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Did the Founder create the ultimate Aikido?

Sensei's thoughts and writings

Did the Founder create the ultimate Aikido?

Postby Francis Takahashi » Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:08 pm

Is it true and unquestionable that the Aikido of Morihei Ueshiba was, is and always will be the unassailable standard by which any and all other attempts by seekers of Aiki must base their creations upon? Or is the Founder's version merely the pioneer work that beckons and invites future individuals to create separately their own version, without the need for comparison, authentication, condemnation, or required approval by some arbitrary authority, be it Aikikai Foundation or some other self proclaiming entity? Are we doing some gross disservice to the Founder's efforts by even thinking that we can? Or, are we actually honoring his true purpose to set us free to create our own understanding of and appropriate utilization of those very same principles?

We need search no further than the Founder's own admonition and admission, that his was a creation entirely of his own, and that no other attempt by others should try to emulate, hold inviolate, or declare unsurpassable. Rather, it was his expressed hope and vision that whatever success he enjoyed, would serve as an initial guide, and a perpetually open invitation for others to create their very own version, based on the Aiki Principles that he declared to be universal, and available to all.

It is not his techniques, writings or actual lessons imparted to but a very few, that is so important. Remember that even those privileged to train and learn directly from his hand, were usually bewildered and unable to appreciate or appreciably understand the depth and width of what the Founder's Aikido was all about. Despite warning that his Aikido was a continual work in progress for himself, there still emerge subsequent individuals who seek some sort of copyright, license, or trademark for their own self delusional agenda for power and primary authority. How ludicrous, yet how oh so human. It is tantamount to claiming ownership of sunlight, or clean water, or even oxygen.

Thank goodness that giants such as Gozo Shioda, Minoru Mochizuki, Kenji Tomiki,Noriaki Inoue, Koichi Tohei, Shoji Nishio, and many others I cannot know or remember (See Aikido Journal archives for more), who gave O Sensei due respect, and then bravely and successfully pioneered exciting new paths of Aiki. My view of "Aikido" is that it is still in it's infancy, so to speak, and the foundation for future generations to explore, expand and revolutionize for the sake of human growth and achievements of mutual harmony and world friendship. How so much more meaningful it can and should be to oversee and participate in this inevitable redefining and development of the Founder's purpose.

The recent explosion of theories, conjectures and belief systems make it impossible for me to contemplate a united system or anticipation of a unified Aikido community. Rather, we should actually rejoice that such death of creativity is avoidable, and that future generations need not fear to explore and develop yet to be imagined forms of Aiki expression and achievement. Perhaps the field of Aikido training itself will some day be relegated to a secondary status, perhaps as a pioneering phenomenon, and give it's humble support to the much greater universal potential that Aiki Principles can empower and inspire.

So, let the ambitious, sincere, and dedicated leaders and innovators of today and of tomorrow, feel set free to train, study and explore the unlimited potential of the Aiki Principles that served the Founder so well.Let us unite in our own ways, to continue construction of the Silver Bridge magnificently envisioned, and auspiciously begun by Morihei Ueshiba, not so very long ago.
Francis Takahashi
Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:51 pm

Re: Did the Founder create the ultimate Aikido?

Postby Carina Rei » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:54 am

Wow! again a very thoughts provoking post, thank you Takahashi Sensei.

No, the Founder did not create the ultimate Aikido, he left us the beginning of a wonderful work for our seniors, us and generations who will come after us to search, train, study and understand it.

You found the positive side of the splitting of Aikido in so many different styles. As you say an unified Aikido community is impossible, I don't believe in it either, just beginning with all the different dojos in our small island, every one following another style and Shihan, this multiplied by provinces, countries and continents. Therefore there are so many different approaches to explore and develop yet to be imagined forms of Aiki expressions.
I'm sure we all will come to an understanding, as we all began from the same root to finally construct the Silver Bridge.
Carina Rei
Posts: 461
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:50 am
Location: Gran Canaria - Spain

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