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View Full Version : “Is Aikido A Martial Art?” - Roy Dean, Lenny Sly, Vince Salvatore, Corky Quakenbush


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MrIggy
05-26-2017, 06:58 PM
Panel Discussion: “Is Aikido A Martial Art?” - Corky Quakenbush, Lenny Sly, Vince Salvatore, Roy Dean, & Miles Kessler. This session is from the "Aikido At The Leading Edge" telesummit, and was recorded on May 17th, 2017:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkYeAncP9Go

Thoughts?

Demetrio Cereijo
05-27-2017, 04:38 AM
Thoughts?

A complete waste of time.

bothhandsclapping
05-27-2017, 02:18 PM
I had a very, very savvy boss who was dubious about any reference book over 1/2" thick. Is it any wonder that TED talks are limited to 20 minutes?

dps
05-28-2017, 02:38 AM
If I take a butter knife from my kitchen drawer and use it to tighten the screws on the kitchen cabinet , is it still a butter knife or now a screw driver?

dps

Shadowfax
05-28-2017, 05:15 PM
When the only tool somone knows how to use is a hammer, does that mean that they should conclude that a hand plane is not also a tool?

senshincenter
05-29-2017, 08:10 PM
Aikido practitioners should make up their mind on what they want Aikido to be and do. In doing that, from a martial perspective, I think Aikido should not feel pressed to address the dueling discourse that currently dominates our self-defense commercial market. Philosophically, I think Aikidoka should stick to their arena of dealing with assaultive behavior and mentalities because there is a deeper and more useful truth in that than in trying to figure out how to apply Aikido to dueling environments. Even commercially, I think Aikidoka should again stick to this position. There is no way, in my opinion, that Aikido can address the combative assumptions of the dueling culture without either doing so poorly or without degenerating the art into something it is not, or something in the end that is incapable of addressing assaultive behavior and/or combat environments. Today, popular Aikido is primarily populated by two groups: one group that further insulates itself from the larger martial purpose, and one group that feels pressed to identify Aikido with and in terms of the MMA discourse. The first group is slowing losing its numbers, like any group that stays away from others, and the second group is losing their art. I would propose a third option be found and practiced, one that acknowledges that the problem is not that the art is traditional but that we are not traditional enough in our understanding of the art.

lbb
05-30-2017, 07:55 AM
My thought: I wish I had the free time to waste on this twaddle.

tlk52
05-30-2017, 11:32 AM
David Valdez makes a very good point

Currawong
05-30-2017, 06:42 PM
Aikido practitioners should make up their mind on what they want Aikido to be and do. In doing that, from a martial perspective, I think Aikido should not feel pressed to address the dueling discourse that currently dominates our self-defense commercial market. Philosophically, I think Aikidoka should stick to their arena of dealing with assaultive behavior and mentalities because there is a deeper and more useful truth in that than in trying to figure out how to apply Aikido to dueling environments. Even commercially, I think Aikidoka should again stick to this position. There is no way, in my opinion, that Aikido can address the combative assumptions of the dueling culture without either doing so poorly or without degenerating the art into something it is not, or something in the end that is incapable of addressing assaultive behavior and/or combat environments. Today, popular Aikido is primarily populated by two groups: one group that further insulates itself from the larger martial purpose, and one group that feels pressed to identify Aikido with and in terms of the MMA discourse. The first group is slowing losing its numbers, like any group that stays away from others, and the second group is losing their art. I would propose a third option be found and practiced, one that acknowledges that the problem is not that the art is traditional but that we are not traditional enough in our understanding of the art.

Good points I reckon. There is a degree of irony in the fact that many people start Aikido with aims towards avoiding conflict, from the fact that there are no competitions as much as the ideal of being able to resolve conflicts peacefully. Yet what Aikido really requires is resolving the conflicts within ourselves, which many people don't want to face, especially in the dojo.

senshincenter
05-30-2017, 11:08 PM
Good points I reckon. There is a degree of irony in the fact that many people start Aikido with aims towards avoiding conflict, from the fact that there are no competitions as much as the ideal of being able to resolve conflicts peacefully. Yet what Aikido really requires is resolving the conflicts within ourselves, which many people don't want to face, especially in the dojo.

An excellently point.

Adam Huss
06-29-2017, 08:24 PM
Good points I reckon. There is a degree of irony in the fact that many people start Aikido with aims towards avoiding conflict, from the fact that there are no competitions as much as the ideal of being able to resolve conflicts peacefully. Yet what Aikido really requires is resolving the conflicts within ourselves, which many people don't want to face, especially in the dojo.

This is why my teacher made it a point to include mirrors as much as he could on the dojo walls. The encouragement being to see your reflection and "cut down all the imperfections you see in yourself"

earnest aikidoka
06-30-2017, 04:20 AM
Aikido practitioners should make up their mind on what they want Aikido to be and do. In doing that, from a martial perspective, I think Aikido should not feel pressed to address the dueling discourse that currently dominates our self-defense commercial market. Philosophically, I think Aikidoka should stick to their arena of dealing with assaultive behavior and mentalities because there is a deeper and more useful truth in that than in trying to figure out how to apply Aikido to dueling environments. Even commercially, I think Aikidoka should again stick to this position. There is no way, in my opinion, that Aikido can address the combative assumptions of the dueling culture without either doing so poorly or without degenerating the art into something it is not, or something in the end that is incapable of addressing assaultive behavior and/or combat environments. Today, popular Aikido is primarily populated by two groups: one group that further insulates itself from the larger martial purpose, and one group that feels pressed to identify Aikido with and in terms of the MMA discourse. The first group is slowing losing its numbers, like any group that stays away from others, and the second group is losing their art. I would propose a third option be found and practiced, one that acknowledges that the problem is not that the art is traditional but that we are not traditional enough in our understanding of the art.

You're right. O'sensei did not duel others. He escorted people through battlefields and gunfire, and his students picked fights with Yakuza members and gangs.

You're right, Aikidoka need to make up their mind, about what they want to do. Aikido is a martial art, O'sensei founded it through combat, and all his students developed their skills through combat. In duels and otherwise. Aikido is Aikido, and Aikido is martial. So aikidoka need to ask themselves; are they training in a martial art? Or are they wasting their time?

phitruong
06-30-2017, 07:02 AM
This is why my teacher made it a point to include mirrors as much as he could on the dojo walls. The encouragement being to see your reflection and "cut down all the imperfections you see in yourself"

my hakama and gi made me looked fat. does that mean i should practice naked to deal with that sort of imperfection? :D

PeterR
06-30-2017, 07:21 AM
my hakama and gi made me looked fat. does that mean i should practice naked to deal with that sort of imperfection? :D

Don't we all?????

LarsU
08-09-2017, 01:19 PM
I suppose cliche speculation "My KungFu is better than Your KungFu and My Master can beat Your Master" will always be part of the human condition. It's a silly argument spawned by insecurity. How do you practice lethal force without hurting each other? There have been many methods. Train hard, train soft, spar, duel, practice basics, practice tricks, etc. Regardless, they all come apart in combat. The history of combat is clear. In personal combat, untrained amateurs can still beat seasoned professionals. The greatest swordsman can be downed with a rock. The most well armored knight can be pulled from his horse by peasants. The most elite soldiers of the British Empire were killed by Zulu spears, Indian tulwars, and American tomahawks. An overwhelming number of historical examples prove that even the most skilled soldiers still die on the battlefield. No amount of training protects them.The world's greatest martial artist is still vulnerable to a 2x4 to the head. Aikidoists choose to practice AIKI which allows for martial practice along with other kinds of practice - like ALL other martial arts. Is Tai Chi a martial art? Is Judo? Is Kendo? Is target shooting? Is MMA competition? Is conflict resolution a martial art? They all improve your odds of surviving lethal combat, AND they can all be defeated. Why equivocate?

Avery Jenkins
08-11-2017, 08:56 PM
"is aikido a martial art" is a fairly ignorant question. Of course it is by definition, history, and intent of the founder.

I really think all of this anti-aikido whampering is being fueled by an incredibly sophisticated MMA hype machine. Just remember, that's entertainment, an entirely different animal than efficacy.

observer
08-14-2017, 02:57 PM
Of course the discussion goes to a dead end. The reason is that we all have a different understanding of the concept of 'martial arts'. From authors of Wikipedia we are dealing with so general descriptions that is impossible to use them for aikido. For example, is aikido really "martial" in the sense of being used or created by professional warriors? Or just a mental and spiritual development; as well as entertainment and the preservation of a nation's intangible cultural heritage? Simply, I suggest to get a common meaning of this concept before going further.

RonRagusa
08-14-2017, 04:09 PM
For example, is aikido really "martial" in the sense of being used or created by professional warriors? Or just a mental and spiritual development; as well as entertainment and the preservation of a nation's intangible cultural heritage?

Why does it have to be one or the other? Aikido is a training system. It's applicable to varied goals that are determined by the practitioner. Instead of trying to shoehorn Aikido into a single slot why not just accept the fact that it's applicability transcends the classical idea of what a "martial art" is and proceed from there?

Ron

observer
08-14-2017, 04:32 PM
... classical idea of what a "martial art" is ...
So, explain it, please. Maybe it will be a good start.

RonRagusa
08-14-2017, 07:59 PM
So, explain it, please. Maybe it will be a good start.

""martial" in the sense of being used or created by professional warriors"

Seems as good a place as any to start.

Ron

Carsten Möllering
08-15-2017, 06:31 AM
... Aikido is a training system. It's applicable to varied goals that are determined by the practitioner. ...This is already a specific definition of Aikido, that is not gernerally accepted.

There are indeed practioners of aikidō who understand it as a certain budō, that is organized by the iemoto - System. Which implies, that it's understanding is not just open to privat opinions and determined by the practioner.

In consequence your opinion of aikidō, i.e. "that it's applicability transcends the classical idea of what a 'martial art' is", simply is not generally applicable. So some People can't proceed from there.

RonRagusa
08-15-2017, 02:48 PM
There are indeed practioners of aikidō who understand it as a certain budō, that is organized by the iemoto - System. Which implies, that it's understanding is not just open to privat opinions and determined by the practioner.

And they're certainly entitled to train in a manner that is, as you say, "organized by the iemoto - System." But Aikido has grown beyond the boundaries of that same system. You may decry that fact but it's truth is demonstrable. One need only look at Tomiki and Tohei to see two evolutionary paths Aikido has taken over the years.

Training goals are objectives that may or may not change over time as the student progresses. Understanding Aikido isn't a matter of opinion, it's a process of discovery experienced by each individual practitioner largely based on personal goals.

Ron

observer
08-16-2017, 08:58 AM
Understanding Aikido isn't a matter of opinion, it's a process of discovery experienced by each individual practitioner largely based on personal goals.
I'm not sure you do not go away from the topic, but at least it does not bring me closer to a meaningful answer to the question discussed on YouTube as well here.

RonRagusa
08-16-2017, 02:16 PM
I'm not sure you do not go away from the topic, but at least it does not bring me closer to a meaningful answer to the question discussed on YouTube as well here.

Well, I was responding to something Carston posted.

So the original question: "Is Aikido a Martial Art?" can be answered by asking another question, namely, How do you intend to apply the tools that your Aikido training allows you to develop and hone?

Whether or not Aikido can be considered a martial art depends largely on how it's to be employed in daily life. People train in Aikido for many varied reasons and tailor their training to specific goals in line with those reasons. Ueshiba may have founded Aikido with strictly martial applications in mind but I think it's pretty clear that the art has evolved such that martial applicability is but one avenue open to the student.

Ron

bothhandsclapping
08-17-2017, 12:08 AM
I'm not sure you do not go away from the topic, but at least it does not bring me closer to a meaningful answer to the question discussed on YouTube as well here.

Unfortunately, if you're looking for meaning, you will be disappointed. There is no answer, because, as you've already seen, there will never be complete agreement on the exact use of the term. From a non-academic perspective (popular usage), I like to tell my students that ...

"The fact is that most disciplines that are called martial arts are not martial in the literal sense (a combat art) and are not even martial in the TV sense (meditating and kicking ass). Most long-time students of the 'martial arts' have never meditated and have never actually ever hit someone with true intent and, likewise, have never gotten hit with true intent ... nor do they ever want to!

"From my experience, here are the usual popular usages of the term 'martial arts'.

For those who have never studied, a martial art is what they see on TV or at the movies - meditating for enlightenment and kicking ass.
For those who have started studying and quickly stopped, a martial art is not what they imagined they'd be.
For those students who have studied less than a year, a martial art is the belief that you can indeed learn how to kick ass. (The thought of enlightenment is long gone.)
For those students who have studied more than a couple years, a martial art is a good way to hang out with friends, to get a bit of a workout and to convince yourself that you are learning something useful. (The thoughts of both enlightenment and kicking ass are long gone.)
Finally, unfortunately, for most instructors, a martial art is one way to eke out a living.

And so, I think a more pertinent question is - "Is Aikido a self-defense?", as we may get some consensus on what it actually means to defend oneself.

Cheers,

observer
08-17-2017, 04:55 AM
Unfortunately, if you're looking for meaning, you will be disappointed. There is no answer, because, as you've already seen, there will never be complete agreement on the exact use of the term. From a non-academic perspective (popular usage), I like to tell my students that ... An interesting point of view - but sharing it with your students will make them very disappointed, I think. Certainly selling illusions by instructors who have just made aikido as a way to make money, will be more suited to them.
However, on the side of the discussion of words, one can not say that Katori Shinto Ryu and Kyudo belong to the same category of martial arts as Aikido, right?

Carsten Möllering
08-17-2017, 06:08 AM
However, on the side of the discussion of words, one can not say that Katori Shinto Ryu ... belong to the same category of martial arts as Aikido, right?Are you Aware of the connection between TSKSR and aikidō? (By which I don't mean the developments, derivates and descendants called Aikido, but the aikidō connected to the Ueshiba family.) If you made your statement being aware of this connection, could you please explain it in more Detail.

observer
08-17-2017, 09:37 AM
Are you Aware of the connection between TSKSR and aikidō? .
It is funny that your attention is addressed personally. I just raised the fact that in my understanding both Kataori Shinto Ryu and Kyudo are seeking to improve potentially lethal skills. Literally represent the art of war. Can you say the same about aikido?

RonRagusa
08-17-2017, 09:41 AM
If I take a butter knife from my kitchen drawer and use it to tighten the screws on the kitchen cabinet , is it still a butter knife or now a screw driver?

Put it back in the drawer and until you take it out again to use it, it's both.:);)

Ron

Mary Eastland
08-17-2017, 10:21 AM
Meow.

Carsten Möllering
08-17-2017, 01:57 PM
... seeking to improve potentially lethal skills. ... Can you say the same about aikido?I think the katori shintō ryū and aikidō share the very same principle of heihō wa heihō nari. This word of the founder Iizasa Choisai Ieano can also be heard listening to Ueshiba Morihei. The katori shintō ryū and aikidō - as I learn it from my teachers - share the way to develop peace - and a peacefull personality of the practioner - by learning a true budō. I.e. a budō that is meant to teach potentially lethal skills.
I own a copy of Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu Budo Kyohan with a personal dedication saying: True aikidō spirit is true budō spirit.
It is my experience that the katori shintō ryū and the aikidō taught in the line of the Ueshiba family not only don't disagree, but express the same understanding of budō. One using weapons, one using only the body.

Sugino Yoshio sensei found the aikidō of Ueshiba sensei to be more effective in the martial sense than the yawara of the katori shintō ryū. And it is taught in that same martial sense until today.

But besides that the aikidō I was taught allways had that martial aspect of seriously harming or even being potentially lethal. The very first aikidō technique that was shown during my very first aikidō seminar was atemi to the throat, or to the larynx to be more precise. I was taught with the words: "If it
works - finished. If it does not, more sophisticated techniques like ikkyo, for instance, may arise ... ."
Most teachers I have practiced with understand aikidō as being shinken. And some taught this concretely, in detail.

I myself think by now, that being honest and serious about that martial aspect actually is most important for being able to make aikidō a way to become a peaceful mind, a loving intention and to let grow and blossom the togetherness of people:
heihō wa heihō nari. It's a paradox. It's a kind of koan. Or - to me - a way to describe the tao. And how to get there. To me the martial way is a spiritual way ...

RonRagusa
08-17-2017, 03:12 PM
Humorous references to Schrodinger's cat and David's butter knife aside, there's a deeper principle at work here. Cats and butter knives are "things" in the sense that they're material. Their uses are sometimes variable but they're largely single use objects. Cats are pets, butter knives are used for spreading butter and other soft coatings on bread or crackers. They can be held, petted, wielded, put in boxes or drawers...

Aikido, in that sense is not a thing; it's a body of knowledge dealing with mind/body training and unification. Aikido isn't "used" in the same way that butter knives are used. What gets used are the abilities the student acquires from the study of Aikido. The abilities the student acquires are determined largely by the personal goals set by the student. These goals may change over time as the student grows and experiences Aikido at a deeper level of understanding.

Students of Aikido are free to explore its applications in daily life without the restrictions imposed on the utilization of material objects. Whether by design or happenstance, Aikido has proved to be very pliable when it comes to how it's used in everyday situations.

So to the question posed in the OP, "Is Aikido a martial art?"; while it's true that the abilities one learns thru the study of Aikido can be applied in martial situations, that is only one small slice of the Aikido pie. The rest of the pie is there for the taking, so eat up and enjoy.

Ron

observer
08-18-2017, 02:32 AM
It is difficult for me to accept point of view of previous both respondents. All the attributes, as peaceful mind and personality, determination and personal goals set by the student, and changing over time as the student grows and experiences at a deeper level of understanding, simply come with time from any skills you learn. Also, if Katori Shinto Ryu and Kyudo use weapons, aikido practitioner, by his practice, should become a weapon by himself. Is it true?

Mary Eastland
08-18-2017, 08:54 AM
So don't accept it. This is a discussion of ideas not an encyclopedia of facts.
"Should" is different than "could"...as you can see from this tiny discussion people train for different reasons.
The goal does not define the art...and the name Aikido just on Aikiweb means different things to different people. Having a narrow definition is not not going to change that.

observer
08-18-2017, 11:56 AM
"Should" is different than "could"...This discussion is not a wordplay. Please read my first post here. I would like to jointly determine the meaning of the term martial arts to be able to continue this topic. Your objections do not help.

Mary Eastland
08-18-2017, 12:27 PM
Aw...my point is that there will be no consensus of the definition of either martial art or aikido.

nikyu62
08-20-2017, 10:21 PM
A weapon may be used to commit violence, or it may be possessed to deter violence......like the "sword that brings death" and the "sword that protects life." True Aiki Budo is meant to be the latter.

Carsten Möllering
08-21-2017, 07:19 AM
... if Katori Shinto Ryu and Kyudo use weapons, aikido practitioner, by his practice, should become a weapon by himself. I don't get your point about waepons: TSKSR has yawara, it has spiritual practice, it teaches healing ... and has a philosphy of not fighting if at all possible ...

observer
08-21-2017, 10:41 AM
I don't get your point about waepons: TSKSR has yawara, it has spiritual practice, it teaches healing ... and has a philosphy of not fighting if at all possible ...I try to express myself clearly. Katori Shinto Ryu and Kyudo, for instance, focus on fighting with weapons. The fact is that, by the way, the students give themselves to other practices, it is another matter. Aikido, at least according to the original premise, is a martial art without weapons. Thus, a man who fights with empty hands becomes his own weapon. And that the fight should be avoided, if it is possible, is not a philosophy, only a phrase. Are you still in doubt?

RonRagusa
08-21-2017, 03:34 PM
And that the fight should be avoided, if it is possible, is not a philosophy, only a phrase.

And that assumption is based on...?

Ron

observer
08-21-2017, 03:47 PM
And that assumption is based on...?This is due to my personal experiences.

RonRagusa
08-21-2017, 07:46 PM
This is due to my personal experiences.

In that case it is applicable to you and not to the full set of Aikido students. You, and like minded students form a subset of the set of all Aikido students. And that gets back to my earlier point that "Aikido isn't "used" in the same way that butter knives are used. What gets used are the abilities the student acquires from the study of Aikido. The abilities the student acquires are determined largely by the personal goals set by the student. These goals may (emphasis added) change over time as the student grows and experiences Aikido at a deeper level of understanding."

Ron

observer
08-22-2017, 01:32 AM
The abilities the student acquires are determined largely by the personal goals set by the student. I agree with you on this point but please come back to the topic.

RonRagusa
08-22-2017, 07:44 AM
I agree with you on this point but please come back to the topic.

Back to the original question then. "Is Aikido a martial art?" is a member of the class of questions that will elude answering unless you restrict the set of respondents to Aikido students who think as you do. Doing so, however, will insure that you may reach consensus only within that group (even that's not guaranteed). Therefore you will have answered the question for a special case of Aikido students only. If you try to expand the set of respondents beyond the original group, other viewpoints will be introduced and consensus most likely will be lost.

Is Aikido a martial art? That depends upon how it's practiced. How it's practiced is a decision each student will be faced with repeatedly over years of study as experience builds, skills are acquired and areas of applicability are discovered. And those decisions will be driven by each student's goals at any given point in time.

Ron

observer
08-22-2017, 02:45 PM
Is Aikido a martial art? That depends upon how it's practiced. How it's practiced is a decision each student will be faced with repeatedly over years of study as experience builds, skills are acquired and areas of applicability are discovered.Let's start from the beginning. If a child visits your dojo and you ask what he sees here, what do you think he will answer? "One person attacks another who defends himself against this", right? Will not say "They dance with each other". Not to mention setting goals, spiritual development, etc. This is the reason why someone has opened this topic to start discussing it openly. Please do not tell others about your personal goals, because the way we do and what we do in dojo depends on our instructors. In turn, it depends on a school, style, etc. Tell me, please - why most aikido students do not achieve the basic goal, that is what even a child sees - self defense skills. If it were otherwise, it would not make sense to discuss this topic.

RonRagusa
08-22-2017, 03:13 PM
the way we do and what we do in dojo depends on our instructors...

For a time this will be true. But at some point in your training you have to look beyond being a cookie cutter clone of your instructor and move along a path of your own choosing. A good instructor will allow his or her students to grow beyond the confines of the instructor's personal preferences and explore their individual Aikido within the dojo and not force them to seek the experience elsewhere.

Tell me, please - why most aikido students do not achieve the basic goal, that is what even a child sees - self defense skills. If it were otherwise, it would not make sense to discuss this topic.

That "basic goal" you refer to is likely why many people take up the study of Aikido. But it's not the only reason why. And I will venture to say it is less a long term than a short term goal. It's been my experience that once students put in a number of years of study time that they begin to look for more out of Aikido than self defense skills. I won't make assumptions about "most" anything since I personally know, taught and have trained with only a very small percentage of the Aikido student population. I can say, however, that over the 40 years I have studied Aikido I have met many students who were driven to study in order to realize many varied goals; more than a few of them having little or nothing to do with self defense.

Ron

senshincenter
08-22-2017, 06:35 PM
While there may be some, hopefully less and less, that would like to have a single understanding or definition of something, such as for Aikido, the fact remains that things, especially Aikido, mean a great many things to a great many people. And, this fact remains true even when an instructor or a dojo claims it to be otherwise. People in the past had no problem with this, but today we do. It likely has to do with how today information has taken on a kind of cultural capital that one can then go on to use, or so they believe, to navigate and/or win power games. Meaning, and for example, one may only really be interested in a single definition of Aikido so that one can then point at others and say, “He/She is not doing Aikido.”

I use the word “Aikido” colloquially, but it is always for matters of convenience and always with a slight hesitation because I know how really no such thing exists. Sometimes, people, those wishing to be more accurate, might speak of a Senshin Aikido, but this is a term I have never used, and in the end, I don’t care either way. This is because the truth of the art can only take place at a level of the individual, and that means that for Aikido to be true it must be a deeply personal thing. Once you drop the power games, the will to want to call something false, or wrong, or a misunderstanding, and you are left with only this deeply personal truth, and with this hesitation to use collective phases and words as if single things exist for all people.

This does not cause any problem at the level of practice, because at that level it is all everyone is doing, even with they are stuck in truth games and power struggles. When a new person comes in, they come with their own preconceived notions. They have then in a sense a kind of blindness, a perspective by which they may see my Aikido but actually filter it to fit their lack of experience. As such, I do not expect the new student to know or understand what they are looking at – and so I do not expect them to see my Aikido, or even their own. They are seeing a delusion – at best. If they want to stay and train, and if we let them, then their role as deshi is to see my Aikido as best they can over time. However, I know that is not the goal. That is merely the vehicle. By searching for my Aikido, they are developing and coming to define their own. This way, a student is not just doing their own thing in the dojo, but they are in fact developing their own Aikido. Weird? Paradoxical? Yes, but true.

As there are a great many Aikidoka today, including those that hosted the podcast, that see Aikido not as or not primarily as a technology of violence that one uses against another human being, I can say that this is not my take on the art, or I can say that that is not my Aikido, but I have no interest or want to say that that is not Aikido. It is their Aikido. It has nothing to do with me, but it is their Aikido. And if they want to look at my Aikido and say that it is not Aikido, I’m fine with that too since they and their understanding of Aikido has nothing to do with me.

This is how I read what a great many people had already said. That said, an exchange of ideas can be productive and a common ground is needed for such production. How does one accomplish this when there is no single definition then? Take a person’s definition or description and measure it against it’s own principles. Use the common ground of consistency of thought and practice, soundness, and the absence of contradiction or inconsistency to have a discussion.

observer
08-23-2017, 02:46 AM
For a time this will be true. But at some point in your training you have to look beyond being a cookie cutter clone of your instructor and move along a path of your own choosing. I do not know how to tell you it anymore. We will always do in the dojo what the child sees and describes. Likewise, we do what the instructor asks us to do. We do not practice aikido in a backyard.

Carsten Möllering
08-23-2017, 06:00 AM
And that the fight should be avoided, if it is possible, is not a philosophy, only a phrase. In case oft the katori shintō ryū this philosophy has been made tangible through the policy of the ryū. I.e. not binding the ryū to a clan or familiy and figthing for them. And also through prohibiting pracitioners of the ryū to engage in duels or fights.

Are you still in doubt?I am sorry, but I have to admit, that I don't get your point.

In my experience the practice of aikidō and katori shintō ryū are very closely knit together. So I'm not able to relate to your understanding of aikidō and katori shintō ryū being fundamentally different. It is simply my experience that they are not.

Your question about "the body or the pracitioner becoming a weapon" doesn't make sense to me: Using a sword you cut the attacker. Using your hands you hurt him with your body parts. The latter is true for the yawara of the katori shintō ryū as it is for aikidō. On the other hand you practice tai sabaki in aikidō, and in katori shintō ryū tai sabaki is the base of all the weapons work.

[QUOTE=Maciej Jesmanowicz;351979]We will always do in the dojo what the child sees ... [/QUOTEWhen asked what they see in my keiko, children often answer: "People are laughing a lot." ...

RonRagusa
08-23-2017, 06:43 AM
We do not practice aikido in a backyard.

"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." - Morihei Ueshiba

Can't really add to that.

Ron

MRoh
08-23-2017, 08:53 AM
Let's start from the beginning. If a child visits your dojo and you ask what he sees here, what do you think he will answer? "One person attacks another who defends himself against this", right? Will not say "They dance with each other".

If it Looks like dancing, they will.
Children don't think in categories like "self defense" or something like that. If they don't know about fighting or violence, they see just two people doing something strange.
I train in a dojo with windows to the street, and often children watch the training with wide eyes and ask mom or dad what they are doing inside. Most parents say, they are doing sports or something like that, but the children have no idea.

Mary Eastland
08-23-2017, 08:58 AM
The first time I saw aikido I was not a child but I had no idea what it was. I had never heard of it.

I saw beauty and power and felt peacefulness.

I was attracted to it. I had no idea how much I needed it.

Ron called me over and showed me how to do unbend-able arm and I was mesmerized that I could have such strength while being relaxed.

Even though I had been an athlete my whole life I felt no ability to be strong or to defend myself.

Through my training in this art that I had never seen I have met myself. I can look at my weaknesses and my strengths. I can make choices about my safety: immediate and long term.

Aikido is about self- defense. And so much more..beauty, grace, understanding, connection, peacefulness.

Trying to limit the definition of aikido is like trying shove the sky into a soda bottle...impossible and unnecessary.

Yes, aikido is a martial art and so much more.....