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Old 02-01-2006, 01:30 PM   #84
Budd
 
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Dojo: Taikyoku Budo
Location: Williamsville, NY
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?

Edwin,

Are you claiming this thread as yours? Or are you referring to the thread in the testing section that you started?

Ron and John,

This past weekend was lots of fun. I enjoyed getting to play with so many people.

RE: This unification stuff:

A problem I have with the idea of any kind of centralized group mandating what is or isn't aikido is that I couldn't really care less what the mainstream thinks of my practice.

The issue of fraudulent activity is always going to be present and will always need to be combatted. I agree with others regarding the best way to do that is to make information available rather than by group mandate. And by making the information available, I don't necessarily mean through drawn-out witch hunts like I've seen on other message boards.

I already have experienced enough people telling me that my groundwork and strikes "Aren't Aikido", nor would I want to force anyone to follow my training paradigm in order to be "Doing Aikido".

As for getting any number of people to agree on what aikido "is" or "should be" -- I'd be mildly interested to see how far that goes. I only care to the extent that my teacher, my dojomates and myself are all aligned on what our aikido practice will consist of.

I think one of the problems that Edwin (unintentionally or otherwise) may have pointed out is the notion that aikido mostly comes from Ueshiba (one way or another) or via Takeda as Ueshiba's aikido came, largely, from Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu. In both cases, there are splinter groups, frauds, squabbles, historical interpretations, etc. that don't necessarily align (between aikido and DRA groups and within aikido and DRA groups). It's easy to just shrug and say, "Politics", but part of training and belonging to a group is to do your part in maintaining the health of the group. I've been lucky to take part in a few Olive Branch extensions, which help goodwill, but ultimately haven't really changed how I've dedicated myself to training.

One could argue that it's a result of an art hinging so largely on one person, or the idea that people have of one person. Witness some of the discussions on Aikido Journal regarding who got what from Ueshiba (or who went outside to get it). There's Ueshiba's uchideshi that are still teaching, then their students . . . and so on. Each with differing interpretations (which I don't think can be dismissed by saying, "Well, they all do ikkyo, right, it's just politics?").? Is one right more than the others? Is one embodying the "spirit of O-sensei" more than others? Who gets to make that call and why?

Ultimately, I think what it comes down to is that you practice an activity that you enjoy with honesty. Meaning, the instructor is clear and honest regarding where the curriculum comes from. You are honest about your goals for and the benefits of practice (even if it's just, "I like it" and "it helps me relax" -- I think it's much more realistic than becoming an enlightened mystic -- no offense to any enlightened mystics that might be reading).

My practice of aikido is between my teacher, my training partners and myself.

I prefer to keep it that way.

Though I do have a lot of fun visiting other schools and attending seminars like Amdur Sensei's this past weekend . . .

Last edited by Budd : 02-01-2006 at 01:34 PM.
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