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Old 05-26-2005, 10:28 AM   #26
L. Camejo
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Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423
Re: Culture of Martial Mediocrity?

Tim Jester wrote:
After about 6 years of study in aikido, I felt there were situations that I didn't know how to deal with. For instance, what if your pulled backwards off balance with a rear choke, and the attacker isn't in motion and you are caught completely by surprise? What if your sitting in a chair and grabbed from behind?
Good example of what I am referring to - this is something that we train a lot in our Aikido school and afaik is not outside of the Aikido paradigm. But then again I focus on principles and application of principles to situations, not 1 to 1 relationships between attack and technique. So in a sense, to answer the next quote, it may have something to do with what is being presented and the focus of the training by the instructor.

Tim Jester wrote:
So Larry, I think it comes down to the way it's presented, and the instructor presenting it, and not a shortcoming with the art itself.
I never said it was a shortcoming of the art itself. In fact I have found many ways that the art works very well when many other folks say "we don't do that in Aikido" or "Aikido has no defence for ... attack" hence some of the frustration. To me if one truly appreciates and understands what Aiki means and how it is applied (not saying that I do all the time), responses to these static situations and other non typical attaks become evident because we understand how to really apply the principles to a myriad of situations, not resort to Jujutsu or Judo or whatever.

It is interesting however to see that many find what they need to understand about Aiki better by going to other styles or systems that have an Aiki component. So the question becomes, if these other arts are executing waza utilising Aiki principles and they are working then why is it not seen in the typcial Aikido curriculum, which is also an Aiki-based method that should have a sound martial aspect as a part of the training system?

Tim gives the typical response I get from many - they learn to deal with things from going to other arts and sometimes think they are doing some sort of Jujutsu technique (which Aikido is pretty much) when in fact all they have found is a previously hidden way (to them) of using the same Aiki principles they have been practicing all along in Aikido.

I honestly don't think the limitation is in the art, is it in the level of practical instruction then? Is it because some Instructors simply automatically relegate Aikido to the realm of a "non-martial art" (I have personally experienced this) and therefore don't even bother about making martial application part of their instruction? Why is it that the core of effective techs in some Aikido schools (which are basically variations of techs and principles common to all Aikido) more far reaching in application than the range found in other schools?

Iow why do we have to go outside of Aikido to understand some of the deeper or applied aspects of Aiki? Should this not be covered in our own curriculum a nd should we not aim to have a deep understanding of it? After all we are doing "The Wayof Aiki" or aren't we?

Just some more thoughts. Thanks for the insights.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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