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Thread: Aiki as a concept- why all the fuss?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Judge View Post
    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

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    In Lance's argument, G1 has no more credible link to aiki than anyone else.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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    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.
    Last edited by P Goldsbury; 26th June 2014 at 22:57. Reason: removal of irrelevant material.
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Default in a word, yes

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Judge View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    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

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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    Dan, nobody ever claimed that Daito-ryu "owned" the term aiki.
    Cliff Judge did:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Judge View Post
    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

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    post deleted
    Last edited by muden; 14th June 2014 at 06:57. Reason: spelling

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    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.
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post

    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.
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by muden View Post
    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
    Last edited by Chris Li; 14th June 2014 at 08:09.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Li View Post
    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?

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    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
    Deception is one of Kenpo´s best technique.

    Väck ej björnen som sover


    Raphael Deutsch

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    Quote Originally Posted by muden View Post
    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

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    Beer So many different aiki's ?

    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by gavinslater View Post
    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.

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