Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido
Good post David. You certainly said what I wanted to say much better!
DO arts are such as aikido, judo, iaido, kyudo, and others are methodologies that use a martial framework to teach and enhance the way or philosophy of the practice. Each have developed a context of practice that accomplishes those goals.
Interesting enough....the governing bodies of Judo are once again changing the rules of judo. Why? I think it is basically to encourage good judo and to return to the foundation, not to evolve it into Jiujitsu and wrestling that has had an impact in competition.
Will it have it's desired goal or will it continue to isolate it from the mainstream more?
Hard to say, I think that depends on your perspective.
What I like about my judo practice is that it has provided me a very in depth study into the art of kuzushi and throwing that I don't believe I'd get in any other methodology.
Why is that? Because Judo has stuck to it's primary didactic and core curriculum and have changed the rules over time to ensure that it continues to be the focus.
Judged against the modern perspective of effectiveness from a BJJ or MMA perspective and Judo is a dying art that is moving away from effectiveness.
Judged against the criteria that makes judo good for what judo is good for...I'd say they are making the right choice.
As far as trends go what does this mean for the future of judo vice MMA/BJJ?
Hard to say again, but it may be that people want more of what MMA has to offer vice what Judo has to offer and you may see a time when BJJ or more specifically "sport jiujitsu" becomes an olympic sport and judo takes a back seat to it simply because more folks want to be measured in this respect vice the judo rules.
It could be that aikido loses students and there is actually a decline away from aikido with more folks going into MMA.
Based on the numbers in our dojo here in Virginia though, I don't believe we have seen a decline in the past 5 years. Aikido is such a small player anyway, in comparison to say Judo...much, much smaller! That I don't think the trends impact us to greatly anyway.
We have a very distinct client based and attract folks that are looking for Aikido.
It is for this reason that if we attempted to change to be more popular that I think we would be in trouble as we would no longer be doing our core competency well, and we would be doing a terrible job at the MMA stuff and it would backfire big time!