Originally posted by Steve
I wonder how much of that unity you feel springs from the relative newness of aikido and the small numbers of akidoka, compared to, say, karate. If everyone in town practiced aikido, would you feel this way when you walked into your dojo?
I agree aikido feels like a special kind of club to me because it is so new. It's kind of cool to know that the founder was almost one of my contemporaries. Sort of puts me closer to the center of attention. (New parlor game: How many degrees seperate O Sensi from Kevin Bacon?) But will the quality of training suffer? Dunno but I'm guessing it won't. -- Steve
I feel that the newness of aikido is definitely a factor that accounts for it's essential unity as an art. The thing is that I am not assured that as an art, it will ever reach anything close to the popularity of karate or taekwondo because of several factors like the movies, the difficulty factors of the art, the lack of trophies and competition, the fact that childrens classes are harder to market and maintain in aikido, and the fact that aikido dojos tend to be non profit entities rather than for profit businesses. That last factor is probably the major reason that the so called "commercial" martial artist has arisen in our culture and frankly, if that ever happens at large in aikido, then we will be ruined as an art and we won't be any different than the worst of what's out there now.