Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward
I actually disagree with alot of what he said. I certainly understand from his perspective that this may not be what aikido is to him, but it certainly is to many and I don't consider it to be a waste of time spending time on the "internal" aspects.
Why do you want to focus soley on the technical aspects of the art? What is it that you want to gain. "Combat effectiveness"? Your living in a world of romantic bullshido if you think that any martial art is going to give you skills that will make you combat effective in and of itself. Sure, you can get some good things like kotegaeshi, nikkyo etc...but failure to understand the underpinnings of principle will leave you lacking.
Building character, perception, and the ability to read a situation and people around you is much more important aspect of studying martial arts than any limited technical skills you may learn. The art of awareness, posture, breathing, the ability to keep calm under pressure are much more important to my overall combat effectiveness. I've used all those things in "combat" , rarely have I ever used any of my technical skills.
sure, there are those that I do not consider warriors or "martial artist" that study aikido, but that does not mean that aikido is not meant for them. They get something out of it. I get much of the same that they do.
Aikido can be an allegory for peace and can be a physical manifestation of resolving conflict. I think that is a wonderful thing. What is wrong with that? I don't consider it a waste of time.
If you want simply the "external" things that make you "combat effective". Get yourself a stick, some pepper spray, a gun, and take some classes and learn how to use them the right way. I guarantee you will be miles ahead of anyone who studies TMA or any empty hand art at all.
Please spare me all the "what if" scenarios dealing with why you need to study empty hand while you are alone in a sterile environment. I consider that to be a waste of time for 99.9% of the time.