It's a pretty interesting discussion and it brings up a number of points worth discussing (in whatever forum):
Rather, there is a growing movement among students of the aiki arts to seek out individuals who can demonstrate these abilities, and when possible, to begin training in them as well.
But despite the excitement surrounding this movement, the task to acquire these skills have been difficult for many. Due to the unfortunate rarity of qualified teachers, many individuals are forced to train at a distance, meeting up with teachers at seminars or on a personal basis a few times a year. But even when individuals are able to find experts in their own local area, many times these teachers are practitioners of non-aiki arts, leaving the individual with the task of incorporating these newly-learned skills and training methods into their pre-existing aiki-curriculum.
I'd make the comment that others have made before: a number of the big "names" in Aikido went "outside
" to get their ki/kokyu knowledge and skills. Tohei, Abe, and many more. Also, since it takes some time to cultivate the skills, my opinion is that if someone is given a reasonable entre' of understanding and practice methods, they shouldn't need a full-time instructor; they mainly need to put in the time/effort. Remember comments by Ueshiba M. and Tohei K. to the effect that they developed their skills over many years... as a long-time work.
Ron Tisdale wrote:
I agree with you Stephen, to at least some extent. But there are some realities:
1) This is Jun's house
2) I believe (and I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong) he desires to cast a wide net...allowing space for the whole aikido community.
3) Sometimes our discussions cause some friction with established elements in that community.
I think the fact that ki/kokyu skills "cause some friction" is a problem, but not necessarily a problem that points to the people having the discussions. That ki/kokyu skills are part of Aikido is pretty well documented. That a lot of senior people in Aikido don't have those skills is probably the real problem. But I mentioned that looming problem a few years ago and frankly, I don't see any easy way around it.
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Sounds good. I hate to have one more place to go, and I think the discussions could take place here. I do see how some might view the conversations as being too polarized and proselytizing in nature since we have a largely traditional and established community here that represents the whole of aikido.
Does the "traditional and established community here" really represent the whole
of Aikido? I dunno. I recently used a quote from Inaba Sensei about what "aiki" is and I also used a quote from Ueshiba Sensei about a defining usage of "the secret of aikido". Yet I'd bet that very few in the "traditional and established community here" could substantively demonstrate these fairly obvious factors in Aikido proper. In other words, I'm not sure that the default definition about who is an "outside" and who is "traditional" is really true. It's a topic that merits some mainstream debate, IMO.
The fact that such a debate is relegated to a "non-Aikido" forum on this website says a lot about the "traditional and established community" and the size of the problem (and how long it has been growing). My personal opinion is that only a few people (comparatively) in the at-large and "independent" Aikido groups will initially begin to move. There needs to be freer discussions and perhaps Tim's attempt will be successful, over time. In the meantime, as has been noted, there are a growing number of people who have grasped the logic and who are moving forward.
Just to keep all of this in perspective, let me note that in reality there have been practitioners for many years who have acquired some aspects of these skills and who have been working apart from the "established Aikido community". Some of them for 20-30 years. What's happening now is that a broader access to the basic skills is creating an increasing number of people who are interested in developing these core Aikido skills and the main groups may not be able to keep this many people quietly muffled to the side with "oh.. ki... yeah, we already do that, too". It's going to get embarrassingly obvious who really does and who does not, fairly soon. But while that happens, I think sometime we need to recognize the tiny few independents that actually already had some skills and who quietly avoided any conflict and simply worked on their Aikido.