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everything in my little aikido sphere has been going steadily for a long while, but recently with my plans to relocate, there has been a sudden surge of activity...
my original ryu's shihan, who has been in semi-retirement, has recently honoured me with some informal morning teas, talking about aikido, and we've also been trying to set aside time on the mat to do some 1-to-1 training. it's great.
he went overseas for work for the longest time, and so aside from the three first beginner classes that he took, i barely had any opportunity to learn from him in the last 4 years. to be able to tap into his wisdom so directly, has been a boon that i've been yearning for. i guess partially because of the reason that i'll be relocating to another state in the next few months and his current availability, he has granted me the opportunity to train with him and ask freely about aikido.
i've had so many questions about my original ryu's history as well as technical questions, and it was great to finally hear his tale and views first hand.
back at my current, main dojo, my sensei has suddenly informed me that he would like me to consider doing my next grading later this year. they'll assess me again in july to make the final call, but he'd like to see me get ready nevertheless. he was disappointed to hear about my leaving and yea, it was quite hard for me to do that too...
gah... this is making my decision to leave that much harder... but in the meantime, i'll just try to
the first couple of months of joining the aikiweb forums, i lapped up all the furious debates about whether "aikido worked or not", "what aikido really is", "is aikido the ultimate martial art" and all that jazz.
i was intrigued and completely loving the different takes on those big questions i had been juggling with.
now, several months after that, i'm amazed that these same people are still have the same debates again and again. and it's apparently been going on for *years* now... jeez. don't they get bored of talking about the same thing over and over again? can't we all just move on?
oh well, it's fair enough to say that if i'm not interested, i should simply stop reading them. hmm, which is what i'm doing...
...but that doesn't mean i can't dedicate a single blog post to moan about it.
*names have been removed to protect the anonymity of the individuals involved.
my dojo was affiliated with a small, independent federation for some decades. however, in recent years, the shihan increasingly receded his involvement due to his age and failing health. unfortunately, there was no strong and clear leader to take his position and continue the federation in the long-run.
at any rate, things moved along, and my dojo took the decision to affiliate with another group last year. the change was bittersweet as the new group was far bigger and had many experienced and good aikidoka. their energy and focus are great, and it has been a good transition overall.
although i only trained for a couple of years under the old federation, it still pained me nonetheless to deal with the shift especially since i had developed a degree to respect and loyalty to my first teachers and school. the positives of the change did not alter the fact that it still hurt to feel like i abandoned my 'grandfather' (the shihan) and my 'uncle' (one of the sensei that didn't re-affiliate).
for the sake of having more training opportunities as well my reluctance to let go, i travel double the distance that i normally do to the other dojo (run by the 'uncle') to train once a week. unfortunately, the class size there is tiny, and there is barely anyone there i can train with. we spend more time laying the mats and talking than actually training. being a sweat-monster that sheds a least a lit
i'm elaborating out-loud on a random idea i had about aikido as compared to other MAs:-
in the stereotypical fighting arts, it's usually a game of addition and subtraction. hypothetically, if fighter 'A' goes against fighter 'B', we can simply calculate all the factors involved within each fighter and see which sum comes up bigger.
'A' vs. 'B'
= [A] -
= [strength+speed+skills+...] - [strength+speed+skills+...]
if 'A' > 'B' at any one time, then 'A' wins; and vice-versa.
thus, if you were training within these parameters, you would try your continuously increase the value of these factors, or in some cases, trying to maintain it. however, the problem starts because eventually there will be someone who is bigger, stronger, faster... and yes, simply younger. whatever we do, we cannot fight the effect of age...
in aikido however, i reckon that it doesn't work the same way 'mathematically'. i propose that rather than it being a game of addition and subtraction, it becomes a matter of multiplication.
'C' attacks 'D' (aikidoka)
= [C] x [D]
= [strength+speed+skills+...] x [aiki ability+...]
usually an aikido beginner would normally get whooped by 'C', because they are not only using the wrong formula (i.e. fighting the wrong fight), but also that the value of the 'aiki ability' is still paradoxically too large (using too much strength, forcing the technique etc.), causing 'C' to overwhelm 'D' if 'D' tries to fight 'C' by simple subtraction.
however, as the aikidoka improves, and the finesse and the ability to 'blend' increases and so forth, th...More
i was initially daunted about setting up an aikiblog after reading some of the ones here, but recently was inspired by one which was succinct, simple to read and very... 'real'.
it's given me confidence to think that i don't have to try too hard, but to simply be me when i write here.
i love talking and writing about aikido, but it would appear that my regular (external) blog is seldom an appropriate place for it due to the target audience... in fact, that always whinge that aikido is all i talk about. LOL.
oh well, looks like i've found me a little niche then eh?