Aikido Quiz May 2019
Results Breakdown & Analysis
May 2019, in collaboration with Aikido Journal, Seido crafted an Aikido quiz for the community. We didn’t make it extra-hard or tricky, but we wanted it to be hard enough so people can actually enjoy searching for the results on Google and learn more about Aikido History.
Such quizzes have two goals: First goal is gathering email addresses for our newsletter (yes, let’s be honest, that’s one of the reasons) and consolidate Aikido Journal and Seido’s shared audience.
The second goal is to extract data from the quiz to improve our editorial line and provide relevant information to Aikidoists around the world.
The goal of this article is to present those results and discuss what actions could be taken for the community from those results.
- Total number of visitors on the page: 2783
Total participation, all included: 2020
This number contains all entries but the fake entries were removed.
Total unique participation: 1298
This number reflects the number of unique participant. We have removed email address duplicates and name duplicates.
Quiz passed: 480 (37% of unique participation)
This number includes those who took the quiz several times.
Quiz failed: 818 (63% of unique participation)
This number reflects the number of people who failed on their first attempt. We have removed failed duplicates, so this number faithfully reflect the number of participants who got it wrong one or several times and never passed the quiz.
Quiz passed on first try: 44 (3.4% of unique participation)
Average tries: 1.5 times
Those who passed tried 2.37 times in average.
Questions & Answers
In this section, I will break down the 7 questions that got under 50% correct answers on the first try. I’ll explain what the correct answer is, why I chose this question, and what we can do from those data.
Who first introduced Ueshiba’s art to America?
Many US aikidoists think that Koichi Tohei was the first to introduce Aikido in the US (Hawai), but actually, the Admiral Isamu Takeshita was the first to perform a public demonstration in Seattle and Washington in 1935.
This is a very important historical point for two reasons. First of all Takeshita did not formally teach Aikido outside of Japan, so it is through public demonstrations that Aikido was first introduced to the US. Also because Takeshita was one of the key elements to participate in the militarization of martial arts in the 30’s, attesting of the relation between Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, and the nationalists responsible for the use of the martial arts as propaganda tool before and during WWII.
You can find a short article on this subject on Aikido Journal “Who was really the first person to introduce Aikido to america”. But it might be a good idea to think about a series of article on this subject!
How was the name of Aikido chosen for Ueshiba’s art?
Although very well known by historians, it seems that it is not clear for the majority that the word “Aikido” was chosen by Minoru Hirai for the registration of Ueshiba’s art at the Dai Nippon Butokukai before WWII.
Probably even fewer people know that Minoru Hirai later created his own, Korindo Aikido.
An in depth article on the origin of the word Aikido would probably benefit the community in the sense that all the discussions around the Kanji that compose the word Aikido make much less sense when you know that it does not come from the founder.
When did Ueshiba’s Kobukan dojo open?
This probably was the trickiest question. Of course the year is correct, but many might have been misled by the location, Ushigome.
Of course, the Hombu Dojo is, today, located in Higashi Shinjuku (near Wakamatsu Kawada), but at the time, Tokyo was much smaller and Shinjuku as well.
Tokyo areas were redrawn during the rebuilding of Tokyo after WWII, and Ushigome was pushed away by a few hundred meters (maybe a little more). Shinjuku ward was extended to cover the location of the Dojo.
This is a detail which probably does not deserve an in-depth article.
Who was the first Doshu?
This is a very common misconception. Many Aikidoists think that the Doshu succeeded the founder, but the founder was also a Doshu.
道主 means: master of the way. The founder of an art is the first master of the way, so the correct lineage is as follows:
- First Doshu: Ueshiba Morihei
- Second Doshu: Ueshiba Kisshomaru, son of the founder.
- Third Doshu: Ueshiba Moriteru, grandson of the founder.
- And the fourth Doshu will be Ueshiba Mitsuteru, grand grandson of the founder.
Note that the term is equivalent to “Soke” in the Kobudo world.
This probably does not deserve an in depth article, but it is important not to mix up the Doshus when talking about history.
When was the Aikikai Foundation formed?
The main problem with this question probably comes from the fact that Wikipedia is wrong! Or, was wrong, since we corrected it after the quiz. (The Japanese version of the article was correct though.)
The English article said, 1940 which is, indeed, the first official registration of Ueshiba's dojo. It was called Kobukai incorporated foundation.
But 1948 is the second official registration that took place after the ban on Aikido was lifted by the GHQ. It was called Aikikai incorporated foundation.
Therefore, the Aikikai was officially registered as the Aikikai foundation in 1948.
This is a very important difference, because the name Aikido was officially adopted in 1942, and it would be inconsistent to declare the formation of the Aikikai even before the art was named Aikido.
According to Ueshiba himself, what was his height and weight at his physical peak?
Well, it sounds huge, but it’s according to Morihei Ueshiba, in this radio interview, available on Aikido Journal TV:
Osensei Morihei Ueshiba Radio Interview Part 1
Osensei Morihei Ueshiba Radio Interview Part 2
That being said there are a few pictures of him between 30 and 50 years old, and it seems that he was really massive.
Our conclusion on this Aikido Quiz
If the average knowledge on Aikido history increased a lot the past 10 years, thanks to the internet and, of course, to people like Stanley Pranin (Aikido Journal), Guillaume Erard or Chris Li (Aikido Sangenkai), who publish lots of contents, it seems that some misconceptions still need to be clarified.
All in all, only 44 people got the whole quiz right at the first attempt, less than 4% of those who tried.
This tendency is confirmed by the number of people who got 12 questions right over 13 on the first attempt, only 36. Which means that even if we consider that their was one tricky question that “everyone got wrong”, we’re still left with less than 7% who got at least 12 questions right over 13.
If we take into account that an important part of the participants are relatively active in the community, it’s a fairly low number. This comforts us in the idea that both Aikido Journal and Seido, but not only, still have lots of work to do to spread Aikido related knowledge among the community.
Please feel free to comment this article with your own concludions and ideas!