Aikido may look like dancing
But it isn't dancing ...
Aikido is drawn from sword, jujitsu, hand to hand, and other martial arts that make it into a fighting art if explored, but a safe training medium if practiced in its given form.
The more I do Aikido, which is now five years, compare it to other martial arts, including Wally Jay jujitsu/ new studies in chin-na and pressure points, along with my previous studies, I find the more simularities than dissimualities to old style fighting arts.
Maybe it is time to write a book about the basic techniques of Aikido, simularities to other styles of martial arts, and how they use simular motion/ movement/ with pressure points to execute techniques? A veritable cross reference night mare for teachers or students claiming certain styles are more effective than other styles of MA's.
If you have the Wally Jay series, take a look at the warm up movements he uses and tell me they aren't the same movements we use for bokken practice?
As for small circle ... we simply take the movements that would be made with the big circle and make them tighter and tighter, so they are quicker, more effective, using less motion, energy, taking less time.
The circle is not different from Aikido big circles, but smaller.
Make a mental note the next time you are at a seminar, and an instructor does a quick than normal technique ... see if it is a small circle?
We take into our style what works without compromising the style and we make it our own.
That is the way of all evolving martial arts, even Aikido.
(short note for Peter R.)
Don't take my little stories so seriously, they are just visual perspectives, not jabs, or platitudes, or meant to insult your lifestyle or training. The point of the mountain top story was that once you have been to the mountain top your minds eye see's the world from both perspectives, not just the valley ... even when you are sitting on your roof looking at the mountain.
But when you step back, separate yourself from your present training, and compare the different styles, the techniques ... the lines become blurred.
It will be as I have descibed, and you will see how O'Sensei combined the different elements to make his style of practice.
You will also see how there is room to add and improve our present Aikido into something even better.
If we can't do that, then it will be like watching Tai Chi in the park ... very pretty, but what does it mean?