Larry Camejo wrote:
.... I don't mean to say that cooperative training in itself is mediocre, I mean that when we allow ourselves to get into the comfort zone of thinking that cooperative training alone will allow us to plumb the depths of applying spontaneous Aiki, it is then we are settling for a mediocre method, since it is insufficient to truly simulate the environment under which spontaneous Aiki can be developed, executed and allow the practitioner to evolve ....
I see. I don't have enouogh experience with Aikido to agree or disagree, so I don't know how far you can go with cooperative training. But off the top of my head, a person who sticks with that may not be so much spinning their wheels in a "comfort zone" as actively practicing and examining those aspects of the art he wants to work on. To me, a "comfort zone" means you just stop, don't prgress, don't work on things. If someone is using coopertaive training to work on areas of interest, that doesn't sound like a "comfort zone" to me.
It all depends on what you want from the art and what works for you, which seems to be a reason why there's so much variation in Aikido in the first place! There are people who are perfectly happy doing it for spiritual and philospohical reasons and not interested in hardcore training on the techniques like you descirbe. Does that mean those individuals would be pushovers on the street? I have no idea. But can their training methods be called mediocre if they are going where they want to go with it? It may be mediocre from one persepctive, perfect from another.
I think we may be talking past each other again; it's possible I've completely missed your point (again). But that's the thing to consider when tossing around "comfort zone."
..... Even if you don't agree with the above however (and most Aikido folks won't).....
I don't have enough experience to agree or disagree. I do know I like the class I'm in. If it's what's considered "aikidance," oh well, I guess that's what it is. As I've said many times, I'm not going for what's not there -- I want to find out what is there, and see what I get out of it, which is true of anything. IOW, if you want to learn high, flashy kicks, a BJJ class may be the wrong place to go to use an extreme example.
Aikido seems to allow for people to come to it for a variety of reasons and stick with it for a variety of goals and objectives. Since I'm a newbie at Aikido, my goal is just to get the hang of it! So calling someone "medicore" because they're not purusing the same path you are may not be entirely fair. And who knows? Maybe those ultra copperative types could tie us both in knots and not even know we were there.