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Old 06-22-2008, 10:30 PM   #22
John Matsushima
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Location: Miura, Japan
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 226
Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Hello again Dan,

I don't dismiss people, I dismiss ideas and concepts. I dismiss the idea of reinventing the wheel. I don't agree that your skills are anything special that hasn't already been taught in mainstream Aikido. Perhaps your training methods are different, but it seems to me that it has always been an important principle of Aikido NOT to use muscle power. I think that perhaps what you and others describe as "aiki/internal/kokyu" skills are taught to many from day 1. I know it was to me. Perhaps I've never had this revelation because I remember in the very beginning of my training, it was stressed to me to relax, don't use muscle power, and to harmonize. Because of the thickness of my skull, it took many years of me trying to do Aikido, then I finally realized, oh, its that simple. Are you saying that the majority of Aikido practioners don't know this as well?

I also dismiss your idea of elitism, the whole idea that only members of the "100PLUS Club™" have these "skillz". I think its that kind of thinking that hinders learning. If you realize that there are hundreds of thousands of people out there with very high Aikido skills, then you will see how much higher you can go. I don't do hero worshiping and I do disagree with some of the things that Ueshiba said and did. I disagree with some of the ways that Ikeda sensei does his waza too. But so what. I also believe that many Aikido practitioners today have built and created even higher levels than what Ueshiba ever achieved. So, I don't think that most people missed "it". But rather, that the concept of not using muscle power is what they felt and saw in the very beginning from their sempai and sensei,and is what impresses so many people and causes intrigue and a want to train in Aikido. At least it was for me.

On a side note regarding training, I don't think that Aiki/Internal/Kokyu skills should be kept a secret and saved only for the "serious" students. I think that this will hinder the progress of Aikido.

I completely agree with your quote from Ushiro sensei, "no kokyu, no aikido". But then again, without breath, you can't do much of anything.

"I was hoping to move the conversation forward to what's next. How to remain doing Aikido™ while trying to finally learn Or to separate the training. Doing Aikido™ on opposite nights from getting together to practice It seems that many are really going for it and truly want it, having felt it. Which is what I thought would happen. You'd have to be a real dunderhead to have felt andnot want it.
I couldn't say the same for Aikido™"

Dan, Aikido and practicing Aiki are one and the same. Aikido is the practice of Aiki. But if what you are talking about are training methods, then I agree with Mr. Leavitt, it can be real boring stuff sometimes. I have trained in dojos where we didn't do a single technique for a month. The methods are already out there. Man Sei Kan has some great stuff, as well as the KI society.

-John Matsushima

My blog on Japanese culture
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