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Old 07-09-2008, 02:28 PM   #258
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi Rob
Would you mind placing your last two posts in the "Aikido where are we at?" thread.
They are directly related to my request for that thread and would be a better resource point for those looking for guys like you, Mark, Chris, hunter, etc.who want to share aiki within their Aikido. After all you do still teach Aikido.
Well, as I recall my many many discussions with Mike:

1) I argued with Mike about personality more than anything else. There was a nicer way to say many of the things and there was no good reason to be a nasty pants.

2) I RARELY argued with Mike about internal skills. The only arguments we had about internal skills were:

(a) the level of how much was needed in aikido. I am now on his side about how much internal skills/aiki is needed for aikido to be truly effective. I have great appreciation for his help in getting me to see that. The linch pin for my reversal was that

1- I met someone who could deliver internal power while attacking and moving around in general. All of my previous experience was pretty much that some people had such power but pretty much only commanded it well when they stayed in one pace. Like they were almost stuck in a flower pot. Just don't attack the guy stuck in that flower pot over there - OKAY. Big deal. When I met Dan, my opinion of how to power attacks changed. That was very helpful and convincing - but still I thought well okay but how many people are trained like that - that I will have to deal with? 4 in the world, I can avoid them!!! I figured, heck I can shoot them if need be.

2- Dan's approach was that he could deliver such abilities to people in a much smaller amount of time than anyone else I had encountered AND HE WAS AND IS STILL DOING THAT.

Those things amounted to being the linch pin of my reversal on the subject. Had I not had those experiences, I would have continued to dismiss most of Mike's and others criticisms of aikido. The Nisho camp were dealing with MMA type attacks and watching Saotome sensei move around trained martial artists attacking him was impressive enough. Seemed like no one was teaching it any better or faster. Now I see a way to leverage that kind of finesse and more productive power development. I was given a lot of help and I feel responsible to give back and help convince anyone who is also serious about making aikido effective. Testing it that way will help me with my personal goal of applying those physical/mental principles to the spiritual understanding of aikido - which Osensei seemed pretty interested in teaching.

(b) how much was available with the aikido teachers. He has formally retracted his statements about how much aiki skills were available in some of the aikido teachers.

c) about TEACHING internal skills. I felt: So what?! You can theoretically teach someone faster - since you don't ACTUALLY do that, I'm not interested in your dismissal of us flawed aikido teachers. Seems reasonable even now.

If I could go back in time, I'd still take him on - on many of those issues - I'd just do it more constructively and be more of a gentleman about it. He kindly accepted my apology for not being a gentleman during our previous online discussions and we brought order to the force.

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