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Old 05-06-2008, 10:57 PM   #1273
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,225
Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
That's exactly my point. How well does this method work?
Well, if I'm correct that my dojo serves as an accurate example, I'd say it works pretty well...passing grade at least, in my assemessment.
Of the people who studied the closest with the founder -- living in the dojo, training several hours a day, getting more hands-on time with him than anyone else -- how many of them could do what he did?
I don't know, my key point was simply that it seemed transmission occured (as opposed to being broken at the founder like you said). I can't make any claims about which art produces better fighters and I'm inclined to say Aikido's goals are differently aimed for the most part, so it would make sense that other practices might be better for that.

The general consensus is that some of them picked up some ability to do some of what he could do.
I'm not sure any student can pick up all of what their teachers can do...assuming their teachers are always honing their own skills. My thinking is that as students we pick up whatever our teachers can teach us in any given moment and then it's up to us to make it our own and to creatively apply our own sense of things. I look at Aikido like Chiba Sensei, for example, and my lay-perspective sees something pretty effective. Is that all Osensei could do? I don't know, but it seems like it's a close enough of an approximation to begin with.

What can a guy training three years in the average aikido dojo do? He can perform a number of choreographed techniques on command with a cooperative partner, and can probably take the falls for those techniques as well. That's about it.
I can't speak for the average dojo. I have experience in only two dojos. However, in both I got the sense that a guy training for three years with dan grade instructor would come away with some very usefull skills.

because the only way progress is defined in his art is through ranking, and the only requirement for ranking (other than loyalty to the group, which is actually the primary requirement anyway) is to look good performing forms on command with a cooperative partner.
I think what you're describing here is problematic, but not definitive of Aikido. Progress has always been described to me as being able to perform more and more successfully "against" inceasing degrees of sincere attacks. Grading should reflect this.

Even Koichi Tohei...had to go elsewhere to learn what Ueshiba didn't teach him...What does that tell you about his opinion of aikido's default pedagogy?
I'm not saying pedagogy in Aikido should look exactly like that of Osensei. I'm just trying to say I think it can be sufficient in the right setting. I'm a big fan of pedagogy being a highly flexible thing, one which should ideally reflect the particular needs and goals of the particular teacher/student situation. That taken with the idea that teachers of Aikido should make it their own implies to me that variety of approaches, to some degree at least, is embraced.

If you want a different result, you need to train differently. It's that simple.
I couldn't agree more. In cases where something proves to be lacking, people should clearly make adjustments. For teaching how he moved, I think Osensei made sucessfull transmission. No teacher ever teaches everything they know. The issue revolves around how adept our training partners/teachers are, and how much we can glean from them in the time we have with them.
There might be a big problem in Aikido with regard to authentic understanding of "aiki" I don't know, but I do think it exists and I think there are a variety of ways it's been propagated, including the apprentice-like models of teaching/learning.

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