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Old 01-31-2006, 04:25 AM   #136
Edwin Neal
Dojo: Ronin
Location: Henderson, North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 597
Re: Culture of Martial Mediocrity?

Alec... your example of battle field techniques while interesting and certainly true on some levels... suffers from some faulty assumptions... even IF a samurai trained to keep his balance against any attack... it is clearly impossible to do so... and even though you would not give your back to an armed opponent... your opponent may not be armed, so a shoot and takedown would be appropriate strategy... even as a last resort taking your opponent down with you would be a possibility that no warrior would overlook and thus not have an appropriate strategy for dealing with...
If by 'traditional' shihan you mean not willing to commit to the art in a sincere way and teach the truth in a truly dignified manner, rather than adopting some egotistical posturing that only does his students a possibly lethal disservice, then i believe we can live without that particular tradition...since aikido was composed from elements of various arts in infinitely rich and creative variations, there is no way to change or adulterate aikido other than by being insincere in your practice or teaching of the art... as i said Osensei and other old timers had extensive background in judo,jj,karate, kendo... that is still relavent today... unfortunately most new timer's have only done aikido with none of the other skills that these old timer's and ancient warriors had, plus a taboo about seeking for or even needing this knowledge, and IMHO this has led to a drift in the art as a result of loss of context... people fight pretty much the same as they ever have and probably ever will... this drift gives rise to the MYTH of ineffectiveness, which becomes the 'truth' and becomes more ingrained, and bolstered by 'tradition' and reluctance to ask questions (not the same as Challenging!), and over mystification, and this leads to a degeneration and stagnation of what i believe Osensei wished to be a LIVE, GROWING, DYNAMIC martial art...
just my take on it...

Edwin Neal

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