A Master?

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Postby Jeff Cook » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:59 pm

Fascinating videos! Question for you: Your topic title seems to question him being a master. Is he? I know nothing about him.

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Postby jorvik » Fri May 01, 2009 9:14 pm

Is he a master? ...well kind of ,sort of :? I am not sure. I was impressed by the clips myself.but I always question..........it's in my nature. He seems very relaxed and almost youthfull and he says that as a child he trained with Morihei Ueshiba ( founder of Aikido)....so all that and his demeanour make it very thought provoking. Do those things make him a master?..he seems neither intimidating nor frightening.........none threatening, he could maybe diffuse a situation just by being there.
here's more

The first martial art that I really devoted myself to was Aikido, I guess that I still have a soft spot for it, and those that are and where part of it.

To me mastery doesn't just mean being a great fighter I guess.although that is an element..maybe not the most important one :?

I like this guy as well

Superficially we might say that his art is irrelevant to today ( certainly the sword work is :lol: )......I'm just thinking out loud I guess

Postby Jeff Cook » Sat May 02, 2009 9:37 am

He's 74. ;) Here's an aikido-specific interview with him. I can't find anywhere where he is referred to as "master," except as a calligrapher.

Thanks for bringing this up as a topic, Jorvik. I never heard of him until you did.

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Postby jorvik » Sat May 02, 2009 10:52 am

Well he's not referred to as a "Master" .but when you see the way he is addressing folks and doing his caligraphy, I get the impression that he is thought of in that way.....it's actually a very hard subject to discuss because we all bring our life experiences to the table and mine can be very different from say yours, which all adds to the difficulty of the discussion :cry:
For myself I have seen many folks who at first appear humble and spiritual but when you dig a little you find that they are probably less humble and spiritual than your average Joe :lol: ........they invest a lot in their own little subtefuge and others who wish to find a "Master"back them up on it....I have known quite a few people in Aikido and Tai-Chi like that.....and it is very common in "Spiritual" circles...so you can see that I am a little sceptical.I mean why is he doing his caligraphy while he is talking to folks? .........isn't that a little rude :?
I'll share some stories here that might amuse :lol:

I once studied Tai-Chi under the daughter of a very respected master.when we broke for lunch she got in the lotus position and started to meditate...while we all ate our sandwiches and drank our tea.....later on she gave a demonstration of a Shaolin form, but half way through it she had to stop because she ran out of breath :roll:

another Tai chi tale
I used to train with a bloke who could really do the most excellent form.........it was a fairly rare style of Tai Chi called Hao style......every movement he did was perfect and precise and he won a major martial arts competition by doing his form................However, he was going through a really messy divorce at the time, and he was smoking and drinking too much and generally being a real arse to people............but when you saw his form you just thought WOW....and in my mind at least I tend to relate a good tai chi form to some sort of spiritual development, peace of mind etc...............When I know that I shouldn't :oops: .....a form is just a sequence of movements, the external does not mirror the internal in my experience........so coming back to our friend Kaz...he may just be a very rude man doing doodles and bullschtting other folks ( and maybe even himself) into thinking he is something more. As they say " Humility is just a debased form of inferiority complex" :lol: .........but then again maybe not :wink:

Jeff BTW you didn't post a link

Postby Jeff Cook » Sun May 03, 2009 1:41 am

Ooops! Sorry about that! Here is the link: http://www.aikiweb.hit.bg/kaz_tanahashi_sen.htm

You've got some great points. I noticed in the interview O'Sensei only ranked him to shodan. ;)

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Postby jorvik » Sun May 03, 2009 9:36 am

Thanks for that :)
Some of what he says is really inspiring to me. This bit for example

Also, from O-Sensei's movement, I learned to look for the breakthrough point. In peace or environmental work, it's absurd to think that all our efforts will be successful. Things don't work that way; there is always failure. But, in Aikido, after we are thrown down, we get back up and do something other than being thrown down. As we "fail," we are always searching for the breakthrough point. When we find that point, the situation changes drastically.

more later :wink:

Postby jorvik » Sun May 03, 2009 8:03 pm

It is interesting how we use the term "Master" and how we place that mantle upon somebody, also how we view somebody who is a Master. We expect certain traits from them......as we do with others, musicians, artists ,politicians, we tend to define them by their behaviour, actually maybe I shouldn't say we, maybe I should just say " I" :lol: because I know I do...yet I also know that this is wrong :cry: ..........streetfighters have very simple truths, as do terrorists..but martial artists don't :oops:
maybe even the finest, check this out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7slljOK ... annel_page

I've moved on a bit from Kaz , and I'm now looking at Morihei........do we know that he was a "Master" that he got all of the teachings of Daito-Ryu :?

look at this clip
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd9MemYA ... annel_page

this guy is doing many of the projection type throws from Aikido..............yet he is doing a kata ..showing them, it is almost like a comics throw away line :lol: ( he is Daito Ryu BTW)...................I don't know if I am explaining myself very well or just waffling :oops: .......but have a look at some of the clips this guy has

A great collection of very relevant stuff .if you are into that sort of stuff ( I am :cry: ).....lots to learn..........a lifetime is far too short :wink:

Postby Shana Moore » Mon May 04, 2009 6:48 pm

Thanks for the interesting thoughts and discussions. I've been unable to check out the links, as my work doenst allow youtube...sigh...ah well..it's on the list of "to do's"

That said, I think we tend to put masters and sensei's on a pedastal, and that is somehow unfair to them and to us...for them, it does not allow them to be human and for us, it does not allow us to attain masterhood

I think it is better to refer to someone as a master of X...like your examples Jorvik...to be doing amazing forms that enlighten simply in the watching truly makes him a master of the forms, but to expect perfection in all areas is unfair. I know of no one who is completely perfect and enlightened in all areas of their life.

Some of the most talented and intelligent people I have known have some of the crappiest personal lives, hygeine habits, or people skills. In many ways, it is because they are so focused on the one or three areas they excel at...that the rest falls to the wayside.

So, perhaps we should be specific in our designations of Master..Master of X and Y...one would hope time and training will lead to full enlightenment, but that is not a given...and should not be the only way to reach a pinnacle of one's chosen focus..

I guess it all depends on how broad the brush stroke we are seeking, eh? :wink:
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Postby jorvik » Mon May 04, 2009 7:11 pm

That is a different perspective from the one I have, and neither of us are wrong or right , although I think you are more right than I am on this particular occaision :) .........I guess expectations are always dashed............but just occaisionally they aren't :lol: ..and we can lift our souls above this weary world, and aspire to things that to others seem unrealistic.......even butchery can be a way to enlightenment.......( in, I think, the Tao te Ching)

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