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

  1. #121
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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. I, for one, am discussing aiki as a general concept and have done so in several posts in this thread. I started off with the definition of aiki given in Dr Hall's encyclopedia. My main interest is how the term was used by Morihei Ueshiba in his discourses.
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post




    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.


    Leaving the personal defamation aside, are you stating that you are teaching solo training drills learned from a branch of daito ryu? If so, who taught you, and to what level did you learn? As you yourself have stated, DR branches consider some parts of training proprietary, so these are reasonable questions. Remember Dan, you are repeatedly making these public claims and charging money to seminars teaching this stuff And who are these DR practicioners that attend your seminars and show you solo training methods from their own traditions? BTW, consistently attacking and defaming DR practicioners who question your statements as not knowing what they are talking about is getting pretty old and is contributing to the drop in standards on this forum IMO.

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    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.


    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    Hello Dan,

    Thank you for your response.

    As I intimated to Mr Judge, I am not really interested in Daito-ryu. If I were, I would probably move from here to a different location, within reach of a dojo, and train. So, all the statements in this thread made by those who claim to practice Daito-ryu or represent Daito-ryu in some way, leave me unmoved. I respect the bona fides of those who make the statements. After all, this is a general discussion forum and everyone is entitled to express an opinion, but that is all.

    I am much more interested in studying what Morihei Ueshiba states about aiki. Ueshiba wrote about it and talked about it in his discourses. As you know, Christopher Li made a start in publishing translations and interviews on his website and this is a major step forward. But there is much more to be done.

    Best wishes,

    PAG
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
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    Deleted
    See edited post below. I am having formatting issues
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 9th October 2014 at 12:10.
    Dan
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  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by muden View Post
    Leaving the personal defamation aside, are you stating that you are teaching solo training drills learned from a branch of daito ryu? If so, who taught you, and to what level did you learn? As you yourself have stated, DR branches consider some parts of training proprietary, so these are reasonable questions. Remember Dan, you are repeatedly making these public claims and charging money to seminars teaching this stuff And who are these DR practicioners that attend your seminars and show you solo training methods from their own traditions? BTW, consistently attacking and defaming DR practicioners who question your statements as not knowing what they are talking about is getting pretty old and is contributing to the drop in standards on this forum IMO.
    Standards onthis forum are being dropped by me?

    Chris Covington stated that my OP reminded him of the antisocial behavior he sees everyday with criminals at work.
    Cliffs comments were so off the wall that they were removed.
    None of my posts were deleted.
    If you are stating you object to defaming....start there.

    Peter, Mark, Cady and I, on the other hand, have used statements written or spoken of other DR teachers (all of them your seniors) to make on point rebuttals of statements you guys have made about both Daito ryu and theChinese/ Japanese connection.
    There is nothng about your personalities or you as people.

    Rank
    You guys keep bringing up rank and initiation. It has been repeated here as amantra.
    When we bring up your own standards of rank as talking points...you blow a gasket.
    See Oisin?
    That is a an objective debate of a topic. I can challenge that you ar ewrong, without discussing your personality.


    My teaching
    As a case in point you keep wanting to discuss what I teach and why? What Iteach and why is my business. I don't teach Daito Ryu. I no longer have any interest in Daito ryu, other than I am surrounded by them. If people want DR, I send people ...to...Daito ryu teachers all the time.
    But you really like that personal stuff that you want to air.
    Okay. Care to discuss teaching and wait...charging money. Which all of yor teacherdo as well? Careto discuss your teachers departure from his organization and the two sides of that story.
    How about others in the Kodokai who broke the rules and went other places insecret violating their oath to get (in their own words) betterteaching? Care to discuss that publicly?
    How about the Okabayashi or Okomoto stories and what happened tothem? Why aren't you selecting them.

    I don't want to discuss that stuff, but you seem to want to go after people on the internet. How about there? No= Good choice!!

    I see no need for this nonsense. And as I told Peter, it is fair to allow Diato ryu and Koryu people their privacy over the teachings. In that I am on your side. However+
    1. Your own people keep airing the teachings.
    2. Those teachings get discussed.
    3. Those teachngs? Exist in other arts as well. They stem from Tibet,India and China. So, who owns what? TO Cliff; Where did that road to Rome originate? What is in Rome that was really unique after all.
    4. I have no problem with you denying all that and wanting to think; a) DR isunique in all the world. b) owns aiki. C) doesnt have solo training.

    It's just that your sides argument doesn't bear scrutiny. Your seniors and shihan disagree with you guys almost on a routine basis, Your solo training drills and breath training exercises are typicial of those found throughou tAsia. And at least a few of your shihan out teachng...oh wait..(and Cliffand Oison's refrain)...AND CHARGING MONEY.... discuss it, answer questionson it, and agree.

    How about you try disagreeing over the points without throwing out personal garbage. That is what is lowering the standard.

    Here is some help to remain on point for the thread
    1. Do you deny what Tokimune, Kondo, Okomoto, Mori, Kiyama, Goldberg,Okabayashi, Kawabe, Popkin have said about aiki being in other arts as well?
    Yes or no______________________
    2. Do you deny there is solo training in Daito ryu like Cliff and Chris did?
    Yes or no_______________________
    3. Are you stating that DR is the unique in all the world and no one outside knows what they are doing?
    Yes or no_______________________
    4. If you agree that there are solo drills, are you aware that other arts sharethose drills and that they are NOT secret?
    4. Are you aware that branches of DR teach those drills to white belts?
    Yes or no__________________

    I don't really expect an on topic answer from you, but I thought it might at least point out what an on topic discussion from you might look like. And if you don’t want to discuss the topic, okay fine. But attacking me is really not a suitable option...at least over the long haul.


    There really is no need for the animus here. You do your thing, everyone else will do theirs. The animus is all from your side. I wanted to Peter to see that as well.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Goldsbury View Post
    Hello Dan,

    Thank you for your response.

    As I intimated to Mr Judge, I am not really interested in Daito-ryu. If I were, I would probably move from here to a different location, within reach of a dojo, and train. So, all the statements in this thread made by those who claim to practice Daito-ryu or represent Daito-ryu in some way, leave me unmoved. I respect the bona fides of those who make the statements. After all, this is a general discussion forum and everyone is entitled to express an opinion, but that is all.

    I am much more interested in studying what Morihei Ueshiba states about aiki. Ueshiba wrote about it and talked about it in his discourses. As you know, Christopher Li made a start in publishing translations and interviews on his website and this is a major step forward. But there is much more to be done.

    Best wishes,

    PAG
    Hello Peter
    In all honesty, Ueshiba is doing DR and quoting DR and Koryu concepts.
    As for what Ueshiba was talking about? Chris’s initial awakening to retranslate Ueshiba, came from me. He was yet another detractor till we met. His new awareness of the larger picture and connections throughout Asia has brought about substantial research on his part to translate and compare the terminology, and low and behold, there was Ueshiba discussing and in fact quoting the Chinese classics, and using both Chinese and Japanese phrases (call it internal, industry terminology) that existed in both Koryu and Daito ryu training concepts. All of the heretofore ...We didnīt understand him... comments, suddenly made sense when you had the lexicon of well known terminology.

    I appreciate what you, Cady and Ken are trying to do. I would gladly join in and expand on that here, and many in my own forum might join as well as we are talking about Ebudo there, but frankly we are watching to see if the rather shocking degree of vitriol on the forum is going to be kept in check so we can discuss or debate, on substance.
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 9th October 2014 at 12:44.
    Dan
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    I seem to be having formatting issues. Ieventypedinwordandthencutandpasted... and it still makes joined words!! :-)
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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    All,
    Just a reminder for everyone to please keep your comments focused on the topic, and away from personal criticisms directed toward other individuals. If you have concerns or issues regarding the latter, take it to private messaging and off the forum threads.

    Dan,
    Try using a different browser and see if that takes care of your formatting problem. I've found browser issues to be the problem in a number of cases.
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 9th October 2014 at 23:08.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Interestingly enough I just read yet another biography of Sokaku outlining his engaging in many esoteric, solo training austerities, at various shrines. It will be interesting to see the correlation of that to any of the Shingon Buddhism practices of the day and the extent solo training regimens that share the same roots.
    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 WVMark View Post
    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.
    Did Musashi ever mention tanden in any of his writings? The only mention of it in that book is from a kendoka Morita Monjuro, based on his own study of Musashi's teachings. I think he gave the term it was like his lifes work walking around a labyrinth.

    I think Musashi's duel with Sasaki Kojiro on Ganryu is more on topic then a cross body or tanden reference.

    Gavin

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    I would be delighted to meet anyone in the Japanese martial arts who HAD a seriously developed hara/tanden/Dantian. So far..... Zip. From shodan to famous shihan, easy to push over and off line.... Once you get past the hands? There's nothing there. For eons they talked about it and had it. But today? Seems all they do is talk....about... the center.
    Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by gavinslater View Post
    Did Musashi ever mention tanden in any of his writings? The only mention of it in that book is from a kendoka Morita Monjuro, based on his own study of Musashi's teachings. I think he gave the term it was like his lifes work walking around a labyrinth.

    I think Musashi's duel with Sasaki Kojiro on Ganryu is more on topic then a cross body or tanden reference.

    Gavin
    When I try to find out more about Morita Monjuro, I see things like, "kendo master" and "notable swordsman".

    Also I'm not sure where you got the "walking around a labyrinth" idea. What I found was this, "In kendo, the difficulties arise from holding the sword with two hands. I was wandering in a labyrinth, trying a variety of methods. I did not succeed in handling the sword correctly and spent my energy uselessly. When you practice kendo using two shinai, these difficulties disappear. It appears to me that Musashi understood very early the advantage that comes from a profound principle that is also present in his technique for one sword." He's saying that normal kendo was a labyrinth until he used two swords and then things became clear.

    I've brought up works done by people considered to be, at the least, somewhat of a "researched authority" (not necessarily an expert or a master level technician, but that's another thread topic) on the subject at hand. I have correlated a few items to aiki as talked about by other researched authorities (Sagawa, Ueshiba, etc) and shown that there is a good possibility that they (aiki concepts) are the same. In return, you write, "I think Musashi's duel with Sasaki Kojiro on Ganryu is more on topic then a cross body or tanden reference". There's nothing there of any research to support your thoughts. There's nothing there to even begin to understand why you think the duel is more on topic, let alone something to which the reader can add weight to the material in an effort to judge what's more on topic. Why do you think the duel is synonymous with aiki?

    Mark

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    If we are talking about Musashi and tanden, although he doesn't specifically use the term, he does refer quite specifically to body position, including the hip/lower abdomen/koshi area. Given the importance of 'tanden' in older Japanese physical traditions (including dance etc), it would be a reasonable inference that this is what Musashi was referring to.

    The relationship of tanden to aiki is another point: I see aiki as requiring a developed tanden, but I'm not sure if it can be said that development of the tanden is necessarily connected to aiki. (Actually, I have seen it referenced in several different contexts, so I'm pretty sure it's not.) Whether we can talk about degrees of tanden development or types of tanden development in a meaningful way is yet another question. Taoist meditative traditions and Chinese internal martial arts both stress the importance of this development, but the ends are quite different.

    Chris Hellman

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Hellman View Post
    If we are talking about Musashi and tanden, although he doesn't specifically use the term, he does refer quite specifically to body position, including the hip/lower abdomen/koshi area. Given the importance of 'tanden' in older Japanese physical traditions (including dance etc), it would be a reasonable inference that this is what Musashi was referring to.
    Moving from center/hara/dantian is not Japanese. I know many in the Japanese martial arts like to think their arts are singular and unique. This largely stems from the Japanese themselves. In truth, the dantian is discussed as crucial in Asian arts from Tibet to India to China for thousands of years. Moving from Hara/dantian is singularly the most powerful and yet soft and ghosty way to move the entire body.

    The relationship of tanden to aiki is another point: I see aiki as requiring a developed tanden, but I'm not sure if it can be said that development of the tanden is necessarily connected to aiki. (Actually, I have seen it referenced in several different contexts, so I'm pretty sure it's not.) Whether we can talk about degrees of tanden development or types of tanden development in a meaningful way is yet another question.
    Contrary to the few practitioners here who apparently don't know about the practice; Solo training as done By Sokaku, Tokimune, Sagawa, Kodo, Ueshiba, Shirata, Shioda, Tomiki, Okomoto, Okabayashi, Kawabe, just to name a few...included a series of breath training exercises, and movement exercises to build the body. These exercises were not and are not, unique to that art. Like so many things Asain, low and behold they are same o'l same o'l, work-a-day methods spanning era and eons. In this case these teachings and the industrial terminology associated with them, to build dantian and have the body move from center and all their associated models are to be found in many, many places and arts. Daito ryu sayings like capturing with the breath or capturing the breath, the hand does not move without the center/ the center without the hand, place the immovable body in an invincible position, fit in with teaching models as far back as the Buddha and Indian warrior traditions, and arts like yoga, for creating whole body power. They are all part of well worn teaching model in the Asian arts that is fading.

    Aiki and Hara
    One might want to ask themselves:
    * Were it not critical to aiki; what would cause so many teachers of Aiki arts like Daito ryu and Aikido to spend time solo training the body to move from Hara?
    * Why don't more know about it? Consider how many teachers of DR in interview stated they were told to only teach one or two the real art. Peter G. ran into this at the aikikai , being told that it was always taught in a clandestine manner to just a few.
    * It is interesting to consider a comment from Tokimune to Okabyashi when the later stated to the former that he couldn't get anyone interested in solo training. All they wanted was technique. Tokimune said: "I can't get my own students to do them either!"
    * Then we see Sagawa (a giant in Daito ryu) stating that "You must build an aiki body. Only amateurs think you can learn aiki from techniques."
    Should we even be surprised that so many don't know?

    It is not a good plan to listen to the average student in any art. We have seen this type of denial over teachings in the past on Ebudo and Aikiweb. Its all here in the archives. Students, by and large saying "Aiki wont work in modern combatives." "Aiki is fine motor skills. Aiki will not work in a stress induce adreline dump. Or
    "That's not in our art. I have never seen this taught or heard of it before!! If it was so important, how come I don't know about it?" And this in an art when their very own teachers, talk about and teach a method, in an open room....that they say doesn't even exist.
    It has happened here with sword work as well some time ago;
    * One side was stating that this particular use and teaching is not taught in their art.
    * Then we all saw a video of a Menkyo Kaiden of that art specifically and in great detail teaching that very thing.
    So it is with solo training and breath training to produce dantain in Daito ryu.

    Taoist meditative traditions and Chinese internal martial arts both stress the importance of this development, but the ends are quite different.
    Chris Hellman
    They are two different things. Energy meridians and tendon muscle meridians by and large work differently, although they have certain cross-overs. That said, it is more important to realize that they have existed for eons, and that most modern Budo "experts" Asian and Western alike, don't have clue about what they were, are and the critical importance they once had..... to creating unusually capable men in budo. Today it is all about technique and, western sport science. Even Asians are increasingly walking away from things in their own traditions that were vital. Hence why most modern budo people look and feel like they do.
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 19th October 2014 at 15:13.
    Dan
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    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......
    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.
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