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Recorded teachings of Aikido's Founder, are they sufficient

Sensei's thoughts and writings

Recorded teachings of Aikido's Founder, are they sufficient

Postby Francis Takahashi » Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:31 pm

Many teachings, lessons and martial art related truths have been attributed to the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba. Unfortunately, we lack hard evidence in terms of reliable eye witness accounts, who could be deemed objective, experienced and trained as reliable observers of such phenomenon. The vast majority of these people have passed away, or are quite advanced in years.

It is also apparent that the Founder wrote very sparingly, had extremely few recordings, by voice or film, that could be comprehensively useful in establishing any baseline foundation of his teachings, his philosophy, his references and attributions he relied upon to validate his views. Then there is the question of who would be qualified to comprehensively and appropriately explain the findings.

His established history of excellent students turned teachers is much more in evidence. Several of his former students themselves established systems of their own, based in part, from what they were taught directly by the Founder. We are fortunate indeed to retain these examples of lessons learned. Yet, non of these fine examples admits to or proclaims definitive knowledge and understanding of the sum total of who and what the Founder truly was. They all are clear of certain specific lessons they were given, yet none could honestly or succinctly summarize what it all meant.The lessons were essentially subjectively given, and received.

Stanley Pranin of Aikido Journal has been monumental in recording, over decades, interviews, films, archival television specials by the NHK, and first person conversations with notables such as the late Kisshomaru Doshu, the current Moriteru Doshu, Morihiro Saito, Koichi Tohei, Kenji Tomiki, and others I fail to recall. His Aikido Journal is replete with these invaluable and interesting material for study. His is the premier resource for much of recorded information regarding the Founder, and the opinions of those who interacted with him.

It can only be hoped that skilled, trained, and dedicated research scholars, currently and in the forseeable future, will take up the challenge to delve into this treasure trove of historic material, and advance our understanding of the mission, purpose, and visions of the Founder.
Francis Takahashi
Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:51 pm

Re: Recorded teachings of Aikido's Founder, are they sufficient

Postby Carina Rei » Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:47 am

Thank you very much Takahashi Shihan for your thoughtful and thoughts provoking article.
It is true that we have to thank Stanley Pranin for having collect such an extensive and huge historical information about the Founder's life, not so much written or recorded, but through the large number of interviews with people who were lucky enough to have shared a part of the life of the Founder. Hopefully the interested persons and scholars will be able to decipher such extensive material for our greater understanding of the mission, purpose and vision of the Founder.
Carina Rei
Posts: 461
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:50 am
Location: Gran Canaria - Spain

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