I find it so interesting that a lot of the threads on aikiweb seem to be going in two different directions.
1. People who are asserting that the study of "internal power" has gone missing or become inauthentic in aikido in general. Much discussion of what it is, why nobody really has it, how to get it back, etc. (Ellis Amdur's "Hidden in Plain Sight" et al)
2. People who feel that aikido in general has lost its focus on martial effectiveness and devolved into something close to spiritual/mystical game-playing.
My sense of things is that these two lines of thinking are often used to support each other against the idea that what many folks in Aikido are practicing is a
. The premise, again as I've perceived it, being that having a strong physical ability in using aiki is
having martially effective waza and is even required to even call it "aiki
I have to say that I've learned valuable things from people on both ends of the spectrum.
I don't have much experience to draw from yet, but every time I've interacted with a different approach, I've learned something. The body reflects the training, so paying attention to the different methods expressed in different systems, styles, schools, and individuals should at least make for a well-rounded body of our own...my
theory at least.
One of these days (famous last words
) I intend to get some hands on with some of those folks who have been repeatedly noted for their internal ability. That way I'll be able to at least compare approach if I'm not exactly able to percieve what it is that's going on. I'm pretty sure I've been taught some aspects of aiki, both with Sensei Barrish and with the Himeji Shodokan school I attended even more briefly...and I repeatedly wish I had stuck with my training in some kind of consistent manner so I had more to offer than I do. That said:
Yet one more reiteration from this peanut gallery.