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Well...he was. You had to be crazy to take on social reform in the time he did in Japan. There was a revival of the Samurai mentality that shaped the Japanese military and Nationalism that thrusted Japan into the WWII. Japan and their mighty new romantic revival of being Samurai once again led to the slaughter and hideous practices by the Japanese army. Massive wide spread raping of women in the Philippines, The Bhutan death march. The senseless butchering of the Chinese people. The Japanese military where in lock step with Hitler. It was a time where the Japanese Emperor Hirohito was thought of as literally a god. His people never saw him or hear his voice until Japanese surrender. It was a time of much killing and brutality under the call of nationalism and a return to the past. But the Founder, not completely void of such feelings or views did do a turn about. He seen the value in compassion and peace. To achieve his goals for his country he had to be the nail sticking up risking being hammered down.
I was told a story about my sensei's father who became a Christian. For Japanese to be Christian is a big deal in those days around the late 1800s, being a Samurai. I will make it brief, as it is a long story. My sensei's mother died and my sensei's father was over-whelmed with personal grief. Japanese are not well known in those days for compassion toward each other. During his period of grief, he happened to run into two Christian nuns. Upon seeing his grief they
It would be wrong to post this long response to the tread, the response is best posted as a blog.
There are times when laying upon the grass on a perfect spring day, alone peacefully starring up the sky watching clouds as they move by is a lost art of clearing the mind. We did it as children, we lost it as adults when we need it the most.
No one debates Aikido didn't come out of traditional Japanese samurai combat jujutsu. That is a fact. The Samurai were serious business, most were fierce warriors who lived and died by the sword. Samurai fought for their lives with the loser ending up dead more often than not. Aikido is an adaptation of the Samurai killing methods both empty hand and weapons. The Founder reworked jujutsu to the frame work of modern Japanese attacks which too were born from traditional Japanese martial attacks. Mounting isn't a componet Aikido or Samurai combat paradigm.
Aikido doesn't deal with mount or use the mount. It is outside the samurai paradigm Aikido drew from. If it wasn't effective to sit on top of a samurai suited in armor who had fallen on his back and punch them or work pins. There was no need to use a mount.
Mounting wasn't a practical move for the Samurai. Imagine yourself cladded in any period traditional armor, it will have a range of movement restriction and weight. Out of that element come jujutsu techniques we see represented in Aikido. No Samurai in armor would mount another Samurai. It is easier to grab a sword whe
Aikido gets romanticized more often than not. Part of the mystic Aikido is more attractive being romanticized. How appealing is Aikido if described as years of singled minded hard work, sacrifice and training. Where you spend hours sweating and bleeding (figuratively), tending to more failure than success. Pushing yourself to go to class week after week, year after year, well after the Honeymoon being over. Then coughing up the money month after month, year after year, is a great financial investment. On top of balancing work, family and Aikido over many years, trying to harmonize that as well is a very critical technique to be learned. Keeping up that kind of motivation and commitment isn't at all appealing. Especially if you'er teaching, that compounds the issues.
Many things in life are presented romantically making the subject more appealing than what it really is. People have come accustom to romanticism. Turned off to anything that isn't laid out to be more appealing, suffers from lack of popularity.
Too much of a good thing isn't good. Aikido bared faced, natural, absent of make up isn't all that pretty. Attractiveness to catch people's attention is important. Going over board is what gets you into trouble. The expectations become way too high, exaggeration gets out of hand, and the truth gets lost.
I found this out early on, use romanticism lightly. Give people a fair and honest assessment with a dash of romanticism to perk their interest, or moti
My daughter is a professional teacher. She is qualified to teach teacher how to teach. I am proud of her for her intelligence and skill. Because of her, I took a serious look into the art and science of teaching, and related it to teaching Aikido.
One of my most personal pangs when it comes to Aikido is how teaching of Aikido has been taken for granted. Not a criticism, a painful observation as a result of my better understanding of teaching. Too many dojo's don't focus the art of teaching, over looking it's complexity. It is assumed after being awarded a shodan or nidan, and possibly a short stint assisting the sensei teach you are ready to teach.
It can't be ignored that Aikido's teaching tradition isn't absent of Confucianism. Confucius said, "If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself." Aikido's traditional method of teaching is forged from the world of old Japan steeped in centuries of Budo and Zen tradition. It would be my error not to point it out the influence of the Founder and those personalities of his pioneering deshi's direction. All of it carries an aspect of assumption that doesn't work too well in other places. An assumption that traditional teaching methods work outside Japan.
Traditional teaching of Aikido suffered from neglectful assumptions. Today, as most of Aikido teaching is done, it carr
Aikido is a difficult art, thus it is difficult to learn. Precept learned by the beginner the moment the first technique is attempted. Aikido's level of difficult continues to the expert who harangues the height and difficulty of the mountain that must be climbed.
Aikido. because it is difficult causes years of frustration for students as the curve is steep. Students have certain levels of expectations. It is frustrating for students not to see results in a reason amount of time over the amount of time they struggle with techniques. They feel they struggle more than they progress.
In the mist of struggle, frustration turns to blame. The student will place blame on any number of things. But more often then not students blame themselves, instructors, Aikido. Scapegoating for the student is a pressure release. Often times blame use by the students is in the face of prolonged frustration of learning something as difficult as Aiki coupled with their expectations. Students need to shift their learning paradigm. To find a new frame of reference that reveals what is already there, that wasn't notice beforehand. It would seem that it would be the old stand by of merely obtaining the one missing piece that magically fixes everything instantly.
What learning is and the process of learning (the learning experience ) is over-looked in my opinion in Aikido. The Japanese understood many dynamics of the learning experience. They understood the emotional and physical dy
A Biblical parable derivative of universal truth. The Founder realized this, he knew the samurai lived by the sword and died by the sword. He was a solider of war. He knew what it meant to use violence, he knew the character of men who where violent. He didn't have the romantic view of the noble Samurai saving farmers from marauders. He knew the samurai really didn't put tooth picks in their mouth and say they where full when offered food by the less fortunate. The Founders view was realistic, samurai where men of violence. Though his experience in war, he knew violence was less powerful than peace. He understood violent people, not just samurai. Criminals are violent people, and create a violent society as well. Who wants to live in a violent society, not many. The Founder understood like so many all over the world, spanning time, violence leads to a dead end.
Aikido training incorporates the view of non-violence. What could that mean? It could mean training with the attitude avoiding living by the sword, and die by the sword is praised. You don't have a violent mind set of having no regard for the safety of those you train with. That attitude spills out into daily life and into society.
You don't enter the dojo with a violent mind set, having no regard to the safety others as you will, to prove yourself better. Think of violence in its basal form, physically harming and killing others. To do that you are required to
They train for skill, to perform something that is frankly amazing. It works against the common knowledge that a 100 pound women could render a charging 200 pound man helpless enough to throw him seemingly without effort. It is amazing to us when it happens. A very attractive skill indeed, appealing to most everyone. It boards having superhuman powers. Memorized by the feats of Aikido people train for this skill. Many will have their heads full of the idea they too can be this powerful. Never seeing the most powerful part of Aikido they chase after only what they know and that is the skill to defeat someone else. The reward of Aikido isn't in skill.
Many good practitioners of skill are models for the rest of us. We at some point in time say, I want to be able to do technique just as good. When overtime that doesn't come to fruition, we become dedicated to the idea there is some secret to make it all work hidden from us. Knowledge is power, we conclude. Therefore, there must be some knowledge we are lacking to equal that of the model. We chase it like a blood hound on the trail of a raccoon. When we become tired of the chase, as the raccoon cleverly eludes us, we pick up scents elsewhere on what will lead us to the skill we desire. Ever chasing and unsatisfied that elusive reward.
There are other people who look at the worth of an art based on it's skill effectiveness. Those people look for the ultimate uber art th
A kind friend of mine suggested instead of putting this in the discussion forum where I have made contributions, it would wiser to write it here. The blog reflects all my thoughts of Aikido in someway or another in all discussions I have had. Logically than here is the best choice to express my thoughts.
On Aikido Training As I See It
I am reminded of what the Christian Apostle Matthew wrote, It is not, because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Aikido is difficult, the path is long and arduous to say the least narrow. I can't image too many other pursuits requiring the demands that of Aikido.
If you practice with great conviction of earnest and single mindedness dedication, persevering over many, many years tolling in blood and sweat, the Marathon race called Aikido will yield its accomplishments. Uttering no excuses, without complaints, reflecting discipline is the right attitude, Albert Einstein once said, Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.
Aikido will not and can't yield its secrets to those who willing give up in spirit, mind, body, or in all. I can't help to hear the profound words in my ear of Albert Einstein, "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." Or the wisdom of Confucius, "It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop." Achievements that are yield from Aikido are not as a butterfly effortless fluttering in the ga