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Old 01-20-2006, 08:25 PM   #22
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Dojo: Senshin Center
Location: Dojo Address: 193 Turnpike Rd. Santa Barbara, CA.
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,471
Re: Senshin Center's Exchange "Arriving"

Ann Marie,

Please, my history is there for all to see and even for one to experience. On our website - one can read it all, see video of me moving, figure out my training week, etc. You are missing major points of the thread by not reading posts in full. The thread was not at all about me personally withholding anything - everyone else here but you has managed to get that point. If things are proving too complex for you, go with that the whole way through and opt not to comment then for fear you are not understanding things - take some responsibility here for not understanding things if you are not going to read things.

If these small conversations on my part are proving to be a thesis in your world - that is going to say more about you than about me. These are very off the cuff comments for me. But, if it is a reason you are looking for - a reason why these discussions might prove useful - here's one...

Take your dojo's website.. You claim to be in a "safe" place now - learning what is being promised, etc. However, I could see nothing at all about helping a student make sound decisions. There are no links to other martial arts dojo and/or other Aikido dojo not politically affiliated with yours, no trial periods mentioned, etc. Moreover, there is a whole lot of disinformation going on. First off, USAF is not one united body - that is a fiction if ever there was one. The website gives the appearance that it is - almost as if one trained at your dojo, for example, one would be in someway closely affiliated with an instructor like Chiba Sensei. In fact, for example, Eastern and Western Region are very much at odds in terms of how one should understand Aikido - with the latter very often not considering the former martial at all in many cases. Basic curriculum is also very different, even ukemi, and so too are many of the basics themselves - with a given basic from one federation flat-out seen as wrong in the other federation (e.g. Western Region's view of Eastern Region's Irimi Nage). Additionally, there is this big thing about the dojo being some sort of direct line to Osensei himself when in fact the dojo is mostly influenced by Yamada who was more influenced by Kisshomaru (who clearly made a conscious break from his father's Aikido) than by anyone else - a comment Chiba Sensei has publicly vocalized on an Eastern Region video tape. Additionally, Stanley Pranin's research has also strongly made the case that these "students of the Founder" would hardly be accepted as "students" by today's standard - no more than an Eastern Region's high ranking practitioner can be said to have studied Chiba Sensei's weapons system just because he did it at a few summer camps once or visited Chiba Sensei's dojo here or there only to retool it in some sort of Kisshomaru-esque fashion. This is not to say that the Aikido at your dojo is not good and/or that it is not what you want your Aikido to look like - but this does make the case, in my opinion, that paperwork is more about disinformation than about anything else and that thus one should learn to trust other forms of information more fully - particularly first hand experience.

No one is hiding anything when he/she is being asked to look at things with their own eyes - in fact, one is trying to reveal everything.

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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