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Old 03-05-2009, 05:06 AM   #53
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,220
United Kingdom
Re: Aikido IS a practical contemporary martial art

George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
.The fact is that most folks cannot actually do their waza within the Aikido context if they get real committed attacks from ukes who aren't colluding. Forget about applying the techniques against other martial artists... they can't do their techniques against a proper katatetori, they can't actually do an irimi with a partner who is REALLY trying to hit them. This applies to many of the folks teaching as well as the average practitioner. This is particularly prevalent on the West Coast where people are trying so hard to do "spiritual Aikido".
That is a pretty damning (but probably true) statement about the state of Aikido and aikidoka in general, George. I for one hope that I am not one of those perpetuating the problem.

This causes Aikido to have a bad reputation. Ikeda Sensei has said many times, "It's not Aikido that doesn't work, it's YOUR Aikido that doesn't work". Aikido people need to let go of the whole moral superiority thing they have about their art. I love this art. It is my Path. But people who don't know what they are talking about get so superior.
My own teacher has never experienced Ikeda Sensei, however he has used the same words. The truth is the truth, eh?
The quote I have 'bolded' - wasn't the internet created just for them/us?

But it simply is a fact that human beings don't do well at not fighting. They fight within themselves, they fight with those around them, they fight with those they love... We are VERY fearful animals and that causes violence against the self and against others, much of which never gets to the physical stage.
Well put, and again very true. Isn't this why so many of us are drawn to aikido in the first place. We on some level recognise our own inate fear and look to a martial art / aikido to help overcome that fear. If we practice the principles of aikido diligently both on the mat and off, we may after many years, learn to be non contentious, to accept and blend with life and act with more confidence and courage to do the right thing at the right time, thereby living life with less fear?

Mankind is always in need of practices that help them transform themselves into what they can be from what they are. Aikido is one of them. It isn't the only one, or the best one, but is the one that many of us have connected with. It is our job to make the art as strong as possible but it definitely is about not fighting, on all sorts of levels.
I agree that Aikido is not the only one, I am curious to know what you consider the 'best' one to be? Personally I am happy to continue on my chosen path of aikido, it is working for me. I am always keen to supplement my practice with study and appreciation of other 'ways'



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