Dojo: aikido academy/alhambra,california
Location: Los Angeles, California
Join Date: Sep 2004
Re: The Word "Aikido"
Many thanks for the candid, often valid, and always thought provoking responses and contributions to what is my singularly personal perspective on the Founder’s immeasurable and inexhaustibly rich gift of his Aikido.
I do believe that if an idea or construct is inherently invalid or based on false premises, it will surely die a natural death through neglect and disinterest. If the opposite holds true, then we may very well witness a plethora of amazingly innovative and freshly inspired attempts to validate, define and build, on an ongoing basis, on the alluring truths contained and found in the original intent and purpose. A true work in progress of humanity’s never ending search for a fundamental reality that would provide enlightenment and joy to those who persevere and persist.
The Founder’s amazing gift indeed was never intended to be a “one of”, a “be all to end all” statement of any universal truth that could or should stand alone and defy any welcome scrutiny, alternative appreciation or as a basis for genius to work with. Rather, the Founder’s discoveries represented a most human attempt, by a fallible and humble man, to dare to share his life’s work with any and all curious and attentive minds in the ongoing exploration and enriching study of Universal Aiki, and not simply “Ueshiba Aiki”, which was only his contribution, intended to inspire and invite more of the same from succeeding generations.
The perspective that many of the Founder’s direct students struggled with understanding, appreciating and incorporating the many lessons from the Founder is not surprising. History is replete with direct students and actual peers of geniuses of the past likewise failing in similar attempts to keep up. It truly is another example of the “numbers game” of life, where a small percentage of eligible candidates or potential ingredients succeed in completing their intended destiny and place in history. Talent, industriousness and proven worth are never in doubt. Too often, it is simply the luck of the draw.
Perhaps it is time for us to have more faith in the capacity of mankind to actually learn from, and where appropriate, improve on the original model, while truly creating valid new constructs and enhanced examples of an original idea that fit any new realities and opportunities for growth and applicability. Really, isn’t this how evolution works? Isn’t this how measurable progress is defined? Isn’t this what the Founder envisioned, even as he himself was a working example of this principle, with the fuel, guidance and inspiration gleaned from his martial, spiritual and intensely personal experiences, validating his dedication towards continual self improvement? Isn’t this the true legacy of the Founder to succeeding generations of students of his example? Methinks it is.
The Founder’s understanding of Aiki was likewise never intended to be defined by words like “Aiki”, “Aiki Do”, or even the word “Aikido”, which was not his choice originally. Even as proper technique results, not from any conscious intent, but as the natural result of applying the appropriate principles of Aiki, and allowing the results of inspired training to do their collective magic, so did the Founder find the appropriate outlet for his ever improving sense of growth and depth of knowledge and understanding of his mission and his vision.
So, do dare to take up the challenge offered by the Founder’s incomparable example, selecting and/or deselecting the models of choice of training and thinking, with the uncompromising desire to accomplish your heartfelt goals, only you need to be conscious of, and to be loyal to.
Make “Aikido” a word that has special meaning to you first of all, and then share it with those you interact with, and care about.