View Full Version : does it matter that much that other have a different tack on aikido?

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philippe willaume
09-28-2007, 06:55 AM

There have been a few threads about that style of akido compared to that other style or variation of what is aikido for you.
On the top of that in a given style, what ever we are discussing varies from teacher to teacher and in essences talking about style is really tarring with a very large brush. What really bugs me is that notion that you have from certain post that there can be only one right answer, more to the point that can be only one right way: Right versus Wrong..

Well in the uk we have the chance to have a governing body that reassemble several style and in seminar you have the occasion to practice other style than the one we do usually.

I am much more on the side of the harmony in aikido is when I harmonize my opponent with the floor, my idea of blending is a one time counter or going to place where is can do nasty things to him and there is bugger all he can do about it. For me Ki is a very intelligent and economical way of using my body is I do not have that much of effort to put in blending and harmony.

That does not prevent me to enjoy and even appreciate aikido training from sensei that have totally different vision of what aikido is.
There is always something to pick up from any style/teacher of aikido, picking that up does not depends of what they or you think akido is.

One can only agree that between 1933 and 1938 Adolph Hitler brought Gremany back from the economic collapse to one of the foremost economic nation in the world, however that agreement has nothing to do with adhering to Natrional socialism politic and theology or with the hollow hearth, Aryan racial superiority and the eugenics madness that is implied in that superiority.

Akido span from the very martial to the almost mystical and even if that is try for all martial arts, it is probably more visible in internal arts. Hence you will have a more maked spread across the board.

The only danger is that the more spiritualist claims martial proficiency and the more martial claims spiritual enlightens.
If I have read that board with attention we are not really in such a position. Is it not more aiki to look for what we could use from other style than focussing on the opinion that opposes them?
Let face it you will end up practicing in a club/dojo/gym whose philosophy is close to your own belief anyway.


Ron Tisdale
09-28-2007, 07:17 AM
Agreed, but...

Good luck with that. People tend to be dogmatic. Been there myself, will probably go there again, even though I fight it.


09-28-2007, 07:39 AM
I'm fairly dogmatic regarding certain things, but still like to experience what other folks are doing, even if it ain't my cup of tea, it's good to go be (and keep that feeling in your training) a newbie from time to time. It's fun to put on the white belt and go try to "blend" at another dojo.

One thing I have found commonplace in the work world and the aikido mat - plenty of people are quick to try to tell you how/why they are experts. The only way to verify is experience it in person and form your own opinion. I could care less if someone trains to harmonize with the universe and be enlightened. I'm more interested in how/if it informs what they do on the mat and how they interact with other people.

As for different takes on aikido - I think that's to be expected in any human endeavor.

09-28-2007, 07:55 AM
Put it this way. How long have the arguments and discussions been going on and how much have they changed? In a hundred years time the same arguments will be going on.

We argue because it's fun and not cuz it gets us anywhere. :D

09-28-2007, 09:55 AM
I am only dogmatic with those who are close minded or have a Black/White view of the subject.:D

William Hazen

09-28-2007, 12:08 PM
I don't think different takes on aikido matter so much overall, but I think context is important here. Visiting another dojo, for example, I think it can be a bit rude to impose your view on someone else, or implied as such if you simply offer it in the "wrong" way. I recently heard aikido training described as searching. It seems reasonable to me because it implies a state of mind which is questioning/asking/learning; not asserting (though I know I have certainly "asked" a question by putting the topic in statement form). I think this means that generally a student of the "way of aiki" shouldn't have time to assert opposing points of view...though when asking an opinion, people should be ready for an honest and potentially blunt reply.
As for mystical and martial forms of aikido, I don't think the concepts are mutually exclusive. There might be trends within those who focus on either of these two concepts, but a highly effective "combat" art can be every bit as spiritual as any mystical approach. So, I don't see any more danger to a highly spiritual approach claiming martial effectiveness (or the converse) than any number of "combat" arts which in fact aren't teaching effectively. One is either effective or not; spiritual or not; the two aren't opposite ends of some continuum...as far as I can tell anyway.

09-28-2007, 01:11 PM

Lan Powers
09-28-2007, 08:32 PM
I am only dogmatic with those who are close minded or have a Black/White view of the subject.:D

William Hazen

It's all grey, baby!! :D

09-29-2007, 02:54 AM
dont know, but that is the nature of life - change, and adaptation.

That is partly what makes learning Aikido tricky at my dojo.
Learing to be flexible in how you apply a technique. How do you apply that sankyo or nikkyo, there are 3 or more ways that may be better given different people/situations you work with or are 'attacked' by.

Some people may focus on one way...there is no one way...there is a basic from which you can build, and even that basic can 'very' from instructor to instructor depending on the perspective they have.

The person who is more adaptable to change and blend (whether it combine styles, etc. - this person will be the one left standing.)

When its said in done, however to the contrary it may sound - and its not an ego builder...the person who learns confidence in themself will be able to avoid conflicts. Like draws like. Im one to be talking, as I have not mastered this, but it is my goal and aim to rid, so to speak, any seed of 'violence' which may give feed to some other ego.



Mark Uttech
09-30-2007, 05:42 AM
The late Taisen Deshimaru Roshi said once that it is better to be 'mushotoku' , without any goal. I guess that this means just to practice and discover what sort of experiences come to you. Of course, you have to constantly practice to see if this is true or not.

In gassho,


jennifer paige smith
10-02-2007, 08:42 AM
when we come together to eat as a family do we say ' my dish is the only dish worth eating at this table? or do we offer our specialty to add to the experience and then go home well fed having tasted much good food?
the experience is yours to have any way you wish.

Rupert Atkinson
10-02-2007, 03:20 PM
Actually, I think it does mater. The older I get the more I see people straying off at diverse tangents oblivious. Should I tell them, or should I just let them stray? And who the hell am I anyway to tell them? And would they listen? There was only one Ueshiba and there is only one Aikido, at heart, I believe - and that is what we have to search for. If we can agree with that much, maybe we can move ahead ...

Mattias Bengtsson
10-02-2007, 06:57 PM
I don't mind that there are different versions of Aikido, but, as I am Iwama I can't in good conscience start experiment to much or attempt to "evolve" my own style.. as it would be in contradiction to its purpose..

10-03-2007, 06:41 AM
I agree. I love to cross train and get different perspectives.

Check out the Nakazona Memorial Seminar in the UK.

Will Prusner
10-04-2007, 02:00 PM
As long as that tack is useful and effective for the one tacking...no.

Re-inventing the wheel for the sake of being reactionary seems pointless, and as long as it is not being taught to people who don't have enough experience to know better, harmless.

From the Tao te Ching: Without ugliness, we cannot know beauty.

... in my opinion, spirituality and martiality (is this a word?) go hand in hand. No atheists in foxholes, and all of that.

but as long as the physical prayer which is Aikido gets performed properly, then the rock door of heaven should open once again and we won't have to worry about petty squabbling anyways.:)

gregg block
10-09-2007, 06:15 PM
Welcome different styles of Aikido. Learn from different martial arts styles. Try techniques out see if they work. If they work keep them if they don't throw them out. "absorb what is useful" throw out what is useless. Don't get trapped in the dogma of this style or that style it just serves as a better prison .Always keep and open mind, but don't just accept that techniques work because some "master" says so put it to the test then decide for yourself whats what!