Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?
While I believe Aikido will definitely be here in 100 years, based on what I read on this forum, I am not certain as to what shape this art will be in 100 years. There is a watering down effect that is occurring to Aikido as martial arts aficionados of all stripes come in and out of this art. Their only thought is all the other arts that should be added to Aikido in order to make their self defense skills better. Their main dedication isn't to Aikido so they are willing to (if I can use a biblical illustration) "cut the baby in half" to achieve their own ends. In the beginning, Aikido had a strong center in that we had O Sensei and many great original disciples drawing other martial artists to dedicate themselves to this art and master it thus enriching it. The art has spread so far from the core, that this stabilizing effect that formerly held the art together is being defused and on the outer edges, people are seeing less than the best Aikido and rather than dedicating themselves to it, they want to take two three, and four martial arts simultaneously dreaming they will become "Jack of all trades, and master of all " (sic) This will spell the end of real Aikido should this trend continue. Kisshomaru Ueshiba said,""it is true that Morihei Ueshiba...studied many different kinds of martial arts...however, Aikido is far more than composite of various martial arts. The Founder made that very clear...I have studied many kinds of martial systems...but Aikido is not a composite of those arts."
In the long run, this will cause the art to morph into something else if this diluting effect continues to occur. As the years go by, we are moving further and further from the founder and his disciples and much like has happened in Christianity, the story continues but other institutions are yet to be born that will codify and crystallize the truths of Aikido while not retaining the charismatic gifting and creativity of the original practitioners. It will take a large group of dedicated practitioners who are willing to plumb the depths of Aikido for generations that will spread the wealth around so broadly, that parts of the riches of this art will extend to almost all sections of the body corporate thus demonstrating what Aikido really is and challenging it's followers to become the lessons of the art.
In terms of the philosophy of the art, I am seeing that very few of the people who practice Aikido know what Japanese budo is and see themselves as pursuing its aims and goals. Even less seem to have an idea of the words of the Founder and his son concerning Aikido as the developing of human character and it's methods of forging mind and body. It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training so we need to return to laying the philosophy of the Founder and his son as the backdrop for our training.
I am not sure we are moving in that direction as a whole.