Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the
world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to
over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a
wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history,
humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.
If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced
features available, you will need to register first. Registration is
absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!
I find it amusing that people who practice Aikido are expected to perform at what would, in other activities, be elite levels. Aikido practitioners are expected, by the "hardcore martial artists" to be able fight off any type of street attack, defeat mixed martial artists, and generally be as "bad-ass" as Ueshiba Kaiso was in his "pre-war" phase. Conversely, the "spiritual types" expect people in Aikido to have more patience and pacifistic temperament than Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King combined.. any use of say "atemi" or "kime" is looked upon with horror and disdain.
In effect by expecting people in Aikido to always come up to the standard of Ueshiba Kaiso (either "bad-ass" or "saint", take your pick), we are being asked to be as good in our AIkido as say, Pele is in football, or Roger Federer in tennis, or Tiger Woods in golf (yeah, I just had to get that in, didn't I), or Manny Pacquiao in boxing (gotta be nationalistic!).
Yet, we don't expect everyone in football, tennis, golf or boxing to be a Pele, Federer, Woods or Pacquiao... so why is so much demanded of people practicing Aikido?
Of course, I recognise the need for an "elite" in Aikido.. they will pass on the high standard to the next generation.. but does everybody have to be in the "elite"? (that would be an oxymoron). And do we have to denigrate the "non-elites" by saying they practice "Aikido-lite"?
"Do you play tennis?"
"Yes, I do!"
"Are you as good as Federer or Venus Williams?"