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Old 10-11-2010, 07:30 AM   #7
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,183
Re: Real aikido is not just for the dojo

Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
Aikido helps you become centred, relaxed and aware in all aspects of your life. If you want to be, of course. Some people may not want to be and that's cool too.
I hear it also cures male pattern baldness and bad breath, too.

I'm going to turn the question back to you, Niall. If people don't see aikido as a "way of life" (or even, like me, ask what that is supposed to mean), why do you assume that that means that they simply "don't want" all this groovy wonderfulness? Maybe we're skeptical -- and maybe with good reason; grandiose claims are a dime a dozen in the martial arts. Questioning them is prudent.

So I ask again: what makes aikido a "way of life"? Do you have to give up your job and your family and become a full-time live-in student? If you don't, how can you call it a "way of life"? For those of us who don't live in the dojo, aikido does not prescribe the answer to many of our day to day situations. I've got to write some marketing junk for work today -- I'm not going to learn how to do that in the dojo. After work, I've got to clean out my shed, and despite the protestations of those who believe that every step they take is tai sabaki and every movement they make is an aikido isn't, it's just cleaning a shed. I could work a broom before I ever walked in a dojo, and the dojo hasn't taught me how to do it better or differently.

Why is there a need to fancy up the activities of daily living with this aikido embroidery? Why is there a need to imagine aikido as a "way of life"?

"'Let's work without theorizing,' sais Martin; 'It's the only way to make life bearable.'"

- Candide
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