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  1. DCS is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/27/2010 7:27pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAYoung View Post
    Are you telling me Ueshiba didn't claim he dodged bullets?
    Did he?

    Quis, quid, ubi, quibus auxiliis, cur, quomodo, quando?
  2. DAYoung is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/27/2010 7:43pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCS View Post
    Did he?

    Quis, quid, ubi, quibus auxiliis, cur, quomodo, quando?
    "As we neared Tungliao, we were trapped in a valley and showered with bullets. Miraculously, I could sense the direction of the projectiles--beams of light indicated their paths of light--and I was able to dodge the bullets." The Art of Peace, trans. and ed. John Stevens (Boston: Shambala, 2002), pp.10-11.
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  3. DCS is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/27/2010 8:06pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAYoung View Post
    "As we neared Tungliao, we were trapped in a valley and showered with bullets. Miraculously, I could sense the direction of the projectiles--beams of light indicated their paths of light--and I was able to dodge the bullets." The Art of Peace, trans. and ed. John Stevens (Boston: Shambala, 2002), pp.10-11.
    John Stevens is not regarded as serious historian but as a great hagiographer, and considering the quote you posted is not based on a personal interview with Ueshiba (because Ueshiba died in 1969 and Stevens didn't arrived to Japan until 1973) and lacks proper citation of Stevens' source, I'd say, until otherwise proven (i.e. personal Ueshiba's writings or first hand accounts of Ueshiba making that claim), the source of the claim is Mr. Stevens himself.

    Shioda's tale of Ueshiba dodging bullets (in Aikido Shugyo) is better, but also unconfirmed.


    BTW, I can has signed copy of "Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness"?
    Last edited by DCS; 3/27/2010 8:16pm at .
  4. DAYoung is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/27/2010 8:12pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCS View Post
    John Stevens is not regarded as serious historian but as a great hagiographer, and considering the quote you posted is not based on a personal interview with Ueshiba (because Ueshiba died in 1969 and Stevens didn't arrived to Japan until 1973) and lacks proper citation of Stevens' source, I'd say, until otherwise proven (i.e. personal Ueshiba's writings), the source of the claim is Mr. Stevens, not Ueshiba.

    BTW, I can has signed copy of "Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness"?
    1. You're accusing John Stevens of fabricating a direct quote? That's one hell of a claim, DCS. Wouldn't a simpler explanation be transcripts and taped interviews, which Stevens gained access to? (He says this in his preface.)

    2. Yes, you can. But I can't give it away, I'm afraid.
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  5. Whosthemaster is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/27/2010 8:33pm


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    That was a very interesting read.
  6. DCS is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/27/2010 9:41pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAYoung View Post
    1. You're accusing John Stevens of fabricating a direct quote? That's one hell of a claim, DCS. Wouldn't a simpler explanation be transcripts and taped interviews, which Stevens gained access to? (He says this in his preface.)
    I'm saying John Stevens has a reputation, both in academia and amongst his own students, of putting a lot of his own personal views (and 70's Aikikai marketing policies) in his translations of Ueshiba writings and in his biographies about aikido founder.

    His works on Ueshiba life are a well intentioned and palatable mithology of aikido for westerners. Of course his work has a function (see "Sense in nonsense: the role of folk history in the martial arts" by T.A Green in Martial Arts in the Modern World, but he is not as reliable source on aikido history, at least not today even at an amateur level.

    If you want you can check K. Ueshiba's "Spirit of Aikido" p. 38 and read Ueshiba's son account of Morihei's words.

    Otoh, Stevens work in his field of expertise is, afaik, very good.

    2. Yes, you can. But I can't give it away, I'm afraid.
    No problem.

    PS. Can we avoid hijacking Ellis' article thread?
  7. DAYoung is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/27/2010 9:54pm

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    I agree that Ellis' article is excellent, and shouldn't be derailed. On the other hand, I do think discussion of Ueshiba's possible delusions are relevant. For example, it's quite possible he was an exemplary fighter, but a poor philosopher - and his philosophies have perverted his own martial teachings.

    However, if Dave and Henry would prefer it, I'm happy to shut up. (And, yes: book stuff can be handled by PM or email.)
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  8. Rock Ape is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/28/2010 1:17am

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    I have no issue about a constructive discussion which develops from the article, that is after all what articles such as this are good for however; this thread should not be an avenue to 'bash' aikido as a generalism - May I respectfully remind readers this fora isn't YMAS and is for serious discussion only.

    Cheers

    Dave
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

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  9. DAYoung is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/28/2010 1:29am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Stiglitz View Post
    I have no issue about a constructive discussion which develops from the article, that is after all what articles such as this are good for however; this thread should not be an avenue to 'bash' aikido as a generalism - May I respectfully remind readers this fora isn't YMAS and is for serious discussion only.

    Cheers

    Dave
    Cool. Thanks, Dave.

    For the record, the Aikido I've experienced has been frustrating. Many of the techniques are fine. The instructors are courteous, committed and sometimes fit. The students are similarly dedicated.

    But the training methodology is counterproductive, and it's often justified by the mystical tone of Ueshiba's works. It promotes a kind of magical thinking.

    By contrast, Kano's works have a very straightforward, naturalistic approach, which offer clear and sensible explanations for techniques and training.

    I don't think my experience exhausts Aikido, and I'm very willing to be proven wrong.

    But it is frustrating. And Mr. Ellis' article confirms my frustrations.
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  10. shelbydeth is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/28/2010 3:05am


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    So does anyone have a video of good Aikido? I'm currently on a dial up internet connection so I am unable to look myself. I think it would help create a clearer picture of what good Aikido entails. Before MMA training I had about half a year of Kuk Sool Won and the takedowns that involved grabbing opponents wrists seem pretty much useless after I starting learning how to properly grapple. Picturing techniques of a similar fashion working on resisting opponents just gives me a headache.
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