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Old 07-06-2006, 11:08 AM   #82
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
Location: Cortland, NY
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 980
Re: Brawling with a friend

Don Magee wrote:
Michael, it seems you are of the opinion that changing the training method will change the entire system .....
I consider the training method to be part of the system. So from that perspective, yes, I would be reluctant to change anything.

I do not feel this is correct. In fact I'm not even advocating a complete change of the training method. I am advocating adding a new dimension to the existing aikido training method.
Well, I'm familiar with what your advocating, mostly through eight years of LaCoste Inosanto Kali under Guros Kevin Seaman and Guro Andrew Astle. I also took a class in western boxing so although I've never actually boxed, I know the basics of boxing and holding rounds for it. And, of course, Kali includes the Filipino grappling system, Dumog, so I'm not unfamiliar with that range. Probaly would be clocked by the first BJJ guy who came along, but not because I was ignorant of that range but because he'd be better at it than me.

But my Kali instructors, most recently Mr. Astle, impressed on me the importance of maintaning the integrity of the systems you've been taught. No matter what you personally like to do, if you are teaching someone else's system, you don't mess with it! And I know for a fact Guro Andy agrees with me on this. Besides, I personally like Aikido the way it is; why fix it if it ain't broke?

It seems you believe that sparing = competition .....
No, I don't; O Sensei and some of his contemporaries, like Funakoshi Sensei, may have thought so, and that's the misconception I was referring to. Sparring isn't competitve .... unless you're competing, trying to "win" somehow, and that' really a matter of ego and pride. Those things can work on you even if you don't think they are. I know this because I am still struggling with those issues. It is personally possible to spar as a learning experience and/or for fun without getting wrapped up in who "won." I agree with this.

But does that mean one can just add sparring to an Aikido curriculum? I don't think so. I think that if your seniors and instructors tell you not to do that, then you don't do it. It would be disrespectful to do otherwise and I wouldn't do that. And I know for a fact that Guro Andy agrees with me on that, too; in fact, you would be right to think he had a big influence I how I've approahced Aikido since I came back to it. If you don't agree with that, that's your business, but that's my perspective on this.

..... You can still preach whatever it is you want to preach. The difference will be the more consistant level of physical skill you will find though your class. People will learn to intergrate new techniques faster and build their own aikido. They will learn to innovate and try new things faster. Its just the nature of the I-method.
Ahhhh ..... sorry if I somehow confused you. But I don't have an Aikido class. I don't even have Aikido rank. After two years, I still have yet to take the 5th kyu test, so from that persepctive, I am somewhere beneath the bottom of the totem pole, not on it.

But if I do end up teaching Aikido someday, before I die, I'd be extremely reluctant to diverge from the way I'd been taught it for the reasons I described.
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