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Old 03-29-2010, 03:46 AM   #11
Alister Gillies
Location: Taunton
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 26
United Kingdom
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Re: Proficiency and Aikido

There are organisations affiliated to Hombu who explicitly refer to themselves as promoting and teaching 'Aikikai' style Aikido. Not only do they clearly state this, but they also do not recognise the qualifications of practitioners, often with many years of experience, from other styles in any formal way. To reinforce this non-acceptance, they cite Hombu as the originator of this discriminatory policy.

In any other field of human endeavour transferrable skills are respected, as is diversity and equality of opportunity. Why not Aikido?

In many Aikido organisations what seems to be in operation is blatant discrimination, monopoly politics, and a lack of respect for diversity, equality of opportunity and the hard work and commitment of practitioners from other styles.

This seems, by any reasonable standards, short sighted, divisive and in flagrant contradiction to the principles of Aiki. Could this be anything other than bad for Aikido?

Some styles have the appearance of a democratic strucure, but when push comes to shove they're really autocratic and appeal to the Japanese 'vertical' model to legitimate their undemocratic practices. They are models of 'thinly disguised' self-interest. Others are blatantly and uncompromisingly autocratic, usually quite powerful and completely impervious to change.

Most organisations in the real world cannot successfully operate in this way, and in most case are prohibited by law from doing so.

Isn't it time that people in Aikido woke up to the fact that blinkered self interest will result in little more than increased fragmentation and arrogant isolationism? Many people are already leaving Aikido because of the character and nature of its politics. Reciprocity and mutuality lead to improved learning opportunities, close that down and limitations appear everywhere. People will naturaly vote with their feet.

If the 'aiki' in Aikido does not extend beyond the dojo it is limited in every way. It fails to honour the life work of the founder, serves only to pay 'lip service' to his principles, and paves the way for the sort of hypocrisy that many of us started Aikido to escape.

Last edited by Alister Gillies : 03-29-2010 at 03:49 AM.
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