I was actually going to go line by line and address a number of these things, but I just can't bring myself to. I would simply ask the following:
1) If you are going to reference Budo as not having competition . . does that mean Kendo is not Budo?
2) What is the difference between a mainline tradition in Japanese martial arts and a new tradition created under the blessings of the founder/chief instructor . . versus a new martial system that doesn't try acknowledge its roots? Can you think of examples of each?
3) To be considered aikido - must you belong to the Aikikai? If so, why? If not, why not?
4) What makes you think that ANY organization does not have people that are in it with a major objective of maintaining their power and position? Seriously? Or am I just too cynical?
1. That's a good point. What i meant was that i was under the impression that O'Sensei saw his
Budo as not having competition in it - by definition; bound up with his spiritual/religious beliefs as it was, he saw aikido as being a means of simultaneously practising martial arts, and cultivating your character (unless i'm mistaken - which i may be):
'Iron is full of impurities that weaken it; through forging, it becomes steel and is transformed into a razor-sharp sword. Human beings develop in the same fashion.'
If you do not forge it in the correct way, you will not transform it into a 'razor-sharp sword', to continue the analogy.
'As soon as you concern yourself with the "good" and "bad" of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you'
- Morihei Ueshiba
3. That's a very good question: what is aikido? I guess that as it is defined as 'the way of harmony', then would competing with somebody be an example of being in harmony - or conflict?
Perhaps there is aikido - the techniques; and there is aikido - 'the way'...?
I guess if asked how i see it, i would say - to me - it is the latter: i am a philosopher, and i found the philosophical dimensions expressed in aikido to be profound.
I don't know if i'd view competition as a good or bad way to spend my time practicing aikido, to be honest...i've never thought about it.
4. I don't think you're being cynical, necessarily; but rather than saying 'there are people in the Aikikai who have an agenda contrary to the interests of aikido' etc., there should actually be some grounds/an argument/evidence for saying it.
It's a possibility this is the case, but what is the statement based on?
My own experience of people in the hierarchies of aikido organisations is that they are quite selfless, and certainly not 'in it for the money'.
I know nothing of the Aikikai's business dealings however, and whether they are a Walmart-style operation, or what have you...
Respectfully, as ever