Arjan Stavast wrote:
I just read the entire thread and a curious thought just struck me...
In my dojo, only people that are an example for the group (be that in Aikido-skills, or by persisting in training despite a serious physical handicap) wear a hakama. I don't wear one, which is perfectly fine with me, I don't feel like a lesser person because of it.
I can imagine that things in Japan in the early 1900's were different and everybody wore a hakama. But then, I see quite some more differences with back then...
Did they search the internet to supplement their training in the dojo with more information, discussing things with people online from the other side of the planet? Did they have many 6"6' guys with blues eyes 'round? Did they have the fancy rimless glasses I wear? Or the red beach slippers I use for the part between the locker rooms and the tatami, for lack of an alternative (try finding slippers in Holland in winter...
) And my classes are in Dutch, taught by a Dutch guy, that doesn't seem to be very authentic... And there's a lot more...
Do all these diferences inhibit me to enjoy Aikido to the fullest, or to be as spiritual as I want to be? Don't think so: circumstances change, attributes change, clothing changes, but the core is still the same. And for me, that's what counts.
Just my opinion though, don't want to insult anyone that feels more strongly about the traditional side.
You read the whole thing? Crikey mate, your eyes must need a rest
Sorry 'bout all the static. I really didn't mean to kick all that off
In Dutch, in slippers and rimless specs, done by us whiteys, enhanced by modern communications, I don't think necessarily detracts from the art. I don't think that the land and time you were born in should stop you from learning the wonders of AiKi, and I doubt that OSensei would feel that way, from what little of him I can learn from books and other media...
But I do feel that to discard our loyalty to OSensei's wishes and the traditions put in place to encourage and uphold a positive movement of people could be detrimental.. And that's the difference to me.
Let me assure you that the day I find that OSensei would have been offended by the concept of an Australian studying his art, his way, will be the day that I respect those wishes and quit.