Thread: True Warfare
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:03 AM   #98
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,139
Re: True Warfare

I still haven't quite figured out this thread, so I am going to simply address some points within the thread which I feel make a coherent point...

1. The old-school of thought here is in a fight, win immediately and decisively. I think this a is Daito Ryu point and I believe there is a quote from Takeda on this point. Beat your enemy's spirit before ever lifting your sword, blah, blah, blah. I think we are talking about a concept that implies you have defeated your partner at the point when you join (aiki).
2. The love stuff is something about which we can concern ourselves occurs after we have the connection part. I think the argument I consistently hear and see evidence of is that many of us are ignoring this order and skipping right into the love is all you need thing. As my math teacher used to say, reading the answers from the back of the book helps you find some solutions but eventually you get a problem that you can't cheat.
3. The duration in which we train aikido have no direct connection with our skill. Aikido is the only martial art of which I am aware where we promote by perseverance- "don't die and we'll promote you." I have heard senior after senior use this argument and I think "geez, this guy has been training x years and he can't even do y technique?" If I were a model railroader and you came to see my models and they sucked, what would you think if I told you I had been model railroading for 25 years?

These three points illustrate that our education process is flawed. I get upset because I need my seniors to know what is going on so I can learn from them and they can get everything from the deshi before they all pass on. I do not see that happening because too many students are being fed BS at a time when they are susceptible and not questioning the material. "I said this and one time I saw a video of sensei so I know what I am talking about." "I said this and I have been training for 20 years." I think many of these posts are trying to politely solicit some supporting evidence for posts.

Aikido is about facing confrontation. Somewhere we got this notion that we evade confrontation. Then we took out anything that could be ugly. Warfare is confrontation and it is ugly. So to some, their aikido cannot comprehend confrontation or ugliness. To others, the severity and resolution of committing to annihilate your partner is foreign. To yet others, the suddenness of absolute connection before your partner even touches your body is foreign. Be open about these lapses and justify why your aikido omits them, but don't pretend they don't exist in aikido. Or, if you advocate they do not exist, be prepared to step onto the mat with someone to share that conviction.

P.S. I wrote this post with more harsh language because some other posts have already addressed these issues in a more appropriate manner and were not met with a response. I respect good aikido and would be a fool to think any one person could have it all. I personally enjoy sharing experiences with peers about why their aikido feels different and how their convictions affect their aikido.
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