Mary Eastland wrote:
Let the above quote be the starting point for the following:
- What are the basic elements of Aikido?
- Are the basic elements of Aikido immutable?
- Were the basic elements of Aikido ever codified by O-Sensei or anyone else?
- What criteria can be applied to evaluate whether or not your Aikido includes the basic elements?
- Feel free to insert your own point(s).
We are taught that the basic elements of aikido are
Ai ..the man
do....Dao...the principles of yin/yang
Are these principles immutable? yes. aikido is a definition of a process...lets say the man utilises the principles of the Dao to achieve ki.
Was this codified....Hmmm...My sources for this are Tamura Sensei and Pierre Chassang. Pierre has certainly codified it and Tamura mentions much if not all within his books.
Whether O'Sensei said it or not was much discussed previously with Mike Sigman.
For myself I am happy to take the word of the above...for everyone else you are free to accept this or not.
Further to this we are taught that by bringing the negative and positive energies together we can achieve 10,000 forms..so to me this is infinite. All of which can be considered Aikido.
To further clarify whether this is good or bad aikido we apply 9 bases to the form...I've posted this before so to avoid being boring I'll just say kamae , maai , shisei, kokyuho etc.
In our gradings we try and assess the quality by using these bases.
It is very difficult...one mans meat being anothers poison...
To summarise...we work on the basis that the word aikido describes the art...therefore aikido cannot change since it would not meet its description.
However the methods of practice, excercises, development , teaching and so forth are constantly changing and developing as each generation of instructors adds to the knowledge of their predecessors.