Now people say that Aikido if applied correctly will always be beautiful and that if it isn't executed in a single stroke, you're doing it wrong.
I beg to differ. Aikido is Aikido if the principles are adhered to and the opponent is neutralized without permanent/serious injury (I'm also assuming arm breaks count as a serious injury) then it's Aikido. The techniques are merely a path and an expression of how to do this developing the building blocks for such a method of defending oneself.
I therefore present to you Koichi Tohei's video of him dealing with a person with little knowledge of Aikido. Of course you can see both participants are holding back. Herman (the big guy) isn't really charging him full on but just resisting the technique while Tohei isn't also being an ass.
The results are as follows:
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Does this shake my belief in the idealized form of Aikido? Yes.
Does this mean that Aikido is useless? Far from it, I thought it was a good demonstration of an understanding of balance and movement could be used to neutralize a larger person without harming him.
If we accept Aikido as not having to be beautiful but techniques to be seen as the 'perfect' idealized forms which we can aspire to but not necessarily pull off in a random true conflict situation, it becomes much more easier to accept Aikido as a martial art.
Reminds me a bit of Plato who postulated that below the world of apparent change is a world of timeless unchanging essences which are templates for ordinary objects on earth, for example, that for each actual horse there exists somewhere a perfect ‘Horse Form' of which real horses are but imperfect imitations.
We may never achieve the 'ideal' horse but we can compare our horses whether it's closer or further from this ideal. I think this is a useful way of viewing Aikido techniques.
We aim for the ideal knowing that it may be impossible to reach, but when we fail to reach it, we should not dismiss the entire idea as unworkable. A horse is still a horse however imperfect it is as long as it meets the basic parameters of what a horse is.
Similarly the same goes with Aikido?
Just my 2 cents.