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-   -   Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10624)

AikiWeb System 07-09-2006 12:30 AM

Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
AikiWeb Poll for the week of July 9, 2006:

How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Much stronger than now
  • Somewhat stronger than now
  • About the same as now
  • Somewhat less strong than now
  • Much less strong than now
  • It will hardly exist
  • It will not exist at all
Here are the current results.

Mary Turner 07-09-2006 07:05 AM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
Aikido can grow if it reaches out to more people. At the community centers in the poorer areas here, there is always a TKD or Karate class. Why not bring Aikido to people who need peace and non-violent conflict resolution the most?

Mark Uttech 07-09-2006 07:17 AM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
Aikido has already come such a long way. As more and more tools become available, it should naturally become possible to grow stronger. I don't believe that Aikido has reached its natural peak. In America, for example, although Aikido has had strong growth on the West and East coasts, in the Midwestern part of the country, Aikido is only starting to grow. Are 100 years going to make a difference? It is almost a non-question. Aikido cannot disappear. In gassho.

Jorge Garcia 07-09-2006 08:21 AM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
While I believe Aikido will definitely be here in 100 years, based on what I read on this forum, I am not certain as to what shape this art will be in 100 years. There is a watering down effect that is occurring to Aikido as martial arts aficionados of all stripes come in and out of this art. Their only thought is all the other arts that should be added to Aikido in order to make their self defense skills better. Their main dedication isn't to Aikido so they are willing to (if I can use a biblical illustration) "cut the baby in half" to achieve their own ends. In the beginning, Aikido had a strong center in that we had O Sensei and many great original disciples drawing other martial artists to dedicate themselves to this art and master it thus enriching it. The art has spread so far from the core, that this stabilizing effect that formerly held the art together is being defused and on the outer edges, people are seeing less than the best Aikido and rather than dedicating themselves to it, they want to take two three, and four martial arts simultaneously dreaming they will become "Jack of all trades, and master of all " (sic) This will spell the end of real Aikido should this trend continue. Kisshomaru Ueshiba said,""it is true that Morihei Ueshiba...studied many different kinds of martial arts...however, Aikido is far more than composite of various martial arts. The Founder made that very clear...I have studied many kinds of martial systems...but Aikido is not a composite of those arts."

In the long run, this will cause the art to morph into something else if this diluting effect continues to occur. As the years go by, we are moving further and further from the founder and his disciples and much like has happened in Christianity, the story continues but other institutions are yet to be born that will codify and crystallize the truths of Aikido while not retaining the charismatic gifting and creativity of the original practitioners. It will take a large group of dedicated practitioners who are willing to plumb the depths of Aikido for generations that will spread the wealth around so broadly, that parts of the riches of this art will extend to almost all sections of the body corporate thus demonstrating what Aikido really is and challenging it's followers to become the lessons of the art.

In terms of the philosophy of the art, I am seeing that very few of the people who practice Aikido know what Japanese budo is and see themselves as pursuing its aims and goals. Even less seem to have an idea of the words of the Founder and his son concerning Aikido as the developing of human character and it's methods of forging mind and body. It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training so we need to return to laying the philosophy of the Founder and his son as the backdrop for our training.

I am not sure we are moving in that direction as a whole.

statisticool 07-09-2006 08:34 AM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
I optimistically hypothesize that it will be around forever. And this is because people value and respect peace, as well as natural relaxed movements, practiced in a joyful atmosphere, that they can apply to areas outside of martial arts.

SeiserL 07-09-2006 09:31 AM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
I guess that depends on us now doesn't it.

Dirk Hanss 07-09-2006 09:37 AM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
... if man is still alive ... if woman can survive ...

Maybe Aikido then is a synonym for Budo, Hara, internal strength and real nobility

Dirk

Lucy Smith 07-09-2006 04:56 PM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
Quote:

Justin Smith wrote:
I optimistically hypothesize that it will be around forever. And this is because people value and respect peace, as well as natural relaxed movements, practiced in a joyful atmosphere, that they can apply to areas outside of martial arts.

In a hundred years, sure. Forever? No.
Jorge is right. In a thousand years, Aikido will be gone, turned into "Aijujikitebukado", which will teach O'Sensei's teaching along with three other masters that thought completely different. Self defense, plus "mortal kicks to the chest", plus the fastest way to draw a laser gun out of your shoe.
Well, OK... maybe not that different, but you get the point, don't you?

sullivanw 07-09-2006 05:15 PM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
I agree wholeheartedly with Mr Garcia and Mr Seiser. The future of Aikido is ours to forge... train well!

-Will

dps 07-09-2006 05:18 PM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
Quote:

Lucy Smith wrote:
, plus the fastest way to draw a laser gun out of your shoe.

* 1 The seven forms of lightsaber combat
o 1.1 Form I: Shii-Cho
o 1.2 Form II: Makashi
o 1.3 Form III: Soresu
o 1.4 Form IV: Ataru
o 1.5 Form V: Shien / Djem So
o 1.6 Form VI: Niman
o 1.7 Form VII: Juyo / Vaapad
* 2 Other forms of lightsaber combat
o 2.1 Sokan
o 2.2 Shien
o 2.3 Jar'Kai
o 2.4 "Form Zero"
o 2.5 Dun möch
o 2.6 Saber throw
o 2.7 Tràkata
o 2.8 Other
* 3 New Jedi Order forms
* 4 Basics of lightsaber combat
o 4.1 Training
+ 4.1.1 Velocities
+ 4.1.2 Kai-kan
o 4.2 Stances
+ 4.2.1 Jedi Ready
+ 4.2.2 Neutral Forward
+ 4.2.3 Defensive Neutral
+ 4.2.4 Defensive Back
+ 4.2.5 Aggressive Neutral
+ 4.2.6 Aggressive Back
+ 4.2.7 Aggressive Forward
o 4.3 Body Zones
* 5 Maneuvers and marks of contact
o 5.1 Marks of contact
+ 5.1.1 Cho mai
+ 5.1.2 Cho mak
+ 5.1.3 Cho sun
+ 5.1.4 Sai cha
+ 5.1.5 Sai tok
+ 5.1.6 Shiak
+ 5.1.7 Shiim
+ 5.1.8 Sun djem
o 5.2 Maneuvers
+ 5.2.1 Jung
+ 5.2.2 Jung ma
+ 5.2.3 Sai
+ 5.2.4 Shun
* 6 Lightsaber combat in the Star Wars movies
* 7 References
* 8 External links
from Wikipedia

statisticool 07-09-2006 09:53 PM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
Quote:

Lucy Smith wrote:
In a hundred years, sure. Forever? No.
Jorge is right. In a thousand years, Aikido will be gone, turned into "Aijujikitebukado", which will teach O'Sensei's teaching along with three other masters that thought completely different. Self defense, plus "mortal kicks to the chest", plus the fastest way to draw a laser gun out of your shoe.
Well, OK... maybe not that different, but you get the point, don't you?

OK, :) then I modify my hypothesis to read:

I optimistically hypothesize that there will always be at least one martial art that values and respects peace, has natural relaxed movements, is practiced in a joyful atmosphere, where people can apply what they learn to areas outside of martial arts. Such a martial art may justifiably be called aikido, even if it is not the original aikido.

Mark Freeman 07-10-2006 04:22 AM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
Maybe in 100 years, humans will have advanced enough to not need any sort of martial art to use in pure self defence. The idea of trying to force through physical violence the subjugation of another, would be seen as anachronistic in the extreme. If the combined intelligence and resources at our disposal are put to good use there is no reason why every child should not be educated, have access to clean water and decent medical provisions. Thereby taking away much of the reason to try and 'take' from the haves to supply the have nots.

I see aikido as a possible integral art to help the movement towards a better future. As has been said above, it is up to us, this generation of aikidoka, to promote our art to the place where it gives the maximum benefit to the greatest number.

Aikido is an 'artform' Art does not die, it may change with the times, and it can be argued whether it changes for good or ill, but it wont go away, it is too important a part of the human condition. We need to express ourselves, no one can or will stop the human spirit from living what it is. Aikido perfectly encapsulates what many of us in the modern world 'are'. We grew up post 'world wars' understanding that violence is not the best way. Aikido provides a whole (mind/body/spirit) practice, that improves the person practicing it, those of us that do, so see and feel the benefits on a daily basis.
We need to spread the benefit beyond the dojo, by being the best we can be, in our own surroundings, in our homes, workplace and community. We need to act like the 'peaceful warriors' that we aspire to be in the dojo. We need to practice enough to be in a position to teach, then, go out and pass on our knowledge to others, in the same way that our teachers taught us.

Great advances in history are often preceeded by someone having 'impossible' goals and making them possible. What is to stop for instance, in 100 years time, aikido teachers, being valued in all schools as an integral part of a child's complete education?

Yes, aikido will be around in 100 years, in may not be exactly the same as it is now, and as Lucy suggests we may be practicing with laser guns, I would look forward to it, but I am 50 now so unless I live to be 150 I won't know. :dead:

Over to us..... :D

regards,

Mark

aikidoc 07-10-2006 10:05 AM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
I think aikido is continuing to evolve. The question is evolving into what. There is a definite issue in my mind with the soke/dokey organizations watering down the art. You can now get a nidan on line-don't know what its worth. You also get the so-called modernizing aspect. Whereby people claim to teach "modern" aikido or something they call "street effective".

The key to perpetuation of the art as we know it is the success those who studied with the founder have in teaching the next generation. If they are able to pass down the "secrets" or "essence" of the art to the next generation, we may see it continue in its present form. There is some intrigue and mystique with the ritual and culture which may wane with time.

I hope it succeeds in maintaining its culture as this to me helps make it aikido.

statisticool 07-10-2006 10:59 AM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
Quote:

John Riggs wrote:
Whereby people claim to teach "modern" aikido or something they call "street effective".

I don't think they realize that ~1940s Japan there were streets there. :)

Jorge Garcia 07-10-2006 11:14 AM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
Quote:

John Riggs wrote:
I think aikido is continuing to evolve. The question is evolving into what. There is a definite issue in my mind with the soke/dokey organizations watering down the art. You can now get a nidan on line-don't know what its worth. You also get the so-called modernizing aspect. Whereby people claim to teach "modern" aikido or something they call "street effective".

The key to perpetuation of the art as we know it is the success those who studied with the founder have in teaching the next generation. If they are able to pass down the "secrets" or "essence" of the art to the next generation, we may see it continue in its present form. There is some intrigue and mystique with the ritual and culture which may wane with time.

I hope it succeeds in maintaining its culture as this to me helps make it aikido.


You make an interesting post John. I know of a dojo that left the Aikikai to go independent about two years ago. There was a person from that dojo that came to our seminar last year. On their June registration form, they were listed at 5th kyu. When that person returned in November, their form listed them at 1st kyu. That person this year is listed as a Shodan and was put on the instructors list of that dojo. In all fairness though, that person did have previous experience but restarted the ranks because that person lacked self confidence in the rank (which I believe was 3rd kyu) they had received from their previous dojo That is still a jump from 3rd to 1st in 5 months. By the way, I did observe the person and my opinion is that they really were at the 5th kyu level.
On the negative side, if you look at the list for promotions requirements for that dojo, it takes 300 days of practice to get a Shodan there with exams scheduled six times a year. Apparently, you can get a shodan in less than a year and become a teacher.
I was a student for 9 years before I started my own dojo and started teaching. The experience level between a 300 day Shodan and the thousands of hours a 9 year practitioner has is enormous. That is what we call the watering down of the art. Unfortunately, in the case I am describing, I fear the reason was for economic ones which I highly suspect is the same reason for doing that anywhere in the world it may occur, no matter where that is.
Best wishes,

jonreading 07-10-2006 11:19 AM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
When things evolve, we use nomenclature to differentiate the products. For example, we call a butterfly a pupa before it metamorphosises into a butterfly. We called early man homo erectus, not homo sapien. The nature of evolution is progressive; things either evolve or die out, they do not regress. Yet I am not convinced that aikido is evolving, merely changing.

I witness dojo after dojo claiming aikido, but not teaching aikido. They don't hang a picture of O'Sensei, they don't use Japanese terminology, they don't wear traditional gi and hakama, I could go on but will stop. Yet for all that they have changed, these dojo still call what they do "aikido" even though it resembles little of what was traditional aikido. Why will these dojo not leave behind "aikido" as they have everything else that is the martial art and move forward with their new martial art? Fear.

We are fearful to leave behind the ethos of aikido and move forward with our own martial system because it may be unsuccessful. As a result, these branch dojo cling to aikido and continue to change the martial art, without the courageous step of evolution to progress. We are left with more "variations" of aikido than Michael Jackson's has faces. In time, aikido will either evolve into a better martial art or change into something that is no longer a martial art, but a calisthenic of sorts. I always view this scenario as a Darwinism, "is aikido prepared to evolve into a stronger martial art, or metamophose into a different thing?"

Jorge Garcia 07-10-2006 12:10 PM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
There's a certain amount of logic to what you are saying Jon. I sometimes think that way about music. I have lived long enough to have seen many musical styles go by. When I think of the original Beatles music and some of their imitators in the 60's and then I listen to what is on MTV and other programs today, I realize that we have let human creativity not only morph the style and the words but now, we have even a form of "music" where you don't even have to be able to sing at all and you can still be rich!
Who would have thought!

billybob 07-10-2006 12:19 PM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
Justin Smith covers it for me:

Quote:

I optimistically hypothesize that there will always be at least one martial art that values and respects peace, has natural relaxed movements, is practiced in a joyful atmosphere, where people can apply what they learn to areas outside of martial arts. Such a martial art may justifiably be called aikido, even if it is not the original aikido.
Don't care what you call it. We all have the same teacher OSensei had - life. (And they said his classes were tough!)

david

Lucy Smith 07-10-2006 01:22 PM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
Quote:

Jorge Garcia wrote:
There's a certain amount of logic to what you are saying Jon. I sometimes think that way about music. I have lived long enough to have seen many musical styles go by. When I think of the original Beatles music and some of their imitators in the 60's and then I listen to what is on MTV and other programs today, I realize that we have let human creativity not only morph the style and the words but now, we have even a form of "music" where you don't even have to be able to sing at all and you can still be rich!
Who would have thought!

I notice a negative tone, am I right? I agree with you but not entirely. Some changes are positive. Evolution is good. And a lot of modern music is good, too. What kind of music were you talking about? I think the question here is, do we want Aikido to evolve, even if it is a positive change, or do we love it so much the way it is, that we don't want it to change?

aikidoc 07-10-2006 01:58 PM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
Quote:

Jon Reading wrote:
When things evolve, we use nomenclature to differentiate the products. For example, we call a butterfly a pupa before it metamorphosises into a butterfly. We called early man homo erectus, not homo sapien. The nature of evolution is progressive; things either evolve or die out, they do not regress. Yet I am not convinced that aikido is evolving, merely changing.

I witness dojo after dojo claiming aikido, but not teaching aikido. They don't hang a picture of O'Sensei, they don't use Japanese terminology, they don't wear traditional gi and hakama, I could go on but will stop. Yet for all that they have changed, these dojo still call what they do "aikido" even though it resembles little of what was traditional aikido. Why will these dojo not leave behind "aikido" as they have everything else that is the martial art and move forward with their new martial art? Fear.

I ran into this problem when I first got back into aikido after a hiatus while in school. I'd call these places up and ask them when the aikido class was being held. I'd get well we don't teach aikido as a separate art. I'd then ask them where they learned aikido and what rank they held. They'd tell me they took some classes. Aikido was popular in the area I was at. They were jumping on the money band wagon by using aikido to bring people in the door.

I have always been somewhat of a purist. I don't have too much problem with people making up their own arts if they have the legitimate credentials to do so. However, don't call it aikido. Once you deviate from the art, it is no longer the art and to call it aikido is to do an injustice to the art and insult O'Sensei in my opinion. There is enough content in the art to take a lifetime to really learn and master. If your inclination is to do something else, so be it but call it what it is and rename what you are doing. As a "do" art, it is a path, a long and difficult path. For some, it just is not the right path for them.

I have studied other arts along the way. I have found that I used the other arts to improve my insights into aikido. If I saw something that was a cool move, I'd "aikidoize" it. I did this with kali (nikyo with sticks really hurts). I have used some "principles" from Systema to develop kaeshi waza since there is not a lot available on the topic. They worked nicely. However, they were very aikidoized when I applied them-i.e., you could not tell that some of the concepts came from Systema. Perhaps they just woke up something I had forgotten or had made me look at things differently. However, I did not run out and create a new art. My art is aikido, I like it and this is what I prefer to do. It does not mean I cannot deepen my understanding by looking at other arts to improve my aikido. However, if I go off and develop something else that strays in a different direction then I need to evolve another art.

Yes, aikido is changing. Do we call this evolution suggesting progression? I don't know. I would like to hope that the "new generation" is evolving the art as well as maintaining it. I hope O'Sensei did not mean for the art to be static.

Michael Young 07-10-2006 02:04 PM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
I'm about to get real esoteric here...

In 100 hundred years the "form" of Aikido will not be the same as it is today. The "form" it is today isn't even what was practiced by O'Sensei. His son and the Aikikai Hombu Dojo specifically deleted many things O'sensei taught, then codified and structured the teachings so as to spread it to the masses.

Many of O'Sensei's direct students couldn't (and still cant') reconcile their ideas of what Aikido is with each other. Some were more talented than others, some had different takes on what they wanted to get out of it, some spent very little actual time learning from the founder before going out and and teaching, etc etc. If you even do a cursory examination of the forums on this website alone, you can see the differences in ideas and conceptions about what Aikido is right now. There is no one consistent description or agreement on what it is or how it should be taught. Aikido has, and will continue to morph and change with each time, culture, and geography that it exists in; much like Buddhism has been incorporated and adapted by each culture and time it entered into. Branches will continue to form, change, and dissolve. We are only one generation removed from the founder at this point, and look at the variations already present in both the outward physical forms taught (and learned) and the intellectual philosophies underlying and informing the physical.
There is a lot of bemoaning "mcdojos" and "sokeships" that are happening in the world (well, at least on this website's forum) and the "selling" of rank and embellishment of abilities and understanding (BTW, it isn't just offshoot organizations that do this, much the same thing happens from within main branches...there have been plenty of examples of Shihan in the Aikikai giving ranks for reasons other than ability, understanding, or time served) The thing is though, you will always have charlatans and impostors making money off of something that becomes popular or is intrinsically essential to man's existence...the "soiling of something that is pure". Jorge's use of the music industry as an example is a good one, but for a different reason than he intended I think. Yes, there are untalented, uneducated and lazy "artists" working in the music industry. They do proliferate popular crap as "music", and make millions. However, this has not stopped real artists from still creating sublime pieces of music; works that will stand for the ages and pass down to new generations the essence of what music is...while the "popular crap" will simply fade away. Music cannot be stopped or so diluted as to become uncreated,....neither can philosophies, ideas, or religion...neither can Aikido. These things are expression of man's "spirit" or "divine-cognition", if you will, a continual unfolding of his understanding of the principles of nature.

Morihei Ueshiba did not create Aikido, he only gave it a name and some system of understanding it. The essence of what Aikido is, is not the outward form of what is taught. It is something that has to be handed down kinesthetically and then intuitively grasped...not everyone will be able to (or more accurately want to) grasp it...some will only grasp portions while others may understand it in its entirety. Some may grasp it but not be able to pass it on. Other exceptional individuals will rediscover it "completely on their own". But as a whole, across a broad spectrum of direct teacher to student relationships, it will continue to be passed on and understood by successive generations.

I believe Aikido to be another part of mankind's understanding of the evolutionary unfolding of "universal consciousness" (or God, or Dao, or whatever name you want to give it). It is not only the intellectual understanding by man of something greater than man (that is what you call philosophy and religion) it is a way to actually realize this "something greater" through integrating of "self" with "other" (both the immediate "other", meaning other people, and the "universal other") The actual integration is the definition of what Aikido is, I think. The WAY in which this integration happens is the real essence and definition of Aiki, and this cannot be learned through outward form only. It must be kinesthetically felt, understood, and continually practiced. This is what will continue for 100 years (and more). This is what the legacy of Aikido is. It cannot simply be put into words or shown, it must be felt.

So how strong will Aikido's existence be? Very strong I think, but I don't think strength only means popularity or number of practitioners of a particular form. Aikido will integrate into the human consciousness as a whole, much like religions, philosophies, scientific knowledge, and art. Once "created" (or more accurately "discovered") it can't be undone.

aikidoc 07-10-2006 02:19 PM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
Quote:

Jorge Garcia wrote:
The experience level between a 300 day Shodan and the thousands of hours a 9 year practitioner has is enormous. That is what we call the watering down of the art. Unfortunately, in the case I am describing, I fear the reason was for economic ones which I highly suspect is the same reason for doing that anywhere in the world it may occur, no matter where that is.
Best wishes,

I agree. This has happened in a lot of the punching kicking arts where black belts are awarded after 2 years of training. Aikido is an experiential art-you can't learn it without being on the mat. Even after hundreds of hours of training people are just touching the surface. The "do" element means that initial rank is just the start-you now have enough skills to start figuring out what you don't know-assuming you had good instruction in the first place to give you the skills.

The watering down aspect is a key issue for dojos going independent. I know of a "6th dan" situation where the skills are simply not there. Anyone around the art long enough can watch and pick it up. Even my wife who has only trained a little but has seen enough aikido, commented on the situation when she saw him do technique. The level of skill will get you by in a market where there is no one of legitimate skills to challenge you or where there are a lot of beginners. The sokey dokey organizations are a big nemesis in my mind. Then tend to have people issuing ranks for arts they have never studied. And what do I say about the mail order nidan? He did have a 5th dan program until I got in his face on the internet and he back peddled saying it was put up without his authorization. He apparently pulled the 5th dan from the market but not the nidan in spite of my protests that this was b.s. earning a nidan off a tape.

Erick Mead 07-13-2006 07:22 AM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
Quote:

David Skaggs wrote:
* 1 The seven forms of lightsaber combat
o 1.1 Form I: Shii-Cho
o 1.2 Form II: Makashi
o 1.3 Form III: Soresu
o 1.4 Form IV: Ataru
....
....
+ 5.2.1 Jung
+ 5.2.2 Jung ma
+ 5.2.3 Sai
+ 5.2.4 Shun
.... from Wikipedia

What?!? ---- No Dim Mok Death Touch?!?

dps 07-13-2006 08:04 AM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
Quote:

Erick Mead wrote:
What?!? ---- No Dim Mok Death Touch?!?

Not with light saber. Do it with the Force from a distance. :)

Mark Uttech 07-14-2006 03:28 PM

Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
 
Onegaishimasu. I have just returned from looking over the results of the poll once again: 81% say aikido will remain the same, get somewhat stronger, or simply get much stronger. That is a lot of faith in Aikido.


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