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Old 08-25-2011, 09:32 PM   #101
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,073
Re: philosophical or practical martial art?

Niall made a comment about techniques that kill being the antithesis of aikido. I think I understand the gist of the comment, but in application, would the argument then be that a technique applied incorrectly (and therefore effectively causes no harm) be considered aikido? Conversely, would a technique applied correctly, but resulted in harm (killing) not be considered aikido? I ask these questions mostly to construct the argument premise. To point out the obvious, the argument is action-oriented; mens rea is missing from the argument.

I think sometimes we confuse the ends and the means. I can understand that the study of "aiki"do is a study of the means, the end is simply closure to the experiment. In this context, I could entertain a statement that expressed the irrelevancy of the end. Likewise, I can understand a statement that the end is the purpose of training, the means is the medium used to accomplish the end.

For me the study of aikido is not about the end. If I correctly perform aiki, the end result is demonstrative of that success. I think the study of aikido is in the present of interaction, not the future of conclusion. In a sword book I read, the author advices students not to plant their front foot until they have reached the proper striking distance. In planting your foot before you strike you forego the ability to pursue your opponent should he retreat.

If I am already committed to the end, how can I possibly be free in the present to perform aikido? In using Graham's example, If I commit to performing a shiho nage that causes no injury to my partner, how can I do anything but move in a manner that will, in its end, look like shiho nage and not cause injury to my partner? Further, how can one validate whatever movement is necessary to get to the end as aikido? This is flawed logic. A move like shiho nage and shiho nage are not the same. Committing to make a shape that looks like shi nage and committing to aiki resulting in shiho nage are not the same. I think this is why we have non-functional aikido-like movement.

Last edited by jonreading : 08-25-2011 at 09:36 PM.
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