Michael Gallagher wrote:
I rereead your first post and some of the latter posts to try and get a better handle on things. One question pops to mind: What is the "martially effective" situation you want people to train for?
There is no scenario that one is training for. Training for a particular scenario would help create a mind that is attached to the peculiarities of that scenario, which will by nature reduce its ability to act spontaneously in a clear, non-attached manner. It is all about conscientious training and fully understanding what can be understood within the tenets of Aikido and Aiki as far as effective technique goes and more importantly spontaneous expression of technique within the Aiki paradigm. The same thing Ueshiba M. referred to as Takemusu Aiki I believe. It is an effort to move beyond mere form and technique and understand one of the true powers of Aiki - creative adaptation and manifestation of the appropriate response to any situation.
It is about fully understanding (or trying to understand) the depths of what you are doing before going elsewhere to find what has been sitting there in your face all along basically. This understanding can be applied to all levels of training, from the physical to the spiritual. The physical however, is most easily perceived and is as such a good place to start.
When I hear of folks who feel that their Aikido training or understanding of Aiki is so underdeveloped that they will not even try to think about how Aiki would actually work in certain spontaneous situations but instinctively defer to responses found in some other style I feel a bit of pity for them.
This is not about self defence, although the lessons learnt can be applied anywhere that Aiki can be applied, which includes a vast many things. It's about truly understanding the depths of one's practice beyond mere forms and "seeing how deep the rabbit hole goes" in a sense.
The lessons learnt from this sort of pursuit (for those who are willing and even care about going that far) can cause training itself to take on a new dimension. It is no longer an exercise in movements but helps in the creation of a self that is not satisfied by answers based on delusion, denial and cursory inspection but one that looks beyond the surface to see the true dynamics of any situation and as a result see more clearly the path towards the harmonious reconciliation of any conflict, in other words the path towards spontaneous application of Aiki in everythting we do.
But as I said before, this sort of training is not for everybody. And for those who want to do Aikido for other reasons I hope they are also evolving objectively in their pursuit instead of simply mimicking the guy in the skirt at the front of the class.
Oh and btw the local BJJ Instructor and I are good friends and cross train a bit together. Great fun.