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Old 08-11-2005, 06:34 PM   #25
Dojo: Tan Aiki Dojo
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 202
Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Apoligies for the legnth.

I think that in many ways the Kata thread and this thread are heavily related. The main reason for this is that the debate seems to be mostly focused on kata training not being viewed as an effective means of self defence. The conclusion that was reached in the Kata thread (to my understanding) is that kata do produce some great benefits but do not produce effectiveness by themselves. This makes sense. The debate here is along the same lines: does budo produce effective practitioners? Well, that is like saying do schools produce geniuses. Some people will naturally become proficient, some people will flounder in one school and blossom in another, some people will just never get proficient, some people will not care and not think about it, and some people will not care but get there anyway. Do Karate, Judo, or Aikido produce street effective people? They all have the ability to. Does BJJ/MT/MMA type stuff have the ability to produce good people? Yeah, it can happen.

The fact is that if all you train is kata then you will probably not fair too well if you have to save your own hide. One of the trademarks of Daito Ryu appears to be that you initiate kuzushi and offest balance the instant that you touch them. This makes alot of sense because then you can quickly and efficiently end it. But doing the technique in the air and actually preforming the physical act of taking balance have nothing to do with one another. The ammount and direction of ki/kokyo used when and where is deeply dependent on touch and intuition. No ammount of kata can create the awareness to the application of kuzushi. Without kuzushi you are are just fighting.

I post this here because I feel this is quite relevant to this topic. Budo and "fighting arts" do not have to be in opposition. I have met a few incredibly proficient martial artists who were from Budo, and I have met good people who were in fighting arts. And just to throw the title of this thread spinning into space, one of the most skilled martial artists and best people I've ever met held a Master's rank in Tai Chi and Qi Gong. That guy was simply amazing on all fronts.

If Aikido isn't your cup of tea, then see if it is the dojo, the style, or the art. If you don't believe that Budo can produce street effective people then I encourage you to evaluate why you are training and try some other styles of Budo. Budo is larger to us (in general) than it was to the samurai. To them all of these things were just normal and expected. Following the disbanding of the samurai seems to me to be when all the concern with personal developement occured. My thoughts on this are that fighting arts were just now being taught to non-warriors who were from diffrent classes. Maybe they felt that adding developemental aspects were important. There were also a number of religions that sprang up out of the dust after the WWs and Ueshiba Sensei was not unique in thinking that he was on a mission from the gods. It is kind of like asking for Italian sausage with your meal in America when it is just sausage in Italy.

Once again, I could be wrong.
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