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NEL030
06-17-2005, 12:59 PM
For some reason I am seeing less Aikido practitioners. If I'm right what do you think should be done in order to make Aikido more of a popular martial arts.

akiy
06-17-2005, 01:44 PM
Hi Nelson,
For some reason I am seeing less Aikido practitioners.
How are you coming to this conclusion? How large a sample are you taking?

Curious,

-- Jun

PhilHB
06-17-2005, 01:50 PM
I have heard that Miramax is making Angry White Pyjamas, which chronicles the author's Yoshinkan Aikido training in Japan, into a film. Upon release, I am curious to see if there will be flood of briefly-inspired students into the aikido dojos. Supposedly, such a phenomenon occured when the Karate Kid first came out.

PHB

NEL030
06-17-2005, 01:52 PM
I'm sorry let me rephrase that, I'm seeing less practitioners at my dojo and some seminars.

L. Camejo
06-17-2005, 01:53 PM
what do you think should be done in order to make Aikido more of a popular martial arts.

Oooo I know I know...

1)Open Tournaments in Kata and Randori for all styles of Aikido and later, all styles evileyes
2)Aiki Cheerleaders :cool:
3)Endorsement deals for tournament winners
4)Professional contracts (with payment) for the best instructors and player... I mean, Aikidoka.
:D

A guy can dream right? :freaky:
LC:ai::ki:

Paul Kerr
06-17-2005, 03:45 PM
Why strive to popularise aikido beyond the usually meager (and sufficient) advertising that dojos already do? It's usually only aiki-evangalists that want to "spread the word". It doesn't need spreading! If someone is interested enough to want to investigate the martial arts there are more then enough sources available to do so.

Ketsan
06-17-2005, 05:43 PM
Oooo I know I know...

1)Open Tournaments in Kata and Randori for all styles of Aikido and later, all styles evileyes
2)Aiki Cheerleaders :cool:
3)Endorsement deals for tournament winners
4)Professional contracts (with payment) for the best instructors and player... I mean, Aikidoka.
:D

A guy can dream right? :freaky:
LC:ai::ki:

Cheerleaders!

Adam Alexander
06-17-2005, 06:00 PM
Why strive to popularise aikido beyond the usually meager (and sufficient) advertising that dojos already do? It's usually only aiki-evangalists that want to "spread the word". It doesn't need spreading! If someone is interested enough to want to investigate the martial arts there are more then enough sources available to do so.

I'm with you. I think the desire to popularise an art is one of the things that cause it to get watered down.

Nathan Gusdorf
06-17-2005, 07:56 PM
I'm with you. I think the desire to popularise an art is one of the things that cause it to get watered down.

I agree. Typically recruiting more people results in commercialization. The result is that there may be more customers or practitioners but the practice or product is not as good as it was before.I imagine that this is what happened with a lot of TKD and Karate. Martial arts have high atrition rates because it is hard to become proficient in them. It's hard enough to become proficient at kicking or punching effectively. It's even harder to learn how to smoothly execute complex defensive techniques or simple ones that are even harder because they rely on timing. To recruit more aikido practioners I think we would have to change Aikido in a way that while economically beneficial would not be beneficial to the art itself. Unless of course they just came out with a really good Steven Seagal flick that made it clear that he practiced Aikido. Then for about 4 months a ton of beginners would pop up and probably about 4% would continue to practice. I do like the idea of cheerleaders however.

CNYMike
06-18-2005, 12:17 AM
I'm sorry let me rephrase that, I'm seeing less practitioners at my dojo and some seminars.

I think attendance is can be all over the map, and it's true for all the arts I'm training in. Sometimes you get a handful of people, sometimes the room is packed! WRT Aikido in particular, some nights the dojo I go to gets really crowded, and other times it's a handful of people. It may be nothing more than a "seasonal fluctuation."

ElizabethCastor
06-18-2005, 12:48 AM
I'm with you. I think the desire to popularise an art is one of the things that cause it to get watered down.

Ditto to those who've made this point... I look at all of the discussions and/or stories of people who want to know how long until I reach black belt or level "X"? This is what comes to my mind when I think of the kind of popularity that came with films like The Karate Kid. That is not really necessary: floods of bandwagoners:yuck:.

In fact, I really enjoy inviting people into my dojo; although not many come (their loss really!). I feel that with my dojo being smaller we have a special moment NOW where each new student can be welcomed as an individual. Its what made me love my first classes so much. I know that eventually we will grow larger and that my sensei has plans and hopes for that. I do too (hopes not plans ;) ).
But I'm greatful for the atmosphere and dedication we've got now. :cool:

Chuck.Gordon
06-18-2005, 10:06 AM
For some reason I am seeing less Aikido practitioners. If I'm right what do you think should be done in order to make Aikido more of a popular martial arts.

Why should we want to?

Chuck

Kevin Leavitt
06-18-2005, 11:26 AM
aiki cheerleaders in above the knee hakama!

samurai_kenshin
06-18-2005, 03:17 PM
I like it with fewer practicioners because it stays closer to what the art was originally supposed to be. We are: The few, the proud, the Aiki.

Ketsan
06-18-2005, 03:35 PM
aiki cheerleaders in above the knee hakama!
Anime style cheerleaders? I mean being a Japanese art and all. :D

NEL030
06-18-2005, 04:40 PM
I'm with you. I think the desire to popularise an art is one of the things that cause it to get watered down.

I agree but what happens to the Dojos that get less and less practitioner, eventually they will have to close down due to financial reasons. O Sensei said before he died that aikido was for the world.

NEL030
06-18-2005, 04:43 PM
I like it with fewer practicioners because it stays closer to what the art was originally supposed to be. We are: The few, the proud, the Aiki.

I understand, but one of my favorite thing about aikido practice is that we get to train with different partners, no matter the size. If there are fewer practitioners in the dojo, then practicing aikido won't be the same.

Jeanne Shepard
06-18-2005, 05:11 PM
I like to think we're sort of exclusive.

JEanne

giriasis
06-18-2005, 05:23 PM
Hi Nelson! I'm glad to see you're still training! Please come visit us soon. I think sometimes we see a decline in classes for a variety of reasons. Some people move away, ahem. ;) Some people have life issues to deal with -- new baby in the family, marriage, unemployment. Some decide aikido just isn't for them. Also, some schools seem to have training seasons. For us summers start to get slow and pick up in September and again in January.

From looking at our roster, I've noticed is that once beginners can make it past their first 10-15 classes they tend to stick around. They do manage to stay, and catch the bug -- like the rest of us here and, well, we never go away.

What you can do is just be welcoming to new members and get invovled in the dojo the best you can.

Qatana
06-18-2005, 06:25 PM
I feel that with my dojo being smaller we have a special moment NOW where each new student can be welcomed as an individual. Its what made me love my first classes so much.

Me,too.In fact I was spoiled rotten my first six months on the mat because I was the Only new kid in all that time,and had managed to stick it out despite injuring myself very early on.So the first new student to come in actually made me a little resentful cuz I couldn't be the Baby anymore, but ever since then it has been wonderful to welcome each new arrival as enthusiastically as I was the first night I walked into the dojo.
And while training in a very small group has its drawbacks, like becoming overly familiar with our partners' physical ideosynchronies, I have access to my sensei's sensei's dojo, where i get to play with lots of unfamiliar bodies. And usually with Janet, too.

maikerus
06-18-2005, 10:24 PM
I have heard that Miramax is making Angry White Pyjamas, which chronicles the author's Yoshinkan Aikido training in Japan, into a film. Upon release, I am curious to see if there will be flood of briefly-inspired students into the aikido dojos. Supposedly, such a phenomenon occured when the Karate Kid first came out.

PHB

Hmmm...if they are making a movie and if they do it right...or closer to true...then there will probably be a decline :crazy:

cheers,

--Michael

PhilHB
06-18-2005, 11:09 PM
Hmmm...if they are making a movie and if they do it right...or closer to true...then there will probably be a decline :crazy:

cheers,

--Michael


Ehh...perhaps. Actually, I kinda find the book inspiring...in a "give it all ya got" kinda way.

PHB

Charles Hill
06-19-2005, 12:00 AM
Ehh...perhaps.

Hi Phillip,

Micheal is intimately familiar with the Yoshinkan Honbu. Apparently there are some discrepencies between what is portrayed in the book and the experiences of others. And if anyone would know the truth, my money is on Micheal.

As for the main topic, my take is that one of the biggest problems in Aikido is the lack of clear teaching on ukemi, meaning proper attack, proper blending, and proper going to the ground. Rolls, for example, seem to be largely self-taught even though there is often an avalanche of advice to the beginner. If someone can`t figure out how to take rolls in a painless manner, they likely quit. I also often see a downward spiral of beginners making useless attacks to which the experienced partner unconciously "punishes" the beginner by applying the technique too strongly. This causes the beginner to make an even weaker attack. It becomes abusive (in a slight, below the radar way) and the beginner oftens quits. Donovan Waite`s series on ukemi, especially vol.2, might be a good remedy.

Charles

samurai_kenshin
06-19-2005, 12:10 AM
I didn't mean people should leave Aikido, but I like it the way it is. More people would make it a lot less personal for me. I have a fairly wel established personal relationship with sensei and most of the sempai, so more people would sort of detract from that personal, familiy feeling, y'know? I hope that made sense :confused:

batemanb
06-19-2005, 02:10 AM
Hi Phillip,

Micheal is intimately familiar with the Yoshinkan Honbu. Apparently there are some discrepencies between what is portrayed in the book and the experiences of others. And if anyone would know the truth, my money is on Micheal.


Phillip,

If you read the book again, look out for a character referred to as "Stumpy", you'll understand how intimate Michael is with the story ;).

Nelson

With regards to popularity of Aikido, our small club is currently at it's highest membership level ever (64 active members), we still get classes of 4 people or classes of 15, just the way everyone has to balance their lives, but over all, I haven't seen a downward trend in interest here yet.

rgds

Bryan

maikerus
06-19-2005, 02:23 AM
Ehh...perhaps. Actually, I kinda find the book inspiring...in a "give it all ya got" kinda way.

PHB

Philip,

I thought the book was really good, too. Enjoyed almost every page :)

The book was made for the masses and not specific to people studying martial arts. If the movie goes the same route then you are probably right...it will inspire and bring people in.

I let my own experience and discussions with people who ask me specifically about doing that instructor's course to colour my last post. My apologies.

cheers,

--Stumpy

-

maikerus
06-19-2005, 02:32 AM
We run a "beginner's course" every 3 months or so to bring people into the dojo. We have found over the last 2 years that there is about a 50-70% drop-out rate during the course. The people that make it through the trials and tribulations of ukemi, kamae, kihon dosa and 4 basic techniques tend to stick around.

Talking to those that don't come back it is usually a lifestyle/time problem rather than anything with the Aikido itself. Others have changed jobs and moved in order to practice more.

I guess its hard to say how long it takes to get that "I will move the world before missing training" attitude kicks in :)

--Michael

PhilHB
06-19-2005, 10:58 AM
Hi Phillip,

Micheal is intimately familiar with the Yoshinkan Honbu. Apparently there are some discrepencies between what is portrayed in the book and the experiences of others. And if anyone would know the truth, my money is on Micheal.




Ah. I'm pretty new to the forums and haven't got a chance to meet everyone yet. I'm gonna grab my copy and look ya up, Micheal.


Best - phil

Adam Alexander
06-19-2005, 02:58 PM
I agree but what happens to the Dojos that get less and less practitioner, eventually they will have to close down due to financial reasons. O Sensei said before he died that aikido was for the world.

If an area doesn't have the clientelle to support a dojo, it's not for that part of the world.

Aikido might be for the world...but so are the great books of the world. However, I don't know anyone personally who's read anything really meaningful.

You wouldn't cut Walden's Pond in half to get more readers would you? But that's what happens when you try to "sell" Aikido.

When a person is ready for the knowledge, they will come...even if it means that they're being taught on the Sensei's mats in a garage.

maikerus
06-19-2005, 05:57 PM
Ah. I'm pretty new to the forums and haven't got a chance to meet everyone yet. I'm gonna grab my copy and look ya up, Micheal.


Just don't believe everything you read...Please! :)

--Michael

-

CNYMike
06-20-2005, 12:11 AM
I'm with you. I think the desire to popularise an art is one of the things that cause it to get watered down.

Maybe. But going too far the other way, keeping an art secret, is one way to insure it gets killed off.

There may be no immediate risk of that with Aikido, given that one estimate is that there are 1.5 million practitioners world wide. But even then, the Doshu isn't resting on his laurels --- he's published books, put out DVDs, and is traveling to seminars all over the world. Still, I am kind of sensitive to suggestions of keeping Aikido "exclsuve," because I'm well aware of that extreme case of secrecy leading to an art dying out (or coming very close to it).

As to the original poster's concerns, there may be any number of reasons there could be fewer people. But the trend could reverse itself at any time, too. He may end up wishing for the "quiet days"!

rob_liberti
06-20-2005, 07:35 AM
If someone can`t figure out how to take rolls in a painless manner, they likely quit. I also often see a downward spiral of beginners making useless attacks to which the experienced partner unconciously "punishes" the beginner by applying the technique too strongly. This causes the beginner to make an even weaker attack. It becomes abusive (in a slight, below the radar way) and the beginner oftens quits. Donovan Waite`s series on ukemi, especially vol.2, might be a good remedy.

In that situation, I agree with this advice for the beginner. But, in addition, what can we do to highlight this common behavior of the "abusive" nage side? I say put cameras on the entire class. When a someone quits, someone watches the video footage of every interaction they had on the mat. If you find someone smashing them around, they have to watch the video and explain themselves.

As far as that specific ukemi. I like it for a start. But, people have to be careful about taking such information to an extreme. When people take it to the absurd level and start trying to artificially force fit it into situations, it can get dangerous. I heard a story about how Sugano sensei was specifically telling some uchi deshi not to try to force fit one of the ukemis they learned from Donovan sensei into some particular throw. The person continued to try (probably because they couldn't change their body habit fast enough), and Sugano sensei, gave them a few chances and then just added a little power and wrecked the poor uchi deshi. I'm sure they got the lesson, but it almost seems like we need to put some sort of disclaimer on such videos.

Rob

Qatana
06-20-2005, 08:22 AM
[QUOTE=Michael Gallagher]Maybe. But going too far the other way, keeping an art secret, is one way to insure it gets killed off.
QUOTE]

Who is trying to keep aikido secret? Did people sudddenly stop advertising, take down their websites, hide the dojos down mysterious dark alleys?

A long time ago I went looking for aikido. I wasn't ready and it hid from me. When I was ready, it was there, pretty much in the first place I looked.

CNYMike
06-20-2005, 10:11 AM
.... Who is trying to keep aikido secret?....

Nobody, thank god, but the point is to be careful about the idea of somehow making Aikido "exclsuive." Because if enough people do that long enough, THEN you end up with a lot less Aikidoka.

I don't go along with that idea. Sorry.

NEL030
06-20-2005, 11:26 AM
Hi Anne Marie, nice to hear from you. I see what your saying and it's true.

NEL030
06-20-2005, 11:42 AM
:) Well said! :) Michael on post #31

Adam Alexander
06-20-2005, 12:55 PM
Maybe. But going too far the other way, keeping an art secret, is one way to insure it gets killed off.

I don't see how you get "keeping it a secret" from what I posted. In any case, the intent was to say that generally, a "popular" art is a watered down art and it's better to have a true art with no students than it is to have a crappy art with lots of students.

In response to the original post (I realized I didn't really respond to the point, which appears to be "how do I get more students."). I'd say, find out why your current students choose to attend your school. Then, advertise those points.

CNYMike
06-20-2005, 01:26 PM
..... In any case, the intent was to say that generally, a "popular" art is a watered down art and it's better to have a true art with no students than it is to have a crappy art with lots of students......

There's one problem with a "true art with no students:" It dies with you. Then it's no good to anybody. The only way it will outlive you is if it's taught.

A "true art" with a few students, yes. No students, that kind of bloody mindedness leads nowhere. Some students, ok.

Adam Alexander
06-20-2005, 05:53 PM
There's one problem with a "true art with no students:" It dies with you. Then it's no good to anybody. The only way it will outlive you is if it's taught.

A "true art" with a few students, yes. No students, that kind of bloody mindedness leads nowhere. Some students, ok.


If that makes sense to you, ok. But, it doesn't make sense to me. I see this equation: No students=dead art. Not the real art=dead art. You simply have a mutation of the original art...but the art is dead either way.

Please refrain from the use of "mindlessness" (if I'm interpreting it correctly) in future descriptions of my posts. I consider it an attack.

Jeanne Shepard
06-20-2005, 06:55 PM
Maybe. But going too far the other way, keeping an art secret, is one way to insure it gets killed off.

There may be no immediate risk of that with Aikido, given that one estimate is that there are 1.5 million practitioners world wide. But even then, the Doshu isn't resting on his laurels --- he's published books, put out DVDs, and is traveling to seminars all over the world. Still, I am kind of sensitive to suggestions of keeping Aikido "exclsuve," because I'm well aware of that extreme case of secrecy leading to an art dying out (or coming very close to it).

As to the original poster's concerns, there may be any number of reasons there could be fewer people. But the trend could reverse itself at any time, too. He may end up wishing for the "quiet days"!

When I said I liked the idea of Aikido being "exclusive" I was TRYING to be funny.

Jeanne

Rupert Atkinson
06-20-2005, 07:19 PM
Do you think it would be approproate for Segal Sensei to be in this movie :)

Charles Hill
06-21-2005, 01:01 AM
Hi Rob,

I completely agree with your first paragraph. As for the D. Waite videos. The first video deals with a very wide variety of falls, and the second video deals with concepts. I find the concepts to be completely adaptable to any style of ukemi and Aikido. I wonder about your Sugano Sensei story. Maybe the situation was of a student doing a specific ukemi for the wrong technique, not an overall condemnation of the complete style.

Charles

Michael Cardwell
06-21-2005, 04:32 AM
aiki cheerleaders in above the knee hakama!

Well above, if you please. ;) Although that might throw off potential woman students. That's one thing that would help aikido grow, more women in class. The problem being is that like in the dojo I train at there is only one girl in the mist of all of us guys. Most women that come to our dojo leave after the first class, I think if we had more females in class that they would enjoy the environment and be more likely to stay. Of course that begs the question, how do you get more girl students? :)

CNYMike
06-21-2005, 06:01 AM
If that makes sense to you, ok. But, it doesn't make sense to me. I see this equation: No students=dead art. Not the real art=dead art. You simply have a mutation of the original art...but the art is dead either way.

My equation is like this: No students=dead art; students=alive art. What keeps an art alive is the act of being pased from generation to generation; if that doesn't happen, it dies.

As to whether it's the "real art," that's a separate but issue, ie how the teacher perceives it, how it's passed down, etc. You don't think you can have the "real art" with a really big school, fine, don't have one, but you should have one if you want it to exist at all.


Please refrain from the use of "mindlessness" (if I'm interpreting it correctly) in future descriptions of my posts. I consider it an attack.

Well, I didn't use "mindlessness." I used "bloody mindedness." It's a British expression IIRC. In this context, "Bloody minded" describes the attitude of better not to teach Aikido at all than see it watered down! which leads to the problem outlinde above. Probably still more colorful than I should have used (mea culpa), but has nothing to do with "mindless."

You want people to know the "real art"? You teach it.

CNYMike
06-21-2005, 06:35 AM
When I said I liked the idea of Aikido being "exclusive" I was TRYING to be funny.

Jeanne

Now she tells me. :hypno: :)

Adam Alexander
06-21-2005, 12:08 PM
[QUOTE=Michael Gallagher]My equation is like this: No students=dead art; students=alive art. What keeps an art alive is the act of being pased from generation to generation; if that doesn't happen, it dies.[QUOTE]

If you say so. Alive art doesn't= the same art--however you define same art.

aikigirl10
06-22-2005, 09:37 AM
im actually starting to see more and more aikido practitioners , and least in my area.

giriasis
06-23-2005, 07:57 AM
Hi Anne Marie, nice to hear from you. I see what your saying and it's true.

All I have to say, Nelson, is that if you see a decline in your dojo, then think about the different factors. Is there something you can do to help? Do you greet people who come in the dojo, say hello, seek out the beginner to train with? Talk with your sensei, maybe he needs help in the dojo with flyers, publicity, calling people who have gone missing, etc. I know you have been training enough that you're not a beginner anymore. These issues probably have always been around, but you're just starting to notice it as you get more advanced and more invovled in your dojo. Now that you see it, ask yourself -- is there something I can do to help? Your more of a senior student now and I bet your sensei could use some help.

Mark Uttech
06-23-2005, 09:28 AM
small dojos are not a problem. It used to be, there were "no dojos".

Big Dave
06-23-2005, 03:05 PM
When a person is ready for the knowledge, they will come...even if it means that they're being taught on the Sensei's mats in a garage.

Have to disagree here. Aikido has a great message that would be appealing to a lot more people if they only knew of it. I discovered it quite by accident (I went to observe a Kempo class and they also taught Aikido) The average lay person has no idea that Aikido even exists. This is especially true of our young people. I sometimes mention Aikido in my classroom - I am a high school history teacher - and it's a rare student has heard of aikido from someone other than me. How can people come to aikido if they do not know it exists?

Jeanne Shepard
06-23-2005, 10:42 PM
Now she tells me. :hypno: :)


Actually, if Aikido was really common, it would lose alot of appeal for me. I don't like doing trendy things.

Jeanne :yuck:

CNYMike
06-25-2005, 05:56 PM
My equation is like this: No students=dead art; students=alive art. What keeps an art alive is the act of being pased from generation to generation; if that doesn't happen, it dies.

If you say so ......

All right then -- you tell me: how is it anyone on this forum knows anything about Aikido? If it's not because O Sensei and his family and their students made a point of teachng it to people who have gone on to teach other people, then how did we end up with an estimated worldwide population of 1.5 million Aikido practitioners?

If O Sensei had said to his family, "Aikido is for us and a very select few, no one else -- it is too precious to be entrusted to the rifraf," do you think anyone reading this forum would know it even existed? Hey, would this forum, Aikiweb, even exist? And if it had ended up in the custody of a handful of old men, what would have happened after they died?

Well? You tell me.

Adam Alexander
06-30-2005, 02:53 PM
All right then -- you tell me: how is it anyone on this forum knows anything about Aikido? If it's not because O Sensei and his family and their students made a point of teachng it to people who have gone on to teach other people, then how did we end up with an estimated worldwide population of 1.5 million Aikido practitioners?

If O Sensei had said to his family, "Aikido is for us and a very select few, no one else -- it is too precious to be entrusted to the rifraf," do you think anyone reading this forum would know it even existed? Hey, would this forum, Aikiweb, even exist? And if it had ended up in the custody of a handful of old men, what would have happened after they died?

Well? You tell me.

This is the response to the comment I made?

I think you folks ought to reread the statements I made to see where you digressed from the point.

Ketsan
06-30-2005, 03:43 PM
I think Jean has a point. If Aikido is dying or started to die out at some point in the future, then trying to popularise it would be the wrong thing to do because it would inevitably become watered down to suit people who would otherwise not do it.

CNYMike
06-30-2005, 09:44 PM
This is the response to the comment I made?

I think you folks ought to reread the statements I made to see where you digressed from the point.

Fine.

Here is the comment you made in post #44:


"If that makes sense to you, ok. But, it doesn't make sense to me. I see this equation: No students=dead art. Not the real art=dead art. You simply have a mutation of the original art...but the art is dead either way."


Where I disagree is with the use of "dead art." Obviously, you have a definition that is different from mine. Mine is very simple: A martial art is dead if it is not passed on to subsequent generations. When the last adhererants die, it is gone: DEAD. Lost forever. Consequently, to keep an art alive, it must be taught. That is all there is to it. You may think you have the truest, purest understanding of Aikido, with the higest claiber of techniqes, but if you don't teach it to others, then it dies when you die. Fortunately, there is no immediate danger of this with Aikido given that there over a million pracitioners worldwide. But the danger is there, even if remote.

I think that proposition is pretty straightforward; it's not rocket surgery. What about it does not make sense?

CNYMike
06-30-2005, 09:54 PM
I think Jean has a point. If Aikido is dying or started to die out at some point in the future, then trying to popularise it would be the wrong thing to do because it would inevitably become watered down to suit people who would otherwise not do it.

I don't agree with that; I do not accept it. If Aikido dies out at some point in the future, it will be because people are not teaching the art. After it is gone, it is GONE. Goodbye. A curiosity in books on the martial arts, but impossible to find. Then what good is it to anybody?

If you don't want to "water down" Aikido, don't. As long as you teach whatever you want to teach, and produce instructors who can pass it on, then it won't die.

Ketsan
07-01-2005, 07:07 AM
I don't agree with that; I do not accept it. If Aikido dies out at some point in the future, it will be because people are not teaching the art. After it is gone, it is GONE. Goodbye. A curiosity in books on the martial arts, but impossible to find. Then what good is it to anybody?

If you don't want to "water down" Aikido, don't. As long as you teach whatever you want to teach, and produce instructors who can pass it on, then it won't die.

If they're not interested in what you're teaching, what you are teaching will either have to change so they are interested or die out.

CNYMike
07-01-2005, 10:21 AM
If they're not interested in what you're teaching .....

"They" can vote with their feet. But those who are interested can and do stay. And getting back to the original posters concern, the Aikido class I'm in has had a pretty good turnout the last few times I've gone. Of course, I only go once a week, and it could be a ghost town the other two. But on Monday, the mat was pretty crowded.

..... what you are teaching will either have to change so they are interested or die out.

There's plenty of 'traditional' karate out there in spite of the rise of sport karate schools. FMA, Thai Boxing, and SE Asian systems seem to be gaining traction without having to modified. So it's not that different MA don't attract people. But someone's got to be willing to teach it, or there's no opportunity for anyone to do it.

Adam Alexander
07-01-2005, 11:57 AM
I think that proposition is pretty straightforward; it's not rocket surgery. What about it does not make sense?

Agreed, it is so simple. I don't understand why there's question.

If you accept: "That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet."

Then you must accept that names are arbitrary designations intended to denote a certain idea--that's the gist of the line. If, we define Aikido as A, then, through dilution, A devolops into B, we can continue to call it Aikido, but is ain't Aikido...A is dead.

I hope this helps you understand your misinterpretation of the original post which implied this concept.

CNYMike
07-02-2005, 11:11 AM
...... If, we define Aikido as A, then, through dilution, A devolops into B .....

:confused: What do you mean by "dilution"?

O Sensei allowed a certain amount of wiggle room in passing down Aikido; every source I've come across makes points about how personal Aikido is and how it is supposed to be evolving. In fact, in "Essecne of Aikido," John Stevens quoted O Sensei as saying, "change and adaptability are the essence of Aikido." So two people from different lineages looking at each other might think the other is "diluted" when, in fact, neither is.

That said, there are things that O Sensei did consider important and you don't have any wiggle room on those points; in that instance, going too far way from them would be disrepectful to O Sesnei and Aikido if that's the art you want to pursue.


.... we can continue to call it Aikido, but is ain't Aikido...

In which case, don't even bother calling it Aikido.

Adam Alexander
07-02-2005, 12:44 PM
:confused: What do you mean by "dilution"?

Think about it...that's what I've been saying from the beginning.

CNYMike
07-03-2005, 12:38 PM
Think about it...that's what I've been saying from the beginning.

The only way "popularizing" Aikido leads to "dilution" is if the person doing the popularizing decides lazy Americans are too dumb to handle the "real deal" and changes. You want to argue this has already happened, fine, but it's not necessary. The old East West Academy, where I trained in Kali, Wing Chun, and Tai Chi from 1997 until its closing in 2003, didn't appear to have watered down anything; it offered Thai Boxing, and there's nothing watered down or diluted about that!

So I don't see how popularizing/commercialization inevitably leads to dilution/death if the head instructor is careful not to do that.

Adam Alexander
07-03-2005, 02:51 PM
1)You want to argue this has already happened, fine, but it's not necessary. ...2)didn't appear to have watered down anything; it offered Thai Boxing, and there's nothing watered down or diluted about that!

1) That's the problem! I don't want to argue it. Nowhere did I say that it has happened anywhere specifically. I only said,"generally, that's what happens to an art that's been 'popularized.'"...such as in most TKD schools and Judo sport schools.

2)What makes you think you're an authority to designate what's been watered down? Because you've trained in the current form of the art doesn't mean you know what the art was originally anymore than what I know Aikido was under the direct tutelage of Shioda or Ueshiba.

aikigirl10
07-03-2005, 05:15 PM
Who cares about popularity. It is what it is.

CNYMike
07-03-2005, 08:40 PM
1) That's the problem! I don't want to argue it. Nowhere did I say that it has happened anywhere specifically. I only said,"generally, that's what happens to an art that's been 'popularized.'"...such as in most TKD schools and Judo sport schools.


Well, then it's a bit late in the game to worry about it because Aikido as been "popularized" for at least 55 years now, depending on what your starting point is! OTOH, since watering down seems to be associating with sport forms of TKD and Judo, that is not a hazzard with most Aikido lineages; Tomiki ryu, I don't know what's going on there.



2)What makes you think you're an authority to designate what's been watered down? .....

What makes you an authority on whether TKD and Judo have been watered down? Which is off topic. I mentioned the Thai Boxing program because it is a full contact system and Guro Kevin and Guro Andy always desribed it as the hardest thing you can do to your body. So I'm guessing that neither Arjan Surachai Siriute nor the instructors under him (including Kru Kevin Seaman) changed or dilluted anything just to make Thai Boxing more popular.

If that's correct, the point is not that I am an authority on what has been watered down but that "watering down" is not inevitable if the instructors take care. Which was my point.

Then again, I have little training in TKD and none in Judo, so I can't say anything from first hand experince. How about you?


Because you've trained in the current form of the art doesn't mean you know what the art was originally anymore than what I know Aikido was under the direct tutelage of Shioda or Ueshiba.

No, but again, the sources I have read indicated "Ueshiba" didn't want Aikido to be frozen in any one particular state -- he wanted it to change and evolve over time. So not only do either of us know what Aikido's original form was, O Sensei probably wouldn't want us to.

Kevin Leavitt
07-04-2005, 11:29 AM
competition doesn't necessarily dilute an art. It must be kept in the proper perspective though.

Popularity can be a good thing and a bad thing. Look at yoga, for instance, it became very popular in the last 10 years. Certainly there were mcyoga studios that popped up all over the place, along with magazines, and certification seminars etc.

You know see alot of those trendy/fad things fading, and the core of yoga is doing just fine. I believe it has probably benefited from the popularity.

I believe if Aikido ever took off big time that there certainly would be alot of mcdojos pop up, the question is not if the art is being diluted by those that come along and claim expertise, and teach, but whether or not your EGO can survive the trend!

In the long run, those who stick to the core and quality/long term dojos will be better fulfilled and will only be better for having survived the popularization.