Christopher Li wrote:
Of course, the "tradition" is only a little over 60 years old...
Yes, but it is lumped in with Japanese Karate and other "TMA;" that is where he is coming from. Point is he wouldn't think twice about putting on a gi, a white belt, following Japanese ettiquette, and using Japanese terminology. He also once told me, "I wouldn't be there to show how great I am, but to learn what they're teaching." Instead of questioning Sensei's methods, knowing him he'd be wondering, 'What is this teaching me? What is this designed to impart to me?' It's what I think, because of his influence.
In all honesty, I'm beginning to wonder if there are eclectic MA people who resepct traditions more than people in traditional systems. It sounds bizarre and counterintuitive, but why am I defening my viewpoint almost entirely by myself? All of the thoughts I've presented here come from outside
Aikido, for a guy who hasn't trained in a Japanese dojo for 15-20 years! You'd think one person would say "You are correct in your take on respect," but nobody. Not very loudly, anyway. Maybe I'm wrong about this. But the "progressive" perspective from outside Aikido is, "It's fine the way it is. Learn the system and don't be disrepectful;" inside it's "We have to move with the time and maybe ditch or deemphasize that traditional stuff." Huh!?
Of course, the big fat exception to that rule is the Straight Blast Gym. Not surprisingly, Guro Andy once told me, "I reject them and all that they stand for!" Strong words coming from him. "They do little more than brawling," he said. "Bruce Lee said to liberate yourself, but is that really what he meant?" And given he's a JKD instructor, he knows a thing or three about Bruce Lee.
I wonder how many Aikido
people I'll have to defend those statements against now?