Dojo: aikido academy/alhambra,california
Location: Los Angeles, California
Join Date: Sep 2004
Re: Focus and Aikido Training
Thank you for your clarifications and your quick response. I want to repeat that, while my conversational style may be rather direct and rough, I mean the highest respect and regard for your opinions, your perspectives, your allegiances and your integrity.
Yes, my dojo has a long lasting, direct affiliation with Aikikai Foundation, as do quite a few dojos throughout the United States, and the world. Yet, not all affiliations demonstrate the same appropriate `level of respect, trust and loyalty that your dojo or mine choose to give to Hombu Dojo. Further, it appears that Hombu leadership could care less, preferring to be “like mushrooms”, that is, kept in the dark, and fed a whole lot of dubiously nutritional castings. A major example of “faltering” in my book, which doesn’t look to change anytime soon.
I have long expanded my research into things “Aiki” to concepts, programs and teachers of non aikido related systems, having taken my cue from the Founder’s own example and history of success. My students likewise are continually encouraged to seek out alternative, and even antagonistic viewpoints to mainstream Aikido (if it exists at all, and certainly not in my dojo), to judge for themselves if they want to continue with their Aikido identity or to change as needed for their own growth and satisfaction.
With all due respect to the traditions of Aikikai Foundation, its illustrious history of expansion under the late Doshu, and the many fine, talented and proven senseis produced over time, I no longer consider Aikikai, and its current leadership, to be the primary resource for Aikido integrity and relevance, and certainly not the definitive authority to explore, discover or explain the man called Ueshiba.
I have previously stated my reasons for remaining within the Aikikai family, and my personal high regard, deep respect and genuine fondness for the Doshu, and for certain existing figures within that system, which remain unchanged.
Per what I gleaned from studying the Founder, the late Doshu and certain key direct students, as well as indirect students of O Sensei, the torch has long passed on to future generations, as directed from the Ueshiba line, and it is now our time to become the worthy stewards of O Sensei’s purpose if we honestly choose to do so.
I will always respect the choice of loyal Aikikai supporters to place the Ueshiba lineage at the nexus of Aikido integrity, knowledge and undisputed authority. I simply do not buy it, and have told the current Doshu directly many times. I do feel that he understands my sincerity, and is gracious enough to allow me to think the way I do. Another reason for my personal loyalty to him, and to the Ueshiba lineage.
In terms of the Doshu reputedly and categorically stating that Aikido is devoid of competition, there is a most serious disconnect with the reality of human interaction. Aikikai Foundation, the IAF and the entire roster of Aikikai representatives all attest to the inaccuracy and fallacy of this notion. The constant infighting, squabbling and ego collisions over the decades is legendary, and exposes the lie in such an otherwise lofty notion. I do not doubt the Doshu’s sincerity, just his facts.
I apologize for any ambiguity or complexity of any superlatives I use.
There I go again, unjustly taking poetic license with the English language for reasons I cannot myself fathom.
Pre Alzheimers is my feeble guess.
I could have used the term “the Universal Aiki Store”, or the “realm of whatever is possible, and then some”. It is my position that anyone has the right to coin whatever phrase necessary to describe what will always be an individual search for meaning.
My take on martial integrity is that first, you do away with any social obligations, systemic fiats, or arbitrary allegiances to fallible human beings. You take full ownership of whatever you commit to.
The truths that surround you and me demand a much higher accounting from us, beginning with the necessary courage and persistence to stay the course of our life long study and commitment to excellence.
No, my good friend in Aiki, we have many more choices than to select which “building materials” we can choose from to construct our individual aikido. The Founder’s example and legacy, albeit magnificent and awe inspiring, is simply one of many the serious student may find available from the wealth of Aiki Principles, if he or she would simply commit to “focus” unconditionally.
Matta, yorooshiku onegaishimasu!