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Old 11-12-2005, 12:03 AM   #65
xuzen's Avatar
Dojo: None at the moment - on hiatus
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 965
Re: Rank-Aikido (pun intended)

Dear fellow contributors,

This is a worthwhile discussion, kindly allow me to participate.

Drawing from my personal experience; I try my best to do rank aikido (or textbook aikido) attacks against my sensei or adjutant sensei not because I want to let them look good, more towards to preserve my health.

I am uncomfortable to do funny attacks (non-conventional attacks) because I will surely expect a non-conventional respond from them whereby I have to take uncomfortable falls or endure higher amount of pain.

I learned not to botch up my technique for simple reason as stated in paragraph 3. If they botched the attack, I simply adapt to the given situation and continue with the technique or flow.

I was never berated or scolded ever for doing a botched up attack, sensei or my sempai, just simply adapt to the situation, I get up from their throw, recover, get back in line and wait for my turn again to attack my shite.

Now, for a hypothetical scenario. Maybe in demo, having hundreds of spectator, uke and shihan are under pressure to perform flawlessly and hence martial aspect may be compromised? Each, trying their very best to impress the spectator i.e, improve their showmanship?

Let me explain further; contrasting equine show-jumping and race track horse racing. Both uses horse and I bet that the skills develop by the horses, differ considerably. One is breed to show grace and control, the other breed for power and speed. See the different yet?

I am personally aware that when aikidoka perform demo, their purpose is probably more askew towards showmanship. There are occasion, especially kenshu class (or seniors only class) where we get together and discuss the not so textbook situation. Often, the techniques we use to respond to not-so-textbook situation may look like jujutsu or judo. No matter what, my sensei reassure us, do not let your mind be too compartmentalized; judo, jujutsu, aiki-jujutsu and aikido are sometimes just names we assign. A rose by any name smell just as sweet. Let the situation dictate the respond, not the other way around.

To summarize; It could be in demo, the shihan are more skewd towards showmanship because he wants to be more spectator friendly. Whereas if you are more interested in seeing the martial application, you may just have to join his dojo long enough to get into the inner circle to learn the okuden techniques (the martial applicable techs) and from my experience these really good stuff tend not to be shown during normal class for various reasons.

My two cents,

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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