View Full Version : Poll: How important is physical aesthetics in your aikido training?

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09-19-2004, 12:30 AM
AikiWeb Poll for the week of September 19, 2004:

How important is physical aesthetics in your aikido training?

I don't do aikido
Critically important
Very important
Somewhat important
Not very important
Not at all important

Here are the current results (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=239).

09-19-2004, 12:12 PM
If by "aesthetics" you meaning "looking good", I gave up on that a long time ago. So, not at all.

09-19-2004, 04:29 PM
If by 'aesthetics' you mean posture...very important.

Oops suppose I should vote then.

Bryant Pierpont
09-19-2004, 04:37 PM
Webster's (I wasn't sure) defines "aesthetics" as "a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste and with the creation and appreciation of beauty". So, not very. Is this what you meant?


09-19-2004, 05:07 PM
What do you mean by "physical aesthetics"?

Iain. :ki: :confused:

09-19-2004, 06:43 PM
Seems to me that as we train we're taught to see the "beauty" in well-executed technique: balance, posture, crisp execution, zanshin, etc.
So good technique looks good.

Looking at it that way, I would think it's very important.

09-19-2004, 07:42 PM
I would say that physical aesthetics is very important because I find Aikido very beautiful and aesthetically pleasing and that is part of what attracts me to it. I try to make my movements smooth and powerful and physically pleasing for me and anyone watching. I think this is key to good technique.

09-19-2004, 08:34 PM
While I can see and appriciate the beautiful and graceful moves in Aikido, I don't feel that they are vital for effectiveness. In our dojo we have a saying, " Aikido ain't pretty". I've studied direct and flowing styles and believe that both ways are effective.

09-19-2004, 09:00 PM

when I said "smooth and powerful" I wasn't neccessarily talking about a particular kind of movement (ie. flowing versus direct). I think even "direct" aikido can be aesthetically pleasing. But perhaps I just think powerful, centered movement is beautiful in general...

09-20-2004, 02:29 AM
I think good aikido is pretty, but it is necessary for the blending to come out of an understanding of the inefficiency of bashing things around. Looking at Ueshiba do aikido I think is beautiful. Recently started doing video of some sessions in our dojo and it is extremely useful because you can see where your posture goes bad or where you start to exert excessive force and what you could have done instead.

09-20-2004, 03:48 AM
I always thought Aikido was "The Beautiful Art" anyway.

Iain. :ki: :)

09-20-2004, 06:27 AM
I discovered and have learned that presence of mind, composure- "ant - ai" is fundamental. It's outward expression is grace. As in all aikido, "separation" of mind & body is to be avoided; there is a constant ebb & flow between these. What is awkward in one is imbalance in the other & vice versa - composure in one is balance in the other. Therefore form and function are integrated in aikido, so aesthetic is "very important". Why not "critically important"? We are all students and are learning, so we must take each other and ourselves as we are, imperfect and clumsy, and can't expect perfection; it would interfere with learning.

09-21-2004, 08:35 AM
Flow.....................does your aikido dance ? (George Leonard."The Ultimate Athlete" and I paraphrase; The ultimate athlete is not necessarily a dancer but the ultimate athlete dances.) Have you ever seen a really good waiter in a restaurant who is there only when you need them , who moves with ease between tables with the meals balanced on their arms, have you ever watched a skilled performance. That is good aikido.

P.S. I have even seen this in Aikido !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

09-22-2004, 08:05 PM
If by 'aesthetics' you mean posture...very important.

I was at a Denny's restaurant last night with a couple of friends. There was a waitress there that, while not typical of the body type I usually find attractive, I was drawn too. I couldn't put my finger on exactly why. I mentioned it to my friends and the one, who happens to be a body worker, immediately said "she has a straight back and very good posture". He was right. She carried herself with such ease and grace that her movements were very beautiful...even while carrying a tray of nachos :D


Mark Uttech
09-25-2004, 08:36 PM
[B] Well executed aikido technique looks beautiful because things fall into place. In gassho, tamonmark

09-25-2004, 10:53 PM
Physical aesthetics is extremely important in any martial art and any sport..Techniques should be performed with easness and look like it is being performed with or almost with minimal effort..Having vast smooth and controlled movements without extra wasted exhaustion or effort..Minimizing and getting to the point..I guess what im trying to say is the prettier and more fake Aikido looks is the proper way to accomplish a varied tech..

Mike Galante
01-01-2007, 01:25 AM
To me, Aikido is like watching ocean waves interact. Yes, that which is the most spiritual of martial arts should also look the most beautiful.
My Humble Opinion

Mike Galante

01-01-2007, 01:08 PM
Aesthetics as in beautiful?

You have obviously never seen me train.

Chuck Clark
01-01-2007, 01:51 PM
There's a difference between beautiful and elegant. I have seen beautiful technique that had "no teeth" and beautiful technique that had teeth and was in fact elegant in its form, simplicity, and application. I have also seen unattractive technical form that had no teeth and unattractive technical form that had teeth and yet was elegant in the same way as the beautiful form.

I think it comes down to appropriately applied principle, efficiency, and riai. This, to me, is the aesthetics of waza. Some of us are beautiful in our practice and some of us aren't ... I suspect that we are not the best judge of such things in our own practice. As long as the solution to the problem is "elegant" I'll leave the "beauty" of it to the eyes of the beholders.

Akemashite omedeto gozaimasu

01-02-2007, 12:28 AM
People see beauty in many ways...