Re: What Is Your Frame Of Reference For Understanding Aikido?
As you pointed out, my frame of reference has changed much as time has gone on. At first, it was that of a kid who got in lots of fights and had lots of aggression. Aikido "blew" my mind from that reference point. To think a person could win a fight, without hurting anyone else, and do it effortlessly, seemed pretty amazing. This helped me to drop much of the fear and aggression that had gotten me into all of those childhood fights.
My frame of reference was changed again and made me believe that Aikido was a bunch of garbage, not long after getting my black belt. I got into my first fight since I started training, and my Aikido training didn't help me-in either avoiding, or dominating the fight.
That pushed me to sport martial arts. Which gave me a new reference point, and made Aikido seem just as silly. It also taught me more about what I considered to be "fighting" than I had learned previously.
Then I fought with the Dog brothers, and again my reference point was changed. In that fight, much of my Aikido training came into play. This opened up my perspective to the idea of different fighting contexts; that is to say that different kinds of fights require different fighting methods, strategies and ideologies. It made me realize that there was more to the martial world than kicking, punching, wrestling and high amperage throws.
This led me back home, and more training in Aikido. Lot's of long discussion, debate and training hours spent with Michael Varin, many other marital artists, and the people here on Aikiweb. Forming my current frame of reference for Aikido. A system designed to develop humanity through historically sound fighting methods, that revolve around the context of dealing with multiple attackers while armed.