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Old 06-23-2008, 10:53 AM   #46
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Rather I was hoping for interesting feedback regarding the preponderance of evidence via personal witness by the hundred plus who have felt these things, and whether or not that "witness" has been excepted by the community of readers, considered as a curiosity, or dismissed alltogether.
I don't know. And really, what little I do know of aiki, isn't enough to make any kind of decent demonstration. So, really, the only medium left is talk. And as the old saying goes, talk is cheap. But, I was fortunate in that two people who I talked to jumped right onto the bandwagon. They did so only from my reports.

Nearly a year after that point, one of them was able to attend Sigman's workshop. And that radically changed his perceptions.

So, in an overall sense, I think that for those of us who have gone, we're only going to receive from organizations, at best, a modicum of interest and at worst, dismissal. We have better chances on the one-on-one encounters outside of normal aikido training. And with each other.

Until someone gains a semi-decent skill level to be able to show, rather than tell. After that point, it's going to be interesting to see what organizations do.

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I was also asking for feedback from those who have begun to research on how it has impacted their view of Aiki in the larger sense, and how it has affected their view of Aikido™. Verses their growing understanding of aiki and the way of training aiki and using aiki in their own Aiki…do.
As Rob stated ... I'm sure we'll catch flak for some of what we say ...

The aiki that includes all the current definitions, the blending, the harmonizing, the turning, etc is 100% without a doubt, unequivocally, and completely wrong.

I'm sure I lost quite a few readers with that. Let me add something for those that are left. Just because of that paragraph above, it doesn't mean it invalidates one's training. I think that if people reread what those of us who have gone have done ... well, what have we done? Let's see ... Ron is still with Yoshinkan. Rob is still with aikido. Kevin, yep still there. Not one of us really changed our goals, nor have any of us said that our training was a waste of time.

Instead, we acknowledged that there is a much better way of gaining the true skills behind aikido. A way of actually becoming on par with Tohei or Shioda or Tomiki that doesn't take 40+ years. And that there is a different "aiki" and it is what the greats had. Not what most of us have come to define as blending or harmonizing.

But from here is where I believe I am diverging from Rob and Kevin. They both are still trying to incorporate this into teaching and training in current aikido environments. I don't believe it can be done unless the whole class structure is changed. And Kevin touched on that in one of his posts. I think he's right. It's either lose students and lose the lease or pander to the masses.

I made that choice. I'd rather find one or two people who will work with me and work in my garage if I have to. First, there's no way Rob, Kevin, Ron, Budd, or I can in any way provide quality instruction in these things. We're too new and too much of a beginner to do that. Second, the training is tedious, focused, and not very "flashy". Most people want flashy. Third, you need quite a bit of students to pay for overhead of a dojo. This stuff, in the beginning, takes a lot of hands on time. One person teaching a group of twenty isn't going to get much done.

There are only a few choices that make sense.

1. If you have a dojo that you have to pay to keep open, then have the current aikido training going and work on the real aiki separately. Don't try to merge the two. The dojo will suffer for it in the end.

2. Work on it with a few people wherever you find a place. And after a few years, if you want to try to run a dojo, go for it. But, after a few years, I don't think you're going to want to run a dojo. The nature of this training runs contrary to that mind set.

I'm currently not training aikido. I view it as a temporary thing. I'm training aiki so that I can do, as Dan calls it. And a nagging, ugly little thought/idea has been percolating in my brain for a little while now. When I stopped the aikido training, my plans were to return in a couple years after I had a better grasp of aiki. But that nagging thought is telling me that it won't happen. And I think it's right.

My view of what aikido means has changed, but that's it. I still train in that vision. But, no, I don't train aikido anymore. I'm training and I don't think I'm going to step back into that other world of training. It will be interesting to see what the next 3-5 years bring.


Last edited by MM : 06-23-2008 at 10:56 AM.
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