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Old 01-26-2011, 03:38 PM   #154
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Ummmmmmm..... I dunno, George. I always see two sides to a story. Go back and look at some of the posts by some high-ranking Aikidoists a few years back who were trying to shut down discussions about internal strength or trying to discount the fact that there was anything they didn't know that was related to Aikido. Would that be "attitude"? How about the lengthy thread on Aikido (trust me, there are worse ones on other forums like rec.martial-arts, etc.) about why people don't like ('hate' was the term used) Aikidoists. The way to avoid all the back-and-forth about attitudes and personalities is to discuss the topic, not make the constant snide references. Period. At least in my opinion. What Aikidoists can do to improve their image in the outside world has got a lot to do with the same topic.

In terms of searching for internal strength (the topic of the thread) the main thing that I've seen which kills most chance of progress is ego and fear of loss of face. The other thing that kills actual progress is what I call "TMI from TMS".... too much information from too many sources. Meaning that most people seldom get their basics right, so they either go nowhere or they go down some limited dead-end. What people need to do is to go find out what internal strength is (not via showy demo's... I mean find out what it is definitively) and decide whether it was worth the effort Ueshiba Sensei put into it or whether a lot of teachers of 'Aikido' today actually do know better than Ueshiba did.


Mike Sigman
From my standpoint, I was being quite inclusive in my statement while addressing the fact that the folks I was addressing had certain individuals in mind. Aikido folks are absolutely no more functional than anyone else and the folks that are the most skillful are generally not the folks one picks to emulate in ones own life. The folks most of us would feel we'd like to emulate are usually the ones we consider "well balanced". I am not altogether sure that great mastery of anything is conducive to this kind of balance. On some level great mastery is abnormal. It takes more talent, more focus, more effort, pretty much more everything than an average person would put into anything. We may have evolved with the capacity for mastery but it was never the norm throughout or evolution, or even required for survival. Therefore, I'd say that most folks who have achieved great mastery over anything are very likely not what anyone would consider well balanced. And in the martial arts, so many folks come to the training our of fear as the original motivator, that not very functional people at the top is more the norm than not. This is certainly true of Aikido.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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