Re: Video clip Iwama Aikido
I guess it is a matter then of what is Aikido. Is Aikido its mechanics? Or is Aikido presented to us mechanically but is really that which is underneath or behind the mechanics? For me, it's the latter. So when I'm looking at a demonstration, a great deal is missing for me when only the mechanics are presented - especially if that demonstration is doing "jiyu waza" and "randori."
I can understand that Aikido must put on a "good show," especially in an area where it is developing (relatively speaking), but, for me, part of a "good show" is that things don't require choreography. Real physics and real spontaneous skills are what is important. But this is just my opinion. And, again, I really only mean it as an encouragement to strive for spontaneity - to be okay with things not needing to be so "Hollywood." With all respect, and with all humility, you guys are moving great, and it feels great to watch you all training so hard.
However, for me, it is like this, and maybe this will get some of the Iwama folks in an uproar, but the person doing the demonstration, in my opinion, has penetrated the source of those weapons sets in ways I have not seen others do. He has tapped into the source of the movement and has managed to find the true physics involved - that which is supporting the tactics of the architecture realistically. He is not just relying on the fact that "this is how it goes because this is how everyone else does it." This is especially true when it comes to the timing of the technique - which then goes on to affect things like the range (making it also more realistic). This is all very impressive in my book. It comes from a lot of hard work, a group of serious training partners/students, and a lot of time invested, etc. That is the only way that someone can come to think outside of the box - outside of a reliance upon others. Someone capable of such things is also very capable of striving for spontaneous Aiki (even during "shows"). My advice is just "go for it." Don't let anything get in your way (e.g. "we have to be careful"). Orient yourselves properly, and then just do what needs to be done to get to where you want to get.
Again, this is only an encouragement. I want to thank you and your group for sharing. It is very kind of you. Also, I'm glad you found some use in something I happen to write. If you guys ever feel like coming to sunny Santa Barbara (California) to train, consider yourselves our guests.