Re: Aikido as External Art -or- Where's the Chewy Center?
What is Osensei's aikido and am I doing it?
Unless I'm experiencing things such as:
"Suddenly, the ground began shaking. A golden vapor wafted up from the ground and enveloped me. I was transformed into a golden image, and my body felt as light as a feather. All at once I understood the meaning of creation: the Way of a Warrior is to manifest Divine Love, a spirit that embraces, loves, and protects all things."
I'm probably not doing Osenei's aikido.
The only aikido I know is that which I learned from Iwao Yamaguchi sensei and a few others along the way. I have taken what I have learned and made it mine. It is not Osensei's aikido nor is it Yamaguchi sensei's aikido. It is mine and is inseparable from me. How can I know or do another man's aikido? I can get small glimpses by touching, feeling and training, but I must make it mine. One's aikido is highly individualistic.
Some say that the Aikikai have distilled the art down to a technique based art. I whole heartedly disagree with that point of view. If it was all about the technique there wouldn't be this statement on their website.
A pure budo comes with the unification of technique, body and heart. The budo, which will manifest itself, does not depend upon the technique, but rather upon the heart of the practitioner.
Now, does that sound like a budo based on technique? Whoever wrote that obviously understands aikido on a pretty deep level.
My aikido involves breathing correctly while repairing my roof. Sometimes I will stand up and take a deep breath from the cool outdoor air. It involves dragging my children to the dojo for an indescribable interaction that can only be experienced in the dojo . It involves planning a fun filled weekend with my son at Mt Baldy training with like minded aikidoka. It is part of me and I LOVE IT!
When Osensei said, "You're not doing my aikido." did he mean it in a derogatory manor? Could it be as simple as, You're not doing my aikido. A simple statement of fact. Could we be reading way too much into it. As someone else mentioned, Osensei was a madman. He trained in ways that I will never do. He spent an extraordinary amount of time on his aikido. I will never approach that kind of commitment and hence will never come close to his aikido. I'm good with that. I just want to keep improving my aikido.