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salim
08-11-2008, 10:10 PM
Arts are simply evolving or dying. This is a natural progression of evolution. It simply happens. There many methodologies of Aikido, Jujutsu, which is a testament to this fact. Several of these methods focus on pushing and pulling, with many similarities. They also focus on wrist, elbows, submissions and pins. Perhaps these methods are becoming closer together, maybe as one. Should we as Aikidoka sit back and stagnate our methodology. Or should we evolve Aikido, arming ourselves with the best knowledge possible to move Aikido to the next stage of progression? Should the Aikikai organization and it's many practitioners advocate for a different methodology of practice to test our skills? Should Aikido take on a different form? Perhaps this has already happen with some styles of Aikido to a lessor degree. Maybe it's time for evolution to move us forward.

Don
08-11-2008, 10:50 PM
I guess I would offer up two thoughts. The first is that IF aikido chooses to respond to the popular culture, then I could see aikido bifurcating into two directions. One is an art that is more interested in the "spiritual" benefits of aikido and the other is one that "devolves" back toward its daito ryu roots and incorporates current MMA concepts, more resistive training, and is interested in becoming more of a ring fighting sport or art.

On the other hand since so few people reach a truly advanced level of aikido, and those that do tend to be old enough that they won't be seen competing in competitive martial arts, perhaps we will never know what aikido truly is capable of.

Mark Uttech
08-11-2008, 11:45 PM
The evolution of aikido is the evolution of the art in your own life. The Founder, O Sensei, taught shomenuchi ikkyo suwari waza in every single class he taught. Where was the evolution in that? It was there.

In gassho,

Mark

Stefan Stenudd
08-12-2008, 03:29 AM
Maybe it's time for evolution to move us forward.
Well, there is no guarantee that "evolution" improves an art form - only that it changes, and that it adapts to circumstance.

Circumstance in aikido is what makes people want to do it, and stay doing it. That does not necessarily have anything to do with self-defense.

Actually, aikido stands out as a budo in the way it accepts diversity and very different ways of doing it. See Osensei's direct student, whose aikido is quite different from the founder's - and from each other.

I am glad that aikido is not homogenized, because that would surely kill creativity within it, and destroy the possibility of change and development.

salim
08-12-2008, 03:22 PM
I found these clips of a great practitioner of Aikido. Although not a high dan holder, definitely a well rounded, competent, very professional individual. Ron Dean is definitely a class act and approaches the disciplines in a non arrogant, open minded way, that I truly respect. I think it's individuals like him, that may propel the younger Aikidoka to evolve Aikido. Enjoy the below clips.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SivWAcPlzFg&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D10w1VFGZh0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7GfQdB9a8Y&NR=1

jennifer paige smith
08-12-2008, 05:08 PM
I'm into the continued Revolution of the Art.

Best,
Jen

Hebrew Hammer
08-12-2008, 09:58 PM
I think Salim raises and interesting point, one that has been often included in other threads, adding BJJ or Kali or Systema or similar style to the art is a natural progression here in the states...especially with the growth of MMA.

From an outsiders point of view, I am a surprised by the number dojos that offer, yoga, systema, judo, or tai chi as part of their curriculum...maybe thats a business decision...meeting the demand of the consumer or perhaps its the circular evolution of the art...getting back to its martial roots. It has been discussed in this forum repeatedly that many of the Aikido founders had years training other styles prior to beginning Aikido...someone here mentioned Aikido as a kind of finishing school, I agree with that assumption...studying Aikido solely on its own merits, the only art one has practiced may be doing the practioner a diservice. Please note that I am not inferring in any way that Aikido is or is not effective on its own. This is certainly not an altruism...just a perspective. It seems to me that there are many complimentary martial styles that enhance one's martial experience.

Charles Hill
08-13-2008, 01:56 AM
Hi Larry,

I would be very interested in hearing which Aikido dojo offer Systema as part of their curriculum. As I understand it Mr. Vasiliev is very particular that Systema be taught on it's own, not as part of another art's curriculum.

Thanks
Charles

salim
08-13-2008, 07:14 AM
Oops, correction. I said Ron Dean earlier in my post. It's Roy Dean, from Roy Dean Academy. I think he has a fantastic approach to the evolution ok Aikido.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SivWAcPlzFg&NR=1

phitruong
08-13-2008, 09:22 AM
does aikido need evolving? or is it that us human need evolving? for alien folks, especially martians, please keep your hands or limbs down. :)

*sarcasm mode on*

I think I need to talk to my iaido sensei on the need of its to evolve. what with all the drawing and cutting air. we need to do some blood letting. oh wait! I did bleed a couple of times while sheathing the blade by sticking it into my hand. it definitely need evolving because I want to see some blood and guts spilling all over. we might even want to add some 9mm into the kata.

And what with the tea ceremony that takes two hours for a cup of tea. just dump the thing into a cup, put some water, shove it into a microwave, zap it for a few minutes and voila hot tea coming up. no fuss no muss.

*sarcasm mode off*

James Edwards
08-13-2008, 09:58 AM
I agree with Sensei Stenudd. I think that the beauty of Aikido is that there are so many interpretations to it. No one else will be like O sensei, he didn't even need forms in his late years.

I think Aikido itself evolves in everyone. Just like O sensei's transition from being more rough to being very soft and refined. Apparently my sensei and his sensei also underwent that transition although they still focus on the martial aspect.

Right now there are so many interpretations of the art. There are people doing it very softly and even dance-like to being very martial, rougher and with more use of atemi. There are people who prefer more circular motion, there are those who like more linear motions. You get teachers who also teach iaido and zazen or teachers who don't even use weapons and integrate shinto practices.

And they're all fine. They create an art that suit themselves, their own bodies, minds and intentions.

As Chiba sensei said:
"You are not going to perfect anybody else's art but your own. One comes to understand that there is no comparison between one's art and another's, just as the value of each individual life is beyond comparison."

Hebrew Hammer
08-13-2008, 10:38 PM
Hi Larry,

I would be very interested in hearing which Aikido dojo offer Systema as part of their curriculum. As I understand it Mr. Vasiliev is very particular that Systema be taught on it's own, not as part of another art's curriculum.

Thanks
Charles

Not sure who Larry is :D but I think you were directing the question to me...

Maybe 'curriculum' was the wrong word to use here but the arts are offered at these dojos.

There are a couple of local San Diego dojos one Aikido, actually the above mentioned Roy Dean used to offer BJJ classes here as well.

http://sandiegoaikido.com/

and one Aiki Jujitsu

http://www.dojoofthefourwinds.com/about.html

Not sure if Mr Vasiliev has much say as to where his arts are offered as there might not be a formal association of Systema and it might be hard to keep the Genie back in the bottle once you let her out.

Charles Hill
08-14-2008, 12:52 AM
Sorry Kevin,

I have no idea where "Larry" came from! I don't know about the San Diego dojo, but I do know that the 4 winds dojo offers Systema as a separate class. Mr. Vasiliev has a much tighter control now as his instructor certifications have an expiration date on them. (at least that is what I have heard)

Again sorry Kevin. (no chance you'll change your name? No?:))
Charles

salim
08-14-2008, 08:23 AM
Not sure who Larry is :D but I think you were directing the question to me...

Maybe 'curriculum' was the wrong word to use here but the arts are offered at these dojos.

There are a couple of local San Diego dojos one Aikido, actually the above mentioned Roy Dean used to offer BJJ classes here as well.

http://sandiegoaikido.com/

and one Aiki Jujitsu

http://www.dojoofthefourwinds.com/about.html

Not sure if Mr Vasiliev has much say as to where his arts are offered as there might not be a formal association of Systema and it might be hard to keep the Genie back in the bottle once you let her out.

Kevin,

Here's a great video clip that demonstrates and explains tactile sensitivity, which is something that is not often taught in most Aikido dojos today. This is part of the continued evolution of Aikido, that may be the next step for the younger open minded Aikidoka.

I hope you enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D10w1VFGZh0

Hebrew Hammer
08-14-2008, 10:10 PM
Kevin,

Here's a great video clip that demonstrates and explains tactile sensitivity,...

What exactly do you mean by Tactile Sensitivity?

Good Vids by Roy Dean, he is certainly someone to keep an eye on...BJJ/Judo are great compliments to aikido, especially in one on one engagements or where the Aikidoka is struggling with a much larger/stronger foe. They can be applied in a harmonious manner that falls in line with Aikido principles.

NagaBaba
08-15-2008, 02:35 PM
Arts are simply evolving or dying.
I think you completely misunderstood the goal of aikido; have you ever read Peter Goldsbury articles in Columns forum?
Aikido has nothing to do with bjj, MMA or UFC :D Only very superficial observers would want to transplant the methodology of sports into aikido practice. In the same way - only very beginner and inexperienced aikidoka would want to mix elements of judo, bjj, MT..etc with aikido.

You may like it or no, but Founder meant aikido as misogi, and aikido techniques are tools to achieve this goal. What systema or bjj have to do with misogi? - nothing at all. These arts have simply different goals, so in reality their techniques will develop bad conditioning in the body and mind of aikidoka. Not for nothing Founder got very angry when his uchideshi used judo techniques instead aikido techniques during a class.

One must have very deep knowledge of human nature and did tons of ikkyo when we talk about modification of tools that transform body and mind. We are not here on the level of building speed of entry for a technique, or power of throw. These proprieties are only byproducts of internal transformation, not primary goals. Of course, you can limit your aikido practice to improve its physical elements only, but then you can’t use word of ‘evolution’ – it will be simply pretentious LOL.

salim
08-15-2008, 08:47 PM
I think you completely misunderstood the goal of aikido; have you ever read Peter Goldsbury articles in Columns forum?
Aikido has nothing to do with bjj, MMA or UFC :D Only very superficial observers would want to transplant the methodology of sports into aikido practice. In the same way - only very beginner and inexperienced aikidoka would want to mix elements of judo, bjj, MT..etc with aikido.

You may like it or no, but Founder meant aikido as misogi, and aikido techniques are tools to achieve this goal. What systema or bjj have to do with misogi? - nothing at all. These arts have simply different goals, so in reality their techniques will develop bad conditioning in the body and mind of aikidoka. Not for nothing Founder got very angry when his uchideshi used judo techniques instead aikido techniques during a class.

One must have very deep knowledge of human nature and did tons of ikkyo when we talk about modification of tools that transform body and mind. We are not here on the level of building speed of entry for a technique, or power of throw. These proprieties are only byproducts of internal transformation, not primary goals. Of course, you can limit your aikido practice to improve its physical elements only, but then you can’t use word of ‘evolution’ – it will be simply pretentious LOL.

Roy Dean is a dan holder, not a novice, far from a beginner. Definitely a competent, professional martial artist. The video below provides a glimpses.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D10w1VFGZh0

Many of the earlier practitioners of Aikido, direct students of the Founder, such as Kenji Tomiki and Minoru Mochizuki advocated Judo and propelled the methodology of Judo with their Aikido. Below is proof of the connection of Aikido/Judo.

"There are, moreover, several interesting historical connections between Aikido and Judo. Kano witnessed a demonstration by Morihei Ueshiba in 1930 which resulted in him sending several of his top Judoka to study under the Aikido Founder. Kenji Tomiki, the creator of Tomiki-style Aikido - often referred to as “Sport Aikido” was an advanced practitioner of Judo in the 1920s and strongly influenced by Kano’s theories. Tomiki later became a prominent figure in the development of prewar Aikido and a senior instructor at the Kobukan Dojo. Another fascinating historical sidelight is the fact that Admiral Isamu Takeshita, who would later become an enthusiastic student and patron of Morihei Ueshiba, arranged for top-ranking Judo instructor Yoshiaki Yamashita to visit the United States in the early 1900s where he taught jujutsu to President Theodore Roosevelt."

With all due respect. I'm not really interested in an intellectual debate to massage your ego or advocate the principles of flowing Aikido dance moves. I'm not interested in experiencing some introspective, religious, spiritual awakening from Aikido. I was merely speaking to individuals who would like to foster or evolve their Aikido to the next level of martial excellence. Those who want to arm themselves with the best knowledge possible to move Aikido to the next stage of progression. The objective is for one to discover who they are. Aikido will mean different things to different people.

rob_liberti
08-15-2008, 10:06 PM
Roy Dean is a dan holder, not a novice, far from a beginner.

As I understand it:
1st - 3rd dan are the beginner levels.
4th - 6th dan are intermediate
7 and up are mastery levels

While Roy has respectable martial art skills in general, unless Roy is 4th dan or higher in aikido, he is by definition still a beginner at aikido.

Rob

Buck
08-15-2008, 10:26 PM
With all due respect. I'm not really interested in an intellectual debate to massage your ego or advocate the principles of flowing Aikido dance moves. I'm not interested in experiencing some introspective, religious, spiritual awakening from Aikido. I was merely speaking to individuals who would like to foster or evolve their Aikido to the next level of martial excellence. Those who want to arm themselves with the best knowledge possible to move Aikido to the next stage of progression. The objective is for one to discover who they are. Aikido will mean different things to different people.

I am going to make some nose bleed seats comments. I have been glued to this discussion. Aikido's objective is self-victory. Aikido shouldn't mean different things to different people- I know what your saying. I would say progression is toward self-victory that results in progression to the next levels.

Demetrio Cereijo
08-16-2008, 12:41 PM
You may like it or no, but Founder meant aikido as misogi, and aikido techniques are tools to achieve this goal.

One must have very deep knowledge of human nature and did tons of ikkyo when we talk about modification of tools that transform body and mind. We are not here on the level of building speed of entry for a technique, or power of throw. These proprieties are only byproducts of internal transformation, not primary goals. Of course, you can limit your aikido practice to improve its physical elements only, but then you can’t use word of ‘evolution’ – it will be simply pretentious LOL.

Then, if these byproducts are not present, the internal transformation is not happening, isn't it?

Aikido's objective is self-victory.
I'm not sure about this. Is misogui really a mean to achieve self-victory?

Mark Uttech
08-16-2008, 02:41 PM
Then, if these byproducts are not present, the internal transformation is not happening, isn't it?

I'm not sure about this. Is misogui really a mean to achieve self-victory?

Misogi is rather a means to achieve victory over self, not self victory. But then, when you put that buddhist circular spin on it, they are the same thing.

In gassho,

Mark

gdandscompserv
08-16-2008, 03:34 PM
As I understand it:
1st - 3rd dan are the beginner levels.
4th - 6th dan are intermediate
7 and up are mastery levels

While Roy has respectable martial art skills in general, unless Roy is 4th dan or higher in aikido, he is by definition still a beginner at aikido.

Rob
You of all people should know better than to equate rank with mastery.;)

Hebrew Hammer
08-16-2008, 07:08 PM
With all due respect. I'm not really interested in an intellectual debate to massage your ego or advocate the principles of flowing Aikido dance moves. I'm not interested in experiencing some introspective, religious, spiritual awakening from Aikido. I was merely speaking to individuals who would like to foster or evolve their Aikido to the next level of martial excellence. Those who want to arm themselves with the best knowledge possible to move Aikido to the next stage of progression. The objective is for one to discover who they are. Aikido will mean different things to different people.

Why not? How can the art progress without introspection? Certaiunly those who want to arm themselves with the best possible knowledge will go to any lengths, to include spiritual, introspective, circumspective, and intellectual debate....which is clearly what is going on here. Or are you just seeking validation for your perspectives? Which I might add are not without merit.

salim
08-16-2008, 07:43 PM
Why not? How can the art progress without introspection? Certaiunly those who want to arm themselves with the best possible knowledge will go to any lengths, to include spiritual, introspective, circumspective, and intellectual debate....which is clearly what is going on here. Or are you just seeking validation for your perspectives? Which I might add are not without merit.

I'm not interested in religious experiences from Aikido, otherwise I what look for another methodology for self defense. I'm only interested in martial application and evolving my self defense abilities physically. Again, I was only speaking to those who share the same desire to evolve their Aikido, martial methodology. I'm not looking from validation from people like yourself. I'm looking for those who have a desire to expand, such as Roy Dean has done and countless others. If this web portal is only for those who advocate religion, then maybe I should find another audience.

rob_liberti
08-16-2008, 09:54 PM
You of all people should know better than to equate rank with mastery.;)

I didn't make the rules! :)

(Of course we all get annoyed when you meet someone with a "grey belt" who must have tied it to the back bumper of their car and drove to the seminars - because after working out with them it is clear that there is no way that belt got so grey from their hard work.)

Anyway, my evolution in martial arts has gone the direction of internal martial skills to better power aikido, MMA, and weapons work. I believe that you become the mind you train. So that's something to think about when considering your personal martial evolution.

Rob

jennifer paige smith
08-17-2008, 11:16 AM
Roy Dean is a dan holder, not a novice, far from a beginner. Definitely a competent, professional martial artist. The video below provides a glimpses.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D10w1VFGZh0

Many of the earlier practitioners of Aikido, direct students of the Founder, such as Kenji Tomiki and Minoru Mochizuki advocated Judo and propelled the methodology of Judo with their Aikido. Below is proof of the connection of Aikido/Judo.

"There are, moreover, several interesting historical connections between Aikido and Judo. Kano witnessed a demonstration by Morihei Ueshiba in 1930 which resulted in him sending several of his top Judoka to study under the Aikido Founder. Kenji Tomiki, the creator of Tomiki-style Aikido - often referred to as "Sport Aikido" was an advanced practitioner of Judo in the 1920s and strongly influenced by Kano's theories. Tomiki later became a prominent figure in the development of prewar Aikido and a senior instructor at the Kobukan Dojo. Another fascinating historical sidelight is the fact that Admiral Isamu Takeshita, who would later become an enthusiastic student and patron of Morihei Ueshiba, arranged for top-ranking Judo instructor Yoshiaki Yamashita to visit the United States in the early 1900s where he taught jujutsu to President Theodore Roosevelt."

With all due respect. I'm not really interested in an intellectual debate to massage your ego or advocate the principles of flowing Aikido dance moves. I'm not interested in experiencing some introspective, religious, spiritual awakening from Aikido. I was merely speaking to individuals who would like to foster or evolve their Aikido to the next level of martial excellence. Those who want to arm themselves with the best knowledge possible to move Aikido to the next stage of progression. The objective is for one to discover who they are. Aikido will mean different things to different people.

You can't really determine what kind of conversation you will have when you enter into a conversation. You open the door to whatever is on peoples minds . Spirituality, or being awake, is in many peoples practice, the next step, or a potential evolution of aikido. It is part of the conversation.

Having said that, I will say it is a matter of 'order of operations' as to your argumnent about what evolution is....The teachers you mention, and O'Sensei himself, practiced many martial arts and were excellent in the them BEFORE he was inspired in the movements of Aikido. To simply only reinstate those arts would be to essentiall go backwards in time,to devolve. And it would be a devolving of conciousness to atempt to emulate the violent tatics of the past in the climate of today. We live in a time that demands Takemusu Aiki and Shobu Aiki. Not simply Aik- jitsu or some new brand there-of. Our fathers did that work so we could do other, in their footsteps, but in this time.

Metaphor:A little like using this computer instead of sending you all letters ( i do love to write letters, but it doesnt serve this communication purpose.)

And for anyone who thinks I'm saying 'don't learn your craft' on any level, I'm not.

Hebrew Hammer
08-17-2008, 01:10 PM
I'm not interested in religious experiences from Aikido, otherwise I what look for another methodology for self defense. I'm only interested in martial application and evolving my self defense abilities physically. Again, I was only speaking to those who share the same desire to evolve their Aikido, martial methodology. I'm not looking from validation from people like yourself. I'm looking for those who have a desire to expand, such as Roy Dean has done and countless others. If this web portal is only for those who advocate religion, then maybe I should find another audience.

Salim,
My final 'two cents' worth and then I will bow out. Certainly Aikido and this forum do not require religion/spirituality to participate in...I just find it curious that you would choose a martial art whose founder was a deeply religious, spiritual man and yet you are closed off to the idea that spirtituality, religion, or meditation can make you a better martial artist. By all accounts Osensei was a legendary physical martial artist, who's abilities few have been able to replicate. My final question is do you think if you were to ask Osensei if his religious or spirtiual side made him a more effective physical martial artist? I would bet the answer would be yes....

Thats probably a topic for another thread or has been. With that I hope you find the answers you are seeking.

Buck
08-17-2008, 02:34 PM
Gee...(sigh)... Aikido doesn't fit with evolution. Ringing the same bell here, but Aikido is a complete martial art. Adding in other techniques like in the clip that fit well coming off of Aikido is because Aikido is complete. It is not evolution. Just because MMA, (BJJ at it's core, and Judo at BJJ's core) has become a popular sports venue doesn't mean absorbing Aikido technique to MMA evolves Aikido. Why not say it is the other way around and say MMA is in a continued evolution. An evolution from the ground to standing, to be more like Aikido? MMA really is a mix of older fighting styles mostly from Japanese martial arts, and some boxing and street fighting all organized into one venue.

Aikido when added to MMA to work in MMA venue is adding to a repertoire of moves. Aikido was never designed or intended for a MMA venue. Aikido has a different philosophy, and it isn't about sports competition. It isn't about being paid to fight. I find allot of people over look that. If you really study the origins of Aikido and it's philosophy you see that it is an art form that you have to look at the whole package. You can't cleave off a technique here or their and call it Aikido. It doesn't work that way. You can't reduce Aikido that way, or any other art form.

You can take Aikido techniques and add other martial arts too it and you have your own style. Several people have, and created some successful styles of Aikido. Even Aikido was the result of other arts, and influences. But that isn't evolution, it is being creative. Voila, the category of martial art and not sport.

It isn't a matter of evolution, it is a matter of growth in more than one area. That is why I call it a complete art. The challenge of Aikido sticking with Aikido, having the belief in Aikido, the confidence in Aikido, the effort to go the distance to reap the benefits, the awards it offers. Aikido is an art, an expression, a spiritual journey, and a cultural experience. Evolution happens here within Aikido, the opportunity for personal growth.

That doesn't go over with the young eager guys who want to prove they are fighters. The guys who just focus on that one climaitic short moment of victory. For them is what they are all about. But there is more then a quick climatic rush, like in the art of romance for example. With romance, like Aikido, it takes years to appreciate, and embrace, that long slow passionate beautiful dance.

What I said ties in to the thread "What comes after Aikido" http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14958

Stefan Stenudd
08-17-2008, 05:20 PM
Thank you, Philip, for your wise words.

salim
08-17-2008, 07:31 PM
Gee...(sigh)... Aikido doesn't fit with evolution. Ringing the same bell here, but Aikido is a complete martial art. Adding in other techniques like in the clip that fit well coming off of Aikido is because Aikido is complete. It is not evolution. Just because MMA, (BJJ at it's core, and Judo at BJJ's core) has become a popular sports venue doesn't mean absorbing Aikido technique to MMA evolves Aikido. Why not say it is the other way around and say MMA is in a continued evolution. An evolution from the ground to standing, to be more like Aikido? MMA really is a mix of older fighting styles mostly from Japanese martial arts, and some boxing and street fighting all organized into one venue.

Aikido when added to MMA to work in MMA venue is adding to a repertoire of moves. Aikido was never designed or intended for a MMA venue. Aikido has a different philosophy, and it isn't about sports competition. It isn't about being paid to fight. I find allot of people over look that. If you really study the origins of Aikido and it's philosophy you see that it is an art form that you have to look at the whole package. You can't cleave off a technique here or their and call it Aikido. It doesn't work that way. You can't reduce Aikido that way, or any other art form.

You can take Aikido techniques and add other martial arts too it and you have your own style. Several people have, and created some successful styles of Aikido. Even Aikido was the result of other arts, and influences. But that isn't evolution, it is being creative. Voila, the category of martial art and not sport.

It isn't a matter of evolution, it is a matter of growth in more than one area. That is why I call it a complete art. The challenge of Aikido sticking with Aikido, having the belief in Aikido, the confidence in Aikido, the effort to go the distance to reap the benefits, the awards it offers. Aikido is an art, an expression, a spiritual journey, and a cultural experience. Evolution happens here within Aikido, the opportunity for personal growth.

That doesn't go over with the young eager guys who want to prove they are fighters. The guys who just focus on that one climaitic short moment of victory. For them is what they are all about. But there is more then a quick climatic rush, like in the art of romance for example. With romance, like Aikido, it takes years to appreciate, and embrace, that long slow passionate beautiful dance.

What I said ties in to the thread "What comes after Aikido" http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14958

Philip,

I respect your honesty and the love you have for Aikido. I certainly respect those who want Aikido to reflect Japanese religious, cultural views. This is where we draw the line. To many of the early practitioners, direct students of O'sensei felt compelled to evolve their Aikido to another level. This is why we have Yoshinkan, Yoseikan and others. Those well respected Aikidoka, felt there was something lacking and added to their Aikido. Kenji Tomiki, Gozo Shioda and Minoru Mochizuki definitely and often spoke about the deficients within the modern Aikido movements. Sometimes they would ridiculed the Aikikai/Ki approach altogether. Even individuals within Aikikai as an organization have had methodology differences, so it's nothing new.

To many Aikidoka, especially those within the Aikikai organization want to pinpoint or make preconceived accusations that any Aikidoka who wants to incorporate BJJ/Jujutsu are some how sport MMA enthusiast. There could be nothing further from the truth. Just because an Aikidoka wants to incorporate some form of Jujutsu, does not mean he/she is an advocate for sport MMA. I myself like to use what is useful, what works for me and my body type and remove what is not useful. For me it's all about self defense and having fun while learning.

Again, I draw the line within our fundamental, methodology of Aikido. I refuse to accept the religious aspects of O'sensei's spiritual beliefs and feel it's not necessary to be an Aikidoka practitioner. I have my own religious orientation. I do however respect the founders religious belief, but do not incorporate those principles to my Aikido. Many practitioners of the Tomiki, Yoshinkan and Yoseikan hold the same sentiment. I view martial arts from an athleticism perspective. Good clean, healthy fun that brings about great social interactions and maybe the development of a new friendship. Aikido can be physically, very healthy, especially for those who are older, but still enjoy some type of physical activity. It's a great way to stay in shape, very much like BJJ. Learning body coordination, new ways to use your body in ways you didn't know before is great martial exploration.

All martial arts have something athletically to offer. All martial arts have limitations. Aikido has some self defense limitations and deficients that need to be either complimented with some other art, or removed so that one can adjust to a real life self defense situations. I believe in good health, healthy eating and religious beliefs, for those who want religion are all good positive aspects to a full, healthy lifestyle.

I would say, the youth are our future and are usually not closed minded to evolving the arts in general. They are the ones, with whom persons such as myself look to for healthy martial growth. I use Roy Dean as a classical example, only to suggest that he is one who explores the possibilities and doesn't allow the arts to stagnate. He allows one to discover who they are within the realm of self defense. Always professional, always willing to assist and share, truly a class act. We need more individuals like him to help foster a positive movement of evolving Aikido.

jennifer paige smith
08-17-2008, 10:06 PM
Philip,

I would say, the youth are our future and are usually not closed minded to evolving the arts in general. They are the ones, with whom persons such as myself look to for healthy martial growth. I use Roy Dean as a classical example, only to suggest that he is one who explores the possibilities and doesn't allow the arts to stagnate. He allows one to discover who they are within the realm of self defense. Always professional, always willing to assist and share, truly a class act. We need more individuals like him to help foster a positive movement of evolving Aikido.

Whether you say it or not youth is always the future, except for our own bodies.
To walk in your own ideals foster the students in your own dojo who are teaching the younger students.Support your own dojo's contribution to the art. Spend time in the kids classes. Learn who the kids are and what they have to teach you about evolution; as well as what you think they should be learning. But you need to be sure of exactly what you think 'good aikido' is and be prepared to teach and elaborate completely on that.
That is how generation and selection occurs.

Buck
08-17-2008, 10:08 PM
I see what your saying, and in any organization it has to follow what it believes. I think there lies the threat of existence. Should you change, do you need to change, do you change and how much change, are all a difficult balancing act. How many companies survive sticking to their mission, their vision and where other companies are forced to change their mission and or vision because they did stick with their mission. How many companies have to change to survive. And in change or not changing have to do with politics. If you change what do you lose? If you don't change what do you lose? This is a huge issue for all organizations.

I think what you are talking about is diversifying, and merging, and not evolution. When you are diversifying you are bring in a new culture as a result that then has to be decided will it act independently from the parent company or not. Then comes the consideration of the results of those actions. Will it kill the old company brand and productions, that is highly identifiable with a huge customer loyalty? Will the new product brand be marketable with the same appeal and success? Remember New Coke? RIP, for example. Change for companies and institutions can be devastating to the public. A public that has a long held expectations and recognition with a strong standing toward these organizations, expecting these organizations to continue as founded. Again I use the failure of New Coke that lost it's original taste and tasted like it's competitors product.

What if Harvard's law school changed into a cooking school? Or the campus changed into an amusement park Harvard has a reputation that people recognize and are familiar with that. That is something you don't change unless the idea is to destroy the school.

It ain't football players learning ballet: Body coordination, if you haven't discovered or explored it in Aikido and are looking outside of Aikido for it that is everyone's right. But, it is sad that people don't have enough confidence in themselves or Aikido to know that it is there. That marvel comes with practice, practice is where you explore. Some people don't have the patience or don't want to work hard to get it. Others may need a different view or different teaching style to understand it. But that doesn't mean the art lacks it, it there. Anything worthwhile doesn't come easy.

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence, at first glance: If you look closely enough you will see in those other arts looking elsewhere to build around their core arts. MMA is a great example. And you will have a high number of people selling all sorts of skills to MMA fighters. In MMA you have many coaches of different areas teaching fighters.

It really is more about diversity then evolution of a organization. It is not bending to every trend that comes along. It is about sticking to your guns and preserving a establish highly identifiable institution, with all it's warts, for the future. A real tough act. I think credit could be given and respect and understanding for keeping the institution alive and kicking. Walk in their shoes. Would you want MMA to evolve into a pro wrestling? Of course not, you would fight to protect it from that, rightly so. Even though MMA lost it's freshness and marked as out of date as a dinosaur sport.

Politics are something best left to the politicians. Most of what you said at the start to me is really an issue of politics. Every place has them.

That is how I look at it. I don't expect anyone else to do the same. I guess what I am saying there are two sides to every coin.

Is there a point of disagreement between us? I hope not. I just understand from where they are standing. That is from a fundamental view point. :)

John Matsushima
08-17-2008, 11:14 PM
I'm not interested in religious experiences from Aikido, otherwise I what look for another methodology for self defense. I'm only interested in martial application and evolving my self defense abilities physically. Again, I was only speaking to those who share the same desire to evolve their Aikido, martial methodology. I'm not looking from validation from people like yourself. I'm looking for those who have a desire to expand, such as Roy Dean has done and countless others. If this web portal is only for those who advocate religion, then maybe I should find another audience.

If you're only interested in how Aikido is evolving martially, then you cannot speak of how it evolves as an art. What you speak of is expanding the art laterally and not vertically. Adding more waza, swordwork, competition, etc, expands the Aikido to encompass more, but it does little to bring it to new heights. Sometimes, I think when you go to far laterally, then you create a new art. I think of Yoseikan being one example, in my opinion. Is Aikido an evolution of Daito-ryu, or a new art created from it? Furthermore, the founders of Aikido and Judo seemed to want to "trim the fat"; that is they cut out techniques, leaving what they thought was the only the most efficient. I think what people like Roy Dean seem to be doing, is the opposite; going backwards. In Aikido, for many, seems to be going backward. Instead of going after what Ueshiba was going after, many focus instead on trying to do what he and his students did, or adding what they the was a mistake for him to leave out (kicks, punches, grappling, swordwork, etc.).
I view Aikido as an evolution of Budo, not the opposite. Aikido does what the original concepts of Budo meant to do - stop the spears, stop the conflict with as little violence as possible. So, in that sense, it is obvious that in order to look at the evolution of Aikido, one must look where it has come from, consider all the aspects; the spiritual, moral, intellectual, and physical, and most importantly, where it is going.

Demetrio Cereijo
08-18-2008, 10:06 AM
Adding more waza, swordwork, competition, etc, expands the Aikido to encompass more, but it does little to bring it to new heights.

I don't think so. There are multiple examples of people who added techniques and/or principles of other arts bringing aikido to new heights. I'm thinking of people like Nishio (judo, karate, swordmanship), Yamaguchi (KSR), Michio (bojutsu), Tohei (yoga), Sugawara (TSKSR and CIMA) and many others; I don't see their work as going backwards.

Buck
08-18-2008, 10:43 AM
Maybe it is a matter of different arts are brought together isn't to improve but rather as addition to. Much like how you take swimming plus running plus cycling equals a Triathalon. Hence you have a new sport. I don't think it is a matter of perspective and not improvement. When you add swimming to running to cycling you don't improve upon each sport. You just have a athlete that can do all three.

Any of the people mentioned who did other arts and also did Aikido, they didn't compare to the skill of O'Sensei and they all came after O'Sensei and they learned Aikido from O'Senesi and stayed with Aikido. They didn't stop doing Aikido. I don't know why that is often over looked. They thought Aikido was vaild. :)

jennifer paige smith
08-18-2008, 10:56 AM
I don't think so. There are multiple examples of people who added techniques and/or principles of other arts bringing aikido to new heights. I'm thinking of people like Nishio (judo, karate, swordmanship), Yamaguchi (KSR), Michio (bojutsu), Tohei (yoga), Sugawara (TSKSR and CIMA) and many others; I don't see their work as going backwards.

I would argue that they didn't bring aikido to new heights with those things. Those things brought them to aikido, and they were allowed to train with O-Sensei because of their dedication as students. Those arts were part of their influences and offered another avenue to elaborate on a dimension of aiki. Aikido is 'bigger' in an essence, because it brought those skills to new heights.
Like John said above, and I said before him, it is devoloving when we become macro-lateral.
Trust in the path that has been carved for you. Bring all you have with you, and continue to spiral the mountain.

From Aikido Journal today: "What I’m trying to say is this. In the old days, each master (person) would decide on his own, “I’m good at throwing”, or “My kicking is outstanding,” or I have a great short sword technique.” Then based on this subjective judgement he would set up his own style in a formalized tradition (ryuha). In the case of the “modernization” that took place, the sword was taken out of jujutsu, and likewise, swordwork excluded jujutsu. The arts were divided into specific fields based on the type of technique. An old time practitioner of Ninjutsu, the Art of Stealth, thought only of the real life application. He would do anything he had to do in order to win. This was, of course, because they used technique for the purpose of war, and from that point of view you had to be able to cope with a long engagement distance or a short one, you could jump, do anything necessary. But if we move up to the present we don’t think about such realistic applications. Through our training we forge our spirits (kokoro) and bodies, and so doing we concern ourselves with being useful in more peaceful pursuits. This is the modern way of thinking, and it is so precisely because it is not warlike."

"Though I can’t really say how much he developed from the side of technique, I guess we can say there was a great change based on a “change of heart” (kokoro no tenkan).." -Tomiki Sensei

Demetrio Cereijo
08-18-2008, 02:27 PM
Any of the people mentioned who did other arts and also did Aikido, they didn't compare to the skill of O'Sensei and they all came after O'Sensei and they learned Aikido from O'Senesi and stayed with Aikido. They didn't stop doing Aikido. I don't know why that is often over looked. They thought Aikido was vaild. :)

and

I would argue that they didn't bring aikido to new heights with those things. Those things brought them to aikido, and they were allowed to train with O-Sensei because of their dedication as students. Those arts were part of their influences and offered another avenue to elaborate on a dimension of aiki. Aikido is 'bigger' in an essence, because it brought those skills to new heights.

It also can be said that none of the students of the founder reached his level, doesn't matter if they were experienced martial artists before meeting him, or if they crosstrained or if they trained aikido only so your point is a bit moot.

Of course all of them thought aikido was valid, but aikido's validity was no obstacle for them to step outside aikido's box, both technically and philosophical-spiritually.

BTW, about quoting Tomiki Sensei:

"Through our training we forge our spirits (kokoro) and bodies, and so doing we concern ourselves with being useful in more peaceful pursuits. This is the modern way of thinking, and it is so precisely because it is not warlike."

Then he worked for "putting the eyes back in the dragon" and developed a shiai/randori method for aikido.

salim
08-18-2008, 05:40 PM
If you're only interested in how Aikido is evolving martially, then you cannot speak of how it evolves as an art. What you speak of is expanding the art laterally and not vertically. Adding more waza, swordwork, competition, etc, expands the Aikido to encompass more, but it does little to bring it to new heights. Sometimes, I think when you go to far laterally, then you create a new art. I think of Yoseikan being one example, in my opinion. Is Aikido an evolution of Daito-ryu, or a new art created from it? Furthermore, the founders of Aikido and Judo seemed to want to "trim the fat"; that is they cut out techniques, leaving what they thought was the only the most efficient. I think what people like Roy Dean seem to be doing, is the opposite; going backwards. In Aikido, for many, seems to be going backward. Instead of going after what Ueshiba was going after, many focus instead on trying to do what he and his students did, or adding what they the was a mistake for him to leave out (kicks, punches, grappling, swordwork, etc.).
I view Aikido as an evolution of Budo, not the opposite. Aikido does what the original concepts of Budo meant to do - stop the spears, stop the conflict with as little violence as possible. So, in that sense, it is obvious that in order to look at the evolution of Aikido, one must look where it has come from, consider all the aspects; the spiritual, moral, intellectual, and physical, and most importantly, where it is going.

I disagree with the statement that Roy Dean is going backwards. Maybe he feels the same passion to use the martial applications of Aikido and leave the religious methodology out.

Roy Deans is doing a fantastic job, infusing Aikido/Jujutsu. That's what martial evolution is all about. Working with various aspects of self defense, attempting to infuse them if possible. Perhaps we're not traditionalist Aikidoka, whatever that means. We enjoy Aiki principles and respect Aikido for it's various forms. His positive attitude and professionalism along with his terrific ideas of making the self defense connection, is what we need to propel Aikido to the next phase of evolution.

Buck
08-18-2008, 06:19 PM
and

It also can be said that none of the students of the founder reached his level, doesn't matter if they were experienced martial artists before meeting him, or if they crosstrained or if they trained aikido only so your point is a bit moot.

Of course all of them thought aikido was valid, but aikido's validity was no obstacle for them to step outside aikido's box, both technically and philosophical-spiritually.


Ok...Ok... a fair point, sure. How about the fact they gravitated toward Aikido as experienced martial artists and didn't reach the level of O'Sensei. What attracted them to Aikido, as experienced martial artists, what was it in Aikido for them they didn't have?

jennifer paige smith
08-18-2008, 06:39 PM
and

It also can be said that none of the students of the founder reached his level, doesn't matter if they were experienced martial artists before meeting him, or if they crosstrained or if they trained aikido only so your point is a bit moot.

.

Unless I'm reading this incorrectly, that would actually make your point moot. According to your statement they didn't get to his level and then they went back to something else. That isn't my experience and I wouldn't agree with that statement.
I personally see immense value in the training of the many masters with whom I have had the pleasure and privelidge to train.I don't know one of them who would make claims about holes in O-Sensei's training or teaching. They are all still in awe and reverence for him and still strive to hold in their hearts what they experienced with him. And like the rest of us, they use the entirety of their lifes experience to add to the art and to it's continuance. They don't yearn for the 'good 'ol days when we could kick some serious ass.' They yearn to be closer to O-Sensei's Aikido and they wish they'd spent more time listening to him and less time being in a hurry to do some "real martial arts" instead of "enduring his lectures about harmony". At least that's what I've been told directly.
Simply put: They are wiser then any of the dichotomies posited here.
Probably even mine that I can't yet see.

jennifer paige smith
08-18-2008, 06:46 PM
I disagree with the statement that Roy Dean is going backwards. Maybe he feels the same passion to use the martial applications of Aikido and leave the religious methodology out.

Roy Deans is doing a fantastic job, infusing Aikido/Jujutsu. That's what martial evolution is all about. Working with various aspects of self defense, attempting to infuse them if possible. Perhaps we're not traditionalist Aikidoka, whatever that means. We enjoy Aiki principles and respect Aikido for it's various forms. His positive attitude and professionalism along with his terrific ideas of making the self defense connection, is what we need to propel Aikido to the next phase of evolution.

Well that's a thought.

Buck
08-18-2008, 06:48 PM
These experienced martial arts where stepping into Aikido, taking from Aikido. I think it says something strongly about Aikido. These experience martial artists, were they going to Aikido to evolve their arts? O'Sensei didn't go to them. :)

You really have to see Aikido as a complete art. Maybe not as brutal or lethal as some other arts. But as equally humane as most other modern martial art of its time. I don't think we should measure an art by its brutality, but by its humanity. That is evolution.

salim
08-18-2008, 07:44 PM
These experienced martial arts where stepping into Aikido, taking from Aikido. I think it says something strongly about Aikido. These experience martial artists, were they going to Aikido to evolve their arts? O'Sensei didn't go to them. :)

You really have to see Aikido as a complete art. Maybe not as brutal or lethal as some other arts. But as equally humane as most other modern martial art of its time. I don't think we should measure an art by its brutality, but by its humanity. That is evolution.

I agree in part. Barbarism is a means to destruction. Roy Dean nor myself are looking for brutality. Roy Dean's countless videos don't demonstrate nor do they advocate brutality. I'm not sure why the assumption is brutality. Some want healthy, fun, challenging, social experiences that foster good behavior without dictatorial idioms.

Just because we don't practice O'sensei's religious beliefs or adhere to the Shinto Omoto methodology, does not make us inhumane. People can be at peace, advocate peace and celebrate peace without adhering to a religious order. Aikido is not religion for me. That's really a turn off.

The Judokas have allowed individuals to be practitioners of various sorts. Some are Traditionalist Judoka, some are Sport Judoka and some are Self Defense Judoka. I myself want the self defense Aikido for the simple natural human reason of self defense, but I would like to have fun while doing so. It's a natural human response to protect. It's not natural to be inhumane.

salim
08-18-2008, 08:25 PM
"Aikido Masters Volume 1, Shioda Sensei said today's Aikido was dimensionless, empty of content and nothing more than an imitation of the real thing."

"Really Something to think about" Someone of his stature saying that, wow!

Buck
08-18-2008, 10:26 PM
I agree in part. Barbarism is a means to destruction. Roy Dean nor myself are looking for brutality. Roy Dean's countless videos don't demonstrate nor do they advocate brutality. I'm not sure why the assumption is brutality. Some want healthy, fun, challenging, social experiences that foster good behavior without dictatorial idioms.

Just because we don't practice O'sensei's religious beliefs or adhere to the Shinto Omoto methodology, does not make us inhumane. People can be at peace, advocate peace and celebrate peace without adhering to a religious order. Aikido is not religion for me. That's really a turn off.

The Judokas have allowed individuals to be practitioners of various sorts. Some are Traditionalist Judoka, some are Sport Judoka and some are Self Defense Judoka. I myself want the self defense Aikido for the simple natural human reason of self defense, but I would like to have fun while doing so. It's a natural human response to protect. It's not natural to be inhumane.

I hope you don't think that I was pointing a finger. I wasn't, I was pointing out evolution in terms of moving from brutality to humanity. Like the saying goes, from swords to plowshares.

I personally think O'Sensei beliefs are difficult to understand because they are written in a coded way, but the main idea is pretty clear. From what I read he didn't really go into detailed explaining of allot of what he said. But what ever you believe there is a core at O'Sensei's Aikido and that is budo; self-victory, good character, etc. There is a core message at his philosophy that is understandable and universal, peace over war, etc. yet that even has its paradoxes, but O'Sensei was Japanese and of a different era. Point is, you don't have to follow his religious beliefs to understand Aikido isn't about combat fighting like the days of feudal Japan. You don't kill your opponent rather you work from within a modern humaneness- done without inflicting any more pain than is necessary. Most gendai martial arts work from the same humane view including Judo, Shotokan, etc. You don't need to convert to Omoto religion that is a personal choice. But you do have to understand the reasoning behind the application of the techniques are done from a humane base.

What I seen in the clip was well done. But, it is a lateral shift and not evolution. To evolve Aikido you have to do it in all areas of Aikido, and not just technical application of techniques. The would include in the area of technique the approach, principle, etc to result in a evolved way that no physical contact was made and the attacker would lose all aggression. Whether that is possible or not, I don't know. But it would be more in line with evolution of Aikido base on what it is in whole. Adding a technique to Aikido from judo to take a person to the ground is just fighting on a different surface. It is cross-breeding two arts. I am not too familiar with Tomiki Aikido, but I think it already has been done. That is not because Aikido needs Judo to evolve it.

Today with MMA popularity as a sport, many people all they see is MMA. That is maybe because that is all they know because MMA placed it's self in a sports venue which grew out of BJJ. The BJJ idea was take the fight to the ground and use jujitsu and from there venues like UFC were born and molded. They made that style of fighting popular. Sure fights do go to the ground and they always have, and that is where wrestling started so many centuries ago. And MMA appeal is that it mixes standing and ground fighting in one venue. If boxing and wrestling did that before MMA it would have been just as popular as MMA. What am saying is that Aikido techniques working are in a different venue with different purpose when used for MMA purposes then reduced Aikido techniques to their base element of jujitsu. That is appealing to those who are into MMA and what to combine Aikido with MMA. But does placing Aikido techniques into the MMA mix evolve MMA ?

I think seeing MMA evolving Aikido is a natural thing to think from those who started out in the MMA sport, and see Aikido as they see MMA.

I see anything wrong with grafting Aikido technique as the clip shows for MMA use. I honestly don't see it as evolution that improves Aikido, I see that it improves MMA. :)

Demetrio Cereijo
08-19-2008, 06:55 AM
How about the fact they gravitated toward Aikido as experienced martial artists and didn't reach the level of O'Sensei. What attracted them to Aikido, as experienced martial artists, what was it in Aikido for them they didn't have?

I suppose some of the founder's students approached him looking to learn more, without attachement to their previous training and emptying their cups, and I suppose others had different things in mind. Some were sent to study with him, like Mochizuki, others were approached by O Sensei, like Abbe ( yes, O Sensei looked for new students, what a surprise), and surely there was people who didn't liked what they saw and moved away.

It's a case by case and every one of them deserve their own thread to avoid generalizations. The motivations of i.e. Tohei (who has Judo experience iirc, but also went to study under Nakamura Tempu) and the ones of i.e. Mochizuki (who was sent by Kano to study with Ueshiba) probably were a bit different.

You really have to see Aikido as a complete art. Maybe not as brutal or lethal as some other arts. But as equally humane as most other modern martial art of its time. I don't think we should measure an art by its brutality, but by its humanity. That is evolution.

Complete?, I don't think so. Valid, interesting and worth studying yes, but complete?... I doubt it.

Btw, arts are not humane, people is and evolution (and its mechanisms) is a different thing.

Demetrio Cereijo
08-19-2008, 07:07 AM
Unless I'm reading this incorrectly, that would actually make your point moot. According to your statement they didn't get to his level and then they went back to something else. That isn't my experience and I wouldn't agree with that statement.

Let me rephrase: relating previous or concurrent martial arts training (or lack of it) with surpassing O Sensei has no point as we can say noone reached his level, much less surpassed him.

Of course, if someone has reached or surpassed O Sensei is debatable and opinions may vary, surely for some this has happened and for some this could be seen as heresy.

Like everything, it depends.

salim
08-19-2008, 08:46 AM
I hope you don't think that I was pointing a finger. I wasn't, I was pointing out evolution in terms of moving from brutality to humanity. Like the saying goes, from swords to plowshares.

I personally think O'Sensei beliefs are difficult to understand because they are written in a coded way, but the main idea is pretty clear. From what I read he didn't really go into detailed explaining of allot of what he said. But what ever you believe there is a core at O'Sensei's Aikido and that is budo; self-victory, good character, etc. There is a core message at his philosophy that is understandable and universal, peace over war, etc. yet that even has its paradoxes, but O'Sensei was Japanese and of a different era. Point is, you don't have to follow his religious beliefs to understand Aikido isn't about combat fighting like the days of feudal Japan. You don't kill your opponent rather you work from within a modern humaneness- done without inflicting any more pain than is necessary. Most gendai martial arts work from the same humane view including Judo, Shotokan, etc. You don't need to convert to Omoto religion that is a personal choice. But you do have to understand the reasoning behind the application of the techniques are done from a humane base.

What I seen in the clip was well done. But, it is a lateral shift and not evolution. To evolve Aikido you have to do it in all areas of Aikido, and not just technical application of techniques. The would include in the area of technique the approach, principle, etc to result in a evolved way that no physical contact was made and the attacker would lose all aggression. Whether that is possible or not, I don't know. But it would be more in line with evolution of Aikido base on what it is in whole. Adding a technique to Aikido from judo to take a person to the ground is just fighting on a different surface. It is cross-breeding two arts. I am not too familiar with Tomiki Aikido, but I think it already has been done. That is not because Aikido needs Judo to evolve it.

Today with MMA popularity as a sport, many people all they see is MMA. That is maybe because that is all they know because MMA placed it's self in a sports venue which grew out of BJJ. The BJJ idea was take the fight to the ground and use jujitsu and from there venues like UFC were born and molded. They made that style of fighting popular. Sure fights do go to the ground and they always have, and that is where wrestling started so many centuries ago. And MMA appeal is that it mixes standing and ground fighting in one venue. If boxing and wrestling did that before MMA it would have been just as popular as MMA. What am saying is that Aikido techniques working are in a different venue with different purpose when used for MMA purposes then reduced Aikido techniques to their base element of jujitsu. That is appealing to those who are into MMA and what to combine Aikido with MMA. But does placing Aikido techniques into the MMA mix evolve MMA ?

I think seeing MMA evolving Aikido is a natural thing to think from those who started out in the MMA sport, and see Aikido as they see MMA.

I see anything wrong with grafting Aikido technique as the clip shows for MMA use. I honestly don't see it as evolution that improves Aikido, I see that it improves MMA. :)

We probably will never agree on the methodology of Aikido and could continue this forever. People attribute a lot of things to O'sensei historically that aren't fact. I want go into detail here, that's another thread.

I'm not a traditionalist Aikidoka, so attempting to prove your method of applying Aikido to my method, we"ll just continue to spin our wheels. Ki Aikido, Yoshinkan and Yoseikan Aikido are worlds apart, different methodologies. You want be able to convince one or the other that it's not Aikido. The Aiki concepts are all there.

I suggest reading Stanley Pranin's, "Is O'sensei Really the Father of Modern Aikido." Stanley Pranin has done extensive research on the history of Aikido and has interview many of the early practitioners. He speaks fluent Japanese and lived in Japan for many years from the late 1960's. You may be surprised at the data presented.

http://www.aikido-iwama.ru/text1_en.html

By the way, I'm not a fan of the current MMA sport perse. I have always believed in mixing martial arts from the early days of the Jeet Kune Do concept movement nearly over 30 years ago. So with that, MMA is really commercialized. Jeet Kune Do concepts were never commercialized and most people didn't really know what it was 20 or 30 years ago, until the MMA craze brought it to the world. MMA definitely has something that you can take from it, but not really my style. I'm interested strictly in self defense and good exercise for a healthy life style.

Cheers....

Buck
08-19-2008, 08:52 AM
Complete?, I don't think so. Valid, interesting and worth studying yes, but complete?... I doubt it.

Btw, arts are not humane, people is and evolution (and its mechanisms) is a different thing.

By complete I don't mean a set of techniques that can handle all and every situation with super human ability. But, rather all the tools needed to draw on. You don't have to go outside the art to get something. If your lacking something it isn't because Aikido doesn't have it. :)

jennifer paige smith
08-19-2008, 10:24 AM
Let me rephrase: relating previous or concurrent martial arts training (or lack of it) with surpassing O Sensei has no point as we can say noone reached his level, much less surpassed him.

Of course, if someone has reached or surpassed O Sensei is debatable and opinions may vary, surely for some this has happened and for some this could be seen as heresy.

Like everything, it depends.

But it does have everything to do with sequence of events and the sharing of inspiration. I believe his true omote techniques weren't hidden at all. People just didn't want to give up their previous ideas and absorb something 'new'. Hence, they go back to what they knew.While what was 'hidden' was so simple it was right under their noses.

Depending on what his viewpoint was of what it was he was actually communicating, well some may have surpassed him. My mission: I'm interested in joning him in spirit and training to a common cause. To create a world of familial grace through budo.That is my continuing commitment.

My teachers often comment that he expressed a wish for people to surpass him, but he lamented that no one was even following him. I would think heresy determinations can be saved for religious governments. Not awakened people.

jennifer paige smith
08-19-2008, 10:26 AM
By complete I don't mean a set of techniques that can handle all and every situation with super human ability. But, rather all the tools needed to draw on. You don't have to go outside the art to get something. If your lacking something it isn't because Aikido doesn't have it. :)

I agree with this completely. from experience in the dojo,in myself,and on the street. Aikido has not shown me any holes in itself.
I have definitely found a few in my comprehension.

This isn't to say don't do something if you feel a want to. It means you don't have to do it because it is missing in aikido. Maybe it is simply missing in one's practice.

ChiefDaddy
08-19-2008, 11:54 AM
I'm not sure if this has already been mentioned in this forum but; I've read alot about weather Aikido should or should not evolve and what the effects may be.

My opinion is that Aikido is constantly evolving. We as students are constantly learning and changing, therefore, our techniques change.

-The technique you learn today will be different tomorrow.

salim
08-19-2008, 12:17 PM
By complete I don't mean a set of techniques that can handle all and every situation with super human ability. But, rather all the tools needed to draw on. You don't have to go outside the art to get something. If your lacking something it isn't because Aikido doesn't have it. :)

Kenji Tomiki, Gozo Shioda and Minoru Mochizuki often spoke about the deficiencies within the modern Aikido movements. They stated that modern Aikido was lacking, that's one the reason we have Yoseikan, Yoshinkan and Tomiki Aikido. It's not complete. Gozo Shioda was the closest student to O'sensei, so what makes you know more than him? No martial art is complete. They all have some deficiency. Maybe you mean it's complete for you. What's complete for one is not for the other. We will all have satisfactions that are different.

jennifer paige smith
08-19-2008, 12:31 PM
From the perspective of the founder many of the dichotomies presented here would be false. Within the art are the exact lessons that are being attempted to convey.

"When anybody asks if my Aiki budo principles are taken from religion, I say, ``No.'' My true budo principles enlighten religions and lead them to completion.

Even though our Path is completely different from warrior arts of the past, it is not necessary to abandon the old ways totally. Absorb venerable traditions in Aikido by clothing them with fresh garments, and build on the classic styles to create better forms."

Forms in keeping with the sustainability our lives and our diversity. Not one form, one style, one type of person.

So, Salim, if you are even reading what I am writing here, your own dedicated practice will illuminate the correct direction for you. That is exactly why aikido is whole. Because you can do that without abandoning the art. That is the source of evolution. Variation among species. Not one homogenous trait.
There is plenty of room in practice for that.

So do what you gotta do. Train in your own way. Bring in whoever you want to. But don't expect that just because you think it is 'good' it will survive selection in the long run. Nature decides.
Or go start your own art and see how that stands up.

jennifer paige smith
08-19-2008, 12:34 PM
Kenji Tomiki, Gozo Shioda and Minoru Mochizuki often spoke about the deficiencies within the modern Aikido movements. They stated that modern Aikido was lacking, that's one the reason we have Yoseikan, Yoshinkan and Tomiki Aikido. It's not complete. Gozo Shioda was the closest student to O'sensei, so what makes you know more than him? No martial art is complete. They all have some deficiency. Maybe you mean it's complete for you. What's complete for one is not for the other. We will all have satisfactions that are different.

But they didn't say it was missing in aikido. Just like the teachings of Christ are often lost in modern christianity It doen't mean that Jesus' message is 'not good enough'.

jennifer paige smith
08-19-2008, 12:45 PM
I'm not sure if this has already been mentioned in this forum but; I've read alot about weather Aikido should or should not evolve and what the effects may be.

My opinion is that Aikido is constantly evolving. We as students are constantly learning and changing, therefore, our techniques change.

-The technique you learn today will be different tomorrow.

If evolution is a fact, as people are tending to agree here, than it isn't really a choice, it happens of it's own accord.
And, then it stands that aikido would be constantly evolving, unless one believes that evolution only occurs in post-generational-jumps; which would be pretty hard to prove.
And so then we can be sure of one thing, if aikido is changing us as we practice it is certainly a piece of evolution of the species, not just evolution in the art.

We might want to notice how it is changing us as people. Then take a look around and see if we notice those changes anywhere else. That would be most anthroplogical.

Demetrio Cereijo
08-19-2008, 06:54 PM
"Even though our Path is completely different from warrior arts of the past, it is not necessary to abandon the old ways totally. Absorb venerable traditions in Aikido by clothing them with fresh garments, and build on the classic styles to create better forms."

"Moreover, if the human mind once takes charge of water and fire, in accord the principles of 'Water-Fire, Yin-Yang", when your enemy attacks with water, you strike with water, with fire then hit with fire. Today, it is important to train thinking all this in terms of modern scientific warfare." The Boss.

jennifer paige smith
08-19-2008, 08:30 PM
"Moreover, if the human mind once takes charge of water and fire, in accord the principles of 'Water-Fire, Yin-Yang", when your enemy attacks with water, you strike with water, with fire then hit with fire. Today, it is important to train thinking all this in terms of modern scientific warfare." The Boss.

I agree. Neutralizing an attack while preserving the attacker is best achieved through essential training.

Buck
08-19-2008, 10:29 PM
Kenji Tomiki, Gozo Shioda and Minoru Mochizuki often spoke about the deficiencies within the modern Aikido movements. They stated that modern Aikido was lacking, that's one the reason we have Yoseikan, Yoshinkan and Tomiki Aikido. It's not complete. Gozo Shioda was the closest student to O'sensei, so what makes you know more than him? No martial art is complete. They all have some deficiency. Maybe you mean it's complete for you. What's complete for one is not for the other. We will all have satisfactions that are different.

Now, now, if you disagree there is no reason to get hot under the collar. I think their criticism is directed at how Aikido was being taught and maintained, instead of at Aikido as an art. They all loved Aikido and cared for it. Stan Pranin wrote that he believed modern Aikido was the result not of O'Sensei but of his uchideshi. Shioda was what, pre-world war Aikido, and continued that tradition.

Mochizuki also pre-world war has a crazy number rank and six ranks above 5 dan. He is 10th dan in Aikido, IMAF. He started his own, style of Aikido-may not be considered Aikido. So what he did was to create his own art, having spot on Aikido techniques done in a modern Aikido way. And Kano sent him to O'Sensei. And Mochizuki sword take disarms and such apply Aikido techniques. I wonder why that is? Why would Mochizuki apply Aikido? Mochizuki was the guy who could compete in all the Olympic events of Japanese martial arts. What art did he concentrate in, Aikido.

These two styles of Aikido, like Tomiki and Mochizuki Aikido, are build around Aikido. Aikido is the main ingredient. Shioda didn't do what Mochizuki or Tomiki did create composite arts, he was committed to Aikido. All these men ended up with stressing Aikido. Aikido had to have something for Tomiki and Mochizuki to comprise other art with Aikido and not the other way around. And be dedicated to Aikido.

Look up why Shioda, Tomiki, and Mochizuki why all where interested in Aikido. Look up what they thought of Aikido the first time they seen O'Sensei. Tomiki, and Mochizuki have composite Aikidos.




You said, "What's complete for one is not for the other. We will all have satisfactions that are different." If your are reinventing the wheel, then it is true. We are not taking about personal philosophy or choice that is best to take individually. We are discussing the art of Aikido evolving, that has its own defined constitution. You may not understand or agree with that constitution, or the idea of a constitution (form), but never the less there is an identifiable constitution that defines Aikido. In Aikido, lays a universal law at higher levels of evolution within Aikido, it does become formless, defining also as complete. Even that is the same idea Bruce Lee used and felt strongly about. That formlessness existed even before Bruce Lee was speaking out about it. Here we are full circle, Aikido like a circle, it is complete. With or without bunnies. :)

salim
08-19-2008, 11:01 PM
Now, now, if you disagree there is no reason to get hot under the collar. I think their criticism is directed at how Aikido was being taught and maintained, instead of at Aikido as an art. They all loved Aikido and cared for it. Stan Pranin wrote that he believed modern Aikido was the result not of O'Sensei but of his uchideshi. Shioda was what, pre-world war Aikido, and continued that tradition.

Mochizuki also pre-world war has a crazy number rank and six ranks above 5 dan. He is 10th dan in Aikido, IMAF. He started his own, style of Aikido-may not be considered Aikido. So what he did was to create his own art, having spot on Aikido techniques done in a modern Aikido way. And Kano sent him to O'Sensei. And Mochizuki sword take disarms and such apply Aikido techniques. I wonder why that is? Why would Mochizuki apply Aikido? Mochizuki was the guy who could compete in all the Olympic events of Japanese martial arts. What art did he concentrate in, Aikido.

These two styles of Aikido, like Tomiki and Mochizuki Aikido, are build around Aikido. Aikido is the main ingredient. Shioda didn't do what Mochizuki or Tomiki did create composite arts, he was committed to Aikido. All these men ended up with stressing Aikido. Aikido had to have something for Tomiki and Mochizuki to comprise other art with Aikido and not the other way around. And be dedicated to Aikido.

Look up why Shioda, Tomiki, and Mochizuki why all where interested in Aikido. Look up what they thought of Aikido the first time they seen O'Sensei. Tomiki, and Mochizuki have composite Aikidos.

You said, "What's complete for one is not for the other. We will all have satisfactions that are different." If your are reinventing the wheel, then it is true. We are not taking about personal philosophy or choice that is best to take individually. We are discussing the art of Aikido evolving, that has its own defined constitution. You may not understand or agree with that constitution, or the idea of a constitution (form), but never the less there is an identifiable constitution that defines Aikido. In Aikido, lays a universal law at higher levels of evolution within Aikido, it does become formless, defining also as complete. Even that is the same idea Bruce Lee used and felt strongly about. That formlessness existed even before Bruce Lee was speaking out about it. Here we are full circle, Aikido like a circle, it is complete. With or without bunnies. :)

No anger here. You said it exactly, yes I love Aikido too, but I agree with them in there ideas of what is lacking in modern Aikido. Hence the evolution will continue.

"Aikido Masters Volume 1, Shioda Sensei said today's Aikido was dimensionless, empty of content and nothing more than an imitation of the real thing."

"Really Something to think about" Someone of his stature saying that, wow!

observer
08-21-2008, 03:42 AM
If a controversial understanding of aikido also means an evolution let me start with a phrase that aikido contains only 12 techniques. By name: Irimi-nage, kote-gaeshi, kaiten-nage, shiho-nage, ude-kime-nage, tenchi-nage, koshi-nage, juji-nage, ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo and yonkyo. On purpose I do not count a group of techniques called kokyu-nage which I accept for fun, relax and to practice my ukemi. What do these 12 techniques have in common? Their execution does not require putting uke out of balance. Before a throw, uke is supposed to be on his toes. Herein aikido differs from other martial arts.

It is a simple idea. When you raise yourself on your toes, your body stays straight to keep balance and your hands are powerless. If there is a solid grip established, it is easy to throw someone from that body position. It is apparent that it could be a deadly action, since an uke could be thrown directly on his head breaking his neck. Aikido can be a real threat and this why I consider it as a lethal weapon. It is similar to a gun intended to intimidate an aggressor and not to kill.

Let's look at it from another side. It was Founder's intention not to include any offensive techniques in his art. He never considered aikido to be a fighting art, but only a unique self-defense art. In aikido there is no preparation, no advance, no time for thinking but a trained reflex followed by a technique. The most importantly that action must end any confrontation. There are only two options; to intimidate the aggressor or to kill him.

There are consequences of such thinking. In my view Morihei Ueshiba's development is still unfinished. This possibly makes me an outsider to the aikido community.

I have been focusing on six techniques I found most applicable in real life situations. Each one of them is allocated only one attack. It is actually nothing new and it represents Koichi Tohei's Kitei Taigi: shomen-uchi-kokyu-nage (irimi-nage), yokomen-uchi-shiho-nage, mune-tsuki-kote-oroshi (kote-gaeshi), katate-dori-ikkyo, kata-dori-nikyo and ushiro-tekubi-dori-sankyo (katate-kosa-dori-sankyo). I split each technique in 3 parts to practice them independently. In order to perfect each part it is necessary to allot them different times.

I have developed a specific approach to an attack based on the notes mentioned earlier. Uke's attack always resembles a knife's attack made from a static position and from a very close distance. In this case we take in consideration three cuts and three stubs. It is crucial to achieve two goals at the same time - not to be touched and to establish solid contact with the uke. In order to accomplish that I suggest dodging with a small body movement and following with a forearm circulation (ude-mawashi). We want to establish contact with the uke by grabbing his wrist (a thumb and a middle finger). You have to use the same method for all attacks. Please note that it is the only moment when you can use your opponent's strength of attack to your advantage. Your goal is to stretch out the attacking hand in order to be able to bend the elbow and/or the wrist. By the way, in order to practice this way of dodging, I have designed and constructed a self attacking punching robot.

In order to practice the second part of each technique you can start by grabbing uke's wrist from any side. This exercise is similar to judo's uchi-komi. As I mentioned before your goal is to put uke on his toes and to ensure it I had to slightly modify (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5p1gYki0Zc) the above mentioned techniques. Following the modifications all techniques are finished in the same position. It is important to notice that all pins do not impose any pain to uke, but they cause an expected his subconscious body reaction to joint stretching limitation. The final movement is based on a shoulder's pin.

As a result of the second part of each technique tori grabs uke's arm which looks like he is holding up a sword. It is a very uncomfortable position for the aggressor and gives you an opportunity to make him realize seriousness of the next move consequences. It is also the essence of the art of aikido. You are not going to hurt him and only send him a message; similar to a policeman firing his gun into the air.

I believe that my approach gives answers to some difficult aikidokas' questions: "Why do we call aikido a peaceful martial art?", "How do we use our opponent's strength in aikido?" and finally, "How to deal with attacks by feet, knees, elbows and heads?". The last questions may need some explanations. Without a doubt there is no aikido without a successful dodging, regardless of the kind of attack. Attacks without the use of hands make uke's hands powerless and make it easy for you to raise uke's inactive hand and to pin his shoulder to the desired final position.

Finally, the question remains: "What does aikido mean to me?". Is it a self-defense art? Not really. A self-defense skill is a consequence of practicing aikido, but it does not represent a value by itself. Aikido gives me a sense of responsibility to create calm and peaceful environment and also forces me to prevent any violence around. In its core it is a real face of Pacifism which is senseless without the ability to protect its values.

Dieter Haffner
08-21-2008, 04:48 AM
Maciej,

I have two exercises that might change your views on the 'how to use your partner's strength' question.
Ofcourse you need to feel it for yourself.
When I felt those things, it made me think differently about aikido.

Exercise 1:
Stretch your arm in front of you at shoulder hight.
Let someone grab the arm from under it with a strong posture.
Try to bring your hand to your belly in a big circle.
You will notice that when you muscle your way down, your partner will be able to easily hold your arm.
You should try to put your focus into your partners body (ex: its shoulder, back, knees, ...).
Then generate the weight from your feet into his body.
Your partner will feel as if a weigth of over 100+ kilo is consentrated on that specific point.
This will brake the structure of your partner (unbalance him) and you will be able to get your arm down.

Exercise 2:
Stand against the wall with heels and shoulders touching it.
Your partner pushes your chest/shoulders.
Try to move from the wall without touching your partner.
You will need to focus on your partner center.
The power that he gives you trying to push you against the wall will be redirected into his own system, braking his structure.
Giving you the possibility to move from the wall.

I have felt both exercises done to me, and was able to reproduce the second exercise in an easier version.
The most amazing about it is the way your body feels when they do these exercises. And all done with very little contact and movement.
For me, exercise 2 is a nice example of using your partner's force against him, literally.

I believe these are things that need to be rediscovered in aikido.
Other arts (IMA) have designed patterns to learn this stuff, where (most people) in aikido need to figure it out for themselves after doing a lot of techniques.
Maybe reinventing (by the masses) what it is all about is the next evolution in aikido.

salim
08-21-2008, 09:25 AM
If a controversial understanding of aikido also means an evolution let me start with a phrase that aikido contains only 12 techniques. By name: Irimi-nage, kote-gaeshi, kaiten-nage, shiho-nage, ude-kime-nage, tenchi-nage, koshi-nage, juji-nage, ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo and yonkyo. On purpose I do not count a group of techniques called kokyu-nage which I accept for fun, relax and to practice my ukemi. What do these 12 techniques have in common? Their execution does not require putting uke out of balance. Before a throw, uke is supposed to be on his toes. Herein aikido differs from other martial arts.

It is a simple idea. When you raise yourself on your toes, your body stays straight to keep balance and your hands are powerless. If there is a solid grip established, it is easy to throw someone from that body position. It is apparent that it could be a deadly action, since an uke could be thrown directly on his head breaking his neck. Aikido can be a real threat and this why I consider it as a lethal weapon. It is similar to a gun intended to intimidate an aggressor and not to kill.

Let's look at it from another side. It was Founder's intention not to include any offensive techniques in his art. He never considered aikido to be a fighting art, but only a unique self-defense art. In aikido there is no preparation, no advance, no time for thinking but a trained reflex followed by a technique. The most importantly that action must end any confrontation. There are only two options; to intimidate the aggressor or to kill him.

There are consequences of such thinking. In my view Morihei Ueshiba's development is still unfinished. This possibly makes me an outsider to the aikido community.

I have been focusing on six techniques I found most applicable in real life situations. Each one of them is allocated only one attack. It is actually nothing new and it represents Koichi Tohei's Kitei Taigi: shomen-uchi-kokyu-nage (irimi-nage), yokomen-uchi-shiho-nage, mune-tsuki-kote-oroshi (kote-gaeshi), katate-dori-ikkyo, kata-dori-nikyo and ushiro-tekubi-dori-sankyo (katate-kosa-dori-sankyo). I split each technique in 3 parts to practice them independently. In order to perfect each part it is necessary to allot them different times.

I have developed a specific approach to an attack based on the notes mentioned earlier. Uke's attack always resembles a knife's attack made from a static position and from a very close distance. In this case we take in consideration three cuts and three stubs. It is crucial to achieve two goals at the same time - not to be touched and to establish solid contact with the uke. In order to accomplish that I suggest dodging with a small body movement and following with a forearm circulation (ude-mawashi). We want to establish contact with the uke by grabbing his wrist (a thumb and a middle finger). You have to use the same method for all attacks. Please note that it is the only moment when you can use your opponent's strength of attack to your advantage. Your goal is to stretch out the attacking hand in order to be able to bend the elbow and/or the wrist. By the way, in order to practice this way of dodging, I have designed and constructed a self attacking punching robot.

In order to practice the second part of each technique you can start by grabbing uke's wrist from any side. This exercise is similar to judo's uchi-komi. As I mentioned before your goal is to put uke on his toes and to ensure it I had to slightly modify (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5p1gYki0Zc) the above mentioned techniques. Following the modifications all techniques are finished in the same position. It is important to notice that all pins do not impose any pain to uke, but they cause an expected his subconscious body reaction to joint stretching limitation. The final movement is based on a shoulder's pin.

As a result of the second part of each technique tori grabs uke's arm which looks like he is holding up a sword. It is a very uncomfortable position for the aggressor and gives you an opportunity to make him realize seriousness of the next move consequences. It is also the essence of the art of aikido. You are not going to hurt him and only send him a message; similar to a policeman firing his gun into the air.

I believe that my approach gives answers to some difficult aikidokas' questions: "Why do we call aikido a peaceful martial art?", "How do we use our opponent's strength in aikido?" and finally, "How to deal with attacks by feet, knees, elbows and heads?". The last questions may need some explanations. Without a doubt there is no aikido without a successful dodging, regardless of the kind of attack. Attacks without the use of hands make uke's hands powerless and make it easy for you to raise uke's inactive hand and to pin his shoulder to the desired final position.

Finally, the question remains: "What does aikido mean to me?". Is it a self-defense art? Not really. A self-defense skill is a consequence of practicing aikido, but it does not represent a value by itself. Aikido gives me a sense of responsibility to create calm and peaceful environment and also forces me to prevent any violence around. In its core it is a real face of Pacifism which is senseless without the ability to protect its values.

I think the below video does a much better job of demonstrating, "Reverse Intimidation." It's definitively more comprehensive and applicable. Simple ideas put into motion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5KLiDMzuTU&NR=1

Demetrio Cereijo
08-21-2008, 10:40 AM
I aikido contains only 12 techniques. By name: Irimi-nage, kote-gaeshi, kaiten-nage, shiho-nage, ude-kime-nage, tenchi-nage, koshi-nage, juji-nage, ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo and yonkyo. On purpose I do not count a group of techniques called kokyu-nage which I accept for fun, relax and to practice my ukemi.

Would you mind to tell us why usual techniques like gokyo and rokyo or the otoshi (aiki and sumi) are not included in your list?

It was Founder's intention not to include any offensive techniques in his art. He never considered aikido to be a fighting art, but only a unique self-defense art. In aikido there is no preparation, no advance, no time for thinking but a trained reflex followed by a technique. The most importantly that action must end any confrontation. There are only two options; to intimidate the aggressor or to kill him.

Really?

By the way, in order to practice this way of dodging, I have designed and constructed a self attacking punching robot.

Very interesting. Can you upload a video of this self attacking punching robot in action?, does he/she/it follows Asimov's laws of robotics?

salim
08-21-2008, 11:26 AM
Would you mind to tell us why usual techniques like gokyo and rokyo or the otoshi (aiki and sumi) are not included in your list?

Really?

Very interesting. Can you upload a video of this self attacking punching robot in action?, does he/she/it follows Asimov's laws of robotics?

Great answers! You really have me laughing. I was thinking the same thing. Strange logic to self defense.

salim
09-06-2008, 10:33 PM
The methodology of live training has become more apparent with the newer, more diverse Aikidoka. We are seeing an increase in those practitioners who have a strong desire to incorporate this method. We also, are see a strong desire to incorporate, what I like to call, Aikido techniques on the ground (on your your back). This evolutionary process is being incorporated for those who have the desire.

Roy Dean has exemplified an excellent example of this in his most recent video entitled, “The Art of the Wrist Lock.” http://www.roydeanacademy.com/video/the_art_of_the_wristlock What's interesting about the video is the methods used in sections, 0:35-0:37 and 1:05 of the video. If you pause these sections and analysis closely, the principles of Ikkyo are used. The smooth transition that so many Aikidoka enjoy is executed from a standing position to the ground.

When incorporating these methods, “Aikido on the ground” with live training, we see a natural progression of evolution in the making. There are some many ways to incorporate Ikkyo, Sankyo, Nikyo and other Aikido techniques on the ground. Non traditionalist Aikidoka will greatly enjoy these methods, while the traditionalist Aikidoka will ostracize the mere mention of live training or being on the ground. The non traditionalist Aikidoka will have to continue to advocate these principles and propagate open mindedness.

Michael Douglas
09-07-2008, 04:02 AM
I WANT TO SEE THE ROBOT!
I'm sure I'm not alone ...

Show me the robot!

On the other hand, I like Maciej's 'intimidation' comments and I feel them close to a truth.
He has also formulated a training framework which seems 'clear'; without confusion. This must be a good thing to start with.

rob_liberti
09-07-2008, 07:23 AM
In an extremely traditional dojo I like to visit in Japan, when someone hits say yondan, they will typically ask their sandan training partners after class to start with some basic aikido attack and then try ANYTHING to hit or bring them to ground during the execution of the technique they are trying to do. Things tend to get more LIVE after that. I think that doing such things earlier in your aikido career is not necessarily "aikido evolution" - but I can see it evolving you as a martial artist in general. If you can get to yondan ability sooner then great. That's been my focus in terms of "the evolution of aikido". YMMV

Rob

Mark Uttech
09-07-2008, 08:59 AM
Onegaishimasu. As soon as you bring in competition, something gets lost.

In gassho,

Mark

DH
09-07-2008, 11:49 AM
Aikido simply needs to adopt internal power / aiki-it is *thee* single greatest advantage, and is all but lost or else exhbited in a diluted state in the art. If it adopts more live training on top of that via jujutsu It will become one of the most powerful arts of the world.
Until it does it will forever be victim of other arts superior technical training, or internal power / aiki approaches.
It's just the way it is. It's really not that complicated.
Everything is a judgement based on the level of understanding of those offering opinions.

DH
09-07-2008, 11:59 AM
Onegaishimasu. As soon as you bring in competition, something gets lost.

In gassho,

Mark
Without competition so much is lost.
Martial arts are about competition, testing, vying, and winning over the enemy.When we made them a hobby, we, failed the arts.
Some of finest, most well balanced men, I have met were grapplers. Some of the weirdest most passive aggressive types and outright abusers, I have met were in the DO arts. Arts that are unchallenged. Why? They can get away with things they can never get away with otherwise. It has been noted way back in Japan. That opinion is not “news.”

The best spirituallity is the one that gets played out, tested and tempered in the trenches...not in the pews.

Mark Uttech
09-07-2008, 01:11 PM
Onegaishimasu. Aikido does not 'need' to develop inner power. anymore than a baby needs to develop its legs before it even attempts to start walking. Practicing aikido develops aikido.

In gassho

Mark

rob_liberti
09-07-2008, 02:41 PM
Onegaishimasu. Aikido does not 'need' to develop inner power. anymore than a baby needs to develop its legs before it even attempts to start walking. Practicing aikido develops aikido.

In gassho

Mark

I'm not with you on this.

I'm guessing that you are making a point about "trying" to do...
Assuming that it is common knowledge that a baby does develop its legs before it walks. (That's why a newborn cannot bear weight on it feet yet.)

Aikido doesn't need to develop anything... But the entire point of the thread is the evolution of aikido.

To suggest that aikido has inner power is not wrong per se. But, to suggest that people in aikido do not have to TRY to develop internal power is so obviously wrong. Simply consider how many in aikido have power like the founder? It could be EVERYBODY, but they will each have to TRY to do it.

Rob

DH
09-07-2008, 03:52 PM
.....Practicing aikido develops aikido.

In gassho

Mark

Actually I couldn't possibly disagree with you more.
Come to think of it. Every...single...person... That has ever felt me from aikido wanted to learn how to do aikido-this way. Meaning?
With aiki.
Were we to meet, or you to meet several others I can name, you would too.
The truth of what I am saying is both self-evident and inescapable. Not only does training in aikido not develop real aiki-in any focused method, much of the results of the training models I have seen have presented to the world men with skills that are developed in the wrong direction. Thus their bodies have demontrated clearly that their teachers could not possibly help someone do aiki.
Our argument is not negative or demeaning. It is hopeful and rewarding. You now have Ikeda, Ledyard and now another accomplished 6th dan now realizing it as well. When we add to that go-dans, yon dans and san dans with Dojos who are adopting this type of training as well, we can map out a fairly optimistic case that this will become the evolution of aikido. I'd like to think it will include more live training as well, but we'll see.

I recognize that idea presents as stark and blatent. However, the argument we are putting forth is demonstrable. Further, it has and is being repeatedly tested, and here's the good part- it's teachable in a shorter time frame. Therefore its going to prove to be self-correcting of the bad habits inculcated -from within- aikido.
In any event the men training this way are going to bring aiki back into aikido.

Aikibu
09-07-2008, 04:21 PM
Aikido simply needs to adopt internal power / aiki-it is *thee* single greatest advantage, and is all but lost or else exhbited in a diluted state in the art. If it adopts more live training on top of that via jujutsu It will become one of the most powerful arts of the world.
Until it does it will forever be victim of other arts superior technical training, or internal power / aiki approaches.
It's just the way it is. It's really not that complicated.
Everything is a judgement based on the level of understanding of those offering opinions.

Sorry to disagree with you again Dan but that is not my experience at all. I am positively sure internal techniques would better complete our Aikido... However our training and techniques are complete with perhaps that small exception. Our philosophy is that Aikido MUST work against other Martial Arts and for the most part it does...Where in small part it does not we are free to incorporate outside experiences.

It's just that way... It's not really complicated. :)

Again its' the man not JUST the practice...

Ask my Forearms and the side of my head LOL. I sparred with a much younger TKD guy this weekend...He was good A Solid Base (for TKD) and man his feet were FAST. He bests the majority of folks he spars against using "just" TKD. We had a little cross training session with a few folks from other disciplines and all of them have their strengths and weaknesses technically but nothing beats kicking faster than you can blink your eye LOL

William Hazen

mathewjgano
09-08-2008, 04:48 PM
Aikido simply needs to adopt internal power / aiki-it is *thee* single greatest advantage, and is all but lost or else exhbited in a diluted state in the art. If it adopts more live training on top of that via jujutsu It will become one of the most powerful arts of the world.
Until it does it will forever be victim of other arts superior technical training, or internal power / aiki approaches.
It's just the way it is. It's really not that complicated.
Everything is a judgement based on the level of understanding of those offering opinions.

It makes sense that folks with superior aiki training would be better at aiki than our hypothetical Aikidoka. However, I believe the techniques were probably intended to be the primary exercises through which internal power manifests, and I believe with a good teacher one can learn aiki by using waza as the vehicle of exercise. You and others may well have some great exercises which focus on some serious internal strengthening and alignment shaping/conditioning, but my sense is that practicing Aikido waza properly teaches aiki also, if not as well, and that with this level of aiki one can do pretty well. I'm hardly a measure, but as a smaller guy with bigger friends I've got something of a practical sense of how to over-power a guy who's stronger than me. That said I have to agree with Mark that studying Aikido teaches aiki. Obviously my level of understanding shapes my view, but I think the point is that I have an understanding that is of aiki, slight though it may be.
As for my own evolution, I plan on training again very soon and always looking for ways to improve my insights, be they getting a taste of other arts or styles or even just some supplemental exercises to reinforce what I've already begun to learn. Application is what it's all about, so the question every Aikidoka should ask themselves is what am I getting out of this and what is the evidence of that?"

Aikibu
09-08-2008, 05:33 PM
Hmmmmm....I sure do get confused...

Aikido evolved out of DR not the other way around...

So how can getting Aikido back to it's DR roots be considered evolution???

Ushiba's enlightenment came from the idea the Budo is Love...How does learning Aiki enhance this???

Personally I took my ability to destroy to the highest "levels of practice".... A little radio handset and a laser and you can destroy about anything (Bring the Mutha Fooking Rain!!!)... in the civilian world and with a few months of live fire practice... I'll bet I could still wield a pistol, shotgun, or rifle better than most...Not only that but with a little knowledge anyone can be a McGuyver of Mayhem with all the stuff available and sincere resolve or madness...heck look what a half a dozen box cutters did...

We're busy chasing dudes in rags with cell phones and AK's with the Aiki of our Aircraft Carriers and other High Technology! LOL

Think about it....

So what kind of man does this "practice" & knowledge make me? Where do I go from there?

Personally I am wary of tools that give me too much power without any corresponding growth in character or spirit...

Aikido does not corner the market on Budo in the least... but that was the founder's Idea...Budo is Love..."Practice Sincere Aikido and you will become a better human being." And I bought into that and still buy into it...

Some folks here use examples of Blackbelt Disease to say that somehow lack of competition makes folks into butt heads...True to a very small extent... but there are no Martial Practices that are exceptions to this rule. In fact I have found some of the kindest most generous human beings in the Martial Arts and allot of them in Aikido.

So how does Aikido evolve is the wrong question (to me anyway)

How do I evolve using Aikido( or any Martial) Practice is the real question. One that I can resolve almost everyday.....Usually (as was so well put!) with a smile and a hug. :)

William Hazen

rob_liberti
09-08-2008, 08:30 PM
Well,

Aikido evolved from DR for sure.
But in the quest for peace a bit of the power was lost.
Call me crazy but I want both... You know like the founder had.

Rob

Ron Tisdale
09-09-2008, 08:28 AM
Hmmmmm....I sure do get confused...

Me too... ;)

Aikido evolved out of DR not the other way around...

So how can getting Aikido back to it's DR roots be considered evolution???

Again, I think the question centers around the physical skills used to power the Daito ryu waza, and Ueshiba's waza even after he left Daito ryu. With almost every evolutionary change, something is lost at the same time something is gained. If my aikido has lost THE basic operating system that Ueshiba used, then I may have evovled in one or another area, but I have DEVOLVED in perhaps the most important area.

Ushiba's enlightenment came from the idea the Budo is Love...How does learning Aiki enhance this???

Without the ability to not be mercifull, there is no ability to be mercifull.

[snip] ...

Think about it....

Why would you think we haven't thought about it? It is in fact the result of having thought about it that drives many who experience it to work on this kind of practice.

So what kind of man does this "practice" & knowledge make me? Where do I go from there?

What kind of man do you want to be? Where do you want to go? The same choices and contradictions present themselves no matter which physical path you follow. The same pitfalls as well.

Personally I am wary of tools that give me too much power without any corresponding growth in character or spirit...

As you well should be. So why exactly, would the training methods being discussed NOT foster "any corresponding growth in character or spirit"? Why would developing the physical skill under discussion NOT foster the same character or spirit, as say, doing 1000 tenkan? The mindset can be what ever you choose, practicing either method. The mindset is not exclusive to any particular physical practice.

So how does Aikido evolve is the wrong question (to me anyway)

How do I evolve using Aikido( or any Martial) Practice is the real question. One that I can resolve almost everyday.....Usually (as was so well put!) with a smile and a hug. :)

William Hazen

What makes you think the question is any different for anyone else? It is through the evolution of the participants that the art itself will evolve. As we grow and change, it grows and changes. If we stagnate and die, the art stagnates and dies. The whole may be greater than the sum of the parts, but if the sum of the parts is remarkably low...

you get the idea...

Best,
Ron

Marc Abrams
09-09-2008, 03:38 PM
The continued evolution of Aikido should reflect the continued evolution of the human species.

Considering the nature and tone of many threads lately, I wish is to see the Aikidoka evolve as follows:

1) Selective mutism towards addressing "controversial threads and ideas." This should help us focus in on the "Ai" aspect of "Aikido" which seems to have become an "I" on the internet.

2) A return to Darwinian thinking: It either works or it doesn't work. The only way to find this out is to practice, practice and practice. Then open yourself up to testing what you believe that you know with anybody and everybody so that you can receive real world feedback on what works and does not work. Then repeat this process ad infinitum (or death do us part).

Opinions are like rear-ends. Everybody has one and everyone is entitled to value an opinion in any manner, shape or form. O'Sensei is no longer alive and will not be reborn. In absence of the direct response from the founder of Aikido, it will be up to each and every Aikidoka to make a decision as to what constitutes Aikido, what makes Aikido work.......................................... Once you come to your conclusions, own-up to the fact that other people will disagree with your conclusions. Simply be open to test what you believe you know and be open to head in a direction that YOUR Aikido should be headed in. Then divorce your ego from your conclusions so that as you practice more and more, your Aikido will change more and more and your conclusions will change as well. Then once again, accept the fact that others will simply disagree with you.

Just my 2 cents that have been devalued based upon the decline of the us dollar on the world market.

Marc Abrams

Aikibu
09-09-2008, 04:17 PM
Me too... ;)

Again, I think the question centers around the physical skills used to power the Daito ryu waza, and Ueshiba's waza even after he left Daito ryu. With almost every evolutionary change, something is lost at the same time something is gained. If my aikido has lost THE basic operating system that Ueshiba used, then I may have evovled in one or another area, but I have DEVOLVED in perhaps the most important area.

Perhaps... That is if you consider Aiki a basic operating system of Aikido or something Ueshiba learned quickly and simply from Takada. If that is so then why did such a "simple thing" as Aiki die with him when he transmitted his Aikido to hundreds of students? And how is it Aikido continues to flourish despite the lack of Aiki? Where are Ueshiba's specific instructions to learn Aiki as the sole basis to understand Aikido.

Personally I think most of this controversy is artificial at best.

Without the ability to not be mercifull, there is no ability to be mercifull.

This circular argument does not fit with most major religious and or spiritual tenets that I am aware of except maybe Bushido and some crazed German Philosophers.

Like Roshi put it once Does a puppy dog have to learn how to kill before it can truly be a puppy?

And the Carpenter...(to paraphrase) To enter the kingdom of heaven one must have the spirit of a child.

The Philosophy of Aikido is to practice the art of being a puppy dog even if possible with your enemies. But more importantly with yourself. I already know how to hurt people.

Why would you think we haven't thought about it? It is in fact the result of having thought about it that drives many who experience it to work on this kind of practice.

Perhaps I did not put this in the proper context. Let me try this...Superior Skill (or Technology) does not exactly "evolve" into a higher capacity for mercy in general. Takada was not known for mercy but Ueshiba was...

What kind of man do you want to be? Where do you want to go? The same choices and contradictions present themselves no matter which physical path you follow. The same pitfalls as well. Very True

As you well should be. So why exactly, would the training methods being discussed NOT foster "any corresponding growth in character or spirit"? Why would developing the physical skill under discussion NOT foster the same character or spirit, as say, doing 1000 tenkan? The mindset can be what ever you choose, practicing either method. The mindset is not exclusive to any particular physical practice. See above

What makes you think the question is any different for anyone else? It is through the evolution of the participants that the art itself will evolve. As we grow and change, it grows and changes. If we stagnate and die, the art stagnates and dies. The whole may be greater than the sum of the parts, but if the sum of the parts is remarkably low...

you get the idea... No argument there Which is why the premise that Aikido is lacking only holds water depending on your point of view. For some of us it's enough. I really hope to experience the kind of Aiki Dan is talking about but if I miss out Oh Well...My Aikido life will go on merrily down the road.

Best,
Ron

Take Care Ron

William Hazen

Ron Tisdale
09-09-2008, 05:27 PM
Perhaps... That is if you consider Aiki a basic operating system of Aikido or something Ueshiba learned quickly and simply from Takada. If that is so then why did such a "simple thing" as Aiki die with him when he transmitted his Aikido to hundreds of students? And how is it Aikido continues to flourish despite the lack of Aiki? Where are Ueshiba's specific instructions to learn Aiki as the sole basis to understand Aikido.
I don't think he learned it quickly or easily. He spent a minimum of 5 intense years...after his first meeting with Takeda on the mat Ueshiba was on the floor weeping. That doesn't sound easy to me. Many things can flourish even if they are a shadow of what came before...people find amazing ways to delude themselves. Me too...

Ueshiba was not so well known for specifc instructions...which would go against the general idea of budo in anycase. Steal it if you can.

Personally I think most of this controversy is artificial at best.

Of course it is! ;) That is why when most people feel what these guys are talking about, there really isn''t any debate.

This circular argument does not fit with most major religious and or spiritual tenets that I am aware of except maybe Bushido and some crazed German Philosophers.

Well, I don't think it is circular, and I don't care personally what it agrees with. To me, it's pretty simple. I cannot logically show mercy to someone that has any meaning unless I have the ability to not be merciful. That is when showing mercy becomes a viable choice, rather than something I am left with as an after thought. See the other thread just now about Ghandi.

Like Roshi put it once Does a puppy dog have to learn how to kill before it can truly be a puppy?

Sorry, you lost me completely on this one. Now, if you said does a wolf have to learn how to kill to become a wolf...at least I'd understand what you are getting at. Puppies are puppies...and wolves are wolves.

And the Carpenter...(to paraphrase) To enter the kingdom of heaven one must have the spirit of a child.

Sorry again, not qualified to speak on that.

The Philosophy of Aikido is to practice the art of being a puppy dog even if possible with your enemies. But more importantly with yourself. I already know how to hurt people.

It is??? got a quote for that? In 15 years of aikido (or more) I've never heard that once. Not from any shihan.

Perhaps I did not put this in the proper context. Let me try this...Superior Skill (or Technology) does not exactly "evolve" into a higher capacity for mercy in general. Takada was not known for mercy but Ueshiba was...

No, but the OPPORTUNITY for meaningfull mercy does come from having the power to be otherwise. Takeda may not have used that opportunity, while Ueshiba did use that opportunity. If we are to believe all the stories of both men. Some might take exception to that characterization of Takeda.

Best,
Ron

Aikibu
09-09-2008, 06:03 PM
I don't think he learned it quickly or easily. He spent a minimum of 5 intense years...after his first meeting with Takeda on the mat Ueshiba was on the floor weeping. That doesn't sound easy to me. Many things can flourish even if they are a shadow of what came before...people find amazing ways to delude themselves. Me too... Curious... If this was the case then why is it Aiki is being made to be both simple and easy to learn?

Ueshiba was not so well known for specifc instructions...which would go against the general idea of budo in anycase. Steal it if you can. I think he may have been hard for some folks to understand but obiviously some understood what he was talking about. :)

Of course it is! ;) That is why when most people feel what these guys are talking about, there really isn''t any debate. Ok

Well, I don't think it is circular, and I don't care personally what it agrees with. To me, it's pretty simple. I cannot logically show mercy to someone that has any meaning unless I have the ability to not be merciful. That is when showing mercy becomes a viable choice, rather than something I am left with as an after thought. See the other thread just now about Ghandi. The Ghandi debate does not alter the premise behind Buddha Nature or The Christ Within one bit..The "nature" of all Budo is to get in touch with this spirit and embody it. Not to play around with the idea you're merciful just because you know how to hurt somebody and choose not to. LOL It goes far deeper than that. At least that is what O'Sensei seemed to be saying most of the time. LOL

Sorry, you lost me completely on this one. Now, if you said does a wolf have to learn how to kill to become a wolf...at least I'd understand what you are getting at. Puppies are puppies...and wolves are wolves. No worries keeping trudging the road of happy destiny and we'll get there.

It is??? got a quote for that? In 15 years of aikido (or more) I've never heard that once. Not from any shihan.
No, but the OPPORTUNITY for meaningfull mercy does come from having the power to be otherwise. Takeda may not have used that opportunity, while Ueshiba did use that opportunity. If we are to believe all the stories of both men. Some might take exception to that characterization of Takeda. Answered above. ;)

Best,
Ron

Take Care Ron,
William Hazen

Keith Larman
09-09-2008, 06:34 PM
Good lord do I ever hate the way people use the word evolution.

Evolution is simply how things change over time. Things don't really "devolve", they just evolve. Whether the ways things have evolved are good or not is a completely separate issue. And of course, even more importantly, you have to realize that one person's negative direction may very well be a very positive direction for someone else.

There are folk who like the aiki-bunny fluffy stuff. There are some who like the tougher, harder stuff. And everything in between. And it ain't on a single line from one end to the other but a complex web of various directions and bifurcations.

Aikido evolves because everything does. People live, teach, die. Things change, morph and evolve.

Frankly I see some people who work very hard on structure and do all sorts of "ki tests". We do, it's central to our style from day one -- our late Sensei was a long time student of Tohei and received certification of completion of the innermost training in Ki from Tohei. Sensei founded Seidokan with the express intent of focusing on Ki, the application to modern life, and the study of O Sensei's writings. But is that Ueshiba's aiki? Or Takeda's aiki? Or Tohei's aiki? Or Kobayashi's Aiki? Now we have a new generation of Kobayashi's senior students teaching their version of that lineage.

It is what it is. Evolution is a thing without value judgements. It just is.

So the first step is *always* to decide what the heck it is you're trying to learn, what it is you want to be, and then find the people offering those things. For some maybe it is training in a philosophy. For others it is all about fluid movement, flow and blending. For some it is about the power of structure and learning to unify mind and body. For some it is about a lot of things. For others it is probably all about getting together with friends...

It just seems to me we're talking about a hugely diverse thing as if it is a single thing. It's like talking about the concept of IQ -- yeah, it is a singular measure but ultimately it is an artificial construct which when you look at each individual is as varied and unique as each person.

Kevin Leavitt
09-09-2008, 08:10 PM
Hey William, good thoughts for sure. Makes me think about a few things.

I hear ya when you talk about the endstate of aikido and about peace and harmony.

A couple of other post made over the past couple of days made me think hard about this very topic.

Every now and then someone will say, well in a fight the best aikido is to simply smile, run, or sit down a meditate.

I find that conclusion interesting.

Personally I find it to be a very "evolved" point of view in the grand scheme of things. To have the courage to set ego aside and allow someone to hit you, or to be a lightening rod for anger and hatred is an amazing thing ala Ghandi style.

I think though that the issue is much more complex than that.

First of alll, if this is all that is necessarily, learning to smile, running, and meditate, then why bother with all the "martial stuff". why not work on refining those skills if that were all that mattered?

As you state, aikido is but one approach to build authentic peace and harmony. There are many ways to do it.

So, why would we spend time in aikido developing aiki.

Well I think it is very important to demonstrate and understand and to master aiki...true aiki that is...not the mental or pseudo-pyschological aiki...but true aiki.

Anyone can become mentally tough enough to face adversity dead on with courage. Stand under a cold water fall, take blows. We could do that pretty much in short order with no real expertise in martial training.

We can read many books and become "mental martial artist" and spout of great phrases and eloquent speeches about harmony, peace, and the way.

So why did O Sensei go this route? What is so important about the actual path of aiki that draws people to the power.

It would seem that it is almost a craving that is sought after obsessively by those of us that study this stuff.

We don't really know why we want it, what we will do with it when we get it, but damn do we have to capture and possess it!

Why? What is so special about it?

I think that true aiki is necessary for aikidoka to learn as it shows mastery of self and represents how much potential can be unlocked in the human body when we align mind, body, and spirit.

The essence of aiki to me means that we have achieved command and balance of these things. In a way, it alleviate personal suffering in the process.

You are correct though, I think many chase the physical aspects of aiki obsessively without the mental and spiritual care that is equally important.

vice, we have aikibunnies that fawn over the philosophy and spiritual aspects and "sort of" do a "cursory dance" in the physical aspects.

Anyway, I am tired and not sure if I expressed this very well....but I think that it is vital that we refine the aiki in aiki as best we can to understand aikido as a powerful way in which we can use to empower others to understand violence, their relationship to it, an use it as a method to "evolve" or transform.

Kevin Leavitt
09-09-2008, 08:13 PM
BTW, did not mean to imply that all Ghandi did was sit, take blows, and meditate. His "martial" process was a very complex and strategic one that resulted in the effective use of "non-violence".

His ma'ai is very interesting. He chose the right times, with the right tools, and the right place in order to have the desired second and third order affects.

It was not aiki, but definitly in many respects, his goals were aligned with those that O'Sensei would hope to achieve.

Aikibu
09-09-2008, 08:37 PM
BTW, did not mean to imply that all Ghandi did was sit, take blows, and meditate. His "martial" process was a very complex and strategic one that resulted in the effective use of "non-violence".

His ma'ai is very interesting. He chose the right times, with the right tools, and the right place in order to have the desired second and third order affects.

It was not aiki, but definitly in many respects, his goals were aligned with those that O'Sensei would hope to achieve.

Reminds me of my favorite Terry Dobson story...

Dobson (spelling?) had been training at Hombu for a while and in his mind he had really felt that he had begun to master what he was learning from O'Sensei. When he took the train home after a long day of practice there was an angry drunk in the car who began to get really obnoxious....Terry immediately prepared himself to take the drunk on and subdue him. Just as he was about to confront him (with visions of Irimnage in his head) with his fantastic hard won Martial Skills an old man sitting next to the drunk put his arm around him, and asked the drunk what was troubling him. The drunk broke down and began to cry and that...Terry observed... is real Aikido. :)

I know I am paraphrasing it a bit but I heard that story many years ago and it continues to inspire me. :)

William Hazen

PS Kevin...I see some Gandhi style Aikido in Obama...He actually went on the O'Reilly show and interviewed directly with Bill NHB!!! LOL

I seriously doubt we'll see McCain go on Keith Olberman's show.

mwible
09-09-2008, 09:30 PM
I study Suenaka-Ha Testsugaku-Ho Aikido, under Roy Y Suenaka Sensei, who was an Uchi-Deshi to O' Sensei himself, and also, later, of Tohei Sensei. And i know for fact that atleast once a year if not several times a year, Suenaka sensei finds a more direct/ efficient way to do one or more of our many techniques in Aikido. There have beens everal changes in the little more than 2+ years that i have been studying.
Is that the kind of evolution that you speak of? Searching for and finding more efficient ways to do the techniques that we are so devoted to?

rei,
morgan

rob_liberti
09-09-2008, 10:02 PM
No, I think some of us are saying that maybe we can throw away the the typical techniques entirely. And then replace that training with the techniques of developing a trained body, establishing and maintaining positional dominance, and using aiki against other people who also have developed aiki.

Rob

mathewjgano
09-09-2008, 10:40 PM
Things don't really "devolve", they just evolve. Whether the ways things have evolved are good or not is a completely separate issue.
I think "devolve," here, denotes bad evolution, but I completely agree with everything else you said, Keith. Those were some great guidelines for how Aikido will hopefully evolve over time, with mindfullness intent.
Without the ability to not be mercifull, there is no ability to be mercifull.
[it's]Not to play around with the idea you're merciful just because you know how to hurt somebody and choose not to.
I think what might be complicating this is the notion that learning aiki somehow necessitates also learning how to not be merciful. I think what Ron is saying is that in learning how a body may be harmed, we learn how to avoid that harm and in that sense have a greater capacity for expressing our mercy. If I'm right, i think I agree with you both because I also agree that learning how to hurt doesn't make one merciful. All that's required is simply knowing how to be kind...and of course that can take all kinds of shapes (altruism, etc.).

mathewjgano
09-09-2008, 10:47 PM
No, I think some of us are saying that maybe we can throw away the the typical techniques entirely. And then replace that training with the techniques of developing a trained body, establishing and maintaining positional dominance, and using aiki against other people who also have developed aiki.

Rob

Do you think this has to do with O Sensei's description of forgetting every technique he had ever learned?

Aikibu
09-10-2008, 12:21 AM
Do you think this has to do with O Sensei's description of forgetting every technique he had ever learned?

I don't I think so...It has to do with the fact that O'Sensei really felt the true nature of Budo which is love...Hence (for example) Dobson's Satori when he saw the actions of the old man...

Some men have faith in the endless chanting of the Sutras and some find love in silence...

Shoji Nishio also put it...

Sincere Heart through Austere Practice.

Some may find me a bit of a Aikifunny Bunny and I am cool wid dat!!!

William Hazen

Erick Mead
09-10-2008, 02:01 AM
No, I think some of us are saying that maybe we can throw away the the typical techniques entirely. And then replace that training with the techniques of developing a trained body, establishing and maintaining positional dominance, and using aiki against other people who also have developed aiki. Maybe. From experience, it may be a mistake to try to jump straight into aerobatics without a long time working precision and control into the plain, dull, boring, but highly important straight and level flying -- never mind controlled ascent, descent and holding and acquiring new headings. (Did I mention a few emergency procedures when things go really wrong? ) Waza fit in all these categories. Learning anything requires mastering non-intuitive elements in isolation before combining them into a seamless intuitive whole.

The approach suggested also sacrifices a developed body of knowledge with a rich vocabulary and conceptual depth for one that is not well developed conceptually. (Even if poorly understood by many, the depth is still there to be had in the traditional learning) We differ on the supposition that this body of knowledge, properly applied, does not result in the same essential thing --if one puts the time and critical attention into it.

My solution is is to relate one deep set of concepts (Ki-based concepts) to another deep one (mechanics and bio mechanics) -- which is native to us and more critically minded to begin with. Then training can develop on its own.

Fred Little
09-10-2008, 08:21 AM
Hence (for example) Dobson's Satori when he saw the actions of the old man...

Not only that, but after his Satori, as all who met him can testify, Terry farted rainbows and belched sunshine until the end of his days,so powerful was this transformative experience.

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In addition, intercessory prayers to Kannon, the Goddess of Compassion, (in either beatific or wrathful manifestations -- please be sure to include clear instructions with your contribution) will be made on your behalf for the entire term of your enlightenment.

Don't delay, as this is a limited time offer and our supply of fish wrap for menjo is limited! Don't be caught with your hakama down! Act now! Act now! Act now! (Offer not valid in all jurisdictions, some restrictions may apply, consult your spiritual guide, tax attorney, and Turner Construction Company for more detailed advice.)

Aikibu
09-10-2008, 09:41 AM
Not only that, but after his Satori, as all who met him can testify, Terry farted rainbows and belched sunshine until the end of his days,so powerful was this transformative experience.

Dear friends, have you ever felt that you too would like to move in this world with the grace of a bear on skates, the gentleness of St. Francis of Assissi, and the panache of a Musketeer? Help is on the way.

This transformative experience can be yours, in return for your generous donation of $10,000 or more. You will be named a member of the Lower East Side Founders' Circle, an initiate of the Boho Manda, and will have rights to collect scrap lumber for your woodstove on every unsupervised job site in Lower Manhattan (chain saw not included). A handwritten kirigami menjo carefully prepared on authentic old-stock fish wrap from the original Fulton Street Fish Market will certify these attainments, titles and rights.

In addition, intercessory prayers to Kannon, the Goddess of Compassion, (in either beatific or wrathful manifestations -- please be sure to include clear instructions with your contribution) will be made on your behalf for the entire term of your enlightenment.

Don't delay, as this is a limited time offer and our supply of fish wrap for menjo is limited! Don't be caught with your hakama down! Act now! Act now! Act now! (Offer not valid in all jurisdictions, some restrictions may apply, consult your spiritual guide, tax attorney, and Turner Construction Company for more detailed advice.)How much did you have to pay to become a cynic Fred? LOL

William Hazen

Must be a New York Thing. :D

jennifer paige smith
09-10-2008, 10:15 AM
For more amusing cynicism please refer to the Dobson essay, Knights of the Mouldy Rope which can be found in Ellis Amdur's book Dueling With O-Sensei. Please forward all royalties to my non-profit organization. LOL.

rob_liberti
09-10-2008, 05:21 PM
Maybe. From experience, it may be a mistake to try to jump straight into aerobatics without a long time working precision and control into the plain, dull, boring, but highly important straight and level flying -- never mind controlled ascent, descent and holding and acquiring new headings. (Did I mention a few emergency procedures when things go really wrong? ) Waza fit in all these categories. Learning anything requires mastering non-intuitive elements in isolation before combining them into a seamless intuitive whole.

The approach suggested also sacrifices a developed body of knowledge with a rich vocabulary and conceptual depth for one that is not well developed conceptually. (Even if poorly understood by many, the depth is still there to be had in the traditional learning) We differ on the supposition that this body of knowledge, properly applied, does not result in the same essential thing --if one puts the time and critical attention into it.

My solution is is to relate one deep set of concepts (Ki-based concepts) to another deep one (mechanics and bio mechanics) -- which is native to us and more critically minded to begin with. Then training can develop on its own.

I'm not jumping into anything. I'm taking my time. I'm also learning as fast as I can. And the results are so obvious.

I think the difference is that I *know* my current approach will take me where I want to be. Until any other approach starts producing, I'm not buying...

Rob

mathewjgano
09-10-2008, 06:32 PM
Some may find me a bit of a Aikifunny Bunny and I am cool wid dat!!!

William Hazen

I can dig it.

Michael Hopkins
09-17-2008, 04:58 PM
I would argue that they didn't bring aikido to new heights with those things. Those things brought them to aikido, and they were allowed to train with O-Sensei because of their dedication as students. Those arts were part of their influences and offered another avenue to elaborate on a dimension of aiki. Aikido is 'bigger' in an essence, because it brought those skills to new heights.

This may just be nitpicking, but I think a slight correction of fact is in order to move along this argument. You say that Sugawara was a student of TSKSR and other martial arts, and that is what allowed him to train. This is simply not true. It was after his uchi deshi residence with O-Sensei that he began to study those arts. In fact he was directed by O-Sensei to study them.

George S. Ledyard
09-17-2008, 05:59 PM
I think the difference is that I *know* my current approach will take me where I want to be.
Rob

Hi Rob,
The problem with these discussions is summed up here. The training you have chosen will take you to where you want to be. Since I know your Aikido background and also have a decent idea of the outside training you are doing, I can predict how your Aikido might go in the future. I am sure that it will be great. Your efforts will only make Aikido better.

On the other hand, I know people doing virtually the same type of training who will go in a completely different direction. These people want something different from their training and I predict that after a few years pursuing their current direction, they will simply have ceased to be doing Aikido at all. It's a matter of what they want from their training. These folks are all about fighting... it's their personality and their interest. Using their training, even though it may be identical to your own, to pursue the goal of being more powerful or more skillful than others in fighting will not make them good Aikido people. In fact, the folks I know who have chosen that direction have all ended up moving away from Aikido because it doesn't fit.

Anyway, motivations matter in this because the outcome will vary according to the individual natures of the folks involved. Doing great training for the wrong (from an Aikido standpoint) reasons will not produce a great Aikido practitioner. Of course, crappy training with the best of intentions is just wishful thinking...

salim
09-18-2008, 09:38 AM
I'm not jumping into anything. I'm taking my time. I'm also learning as fast as I can. And the results are so obvious.

I think the difference is that I *know* my current approach will take me where I want to be. Until any other approach starts producing, I'm not buying...

Rob

Rob,

Never let anyone discourage your growth internally or externally. An open minded approach will only lead you to find yourself and develop your skills to their highest ability. The traditionalist mindset is a means to a repetitious end, going no where. An evolutionary mindset will continue to explore new methods, learning how to move your body in ways you never knew. Learning methods to deal with mental or physical confrontations beyond the scope of passed down traditions, will arm you with the ability to explore yourself fully.

Some accuse practitioners like Roy Dean of leaving Aikido. What Roy Dean has done, is evolved his Aiki skills beyond the traditionalist methodology. Traditionalist fanaticism is a mere Stalinist like, in disguise(you are told you must do it like this, otherwise suffer pure ostracism). Why would you want to be a trained robot? Aiki principles of redirecting energy is the key, not fighting, as was indicated. Live training gives one the ability to explore, without the constrained limits of tradition. This can be done with several methods of training, beyond the Aikido traditionalist mindset.
(http://www.roydeanacademy.com/video/the_art_of_the_wristlock)

The younger, open minded person who protects him/herself from quasi-traditionalist fanaticism will realize these concepts and grow beyond their martial expectations. The traditionalist Aikidoka will remain stagnant, limiting their abilities to repetitive, hand me down motions, with no live training to explore unlimited possibilities. Evolutionary methodology applied to your training is essential to the Aikidoka's growth, if they are truly seeking unlimited martial growth.

Mato-san
09-22-2008, 11:31 AM
Evolution

Aikido is endless... my superiors tell me every year at camp, It will be what you make it, adhere to the basics (principles) of course it will evolve. And every year I see a new approach to the same techniques....turning into some thang new. It all works, but it is new. As long as it is practical and the foundation is present ...it is evolution.
Hence revolution and continuously evolving!
BALANCE

observer
10-05-2008, 01:36 AM
Hello,
I have not seen too many comments on my recent post. Once again, I encourage you to open your minds to my new approach to Aikido.

As I have mentioned before, to me aikido is not a dream, vision, illusion or a spiritual breakthrough. It is just a preparation to serve our society in a better way.

I totally agree with memorable quotes by Yukiyoshi Takamura on pacifism (http://www.aikidojournal.com/blog/2008/09/18/memorable-quotes-yukiyoshi-takamura-on-pacifism/), especially with this one: "A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence." I am also still under impression of two Morihei Ueshiba's intriguing quotes: "Learn and forget" (mentioned in this topic) and "Catch the secret and you can do my level of aikido in three months." (Robert Nadeau, AJ 117).

First, let me quote and comment on some of your answers to my first post.

"I think the below video does a much better job of demonstrating ‘Reverse Intimidation'."

This clip "Aikido Reverse Intimidation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5p1gYki0Zc)" is not an instructional video and definitely is not intended for entertainment. It shows an idea of how to use aikido as an efficient and reliable tool to achieve a certain goal. It works and also sends a message. It depends on you how are you going to read it. BTW, so far more than 10000 people watched it.

"Strange logic to self defense."

Based on my 18 years of experience of practicing aikido in today's dojos, aikidokas usually practice twice a week and perform multiple techniques, only repeating each one from time to time. Such practice doesn't seem to be successful, and if aikido's purpose is teaching self defense, such approach appear illogical. Aikidokas are also distracted from learning trained reflexes by mixing in other elements such as teachings on etiquette, breathing, meditation, kihon, suwari-waza, ukemi and weapons. Not to mention unrealistic attacks. It is like learning how to drive a car by reading a book. My methods are very logical because they simply teach a person how to defend himself by developing trained reflexes with constant practice and repetition.

"Show me the robot!"

"Here you are! (http://www.poloniasantabarbara.com/robot.wmv) You will need a compressor, a low pressure air tank, a place to install it (I have chosen 3 inexpensive floor lamps), and obviously the Kit. It works with a small keyboard and also can be controlled by a computer. The idea follows a concept of a short distance attack with a minimal body movement in response.

Finally, let me explain a practical approach to my favorite quotes mentioned above. I have created Aikido Workout. It is an hour long exercise divided to 21 parts. Each part is supported by a piece of music. If this surprises you, let me assure you that this is nothing new in Martial Art. For example, it is not a common knowledge that an Argentinian Tango has its roots in practicing knife's fighting. Of course, without women.

Repetitions can be boring and therefore the element of music works great with the routine. The music lets establish rhythm, tempo and breaks between exercises. You can practice Aikido Workout alone (kata) or with a partner (uchi komi). There are 3 individual parts (a worm up and two for common movements) and 18 others, strictly dedicated to 6 techniques I have mentioned above. Lets' do simple math. There are 1500 repetitions during one hour. If you practice, for instance twice a day, in the morning alone and in the afternoon with a partner, you simply make 2200 repetitions a day. Over a course of 3 months it would be 200,000. Is this enough for one to 'learn and forget' about it? I do not know, but what I do know - it is a lot. Isn't it? The goal of my Aikido Workout is to teach how to respond to a real threat by a trained reflex as fast as the blink of an eye,

Mark Uttech
10-05-2008, 06:24 AM
Hello,
I have not seen too many comments on my recent post. Once again, I encourage you to open your minds to my new approach to Aikido.


Onegaishimasu. One reason can be that your post sounds too much like a sales pitch. A lot of us don't come to the aikiweb forum to go shopping.

In gassho,

Mark

observer
10-14-2008, 10:35 PM
One reason can be that your post sounds too much like a sales pitch.
I don't think so. It is just politically incorrect.:)

Charles Hill
10-15-2008, 06:10 PM
Hi Maciej,

I have to go with Mark, it does sound too much like a sales pitch.

Charles

observer
10-15-2008, 09:24 PM
OK. I am curious. What I am going to sell to you - the idea or a product? Actually, I made that video per Demetrio Cereijo's and Michael Douglas's requests. They asked to see the robot. BTW, it is a great and safe tool and easy to make. Any questions? Just ask, and please - I just want to hear your professional opinion on my approach and I encourage all of you to join in this discussion.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-15-2008, 10:09 PM
Actually, I made that video per Demetrio Cereijo's and Michael Douglas's requests. They asked to see the robot. BTW, it is a great and safe tool and easy to make.

Sorry, Maciej. I missed your previous posts.

Now, after watching the video, I'm slighty dissapointed (I was expecting something like a hakama wearing Voltron), but your work is interesting nonetheless.

Thanks.

observer
10-15-2008, 10:41 PM
I'm slighty dissapointed (I was expecting something like a hakama wearing Voltron).
Let us know - why? It could be a good start.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-15-2008, 10:46 PM
Well, your robot is not very intimidating, so there is not much "reverse intimidation" left to revert on him/she/it.

observer
10-15-2008, 11:00 PM
Well, your robot is not very intimidating.
Well, you never know, till you try.:) What about techniques?

Charles Hill
10-15-2008, 11:26 PM
OK. I am curious. What I am going to sell to you - the idea or a product?

Ideas, so far. (I'm waiting to see if there is going to be a product teaching your Aikido Workout:) ) I have noticed that in all of your 12 posts so far you have made proclamations as to what Aikido really is and to what O'sensei taught and how to approach his teachings. You are presupposing that some or all here do not know these things, are you not?

I don't know anything about you, but I have noticed that sometimes people come to this forum already having an amount of status in their own circle and seem to forget that they do not have that here. I have also noticed that such people do not stay long (unless they are driven to teach aikidoists that aikido is missing some kind of inner power, in which case they seem to never leave.:) )

Let me leave this by saying that your posts have a basic tone which is respectful, and I, for one, appreciate that!

Charles

salim
10-16-2008, 09:41 AM
Hello,
I have not seen too many comments on my recent post. Once again, I encourage you to open your minds to my new approach to Aikido.

As I have mentioned before, to me aikido is not a dream, vision, illusion or a spiritual breakthrough. It is just a preparation to serve our society in a better way.

I totally agree with memorable quotes by Yukiyoshi Takamura on pacifism (http://www.aikidojournal.com/blog/2008/09/18/memorable-quotes-yukiyoshi-takamura-on-pacifism/), especially with this one: "A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence." I am also still under impression of two Morihei Ueshiba's intriguing quotes: "Learn and forget" (mentioned in this topic) and "Catch the secret and you can do my level of aikido in three months." (Robert Nadeau, AJ 117).

First, let me quote and comment on some of your answers to my first post.

"I think the below video does a much better job of demonstrating ‘Reverse Intimidation'."

This clip "Aikido Reverse Intimidation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5p1gYki0Zc)" is not an instructional video and definitely is not intended for entertainment. It shows an idea of how to use aikido as an efficient and reliable tool to achieve a certain goal. It works and also sends a message. It depends on you how are you going to read it. BTW, so far more than 10000 people watched it.

"Strange logic to self defense."

Based on my 18 years of experience of practicing aikido in today's dojos, aikidokas usually practice twice a week and perform multiple techniques, only repeating each one from time to time. Such practice doesn't seem to be successful, and if aikido's purpose is teaching self defense, such approach appear illogical. Aikidokas are also distracted from learning trained reflexes by mixing in other elements such as teachings on etiquette, breathing, meditation, kihon, suwari-waza, ukemi and weapons. Not to mention unrealistic attacks. It is like learning how to drive a car by reading a book. My methods are very logical because they simply teach a person how to defend himself by developing trained reflexes with constant practice and repetition.

"Show me the robot!"

"Here you are! (http://www.poloniasantabarbara.com/robot.wmv) You will need a compressor, a low pressure air tank, a place to install it (I have chosen 3 inexpensive floor lamps), and obviously the Kit. It works with a small keyboard and also can be controlled by a computer. The idea follows a concept of a short distance attack with a minimal body movement in response.

Finally, let me explain a practical approach to my favorite quotes mentioned above. I have created Aikido Workout. It is an hour long exercise divided to 21 parts. Each part is supported by a piece of music. If this surprises you, let me assure you that this is nothing new in Martial Art. For example, it is not a common knowledge that an Argentinian Tango has its roots in practicing knife's fighting. Of course, without women.

Repetitions can be boring and therefore the element of music works great with the routine. The music lets establish rhythm, tempo and breaks between exercises. You can practice Aikido Workout alone (kata) or with a partner (uchi komi). There are 3 individual parts (a worm up and two for common movements) and 18 others, strictly dedicated to 6 techniques I have mentioned above. Lets' do simple math. There are 1500 repetitions during one hour. If you practice, for instance twice a day, in the morning alone and in the afternoon with a partner, you simply make 2200 repetitions a day. Over a course of 3 months it would be 200,000. Is this enough for one to 'learn and forget' about it? I do not know, but what I do know - it is a lot. Isn't it? The goal of my Aikido Workout is to teach how to respond to a real threat by a trained reflex as fast as the blink of an eye,

Nice, funny toy. I wonder if I should buy one to use for my daughter's 7 year old birthday party. The kids would love it. I think your robot thing is great for child's play. Let me know where I can buy one. The other parents would get a kick out of it as well.

This clip "Aikido Reverse Intimidation" looks like it belongs in Woody Allen movie, "Sleeper."

Michael Douglas
10-16-2008, 09:49 AM
OK. I am curious. What I am going to sell to you - the idea or a product? Actually, I made that video per Demetrio Cereijo's and Michael Douglas's requests.
YES!
I dimly recall the "show me the Robot!" query.
Soon ... 4 minutes of download later .. soon I will KNOW THE ROBOT.
I'm excited already.

Michael Douglas
10-16-2008, 09:56 AM
Oh.

I have seen the robot.
I no longer FEAR the robot.

Surely this is an excellent troll job.
My congratulations!

Michael Douglas
10-16-2008, 10:03 AM
Just so my last post doesn't leave a hugely disappointed echo, these are the bits of Maciej's post which I have great respect for. I just doubt Maciej's proposed learning methods are exactly what I would choose.
I am also still under impression of two Morihei Ueshiba's intriguing quotes: "Learn and forget" (mentioned in this topic) and "Catch the secret and you can do my level of aikido in three months." (Robert Nadeau, AJ 117).
...
Based on my 18 years of experience of practicing aikido in today's dojos, aikidokas usually practice twice a week and perform multiple techniques, only repeating each one from time to time. Such practice doesn't seem to be successful, and if aikido's purpose is teaching self defense, such approach appear illogical. Aikidokas are also distracted from learning trained reflexes by mixing in other elements such as teachings on etiquette, breathing, meditation, kihon, suwari-waza, ukemi and weapons. Not to mention unrealistic attacks. It is like learning how to drive a car by reading a book.
...
Lets' do simple math. There are 1500 repetitions during one hour. If you practice, for instance twice a day, in the morning alone and in the afternoon with a partner, you simply make 2200 repetitions a day. Over a course of 3 months it would be 200,000. Is this enough for one to 'learn and forget' about it? I do not know, but what I do know - it is a lot. Isn't it?
...

Michael Douglas
10-16-2008, 10:18 AM
"I think the below video does a much better job of demonstrating ‘Reverse Intimidation'."

This clip "Aikido Reverse Intimidation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5p1gYki0Zc)" is not an instructional video and definitely is not intended for entertainment. It shows an idea of how to use aikido as an efficient and reliable tool to achieve a certain goal.
I have observations based on freeze-frame analysis on the downloaded .flv video;

1.At 0:08 the second shomen has already missed the face by the time the defender has raised his hand even as high as his chin. Both defender and attacker are completely deluded as to efficacy and application.
2.At 0:19 the attacker raises his fist to a completely different and offline position to the first fist-on-belly placement. Perhaps the defender is deluded that he is avoiding the fist. The attacker is actually raising his fist to an empty place. Naughty.
3.At 0:27 the defender moves long before the attacker begins to reach for the T-shirt grab. Pointless. At least try to react ... or cover up the delusion by moving about the same time.
4.At 0:31/0:32 the irritating popping and clicking sound effects are too noticeable.

The rest of it ... the WIERD step-by-awful-wrong-step Shihonage on floppy arm stuff was ...

Akk.

Now do it against the robot and see the blood spurt!

zukzerozero
10-16-2008, 03:48 PM
it seems strange for me that we, as practicioners of an art that is supposed to evolve in practice beyond form, get so easily caught up in the particular forms of the art. it seems to me that aiki is a concept that is easily translatable into other idioms. this does not deny osensei's originality in his controbutions to and expressions of the concept. indeed it seems to me healthier to views his work as contributing to the global elaboration of this concept. i feel like he would agree with this. if so, then, aikido is the ways and means of trying to practice and help in the elaboration of the concept. so it shouldn't matter if you are practicing bjj techniques in the context of aikido, as long as aiki principles are in play.

to wit: my personal exploration of aikido has led me to augment my study of the art with baguazhang. i'm not terribly interested in discussing the merits of these two arts in comparison, but instead to point out exactly how studying bagua has helped my aikido.

explample one: the bagua kobu step.

studying aikido and learning the aiki taiso, no sensei i encountered ever explained to me the very basics of how to exchange my weight from leg to leg while performing an irimi-tenkan movement. thus i found myself unable to properly set up correctly for any technique requiring this movement, resulting in a frequent use of extra and unnecessary force. i didn't understand this exactly, i just knew it felt wrong.

the kobu step is intensely important in bagua, being practiced hundreds of times while practicing any forms. within days of beginning to practice bagua i was working on my taiso and realized that when i was doing irimi-tenkan i was using the kobu step. it didn't make my movement look wrong, in fact it was comfortable for the first time ever. i could flow. my knees didn't hurt. soon after, practicing technique in aikido class i realized that this slight change in my movement was beginning to repair my technique. i was able to use far less force.

example two: roushou.

roushou is bagua's pushing hands-like practice. in the way i have been trained in it, its a bit more overtly "martial" from the onset. anyway, what roushou teaches, at least as i've experienced it, is how to directly feel an opponent's energy, using it to direct one's movements in a way that redirects their energy to one's advantage in the exchange. adding this practice onto the practice of the forms, one finds it reasonably easy to use one's whole body in this regard. and there's the rub.

in practicing aikido, i've never encountered a sensei who taught (at least overtly) how to use one's whole body in a technique. receiving attacks suddenly became a lot easier, so did redirecting them with minimal added force. kaeshi-waza now makes a lot more sense to me.

anyway, those are two examples and minor ones at that. i've only been practicing bagua for about 6 months. hell, i've only been doing aikido for about 4 years. but i'm finding doors being opened for me left and right by this combined study. and frankly, bagua is filling in gaps in my aikido training. sometimes gaps i didn't even know were there. have i left the aikido fold because of this? i don't think so. in fact, i feel like i'm entering it more fully. i'm quite unexpectedly finding phrases like "using the big toe" (something both osensei and shioda-sensei talked about) a lot more clear.

have i reached some sort of aiki enlightenment then? hell no. i know that i am a rank beginner in both arts. but i can not deny the facts of my experience. and i think this is the key to evolution. i think when we look into the history of martial traditions, we find closed off perspectives that do not recognize the similarities between arts, and do not allow arts to mingle and learn from one another, only near the death of arts. it is the stagnation that texts like the tao te ching warn against. the stiffness of impending death.

i don't think aikido is in any danger of dying because i have faith that we won't close outselves off. a cursory look at the increasing number of shihan who are opening up to other arts to fill in the gaps in their aikido gives us proof of this.

we might think we are preserving the purity of the art by not allowing influences to circulate. but, etymologically, to be "pure" means to be in the original state of balance. neither too stiff nor too soft.

jeff.

GeneC
12-06-2008, 04:04 PM
I am glad that aikido is not homogenized, because that would surely kill creativity within it, and destroy the possibility of change and development.

This is very interesting, could you elaborate?

GeneC
12-06-2008, 04:21 PM
My $.02, definitions and a little history may be helpful.

We have evolution , revolution and mutation. Everything in Nature has evolved thru history as an improvement to survive. Man's brain grew and man put on clothes and had less need for hair. Man got smarter and started gathering and growing crops and livestock, lessening the need to hunt exclusively. Man got even smarter and developed technology to invent tools and machines so he wouldn't have to work so hard and also increase his survivability. So, evolution = improvement.
Imo, to infuse BJJ or anything else to Aikido is simply MUtation. Not an improvement, just different. T
Revolution is a radical move that implies discord, not even applicable to Aikido.

My question is, With all the different 'styles' of Aikido, IS it evolving, or is it mutating? Isn't Aikido already perfect? Didn't Osensei perfect it? If so, then why the need for so many different styles? Or is Aikido simply the means to an end and it's the end that's perfect?

jennifer paige smith
12-06-2008, 04:43 PM
My $.02, definitions and a little history may be helpful.

Revolution is a radical move that implies discord, not even applicable to Aikido.



well with inflation the way it is $ .02 is worth less and less all the time.:p just joshin' ya....

But seriously. I agree with the first assertion you make about definitions being helpful. So here is the definition of revolution. http://www.answers.com/topic/revolution

With the exception of the 2nd political version of the word, it is an apt definition of aikido training. And it is a definiton for the changing of the seasons and other natural 'phenom'.....which,when applied, that is, the naturalistic definition of the word, places aikido in the land of 'perfect as it stands'. Keeping in mind that nature thrives in diversity and perishes in mono-culture.

The only 'thing' that needs to change in my viewpoint is the awakening of an individual to fully realize the nature of practice. So, leave it alone and keep working on the problem as it stands. Mathematically speaking, of course. My own 2.00 euro's ..

Buck
12-06-2008, 05:42 PM
I liked what Jennifer said, "The only 'thing' that needs to change in my viewpoint is the awakening of an individual to fully realize the nature of practice."

Has sports like Tennis evolved or is it really the athlete who has evolved. That in its self is a universal, be it a martial art from Japan or a sport from England that was first a game played on the grass by delicate blue-bloods.

I don't know if mutation is correct. Maybe it is more like different interpretations of a work. Like conductors do with different composer pieces of music, maybe. Or how sculptors shape clay. That is how I see it. Is it right? I don't know. Does it matter, maybe, maybe not, and I think that is the question. Does it matter that there are different styles of Aikido?

That brings us back to what Jennifer said.

GeneC
12-06-2008, 08:43 PM
Has sports like Tennis evolved or is it really the athlete who has evolved. That in its self is a universal, be it a martial art from Japan or a sport from England that was first a game played on the grass by delicate blue-bloods.

Sure it has. Every aspect of every sports has evolved. Look at the Olympics. Every aspect of practice has changed, even down to the stretching(Physiologists have discovered that static stretching,especially cold, causes weakened muscles instread of stretched tendons and ligs. That "motion stretching"is far more safe and effective). Computers has made it possible to record and analyze every movement of an athlete and for a tailor made program just for them. Plyometrics has evolved athletes into better performance. Supllements have made for better performance thru more efficient metabolism, etc. Equipment has evolved to make an athlete jump higher, run faster/farther, hit harder, etc. So yeah, sports ( and just about everything else) has evolved.

I don't know if mutation is correct. Maybe it is more like different interpretations of a work. Like conductors do with different composer pieces of music, maybe. Or how sculptors shape clay. That is how I see it. Is it right? I don't know. Does it matter, maybe, maybe not, and I think that is the question. Does it matter that there are different styles of Aikido?

Ahhh, I guess it depends if one is 'inside' Aikido or not, because trying to infuse a totally Yang kickboxing or Tae Kwon Do to Aikido is a mutation or mongrelizing. mishmash, or hodgepodge. Now, infusing T'ai Ch'i, for example'd be a hybrid. I really don't know if that Sensei's style of Aikido is a hybrid of Osensei's Aikido or another Sensei's Aikido. AFA does it matter for different styles? IMO, when some folks say, "Hey that's wrong, do it like this, or that's wrong, we call it this." Then yes, it matters. I thinkm ther should be some kind of standardization, if only in terminlogy only.

Kevin Leavitt
12-06-2008, 09:46 PM
I don't worry too much about defining what something is or isn't. Aikido and all martial arts are only concepts and methodologies, they can really "be anything".

What we have is ourselves and our understanding of self.

"know they self, and unto they self be true".

Buck
12-07-2008, 02:07 AM
Sure it has. Every aspect of every sports has evolved.

it matter for different styles? IMO, when some folks say, "Hey that's wrong, do it like this, or that's wrong, we call it this." Then yes, it matters. I thinkm ther should be some kind of standardization, if only in terminlogy only.

Tennis is stilled played by hitting a ball over a net. Soccer is played kicking a ball up and down a field into a goal. What evolves is the player, the equipment, the rules, but not the game. The game is an abstract thing, how can that evolve. Aikido is principles and all the stuff Kevin said. How can that evolved physically the phenotype of the creature. Darwin was looking at creatures who he felt where related that evolved, but didn't see the evolution take place. He didn't look at creatures and said, hey that creature de-evolved into a lower form of a creature. He should have been looking at human history.

Point being, Darwin notes things he never seen before on a small isolated island, like marine lizards, which are complete different then those land locked lizards he is familiar with who would drown if they jumped into the water. Then there is the God thingy with that. Now, with Aikido it is made up of a combined use of the laws of physics that already exist that in relation to the structure of a human being are applied in a designated manner. Do laws like these evolve, no. Has gravity evolved, no just in the way we defy it.

For Aikido to evolve the physics that pertain to Aikido has to evolve. As I said above that doesn't happen. The laws don't evolve. O'Sensei took existing natural laws and arranged them in manner of a specific use. You can put together or apply a different design, arrangement, or use of those laws taking and give it a new label to distinguish it from other like things. That is done for our own human use.

Where it matters is in politics, human ego, etc. in the human mind. This is the place and matter, where Aikido evolves, it is in how we see and deal with creating and dealing with the politics, our egos, labels, customs, beliefs, intellect, strategies, etc. and not the physics it's self.

Aikido and other martial arts draw on the same physics, but it is our egos that dictates everything else. :)

Buck
12-07-2008, 02:15 AM
In the spiritual side of Aikido, the concepts of harmony, peaceful, love, etc. don't evolve, it is the person who does. We define and place the meanings and the proper applications, it's structure, we can evolve that. It is how we look at it that evolves. We have that power to do so. A power we can't exercise on our own humanity.

Tony Wagstaffe
12-07-2008, 07:40 AM
I guess I would offer up two thoughts. The first is that IF aikido chooses to respond to the popular culture, then I could see aikido bifurcating into two directions. One is an art that is more interested in the "spiritual" benefits of aikido and the other is one that "devolves" back toward its daito ryu roots and incorporates current MMA concepts, more resistive training, and is interested in becoming more of a ring fighting sport or art.

On the other hand since so few people reach a truly advanced level of aikido, and those that do tend to be old enough that they won't be seen competing in competitive martial arts, perhaps we will never know what aikido truly is capable of.

I would agree entirely with this quotation as seen in my blog at A.J. https://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=3104
Hence the growth in Shodokan Aikido....... to the point that other aikido "styles" are now taking up the competition element.....
Tomiki Shihan will be proved right ....... Eventually
The reluctance of "purists" to prove their ability and be tested..... only then we will see their true worth.......:rolleyes: :cool:

Buck
12-07-2008, 10:09 AM
Yea, know one Aikido style can't be better then another. One Aikido style can't evolve over another. They are just different interpretations or add other ingredients to the stock of Aikido. :)

GeneC
12-07-2008, 10:28 AM
Tennis is stilled played by hitting a ball over a net. Soccer is played kicking a ball up and down a field into a goal. What evolves is the player, the equipment, the rules, but not the game. The game is an abstract thing, how can that evolve?

Ok, the fundamental principles that define the 'game' are intact but to say the game hasn't evolved is throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Aikido is principles and all the stuff Kevin said. How can that evolved physically the phenotype of the creature.
The phenotype is the observable interaction of an organism's genotype( basic structure) and the environment and implies evolving.
Aikido (the martial art) is MOVEMENTS ( surely the movements can evolve) based on principles ( an observation of physics) and unless the principles are in their most purest form, they can evolve too.

Darwin was looking at creatures who he felt where related that evolved, but didn't see the evolution take place. He didn't look at creatures and said, hey that creature de-evolved into a lower form of a creature. He should have been looking at human history.

Right , it has been concluded that another fundamental principle of Nature, that cannot be denied, is that all things evolve or else become extinct and that's a truth that had occured for millions of years. In fact, humans HAVE evolved over the thousands of years. IN fact, it's inevidable for things to evolve.

GeneC
12-07-2008, 10:45 AM
well with inflation the way it is $ .02 is worth less and less all the time.:p just joshin' ya....

But seriously. I agree with the first assertion you make about definitions being helpful. So here is the definition of revolution. http://www.answers.com/topic/revolution

I know my opinion might be worthless, but still......the Merriam-Webster definition is: 1. the action by a body of going around in an orbit or a eliptical course. 2. a sudden , radical, complete change. My emphasis is the implication- revolution implies discordial change, like the American Revolution ( and all revolutions in history), where Colonists were totally disgruntled with the King of England and so, revolted- fought to overthrow. I just don;t believe that that's the case in Aikido.

GeneC
12-07-2008, 10:55 AM
I would agree entirely with this quotation as seen in my blog at A.J. https://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=3104
Hence the growth in Shodokan Aikido....... to the point that other aikido "styles" are now taking up the competition element.....
Tomiki Shihan will be proved right ....... Eventually
The reluctance of "purists" to prove their ability and be tested..... only then we will see their true worth.......:rolleyes: :cool:

IMO, to add Shotokan or Tae Kwon Do or any other striking,violent, harmful art to Aikido is NOT evolving it, IMO, it mutating it or devolving it.

Osensei studied the most violent and deadliest arts known at the time and developed Aikido by REMOVING the violence and by definiton developed a hybrid Martial Art. To add the violence back in does not evolve it, but DE-volve it back to the violent arts that it started out as.

GeneC
12-07-2008, 11:14 AM
Yea, know one Aikido style can't be better then another. One Aikido style can't evolve over another. They are just different interpretations or add other ingredients to the stock of Aikido. :)

You mean that it's not possible to have a style of Aikido that has a more direct route to blend wth the Uke's center, getting him off center, or eliminating excessive movement etc or a more realistic form of Aikido dealing better with street situations, incorporating a taser, for instance, or techniques/system to allow folks to learn Aikido exponentially quicker, with a total physical, nutritional and medical makeup, tutoring, etc wouldn't that be an evolution of Aikido?
Btw, I'm curious to what 'other ingrediants' you're refering to.

jennifer paige smith
12-07-2008, 11:16 AM
I know my opinion might be worthless, but still......the Merriam-Webster definition is: 1. the action by a body of going around in an orbit or a eliptical course. 2. a sudden , radical, complete change. My emphasis is the implication- revolution implies discordial change, like the American Revolution ( and all revolutions in history), where Colonists were totally disgruntled with the King of England and so, revolted- fought to overthrow. I just don;t believe that that's the case in Aikido.

Not worthless, just worth less with the effects of inflation. In case ya can't tell, I'm just kidding....I'm guessing you are, too.

Yes, I realize your emphasis and I'm using it as an opportunity to re-direct toward a generative perspective. My point,and I believe if you reference the entire definition selections I provided,which, btw, include the ones you offer here, is that revolution ( small r ) is not a dirty word. It is a word that, as you have it above describes power in practice......."The action of a body of going in an orbital or eliptical course." I mentioned, previously, but I'll say it again, the single political definition put aside.

So, I'm not here trying to revolt, fight, or overthrow your opinion, thereby starting an aikiweb revolution (see I do understand that definition;) ).

Essentially I agree with you about the nature of practice and that could be quite nice.

I'm just not throwing 'the baby out with the bath water' in terms of language and it's power in correct, un- absconded, use.
Like English Kotodama, if you will. But that is an issue for another thread in language. & Perhaps I'll see you there.

Thanks for the interesting dialog. I'm having fun with this thread.

For now I have to go turn, move in a circle, rotate around an axis, turn the tides of aggression, and move around a stable center...but definitely not do anything involved with revolution.:D

still having fun,
jen

observer
12-07-2008, 01:07 PM
Osensei studied the most violent and deadliest arts known at the time and developed Aikido by REMOVING the violence and by definiton developed a hybrid Martial Art.
I do not agree with your point of view. Martial Arts are violent by Nature and aikido is still a Martial Art. What distinguishes it from others is that it is not a tool any more, but it is a weapon by itself.

On a battle field people use martial arts in case they lose a weapon, so that they can retrieve their weapon and be able to continue the fight. What does it mean that aikido is a weapon? I think, that Morihei Ueshiba chose among others only twelve deadly techniques to accomplish that goal (fall on a head in the blink of an eye). Similar to judo techniques (seoi-nage, or kata-guruma), you can always spare a life by throwing your opponent on his back. That is why we call aikido a Peaceful Martial Art, as well.

Kisshomary Ueshiba and Koichi Tohei made the most important evolution of aikido by modifying it so that it can be preserved to the next generations. We all practice aikido in different ways; in different schools, facing different styles and teachers, having different understanding of the art. One thing we all still do everywhere is practicing those 12 techniques: ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, yonkyo, irimi-nage, shiho-nage, kote-gaeshi, tenchi-nage, kaiten-nage, juji-nage, ude-kime-nage and koshi-nage.

A while ago I was trying to explain my own approach on how to use my aikido study to became a master, because in my view studying the art for only 2-3 hours a week in dojo (even for 50 years) does not give one any chance to master it. If practicing sword-mastership or any ancient weapons in general, has only a cultural aspect, I perceive mastering aikido skills as a very important part of every human being education. Unfortunately, we study aikido in every aspect of the art without keeping this idea in mind. Most people still see aikido as a combative art and try to compare it with others. It doesn't make any sense, simply because the purpose of any aikido move is never to start a fight.

Tony Wagstaffe
12-07-2008, 03:28 PM
IMO, to add Shotokan or Tae Kwon Do or any other striking,violent, harmful art to Aikido is NOT evolving it, IMO, it mutating it or devolving it.

Osensei studied the most violent and deadliest arts known at the time and developed Aikido by REMOVING the violence and by definiton developed a hybrid Martial Art. To add the violence back in does not evolve it, but DE-volve it back to the violent arts that it started out as.

Are you referring to Shotokan Karate or or have you misread my post?
Can I ask you whether or not you have really experienced a violent situation.......?
Were you the victim of that experience and what did you do?

Kevin Leavitt
12-07-2008, 04:50 PM
Violence removed from aikido?

Purpose is to never start a fight?

Interesting discussion.

I am not an O'Sensei scholar or an expert on what he actually intended or did not intend to do....

however, I find it hard to believe that he EVER intended to remove violence from aikido, in fact I believe it to be the opposite.

We need to fully embrace and understand violence and the root of it on a personal level.

I believe the whole sect of belief that attempts to remove violence by reframing it to be Polictically Correct or "aiki-fruty" is treading on very dangerous ground and ironically willl end up doing damage to the very thing they are seeking to avoid in the first place...violence!

What aikido, as well as most martial arts, does is remove the unnecessary features of violence that we don't need to relive or experience. Blood, gore, actual harm...the aspects that cause us pain and psychological damage.

What we end up with is a practice that allows us to work through the issues of associated with violence, experience and confront them and learn how to physcially, emotionally, and sprititually deal with them.

Reframing, ignoring, or re-interpreting what we are actually practicing as anything other than that is not helping us learn and grow in our understanding of the world we live in.

As far as the purpose being to never start a fight. I certainly understand that and hold that out as a personal goal for sure. However, I personally stop short of using that as a axiom/tenant.

To me, aikido is aikido, fighitng is fighting. It is not about who starts or stops a fight, but simply about fighting or violence period.

I can think of plenty of instances in which I would certainly preempt or strike with the first blow.

O'Sensei in the Art of Peace by John Stevens purports that part of the goal is to present such a strong front that no one would dare attack you.

How do you do that without the ability or willingness to strike first or fight?

Your intent might be to avoid fighting, but you must be committed to fighting if you must.

That is the irony of what we practice!

Understanding that irony or duality is a big part of the message that needs to be understood with respect to aikido IMO.

Anything other than that is either ignorance or idealism...both of which set you up for failure!

observer
12-07-2008, 05:54 PM
Purpose is to never start a fight?!
I think, you misunderstood my final sentence. By saying "purpose of any aikido move is never to start a fight." I did mean, that aikido is a final solution. By a fight I understand continues fighting. Using aikido skill you're supposed to show your power (to intimidate) by responding to the first strike. Trying to avoid a confrontation is the best solution without question, but it is not necessary an exclusive attribute of aikido.

jennifer paige smith
12-07-2008, 05:54 PM
Violence removed from aikido?

Purpose is to never start a fight?

Interesting discussion.

I am not an O'Sensei scholar or an expert on what he actually intended or did not intend to do....

however, I find it hard to believe that he EVER intended to remove violence from aikido, in fact I believe it to be the opposite.

We need to fully embrace and understand violence and the root of it on a personal level.

I believe the whole sect of belief that attempts to remove violence by reframing it to be Polictically Correct or "aiki-fruty" is treading on very dangerous ground and ironically willl end up doing damage to the very thing they are seeking to avoid in the first place...violence!

What aikido, as well as most martial arts, does is remove the unnecessary features of violence that we don't need to relive or experience. Blood, gore, actual harm...the aspects that cause us pain and psychological damage.

What we end up with is a practice that allows us to work through the issues of associated with violence, experience and confront them and learn how to physcially, emotionally, and sprititually deal with them.

Reframing, ignoring, or re-interpreting what we are actually practicing as anything other than that is not helping us learn and grow in our understanding of the world we live in.

As far as the purpose being to never start a fight. I certainly understand that and hold that out as a personal goal for sure. However, I personally stop short of using that as a axiom/tenant.

To me, aikido is aikido, fighitng is fighting. It is not about who starts or stops a fight, but simply about fighting or violence period.

I can think of plenty of instances in which I would certainly preempt or strike with the first blow.

O'Sensei in the Art of Peace by John Stevens purports that part of the goal is to present such a strong front that no one would dare attack you.

How do you do that without the ability or willingness to strike first or fight?

Your intent might be to avoid fighting, but you must be committed to fighting if you must.

That is the irony of what we practice!

Understanding that irony or duality is a big part of the message that needs to be understood with respect to aikido IMO.

Anything other than that is either ignorance or idealism...both of which set you up for failure!

I appreciate this post, Kevin. Thanks.

A lot of what you've said here has been stated by my aikido teachers , is my experience, and can also be found in Terry Dobson's book, It's A lot Like Dancing.

jennifer paige smith
12-07-2008, 05:57 PM
On an individual note:
For my part, I don't go to prove myself in the dojo in any particular way other than bringing my entire self there year after year..etc..and rediscovering, in new terms, that which is always there. How training effects each individual is, well, individual. That is also an enlightening paradox I observe.
I have been eventually grateful for the times that I've used my traditional aikido off the mat to save lives, my own included. Sometimes using methods that might seem violent. But then again storms are violent at times, too, aren't they? And that is a description of nature, which is the inspirational model for aikido that I, and many of my teachers before me, use. Other teachers have taught in different terms. That was also helpful.
I'm a lot more aware of my limitations than I was before I began my training and I'm a lot more aware of my gifts, too.
That's been a big piece of my personal evolution in the arts. And since the art and the individual are fairly inseperable,at least in my case, I'd say that is an evolution of the art. But I'll let nature sort that out. I'm just grateful to have the practice to comment on in the first place.

sorokod
12-07-2008, 05:57 PM
Salim Shaw wrote:

Here's a great video clip ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D10w1VFGZh0


Hello, I have some technical questions about this video

1. In the basic ikkyo, nage's "inside" hand grabs the uke's shoulder (at 0:44 for example). This is different from the basic that I was taught where the elbow is grabbed thus providing the nage with strong leverage which prevents uke from "standing up".
What is the rational for taking the shoulder and not the elbow?

2. The uke is reversing the ikkyo by "standing up", at 2:08 the nage is open to an atemi from the uke's left hand as he is setting up the wristlock, again at 2:18 and 2:22.
Is there an assumption that uke does not strike?

3. The uke is reversing ikkyo by rolling away from the nage. The nage gives up his upright kamai and follows the uke into newaza (3:07).
Under what circumstances having the uke in a lock while lying with your back on the ground is better that remaining upright and not having the uke at all?

Buck
12-07-2008, 06:09 PM
You mean that it's not possible to have a style of Aikido that has a more direct route to blend wth the Uke's center, getting him off center, or eliminating excessive movement etc or a more realistic form of Aikido dealing better with street situations, incorporating a taser, for instance, or techniques/system to allow folks to learn Aikido exponentially quicker, with a total physical, nutritional and medical makeup, tutoring, etc wouldn't that be an evolution of Aikido?
Btw, I'm curious to what 'other ingrediants' you're refering to.

See Aikido is physics, its movement. It is an abstract. It is something people thought of and do. Aikido isn't live like us. Evolution applies to us and living creatures like marine lizards. You know evolution by that guy named Darwin who started the whole Evolution thing which we now apply to everything even thought we shouldn't. Even in the loosest terms, Evolution applies to us improving our skill. We evolve, we learn, we change, we use the tasser, we make the circle properly, we improve the movements of our own bodies to get the results we seek, not Aikido. That is what I was saying.

What I am about to say I want to preface it with animal breeding, particularly dairy cattle. Yea, it's abit weird but...now does the advances in milk production through genetic breeding of dairy cows considered evolution of the cow? How about different techniques one dairymen uses vs. other to get higher milk production, say equipment, or methods of relaxing the cows during milking. Are these techniques for milk production improvement over another is a matter of improved techniques of obtaining milk or evolution of the cow? The end result is improved milk production, not an evolved cow or milk.

Sure you can manipulate the cow's genes and get six utter's or none at all but that isn't evolution. Thats messing with a bovine's genes. Man is messing with the genes to get something desired or non-desired. There is no evolution there.

Isn't it the same way with Aikido? You can manipulate the genes of Aikido to get something desired or non-desired from it to fit your goals. We as technicians can improve our Aikido skills, but Aikido itself doesn't improve, it is a composition of natural laws etc. used by humans against other humans to get a desired.

I know what was said about Aikido and evolution that is at the core of this old wore shoe, but then is it accurate. Just because it was said doesn't mean the source is accurate, or correct or otherwise. Just because you skill advances doesn't mean your intellect does too. That isn't an insult. It is just a comment saying that when we hear or read something from someone with admirable skill we automatically assume we understanding fully what they say and what they mean etc. No insult intended it is that we just can't assume we know what they mean. :)

I like what Jennifer said too about circles, and turning etc. not being a revolution.

That is all I am saying, I have a different perspective on it and I explained it. For anyone who like myself doesn't want to search Darwin's theory here is it in short.

Darwin's Theory of Evolution - The Premise

Darwin's Theory of Evolution is the widely held notion that all life is related and has descended from a common ancestor: the birds and the bananas, the fishes and the flowers -- all related. Darwin's general theory presumes the development of life from non-life and stresses a purely naturalistic (undirected) "descent with modification". That is, complex creatures evolve from more simplistic ancestors naturally over time. In a nutshell, as random genetic mutations occur within an organism's genetic code, the beneficial mutations are preserved because they aid survival -- a process known as "natural selection." These beneficial mutations are passed on to the next generation. Over time, beneficial mutations accumulate and the result is an entirely different organism (not just a variation of the original, but an entirely different creature). :)

Buck
12-07-2008, 06:25 PM
Violence thing being talked about:

I don't know. I is too far down on the Aikido food chain. But what I glean from what I think I understand from what has been translated on what O'Sensei said, I think we work on two levels. A personal level where you defend yourself and not kill your attacker i.e. let the attacker know ( assuming he is not high) that he will not conquer you. Then there is the global level where we put peace before war. O'Sensei from what I know wasn't a scholar or thinker like Plato, Descarte, etc. I am betting his views are not complex like Voltaire's. Though he did think of himself as a god (maybe equates to what we consider as a superstar pro. I don't know it was just a guess). I think he was a man of social change, i.e. a MLK figure instead.

The idea of violence being discussed might be beyond the scope of O'Sensei's original contemplation on violence. I think O'Sensei's focus of his contemplation was on being peaceful, and peace, and not violence. Maybe? Kind of ....:confused:

My take on it, FWIW.

C. David Henderson
12-07-2008, 06:28 PM
I think it's interesting to think about "evolution" and "adaptation" of social inventions, including ideas and practices. Darwin, after all, didn't invent the word. However, perforce, these terms carry a certain amount of ideological baggage of their own. Still, I think it's possible to ask intelligible questions such as, "Were the changes in O'Sensei's art after WWII an adaptation to a different social time, or an evolution of a martial art?" I also think it's a mistake to consider this question on a strictly bio-analogical basis. Adaptation, which is how a "genotype" responds to its environment, is not the same as evolution, which is how the genotype changes over time. But, removing the biological analogy, the underlying idea remains that adaptation is more of a tactical response to the immediate situation, whereas evolution connotes a more fundamental change.

(One might even reframe some of the discussion here in terms of the difference between the idea of a revolt and the idea of a revolution.)

This whole discussion suggests to me Hagel's famous idea, "The owl of Minerva flies too late." That is, we may seldom have a good idea either what we are changing into, or what we are changing.

My aikido changes. I hope it improves, if cyclically. Sometimes technical details become clearer; other times sensitivity to uke; others, ma ai; on it goes.

Aikido also will change. I don't think we know how; and how we will evaluate that change reflects our underlying fix on what our own Aikido is or ought to be.

Regards,

Dh

GeneC
12-07-2008, 06:29 PM
Violence removed from aikido?

I didn't say remove the violence from Aikido, I said he developed Aikido to remove the violence from Aikijutsu, etc. By that I mean the bone crushing, complete joint removal, rip the throat out, skull crushing, etc.

To answer another querie, I spent 8 years in the Marine Corps where I boxed and then studied Shotokan Karate in Iwakuni, Japan, then some JKD and then Tae Kwon Do and then MMA. I understand about fighting and violence. I have a 30 stitch scar on my belly from a knife fight on the street. I fully understand about meeting fire with fire.

I love Aikido and will study/practice it 'tilI die, because that'swhere i am in my life, but I know that up against a hardened crininal, I'm gonna need something else, 'cause Aikido ain't gonna save me, but that's not why I study/practice it.

That hardened criminal/young punk MMA fighter on steriods ain't gonna lay down just 'cause I toss him around. I'm gonna have to take him out or he's gonna take me out and that's the simple fact, so I'm gonna have to crush his skull and rip his throat out any way I can before I run out of gas, or I'm dead. That's why I have a CCW and carry 9 rds of .45 hollow point, 'cause I'm not even gonna stand there and fight the guy, period. One lucky punch could leave me paralyzed or dead. I'm not even gonna give him the chance. Ain't gonna happen. Sorry. Hopefully some day I'll be comfortable enough to just carry a taser.

GeneC
12-07-2008, 06:38 PM
The idea of violence being discussed might be beyond the scope of O'Sensei's original contemplation on violence. I think O'Sensei's focus of his contemplation was on being peaceful, and peace, and not violence. Maybe? Kind of ....:confused: My take on it, FWIW.

One thing folks seem to forget, is Osensi lived thru WWII. He joined the Japanese Army and spent his time training Japanese soldiers to fight and kill Then he witnessed the Atom Bomb. If anybody doesn't think that will change a Japanese person, they need to go to Peace Park in Hiroshima, like I did, and see the museum there. Watch the movie, see where a person was sitting on a concrete step and the waves fused his body into the concrete, intact. Folks were alive, but had no meat on their bones, their clothes and jewelry fused into their skin. If anyone doesn't think that'll cause a warrior to rethink his fate and place in the world, I don't know what will. Those folks actually believed the end of the world was upon them. Oh yes, he knew about violence, more than anyone else could imagine.

jennifer paige smith
12-07-2008, 06:49 PM
[QUOTE=Philip Burgess;220661
I like what Jennifer said too about circles, and turning etc. not being a revolution.

[/QUOTE]

Thanks. But I AM saying that it IS revolution, as in rotate,revolve,turn,etc.....how political Revolutions come about is another story for another thread. I will say that political revolutions involve energies that start low and then go spiraling upwards. But I'd like to keep that conversation separate . Otherwise this thread will become a descending spiral; At least for me.

As for evolution, Darwin and O'Sensei: What they have in common is that they both were observers of natural phenomena and they both put a name on their discpline/ observation: one named their work aikido and the other named their work evolution.. As to creating or making those 'things'..Well, they both contributed their works for the benefit of our understanding.
Best

Kevin Leavitt
12-07-2008, 07:07 PM
Hello, I have some technical questions about this video

1. In the basic ikkyo, nage's "inside" hand grabs the uke's shoulder (at 0:44 for example). This is different from the basic that I was taught where the elbow is grabbed thus providing the nage with strong leverage which prevents uke from "standing up".
What is the rational for taking the shoulder and not the elbow?

2. The uke is reversing the ikkyo by "standing up", at 2:08 the nage is open to an atemi from the uke's left hand as he is setting up the wristlock, again at 2:18 and 2:22.
Is there an assumption that uke does not strike?

3. The uke is reversing ikkyo by rolling away from the nage. The nage gives up his upright kamai and follows the uke into newaza (3:07).
Under what circumstances having the uke in a lock while lying with your back on the ground is better that remaining upright and not having the uke at all?

1. Maybe it depends on the situation, dynamics, or assumptions that you are dealing with? I tend to follow what Roy is doing, mid tricep or shoulder. My intent is to actually control the spine through the shoulder joint. My rational would be that arms and elbows move pretty darn quickly and in unpredictable ways. I always know where the shoulder is in relation to the spine, and that is what I really want anyway so I tend to go there. Is there anything wrong with controlling the elbow? Maybe not in principle, as you can still probably access Uke's center through the elbow. I just think it is easier and less variables to deal with going to the mid bicep or shoulder. I also don't like to "grab" as it causes a proprioception, a delay on my part and exudes a response to uke.

2. I can't really comment on it too much since I am not Roy. Maybe he will. Is he really standing him back up? Not sure he really is and there is more room to extend Uke by weighting him on one leg before the reversal. It happens so fast in the video it is hard for me to tell if he is actually standing him back up or not. Atemi...not sure there is really much time or ability on uke to deliver an effective strike in that situation. A blade, maybe something could be delivered on the reversal. Again, you'd have to ask Roy. I have no issue though with what he is doing tactically given the right parameters/assumptions.

3. Under what circumstances? Probably not too many if you are talking street application. Roy could have just as easily done Knee on Stomach with the arm extended while remaining upright. Roy, as you probably know, is a BJJ black belt and is doing much to combine the principles of BJJ and Aikido. As his student base in made up of BJJ and aikidoka, it would make sense to show this as an option. There is nothing wrong with it, it is simple one option.

Tactically if Uke was strong and had a knife in that hand, you could pop back pretty quickly, break the arm, remove the knife and be right back up on your feet pretty quickly. In practice we tend though to move slow and set the lock in waiting for the tap. Again, simply "one way" to do things! It can be difficult to control a non-compliant opponent from standing positions so it is good to know ways to do that such as this arm bar. That said, I typically prefer knee on belly/back and remaining up right. I think you will find that Roy would also agree with this!

Good questions!

Kevin Leavitt
12-07-2008, 07:21 PM
I didn't say remove the violence from Aikido, I said he developed Aikido to remove the violence from Aikijutsu, etc. By that I mean the bone crushing, complete joint removal, rip the throat out, skull crushing, etc.

To answer another querie, I spent 8 years in the Marine Corps where I boxed and then studied Shotokan Karate in Iwakuni, Japan, then some JKD and then Tae Kwon Do and then MMA. I understand about fighting and violence. I have a 30 stitch scar on my belly from a knife fight on the street. I fully understand about meeting fire with fire.

I love Aikido and will study/practice it 'tilI die, because that'swhere i am in my life, but I know that up against a hardened crininal, I'm gonna need something else, 'cause Aikido ain't gonna save me, but that's not why I study/practice it.

That hardened criminal/young punk MMA fighter on steriods ain't gonna lay down just 'cause I toss him around. I'm gonna have to take him out or he's gonna take me out and that's the simple fact, so I'm gonna have to crush his skull and rip his throat out any way I can before I run out of gas, or I'm dead. That's why I have a CCW and carry 9 rds of .45 hollow point, 'cause I'm not even gonna stand there and fight the guy, period. One lucky punch could leave me paralyzed or dead. I'm not even gonna give him the chance. Ain't gonna happen. Sorry. Hopefully some day I'll be comfortable enough to just carry a taser.

Sounds good.

As I stated I am not sure why exactly he chose to remove the "hard" stuff that you see in aikijiujitsu. I am not so sure how anyone knows what he did or didn't remove as most of us recieve our training 3 or 4 generations removed now.

Personally, I think he chose to concentrate on the things he concentrated on so he could build Ai Ki. Those things were probably simply not productive in developing Ai Ki so he did not concentrate on the. Jitsu, as you know, is concerned with tactical application whereas, DO is concerned with the overall way or philosophically/spiritual/personal development/growth.

From my limited experiences with Saotome Sensei, I am not so sure that O'Sensei removed these elements.

This is an old video Saotome Sensei, but it demonstrates a very strong and brutal/direct kamae.

Whenever I have worked with Saotome sensei he always makes a point of demonstrating the bone crushing, throat ripping etc that is inherently there.

I am sure more senior and experienced students of Saotome can comment on this more accurately, but I sense that Saotome Sensei is concerned about this not being there everytime he teaches and lectures to us as he seems to make a very deliberate attempt to demonstrate and discuss it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp1WNUThJ9E

Kevin Leavitt
12-07-2008, 07:28 PM
One thing folks seem to forget, is Osensi lived thru WWII. He joined the Japanese Army and spent his time training Japanese soldiers to fight and kill Then he witnessed the Atom Bomb. If anybody doesn't think that will change a Japanese person, they need to go to Peace Park in Hiroshima, like I did, and see the museum there. Watch the movie, see where a person was sitting on a concrete step and the waves fused his body into the concrete, intact. Folks were alive, but had no meat on their bones, their clothes and jewelry fused into their skin. If anyone doesn't think that'll cause a warrior to rethink his fate and place in the world, I don't know what will. Those folks actually believed the end of the world was upon them. Oh yes, he knew about violence, more than anyone else could imagine.

I agree. I am sure it must have had a big impact on things. Not sure what how the Atomic Bomb impacted his perspective or philosophy, but for me it is hard to imagine that it did not.

I think that this is exactly why he chose to practice budo the way he did ensuring that the elements that were important concerning conflict and violence were retained in aikido in order to help folks understand the nature and process of harmony.

Kevin Leavitt
12-07-2008, 08:01 PM
Violence thing being talked about:

I don't know. I is too far down on the Aikido food chain. But what I glean from what I think I understand from what has been translated on what O'Sensei said, I think we work on two levels. A personal level where you defend yourself and not kill your attacker i.e. let the attacker know ( assuming he is not high) that he will not conquer you. Then there is the global level where we put peace before war. O'Sensei from what I know wasn't a scholar or thinker like Plato, Descarte, etc. I am betting his views are not complex like Voltaire's. Though he did think of himself as a god (maybe equates to what we consider as a superstar pro. I don't know it was just a guess). I think he was a man of social change, i.e. a MLK figure instead.

The idea of violence being discussed might be beyond the scope of O'Sensei's original contemplation on violence. I think O'Sensei's focus of his contemplation was on being peaceful, and peace, and not violence. Maybe? Kind of ....:confused:

My take on it, FWIW.

On Defend yourself and not kill another: Certainly an ethical goal for sure. This is one that I share for sure, as I have no overwhelming desire to hurt or kill anyone or anything unnecessarily. I spend a huge part of my life trying to gain "skillfullness" to prevent just that! My hope is that when and if the opportunity presents itself that I will make the most skillful and best decision that I possibly can.

What I stop stop short of is removing the possibility of NOT killing as an option and practice those skills that involve killing, and I understand that the things I practice are designed to impart severe injury or death.

I get concerned sometimes that many practice with the ideal goal that they can somehow side step the whole harm/killing issue and move on to a solution set that somehow allows us to avoid it.

Again, this is the irony that I see with the whole issue dealing with killing and harm.

You do hit upon the point of compassion, which I think is very important in resolving conflict. You might knock your opponent down or kill him. It may not be important so much if he ends up alive or dead as much as it matters about your state of mind, or the amount of compassion that was involved in your decision to do so. that is, your actions were chosen based compassion.

the Dali Lama has written much about this and I have found them to be very relevant to this type of discussion.

I think many people put more weight on judging whether you kill or don't kill someone to be the ultimate judgement criteria (external) rather than on the compassion that was applied to the situation (internal). I think this is what is most important, and I believe it to be at the essence of O'Sensei's philosophy (at least this is what I get out of it).

Two levels of peace and harmony personal and global:

I think they are one. You can't have global peace without personal peace. It starts within you. Certainly we can have "peace" where folks are not killing each other and we live in realitive harmony, like we have in the U.S. that is different than "Authentic Peace" i which we live in total harmony without discord on any level.

In order to have Authentic Peace and Harmony, we must take care of ourselves only, that is all we can do, it spirals outward from there..through our actions and thoughts and intentions.

As a philosopher: I think it is relative. O'sensei at least developed a methodology to allow folks to practice his philosophy in an applied way. Scholars offer us a mental/intellectual model, but not much in the way of solutions really. I think this is what is important about what O'Sensei developed. History really defines someone's relative value to society. Those Greeks and Romans are a few years older than O'Sensei so we will have to see how it goes for him on a societal level. I will say he is a great one to those of us that he has touched or reached!

Not sure I'd put him in the same category as MLK or Ghandi as O'Sensei I don't believe has changed thoughts of perspective of whole secular societies. Again, maybe time will tell.

Again, though, he is important to those of us he reached, and his views are certainly in line with those two.

What is distinct is that he gave us a practice to follow and that is a big thing to those of us that are touched by aikido.

GeneC
12-07-2008, 08:24 PM
See Aikido is physics, its movement. It is an abstract..... Evolution applies to us improving our skill. We evolve, we learn, we change, we use the tasser, we make the circle properly, we improve the movements of our own bodies to get the results we seek, not Aikido. That is what I was saying.

Physics is absolute, but yes, biological evolution aside, technology has evolved, electronics have evolved, computers have evolved, communication has evolved, music has evolved, medicine has evolved and martial arts has evolved. IMO, Aikido has evolved from where a Sensei hand selects his students and lives with them and they serve him, etc. to where practically anybody can 'hang out a shingle' and teach their own 'style' of Aikido, but that's not Aikido evolving, is it? That's Aikido moving on a lateral plane, right? Imo, noone has evolved martial arts like Bruce Lee, by stripping away all the unnecessary movements and incorporating the most useful, creating a hybrid martial art, not needing improvement. Has anyone done that for Aikido?

Buck
12-07-2008, 09:19 PM
Kevin, I see your point.

For me what stops me is my own natural inclination. Now if I was at the point of kill or be killed. Will you kill as an Aikidoka to save your own life. That I don't know. But it is something I am not aware of that was part of O'Sensei's philosophy. I don't know if he thought about it or took it for granted or what. But, it is something I don't think really is discussed much among strict Aikidoka's.

you say you want a evolution we all want to change the world.
We can say Aikido evolved, if you want to use Evolution loosely, from it's parent art in terms of not killing or intentionally doing serious harm to others. If you think twist the theory of Evolution to say not killing is a greater benefit then killing, this means Aikido. But that doesn't fit well to the Evolution theory. Aikido's parent arts would have to against killing. They would have to be what Aikido is now. Aikido would have to go beyond that into a greater anti-violence/killing stance than it is now.

Now the mutations of the next generation of Aikido would have to be even more pro-peace and non-violent- really humane, really passive in nature- in the techniques and philosophy then Aikido is now. It would have to be where you sit down and let the attacker beat you, a Gandhi passive protest. I don't see a style of Aikido that is, now. If you want to follow strictly Darwin's theory.

The other thing is the law. You can't just kill someone who insults you, or cuts you off while driving. Even though as humans that trait exists and if allowed to we have and would do just that the second the law expired. And the method of choice would be a fire arm. How does that play into evolution. We then are getting into the realm of behavior screwing with the law of natural selection.

Psych 101. Our environment dictates our behavior. That has a huge effect on Evolution- natural selection. Like laws dictates that we can't kill someone because they made us mad. Even that act messes with natural selection. This is applicable to Aikido because Aikido next generations where not effect by natural selection, they where protected form it. Are they then beneficial mutations that promote greater peace and non-violence in philosophy and technique? Did they survive because they are the fittest mutations?

Another view, are the more violent Aikido styles the beneficial mutations ? Meaning they are mutating Aikido to be more violent, to kill or harm (as in an early Seagal movie) kill or seriously injure when the need arises, like Aikido is becoming its parent arts of old? I would say that is de-evolution.

I think we are over working Aikido when we speak of evolution. Evolution really was one man's way of looking at the world and explaining the world hundreds of years ago that many of us agreed to was the way things happened. I don't think it applies to Aikido, personally. It isn't because I am against the idea of evolution. It is because Aikido is a thing that what comprises it, itself can't reproduce itself for that matter, it isn't alive, it can't evolve. People mutate, improve, change technology, it doesn't do that itself. In reality, when that happens what really is happening we as humans are evolving our tools, and improving or developing our world. Again in terms of Aikido different styles being evolutions of Aikido we have to go back to the idea of natural selection being screwed with and having both weak and strong survive and carry on.

For the heck of it, if a monkey uses a stick, a tool, to get ants or kill another monkey and he alters that stick, fashioning it to a new tool is the tool evolving or is the monkey? If the stick is programmed to mutate by the monkey without the monkey is the stick alive thus is it evolving, or is it just doing what the monkey programmed it to do. That was just a wild brain toot.

Again FWIW. WDIM. I am just going to move in as many circles as possible and try not to crash into anyone.:)

Buck
12-07-2008, 09:38 PM
Again in terms of Aikido different styles being evolutions of Aikido we have to go back to the idea of natural selection being screwed with and having both weak and strong survive and carry on. We also have to consider that any mutation Aikido must be more peaceful and wanting peace, and less violent in technique, and not more. If we are to apply evolution to Aikido.

If your going to say Aikido style X is better than Aikido style Y, it would have to be in terms and benchmarks of peace. Why is it always framed by benchmarks of violence and competition? We should evolve our thinking. :)

C. David Henderson
12-07-2008, 09:50 PM
Ah, but "puntuated evolution" accepts the idea of "hopeful monsters." That is, certain environments create opportunities in which more "mutants" survive, and those "mutants" may possess traits that are more dissimilar from the traits of their parents than a "gradualist" view of evolution would allow.

In other words, if one takes the view that Aikido "evolved" by ditching the head-banging ethos, it is not a contradiction in terms just because Aiki-jujutsu included it. Evolution presupposes change, and at some point the change must assume a functional and discernable difference. The "almost wing" becomes a wing.

Evolution, as a biological theory, also presupposes the idea of natural selection. If one wants to take the analogy and apply it to a martial art, whether a particular change is a short term adaptation or a longer term evolution, there is nothing surprising in the notion that the nature of the change reflects the environment, whether natural or human-made, as with the law.

I agree with Buck that "evolution" is an anlogy applied to our "tools." Nonetheless, it makes sense to speak of the evolution of, say, the plow, as much as it does music.

By the way, anyone recall the "100 monkey" theory?

Kevin Leavitt
12-07-2008, 10:07 PM
Clarence wrote:

That's Aikido moving on a lateral plane, right? Imo, noone has evolved martial arts like Bruce Lee, by stripping away all the unnecessary movements and incorporating the most useful, creating a hybrid martial art, not needing improvement. Has anyone done that for Aikido?

Is it evolvement, revolution, or simply a paradiqm shift?

more aptly put, a rennaissance, or a re-discovery of what was once known, but forgotten over the years.

The UFC and emergence of MMA is probably the most recent example of a paradiqm shift.

Kevin Leavitt
12-07-2008, 10:16 PM
Again in terms of Aikido different styles being evolutions of Aikido we have to go back to the idea of natural selection being screwed with and having both weak and strong survive and carry on. We also have to consider that any mutation Aikido must be more peaceful and wanting peace, and less violent in technique, and not more. If we are to apply evolution to Aikido.

If your going to say Aikido style X is better than Aikido style Y, it would have to be in terms and benchmarks of peace. Why is it always framed by benchmarks of violence and competition? We should evolve our thinking. :)

I try not to mix ethics and morality with my martial practice I guess. I simply practice martially without regard for this when I practice. It is what it is.

Harm and Killing are what they are, harm and killing, nothing more nothing less.

As we develop more depth and breadth of skill, we have available possibly more choices and options.

We can separately develop a code of ethics and morality that allow us to decide how to apply martial skills and techniques.

I think personally we as humans tend to over think our practice and form attachments and labels where they are not important and end up wasting alot of time doing stuff for the wrong reasons, or confusing ourselves as to what is really going on.

Buck
12-07-2008, 10:23 PM
Clarence wrote:

Is it evolvement, revolution, or simply a paradiqm shift?

more aptly put, a rennaissance, or a re-discovery of what was once known, but forgotten over the years.

The UFC and emergence of MMA is probably the most recent example of a paradiqm shift.

Having nothing to do with the post or the poster which prompted Kevin to respond in the quote. I want to make a side comment on what Kevin said for the sake of it.

Yea, I agree Kevin. UFC and MMA is a shift. Look at Catch-As-Catch-Can, or going way back to ancient wrestling. It's all just a shift.

Buck
12-07-2008, 11:19 PM
David, yea, there is adaptation to environments. Take Steelhead trout a.k.a Rainbow trout. This fish experiences both non-anadromous and anadromous states. This fish makes changes to its two different environments. A result of evolution theory- possibly. Many creatures make constant adaptations permanent or temporary to their environment to survive.

We as humans are in constant adaptation for survival and not. Such adaptations might or might not be seen physically like in trout. We can throw that under the large umbrella of contemporary evolution. We can even broaden evolution to include any changes or shifts is the result of evolution. But then we are moving more and more into variations being different things when they are not. That isn't evolution. Color skin, Hair texture, etc. between people don't qualify as evolution, but as variation. Now if humans grew an extra functioning organ to allow to live in outer space, over time, we then would evolve. This is the same for Aikido, etc.

In this case, that is what I think is happening here with this discussion. Aikido styles are variations not different arts. They have not over time, "become beneficial mutations accumulate and the result is an entirely different [thing] (not just a variation of the original, but an entirely different creature)." Again I point to what I said about Aikido if it where to evolve it would have to be more peaceful etc. But, I feel Aikido as an abstract is not a living creature so it can't evolve in the truest sense of the word/theory.

All martial arts use the same principles and laws that are applied different in part or whole depending on a bunch of reasons. To evolve those principles over time have to have an accumulation of change that creates a completely different never existed before principle to be used my martial arts. I would be interested in seeing a circle evolve, not a variations. A true evolutionary result that I can use in my Aikido and defeat an attacker faster and more peacefully with. Does light evolve? Has anyone been able to bend it around corner yet? I could use that in my Aikido. Aikido hasn't evolved it has variations. That is my point. :)

Tony Wagstaffe
12-08-2008, 05:13 AM
I didn't say remove the violence from Aikido, I said he developed Aikido to remove the violence from Aikijutsu, etc. By that I mean the bone crushing, complete joint removal, rip the throat out, skull crushing, etc.

To answer another querie, I spent 8 years in the Marine Corps where I boxed and then studied Shotokan Karate in Iwakuni, Japan, then some JKD and then Tae Kwon Do and then MMA. I understand about fighting and violence. I have a 30 stitch scar on my belly from a knife fight on the street. I fully understand about meeting fire with fire.

I love Aikido and will study/practice it 'tilI die, because that'swhere i am in my life, but I know that up against a hardened crininal, I'm gonna need something else, 'cause Aikido ain't gonna save me, but that's not why I study/practice it.

That hardened criminal/young punk MMA fighter on steriods ain't gonna lay down just 'cause I toss him around. I'm gonna have to take him out or he's gonna take me out and that's the simple fact, so I'm gonna have to crush his skull and rip his throat out any way I can before I run out of gas, or I'm dead. That's why I have a CCW and carry 9 rds of .45 hollow point, 'cause I'm not even gonna stand there and fight the guy, period. One lucky punch could leave me paralyzed or dead. I'm not even gonna give him the chance. Ain't gonna happen. Sorry. Hopefully some day I'll be comfortable enough to just carry a taser.

Thanks for clarifying that point Clarence...... I understand fully what you are saying here and would agree whole heartedly, having been subject to violence myself on many occassions in my occupation.... and suffering the scars of those incidents..... Unfortunately we can't carry weapons in the UK even when ones job is prone to the kind of scenario that you talk about..... Even so I carry a tanbo near to my seat just in case the odds are too great and I have no choice but to use it.......

Tony

C. David Henderson
12-08-2008, 09:17 AM
David, yea, there is adaptation to environments. Take Steelhead trout a.k.a Rainbow trout. This fish experiences both non-anadromous and anadromous states. This fish makes changes to its two different environments. A result of evolution theory- possibly. Many creatures make constant adaptations permanent or temporary to their environment to survive.

We as humans are in constant adaptation for survival and not. Such adaptations might or might not be seen physically like in trout. We can throw that under the large umbrella of contemporary evolution. We can even broaden evolution to include any changes or shifts is the result of evolution. But then we are moving more and more into variations being different things when they are not. That isn't evolution. Color skin, Hair texture, etc. between people don't qualify as evolution, but as variation. Now if humans grew an extra functioning organ to allow to live in outer space, over time, we then would evolve. This is the same for Aikido, etc.

In this case, that is what I think is happening here with this discussion. Aikido styles are variations not different arts. They have not over time, "become beneficial mutations accumulate and the result is an entirely different [thing] (not just a variation of the original, but an entirely different creature)." Again I point to what I said about Aikido if it where to evolve it would have to be more peaceful etc. But, I feel Aikido as an abstract is not a living creature so it can't evolve in the truest sense of the word/theory.

All martial arts use the same principles and laws that are applied different in part or whole depending on a bunch of reasons. To evolve those principles over time have to have an accumulation of change that creates a completely different never existed before principle to be used my martial arts. I would be interested in seeing a circle evolve, not a variations. A true evolutionary result that I can use in my Aikido and defeat an attacker faster and more peacefully with. Does light evolve? Has anyone been able to bend it around corner yet? I could use that in my Aikido. Aikido hasn't evolved it has variations. That is my point. :)

Thanks,Buck. There is a lot packed in there that is thought provoking. I understand one of your points to be that Aikido, as an abstract constuct, no more evolves than, say, a circle or light. I can agree with that at one level, and its an interesting way of looking at the question.

You also talk about people mistaking variation in their practices for a more fundamental level of change (if I can avoid the e-word). To me that's a bit of a different question; but I see your point and think you're probably right.

One of the threads running through this thread is the relationship between Aikido as a martial art and violence -- which your post echos too, in places. Your description of an evolutionary result as being able to defeat an enemy quickly and more peacefully describes pretty accurately what I think most Aikidoists would identify as one of its principle differences from its antecedant arts, as well as its problematic objective as a gendai art form.

Regards and thanks.

DH

GeneC
12-08-2008, 03:16 PM
I ......I think personally we as humans tend to over think our practice and form attachments and labels where they are not important and end up wasting alot of time doing stuff for the wrong reasons, or confusing ourselves as to what is really going on.

Then to me to eliminate that would be Aikido evolving.

Also, I think I'm hearing either a contradiction or a paradox. I'm hearing about Aikido's benchmark being peace, but then, at the same time, I'm hearing that there is violence in Aikido and it is necessary. Also, that means for Aikido to evolve would be to make it totally wothless as a martial art and just become a dance.
We had a saying in the Marine Corp that says "Peace thru superior firepower" and "Fighting for peace is like f%^&ing for virginity". My wife says competition in Aikido is like having competition in yoga.

I still think that Aikido evolving has nothing to do with Natural evolution, which takes thousands and millions of years and requires a adaptation at the basic DNA level and technology/arts evolving which happens in months and years and merely requires someone to have a better idea to improve on it.

jennifer paige smith
12-08-2008, 05:19 PM
Clarence wrote:

Is it evolvement, revolution, or simply a paradiqm shift?

more aptly put, a rennaissance, or a re-discovery of what was once known, but forgotten over the years.

The UFC and emergence of MMA is probably the most recent example of a paradiqm shift.

This is what I said above in this statement "For my part, I don't go to prove myself in the dojo in any particular way other than bringing my entire self there year after year..etc..and rediscovering, in new terms, that which is always there." to quote me:)

I'm not sure I'd agree that MMA or UFC are a paradigm shift in particular. But it is an example, to my eye, of a re-emergence of someting which is already there... which is a gladiator variety of fighting/contest which can be also found in other sports: football, for example. I'd be interested to hear how you feel it is a paradigm shift. Or perhaps what it is a paradigm shift from.

Kevin Leavitt
12-08-2008, 05:19 PM
semantics, but I would not say there is violence in aikido as much as what we practice recognizes and is concerned with violence. To me for violence to be actually present requires actual acts of harm to be present.

To me competition can occur on many levels and it is in aikido and Yoga even! Who hasn't been in a yoga class and you look around to see how well your warrior pose is to someone elses! That is competition!

I do think aikido is meant to be a paradox in this respect.

I also don't believe that it evolves as an art. People grow and transform, but aikido is what it is, the collective and individual experiences of folks in a room that practice together for a limited time.

How evolved, skillfull, or effective that interaction is depends on many things and will very from dojo to dojo, night to night, and person to person.

Competitive models that have rules and measures to test yourself against are okay I think. Nothing wrong with them if they are done in the right spirit for the right reasons.

jennifer paige smith
12-08-2008, 07:48 PM
semantics, but I would not say there is violence in aikido as much as what we practice recognizes and is concerned with violence. To me for violence to be actually present requires actual acts of harm to be present.

To me competition can occur on many levels and it is in aikido and Yoga even! Who hasn't been in a yoga class and you look around to see how well your warrior pose is to someone elses! That is competition!

I do think aikido is meant to be a paradox in this respect.

I also don't believe that it evolves as an art. People grow and transform, but aikido is what it is, the collective and individual experiences of folks in a room that practice together for a limited time.

How evolved, skillfull, or effective that interaction is depends on many things and will very from dojo to dojo, night to night, and person to person.

Competitive models that have rules and measures to test yourself against are okay I think. Nothing wrong with them if they are done in the right spirit for the right reasons.

Is that your answer to my question?

Kevin Leavitt
12-08-2008, 11:02 PM
This is what I said above in this statement "For my part, I don't go to prove myself in the dojo in any particular way other than bringing my entire self there year after year..etc..and rediscovering, in new terms, that which is always there." to quote me:)

I'm not sure I'd agree that MMA or UFC are a paradigm shift in particular. But it is an example, to my eye, of a re-emergence of someting which is already there... which is a gladiator variety of fighting/contest which can be also found in other sports: football, for example. I'd be interested to hear how you feel it is a paradigm shift. Or perhaps what it is a paradigm shift from.

I think you might be able to call it a re-emergence if you wanted to. I do think it was a big paradigm shift for many. It was for me! Not at first, I continued to ignore what I saw for many years until I had to face it and found out that I was not as proficient as I thought I was!

Anyway, I think it was a paradigm shift for many because mainstream martial arts in 1993 did not train the way the MMA movement does today. Again, it is not the end all, be all of everything, and certainly many don't have a need nor want to train that way.

However, it did bring in new ways of looking and judging martial effectiveness to the mainstream martial arts community.

New? Hardly. Bruce Lee certainly had come up with the concept before.

Sort of like Columbus discovering America. He really didn't discover anything as folks were already here! But it wasn't until he sailed that the western world took notice and formed a paradigm shift that focused on the new world. Therefore, he gets credit for it right or wrong!

It may not have been a paradigm shift for you personally as you may have either already understood these things, or you are not concerned with them.

However, for many (alot of folks) it was.

Kevin Leavitt
12-08-2008, 11:03 PM
Is that your answer to my question?

lol, no, we posted our messages at the same time so I didn't see it until right now!

RonRagusa
12-09-2008, 07:08 AM
I do think aikido is meant to be a paradox ... (Taken out of context on purpose)

Ueshiba's intent? Perhaps it's why Aikido is so rich in form and interpretation. Emphasizing both sides of the Aikido coin (the ability to render great harm to an adversary vs all the peace love dove harmony stuff) Ueshiba pretty much guaranteed that Aikido would continue to evolve after his death. Does anyone think that he didn't forsee that his art would morph according to the interpretations of his deshi once he was no longer around?

Intended or not, deep insight Kevin.

Ron

C. David Henderson
12-09-2008, 10:53 AM
It would make for a nice koan.

DH

GeneC
12-09-2008, 01:19 PM
semantics, but I would not say there is violence in aikido as much as what we practice recognizes and is concerned with violence. To me for violence to be actually present requires actual acts of harm to be present.

Semantics? I'd like to to know what the two meanings of violence are.

I'd also like to know who thinks Aikido is NOT violent? Most all of Aikido IS violent (only the strikes/kicks/rips/tears, etc are removed, but I'd bet a bundle that the vast majority who actually had to use it on the street will add it back in), it is only up to the individual to not inflict damage. Most moves are intented to be executed with 'great ki', still manifesting as 'great force'. IMO, Aikido's basic intent is to show compassion and mercy at a time when one could easily maim or kill them (which of course, could be extended to spending one's days walking in fields of wild flowers and sitting on mountain tops exuding peace thru all the world), which is quite different than to claim it's non-violent, so I think it's more of a misnomer than semantic.

To me competition can occur on many levels and it is in aikido and Yoga even! Who hasn't been in a yoga class and you look around to see how well your warrior pose is to someone elses! That is competition!

I do think aikido is meant to be a paradox in this respect .

Looking to see if you're doing a technique properly is one thing, looking to see if you're doing it better is an unhealthy issue that might need therapy and medication. Clearly competition in this context means an organized event with judges and officials and rankings and sponsors, etc.

Again, no paradox here,imo.

Joe McParland
12-09-2008, 02:06 PM
Semantics? I'd like to to know what the two meanings of violence are. I'd also like to know who thinks Aikido is NOT violent?

I assert that aikido is not violent.

"Violent" is how an observer may judge an encounter. The practitioner, however, is supposed to operate in the moment, in a state free from the dualistic notions, such as violent / non-violent, good / evil, etc. / un-etc.

It's the gazillion repetitions in a just-so manner that help to ensure that the other party in your encounter does not always end up dead out of your own habit.

That may be a bit esoteric, but it is what it is.

jennifer paige smith
12-09-2008, 04:29 PM
lol, no, we posted our messages at the same time so I didn't see it until right now!

LOL funny co-inky-dink.:D

jennifer paige smith
12-09-2008, 04:37 PM
I think you might be able to call it a re-emergence if you wanted to. I do think it was a big paradigm shift for many. It was for me! Not at first, I continued to ignore what I saw for many years until I had to face it and found out that I was not as proficient as I thought I was!

Anyway, I think it was a paradigm shift for many because mainstream martial arts in 1993 did not train the way the MMA movement does today. Again, it is not the end all, be all of everything, and certainly many don't have a need nor want to train that way.

However, it did bring in new ways of looking and judging martial effectiveness to the mainstream martial arts community.

New? Hardly. Bruce Lee certainly had come up with the concept before.

Sort of like Columbus discovering America. He really didn't discover anything as folks were already here! But it wasn't until he sailed that the western world took notice and formed a paradigm shift that focused on the new world. Therefore, he gets credit for it right or wrong!

It may not have been a paradigm shift for you personally as you may have either already understood these things, or you are not concerned with them.

However, for many (alot of folks) it was.

hmmm, interesting to hear about that from your perspective.
in 1993 I was just getting my gi on, as it were. I'd just been training in Aikido for a coupla years then. I never considered the sport element of MA at that point. TBH, I don't think too much about it now, either. At that time, 1993, I was coming out of my teens and I was more focused on the street and considered MA's only in those terms; that is the street and health benefits.
To my surprise and delight it became a much deeper practice spiritually, I 'spose you could say. I really think of things 'spiritual' as 'of the heart'. So my training, paradoxically, became one of more proficient protection as well as 'of the heart'. In this way, for me, it is a reality practice and I still don't relate to it in sports terms. But even that is changing because the language of my profession as a PE teacher of MA in public schools.
thanks.

GeneC
12-09-2008, 07:31 PM
I keep hearing the word paradigm, meaning- a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated ; broadly : a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind.

I think this might be a misnomer as well. All thru history folks believed certain things, until other folks proved that to be wrong. The earth being flat being one example, thinking the Universe revolved around the Earth is another, to everything from gravity to electricity, to bloodletting, to hygiene preventing disease, etc None of that caused folks to shift a preset set of theories, etc from this to that, it completely changed all thought and understanding. Imo, MMA was an evolution ( by definition, adaptation to survive) of a hybrid MA that is superior in a 'no holds barred' situation.

Voitokas
12-09-2008, 09:36 PM
I think, GeneC, that Kevin and Jennifer were using 'paradigm' as meaning a framework of thought, as the word was popularised by Thomas Kuhn in his 'The Structure of Scientific Revolutions'. A good specific example would be the shift in thinking from the theory that heat was made of an invisible fluid that could occupy certain types of materials to the theory of heat being energy. Both ways of thinking about heat are useful, and I could describe how the physical world works using the language of 'caloric fluid' maybe even more easily than I could describe it in the language of free energy distributed through a system of molecules. The two ways of talking (and thinking) about heat represent different paradigms, and inquiry conducted under different paradigms can lead to different questions being asked and different interpretations of the answers.

So in Kevin's last post, the paradigm shift is in the mind of the beholder...;)

Kevin Leavitt
12-09-2008, 10:14 PM
yes, that is what I meant Jeremy.

Jennifer, I too had the exact same experiences with martial arts for the most part.

I can distinctly remember watching UFC 1 in disbelief as Royce Gracie systematically beat all his opponents. My Karate buddies and I came up with every reason why we had problems with it. It was not until 10 years later that I finally made the shift in my perspective of things and what it meant.

It was a long time to experience dissonance for myself.

No problems or issues with your experiences, as mine certainly do not invalidate yours....they simply mine.

There are certainly many ways to grow and experience life and martial arts as well.

I think this is what makes having a discussion about an concept evolving such as aikido. It can be such a wide range of experiences for so many.

I think revolutions, trends, paradigm shifts, evolutions are hard to identify while you are in them. I think they are measured with the perspective of history or passed time.

They also tend to be categorical and general in nature. So in this respect on a interpersonal level it can be vastly different for every person.

Buck
12-10-2008, 07:04 AM
Physics is absolute, but yes, biological evolution aside, technology has evolved, electronics have evolved, computers have evolved, communication has evolved, music has evolved, medicine has evolved and martial arts has evolved. IMO, Aikido has evolved from where a Sensei hand selects his students and lives with them and they serve him, etc. to where practically anybody can 'hang out a shingle' and teach their own 'style' of Aikido, but that's not Aikido evolving, is it? That's Aikido moving on a lateral plane, right? Imo, noone has evolved martial arts like Bruce Lee, by stripping away all the unnecessary movements and incorporating the most useful, creating a hybrid martial art, not needing improvement. Has anyone done that for Aikido?

I keep hearing the word paradigm, meaning- a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated ; broadly : a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind.

I think this might be a misnomer as well. All thru history folks believed certain things, until other folks proved that to be wrong. The earth being flat being one example, thinking the Universe revolved around the Earth is another, to everything from gravity to electricity, to bloodletting, to hygiene preventing disease, etc None of that caused folks to shift a preset set of theories, etc from this to that, it completely changed all thought and understanding. Imo, MMA was an evolution ( by definition, adaptation to survive) of a hybrid MA that is superior in a 'no holds barred' situation.

Ok, take what you said in the 2nd paragraph that is what I am saying as a whole about Evolution, i.e. "everything from gravity to electricity, to bloodletting, to hygiene preventing disease, etc." Evolution is becoming a catch-all term.

Bruce Lee had a philosophy that was rejecting the rigid and focusing on flexibly and, fitting, adapting, to the situation at hand. I don't see this as Evolution, but rather innovation and divergance from the popular accepted philosophy. Thus, a variation of fighting- nothing new.

Voitokas
12-10-2008, 08:25 AM
Ok, take what you said in the 2nd paragraph that is what I am saying as a whole about Evolution, i.e. "everything from gravity to electricity, to bloodletting, to hygiene preventing disease, etc." Evolution is becoming a catch-all term.

Bruce Lee had a philosophy that was rejecting the rigid and focusing on flexibly and, fitting, adapting, to the situation at hand. I don't see this as Evolution, but rather innovation and divergance from the popular accepted philosophy. Thus, a variation of fighting- nothing new.What I think that GeneC was implying (correct me if I'm wrong GeneC) was that Bruce Lee changed MA, and that that change made his system one that survived and flourished and become an ancestor to today's MMA. So that is evolution. A change that results in a different level of fitness in the world. The change doesn't have to be in response to the environment (that would be Lamarckian); nor do temporally progressive changes have to go in the same direction (a longer beak might make available a cushier niche in the food chain, but too long a beak might see that bird species hungry again); nor, strictly speaking, does it have to be genetic (e.g. environmental bottlenecks, population genetics, migration, etc.).

So if a person's style of aikido was passed on to other generations (and that's how it works, right? Some aikido shidoin now are students of students of students of O-sensei. And it probably starts before you even hang out a shingle - I know that my aikido is informed by the people I work with in class and at seminars), then aikido can be said to be evolving.

C. David Henderson
12-10-2008, 09:07 AM
Look for a second though at the two competing analogies that are being (usefully) used in the discussion. Evolution and paradigm shift connote fairly distinct processes. Both probably are helpful in describing aspects of change in the martial arts.

MMA could be, for example, described in terms of a paradigm shift or evolution of training, tactics, and strategy in the martial arts. I would understand pretty much the topic which ever word you decided fit.

The discussion on the substance of the question -- where are we going -- seems to be doing just fine.

We have some people who see the evolution of (or "next-big-thing" in) Aikido as incorporating elements from MMA training (candidates include resistance training, sparring, and ground work).

Others see "it" in terms of the late lamented debate over Aiki.

The Utne Reader, in 2000, listed Aikido as one of the 100 most-groovy ideas of the 20th Century (okay they used a different word, same idea). What attracted people who presumably were mostly outsiders to martial arts was the aspect of Aikido of most interest to those who see focus on the martial art as a container for a more spiritual, transformative practice.

Let me throw in another mere analogy -- speciation. wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciation.

People whose training goals and philosophy about the martial arts likely tend to group more together than with people whose goals and philosophy are far different from their own.

Will self-selection result in a splitting of lineages? (See you know what I meant.)

Time will tell, I suppose.

DH

jennifer paige smith
12-10-2008, 10:04 AM
No problems or issues with your experiences, as mine certainly do not invalidate yours....they simply mine.

that's nice. As you can imagine, I've encounter many folks in life who have different experiences in life and training, and yet my 1st hand experiences remain valid to me. I've discovered that my MA training has allowed me to maintain my center at such times. And MA has allowed me the strength to hear others ideas without having a feeling of 'threat'.

There are certainly many ways to grow and experience life and martial arts as well.
Feels good to be in good company on this point.:)

I think this is what makes having a discussion about an concept evolving such as aikido. It can be such a wide range of experiences for so many.

Thats what makes it interesting. If there was only one human answer and we all already had it we wouldn't be here problem solving and sharing together. At least, I wouldn't be. I'd be chewing on a turkey leg in my castle, drinking grog and generally knowing it all. Come to think of i, I must have the answer then..hahahahahah

I think revolutions, trends, paradigm shifts, evolutions are hard to identify while you are in them. I think they are measured with the perspective of history or passed time.
Time will tell. But we'll be dead and some of the new crop of thinkers will be starting over with no reference to work already done just as some here are doing. What some describe as evolution is one step forward and two steps back. But that's part of the dance. I'm into enjoying the ride.

They also tend to be categorical and general in nature. So in this respect on a interpersonal level it can be vastly different for every person.
Indeed, they do. But I look for pieces of conversation that are not. Keeps it all moving.....

Thanks for the thoughts.

jennifer paige smith
12-10-2008, 10:17 AM
And it probably starts before you even hang out a shingle - I know that my aikido is informed by the people I work with in class and at seminars), then aikido can be said to be evolving.

Stands to reason. If you believe in evolution as a law of earth, then all things on earth are subject to evolution.

About the shingle, I have my own shingle out, yet I have no assertion that I know more than I did when i was simply training and not a dojo-cho. The configuration of my place in the dojo is different but my influences and training are still in the same stream. Although having my own dojo(s) has freed me to explore more territory and thereby subject myself and my students to more info, methods etc....for better or for worse; like all good marriages.

Buck
12-10-2008, 05:29 PM
Will self-selection result in a splitting of lineages? (See you know what I meant.)

Time will tell, I suppose.

DH

David,

Ya' beat to da' punch, in the selection- self selection of Aikidoka. :)

Here is the spur.

What ever terms or theories we give to this action, this movement, called Aikido it has already created different schools of Aikido- both in thought and technique. That is a fact, and some people see that as evolution. I don't and here is why.

Yea, in terms of selection, we could make it fit, but is it the best fit or our we trying very hard to squeeze into clothes a size or two smaller to make us look trimmer. Is it evolution or something else.

The current different schools of Aikido are in my mind a result of a abandonment in part or whole from O'Sensei's original thoughts to do the samurai fame thing. Basically, that age old desire for fame and recognition that plays a huge part in Budo. No one could top O'Senesi so the idea then is to find another venue. And that would be to start your own school. Which entails, like the samurai (use as a catch all term) way of old, territory etc. I choose the latter base on history repeating it's self, and you can take the Japanese out of Japan, but you can't take the Japan out of the Japanese. So the other the schools are basically saying my way of Aikido is better (improved, etc.) then the original. Hang with me here. Don't get upset yet. It is the origin that I feel is important and will explain- kind of- why later, basically what is better to explain Aikido in terms of science than evolution.

The original theory of Evolution includes natural selection. I briefly touch on in some number of posts ago that in Aikido natural selection doesn't apply. If anything would apply under this umbrella would be artificial selection. Really, neither fit because of the whole heritability traits thing. I am not going into to more than that to save ware the eyeballs, I am only going to say is how many Aikidoka couples you know that have kids that do Aikido who marry an Aikidoka who then have kids that breed to the less common unfavorable heritable traits of Aikido. That is evolution in it truest form....right.

We would like to think Aikido evolves, it gives Aikido a status, an a superiority- playing one up keeping up with the Jones' with the Karate guy next door or another Aikido school etc. Aikido though is really a matter of sophistication, and not evolution. People evolve, and Aikido becomes more sophisticated. As a person evolves (synom. with better, improvement, developing etc.) the Aikidoka's abilities become more sophisticated, and hopefully the understanding of Aikido as well.

Aikido is highly sophisticated, it can be seen as a technology in its self. Something I think most Aikidoka see it as. And maybe that is what sets it apart, and not that Aikido can't or can evolve. I remember reading a little book prior to doing Aikido, which got me interested in Aikido. The book if I remember, cause it was many moons about, it discussed Aikido in terms of things like vector fields, and behavior psychology. I think it was a Ph.D. thesis published as a book. Hell, it was way over my head. But, what I could understand at the time was beyond the common martial arts books dealt with strictly hand-to-hand applications. This book dealt with explaining Aikido waza as a high science technology that I thought was revolutionary. The book I read was beyond that great little Judo book explains Judo in terms of physics. It was Aikido waza as its own field of science. There is that much material to research and explore with in Aikido.

In this light, looking at Aikido in terms of evolution pales if it fits. Aikido as a universal unit whether debated the existence of, or the degree of violence - that whole thing -doesn't matter if you look at Aikido as as its own science and technology. Heck for example, drop evolution and replace evolution with the String theory. How fascinating and expanding is that, how much more powerful is that! Wow, I all pumped up like Gov. Arnie to go and train.

Isn't that where the real discussion exists concerning the formatting of Aikido, not in the external i.e. as explained by evolution, but the internal (origins) as explained by the String theory. Doesn't that give us a better idea where Aikido should go and is developing. :)

GeneC
12-10-2008, 07:24 PM
Ok, take what you said in the 2nd paragraph that is what I am saying as a whole about Evolution, i.e. "everything from gravity to electricity, to bloodletting, to hygiene preventing disease, etc." Evolution is becoming a catch-all term.

Bruce Lee had a philosophy that was rejecting the rigid and focusing on flexibly and, fitting, adapting, to the situation at hand. I don't see this as Evolution, but rather innovation and divergance from the popular accepted philosophy. Thus, a variation of fighting- nothing new.

My 2nd paragraph is defining the word 'paradigm' ,which I find to be a catch-all term, used here to explain the evolution of MA and AIkido in particular, which I'm trying to say is a misnomer. .My point is that instead of a paradigm shift, old 'truths' were being proved wrong and real truths proven, forcing folks to completely
rethink the world around them, not just shift. Columbus was used to describe paradigm shift. The fact is that folks thought the Earth was flat and that Columbus would surely just sail right off. He sailed around and thought he landed in the West Indies! He was wrong about that, but DID prove that the Earth was round. Folks thought lightening was fire, 'til Ben Franklin proved it was electricity, etc.

Evolution is absolute, but even here, I think folks are confusing the biological aspect of evolution verses the "Industrial Revolution" evolution. I'm talking about the evolution of technology.

This is the evolution that we should be talking about, as that's the kind that MA applies to. Remember I said evolution is absolute in that the definition is the same- adapting to an improvement to survive. That's it. Adapting/improving to survive.

So, for Aikido, imo, the question is, what does Aikido have to do to adapt/improve to survive? The obvious answer is to go mainstream, but does folks want Aikido to do that? I can't say and I don't know if the "extension" program is right or not (seems to me third world countries need more food and medicine and leadership, not more Aikido), but I do feel that this America and there should be an American Aikido, separate from Japanese Aikido, run to appeal to Americans. Imo, the Japanese don't have the monopoly on good manners, repect and integrity.

Btw, Bruce Lee did alot more than reject the rigid and accept the flexible, by doing away with the old formalities and ceremony, but still commanded respect He studied every MA known to man at the time and found what worked on the street,in combat, and what didn't and rejected that that didn't. So, by definition his JKD was an evolvement, since he constantly proved over and over his MA was superior ( he used to go to tournaments and fight the winner of the tournament and beat them time and again) and his concepts led to the UFC and MMA, up and coming as one of the most popular sports in the world.

Btw a good example of a pardigm shift is this America moving from a Democratic Republic to Socialism/nationalism.

Buck
12-10-2008, 08:04 PM
So, for Aikido, imo, the question is, what does Aikido have to do to adapt/improve to survive? The obvious answer is to go mainstream, but does folks want Aikido to do that? I can't say and I don't know if the "extension" program is right or not (seems to me third world countries need more food and medicine and leadership, not more Aikido), but I do feel that this America and there should be an American Aikido, separate from Japanese Aikido, run to appeal to Americans. Imo, the Japanese don't have the monopoly on good manners, repect and integrity.



Answer to your question is don't change Aikido, keep it original-refer to the String theory. What was the appeal of Aikido in the first place, original Aikido? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. :)

Buck
12-10-2008, 08:08 PM
Why does one think Aikido is in the need of anything. There was this line in this Japanese samurai movie, I am sure it some common Japanese adage. It goes something like, a single arrow is easily broken, but together (as a bundle) they are very difficult to brake. Maybe Aikido shouldn't be thought of in terms of evolution. There is no need for salvation, well survival.

GeneC
12-10-2008, 10:35 PM
Ahhh, but it's the very nature of the Universe....everything is always changing. Nothing manmade is perfect and always has room for improvement. How many folks' dojo is bursting at the seams and have a waiting list? Why aren't Aikidoka winning the UFC? You know it only takes 3 generations to completely eliminate just about anything. Is Aikido losing ground with each generation? Everyone knows in order for something to survive, you have to get more of the next generation involved. Yes, maybe Aikido is gonna have to change to survive, or else go back into the shadows and become a forgotten art.

Buck
12-10-2008, 11:24 PM
What makes you think Aikido is in a place where it needs to survive. Everything in the universe exists in state of being more or being less at different points in time. There is your change. I could name the all the theory that could explain that better. It would be overkill.

Aikido will not die. And we assume the change you speak will have a positive outcome. But, that change you talk about could kill Aikido. And Aikido doesn't change, people do. That is the point of Aikido as I understand it, is for the individual to change. To evolve?

You must have over looked by earlier thread about Aikido as a string per the String theory. I think this applies much better to Aikido. That is the rub, what causes us conflict in a sense in this discussion is how we see Aikido, and not Aikido. I think I bring up a model for Aikido then evolution. The String theory is much more vibrant and alive, Aikido is a combination of physics stuff, not flesh n' bone stuff. That is stuff is us. I was saying Aikido is very sophisticated that it seems proper to assign it to an equally sophisticate theory that involves physics and not flesh n' bone stuff.

Am I trying to persuade people’s thinking? Yes, I am. From the idea of evolution being a poor fit where Aikido is concerned, and move to a high thinking, an evolved ;) thinking that applies to Aikido, I feel, so much better. Lets get out of the Primordial Soup where other things are at. Aikido is more about say, the Big Bang, then how to knock heads. :)

Tony Wagstaffe
12-11-2008, 05:42 AM
Ahhh, but it's the very nature of the Universe....everything is always changing. Nothing manmade is perfect and always has room for improvement. How many folks' dojo is bursting at the seams and have a waiting list? Why aren't Aikidoka winning the UFC? You know it only takes 3 generations to completely eliminate just about anything. Is Aikido losing ground with each generation? Everyone knows in order for something to survive, you have to get more of the next generation involved. Yes, maybe Aikido is gonna have to change to survive, or else go back into the shadows and become a forgotten art.

I have to agree with what Clarence is saying here...... I have noticed quite a decline in younger people wanting to take up aikido as a "defensive art" and now quite often get people inquiring about tai chi and is it similar to aikido? Generally speaking youngsters interested in "Self Defence" don't look upon aikido as a "real" self defence art and quite often quote and say that it looks ridiculous when you see it on youtube!!
The only enquiries I get these days is where can they find the nearest kickboxing club or do I do B.J.J. ? Or do you do M.A.A.?
When I ask would they like to give aikido a try?...... they now say is that the Steven Seagal stuff? When I answer that it is but not quite the same but you can enter tornaments to test yourself, the answer is "Do you punch and kick?" When I answer.... no we don't for competition, but we will and can teach you defences for those scenarios.... "How long will that take?" When you say about a year .... They are not interested!!
So I am sorry to say that I think aikido will get pushed to the side as something like the mock combat martial society's like the historic battle societies you find in the UK.
Judo which is a minority sport in the UK is still enjoying good membership.
Look at most aikdo dojo and you will find they are very small in numbers coming in compared to kickboxing and what have you clubs and sadly the many mcdojo's that you get around.....
I have now closed my dojo after 28 years of practice as I can no longer afford the financial loss associated with aikido...... Sadly this is not down to the the many keen students that I had and still have.
They are now in the process of trying to find a venue affordable so that we may be able to start up again and hope to invite anybody really interested in coming along to practice......
But I won't be running it!!! Thank God!....
I now intend giving my long suffering wife (who was an aikidoka for 15 years!) some well deserved holidays that we have had to sacrifice in the past for the sake of aikido......
Amen!!
I'll miss aikido but I won't miss being poor because of it!!

(Not unless somebody wants to set me up with a dojo)

Tony

Joe McParland
12-11-2008, 07:29 AM
Plastic flowers did not kill Ikebana.
The ballpoint pen did not kill Shodo.
Lipton did not kill Chado.
The AK-47 did not kill Iaido.
UFC will not kill Aikido.

Tony Wagstaffe
12-11-2008, 09:40 AM
Plastic flowers did not kill Ikebana.
The ballpoint pen did not kill Shodo.
Lipton did not kill Chado.
The AK-47 did not kill Iaido.
UFC will not kill Aikido.

No but "plastic" (for want of a better word) aikido will be more relegated to an obscurity only practised by eccentrics, spiritual types and those that can afford it........ and they will still be saying it is the "ultimate art"...... Well I suppose it is for those that need it to be that way....... different strokes.....

I can't really see it as being in the same category as UFC or MMA or whatever, as those in the "higher" echelons won't allow it to happen........

Shodokan aikido seems to be making some headway now on the international scene, but it has taken an awful long time and may become a "sister" sport to judo.....
It may be that eventually Shodokan might become an olympic combat sport when it can sort out its priorities and will most likely follow the same path as judo with all its ups and downs.......

Who knows for sure? Evolution in a way........?

Be interesting to see.......

Tony

GeneC
12-11-2008, 10:07 AM
Folks, let me say this, I've come home to Aikido. I love it and will study it for the rest of my life. I'm not saying UFC will replace Aikido, per se. I'm saying that already Judo is an Olympic event and UFC is infinitely more popular than Aikido. I'm just saying that unless Aikido evolves, it will become extinct. I suggest that in order for Aikido to survive, it needs to become more mainstream and by that I mean more appealing to more people. How? How about Aikido being the big umbrella, under which Traditional Japanese Aikido lives; ALL the different schools live; Sports Aikido lives; Aikido the Olympic sport lives; Aikido for kids; Aikido for seniors; and yes Aikido/BJJ and Aikido/Judo and Aikido/Tai Chi. Along with a great marketing campaign and Steven Seagal as a spokesperson (until hopefully another Aikido movie star comes up).

This is what I see as Aikido evolving.

Btw ,here's a Sensei acknowledging Aikido evolving

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC_Uctj1CyE

Tony Wagstaffe
12-11-2008, 10:22 AM
Folks, let me say this, I've come home to Aikido. I love it and will study it for the rest of my life. I'm not saying UFC will replace Aikido, per se. I'm saying that already Judo is an Olympic event and UFC is infinitely more popular than Aikido. I'm just saying that unless Aikido evolves, it will become extinct. I suggest that in order for Aikido to survive, it needs to become more mainstream and by that I mean more appealing to more people. How? How about Aikido being the big umbrella, under which Traditional Japanese Aikido lives; ALL the different schools live; Sports Aikido lives; Aikido the Olympic sport lives; Aikido for kids; Aikido for seniors; and yes Aikido/BJJ and Aikido/Judo and Aikido/Tai Chi. Along with a great marketing campaign and Steven Seagal as a spokesperson (until hopefully another Aikido movie star comes up).

This is what I see as Aikido evolving.

Btw ,here's a Sensei acknowledging Aikido evolving

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC_Uctj1CyE

Now wouldn't that be lovely jubbly!!!!!!!

Maybe we can live in hope....

Tony :) ;) :cool:

raul rodrigo
12-11-2008, 10:37 AM
I suggest that in order for Aikido to survive, it needs to become more mainstream and by that I mean more appealing to more people. How? How about Aikido being the big umbrella, under which Traditional Japanese Aikido lives; ALL the different schools live; Sports Aikido lives; Aikido the Olympic sport lives; Aikido for kids; Aikido for seniors; and yes Aikido/BJJ and Aikido/Judo and Aikido/Tai Chi. Along with a great marketing campaign and Steven Seagal as a spokesperson (until hopefully another Aikido movie star comes up).

This is what I see as Aikido evolving.

Btw ,here's a Sensei acknowledging Aikido evolving

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC_Uctj1CyE

I'd like to see you convince this particular shihan, TK Chiba, that you and he are using "aikido evolution" in the exact same sense. He is as traditionalist as they come when it comes to his thinking about aikido as budo. The last thing aikido needs is to change its approach because of marketing concerns. If you use a quotation to support your argument, please try to take it in its original context. Many of the more conservative students of Osensei would tell you that contemporary aikido as espoused by Hombu dojo is already too "watered down," too far removed from the "true" art that they studied five or six decades ago. I think it would upset them all the more if you start brandishing Seagal as the way to go. I am not saying they are necessarily right--only that you shouldn't use a Chiba quotation to support a very un-Chiba position.

Joe McParland
12-11-2008, 11:21 AM
I'm just saying that unless Aikido evolves, it will become extinct. I suggest that in order for Aikido to survive, it needs to become more mainstream and by that I mean more appealing to more people.

We have to build McAikido to compete with TaeKwonDo King; that way, no one will accidentally discover the -do part of either art! :rolleyes:

In the garden, people seem to find it worthwhile to pluck the superior weeds just to cultivate one challenging flower in their place. This is an aspect of the evolution of man, too. What do you suppose it means?

Richard Sanchez
12-11-2008, 11:37 AM
I guess it would be reasonable to ask that as Aikido is said to have “evolved” from Daito Ryu aren’t we simply talking about the continuing evolution of the original art as taught to Ueshiba by Takeda? Or, as some have claimed in other threads, in relation to internal skills, the devolution?

C. David Henderson
12-11-2008, 04:14 PM
I'd like to see you convince this particular shihan, TK Chiba, that you and he are using "aikido evolution" in the exact same sense. He is as traditionalist as they come when it comes to his thinking about aikido as budo.

Gotta say, good point.

DH

GeneC
12-11-2008, 07:47 PM
I'd like to see you convince this particular shihan, TK Chiba, that you and he are using "aikido evolution" in the exact same sense. He is as traditionalist as they come when it comes to his thinking about aikido as budo. The last thing aikido needs is to change its approach because of marketing concerns.

But I am using the word 'evolution' in the same sense. He's saying that Osensei improved the Shiho Nage because the flaw in his Shiho Nage caused him to be thrown by a Judoka. That IS exactly the same evolution that I'm talking about- from every little nuance to the overall entity of Aikido, top to bottom, inside out.

.... Many of the more conservative students of Osensei would tell you that contemporary aikido as espoused by Hombu dojo is already too "watered down," too far removed from the "true" art that they studied five or six decades ago. I think it would upset them all the more if you start brandishing Seagal as the way to go. I am not saying they are necessarily right--only that you shouldn't use a Chiba quotation to support a very un-Chiba position.

Well I'm sorry that you misunderstand me. There's folks here that deny any evolution connected to Aikido. I was just pointing out I'm not the only one who sees it. I don't know Chiba Sensei, but I'd bet we'd have a very interesting conversation and you might be surprised at the outcome. He may be totally in favor of it.

Afa the older generation, well, quite frankly there's new generations taking over the reins and that attitude might change. (just look that this Country- In 3 generations this Country's went from respectful God fearing folks of integrity who loved their Country and worked hard for honest day's work to a whole generation of Socalists wanting Govt handouts).

The thing is, the Japanese don't own Aikido anymore and I don't think Osensei intended for them to, since he brought Aikido to the world himself. I advocate an American Aikido, soley owned and operated by Americans, for Americans. As diverse as we are, we'd have everything from Traditional Japanese Aikido (for the die hard traditionalists) to the latest hiphop dance fad and everything in between- sport(Shotokan) Aikido a an Olympic event, Aikido/Tai Chi, Aikido/judo , Aikido/Bjj, Aikdo/MMA,(I know that Karate is really popular because they offer after school care, something VERY popular, that Aikido could do) all with realy cool logos (check out Still Point Aikido's logos) and National marketing with multi-media commercials, but still under the Umbrella of OSensei's Aikido. South Amercia should have their own Aikido that's tailored to South Americans( which'd proabaly have BJJ in it). Europeans have their own, Scandinavian, Russian and so on, but all under the umbrella of Osensei's Aikido. If a few die hard headed old Elitists don't want that to happen, then the majority should move on without them and let them spend their last few days enjoying the shade of "The Umbrella".

GeneC
12-11-2008, 08:18 PM
We have to build McAikido to compete with TaeKwonDo King; that way, no one will accidentally discover the -do part of either art! :rolleyes:

If that's your perception, then my condolences. I''m not talking about a "fast food" anything, altho much can be gleaned by the efficiency of a Mickey D's franchise. Ultimately it will be up to the indivdual Dojo to provide the integrity and Budo. Btw, noone should be accidentally discovering 'do' , anyway, right?

In the garden, people seem to find it worthwhile to pluck the superior weeds just to cultivate one challenging flower in their place. This is an aspect of the evolution of man, too. What do you suppose it means?

Well. I don't know if it'd be appropriate to compare Natural evolution with the evolution of man, as man has free will to do damage and free will to do repair.

But anyway, sure, look at the Kudzu vine, it has evolved to be superior, which means it has adapted to overtake and destroy every plant it comes in contact with. I've seen it destroy whole stands of trees and rows of bushes. So it needs to be eradicated and be replaced with a more beneficial plant, like say an herb or vegetable or fruit.

raul rodrigo
12-11-2008, 09:03 PM
Improving your waza by taking into account counters, openings, and lessons from other arts is one thing. Many of the people on Aikiweb cross train and there is no need to convince us of that point. Reformatting the art to build up its commercial appeal, to counter the popularity of BJJ and MMA is something else. You're blurring the distinctions. Evolving as a budo is one thing. Evolving due to non-budo considerations is something else.

I wish you would have that discussion with Chiba shihan. I think you would find it very surprising.

Joe McParland
12-11-2008, 10:11 PM
But anyway, sure, look at the Kudzu vine, it has evolved to be superior, which means it has adapted to overtake and destroy every plant it comes in contact with. I've seen it destroy whole stands of trees and rows of bushes. So it needs to be eradicated and be replaced with a more beneficial plant, like say an herb or vegetable or fruit.

Why stop the kudzu from overtaking another species? Because, for whatever the reason, you personally value the tree / shrub / herb / vegetable / fruit, right?

That's the point.

Aikido does not have to become kudzu (kudzudo?) to survive. Why not? Because there are people who value it and will protect it and cultivate it even when it is surrounded by "superior" kudzu.

raul rodrigo
12-11-2008, 10:21 PM
In any event, Clarence, you are setting up a false dichotomy: either aikido becomes more mainstream, more "commercial," or it dies. I don't think those are the only choices. I think you would first have to establish that it is at all in danger of dying. The art has many more practitioners than it had 20 years ago--so many in fact, that maintaining quality is becoming a serious issue.

C. David Henderson
12-12-2008, 06:17 AM
FWIW I think it would be an enormous loss for Aikido to become unmoored from its cultural roots. That would be change, you might even make an argument it's "adaptation," but you'd have a very hard time convincing me it would be a good thing.

DH

GeneC
12-12-2008, 09:30 AM
Improving your waza by taking into account counters, openings, and lessons from other arts is one thing. Many of the people on Aikiweb cross train and there is no need to convince us of that point. Reformatting the art to build up its commercial appeal, to counter the popularity of BJJ and MMA is something else. You're blurring the distinctions. Evolving as a budo is one thing. Evolving due to non-budo considerations is something else.

I'm sorry, I believe you're missing my point. I'm not saying Aikido HAS to incorporate another Martial Art (although knowing human nature, I believe it naturally will). I exaggerated the scenario to make my point and that is the closed-mindeness of some folks, That's what will kill Aikido. IMO, Osensei's whole point is to open ourselves completely and take in and flow with the Universe. Budo has many levels.

I wish you would have that discussion with Chiba shihan. I think you would find it very surprising.
No problem, but if we dis-agree, I doubt I'd change his mind nor him me. Anyway, Osensei's grandson is alive today, I'd be more
interested in his thoughts.

jennifer paige smith
12-12-2008, 09:30 AM
But anyway, sure, look at the Kudzu vine, it has evolved to be superior, which means it has adapted to overtake and destroy every plant it comes in contact with. I've seen it destroy whole stands of trees and rows of bushes. So it needs to be eradicated and be replaced with a more beneficial plant, like say an herb or vegetable or fruit.

And how, exactly, is this different from the evolution of 'man'? Kudzu vine hasn't evolved to be superior. It has been taken from Japan and China, introduced by colonizing elements of man into environments it would never have taken root in, and is now endangering and killing all the other plants that aren't equipped to suppress it. So to remedy this 'evil plant' man comes and in further changes the environment to re-select more 'appropriate' plants than the one he originally introduced that then failed to be a part of a naturally balanced ecostructure...and so on and so on.... But worry not, man in this infinite wisdom, and the same mind that caused the problem in the first place, will be along to fix the problem any second...
If this paradigm belonged to plumbing I'd hire a new one before the weekend.

GeneC
12-12-2008, 09:37 AM
What I think that GeneC was implying (correct me if I'm wrong GeneC) was that Bruce Lee changed MA, and that that change made his system one that survived and flourished and become an ancestor to today's MMA. So that is evolution....
Absolutely correct.

So if a person's style of aikido was passed on to other generations (and that's how it works, right?). Some aikido shidoin now are students of students of students of O-sensei. And it probably starts before you even hang out a shingle - I know that my aikido is informed by the people I work with in class and at seminars), then aikido can be said to be evolving.

Now this is where you start to veer off,imo. Merely passing the art from one generation to the next is not evolution, improving the efficiency of the techniques/art is. Adapting by improving to survive is evolution.

jennifer paige smith
12-12-2008, 09:46 AM
Anyway, Osensei's grandson is alive today, I'd be more
interested in his thoughts.

Yet universal flow doesn't place human hierarchy at the top of its qualifications for expression. Many human societies also do not.

I'm not simply trying to bust your chops..In essence, I agree with much that you have said and, in my life, I'm acting as if it is so. However I observe that there is more to see in the references that are being used.

raul rodrigo
12-12-2008, 10:06 AM
I've only met Doshu (Moriteru Ueshiba) once or twice, but I think it is safe to say that he is quite conservative with regard to aikido both technically and organizationally. I don't think his or his father's management of the Aikikai can be safely described as a demonstration of your axiom that "Osensei's whole point is to open ourselves completely and take in and flow with the Universe." Even assuming for the sake of argument that this was O-sensei's point, I think you will find that the son and grandson are/were very different men from the founder. Of course, somone like Prof. Peter Goldsbury would be able to say much more in this regard.

Joe McParland
12-12-2008, 10:15 AM
I exaggerated the scenario to make my point and that is the closed-mindeness of some folks, That's what will kill Aikido. IMO, Osensei's whole point is to open ourselves completely and take in and flow with the Universe. Budo has many levels.


--> something goes awry here <---


No problem, but if we dis-agree, I doubt I'd change his mind nor him me. Anyway,

Whoops! :rolleyes:

"You must be open-minded" is actually a very closed-minded position. The belief, "It must change," is very inflexible.

jennifer paige smith
12-12-2008, 10:29 AM
--> something goes awry here <---

Whoops! :rolleyes:

"You must be open-minded" is actually a very closed-minded position. The belief, "It must change," is very inflexible.

Assertions or accusations are often a case of, "1 finger forward 3 fingers back ". (picture a fisted hand with a pointed finger). Like on Kevin Leavitt's signature where it says "watch for what people are cynical about...."That goes for all of us all the time. It's kind of a good self-martial art. I thought about introducing it as the next big thing in the Thumb War Circles. I hear they are stuck and afraid of losing their ancient art:p .

GeneC
12-12-2008, 10:38 AM
FWIW I think it would be an enormous loss for Aikido to become unmoored from its cultural roots. That would be change, you might even make an argument it's "adaptation," but you'd have a very hard time convincing me it would be a good thing. DH

Nothing says it has to become "unmoored". I took Tae Kwon Do ( and MMA) partly because they had after-school pick-up/care (having 3 kids). This was a matter of simple logistics and win-win situation. My kids were taken care of after school, until I got off work and then we could enjoy practicing a Martial art together. Believe me, there was no lack of "cultural mooring". Korean history and culture was shoved down our throats every day. I found it funny how every culture will profess that their culture and Martial Art is the original and best. The Koreans, the Philipinos, the Chinese and Japanese, etc. and they are homo-geneous.Oh yes, I lived in Japan for 2 yrs. They really believe that they are the original and pure race and everybody else are savages and mongrels.
My study of Asian history told me they took turns defeating and accupying each other over the last couple of thousand years and their cultures are so intertwined that noone knows for sure where Chinese ends and Japanese begins and Korean extends, etc.

Then a wonderful thing happened 232yrs ago. A new Nation was born- America. We have a rich history of libery and freedom and managed to become a Super Power and the greatest human experiment in the history of mankind. In thousands of years China nor Korea nor Japan was able to do what we did in a 150 yrs. We became the greatest Country in the World by attracting the greatest minds, who knew the value of liberty and freedom. We absorbed other cultures and ideas and technology and made them our own and made them greater and better than they ever were before anywhere else.

So, it it our legacy to take all Martial Arts, including Aikido and make it our own, and take it beyond where it is now and there are still plenty of traditional schools deeply moored and steeped in Oriental culture, that spend half their time bowing and worshiping and crawling around on the floor, but to me, that's wrong. I can't Seiza due to RA knees, but still, it shouldn' tbe mandatory. I'm all for respect, but I worship no-one except my personal Savior Jesus Christ. This is what I mean by adapting Aikido to Americans. I'm a Christian, why should I have to practice Shinto or Omoto or Muslim (or anything else) practices? I shouldn't.
IMO, Marital Arts shouldn't have mandatory religious observation/practice. That stuff should be observed at a different time than practice, by whomever wants to do it, but it shouldn't be mandatory. That's completely un-American. Actually there should be NO religious practices at martial practice (and that's to say respect is still present- folks can still ask for and give thanks for instruction, etc) . It's well known that Shinto and Omoto influenced Osensei to adapt Aikido to show compassion and mercy, instead of permanently maiming or killing your opponent, but that does NOT mean we have to practice Shinto or Omoto to affirm that, it still boils down to each and every person and encounter- training, practice and temper. Imo, I can be a Christian and still have Budo, but I don't expect to worship Christ ( or perform Communion, etc) before, during or after practice( and that's to say a moment of silence for Osensei and Christ is appropriate[Lord knows I whisper a prayer before being thrown]).

raul rodrigo
12-12-2008, 10:46 AM
So now the point that Clarence makes is not that Aikido will die if it doesn't become more mainstream. Rather, it is that in its current form, it is un-American and has to change. That it is America's legacy to make aikido change. Okay, I think that seems clearer to me. Not correct. But clearer.

Joe McParland
12-12-2008, 10:46 AM
Assertions or accusations are often a case of, "1 finger forward 3 fingers back ". (picture a fisted hand with a pointed finger). Like on Kevin Leavitt's signature where it says "watch for what people are cynical about...."That goes for all of us all the time.

You have been cynical with me about this point before, Jen ;)

Somewhere on the internet, Clarence says that aikido must be this way or it will die. Somewhere in each hombu dojo, there's probably someone saying that aikido must be that way or it will die. All the mats are getting dusty ;)

GeneC
12-12-2008, 10:52 AM
Yet universal flow doesn't place human hierarchy at the top of its qualifications for expression. Many human societies also do not.

I'm not simply trying to bust your chops..In essence, I agree with much that you have said and, in my life, I'm acting as if it is so. However I observe that there is more to see in the references that are being used.

References? Not sure what you mean. I simply personally believe that Doshu Ueshiba would be the most likely to have the info I seek. Nothing more.

GeneC
12-12-2008, 10:59 AM
I've only met Doshu (Moriteru Ueshiba) once or twice, but I think it is safe to say that he is quite conservative with regard to aikido both technically and organizationally. I don't think his or his father's management of the Aikikai can be safely described as a demonstration of your axiom that "Osensei's whole point is to open ourselves completely and take in and flow with the Universe." Even assuming for the sake of argument that this was O-sensei's point, I think you will find that the son and grandson are/were very different men from the founder. Of course, somone like Prof. Peter Goldsbury would be able to say much more in this regard.

While it's true that each and very person is carrying all their own personal baggage that's going to influence their decisions and comments, if Aikido is truly "enlightening", then folks should be able to "fight' thru that baggage (or at least ID and acknowledge it). Btw, it wasn't my idea to talk to anyone else, that was your idea. I personally take other folks' opinion with a grain of salt.

raul rodrigo
12-12-2008, 11:02 AM
I personally take other folks' opinion with a grain of salt.

Yes, I think that much is clear.

GeneC
12-12-2008, 11:23 AM
--> something goes awry here <---Whoops! :rolleyes:"You must be open-minded" is actually a very closed-minded position. The belief, "It must change," is very inflexible.

Nothing goes awry except the spinning. Nowere do I say everyone MUST be open-minded or else. Not like that. What I did say (not in so many words) is that if those that're in charge are closed minded, IMO, it'll kill Aikido and Aikido IS a business (just ask anyone trying to un a dojo). Businesss go under every day because of closed-mindedness (meaning refusing to adapt to improve to survive). Species go extinct as well. Mine is simply an observation, don't kill the messenger.

Joe McParland
12-12-2008, 11:30 AM
While it's true that each and very person is carrying all their own personal baggage that's going to influence their decisions and comments, if Aikido is truly "enlightening", then folks should be able to "fight' thru that baggage (or at least ID and acknowledge it).

When the intensity, severity, and sincerity of the practice picks up and the students are exhausted and sweaty, all thoughts of what aikido is, what aikido should be, the similarities and differences between our organizations and techniques, the colors of our belts, and so forth, all dissolve.

To someone not in the know, it looks like violence, To the practitioners, it's one shared mind, peace and harmony.

Hopefully, you learn to keep that mind occasionally outside of those conditions as well.

To me, that's the practice. :)

Joe McParland
12-12-2008, 11:35 AM
Aikido IS a business.

Teaching aikido can be a business.

Running an organization that promotes aikido can be a business.

Running an organization that certifies and accredits aspects of aikido practice can be a business.

But why, I wonder, would you say that aikido itself is a business?

Joe McParland
12-12-2008, 11:37 AM
What I did say (not in so many words) is that if those that're in charge are closed minded, IMO, it'll kill Aikido.

Who is in charge of your aikido?

Who can kill your aikido?

GeneC
12-12-2008, 11:37 AM
So now the point that Clarence makes is not that Aikido will die if it doesn't become more mainstream. Rather, it is that in its current form, it is un-American and has to change. That it is America's legacy to make aikido change. Okay, I think that seems clearer to me. Not correct. But clearer.

I'm glad to be clearing up things for you, but nowhere did I say Aikido will die if it doesn't become mainstream, I said it will go full circle back to being in the shadows, being practiced by an elite few. What I was saying about going mainstream, is in direct context of this thread- EVOLUTION of AIkido. IN my opinion, in the context of evolution, is a simple business plan of survival- appealing to more people. Like it or not, ultimately, at the end of the day, Aikido is a business. Survial of Aikido is directly related to the Dojo surviving, lest it goes underground and is taught in basements and back yards, etc.

raul rodrigo
12-12-2008, 11:47 AM
In post #190, you said: "I'm just saying that unless Aikido evolves, it will become extinct." Seems pretty straightforward to me.

GeneC
12-12-2008, 11:48 AM
When the intensity, severity, and sincerity of the practice picks up and the students are exhausted and sweaty, all thoughts of what aikido is, what aikido should be, the similarities and differences between our organizations and techniques, the colors of our belts, and so forth, all dissolve.

Yes, that's all well and good, but after all the students leave and the Sensei's looking over the bills( wondering how they're gonna be able to stay open), what I'm saying comes to the forefront.

GeneC
12-12-2008, 11:56 AM
I'd like to see what other folks' ideas about "the continuing evolution of Aikido" is. Up until recently did we even agree on (of course, I'm assuming we did) the definition with what evolution (as it applies to Aikido) actually is.

GeneC
12-12-2008, 12:13 PM
In post #190, you said: "I'm just saying that unless Aikido evolves, it will become extinct." Seems pretty straightforward to me.

Well then that's exactly what I mean ( but before, you said I said that if Aikido didn't go mainstream it'd die, which I didn't say that), So let me be clear, in my opinion, if Aikido does not evolve, it will become extinct, as does all other things in Nature, but the fact is, Aikido has been evolving since it's inception.

C. David Henderson
12-12-2008, 01:07 PM
Okay,

This is getting to be more and more about less and less.

Later.

RonRagusa
12-12-2008, 01:20 PM
...lest it goes underground and is taught in basements and back yards, etc.

And that would be a bad thing because...?

Joe McParland
12-12-2008, 02:31 PM
Yes, that's all well and good, but after all the students leave and the Sensei's looking over the bills( wondering how they're gonna be able to stay open), what I'm saying comes to the forefront.

If you put up an aikido franchise on every street corner---and I don't want to put words into your mouth, but you did mention wanting to see something like that, didn't you? patches on the uniforms and all, right?---then, yes, you have to worry about those bills and you have to let the market drive your offering.

But only you seem to be saying that we should play that game. I don't know why. I'm with Ron: What's wrong with basements and backyards?

C. David Henderson
12-12-2008, 02:39 PM
Strip malls, presumably, are more "American."

Buck
12-12-2008, 04:48 PM
Clarence Couch wrote:
...lest it goes underground and is taught in basements and back yards, etc..?

History has shown us this is a very successful way for martial arts. I think the concern here is not size, but appeal. Aikido appeals to allot of different people-and there are those it doesn't. Aikido will and does appeal to people in a whole lots of different ways, ya know.

Now for those who decide to stick with Aikido, ya know finding a personal value to them, there a variety of different dojos to fit them. For example, some dojos teach strictly to the needs of women, others teach strictly to the esoteric, there are some that are strictly traditional, some attract large groups and others small, and everything in between. With these facts, I am not sure how what you said is a bad thing. The goal of Aikido isn't about a massive business plan, and I don't think that is evolution.

It is a matter of what we place our value on, is it Aikido, or is it something else. If it is something else concerns arise. Like,"oh my gosh, Aikido is becoming going the way of the dinosaur there isn't a dojo on every corner next to X martial arts studio and StarBucks." Aikido is a classic, and has and will stand the test of time because it has and will appeal to a wide variety of people's interest no matter where it is taught. :)

Joe McParland
12-12-2008, 05:03 PM
Haven't seen this one quoted in a bit:


One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.

GeneC
12-12-2008, 06:45 PM
Aikido is a classic, and has and will stand the test of time because it has and will appeal to a wide variety of people's interest no matter where it is taught. :)

Oh sure, a wide variety? Aikido is the new kid on the block, barely 50 yrs old and if it wasn't for Steven Seagal, nobody'd know about it15 yrs ago. Tai Chi has stood the test of time, too.

I can't believe you folks are in denial about the evolution of everything. Ok, just for the sake of cordiality, what would be your idea of evolution in Aikido?

GeneC
12-12-2008, 06:50 PM
If you put up an aikido franchise on every street corner---and I don't want to put words into your mouth, but you did mention wanting to see something like that, didn't you? patches on the uniforms and all, right?--- ....

What you don't seem to realize is that it's already happening. Dojos are gearing up for sports and patches and tournaments and stripmalls and kids, etc. Aikido will evolve in spite of a few eilitists.

GeneC
12-12-2008, 06:58 PM
Haven't seen this one quoted in a bit: OSensei wrote:
One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train

I know that was taken out of context( he meant the spirit of Aikido comes from within), but I'll address the context you meant it.: Oh sure, that's easy coming from a wealthy man where money wasn't an object. He said one didn't need it, but he sure had all that. So that sounds kinda hypocritical, to me.

Buck
12-12-2008, 08:39 PM
Oh sure, a wide variety? Aikido is the new kid on the block, barely 50 yrs old and if it wasn't for Steven Seagal, nobody'd know about it15 yrs ago. Tai Chi has stood the test of time, too.

Ok, I know where you is commin' from, gotcha, readin' you loud n' clear. :D

I can't believe you folks are in denial about the evolution of everything. Ok, just for the sake of cordiality, what would be your idea of evolution in Aikido?

I think I explained that, in overkill. I think everyone else laid it out pretty darn clearly too. :)

Demetrio Cereijo
12-12-2008, 09:32 PM
IMO, Marital Arts shouldn't have mandatory religious observation/practice. That stuff should be observed at a different time than practice, by whomever wants to do it, but it shouldn't be mandatory.

You have all my support on that, marital issues and religion is a dangerous mix.
:D :D :D

Now, slighty on topic:

IMO, if Aikido has some problems today is not because it hasn't evolved (whatever "evolution" means to you) but because the attempts of making it available to everybody all around the world.

Changing his original japanese (and founder's) cultural trappings for a hodgepodge of pseudo western philosophy and american new age hippy-isms is what, imho, has put aikido in the sad state it is today as budo, both in the martial and in its technology of the self-spiritual developement aspects.

When an art goes mainstream the bar is lowered.

C. David Henderson
12-12-2008, 09:45 PM
Gene C,

Do you believe that evolution results in the emergence of superior "things," or that it creates "things" that are adapted to their environment?

It's a common, but mistaken, perception that "higher" forms of organisms are superior to "lower" forms. In the 19th Century, this gave rise to Social Darwinism as a teliological theory about a progressive upward evolution of society.

Buck will I hope forgive me for my analogizing. However, one of those fields of study that have probably most closely embraced a biological view of soical change -- ecological anthropology-- also long ago embraced the lesson of biology that adaptive viability is relative to the environment.

For example, as I understand it, according to at least one theory of biological evolution, short-term adaptive pressures tend to favor, at least in some environments, large and more specialized organisms. Think big dinosaurs and saber-tooth tigers. But the price of success of their adaptations is the price of any specialist -- success is fragile.

From the perspective of an ecological anthropologist, the remaining indigenous tribes of the Amazon are as highly adapted as any culture in the modern world. And the fragility of such cultures to extinction from the forces of a post-industrial, pan-global world is, relatively speaking, a testament only to the same kind of short-term adaptive advantage enjoyed by countless other previously-successful specialists in the biological realm.

Similarly, market, social, historical, and what-have-you forces that are operating to push particular social forms, such as a particular martial art this way and that undoubtably will exert pressure on that form. The form, in its replication, will change as a result of that pressure, and may be more adaptive to that environment.

But that doesn't have a thing at all to do with "better," except in the short run. And like the man said, in the long run, we're all dead.

Sy Labthavikul
12-12-2008, 10:03 PM
When an art goes mainstream the bar is lowered.

Maybe, but by going mainstream, the art reaches a wider audience who, collectively, may be able to raise the bar even higher than could have been possible before it did go mainstream.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-12-2008, 10:21 PM
Well, let's see when it happens. At this moment, it seems to me arts like Judo, Karate, Aikido, Tai Chi, even BJJ... which went more or less mainstream (or at least tried to) lost their focus, the ones who remained obscure and kept a low profile, evolving when needed and only in what the art needed like i.e. japanese koryu, indian kalaripayat and similarly practised arts, are keeping their purpose.

Joe McParland
12-13-2008, 12:54 AM
When you look at the world, the various arts have been tailored to be items for sale. Likewise, a person thinks of himself as something to be sold and even the implements of these ways are proffered as merchandise. This mentality divides the flower and the fruit into two, and makes much less of the fruit than the flower. In this Way of the Martial Arts, especially, form is made into ornament, the flower is forced into bloom and technique is made into display: one talks of this or that dojo, teaching this Way or that Way, in an attempt to gain some benefit. Someone has said that "the immature martial art is a source of great injury," and this is certainly the truth.


I'll wait for someone to tell us what Musashi really meant ;)

C. David Henderson
12-13-2008, 08:54 AM
I'd rather be the fruit; oh wait, that came out wrong.

GeneC
12-13-2008, 01:00 PM
I'm into the continued Revolution of the Art.Best,Jen

Care to explain this? Wouldn't revolutionize mean to take it to an entirely different direction or add something that has never been thought of before?

GeneC
12-13-2008, 06:37 PM
....I think I explained that, in overkill. I think everyone else laid it out pretty darn clearly too. :)

I haven't heard anything that would qualify as evolutionary or revolutionary and I just went back and re-read the entire thread.

Fact is Osensei continued to evolve Aikido his whole life, that's why there's different styles, because of his different students at the different points in his life were exposed to that evolution. How did he do that? By competing. He improved on techniques that didn't work in combat. That is evolution. I said before, that evolution involved all aspects, top to bottom, inside out. That includes going mainstream, which is happening as we speak (right here in Las Vegas, there's 3 Dojos- 2 are in strip malls and are actually Karate schools and they rent the space to hold Aikido practice, that includes separate kids classes and then one in a local rec center).
Evolving also involves improving Aikido techniques or training by competing . Imo, for example, to intercept an attack with an attack, instead acting in defense would be an improvement.

GeneC
12-13-2008, 07:06 PM
You have all my support on that, marital issues and religion is a dangerous mix.
:D :D :D

Ha,ha,ha, you've caught my Fruedian slip!

Now, slighty on topic:

IMO, if Aikido has some problems today is not because it hasn't evolved (whatever "evolution" means to you) but because the attempts of making it available to everybody all around the world.

Changing his original japanese (and founder's) cultural trappings for a hodgepodge of pseudo western philosophy and american new age hippy-isms is what, imho, has put aikido in the sad state it is today as budo, both in the martial and in its technology of the self-spiritual developement aspects.

So, you're saying for Aikido to remain 'pure' (whatever that means), Aikido should revert back to students sitting outside the Sensei's Dojo for weeks, waiting for the Sensei to invite them in, then engage in servitude for years ?
I dont't know about all that "hippy" stuff, but I believe I can embrace Budo and show my respect to the Founder in my own American way and go on about my training. I do want to compete, to see if my technique is viable or not and improve it.

When an art goes mainstream the bar is lowered.
???Judo went mainstream and became an Olympic event.
You're telling me UFC/MMA has gotten worse? Obviously you didn't follow the UFC from the beginning, which started out with black belts in various Karates and boxers and Judo got in the mix. The good boxers killed the karateka with knockout punches. Then UFC evolved when the kickboxers came along and ruled the Octagon; Then UFC evolved again when wrestlers came along and took the kickboxers to the ground and they didn't know
how to fight in the clinch, but the wrestlers didn't know how to finish a man off. Then came the Gracies with their BJJ. They ruled the Octagon for awhile, 'til kickboxers learned BJJ and that's what the UFC is evolved to now. I really doubt if any MA out there can beat MMA.Course the offer's always open and there's ALOT of money to be made to the one who can do it.
Imo, if Aikido is not a MA, it shouldn't be called one. If it is, then it should go ahead and be one.

Buck
12-13-2008, 07:27 PM
Gene C,

But that doesn't have a thing at all to do with "better," except in the short run. And like the man said, in the long run, we're all dead.

I am not 100% clear on what your saying, but here goes.

Yea, we, and everything else (almost am sure there is an exception) dies.

Aikido as I think of it, and explained it doesn't fit into the theory of evolution. I don't think Aikido is in any danger of dying out, for any reason. Like I also said Aikido by design is very appealing to a wide variety of people and interest. And on the other hand, there are those who don't feel it is for them. If anything there are less of those people trying Aikido.

Sure someday in the far future when man has evolve to what ever to the point we evolve to (or annihilate ourselves into oblivion) Aikido may then not be of interest. But until that happens, and I don' t see that in the near future, Aikido like anything else will have its peaks and valleys.

I think there are those who when Aikido when it isn't at its highest peak of popularity see it as that being the death of it. I think of String theory over evolution when it comes to Aikido. Since the String theory is an evolved theory after all. :)

Joe McParland
12-13-2008, 07:35 PM
Clarence, if you're so confident and believe it is right, then why not simply get to it?

Kevin Leavitt
12-13-2008, 10:00 PM
Clarence wrote:

???Judo went mainstream and became an Olympic event.
You're telling me UFC/MMA has gotten worse? Obviously you didn't follow the UFC from the beginning, which started out with black belts in various Karates and boxers and Judo got in the mix. The good boxers killed the karateka with knockout punches. Then UFC evolved when the kickboxers came along and ruled the Octagon; Then UFC evolved again when wrestlers came along and took the kickboxers to the ground and they didn't know
how to fight in the clinch, but the wrestlers didn't know how to finish a man off. Then came the Gracies with their BJJ. They ruled the Octagon for awhile, 'til kickboxers learned BJJ and that's what the UFC is evolved to now. I really doubt if any MA out there can beat MMA.Course the offer's always open and there's ALOT of money to be made to the one who can do it.
Imo, if Aikido is not a MA, it shouldn't be called one. If it is, then it should go ahead and be one.

Are you sure you have your UFC chronology correct. UFC 1 was won by Royce Gracie.

Which boxers are you referring to that did well. I can't recall anyone.

Early UFCs demonstrated that grappling was an essential skill that was needed.

Once that was established, then you had some decent stand up guys come into the mix that learned enough grappling to play the game and do ground and pound.

No pure martial artist has ever really done well. It proved that you need to develop a well rounded strategy in order to be sucessful. That said, grapplers have tended to dominate such venues as the UFC.

if Aikido is not a MA, it shouldn't be called one. If it is, then it should go ahead and be one.

Can you clarify what you mean by this? I am not sure I understand what exactly you mean.

I dont't know about all that "hippy" stuff, but I believe I can embrace Budo and show my respect to the Founder in my own American way and go on about my training. I do want to compete, to see if my technique is viable or not and improve it.


I agree with this. I think it is natural and a normal part of development to train this way.

C. David Henderson
12-13-2008, 10:04 PM
Buck,

I'm saying that if you pursue the metaphor of evolution with respect to something like a martial art, then beware that the idea of evolution has ideological baggage, along with everything else. I think one of the implicit premises of this thread is that Aikido should become "better" over time.

One level of question is whether the way something like a martial art changes over time can be likened to "evolution" in a meaningful, suggestive, or useful way.

Another question is what "evolution," if it or something like it occurs, means.

I asked the question because I wondered if Gene C held the opinion that since Aikido evolves, the way he sees it changing ipso facto means those changes make it better, and to hold otherwise is to be an unreasoning traditionalist if not an elitist.

Popularizing an art may create a dominant form, and it may limit or even extinguish other forms. That's change. It doesn't mean something "better" is emerging.

David

Kevin Leavitt
12-14-2008, 12:13 AM
The issue I have with the discussion is that many, many conclusions are being made with what I would consider to be a limited set of observations by folks based on....what facts?

One flaw in the conclusions being made is that aikido is something tangible, measurable, and concrete as a whole. Essentially aikido is a methodology or a concept. The output is difficult to measure and you really can't generalize it.

what criteria are you basing your historical trends on...up or down? Doesn't really matter.

The conclusion is commonly that aikido is becoming less than it once was by many.

It might be easy to make that correlation when we start naming historical figures that popped out of the early years as if some how on a whole aikido produced more quality than it does now.

That may or may not be true, who really knows for sure?

There is such a small percentage that reach 7th Dan or higher out of the thousands if not over a million students that have studied aikido over the years, that I'd say it is pretty darn near impossible to draw any conclusion at all concerning the quality of aikido then versus now.

You'd first also have to agree on a measurement criteria before you even begin this discussion!

We have pretty much proven over the years that it is pretty much impossible as there are as many opinions on this as there are schools, branches, and individuals.

I'd be happy to discuss this topic if we could nail down the criteria we would judge "effectiveness", "evolution", and "change" against.

On a microscale, I will discuss the topic. That is, my own personal experiences with aikido. I will tell you that my training, methdologies, perspectives, and effectiveness have evolved over the years.

I might even tell you that the dojo I train in is not training exactly the same way necessarily as we trained 10 years ago.

The people and the dynamic change. Instructors grow and evolve. People die, leave, and have new and different insights. Society as a whole is not the same as it was 10 years ago. We have more Yundansha, different yudansha than we had 10 years ago. Different students...etc.

So, yes it changes and evolves as we go. It is constantly being re-interpreted and evaluated. It is living and dynamic in nature.

What has stayed the same is the core tenants, values, and principles.

How do we measure success (quality) macroscopically in the dojo?

I don't think we really can. We manage to keep students coming back year after year. I think that is about the best you can do as a macroscopic measurement given the fact that we don't do tournaments against other schools or organizations. Even then, I think it becomes difficult to measure overall success against a set of constrained rules.

I think success is measured on an individual basis. One aikidoka at a time. For one, it may be learning to control emotions and anger more. For another it may be less back pain and increased physical fitness. For another it may be meeting a life partner.

For those that are struggling with this topic....i'd highly recommend reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Especially the part where Pirsig discusses QUALITY and WHAT IS QUALITY?

Ok, for those that want to...go ahead and bring up the "AIkido should be about Martial Effectiveness, not a dance" concerning the outputs that I gave such as learning to control anger, meeting a life partner etc....

I love discussing martial effectiveness. We should try and define that. I have been trying to get folks to do this for years on Aikiweb.

Mary Eastland
12-14-2008, 07:43 AM
I love discussing martial effectiveness. We should try and define that. I have been trying to get folks to do this for years on Aikiweb.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would define martial effectiveness...on.....hmmmmm that's a hard one in relationship to Aikido.
I guess to some people it would be who could throw the hardest.
My defense around UFC type fighting is to stay out of the ring...I love to watch it and have no illusions that I could defend myself there. Except to stay out of the octagon.

Most ordinary people however, cannot fight like that..in the real world I feel quite capable of being able to defend myself.
Please don't interpret this to mean that I think I am omnipotent...far from it...But I think if someone looked at me they would see a 51 year library lady and make assumptions about my appearance which could be good for me.
Mary

Kevin Leavitt
12-14-2008, 08:05 AM
absolutely Mary!

I believe it is personal in nature.

It is good (and important) to feel confident and able to defend yourself, and it appears, to me at least, that you understand what that means, especially when it comes to proactive and passive measures.

As we have all discussed over the years, there is a concern that aikido may or may not provide the right amount of "pressure" or "reality" to adequately prepare someone for a violent attack or self defense scenario.

This is the issue that I think most focus on when discussing effectiveness.

I think the whole "evolutiion" discussion here is tap dancing around this issue using different words, but maybe I am missing the point of the discussion, it would not be the first time!

There are so many ways, IMO, to define effectiveness wrt to aikido and martial arts and I don't think any of them are wrong when you put it in the context of Budo.

What is important is defining your personal goals and endstates and finding the right practice to accomplish those goals.

RonRagusa
12-14-2008, 08:29 AM
I love discussing martial effectiveness. We should try and define that. I have been trying to get folks to do this for years on Aikiweb.

Martial effectiveness is relative to the conflict situation at hand. A single person may be martially effective against one or even more than one other person, but once the group of adversaries grows large enough the single person's martial effectiveness will drop off considerably. A platoon of marines will, in many situations, be martially effective. But when confronted by an armored regiment the platoon's martial effectiveness will be reduced.

It would seem that martial effectiveness is highly dependent on the scale of violence that one person or group can deliver upon another while at the same time defending against the violence being inflicted by the other person or group.

I would define martial effectiveness as the ability to prevail in a conflict situation. Fighting systems, in and of themselves are neither martially effective or ineffective. It is the application of the fighting system that will be effective or not. Some fighting systems may contain the potential for greater martial effectiveness due to: greater number of tools that can be deployed, training methodologies that are based on fighting applications, the absence of a moral based code of conduct etc.

As such, I don't think Aikido presents itself particularly well as a fighting system. The toolbox is too limited, training is obviously not fighting based and there is a moral subtext that underlies its application. To enhance or evolve Aikido to the point where it becomes a so called "complete fighting system" with a high potential of martial effectiveness in a wide variety of conflict situations would necessarily change the art beyond recognition.

Ron