View Single Post
Old 01-13-2006, 06:05 PM   #20
ElizabethCastor's Avatar
Dojo: Castle Rock Aikido
Location: Denver, CO
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 62
Re: Standards of testing???

You've posed an interesting topic and I like the encouragement to probe and hold discussion for discussions sake. Thanks!

Edwin Neal wrote:
what I am getting at is as the community or Family of aikido should we not have some internal consistency and a certain amount of community awareness...
But we DO delvelop consistancies and awareness from within as a community... we have websites like this one and others for discussing aikido, and developing what "aiki" means and how pracitces could be, and maybe should be. People who are dedicated to the art eventually find these resources and thier journey and growth in Aikido flow.

As for my response to the standardization of ranks... . I say respectfully: "No... we don't need to make them all the same." As said in posts above, there would cease to be all the different organizations and variety if we do that. Does that variety create some inconsistancies? Yes! Do some of those "inconsistancies" result in the Waffle-Dojos famous for their not-so-aikido? Unfotunately, yes. However, such variety sometimes gives us a chance to polish and really focus on areas like ki, movement, balance, timing, power, footwork, dynamics, philosophy and on and on and on.... (for me its all that variety and DEPTH that hooked me and hasn't let me go!)
its about unification, baby, just blend it all together... i just think its kind of ironic and even hypocritical... the way of harmony... ha... the way of disharmony... i have no problem with my practice or my senseis judgement... I just think there is alot of freaky stuff floating around packaged like aikido, but we (aikido students) just allow "evil to triumph" because of our in activity/apathy
Its the old soup versus salad analogy. You speak of a melting pot of blended information. But inevitably the soup cooks together and all the stuff tastes the same. I prefer the salad approach myself, all the different things get tossed in the same "bowl." Sometimes I get a gross "mushroom", or "anchovy" or even a rotten bit of veggie , but I can identify the things I find yucky and push them aside. I throw away the rotten stuff, as anyone would. But you know, there are some folks who love the "mushrooms" that I so quickly discard. And you know what? They dislike and discard other things . So who am I to judge? (I hope that made sense.)

And finally, there you make a few mentions along the lines of:
Edwin Neal wrote:
then isn't the aikido of Osensei gone or tarnished or devalued somehow...
I don't think so, really. You have a choice here (as on the mat) of being devalued. If you choose to accept this label you wind up battling every "questionable" dojo, meeting it in a judgemental way that can quickly become an engaged fight. Why not F-L-O-W and BLEND with these dojos? Share the experience and strengths of your practice and take in the "strengths and experiences" of that other place. Take what you want, leave the rest and be okay with it.

Again, thanks for the open dialogue and the continued encouragement to share without criticism... it will be interesting to hear other voices too!

  Reply With Quote