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

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdostie View Post
    Yes, but note the remarks I made about the translation. The version published by Aikido Journal is a heavily edited version of the original.
    Peter Goldsbury,
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cady Goldfield View Post
    It sounds like the technique demonstration and strict form you're talking about, for both mainline Daito-ryu and aikido, are the applied external jujutsu waza and not internal body training methods. It would be interesting to compare the approach(es) to the latter in both systems.
    Well, Kata Geiko in Daito-ryu is very deep and usually people are shown the most basic form, that is to say the omote waza. There are other forms of Kata Geiko training in Daito-ryu which naturally evolve with time and hopefully mastery but this is another subject.

    In my opinion, the strict form do not have to be that strict as long as the principles contained in the Kata are present and correctly understood. You are never told to blindly copy what your teacher is showing you but rather to understand what makes the "techniques" work and why. This is very important because it is the first step one has to make in order to find out all the connexions between the "techniques". In DR, all techniques are actually all connected and starting from the same principle, any "technique" can be applied whatever comes at you.

    I was always told that you should learn the Kata (and everything included in it), then forget it and build your own syllabus. The Kata Geiko is also very useful when training new students and somehow should be considered as the spinal column of the art. It might feel sometimes boring for the students but it is nevetherless a very important stage for any student.

    Solo Training is supposed to bring those skills into an even higher dimension.
    Deception is one of Kenpo´s best technique.

    Väck ej björnen som sover


    Raphael Deutsch

  4. #364
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Goldsbury View Post
    Have you come across the two books whose author is given as Morihei Ueshiba? I mean 『武道練習』 and 『武道』. The first appeared in 1933 and the second in 1938. They have both been translated, but I have the Japanese originals and have some severe reservations about the quality of the translation, especially that of the 1938 book. In an interview with Stan Pranin, the lady who did the illustrations for the first book was a student in the Kobukan Dojo stated quite clearly that they were doing Daito-ryu. Many of the waza shown were unknown to me until I came to train here in Hiroshima. On one occasion I asked the present Doshu about the 1938 book and he showed me the Hombu's copy. He also stated quite emphatically that aikido had changed since the time the book was written. To me this was as much a political statement about the position of the Aikikai as a statement about actual aikido waza, or principles.

    I had the pleasure of training for many years with the teacher who influenced Mr Saotome very much. I mean Yamaguchi Seigo, who was William Gleason's teacher. Yamaguchi Sensei always taught principles, but always through waza, and this is why I think there is some ambivalence here. Morihei Ueshiba, also, always taught principles by means of waza and there are over 150 of them illustrated in the 1933 book.

    Best wishes,
    The techniques shown in the budo books are Daito ryu "techniques." And that term should be used loosely as none of the schools agree on the type or order. This once again calls into question the idea of Daito ryu as a legitimate koryu V a made up on the spot, gendai art.

    More importantly, this discussion of principles being taught through techniques is, in itself, an interesting proposition.
    *If the principles are consistent?
    Do the techniques have to be consistent as well?
    * If not (And I would argue that they are not linked) then couldn't the*principles* be applied in anything?

    This of course, opens up a discussion that brings us right back to the O.P. It aslo leaves us with the few midlevel Daito ryu students here having to once again make a case that not only are the DR techniques unique in all the world, but so are their *aiki* principles. And this in open contradiction of their seniors disagreeing with them.

    Chinese influence
    Generalizing so much Chinese influence in Japanese culture once again misses the point. It is clear that the use of the internal training concepts, both verbal and in actual body use that are used and quoted by Daito ryu's founder and teachers were chosen for good reason. Students not knowing anything about it really has no value, other than to point out once again that it just validates what the art states openly: that they didn't teach over 90% of them anyway.

    It takes someone who has gone outside the art to be able to tell the students what their teachers are taking about. It seems very odd to have a Daito ryu student saying "You couldn't pay me to do a Chinese art!" then hear their teachers quoting the deepest principles of them in public." But that is a result of the *secret transmission* process, "ya don't always know what you're gittin'." or where it actually comes from. ;-)
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 20th December 2014 at 16:12.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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  6. #365
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Goldsbury View Post
    Have you come across the two books whose author is given as Morihei Ueshiba? I mean 『武道練習』 and 『武道』. The first appeared in 1933 and the second in 1938. They have both been translated, but I have the Japanese originals and have some severe reservations about the quality of the translation, especially that of the 1938 book. In an interview with Stan Pranin, the lady who did the illustrations for the first book was a student in the Kobukan Dojo stated quite clearly that they were doing Daito-ryu. Many of the waza shown were unknown to me until I came to train here in Hiroshima. On one occasion I asked the present Doshu about the 1938 book and he showed me the Hombu's copy. He also stated quite emphatically that aikido had changed since the time the book was written. To me this was as much a political statement about the position of the Aikikai as a statement about actual aikido waza, or principles.

    I had the pleasure of training for many years with the teacher who influenced Mr Saotome very much. I mean Yamaguchi Seigo, who was William Gleason's teacher. Yamaguchi Sensei always taught principles, but always through waza, and this is why I think there is some ambivalence here. Morihei Ueshiba, also, always taught principles by means of waza and there are over 150 of them illustrated in the 1933 book.

    Best wishes,
    I've got a copy of "Budo Training in Aikido" which I believe is the oft-maligned translation of Budo Renshu.

    With regard to the principles-through-waza method in Aikido teaching, how prevalent is that in Japan?

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    Principles through waza... is a twice told tale. It is hardly unique or even unusual. It's a staple throughout many arts, and cultures. Once this is understood, the world of budo opens up,. It's where we see a consistency of the drivers behind the movements become the birthplace of technique.
    As Ushiba said about yin and yang (aiki in yo ho): "It is the working of the attraction point between yin and yang that is the birthplace of all techniques. This is my takemusu aiki."
    This ties in nicely with Sagawa teaching: "The working of two opposing points (yin/yang) as the acting bodies around a point of support."
    Which marries with the classics well.
    "Adhesion: caused through movement, but movement only with yin and yang. This... is the true comprehension of energy."

    Today, there is no reason someone cannot understand. It is all so simple.
    Takeda said: "I don't let people watch because the truth of my technique is so simple someone could steal it."

    In the end, it really boils down to the working of yin and yang after all. The rather trite, overused and yet poorly understood mechanical model is the underpinning of everything.
    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 Cliff Judge View Post
    I've got a copy of "Budo Training in Aikido" which I believe is the oft-maligned translation of Budo Renshu.

    With regard to the principles-through-waza method in Aikido teaching, how prevalent is that in Japan?
    I have a copy of the older reprint, which puts the Japanese text and the translation on the same page. There is also an introduction, which is also printed, with a few changes, in the 1938 book. I prefer to have the Japanese text and the translation side by side and this is probably due to the training I received at university in collating classical texts.

    As for Japan, I can speak only of my own teachers, but those who were more prominent teachers at the Aikikai Hombu, Yamaguchi, Arikawa, Tada, always did this.
    Peter Goldsbury,
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    Intent is everything! Training via intent with yin/yang to change the body to work differently than normal produces aiki.

    http://www.breitbart.com/news/mind-o...n-tone-muscle/

    "To demonstrate the power of the brain, researchers at Ohio University wrapped a single wrist of two sets of study participants in a cast — immobilizing their muscles for four weeks. One set was instructed to sit still and intensely imagine exercising for 11 minutes, five days a week. More than just casually daydream about going to the gym, participants were instructed to devote all of their mental energy towards imagining flexing their arm muscles.

    The other set of study participants weren’t given any specific instructions. At the end of the four weeks, the mental-exercisers were two times stronger than the others.

    Researchers also used magnetic imaging to isolate the area of the brain responsible for the specific arm muscles. Participants that imagine exercise not only had stronger arms but also a stronger brain; their mental exercises created stronger neuromuscular pathways"

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    From a translation of Tamura's book "Aikido - Etiquette and Transmission:"
    "Aiki (as distinct from Aikido) is the origin of all martial arts. This is what the Founder of Aikido wished to express when he named his art takemusuaiki.

    However, it is important to note that the primordial nature of Aiki doesn't imply that Aikido is the best martial art, but only that it is one way towards aiki. Being able to develop the multiple facets of Aikido requires one to integrate the principle of Aiki."
    Again, as Ueshiba stated and as Tokimune taught: it is essential to first embrace in/yo. To join and manipulate the two kis. This is also expressed in the classics: " Through change, ten thousand endings, but only through one theory. The union of opposites."
    And again as it is just a continuation of the same theme:
    "If one doesn't embrace in-yo-ho; first in the breath, then in the body, then expressed in the hands, there is no aiki." (Sagawa)

    "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." Liu ChengDe teaching DR and aikido students. In Japan.
    Aiki....as a concept; yin and yang. The goal of solo training the body. The origin of all the higher arts. Yet largely unknown, and ignored, hence the modern versions ( or corruptions) of what the arts once were.
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 26th December 2014 at 05:26.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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    Again, perhaps worth repeating.
    The founder of Shinto ryu after years of esoteric training at Katori and Kashima jingu: Once I understood the theory of heaven/earth/man and six direction training, my sword became unstoppable." And so it was.
    What could give a swordsman a true power to cut through another's defenses, both by shear strength that isn't isolated muscle, but also joined with ghosty disruptive ability?
    What would that training impart that 600 years later Ueshiba was quoting him and using and touting the same theory?
    What did they know, that modern adepts do not?
    Why are so many of the seniors in the aiki arts, quoting these things, even as the internet crowd dismisses their own teachers?
    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
    From a translation of Tamura's book "Aikido - Etiquette and Transmission:"
    Again, as Ueshiba stated and as Tokimune taught: it is essential to first embrace in/yo. To join and manipulate the two kis. This is also expressed in the classics: " Through change, ten thousand endings, but only through one theory. The union of opposites."
    And again as it is just a continuation of the same theme:
    "If one doesn't embrace in-yo-ho; first in the breath, then in the body, then expressed in the hands, there is no aiki." (Sagawa)

    "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." Liu ChengDe teaching DR and aikido students. In Japan.
    Aiki....as a concept; yin and yang. The goal of solo training the body. The origin of all the higher arts. Yet largely unknown, and ignored, hence the modern versions ( or corruptions) of what the arts once were.
    Here's some interesting stuff....

    Minamoto no Yoshiie inherited a form called "Ten Chi Jin Sandan no Houkei" (天地人三段之法形, Heaven-Earth-Man Three Step Form) contained in "Ryuko Nikan no Hidensho" (龍虎ニ巻之秘伝書, Two Secret Scrolls of the Dragon and Tiger - "Dragon and Tiger" being one way of expressing Yin/Yang). Minamoto Yoshiie created a system called "Ten Chi Jin In Yo Godan no Houkei” (天地人陰陽五段之法形, Heaven-Earth-Man Yin Yang Five Step Form). Minamoto Yoshiie's brother was Minamoto no Yoshimitsu, the supposed Founder of Daito-ryu.

    Those scrolls would eventually make their way to Kiichi Hogen, whom Morihei Ueshiba often quoted as having possessed "the secret of Aikido" (some 900 years ago).

    Best,

    Chris

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    Thanks Chris
    I am pleased that we continue to be part of the restoration process. Researchers and translators like yourself, now armed with the correct nomenclature ( industry terms) congruent with this body of work will continue to uncover and prove the existence of internal training practiced throughout the entire existence of the Asian arts.
    Without internal training, there really is no connection to the origins. Without this ancient body technology, the modern versions are just muscle driven, meathead budo. As we continue to reveal here in just the small aiki driven arts forum; you have students of Aiki-do and Daito ryu and koryu scoffing at the idea, all while their own founder and teachers are quoting the Chinese and Tibetan practice.. of them.
    I think this profound and rather embarrassing ignorance will fade in time. Most likely in proportion to the exposure of the traditional body methods at the root of their own art forms.
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 27th December 2014 at 15:10.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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