Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?
Going back to the title, something that Goldsbury sensei wrote sort of makes me wonder.
Peter A Goldsbury
In one sense, the spread of aikido abroad has been the spread of the omote of aikido. The ura has been kept carefully hidden and perhaps this is something people have to find out for themselves.
Apologies for taking it out of context. But, this thread about Aikido™ and Aiki…do seems very applicable here.
So, for giggles and grins, let's just picture that mainstream U.S. aikido training has been only omote. Hence, we get Aikido™, as Dan describes it. And let's say that the ura brings us to Aiki…do. Again, we're looking at this in a hypothetical manner just to step outside the box, as they say.
If we look at it that way, who wouldn't want to pursue ura and go beyond omote to bring their aikido training to a higher level?
The sad part is that I think most people would still not get out and meet/train with Dan/Mike/Akuzawa. But, if some Aikikai shihan, or Doshu came to the U.S. and proclaimed to be teaching the ura, the U.S. aikido world would stand in line waiting for the seminars. Between the authority of Aikikai and the nature of being Japanese, most would either want to go or actually go.
And I guess that's the nature of things. The thousands that trained didn't get far because they weren't "special". They didn't get far because they either weren't shown the proper methods or they were and never worked at them. How far you get is in your hands with the proper training methods.
I do believe that these methods that Dan/Mike/Akuzawa are teaching are the training methods to build aiki. They aren't a shortcut and they don't invalidate Aikido™ per se. It is a matter of how *you* express the aiki. That is what integrates Aikido™ and aiki...do.
Shioda's expression of aikido didn't look like Tomiki or Tohei. Yet they were doing aikido. Yoshinkan coupled with aiki...do will give you another Shioda. Shodokan coupled with aiki...do will give you another Tomiki. For those that put in the solo work, the paired training, the time and effort. Not because someone has "special" talent that creates a master, a great.
Where are we at? At the junction. Because people like Dan, Mike, Rob, and Akuzawa opened up to help others along the way. And it isn't one or the other. There is no Aikido™ vs Aiki…do. The aiki...do builds the structure in the body which allows the expression of Aikido™ to show through. But, the caution label states that your expression of Aikido™ may not be the same ever again. If you look back, though, you'll find that you stand in good company. Shioda, Tomiki, Tohei, etc all brought their own unique expressions.
The choice is yours. Go or don't go. Your training is in your hands. But I can promise you this. In five years or so when those of us who have gone (and continued to train) finally get around to meeting people, those who didn't go are going to regret it and kick themselves over not going. Not because it's out of their reach -- it won't be. Those who have trained will help them. No, it'll be because they're five years behind.