Re: The purpose of Aikido?
Thanks for the numerous replies. As much as I would like to reply to everyone's posts, I thinks I'll just comment of some point that were raised re: my thread.
I'm a little perplexed as to why some of you think I was out to injure or harm my ukes, or that I strove to be a tough guy or a badass just because I advocate considering Aikido for its potential as a self-defense system. So if my goal is to train Aikido as a martial art, I'm now something of a Neanderthal who doesn't understand peaceful means of conflict resolution? Why is that? Because I dare ask that aikido be the martial art that it's suppose to be or that it can be?
Contrary to what some of you might think, I've never, not once, hurt or harmed any of my ukes. I've stepped away from several tense situations that might have resulted in a physical confrontation. I'm not one to seek situations to "prove" myself or what I know. Which is why portraying me as an aggressive brute is really way of the mark.
Several of my friends have been attacked and robbed, and one of them was stabbed dead. Maybe some of you are fortunate enough to live in a city or with no crime, and don't mind spending time to studying something as time consuming as aikido. I have more practical concerns. I love aikido for its philosophy, but as a martial art I do think it's far removed from what O Sensei intended when he taught men like Gozo Shioda.
I do know the difference between a combat system, martial art, self defense system and budo. Maybe my post was a little loose on using those terms but I do know the difference between them. I don't want aikido to be a form of RBSD (which it should not be), nor must it be part of MMA. Since Aikido is considered a form of budo, then it should be trained as such.
But as a budo, I feel that Aikido must live up to the "martial" in "martial way". If not, then maybe people should stop calling Aikido a martial way and just consider it a form of moving yoga or flowing zen, with no martial component whatsoever. Which is fine by me, to be perfectly honest. From what I've seen from the aikido dojos around here lately, this "new age aikido" is already here to stay anyway.
Just surfing around here and other online aikido communities indicate that self-defense ability is important to aikido students. Important enough to have students insisting all over the internet that aikido is indeed a martial art.
So spending 6 years as a shodan isn't enough to be ushered into the "secrets" and "hidden wonders" of aikido? If so, then either Aikido has a very inefficient means to teaching its material or its a cop out to explain away why aikido isn't as effective as claimed and advertised. For example, if you get three identical people and teach one of them karate for 10 years, another does judo for 10 years and the other does aikido for the same amount of time, I'm willing to bet that, all things being equal, the first two have a far better chance of surviving an assault than the aikidoka. That sounds harsh but that's my opinion.
The difference is it the way each of them train. After 10 years the karateka and the judoka will have gotten their egos "beaten out of them" by struggling through competitions. And they will have pressure-tested skills which are widely useful in a self-defense situation.The aikidoka will be training in a very predictable and choreographed manner, after being told that the material is "too deadly" to be practiced in any other way. I've seen people practice to make their ukemi look "better" for their nage, and why they do that for me speaks volumes.
It's easy to talk peace and harmony, but it should be done from a position of strength. If aikido should be taken seriously as a martial art, it should remember what "martial" means.
My understanding of self-defense skill is that it's a collection of tools. I'm not looking for the Ultimate Martial Art; there is none. You study various systems and pick up what you need. Aikido as a martial art still has much to offer. If I were train law enforcement officers on ways to arrest, pin and restrain individuals, I would gladly recommend aikido. But saying that one needs to do more than 10 years to benefit from aikido's martial potential doesn't make any sense. "Ah Grasshopper, you question the effectiveness of our system. You need to practice for 20 more years to understand the secrets of our fearsome art". Yes, that sounds ridiculous, but that's the message I'm getting.
How about training aikido as a martial art, practicing and testing its its application to more realistic and authentic attacks? Is that too radical a concept?
I apologize if I sound sarcastic on some points but I'm just trying to make my POV understood. My reply is a little rambling; i just write as a think so I'm sorry for the confusion.