Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?
I do not know Dan or the controversy discussed here but I can comment on my own experience trying to teach karate in an aikido dojo. I was asked by my teacher who had been my karate instructor who now is godan in aikido, to offer karate classes to help finance the aiki dojo.
To make a long story short, I quit after a year of butting my head against the wall. I found personally, that aikidoka all seem to feel that they have figured it all out and that there is no other martial art, or spiritual practice they need. Across many dojos over the years I have encountered an attitude of open mindedness, from karate, to BJJ, to Krav Maga, to TKD. Nowhere in my travels as a karate teacher have I encountered such rigidity and opposition to anything outside the parent martial art. Aikodoka, it seems, are a somewhat fixated group, who desire to learn nothing from other arts. Why is this so?
This is to me because Aikido is not a martial art, but a religion. It has a close minded intolerance for almost all other martial arts, and a feeling of superiority. This is because when a practice ceases to be practice and becomes a faith, there is no questioning. There is no room for debate or for revision of beliefs, there are articles of faith, of dogma that prevail.
This is why it is exceedingly rare for aikidoka to seek out other martial arts and to learn from them. For the aikidoka, at least the modern type, they have all the answers and other martial arts are brutish, inconsequential forms of gymnastics. I have never seen a single aikidoka seek out cross training or working alongside other martial artists. This is rare in martial arts, modern thinking is about being open minded and letting go of rigidity in practice.
Had Ueshiba been as rigid and as certain of his way as much of what I have seen, there would be no aikido. Ueshiba dared to step out from the pack to find his own way. He saw the Buddha on the road and killed him. And a great treasure was born. Aiki practice. I have a great love for this art but I know that I cannot associate with aikidoka in the dojo, because they are always correct and not willing to learn from other ways.
I know this is a generalization and that many many aikodoka do strive for learning. But what I experienced was rigidity, dogmatism and one upsmanship, all in the guise of sprituality.
So I would say that when a martial arts practice becomes a religion, that innovation and progress are hampered and I am certain that this is not a way to grow as a martial artist.
That was just my experience and I had to leave the dojo, ultimately losing a 25 year friendship with my former Sensai. Dogmatism hurts and I left the dojo feeling like aikido, in its modern form, is based largely on building a dynasty for each Sensai and ensuring that students never find their own way, but attempt to copy others.
So why am I on here at all? Because I love the message in aikido and embracing of the internal arts. There is much good in aikido, but its very hard to work with aikidoka when you are always one down and in their minds, they are always one up.
I hope this makes sense and doesnt offend. We all suffer from dogmatism and self righteousness, but I have seen its negative effect in the martial arts community and urge folks to get off the high horse and become open, like children to new things. Aikido is only ONE of many internal forms of martial art, it is good to remember that.
Thanks for listening. I was pretty traumatized by this experience and hope to view aikido with a positive light again one day. For the record, my Sensai was very open minded, but even his open-ness could not penetrate the dogmatism of his students.
Last edited by Davis : 11-14-2011 at 10:44 PM.