Michael Gallagher wrote:
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?
Except for it has been changed. Nobody teaches aikido the way O'Sensei taught it. Nobody teaches karate the way it was taught 100 years ago. Nobody teaches judo the way Kano taught it. Every instructor changes the way he teaches to meet his views of what the art is. If they didn't we would have a bunch of parrots and there would be no linage wars in kung fu, there would be no discussions on how different teachers teach, and no questions on what schools are good schools. Tohei added ki exercises to his aikido. O'Sensei didn't have them. They believe they help them extend and move with ki better. Was this an insult to O'Sensei? Tomiki added competition and sparing to aikido? Was this an insult to O'Sensei? How any teachers have given names to techniques that had no names. How many people learned the jo kata's from O'Sensei?
If you internalize something, then you will develop your own ideas on how it should be done. Once this happens, you will change what you teach to match your views. I feel its a big problem that people do not look past their teacher and art to see what the world around them is doing. They don't evaluate the ideas and concepts in the world and see if they have any bearing on their training or if there is anyone to improve. Some say the purpose of martial arts is self improvement. What better way to help this goal then to improve the art as a whole. No matter how good a system, you can always improve it. To rest when something is good enough is to allow for stagnation and inbreeding. Fresh blood and fresh ideas are what keep things alive.
I see a lot of talk about respect in the martial arts. I see a lot of it as fake respect and insult taken only to act like we are something deeper then we really are. If I take your teachings, change and reteach them you should be happy that I have made my own opinion and grown from my training with you. You should not be insulted that I dare question your methods. I should not have to respect you simply because you wear a darker colored belt than I do. I should respect you because you are deserving of respect. If I think you are wrong, I should be free to express it. We should be free to discuss and develop my ideas and no one should be insulted. Questioning is the most important skill we have as humans. It is very important that we question and look to improve everything. Blind faith for the sake of respect is silly.
I like the ideas and philosophy that aikido has. I think it is a great are and good for people. I just think its training methods are very poor.