George S. Ledyard wrote:
...<snip>...I think that there are many people who see the "big picture" just fine. It's the little picture they don't get. The current discussion and the related threads are all about the fact that there are technical issues which Aikido practitioners need to deal with if they aspire to technique that is comparable to teachers like O-Sensei or Takeda Sensei. I see lots of ideas about how one applies Aikido principles in the world. I don't see a lot of real understanding about how Aikido principles apply martially.
A case of putting the ox-cart infront of the oxens. Totally agree.
It is not an overattachment to O-Sensei's spiritual beliefs that is the problem for Aikido... It's that most people don't ever get their Aikido technique up to the level at which they can actually connect their physical technique to the spiritual concepts O-Sensei talked about. A working knowledge of O-Sensei's spiritual ideas is important for giving direction to ones practice. Without that, it commonly happens that simplistic spiritual concepts arise out of incomplete understanding of physical technique.
Ding ding ding, we have a winner here. I like this paragraph, George.
As for me...
After years of doing the art AIKIDO... I am no closer to finding out whether I can apply it in a stressful environment yet (e.g. shiai or competition or "on the street") This unknown is really bugging me and in my current aikido training, there is no way I can find out.
That is why I am exploring Judo (and competition) to know more about myself, my limits and boundaries.
My sensei started his martial journey in alive type martial art (Boxing, Judo) and his aikido teacher (namely Gozo Shioda) before him also did Kendo and Judo prior to aikido. And they are both martially competent, IMO. I am only following their foot step. I may return to aikido later, but first I must find out more about myself.