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Old 12-04-2006, 05:06 AM   #33
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,220
United Kingdom
Re: Train of thought

Cady Goldfield wrote:
By all indications, if you look into the training and skills of M. Ueshiba, his aikido originally involved meeting uke's energy, joining with and utilizing it, not doing tenkan around it and bleeding it away. This is actually more in harmony than moving away from resistance, because you are joining with uke's body and your "two become as one," so to speak.

Aikido as it is practiced now, however, is as you say.

Tenkan or irimi they are two sides of the same coin, both strategies of meeting the attacker 'head on' with non resistance. Irimi is used more often the better one gets at aikido. This is due to better utilisation of mai ai ( Mike's clip aptly shows the importance of this little martial skill ) timing and mental intent.

"Aikido as it is practiced now, however, is as you say" It seems that aikido is practiced in numerous different ways, from the soft moving meditation to the hard martial/street combat. I had no idea until I came to this forum that the practice of aikido was so wide. I had assumed that what I was practicing was "the" aikido. Now I realise that I learn the aikido my teacher teaches, and I practice my aikido

I do find it interesting that the "Big Boy's" who have so much to say about the shortcomings of aikido and how it is practiced, don't actually practice aikido themselves. Maybe in their eyes aikido is so lacking it is for them not worth doing. Not that I disagree with what they are saying, rather some of the generalisations that are made about the way aikido is practiced nowadays. Non of aikido's detractor's can make claims that cover 'all' akidoka, there are just too many of them.

For me a commitment to exploring the practice of aikido is worth while, and how others choose to go about it is really up to them. It should be available to young and old alike, frail and strong, all can benefit from an art form that can help co-ordinate mind/body/spirit.
For those who think that aikido should be full on street combat effective I say - good for you, but don't think that 'hard' training is the only way to achieve 'effective' training. For those who feel that aikido is purely a moving meditation, I say good for you, but make it clear to the students that this is what is being practiced, so that they don't feel that they are prepared for something they are not. As the students of the kiai 'master' in the unfortunate video clip would surely be.

Just a few thoughts for a Monday morning.



Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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