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Old 12-12-2007, 10:32 AM   #36
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 927
Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

Chris Hein wrote: View Post
A lot of what we are doing is pretty radical, I understand the harsh reactions.
It's not radical in any sense of the word that I can think of. It does seem misguided. I say that as someone who has no stake at all in preserving the mainline/party line of the Aikikai or any of the other organizations in the US. Where I train now, we do a good amount of tantojutsu and have various methods for training in less structured environments. In my sword line we also have non-kata practices to help demonstrate the difficulty and messy-ness of training when things aren't choreographed. Notice I'm not using the term 'freestyle' because almost any training method has some rules that govern the encounter.

Here's what I think you're missing. These less-structured training exercises need to serve to enhance ones understanding of how the art is studied in its more structured aspects (whether that be kata or whatever you would call the 'normal' keiko we see in aikido). What it looks like you are doing, is creating a rule set, and then just experimenting. Not only that, but you are allowing some obviously very inexperienced folkes to take part in that experimentation. It's clear from the videos that they lack the basic understanding and martial skill to really benefit from these exercises. Thus the blind leading the blind comments.

If you were interested in a training methodology for using the knife to study the principles and movements of aikido, you could do a lot worse than finding a Shodokan/Tomiki instructor. They have spent decades developing this system.

I can't help but think of the shu-ha-ri training paradigm that so many in kendo are familiar with. From your comments and videos over the years, it's pretty clear to me that you left your old instructor as you enterd the ha phase of your training. You now seem to approach your training as if you were in your ri phase and you have thrown your 'students' into that phase as well. IMHO, this is very unfortunate.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Budo Tanren at Seattle School of Aikido
Shinto Ryu Iai-Battojutsu
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