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

  1. #136
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    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
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    Quote Originally Posted by elder999 View Post
    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.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

  3. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    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?
    Aaron J. Cuffee


    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    - H.L. Mencken

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  5. #139
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    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.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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    Quote Originally Posted by elder999 View Post
    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/...aikido-hawaii/

    Quote Originally Posted by Meyer Goo
    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"
    Quote Originally Posted by Meyer Goo
    “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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    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..
    Aaron J. Cuffee


    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    - H.L. Mencken

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    Quote Originally Posted by WVMark View Post
    Meyer Goo has answered your question.
    http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/...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.....
    Aaron J. Cuffee


    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    - H.L. Mencken

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    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by gavinslater View Post
    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

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    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
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 22nd October 2014 at 17:11. Reason: Edited for off-topic personal content

  12. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by elder999 View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 22nd October 2014 at 12:33.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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    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.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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    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.
    Cady Goldfield

  15. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by gavinslater View Post
    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. 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.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    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.

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