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Old 09-04-2007, 10:44 AM   #62
G DiPierro
Location: Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 365
Re: What makes Aikido aikido (to you)?

Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
I do, however, believe that this expresses an extreme that most people who live this don't follow completely. I think that such relativists sincerely believe that they are trying, that they are doing the work and inquiring into deep and difficult subjects; but when they don't have at least working answers after 10 or 20 years of training, something important is missing.
My experience training in various aikido dojos has been that fundamentalism is a worse problem than relativism, but both seem to be in force in the internet forums. Apparently, 16% percent of respondents (that's almost 1 in 6) to a recent poll here adhere to the belief that there is no such thing as bad aikido. For more yogic perspectives on the dangers of such a relativist approach to spirituality, see here and here.

One distinction that I think is important to make in a thread such as this is between the question of what aikido is and that of what good aikido is. I agree with the position, outlined in this thread by Peter Goldsbury and in others by Amir Krause, that aikido is a generic name that anyone can use without respect to lineage or affiliation. It stands to reason that if Morihei Ueshiba wanted to create an exclusive art, then he would have followed the traditional koryu protocol and called his style something like Ueshiba-ryu or Ueshiba-ha Daito-ryu. He expressly did not.

However, I still have a very specific idea of what constitutes good aikido, just as I have clear opinions of what constitutes good iaido, taijiquan, or capoeira, to name a few examples of arts with generic names that are nonetheless clearly identifiable regardless of the specific details of lineage. Naturally, in the arts in which I have more experience and knowledge my standards are more developed and exacting. In the case of aikido, my opinion happens to be that much of what is practiced in the big organizations with solid lineage through Morihei Ueshiba is not what I would consider particularly good from either a martial or spiritual perspective.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 09-04-2007 at 10:49 AM.
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