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

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgsmith View Post
    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. But, that's to be expected. I know a lot of us who were that fuss before we went to train hands-on.

    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View 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.
    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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WVMark View Post
    "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."
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 25th June 2014 at 14:32.
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    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.

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    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.
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 25th June 2014 at 17:26.
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    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

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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    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?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    It would be like expecting Kondo to understand weapons.
    Just going to leave that sitting out there by itself between two quote tags.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gavinslater View Post
    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."

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    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Judge View Post
    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.

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    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.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Default Aiki is movement

    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 [Breaking the Posture]) it was asserted that 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 in the earlier quote (which is actually later in the book).

  15. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Goldsbury View Post
    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
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 26th September 2014 at 16:47.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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    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.

  17. Likes Kendoguy9 liked this post
  18. #105
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    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
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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