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Old 05-16-2007, 10:01 AM   #12
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Dojo: Senshin Center
Location: Dojo Address: 193 Turnpike Rd. Santa Barbara, CA.
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,471
Re: Poll: Would you consider aikido without a physical practice component to still be

Well, for those that have answered how important physical training is to something being "Aikido," let me ask you this:

- Are you not practicing Aikido when you are off the mat? Is the mat something that has some kind of electronic border-guarding system that prevents your Aikido from leaving? If yes, what is that border-guarding system? If not, when you are off the mat, what is that you practicing and how is it possible?

- Do you think the Founder felt he was not doing Aikido when he was praying before a shrine?

- If you got injured, such that your physical ability on the mat was seriously in question, would that mean you are in the midst of quitting Aikido? What about when you are older? Not moving so well. Not going to classes all that much? Does that mean you are quitting Aikido? If not, why not?

- How physical does your practice have to be to be qualified as Aikido? For example, if you train once a week here, thrice a week there, no classes that week there, are you still qualifying as an Aikidoka? The same way someone that trains three hours a day? If not, what is the deciding element and where does it start to function toward identifying the spectrum of Aikido practice? In other words, when are you only dabbling and thus not training? Additionally, how intense does your physical practice have to be to qualify? Does any intensity qualify? Can it really just be a matter of "as long as you are moving"? If not, on what basis are you going to say one level of training is Aikido, while another level is not and is thus more like not moving at all?

- a real-life scenario: I have two students. One is young, male, single, student, smokes, drinks, can't seem to stop using pot though he has seizures frequently from a unknown brain disorder. While he's scheduled (we use committed schedules in our training) to attend classes 6 days a week, he only actually shows up to about 2 or 3 classes per week. On those days he comes, he's always late, sometimes even 20 minutes late. Our dojo has a courtesy protocol in place, where students have to call in and give notice when they cannot make their intended class - he makes the courtesy protocol only about 10% of the time he is supposed to. When he trains, he uses a lot of muscle and pent-up aggression to do the techniques, so that he can feel "martial". Etc. Etc. He's been training with me for about 6 months. I got another student. She is not so-young, nearing 40, single mom, two kids, one kid just receiving a bi-polar diagnosis, she is full-time student, ex-husband on restraining orders, facing poverty, family not supportive, plagued by a neurological disorder (yet to be diagnosed but MS-like) that has it impossible for her to walk or move normally, has her eyes unable to function well/properly, and is likely to have her back go into convulsions, ones that force her to double-over and collapse to the ground. She's been training with me over six years now. When she started, she was married, very physically fit and athletic, and living comfortably in expensive Santa Barbara. Currently, she is scheduled to train 4 days a week, she comes to every one of those classes almost always. When she has to, because of her school schedule, she has scheduled to train only on Saturday and Sunday - she comes to those classes all the time. Should she ever have to miss a class, she never fails to address the courtesy protocol. When she trains, she has no concept of "martial" nor does she desire any bit of it. She just trains. My question is this: Which student is doing Aikido? If you answer "both," which student has a more legitimate Aikido practice and why?


Last edited by senshincenter : 05-16-2007 at 10:03 AM.

David M. Valadez
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