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Old 06-30-2008, 10:02 AM   #61
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25
Re: effectivness of technique

Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Mary Eastland wrote:
So here is my every single technique that every single student does in your dojo guaranteed to be martially effective every time they throw?


Fact is that Aikido isn't like every other martial art. The whole foundation of the art is based on a contradiction.

From the Aikido Teachings article right here on Aikiweb in the words of the Founder:

'Aikido is not an art to fight with enemies and defeat them. It is a way to lead all human beings to live in harmony with each other as though everyone were one family. The secret of aikido is to make yourself become one with the universe and to go along with its natural movements. One who has attained this secret holds the universe in him/herself and can say, "I am the universe."'

You can spin your interpretation of the above quote any way you like, but the simplest reading remains the literal meaning of the words and therein lies the paradox - what is a martial art that is 'not an art to fight enemies with'? How each of us, as students of Aikido, through our training and study attempts to resolve the paradox determines the form our Aikido takes.


For me, Aikido is right for me. I doubt there is only ONE right way, and I wonder why people seem to have a need to feel that there is... O-Sensei's religion appeals to me in the way it unifies peoples regardless of the religions differences. I look at it as "God asks me to worship him thus, although I see that he asks you to worship him in a different way. Why should I think my "way" is any "righter?"

I am just beginning my journey in Aikido--having studied in ju-jitsu for some years.

Aikido can be Aikido and be effective in any "real" world situation. I don't think O-Sensei was saying that Aikido is not effective in a fight. Like ju-jitsu, aikido teaches methods (what I call ways to affect the opponent). Whether it be a wrist lock or a throw. There are only so many methods.

I read the passage as saying his vision was to provide a way to control yourself and "center" yourself so that others, whomever they might be, can not "Un-center" you. That way, you are in control. People can react as they will, and you stay "centered" within yourself.

The validity of the technique is not the issue. Just because "Aikido is not an art to fight with enemies and defeat them," does not mean the techniques can not be so used. Rather, the aikidoka should realize that while the techniques, or their derivatives, may be quite effective, the "Art" was not created to teach you to fight (to beat opponents) but to teach you to improve yourself.

In other words, your ability to "beat" an opponent has little to do with whether or not the aikidoka has to resort to such things to get an acceptable outcome for all involved--my guess is that O-Sensei would have talked himself out of the issue long ago or simply disagreed with the person and moved along...

If I disagree with the question, I would respond

"For me, Aikido is .... Thus, I do not think doing X is appropriate (for me)." That is not saying "you are wrong" but "it is not right for me." I do not think the Way, for me, would let me say anything else.

I seem to recall, somewhere , that Aikido is the Way of Harmony. For me, Aikido is allowing others to have opinions that differ from mine (e.g., all those different religions) and me accepting that others may live differently than me--such differences do not make me, in any way, less "right" for me.

In that spirit, you are welcome to your opinion, as is everyone else. However, any one person's opinion (or many together) do not make that "way" right for me any more than my way is "right" for you.

Only by me accepting this and acting as I do can I be harmonious with those around me--since, of course, we,even in the Aikido community, are all different..

James Taylor
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