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I am seeing a trend here on the boards that distresses me greatly. Maybe it has always been there, but only recently have I taken notice and been dismayed by it.
Ever read these parables and teachings?
"As I and several friends were walking along a dark path one night, stumbling, tripping and falling we saw an old man standing ahead on the path with a lamp. Kind of one of those old things you hold up burns some kind of liquid. He was just standing there with the light. We eventually tripped, stumbled and crawled up to the old man. We beat him senseless, then broke the light, and continued our halting progress on down the path. Even now I think of the arrogance of that man with a light. It was plain that no one else had a light, and that the 12 of us were a lot better fighters than he was, so why show off that he had a light by just standing there……"
Best guy in a fight: "The one who brings back the most friends with the biggest and fastest repeating weaponry."…."The one with the largest nuclear armory".
Best way to approach the world: "A 9 mm in one hand, and a 45 in the other, shoot first ask questions later."
"My Shihan can kick your shihan's ass without moving, standing on one foot with his arms at his side, he uses the force for it."
To the chant of tastes great less filling: Ki, Technique, Ki Technique, Ki Technique.
Why are we training? Bragging rights? To make ourselves more bad asses than we already are? Fear that at any point some big black man is going to jump out of the shadows in the dark alley that we are walking in with a knife and gut us? Why are we doing this????
Maybe I am missing something here…… Maybe I am for the first time not missing something here. This board seems to be digressing a lot lately.
Lots of people here seem to feel that Aikido is about the techniques, the form of the practice. Many more schooled than I have pointed out that all of the techniques came from other martial arts, and were more brutal in those arts, arms broken, heads smashed, people died etc. Why not practice those arts? Why Aikido, why follow some little man that wanted to make the world a better place?
Yes, lets kill those that wrong us, after all if they stole our possessions they have stolen who we are in this western society. Remember he who dies with the most toys wins, he just took some of yours, so he has to be winning. I am also sure that he or she (Thieves come in both flavors), has to be out to get you or some old Judo teacher personally.
If all aikido offered was a good technical set of techniques, why bother, a good 9 is a lot faster, much more able to subdue the opponent, and the dead can't testify. And most importantly it won't take you 10 years to learn to shoot proficiently, maybe 4 or 5 trips to the range is all. Stay current by shooting an afternoon a month or so.
None of that is my Aikido. None of that is my goal in training, if it were to denigrate to that, I'd go sailing, head back offshore. As it is the only thing that really keeps me tied to this dock, my mooring lines gently tugging at their cleats, is a small white room, and the people that dress like penguins and train there, laugh there, cry there, learn and try living for small bits of time. The man that leads them in this is amazing, 30 years is a lot of time, a lot of experience, will I ever get that good? Doubt it….. But every day I go I get better at being me….. If I am walking down a dark alley and a big black man with a huge knife jumps out and stabs me through the heart, and I die instantly, will my aikido have failed me? No, I will have died a better me than if I had never stepped on that mat. (However I am going to have to wonder as I head toward the light….What in the hell was I doing in that Alley?…… )