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#127250 - 12/01/03 04:38 PM Regime Changes
Joe Jutsu Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 575
Hello Everybody-

I attended a seminar a couple of weeks ago with Dr. David Shaner Sensei, 6th dan Ki Society, which was a fun, informative, and sort of unsettling all at the same time. The seminar was dedicated to Tamura Sensei, who passed away last March and was one, if not the, top student of Tohei Sensei. But Tohei Sensei is not doing so well these days either, and I believe his son Koichi Tohei Sensei has taken over as the head of the style. Tohei is worried about the future of his style, especially since he lost his best student, prematurely.

But anyway, all of the different branches of aikido are facing this difficulty, IMHO, in one way or another, with the first generation students of O'Sensei passing on. Tohei Sensei is supposedly worried about the future of aikido, saying that people still "aren't getting it," and is in the process of writing a book to explain his Ki Sayings more clearly and completely.

I guess my point, or better my question, is how all you aikidoka and other MA's for that matter view the future of your style, and aikido as a whole. Do you think we are headed towards a positive future, or a "watering down" of our art. Shaner Sensei stressed that we all should be innovative in our practice and thinking, in order to break out from the holes we sometimes find ourselves in, in order to progress as people as well as aikidoka. Do you see or foresee this spirit of innovation in aikido? Any thoughts?

Joe

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#127251 - 12/02/03 09:00 AM Re: Regime Changes
dazzler Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/03
Posts: 296
Loc: England
Joe

I think Aikido had been here before, first and foremost with the death of O'Sensei.

Life goes on and the legacy will continue.

New leaders will emerge.

Something is always lost with the passing of theses leaders but the arts will evolve as the new guys mould the art forms around their personalities yet at the same time Ai-Ki-Do is by definition fixed.

The merging of man with ki via the tao.

This will live on and each new generation may stand on the shoulders of the previous exceeding the standards achieved previously.

This is our role and responsibility if we choose to accept it.

D

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#127252 - 12/02/03 11:07 AM Re: Regime Changes
csinca Offline
former moderator

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 672
Loc: Southern California
Joe,

I think the art is in for some more splintering as the first generation students become less active for whatever reason.

The first generation guys taught their interpretations and now the next generation is going to be teaching their interpretations of that...

When the head of my dojo died four years ago, the school split into two. Not to say this would happen in other schools or that it was necessarily a bad thing. But it does make me wonder how any art can maintain consistency with a long lineage.

Chris

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#127253 - 12/02/03 12:27 PM Re: Regime Changes
Joe Jutsu Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 575
Oh yeah, one more thing I forgot to mention.

During the weekend of the seminar, our sensei had a pacemaker put in, so these sort of thought have been at the forefront of my concious.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Joe

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#127254 - 12/04/03 03:28 AM Re: Regime Changes
dazzler Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/03
Posts: 296
Loc: England
My own instructor had a major heart attack about 3 years ago...

It changed him a lot in respect of his teaching...he has been keen to delegate much more since.

I've seen 2 distinct styles of aikido...one where the instructors do something and everyone copies..maybe a bit of tweaking but pretty much doing whatever the instructor does.

The second style favoured by my instructor these days and his instructor too (who is mid to late 80,s) involves a clearer up front explanation of what we are trying to achieve within Aikido practice.

so while the individual expertise may well expire with the person...the long term target and goals of aikido are still understood and can help us in future times.

I think this is not the case with the former style and may be a benefit of tradional MA being taught through modern teaching methods.

D

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#127255 - 12/14/03 11:58 PM Re: Regime Changes
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
I go back to this analogy alot, but if you look at the 50's, 60's 70's 80's and so on, each decade is indicative into itself. If one were to have a person from each decade design a car or clothes they would be respective to that decade and all would vary. All could be desighing the same thing, say a car, but none would look the same. If you look at the arts, the same transition is naturally going to happen. I imagine if we all were in the same room, and watched a Sensei do a technique and all demonstrated what he did, it would very from slight to major. It depends on your background, your training and your prejudices, or basically, how we see things. Look at O'Sensei's students say prior to the war, then his students after the war. Look at Tohei Sensei, then look at Yamada Sensei, Aikido, yet not the same translation. Alot of what we are seeing is a changing of the guard. Most pioneers are dying off, and first generation students are really decreasing, so you have second generation students, all these students very rarely had contact with the Original teachers. In some cases, we are looking at 3rd and 4rth genration students, and just like tracing your hand, each time you trace it, it becomes less and less like the original. Peoples needs change as well as how they practice. Many of the Sensei's I talked with were full time Sensei, who were at the dojo from 10 in the morning to 10 at night. Students were always rolling in. In Hawaii, there was little else except training time, and many students trained everyday, all day. My hombu dojo in Japan had classes 5 times a day, 2-3 hours a class, 7 days a week. People today must work, and balance other things as well in their life. I am told I am radical in my dojo hours, M-F 6-9, Saturday, 9-12, 18 hours of training a week(not including private lessons). Most people want to train 2-3 times a week for an hour or two. So as the times change, so must how we approach the arts. Its just a naturally change just like the look of a Mustang!!!!

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