David Valadez wrote:
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.
I think David has voiced my thoughts somewhat regarding the spontaneity idea.
We do about 4-5 public demos at major Judo tournaments yearly and I almost never choreograph. The reason is part to do with my Uke (all kyu ranked) and their brain or memory crashing when onstage, and part is to do with my need to demonstrate Aiki in a spontaneous manner as much as is safe and possible. The result is it may not be as pretty as a well planned, choreographed event, but the mainly martial artist crowd has no questions about efficacy or realism of the Ukemi needed to protect oneself and they appreciate that. So far we have been encouraged to keep the spontaneous realism approach instead of the pretty approach. The height of this approach for me was a "demo" of what Aikido shiai (resistance tanto randori)
looked like, which had a very high possibility for embarassment imo as Uke was allowed to attack, resist and counter at full force to highlight the elements of relaxation, adaptation and spontaneity embodied in this sort of randori training.
The demos presented in the videos here were superb imo. But one might find that a spontaneous format would allow for more of the "creativity" element to appear, resulting in a truly unique and as pretty (depending on the level of participants) demo while keeping the safety factor high as well.
As David said, this is more of an encouragement than anything else.