or plenty of vodka--but that is normal ;) )

Again, don't doubt IP---esp when people, such as yourself, can explain how its done and work it against a resisting/fighting person.

Plus if somebody asks you---precisely where, whom and when can I come and experience IP skills first hand---you provide them with the info.

I just think outlandish claims harm the public opinion of folks working on IP skills...makes it harder on them it needs to be.

P Goldsbury
12th November 2014, 23:27
I have made a few moderator comments about certain posts, but have not deleted any material. However, we will be monitoring this and other threads more carefully than before and ignored warnings will lead to a permanent ban.

Dan Harden
16th November 2014, 13:51
Dan

I get what you are saying but the claim/s in question are being able to "blur" peoples vision, "drop people with the slightest touch"---not FAST but "slightest" etc.

That smacks of abilities that are beyond the range of normal people---hence "paranormal"---does not have to be mystic or supernatural.

(you can "blur" peoples vision with a good punch in the head or plenty of vodka--but that is normal ;) )

Again, don't doubt IP---esp when people, such as yourself, can explain how its done and work it against a resisting/fighting person.

Plus if somebody asks you---precisely where, whom and when can I come and experience IP skills first hand---you provide them with the info.

I just think outlandish claims harm the public opinion of folks working on IP skills...makes it harder on them it needs to be.

Hi Chris
Okay, I see we are clear.
In my view it is the traditional arts themselves that hold the record for outlandish, and low percentage of success in the real world behaviors due to choreography and trained responses. While I am indeed a fan of Kata as a training device, that is all it is; a training device. In my view martial artists simply must take their art and go try it on someone solely invested in seeing them undone. ;-) It not only keeps everyone honest, it helps us all seperate useful from useless and save us all from both teachers and students involved in myth making.

Koshu
17th November 2014, 19:13
Chris,

You continue to not only mis‐paraphrase, but mis‐quote me. Naturally, it is not appreciated. Again I encourage readers to compare what I originally wrote against how my statements have been re‐cast, and in addition the intentions of those statements have been mis‐represented. It is not productive to dissect this point by point, as that would likely lead to further unsavory and off‐the‐mark commentary. So again, nothing more to add regarding my previous statements, as they stand on their own merit, especially given I've provided sources with whom interested parties can take the initiative to do follow‐up.

To help move the discussion along, and as has been further clarified by Dan, the internal skills we've been discussing fall along a continuum, and not all skills we've discussed will work, or are intended to work, on a fully resisting uke/opponent. That does not make them inherently bogus. Otherwise, if such were the floor for internal skills, that would for all intents and purposes largely invalidate Daito‐ryu and its descendants as martial arts, as well as the vast majority of legitimate internal Chinese martial arts.

Dan is a proponent of, and a high‐level expert in, the martial efficacy end of the IP/IS spectrum; and as he stated in his opening post, he feels the bickering over provenance and ownership of terms should take a back seat to development of pedagogy and real skills that preserve the ability to transmit and give life to the concepts being debated. I wholeheartedly agree. I would hope that most folks reading this thread have an interest in attaining high-level skills vs. anachronism preservation in ritualized form and documentation only. Personally, I have a strong interest in what Dan's doing, as well as an interest in how the martial sublime skills relate to other aspects of Asian internal arts, including the healing arts (I study Hakkoryu, because it's logical that if you're gonna learn to tweak people, that you also be able to fix what you tweak). I offer up this account written by Stanley Pranin, who is deservedly recognized for his scholarship related to Daito-ryu and aikido, regarding his encounter with the healing side of internal skills within the Daito-ryu lineage: https://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=9 (see "Unsolicited Endorsement"). On this end of the spectrum, of course, the partners in the interaction aim to cooperate, as in the middle of the spectrum, but now outside of the martial context. I hope the preceding explanation further helps provide readers with a sense of why all is not B.S. in the internal scheme of things simply because it won't work against someone going after your lunch money at all costs. The Asian internal arts, as a whole, are about self‐development, with martial ability being one possible and worthy outcome. These skills, as Dan said regarding high-level martial ability, all fall within -- not beyond -- the range of human capability, and are worthy of study and preservation across the board.

cxt
18th November 2014, 03:02
Koshu

"you continue to mis-paraphrase and misquote me"

A-Last time I posted on this thread was November 12--5 days ago, so how I could "continue" to do something when NOT posting is beyond me.

B-I have asked you to present exactly where I have done either in SUBSTANTIVE fashion.

As I stated prior---happy to offer a re-write/retraction, if warranted.

But I would ask...again.....for the name, location, contact information and class time for the people that can use IP to "impair breathing" make people "nauseous"..."mess" with their vision. and "drop people with the "slightest touch." etc. etc.

Koshu
18th November 2014, 03:40
Chris,


It is not productive to dissect this point by point, as that would likely lead to further unsavory and off‐the‐mark commentary.
I will also be clear on this point: given your choice of interaction style and tactics with me, I will not engage in discussion with you on this forum going forward. I reserve the right to change my position on this down the road, as I agree there is room for healthy and productive skepticism, as Dan has also supported over time. That's the camp in which I and many of us who're ardent supporters of IP started, after all. Other such skeptics, Dan being foremost, have been named in this thread. So on this topic as well, there is nothing else remaining to discuss, from my perspective.

cxt
18th November 2014, 04:01
Koshu

"given your choice of interaction style and tactics with me"

Such as asserting:

"You CONTINUE to mis-paraphrase and mis-quote me" (emp mine)

When I have not posted in a 5 days.......again, how can I "continue" to do something when I have not posted in a week?

That kind of "interaction style and tactics?"

Or when repeatedly asked for the names, locations, class times and contact info of the people that can perform previously claimed IP abilities......you have steadfastly refused to do so.

That kind of "interaction style and tactics?"

Cady Goldfield
18th November 2014, 14:43
Please move away now from the personally directed criticisms and either debate the topic itself, or cease from posting. This is the final warning.

Ellis Amdur
18th November 2014, 15:06
Had one of my interesting thoughts. I've been glancing at the posts here as they come up--and today went back to Dan's OP. And one of the complaints about his post, as well as other's that bear the same focus, is that Daito-ryu aiki is a gokui skill, requiring unique and specialized training, and that it's outcomes are also unique--with an intimately related issue of legacy, lineage and initiation. Whereas the "homogenizers" would assert that DR aiki is a particular manifestation of a more universal set of skills. Shall we say that Internal Strength is classical music and Daito-ryu aiki is Mozart. (however, many within DR assert that their form is unique, leading DR aiki to have subsets of Duscek, Kuhlau Mozart and Hummel . . .. with each and everyone claiming to do the Mozart version).
Which leads then to a complaint of what could be considered "brand-name," aiki being a term that is associated with DR and aikido, and without initiation, one cannot understand it's essence, and it is arrogance to assert that one is doing the same thing when not initiated. AKA: composing "in the style of Mozart" isn't Mozart. Have I summed this up without doing too much harm to things.

Anyway, I don't care to participate in this debate again and I've posted in many places what my beliefs are about lineage, initiation and the like. But two thoughts come to mind:
In my research on my revised version of Old School - which will be out in a few weeks (http://www.edgework.info/buy-books-on-martial-arts.html) I write about a great mid-Edo martial artist, Honma Sengoro, who is described as doing a feat very similar to that of DR, but perhaps at a higher level. He was pinned face-up by five retainers of a daimyo. Not the same ryu or dojo. And he easily stood up, with five people unable to stop him. He was rechallenged and eventually did it five times. The salient point is that in the commentary of the history, it states something like, "This showed his exemplary skill at kumiuchi." Kumiuchi is a generic term for body-to-body grappling. What is significant here is that Honma is described as being at the top of the heap in a skill that was commonplace, so to speak. In other words, to the Japanese, it was a given that grappling had components of IS. It was a matter of course. (I also take this on in Hidden in Plain Sight, of course, discussing such schools at Kito-ryu and Yoshin-ryu, but the signal point here is that a generic word that was used by everybody sufficed to describe a form of IS).
Second point: The first known written reference of Daito-ryu aiki is in Sagawa the elder's training notebook in 1913, I believe. At the time, Takeda was teaching Daito-ryu jujutsu (of course, he was teaching what people now call aiki, but the point is that he was a great teacher of something people referred to by a generic term). So Takeda visits his student, Ueshiba, and meets with Onisaburo, who urges him, so the story goes, to change the name of his art to aikijujutsu or aikijutsu - I cannot remember which. I'm guessing that there were two reasons: 1) these skills were now so rare that as they were no longer a commonplace, they deserved an "uncommon" name 2) marketing
Which leads to this question: if Takeda hadn't changed the name, Dan could have posted, "Jujutsu as a concept--why all the fuss." Linguistically speaking, we'd be talking about a continuum--or a nodal point, with all kind of ramifications, rather than something alleged to be unique (unless DR was included in the title).
To be sure, if one asserts that s/he is teaching Daito-ryu and is not initiated or has been made hamon, that is wrong for specific reasons. But my point is that aiki is a "trademark" almost by an accident--A paranoid, unlettered guy was influenced by the whacky guru of his, then, leading student to change the name of what he's teaching. Wonder what our debates would be like if that hadn't happened?

Dan Harden
18th November 2014, 20:32
......Which leads to this question: if Takeda hadn't changed the name, Dan could have posted, "Jujutsu as a concept--why all the fuss." Linguistically speaking, we'd be talking about a continuum--or a nodal point, with all kind of ramifications, rather than something alleged to be unique (unless DR was included in the title).
True. I don't need to say much as you know my talking points already.
1. No one in DR is qualified to debate either their own art or the skills of others- according to the rules they themselves set.
2. There is no proven history of the Aiki arts, their histories are strangely fuzzy, with no proven ownership of the term aiki.
3. We see the Daito ryu Menkyo's and seniors stating aiki was everywhere in Japan.
4. We see the aiki guys quoting Chinese and Tibetan internal strength training methods.

There hasn't been any credible push back on these points.


....my point is that aiki is a "trademark" almost by an accident--A paranoid, unlettered guy was influenced by the whacky guru of his, then, leading student to change the name of what he's teaching. Wonder what our debates would be like if that hadn't happened?
Actual skill? Which rarely seems to be a debate point....face to face.
I respect the traditional arts for many, many reasons. But, I remain more interested in aiki (or jins in Chinese terminology) I.S. in general as broad-spectrum, cross-platform, results rather than single art forms.

muden
18th November 2014, 23:37
Had one of my interesting thoughts. I've been glancing at the posts here as they come up--and today went back to Dan's OP. And one of the complaints about his post, as well as other's that bear the same focus, is that Daito-ryu aiki is a gokui skill, requiring unique and specialized training, and that it's outcomes are also unique--with an intimately related issue of legacy, lineage and initiation. Whereas the "homogenizers" would assert that DR aiki is a particular manifestation of a more universal set of skills. Shall we say that Internal Strength is classical music and Daito-ryu aiki is Mozart. (however, many within DR assert that their form is unique, leading DR aiki to have subsets of Duscek, Kuhlau Mozart and Hummel . . .. with each and everyone claiming to do the Mozart version).
Which leads then to a complaint of what could be considered "brand-name," aiki being a term that is associated with DR and aikido, and without initiation, one cannot understand it's essence, and it is arrogance to assert that one is doing the same thing when not initiated. AKA: composing "in the style of Mozart" isn't Mozart. Have I summed this up without doing too much harm to things.

Anyway, I don't care to participate in this debate again and I've posted in many places what my beliefs are about lineage, initiation and the like. But two thoughts come to mind:
In my research on my revised version of Old School - which will be out in a few weeks (http://www.edgework.info/buy-books-on-martial-arts.html) I write about a great mid-Edo martial artist, Honma Sengoro, who is described as doing a feat very similar to that of DR, but perhaps at a higher level. He was pinned face-up by five retainers of a daimyo. Not the same ryu or dojo. And he easily stood up, with five people unable to stop him. He was rechallenged and eventually did it five times. The salient point is that in the commentary of the history, it states something like, "This showed his exemplary skill at kumiuchi." Kumiuchi is a generic term for body-to-body grappling. What is significant here is that Honma is described as being at the top of the heap in a skill that was commonplace, so to speak. In other words, to the Japanese, it was a given that grappling had components of IS. It was a matter of course. (I also take this on in Hidden in Plain Sight, of course, discussing such schools at Kito-ryu and Yoshin-ryu, but the signal point here is that a generic word that was used by everybody sufficed to describe a form of IS).
Second point: The first known written reference of Daito-ryu aiki is in Sagawa the elder's training notebook in 1913, I believe. At the time, Takeda was teaching Daito-ryu jujutsu (of course, he was teaching what people now call aiki, but the point is that he was a great teacher of something people referred to by a generic term). So Takeda visits his student, Ueshiba, and meets with Onisaburo, who urges him, so the story goes, to change the name of his art to aikijujutsu or aikijutsu - I cannot remember which. I'm guessing that there were two reasons: 1) these skills were now so rare that as they were no longer a commonplace, they deserved an "uncommon" name 2) marketing
Which leads to this question: if Takeda hadn't changed the name, Dan could have posted, "Jujutsu as a concept--why all the fuss." Linguistically speaking, we'd be talking about a continuum--or a nodal point, with all kind of ramifications, rather than something alleged to be unique (unless DR was included in the title).
To be sure, if one asserts that s/he is teaching Daito-ryu and is not initiated or has been made hamon, that is wrong for specific reasons. But my point is that aiki is a "trademark" almost by an accident--A paranoid, unlettered guy was influenced by the whacky guru of his, then, leading student to change the name of what he's teaching. Wonder what our debates would be like if that hadn't happened?

The term is irrelevant. If someone claims not to be teaching ono ha itto ryu or tatsumi ryu or whatever but that they ARE teaching the gokui (inner teachings) of that ryu in seminars (which are the really important parts that are only worth learning anyway according to them) but they won't declare who taught them and to what level they are exposed to these teachings, well what are you to make of that?

Explaining it away that someone of a previous generation made the whole thing up is irrelevant (as well as being speculation in this case).You could make that statement about the founder of ANY ryu. There are ethical issues involved here IMO. But most people involved in this have made their own decisions on this at this stage. So if people are happy to strip mine what they believe to be the core of an art for their own personal benefit, that's something they'll have to deal with.

Ellis Amdur
19th November 2014, 00:12
Oisin - I said I wouldn't get involved in that debate (yet again). I am very clear on my views about membership in a koryu, lineage, keppan and the like.

It seems, however, that too many in this debate conflate Daito-ryu and aiki - and that's my point. Also, I believe that skills that some in DR assert are unique that may have been generic, once upon a time. (I'm quite willing to believe that a particular application of IS -Daito-ryu aiki- may have some unique qualities (Mozart rather than just "classical music"), but it is also my understanding that each faction of DR describes something that is somewhat different from each other when they use the term).

Anyway, here's my proof that DR doesn't own the "trademark." The attached photo is from my transcription of a makimono from 1858 - Toda-ha Buko-ryu.10779 To my knowledge, this is the oldest makimono that contains aiki within the text. So I'm a little uncomfortable about all these jujutsuka using a term that clearly was first associated with kusarigama. :cool:

Truth be told, were it me I'd ignore the subject of DR in discussions unless we are talking about a) history b) specific DR training techniques and methodology. I'm inclined not to use the term aiki myself, because it has absorbed such a tincture of DR and aikido in everyone's minds, and that is accompanied by a lot of baggage I have no desire to carry. I have proven to my own satisfaction that IS (and manifestations/applications, such as what DR and aikido call "aiki,") were once widespread in Japan. They were lost due to modernization, vitiation and judo. Takeda Sokaku was remarkable because he was an endangered species.
Anyway, as far as training for myself, I'm in high-level kumiuchi, not anything where the major training style is arms-length grabs of the limbs.
Ellis Amdur

Ellis Amdur
19th November 2014, 01:59
Sorry - that last line, misspelled, reads arrogant: What I meant to write was: "Anyway, as far as training for myself, I'm interested in learning high-level kumiuchi, not anything where the major training style is arms-length grabs of the limbs."

P Goldsbury
19th November 2014, 05:39
Had one of my interesting thoughts. I've been glancing at the posts here as they come up--and today went back to Dan's OP. And one of the complaints about his post, as well as other's that bear the same focus, is that Daito-ryu aiki is a gokui skill, requiring unique and specialized training, and that it's outcomes are also unique--with an intimately related issue of legacy, lineage and initiation. Whereas the "homogenizers" would assert that DR aiki is a particular manifestation of a more universal set of skills. Shall we say that Internal Strength is classical music and Daito-ryu aiki is Mozart. (however, many within DR assert that their form is unique, leading DR aiki to have subsets of Duscek, Kuhlau Mozart and Hummel . . .. with each and everyone claiming to do the Mozart version).
Which leads then to a complaint of what could be considered "brand-name," aiki being a term that is associated with DR and aikido, and without initiation, one cannot understand it's essence, and it is arrogance to assert that one is doing the same thing when not initiated. AKA: composing "in the style of Mozart" isn't Mozart. Have I summed this up without doing too much harm to things.

One of the issues for me in this thread -- and I think you discussed this at length in Hidden in Plain Sight, concerns Morihei Ueshiba. Ueshiba mentions aiki a number of times in his discourses and insofar as he defines this term at all, he does so within a cultural context that he appears to have assumed was known to his hearers. Or if it was not, then it was up to them to work out what he meant. Which they appear to have done, but only to varying degrees. Whether his use of the term was an issue then, or is an issue now, is not something that can be deduced from his discourses.

Dan Harden
19th November 2014, 07:48
I think your comments on what Ueshiba stated regarding aiki are confined to his discussions after his retirement. Other than handing out Daito ryu scrolls, little is known of what he taught during his actual teaching career.
That said he was pretty consistent in defining aiki as opposing forces- in you- via the manipulation of in/yo.
*Aiki is the joining of the two ki's, as opposing forces, in you. This is best expressed in Heaven/earth/man.
*The working of the attraction point between yin and yang, this... Is my Takemusu aiki.
*Drawing a circle:
Aiki is opposing forces (in you)
*The mysteries of aiki are revealed in dual opposing spirals, one rising on the right, one descending on the left. In the midst a friction is created giving birth to in/yo. Once you move this way, no one can stop you.
*Aiki is yin yang. The dance of the Gods
While twirling a stick ( this is a deep teaching).
*Sensei why can't we do what you do?
It is because you do not understand yin yang.
Someone thinking that his commentary is reduced to only the aiki arts simply expresses a poor education- to include many of the greats who sat at his feet.
As previously noted: Ueshiba along with many Daito ryu teachers were often found using well known Chinese internal strength terms and methods. It seems only some.. of the western mid level students found here, have a problem with that in the.... aiki belongs to Daito ryu mantra of the true believers as their very own seniors continue to quote taiji classics!!

P Goldsbury
19th November 2014, 10:10
I think your comments on what Ueshiba stated regarding aiki are confined to his discussions after his retirement. Other than handing out Daito ryu scrolls, little is known of what he taught during his actual teaching career.

I think this would depend on the date of his retirement. Even after his move to Iwama in 1942 he still did a lot of teaching and some disciples would argue that he remained teaching right up till his death. Didn't Stan Pranin place the 'transformation' from Daito-ryu to aikido during the years at the Kobukan, from 1931 to 1942?

Dan Harden
19th November 2014, 15:16
The term is irrelevant. If someone claims not to be teaching ono ha itto ryu or tatsumi ryu or whatever but that they ARE teaching the gokui (inner teachings) of that ryu in seminars (which are the really important parts that are only worth learning anyway according to them) but they won't declare who taught them and to what level they are exposed to these teachings, well what are you to make of that?

Explaining it away that someone of a previous generation made the whole thing up is irrelevant (as well as being speculation in this case).You could make that statement about the founder of ANY ryu. There are ethical issues involved here IMO. But most people involved in this have made their own decisions on this at this stage. So if people are happy to strip mine what they believe to be the core of an art for their own personal benefit, that's something they'll have to deal with.
I don't know who you are referring to here. The majority of people involved with training IP and aiki have remained in their traditional arts, have never violated any oath where they may apply, and never offered any kind of oath or promise to a teacher in DR or Aikido that I am aware of (and I know quite a few practitioner of that art who trained here in the States, in Japan and in Europe).
As for secrets and being defensive over some supposed higher level stuff?
Another case in point: Aiki in yo ho, being kept secret in one branch, with another branch teaching it across the board to white belts. Yin/yang to make aiki age, the use of dantian, development of an aiki body (internal strength) the applied working principle of Fure aiki being everyday working models in taiji, a family Indonesian art, and two forms of Karate. Again proving that one arts secrets are another arts everyday working model. That said, the training modalities being used by the IP crowd are from a series of Japanese, Chinese and indonesian arts. Therefore anyone from DR being protective of stolen information is an overstatement. It is only the few here in DR who continue to think their art has some super duper secret. There are dozens of practitioners in Daito ryu who I know who disagree with you and the few others here. Like them, I simply don't see what the fuss is all about. As Kiyama (A DR shihan) once said. "Aiki is very difficult to achieve. Once someone has it, they have it and they deserve it." The only comedy is that no one agrees who has it!!! Group 1 thinks group 2 and 3 doesn't have aiki, and group 2 thinks the same of group 1, and even those in group 1 think others in their own group don't have aiki. If anyone ever published the behind closed doors commentary of the various DR branches on each others aiki and training it would blow people away. I simply don't care. I have better things to do with my time.

Higher level training
It is simply stunning to have met, formed relationships, which then revealed basically the same higher level material being trained across the board in arts throughout Asia. I know this seems odd to many who through lack of exposure and teaching, were unaware that these things existed both whihin their art, and outside of their art in amny other places. This is perhaps why the lower and mid level students are typically so parochial and divisive in their views.. They can't imagine there even being a broader, common understanding of high level skills that can be trained "outside" of an art and that has existed across the board in Asia. This, even with their very own founders and seniors quoting all the same foundational work and models that have existed even longer than their own art forms.

This of course lends credence to my opening commentary about why there is such a fuss over such a broad training model.
Also worthy of note is not just what the fuss is, but who the few people are who are causing it.

Dan Harden
19th November 2014, 15:40
I think this would depend on the date of his retirement. Even after his move to Iwama in 1942 he still did a lot of teaching and some disciples would argue that he remained teaching right up till his death. Didn't Stan Pranin place the 'transformation' from Daito-ryu to aikido during the years at the Kobukan, from 1931 to 1942?
Peter
I don't separate the drivers behind what he was doing pre and post war. What I meant in my previous post you responded to was that we only have him discussing methods on tape and in written form....later in his career. However, the source (DR) never changed. His many quotes are well known power building methods, still practiced today in DR, in ICMA etc.. It was what he was taught by Takeda.
Of course, as I stated, since the material is not singular to DR and is referenced in so many places in Japanese and Chinese literature, Ueshiba like so many other Aiki men (and Takeda students) who first learned solo and aiki-body methods evolved/changed/individualized and went on to get a broader education, but the driver that gave them all soft power...to whatever degree they want to argue about...is the same.

Ueshiba is a DR sourced man, from start to finish.
* I have stated and debated, for decades now that Ueshiba and DR were using the same high level methods. His opinions and views on aiki and power are straight out of the box Daito ryu.
* Some strongly argued on the net he got more from Chinese exercises later in life.
* I held the course and argued back that those supposed Chinese influences... were IN DR!!. We now know the shared Shingon origins.
* What I had originally stated continues to be validated by an increasing number of Daito ryu teachers now being quoted and showing Chinese training modalities which also appear in other Japanese ryu.

So, today as in the past, I contune to state that the drivers behind the aiki arts are the same, and they share a pedagogy with many other Asian arts; past and present.

Cliff Judge
19th November 2014, 17:49
Ellis,

I enjoyed reading your post a lot. To the extent that you've touched on the overall debate and the groups involved I think you have a balanced and respectful view of everyone. One of the points you make is close to one I have been attempting to make in this thread and others.



In my research on my revised version of Old School - which will be out in a few weeks (http://www.edgework.info/buy-books-on-martial-arts.html) I write about a great mid-Edo martial artist, Honma Sengoro, who is described as doing a feat very similar to that of DR, but perhaps at a higher level. He was pinned face-up by five retainers of a daimyo. Not the same ryu or dojo. And he easily stood up, with five people unable to stop him. He was rechallenged and eventually did it five times. The salient point is that in the commentary of the history, it states something like, "This showed his exemplary skill at kumiuchi." Kumiuchi is a generic term for body-to-body grappling. What is significant here is that Honma is described as being at the top of the heap in a skill that was commonplace, so to speak. In other words, to the Japanese, it was a given that grappling had components of IS. It was a matter of course. (I also take this on in Hidden in Plain Sight, of course, discussing such schools at Kito-ryu and Yoshin-ryu, but the signal point here is that a generic word that was used by everybody sufficed to describe a form of IS).

A rhetorical question I have been musing over is this: to what extent was Honma an aiki master? What sense does it make to describe his feat as an expression of aiki?

As you and Mark both pointed out, the term aiki wasn't used by Ueshiba or Takeda until many generations after Honma's day, so in a literal sense the question is nonsense, it is similar to asking "How many Marines held the line at the Battle of Thermopylae?" There were no "Marines" at that battle. Yet, US Marines feel a spiritual connection with the warriors of Sparta, and have taken the Spartan as an in-culture symbol of the virtues they aspire to. So a Marine might point to the valor exhibited in popular understanding of the events of the Battle of Thermopylae and say, "That's what we are, that's us."

Similarly, someone who is deeply committed to "aiki" might look back into history before the term was used much, find a story of some feat of martial skill and say "That's aiki." It would mean in this case, "That's the kind of thing I aspire to - to be able to be like that," or "to be able to do that." In fact the Honma story is really concrete - right out of the Daito ryu playbook. We could therefore talk about, not something like spirit or character that is in common, but an actual skill. "I train to develop a certain type of skill, which I call aiki. Here are some examples of great men in the past who have exhibited what I am talking about."

But here's another question - the person who recorded the Honma story called it kumiuchi. What did Honma name the skill he was demonstrating? What was the name of the principle he was exemplifying? What would he say to you if you went back in time and said to him, "Sir, that was an amazing demonstration of aiki?"

I think he'd ask you to repeat the question because he didn't understand what you were asking. Because the statement that he was demonstrating aiki is only true in some special sense. I think it is accurate to say it is "non-factual" since it cannot be proven or disproven.

I am not demonstrating, or even attempting to demonstrate, that there is any kind of "trademark" on the term aiki (though I do agree with Ellis's assertion that it is a type of branding). But I think there is a sort of line of appropriateness here that has to do with where you come from and what you represent when you make a statement such as "aiki has been practiced for generations going back to China and India." Because aiki is an inner secret of Daito ryu, and for Aikido, it is an all-encompassing, governing spirit that exists as a philosophical and moral principle as well as a martial skill. It is a particular thing to these groups, and some attention should be paid to how people inside those groups feel when it is applied to other things by people outside.

Let's say Honma bowed to the lord, and when complimented on his skill, stated, "Oh no, I didn't do that well at all. I have trained neko no myojutsu for many years but I am only starting to learn its secrets."

So what if someone emerged onto the scene claiming to be teaching "Neko no myojutsu." Let's say the person claimed to have trained in under several different IP masters, and developed his own system of training, and having read the story of Senguro Honma, he decided to name it "Neko no Myojutsu." Would that be okay? You can imagine how the lines would form - the usual suspects would decry that as ridiculous and flimflammy, and call this person a charlatan. Others would say, whatever, he has skills that we want to have, and we enjoy training with him. There are probably ways he could mollify the former group, and ways he could double-down and be even more polarizing and divisive, but at the end of the day, he has taken something that meant something very specific at one point, and turned it into a fairly hollow label, and applied it to his own thing.

The situation is more complex with the term aiki. In Daito ryu there are subtle differences in the place that term has in the skills and principles of the art as it is transmitted. I read it as more of an effect than a skill in my Daito ryu training. That may change, but I'd like to focus on what my Daito ryu instructors and sempai, as well as the training itself has to tell me about what aiki is in that context.

Aikido is actually a more complex situation. Personally speaking, in my training with them, my teachers have been vague on the subject of what Aiki actually is. What I think about that, is that they don't think it is appropriate to make a strict, explicit definition of Aiki, but to leave it up to we students to figure it out ourselves. And over the decades, it really seems like a lot of Aikidoka have taken the term to refer to things that are philosophical, ethical, spiritual, psychological, etc.

Reading about koryu for years and training it for about five years now has led me to believe that an integrated training system is more than the sum of its parts. You cannot break out some piece of a certain system and combine it with other pieces and expect to have a resulting skill set similar to proper training in each system. One of the reasons for this is that application of specific skills is of middling importance in koryu, you are training to be a certain type of person who responds fluidly, instantaneously, and uniquely to a stressful situation, but in a way that, upon later analysis, could be recognized as "exhibiting perfectly the spirit of" such and such a school. So a survey of 1000 martial systems across multiple societies and historical epochs that finds, say, a similar type of breath training, or a similar understanding of cross-oppositional body mechanics, is not really going to show you anything useful. It reduces to realizing that these are all systems created by humans on planet earth; they've all got two feet and two arms and similarly constructed skeletons and nervous systems. It doesn't say much that many of them get into breathing, or studying how their balance works, or what have you.

And that's basically why it is meaningless to say that Honma was an aiki master. And as for why it is misleading to "retcon" older martial arts as training "aiki," the point is that in those systems, the indicators of aiki you see are probably components meant to instill entirely different things, things that have been lost or are simply different. They are different paths. Everybody here is on their own path, why borrow a name for yours?

Cliff Judge
19th November 2014, 21:24
One of the issues for me in this thread -- and I think you discussed this at length in Hidden in Plain Sight, concerns Morihei Ueshiba. Ueshiba mentions aiki a number of times in his discourses and insofar as he defines this term at all, he does so within a cultural context that he appears to have assumed was known to his hearers. Or if it was not, then it was up to them to work out what he meant. Which they appear to have done, but only to varying degrees. Whether his use of the term was an issue then, or is an issue now, is not something that can be deduced from his discourses.

Are there any documents, contemporary or not, that might help explain this context?

Dan Harden
19th November 2014, 21:34
Everybody here is on their own path, why borrow a name for yours?

For someone who appreciated Ellis's post so much, you sure did miss the salient points.
His school (among others) have concepts of aiki that predate your own.
We have no idea whatsoever what aiki was or meant to Takeda Sokaku, where it lines up in importance within his own *borrowing* of the name "aiki" for his own purposes in an art he fabricated long after the concept of aiki being used in Japanese arts. Or what Ellis meant had he not chosen to place it in the name.
Perhaps you should check in again, as Peter suggested, with your own teachers, teacher: Tokimune, who stated aiki was all over the place in Japan. I'm pretty sure his opinion is more fully realized and informed, particularly when you see him using Chinese internal body methods and quoting their concepts.
As for rank, I seem to recall him admitting to the police capt. in Sendai that neither he or his father Sokaku... had any rank in anything.

Dan Harden
19th November 2014, 23:03
To be clear.
No one one knows what Takeda's aiki was in context to his entire art and how he taught it or where it came from as it pre-dated him in other arts. Therefore know one can make a claim as to it's unique nature in that art compared to another. Contextually that ties in with Ellis and my point.
Since aiki predates Takeda and is actually part of other arts. In that sense he himself *borrowed* the term as as much as anyone else.

Ellis Amdur
20th November 2014, 01:19
Cliff - I never imagined that Honma was an "aiki" master. I have encounter people with a very high level of ability in application of IS, but the only "aiki," as best I understand that specific term I'm familiar with is in Toda-ha Buko-ryu - and it does not seem to relate to IS at all (however, it is clear to me that THBR has waza that only make sense with the proper application of internal strength (and we have no name for such a thing - I think it was such a given that it was taught by kuden- but without it, truly, a lot of waza are impossible in any pressured context).
I'm not even sure that Honma's ability is out of the DR playbook - because all the DR I've seen (including Tokimune sensei) have done this with their own students, not five un-prepped individuals of bushi rank who surely didn't want to be embarrassed in front of the daimyo by some country bumpkin. But it certainly resembles it.
I don't know what Honma called what he did - but he trained in Maebashi Araki-ryu, which used the terms torite and kogusoku for grappling and Asayama Ichiden-ryu (I don't know what they refer to their system as, but they were known for a particular application of skill where one couldn't get a hold or pin them - they slipped through your fingers, so to speak).
And in regards to your hypothetical "Neko no Myojutsu"--I don't think there would have been a problem at all. The only problem is if he claimed to do "Yano Shin-ryu xxxjutsu" and he'd never studied it. However, even then, if he had defeated a Yano Shin-ryu (I made the name up) in a shiai, and asserted that in so doing he grasped the essence of their art, many would still possibly find that acceptable (they surely would if the YSR guy, bowing in defeat said something like, 'you have mastered what I have only reached for.' i think that's why Takeda Sokaku was comfortable giving Ueshiba a menkyo in Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, even though he never studied it - he had menkyo holders of YagyuSR among his students, and surely demonstrated his higher level against them - so it's probable that he "took possession" of their art, because as his deshi now, they were his already.
Any way, reading thru the rest of your post, I must interject that I never said Honma was an aiki master - rather that he possessed skills that were once believed to be of the myojutsu level, but were commonplace at the time. Hence, I suggest, there was nothing strange about Takeda referring to what he did as jujutsu (particularly if I am right in my speculation in HIPS that he learned something of Inegami Shinmyo-ryu jujutsu, the core of his maternal grandfather's skill, one of only two/three (I forget) otome-ryu jujutsu of Aizu.
As I said, I'm quite comfortable myself that DR may be Mozart . . . .or Kuhlau/Duscek/Hummel.... (look them up in Wikipedia, if you don't get the reference), but I don't believe that DR aiki is a kind of music unlike any other, even if a) it surely has some unique traits based on how it is trained and how it is expressed b) it is part of a larger context/whole.

Cliff Judge
20th November 2014, 04:15
I appreciate everyone's comments but I must beg your pardon because I failed to coherently express my thoughts in that last post.

I am largely onboard with the idea that IS training was more widely available in the koryu period. And before, too, sure, why not? But it wasn't called "Aiki" until the 20th century. In my opinion, saying Honma practiced "aiki" is in most senses ridiculous (and non-factual). He didn't call it that, none of his contemporaries would have called it that, and he obviously never trained in Daito ryu or Aikido.

Now, someone who was involved with Daito ryu or Aikido who was trying to explain their own art might say that Honma's feat was a great expression of aiki. This would not be a claim of a lineage from Honma, or a claim that they were doing the same thing - it would be a kind of association at a spiritual or essential level. This is my interpretation of Tokimune et. al. saying "Aiki has been around in Japan for hundreds of years." It really means, "the essence of what I am trying to teach you, which we call 'aiki' here in this dojo, has been around. (But it went by many different names)." This is a very different type of claim than the one that goes, "Aiki has been practiced for generations going back to China and India and Ueshiba and Takeda are simply modern exponents of this one grand tradition."

Its kind of a "the map is not the territory" thing.

Ellis, Peter, and others on this thread have spent more time in Japan than I have but if I can take a stab at this - this matter of "apprehending the essence" of things is something Japanese folks have always loved to do. They like to find simple, elegant little themes and things which can express everything important and irreducible about a greater, more complex thing, such as a system of information like an art form. Finding that thing is a way to show you have really grasped it. In the west we like to take things apart and lay all the components out so you can see every piece, and that is the way we think we've really come to an understanding of something. When Tokimune said that aiki was commonplace in other japanese martial arts, he was doing the Japanese thing. I think confusion is a certainly if you think he was doing the Western thing - saying "these pieces of our martial art have been components of other martial arts."

There is a danger in taking the "break it down" approach in general to koryu bujutsu, which is something I have seen in this thread a lot. Because IMO, koryu were not meant to teach collections of discrete skills, they were meant to provide a vehicle for the practitioner to transform and advance their abilities generally and broadly. They were holistic and integrated. You could find a dozen martial systems that had some similar, perhaps quirky technique or training method, and that would say NOTHING meaningful about them being related. The pieces may be similar, but the overall character of the system is entirely different.

So that's my argument against using the term "aiki" to describe IS that might be found in other historical systems.

I have also attempted to argue against using the term "aiki" to describe IS that is practiced outside of Daito ryu and Aikido by modern groups. I guess that point boils down to: there might not be a "trademark" on the term Aiki, but that doesn't mean it is right to use it to describe what just any martial artist does. Basically because not everybody in Daito ryu or Aikido defines Aiki strictly as IS.

Ellis Amdur
20th November 2014, 04:26
Cliff - you wrote: "In my opinion, saying Honma practiced "aiki" is in most senses ridiculous (and non-factual). He didn't call it that, none of his contemporaries would have called it that, and he obviously never trained in Daito ryu or Aikido."

I previously wrote: "Cliff - I never imagined that Honma was an "aiki" master."

You wrote:"So that's my argument against using the term "aiki" to describe IS that might be found in other historical systems."

I wrote: "Any way, reading thru the rest of your post, I must interject that I never said Honma was an aiki master - rather that he possessed skills that were once believed to be of the myojutsu level, but were commonplace at the time. Hence, I suggest, there was nothing strange about Takeda referring to what he did as jujutsu (particularly if I am right in my speculation in HIPS that he learned something of Inegami Shinmyo-ryu jujutsu, the core of his maternal grandfather's skill, one of only two/three (I forget) otome-ryu jujutsu of Aizu."

And I wrote: "As I said, I'm quite comfortable myself that DR may be Mozart . . . .or Kuhlau/Duscek/Hummel.... (look them up in Wikipedia, if you don't get the reference), but I don't believe that DR aiki is a kind of music unlike any other, even if a) it surely has some unique traits based on how it is trained and how it is expressed b) it is part of a larger context/whole."

At which point I wonder if you read my post, or the previous one.

Best
Ellis Amdur

Chris Hellman
20th November 2014, 07:39
We do have evidence that the term aiki was the the subject of some contention in bugei during the early 19th century. Matsura Seizan (being the ex-daimyo of Hirado, he moved in fairly high-up circles, and probably (for other reasons as well) had a fairly broad overview of martial arts of the time) wrote:

"The advanced sayings of swordsmanship speak of aiki—a harmonious contest. What exactly is it? Is it any different from the aiki of harmonious mind? If it is not, the harmonious mind may be something you have already heard of as a part of the normal spirit of the sword. I cannot answer…When accomplished people speak of aiki it is difficult to grasp their meaning."

(Joseishi Kendan - 1810)

Whether or not it was IP type skills that were spoken of as aiki is another matter, of course, but this strongly suggests that the term itself was used more widely (even if among select members of various ryu-ha) than most people may be aware of.

Chris Hellman

Dan Harden
20th November 2014, 10:50
The concept of duality existed throughout Asia, both in their cosmology and in their martial arts. In the martial sense it is the joining and manipulating the two kis (in-yo-ho or yin- yang theory). These concepts have been widely prescribed to make power and unusual skills. Models or sayings like Six direction theory, Heaven/earth/man are exemplars of the mind of man manipulating the ki of heaven and the ki of earth to produce stability and a disruptive ability to incoming forces. Weapons or no don't really matter, albeit with weapons the effect is enhanced and generally faster. An early reference to this is from 1447 with the founder of Shinto ryu stating that after he engaged in esoteric training in these two concepts at Kashima and katori jingu his sword became unstoppable.
Since these concepts run throughout the esoteric practices in Shingon Buddhism, of which both Takeda and Ueshiba were also students of, it is quite a stretch for anyone to believe they came up with something unique. And to add to that point, the masters of those arts kept using the very models I just referred to.
Interestingly, the common pose you saw the aiki guys in frequently- one hand up the other down- is meant to be an expression of heaven/earth/man. Not that it matters much but they tried to tie it in even to the birth of the Buddha. He was said to be born with one hand pointing up the other down and roaring like a lion. Also interestingly, he himself taught of Six direction theory in conjunction with breath training and? Heaven/earth/man.
It is the manipulation of in/yo that created aiki. The way to do that is the mystery that has lasted throughout these arts.

Cliff Judge
20th November 2014, 14:19
Ellis,

I didn't say that you said Honma was an Aiki master, it was a rhetorical question I was trying to knock down.

I don't think Aiki and IS are the same thing.

Dan Harden
20th November 2014, 15:23
I would say it doesn't really matter much what any individual student knows or doesn't know or better stated... doesn't get.... yet. You and other DR members here also stated there is no solo training in Daito ryu. Which has now been shown to be completely wrong, heck even in the very line you practice in!!
I continue to suggest to you that you at least review Kondo's own teacher; Tokimune, who taught it openly. I personally watched in house video of him doing so in his own dojo. Also ask people who were at Kondo's first visit to the U.S. what the hell we were all doing Sun. afternoon? He was teaching solo training.
I and others here listed quotations from other DR lines that also teach various solo training methods.
To which the few members here had nothing to say in rebuttal.
So I don't really listen to single or small sampling of students. You can get mixed results and wrong information.The opinions of students usually evolve. That's why one well known teacher, when asked about the internet said. "Why argue... with students?"

Opinions are not required. The teachers in the aiki arts practice Internal power building methods and teach the same yin yang theory found in the higher level Chinese arts. The body skills, right down to contact point manipulation through yin and yang, connecting, stickiness, and even quote taiji classics while doing so. The first time I heard reference to taiji was from a Kodokai instructor. Does it really matter that no one in that room knew what the hell he was talking about? Did it matter that he only explained it to me and one other guy? Did that change the relevance of what he said? Does it matter that apparently many students don't know and are not shown these things and that they are the same explanations in other arts?

Since you're offering opinions, I will offer one as well: the Chinese are far better at aiki than the Japanese.

Cliff Judge
20th November 2014, 15:50
Since you're offering opinions, I will offer one as well: the Chinese are far better at aiki than the Japanese.

That's not "aiki." I imagine it might actually be insulting to Chinese practitioners to name their martial concepts by a term coined by Japanese Imperialists.

Dan Harden
20th November 2014, 16:20
No not really.
I think western students of the Asian arts are the "true believers " and "defenders of the faith" When you get more experienced you see things in a different light.
But then again I am taking about teachers opinions here and not students.
Chinese and aiki?
A pretty substantial ICMA grand Master taught in Japan. He ended up teaching allot of aiki people. He also taught two of Sagawa's students who eventually quit Sagawa for him. He basically said what I just told you. His opinion of Japan's aiki people? "They were all working yin and yang with poor understanding of Dantian. I would say to them all this talk of aiki.Where is yin? Where is yang? How then can there be aiki? You cannot pretend Dantian you will be found out. "
FWIW, I got an A+ He asked me to come stay at his house for a month in China and share our arts.
I know where you are coming from. I *used* to think only Daito ryu had this stuff. It's going to be hard to remain so black and white as you experience better players from a broader range of arts.

Cliff Judge
20th November 2014, 16:30
Did he refer to himself as a teacher of aiki?

Dan Harden
20th November 2014, 16:46
Yes. Er...wasn't that obvious in his comments on aiki? He considers it all exactly what your own teachers also think and why they keep quoting the Chinese....and what it really is: a study of yin and yang. Only that he's better at it. Apparently so did Sagawa's 17 year long students.

Cliff Judge
20th November 2014, 16:56
Thanks. That's really interesting. So this Chinese gentleman used a Japanese word to refer to his art's principles. What language were you conversing with him in? I take it he has some fluency in English and Japanese, and he chose to use the Japanese term when speaking to you in English? Or a mixture of Japanese and Chinese terms, I guess, because he also refered to dantien?

Dan Harden
20th November 2014, 17:06
Only you keep referring to and thinking.. in a box.
"his arts principles" "Daito Ryu's principles"

He taught in Japan for 11 years. You are not hearing what is being said. This is of a higher order than what you keep stating. I don't have time to repeat or explain further, I'm flying all morning to Seattle.
That's okay.

Chris Li
20th November 2014, 17:13
Thanks. That's really interesting. So this Chinese gentleman used a Japanese word to refer to his art's principles. What language were you conversing with him in? I take it he has some fluency in English and Japanese, and he chose to use the Japanese term when speaking to you in English? Or a mixture of Japanese and Chinese terms, I guess, because he also refered to dantien?

Dantien is Tanden - it's the same word with a slightly different pronunciation. The linguistic argument that you're trying to make (and which you tried to make on Aikiweb) is a lot like trying to argue that "Democracy" didn't exist in ancient Greece because "Democracy" is a modern English word that didn't exist back then.

Best,

Chris

Dan Harden
20th November 2014, 17:26
Aiki in-yo ho and aiki in general.....is.... The use of Yin and yang. I lost track of how many Daito ryu and Aikido teachers said that. And used the Chinese and not the Japanese.
Chris, we are only debating a very tiny group of entrenched mid level Daito ryu students who have a presense here. As you well know they don't represent more common views in DR here and in Japan. I am taking past three or four detractors to a larger audience.

Cliff Judge
20th November 2014, 17:37
Dantien is Tanden - it's the same word with a slightly different pronunciation. The linguistic argument that you're trying to make (and which you tried to make on Aikiweb) is a lot like trying to argue that "Democracy" didn't exist in ancient Greece because "Democracy" is a modern English word that didn't exist back then.

Best,

Chris

What I am really trying to point out is that it would be generally incorrect to refer to a Conestoga wagon, used to transport goods across the US in the 18th and 19th centuries, as a "Mack truck."

Cliff Judge
20th November 2014, 17:41
Aiki in-yo ho and aiki in general.....is.... The use of Yin and yang. I lost track of how many Daito ryu and Aikido teachers said that. And used the Chinese and not the Japanese.
Chris, we are only debating a very tiny group of entrenched mid level Daito ryu students who have a presense here. As you well know they don't represent more common views in DR here and in Japan. I am taking past three or four detractors to a larger audience.

Okay, so your taiji teacher did NOT refer to his art's principles by the term "aiki?"

Dan Harden
20th November 2014, 17:48
Cliff
He wasn't my teacher. He was yet another guy I went up against.
To answer your question: For the second time...Yes..he did. He considered them the same; the study of yin and yang. Of equal value do did Sagawa's guys. He was also familiar with DR and Aikido's terminology and practices.
They had an awareness many posting here haven't yet achieved.
*Knowing these concepts leads to certain views and conclusions.
*Not knowing these concepts are the same and shared throughout the higher level arts doesn't effect reality.

Chris
The reason I say these are entrenched positions is that they stand in defiance of Daito ryu's own master level teachers who continually contradict what is appearing to be nothing more than some sort of belief system of a few students here rather than what was taught at the Master level.

Cliff Judge
20th November 2014, 17:58
Cliff
For the second time...Yes..he did. He considered them the same; the study of yin and yang. Of equal value do did Sagawa's guys. He was also familiar with DR and Aikido's terminology and practices.
Knowing these concepts leads to certain views.
Not knowing these concepts are the same and shared throughout the higher level arts doesn't effect reality.

Chris
The reason I say these are entrenched positions is that they stand in defiance of Daito ryu's own master level teachers who continually contradict what is appearing to be nothing more than some sort of belief system of a few students here rather than what was taught at the Master level.

I am not talking about concepts. I am talking about what the concepts should be called, and why. From my perspective there is a real lack of understanding in this thread of the distinction between what a thing is, and what it is named.

Edit: Sorry, I replied before your edit which clarified that your Chinese associate actually used a Japanese term to describe his art's principles. Thank you for the clarification.

Dan Harden
20th November 2014, 18:04
Ai/ki is the joining (or working) of two kis, two opposing forces. They are yin and yang
Thus taiji: the working of yin and yang....is aiki.
You admit you have limited experience in these matters yet you say things like this:
I am talking about what the concepts should be called, and why.
According to who?
As we have seen. The Daito ryu teachers have disagreed with many of the positions you few have adopted here.

These concepts are prevelent, logical, mechanically defendable, in use and consistent for generations throughout Asia.

It is sad that so many were not taught them. But that doesn't alter their existence.

Dan Harden
20th November 2014, 18:44
It might be worth noting for aikido people reading that Ueshiba stated;
"The working of the attraction point between yin and yang, this is my Takemusu aiki."
Sagawa stated while pointing to his own arm and hand while it was being grabbed: you must balance yin and yang to remove their power.
Sagawa's student published several drawings of this.
It was the very first thing I was taught. Hour one. No one else that I met over 11 years knew even that much. Others, like Popkin, teach it right away.
In the body there are many ways to manifest this that take their power away. Using intent to manifest yin/yang.
Ueshiba's standing on the floating bridge between the gods (Izanami / Izanagi, yin/ yang)
Ueshiba's twirling and spiraling of the bo was meant show potential in the body... Out. He called it: The dance of the Gods it is the working of yin/yang.
DR's aiki in yo ho breath work is straight out of the Chinese play book for power and stability. Itself a manifestation of yin and yang in the body to work the tendon/ fascia meridians and then to manipulate forces when grabbed.
On and on, its more of the same.