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Old 11-22-2005, 02:15 PM   #21
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
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Re: Article: On the Interdependent Nature of Tactics and Strategies by "The Grindstone"

Dave to respond to your post on yoga and aikido.

I just answered some of it in the previous post about the softing up stuff. But, I think that is okay to a degree.

My wife teaches yoga on a miiltary base in Germany that is full of people that you would put into this category of "softing up". To her yoga is much more than a set of stretching exercises, but all the stuff that yoga represents with the OM, breathing, spiriutality, unification, healing, chakras and all the good stuff!

Her students all come to class for "exercise" for the most part. She has to leave out the "heart lanquage" and all that so as not to "weird out" anyone or offend anyone.

Well after a year of teaching, she found that the benefits alone of simply doing yoga produced many of the same benefits without all that.

I think the old bell curve applies to everything, even in the "old hard days" in Japan. There will only be 20% of the students that study that will stick with it, and out of that 20%, only 20% of them will go deep into the art.

I think what happens alot is dissonance. We look back in our years and tend to only remember those that stuck with it and were successful and then lump them together and then look forward and see only a few that are on the path and say "it is eroding".

So, in the end, I think we keep our doors open to all people and "go through the motions" a small percentage of people will begin to see as they mechanically work their way through irimi nage that there is more to be discovered through the study of the technique, and they will blaze their own trail.

What is vital though is that guys like you continue to think and break down things and re do the analysis. Yes, O'sensei did it for us so we don't have to...that is true....BUT I think if we don't have people that "re-invent the wheel" by questioning, and re-interpreting, and re-discovering the art.....then it will become lost and we will simply have a bunch of exercises that some righteous old dude invented that we no longer know why we do them!

I always remember a story about a sensei conducting a seminar that did not draw his sword straight and high over his head. It bothered a new student because it was contrary to what he had seen in the past. He constantly asked his sempai the reason why and he always got an answer like "it is because sensei is so good and we don't question it" or "it is much more effective than the other ways, (secret technique)"

One day the student, still bothered got up the courage to ask the sensei why he did this, hoping to unlock the secrets of a deep and effective technique. Sensei just laughed and said, "oh yeah, sorry, bad habit" In old dojo ceiling was too short!

This is why to me, it is important to have these discussions.
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