Dominic Prokop wrote:
I recently read and article in Blitz martial arts magazine by, as I recall, a 5th Dan student of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei, and is now an instructor. It was a very interesting article which brings up some very interesting points. His comparison was of Modern Aikido to past Aikido believing that many styles today are "too soft" and that the soft "Dancing" styles should merely be called arts rather than martial arts as they have no solid martial technique. Abbe Sensei was a famous Judo champion in Japan, so comptetativeness and hard training is already a background for him, but the style of Aikido that Abbe studied was Early Aikido. This style was hard, fast, and in some ways aggressive when compared to modern day Aikido.
I haven't read the article, but I'm guessing that it might have been written by Henry Ellis Sensei ( am i right?), who is quite well known for his polemic views on the failings of 'modern' or 'too soft' aikido variously describing it as 'fairy' aikido or Harry Potter aikido.
I am a direct student of Abbe Sensei's first student in the UK, he learnt Abbe's dynamic style and often talks about the 'severity' of the training ( usually with affection
). His own aikido now is both a combination of Abbe and also of Tohei who he trained with for 10 years after Abbe stopped teaching. So now his style is very soft but very effective.
I don't see why aikido should be seen as either or, as this does both styles a disservice. I know some people prefer the harder approach, good for them. But that is no reason for anyone to diss the other styles approach.
I like soft powerful aikido, as far as I can see and feel, this is the aikido that I'll continue to try and perfect. As for soft aikido not having any 'martial' aplication, maybe the author hasn't 'felt' any decent modern aikido, that doesn't mean however that it doesn't exist.