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Old 08-14-2007, 11:47 AM   #11
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
Perhaps I took the juice out when I suggested that we should remain civil.
Well, with respect to Lynn and Mark U., I just found their posts lacking any answers for me. Wisdom can come from any martial art, so I didn't understand how that made aikido, Aikido to Mark U. And, how, Lynn, do you define, Ueshiba Morihei's lineage? We have sooo many different students of the founder and each one has their own way of aikido. The art of blending and taking balance can be applied to at least Judo, if not others. How does that make aikido, Aikido?

Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
My sense of aikido isn't far off what Mark Murray suggests above, but here's another take I have on it as well that extends the definition out into the philosophical realm a bit as well.

Let's define aiki as appropriate fitting. That's how I currently understand it anyway.

Aikido, to me, is about learning how to fit myself to my partner's attacks appropriately, such that I can achieve the outcome I desire.
I'm still wrestling with the "aiki" demons. But, let's do a what if ...

What if aiki, as appropriate fitting, is fitting the partner's attack to you, rather than the other way around? Of being able to manage your body appropriately and in a way that the partner's energy of attack is automatically matched.

There comes two important aspects to the above. How is that accomplished? In this, I think is where Aikido diverges from Daito ryu. Ueshiba Morihei adapted to a more spiritual-based training regimen and how he accomplished his aiki was different than other student's of Takeda. The second part is what do you do after the above is accomplished. Again, this distinguishes Aikido from other arts in that it works to appropriately match an attack and then, for lack of a better word(s), let go. As opposed to break/kill of jujutsu and other arts.

Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
A view, with which I disagree, often put on that interaction by many students of aikido is that the outcome must be non-violent. In my mind, the interaction itself is violence, and therefor cannot be non-violent. However, I do agree and believe that to be aikido, the outcome should result in the least possible harm to all involved, starting with myself and extending out as far as possible.
Ueshiba Morihei wasn't a pacifist. Aikido was a martial art to him. In regards to my teacher's teachings, yes, I do agree with you.

But, even when looking to the giants and following our teachers, we still must find our own way. And here, I think, one must have the skill necessary to be able to choose what level harm is involved in Aikido. I'm not there yet. One day, I will be close and I can revisit these ideals. Until then, I follow those who are closer.

Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
What we do when we train on the mat is mostly NOT aikido; it's training to learn how to DO aikido if and when the time comes.

Is (appropriate) sparring aikido? Training with (appropriate) resistance? Are ki exercises aikido? Is practicing randori to music aikido? Are solo movement exercises aikido? Are there groups of techniques that are or are not aikido?
In looking at how Ueshiba Morihei viewed his students when he lived, how can we say that it isn't Aikido? Tomiki, Shioda, etc all started their own schools and for the most part, were allowed to continue. I think the argument isn't are they Aikido, but are they the founder's Aikido. In which case, one can do aikido in any number of variations. But, to do the founder's Aikido ... no, that is much harder and certainly a much narrower vision.

Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
Aikido is not the forms being practiced, but the principles.
I agree. It then becomes the question, just what are the principles?

Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
If we're just getting on the mat and getting a workout, than I sincerely doubt the principles are being trained or consciously practiced in those moments. A workout is great, but shugyo to me is not simply a physically intense workout, but one that is intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically intense and has me sweating even if the training is going at glacial speeds and maybe no one is even falling down.

Many of us do not put the principles in practice in our daily lives no matter what we do on the mat. It is in putting the principles to practice that I, personally, consider to be aikido.

LOL, you should see the recent workouts I've been trying to do. While not exactly "physically" intense, they are physically intense. And intellectually, emotionally, psychologically. I try to keep the solo exercises slow. And then when I do partner training, I keep it slow because I can't do anything dynamically without losing some part of structure. It's intense and rarely does anyone fall down. It's frustrating at times, irritating at others. I fail and fail again. I put the "me" in mediocre for sure. But, I am trying to put the "aiki" into my training so that one day, I will be able to understand the "do" aspect of aikido.

And then, the most important question arises: Do I want to do Ueshiba Morihei's Aikido? Or do as his students did, and find my own way?

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