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Old 06-17-2008, 10:21 PM   #23
Brad Darr
Dojo: Aikido of Flagstaff/Seibukan Aikido Kobe
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 49
United_States
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 7

Quote:
Somewhere in the material put out by the Aikikai in Japanese for the annual All--Japan aikido demonstrations is an organizational chart of aikido in Japan. Again, I will discuss this in future columns, but postwar aikido in Japan has very strong links with (1) the Japanese military = Jieitai (Self-defence forces); (2) the Japanese parliament; (3) the postwar inheritors of the big zaibatsu conglomerates; (4) the universities. So it is a postwar replication of a prewar situation. Doshu and the Hombu strenuously work to keep all these links as strong as possible. (In fact, you have just given me a thought about a future TIE column: The role of ideology in aikido, prewar and postwar: How the Hombu brainwashes the multitudes--though I will probably tone down the title somewhat.)

At some point Stanley Pranin pondered in an Aikido Journal article about the numbers of aikido practitioners outside Japan. He thought that there were more practising aikidoka in France and the US than in Japan. In terms of sheer numbers, Stan is probably right, but a straight comparison of numbers obscures a number of points. I cannot speak for France or Germany, but consider the present situation in Japan, as applied to the US. You would have: (1) a separate and self-contained aikido organization for the entire US military, with its own shihans and distinctive ways of training; (2) a separate and self-contained aikido organization for the US Senate and House of Representatives, again, with shihans and distinctive ways of training; (3) a separate and self-contained organization for the huge industrial corporations, again with its own shihans and distinctive ways of training; (4) a separate and self-contained organization for students of all the major US universities, again with its own shihans and distinctive ways of training.
Am I the only one who finds this shocking and maybe a little disturbing? I had no idea Hombu had such connections and I think most foreign aikido practitioners would be as surprised to hear this as I was.

the edges of the sword are life and death
no one knows which is which
-Ikkyu Sojun
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