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Old 10-02-2008, 10:04 AM   #128
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I'd prefer to be left out these wild speculations, Dan. It's OK for you to say you could kick Jim's butt (I wouldn't take bets either way, personally), but speculating what would happen in some imaginary contest between Jim and me is more than I want to be volunteered for.


I'm going to be a bit argumentative here. The speculations aren't wild.

I think if you ask *anyone* at your Itten workshop just what kind of skill level we were exposed to, *no one* there would answer that they were in your league. In fact, speculation of this kind has been conversational pieces between various people for a little while now. It is just that no one really ever wanted to say it out in public.

Seriously, I see and feel some of what you do and I see vids of Tohei and I don't think Tohei is in your league. Certainly, that is my informed opinion, but I think it's true.

There are people with 30-40 years in the Aikido world that aren't in your league either. We (the aikido world) missed something in the training. It's a bold statement but I think it's almost time for people to start opening their boxes and taking a hard, critical view towards just how long all the greats took versus how long quite a lot of us have spent so far to get nowhere near the greats.

I know you've worked hard to get where you are now. You've had to. I look at just my small start and how tough it is sometimes to do the exercises, the paired work, keeping the mental focus, and not deceiving myself about where I'm at. But, it wasn't the long hard 40 year road to mastery that many are told Aikido takes.

You put a three year student of judo or grappling against a 3 year student of aikido and I know just how many people would bet against the aikido student. We rationalized away that, oh, aikido just takes longer to get proficient in. Time to stop doing that. It's a lie.

And you are part of the proof. So are Dan, his students, Akuzawa and his students. And just to add a more solid case, Ikeda went outside to train with Ushiro to get the skills.

I gotta run, so I'll finish this later ... probably in another thread ...

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