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

  1. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Judge View Post
    Dan,

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

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

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

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

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

    The debate is only talking about the debate. A discussion of aiki has never occurred and it never will.
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 27th September 2014 at 11:32.
    Dan
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  2. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    Cliff
    My intentions were to clarify the animus that was going on in another thread that had nothing to do with me. Peter and Nathan and others were contending over issues involving the term "aiki."
    I wanted to spell out why these discussions have never and will never go anywhere.

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


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

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

    The debate is only talking about the debate. A discussion of aiki has never occurred and it never will.
    Who are these people? What are their experience in the art, and what is YOUR experience in the art that qualifies you to confidently state what is or is not "DR" aiki? These are fairly simple questions. If people want to term what they are doing or training "aiki" fine, but (for the sake of clarification) they need to say what has led them to this understanding of the term, as the word can cover many things.

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

    Best wishes,

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

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

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

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

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    Peter
    I think the last two responses give you the heads up about the atmosphere, the vilifying, and inside baseball that we were talking regarding this topic and this forum.
    Cady already knows this.
    Regards
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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    Oison and Cliff
    The points I made have not been addressed and largely seem to escape you. I will try repeating it for you.

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

    What you continue to avoid is this
    1. You guys...let me repeat that since you decided to throw it back on me that I was discussing rank and skill to slam people.
    2. YOU GUYS.... are the ones that set a standard surrounding rank (deep initiation repeated here for years)

    3. Your standard nullifies all opinions-including your own to discuss your very own art or the art of others.

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

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

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

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

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

    5...4...3...2...1...attack!
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

  6. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    Oison and Cliff
    The points I made have not been addressed and largely seem to escape you. I will try repeating it for you.

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

    What you continue to avoid is this
    1. You guys...let me repeat that since you decided to throw it back on me that I was discussing rank and skill to slam people.
    2. YOU GUYS.... are the ones that set a standard surrounding rank (deep initiation repeated here for years)

    3. Your standard nullifies all opinions-including your own to discuss your very own art or the art of others.

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

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

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

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

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

    5...4...3...2...1...attack!
    I have no interest in "discussing aiki" (relating to DR) on the internet. Pretty much the only point I have made relating to this is that, if you really want to know, join a DR group and train. YOU are discussing it and doing seminars in training it, so I asked you how you learned it and to what level. That's nothing personal there. It's a simple question. You still haven't answered by the way, but if I'm reading your post correctly, you are imitimating that Kiyama and Goldberg are basically endorsing your teaching, so that's fine.

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

    None... of that is the point, though.
    What was the point of my post, Oison?
    What?
    It was an explanation as to why no one will discuss DR aiki or Koryu aiki.
    Ever.
    A very simple point with an expanded reason behind it.
    THAT... Was the point of my thread. To explain what has gone on her for over a decade.
    Aiki will never be discussed here.
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 28th September 2014 at 19:50.
    Dan
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  8. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    People around the world, from many different arts, train and discuss aiki. A few fellas here on ebudo claim it isn't aiki and/or that it most certainly isn't DR aiki, and or that DR owns the term.
    On that point, a lot of the concepts around aiki and aiki training are found in quite a few places. For instance, from the book, "Miyamoto Musashi: His Life and Writings" by Kenji Tokitsu.

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

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


    2. From the Footnote 84.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Default Aiki as a concept in different arts

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

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

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    Why should it surprise you?

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

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    Cliff,

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

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cady Goldfield View Post
    Cliff,

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

    If you disagree with another person's post, then rebut it with academic objectivity and documentation to support your points. If you can't contribute something positive to the discussion, then please remove yourself from it.
    Sorry, Cady, I am thinking of how to lay out my thoughts in more detail. I found the concept that Musashi was somehow a lineal antecedent to Ueshiba really funny, it gave me a "Shakespeare sounds best in its native Klingon" moment.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by P Goldsbury View Post
    Why should it surprise you?

    I believe that aiki is being discussed in this and other threads as a general concept, applicable to more than one martial art. As such, the arguments have to be considered on their merits, including those of Tokitsu. In his book on ki, published in French in 2000 and translated into English in 2002, he discusses a concept that is similar, in the sense that it, too, can be applied to more than one martial art.
    Peter, aiki is not being discussed as a general concept.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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



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

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


    Last edited by Dan Harden; 8th October 2014 at 23:33.
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