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Old 06-09-2005, 07:09 AM   #3
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

I understand your frustration Mr/Miss "wanttospeak out". However I have trained with instructors in the past and thought their aikido was rubbish, only later to understand what they were actually teaching was more realistic (since the effectiveness in a dojo is only has a partial relation to effectiveness in real combat). Also, many people viewing Ueshiba (inc. Gozo Shioda) thought it was fake until they actually tried to attack him. It's also very easy to think other clubs are 'worse' than yours if you have constant justification of the technique from your instructor or you don't understand different training methods.

Unfortunately I believe that many aikido clubs do gentle aikido because they think 'aikido is being gentle', whereas other clubs think 'aikido has to be hard to be effective', whereas really the point is just being effective and blending with their attacker.

However, do not despair! The main thing is that you are critically appraising aikido and developing what is effective for YOU. Aikidoka must be like thiefs - we just steal that which is useful to us and discard the rubbish (although we need some degree of faith in our instructor initially to have the time to understand their training method - and we also need to remember that we rarely have the benefit of experience or real combat to test the assumptions which are made when arguing about technique).

Don't worry about other club's poor aikido; ensure you are happy with your instructor and make sure you are developing. Often it is a case of 'when the student is ready the master appears' (i.e. not understanding a form of training because we haven't developed enough to understand it) - but the only way to differentiate that is to explore aikido critically and come to your own decisions. If Ueshiba was not of that character he would still be doing Ju-jitsu.

Good luck with the rest of your training!

Last edited by ian : 06-09-2005 at 07:19 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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