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A blog written from the point of view of a martial arts beginner, which I am. You can find the full blog at http://yghmartialarts.blogspot.com. Here on AikiWeb, I'll post only those entries which are relevant to aikido.
When I'm in a songwriting rut and my guitar lies dormant in its case on my floor for weeks at a time, the cure is to start listening to new music. I put in a new CD (yes, for me it is usually still CDs) and listen to it several times in a matter of days, picking up on new chords, new kinds of melodies, new lyrical ideas. Soon, I feel compelled to try my hand at these new tricks.
It shouldn't be a surprise, then, that my return to blogging has been brought on by the discovery--and subsequent devouring--of the collected works of an online martial arts writer, Rob Redmond of 24 Fighting Chickens. Redmond is a lifelong karateka who writes with a biting wit. His observations about karate have implications that reach far beyond his own art.
One need only read a few of his short pieces to discover a pervasive, recurring theme: his fear that modern karate students are not being taught to cultivate their own creativity, and that, consequently, karate is becoming a stagnant set of techniques rather than a living art (look here for probably the clearest example of this).
Much is made nowadays of whether or not the martial arts are truly martial, but Redmond seems to stand alone in asking an equally important question: are they truly arts?
Almost immediately, I felt a need to turn Redmond's scrutiny on my own martial arts. Of course, my creativity is limited by my inexperience, so I can only go so far with this, but still I came to some interesting conclusions almost right a