View Single Post
Old 08-11-2005, 07:31 AM   #20
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Hi Jorgen,

All fair points. This is a problem with surface level as opposed to depth again. We have the problem in technique transmission (some one learns the way it is shown to the masses and branches off before ever discovering any depth. They get promoted and remain unchallenged due to a new location, etc. and then teaches that way to their students, who continue to water it down. The students can site 3 generations of their instructors who all do it that way so it must be correct!). Competition would really help here. Typically I find myself chasing after people at seminars who I suspect can jam the stink out of me, and completely shut me down so I can test what I am doing. I have also chased some higher belts who avoided me like the plague. I really suspect they didn't want the main teacher to really see how far away from principle they were (but maybe I just had bad breath!).

We have the same surface level problem with learning what is appropriate in the cultural setting aikido was initially taught in. Americans go to Japan and many times their egos are almost completely unchecked because people are making allowances for us and expecting internal checks and balances to be present (which are typically not present.) We figured out the surface level of "sempai and kohai" in that the senior has authority over the junior. We pretty much failed miserably at getting the responsibility of maintaining the "wa" (the peace) which is the necessary foundation upon which the sempai/kohai system can ONLY work. I agree that if we gave each other beatings in competitions that more humility would be present compared to the current system. However, we can ALSO try to solve the problem by specifically teaching the underpinnings of the sempai/kohai model. In other words, you are not wrong in your opinion, but I don't think you present the ONLY viable solution.


Last edited by rob_liberti : 08-11-2005 at 07:40 AM.
  Reply With Quote