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Old 11-15-2011, 06:39 PM   #38
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,135
Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
There seems to be a crisis on some people's path that they they are trying to fix. Its seems like some people having been training for a long time and have not grown strong. That must be disconcerting and discouraging. Maybe it is what causes the level of nastiness that seems to rise up on these threads. Are you angry because your Aikido is lacking something? Are you feeling cheated?

When the spiritual part of Aikido is missed, could it be that the internal part is missed also. Maybe there is more connection than you have been led to believe.

Every one of these threads turns into a discussion about Dan (no disrespect intended just an observation). I hear that Dan understands internal strength and can convey it. I am sure he can.

Does that make it okay for you (not you, Dan, others that speak for you) to disparage others' ways? With great strength comes great responsibility. Internal practice could cause internal inspection and responsibility for one's own thoughts and process.

Maybe as individuals you all think that you are expressing yourselves. But to me it comes across on here as lemmings repeating doctrine.

One of the reasons I am not interested in what Dan has to offer is because of how some people that train with him talk to others on here. Why would anyone want that? Real internal strength helps us think for ourselves. It helps us develop compassion and appreciation of diversity.

Ron and I trained with a man who was very strong. He taught us well. Now we are on our own path.

Our Path involves Ki development, Aikido waza and internal responsibility. We talk about it all the time on here. Yet when we have a seminar not one person from the Aikido world other than our own students come. And then on here we are told we don't know what we are talking about. Only Mike and Dan have the "goods". How could anyone possibly know because none has come to our dojo to find out.

I not writing for sympathy or empathy. I really want to know. Please try not to write back if you have nasty things to say. Let's discuss these ideas without being mean.
Aiki is not exclusive to aikido. In many respects, other Japanese arts do a better job of defining, identifying and implementing aiki that aikido does. Aikido is not the authority on aiki. I do not consider this to be going outside aikido because I am not studying another martial art, just how another martial art defines aiki. I once heard a aikido person I respect say that learning aikido is kinda like assembling something from China - The instructions are in another language, you usually skip a few steps and you always end up with extra parts. I still chuckle when I think about this saying.

Several years ago I began to realize that aikido did not possess the lexicon to fully transmit the curriculum from one generation to the next. Dr. Goldsbury and others like Stan Pranin and Chris Li have spent so much time and effort on this point and we really can not thank them enough. Why the lexicon is incomplete is probably a myriad of answers. The catalyst for me was that I was reading a judo book Donn Draeger helped write and I thought "geez, these guys know their s*$t - the points were well-written and organized and they did an admirable job of keeping the points straight-forward. So I got another book, on karate, then Daito Ryu, then the koryu systems, etc. These books all presented well-written thoughts and straight-forward concepts. Compared to aikido, where everyone is right and nobody can capture the definition of aiki in less that 100 words, these other sources of information helped me to better understand my aikido.

I think many aikido people who want to elevate their training extend their experience into collaborative efforts with sister arts. I do not believe I would call the vocalization of this activity a "crisis"; although I believe (from my experience) the correlation between aikido people with competent skills and a knowledge of sister arts is pretty high. Many of the aikido people I know who are making this educational journey say "man, if I had started this x years earlier, my aikido would be through the roof." It is possible the exasperation you witness is the frustration many experience when they are exposed to something that revolutionizes their training (and they could have been doing it sooner). I do not believe this frustration is anger.

I cannot speak to some of the venom spat in threads, only to say that let he who has no sin... I have read as many (or more) negative comments against IS guys as they have made. I need only point to the current Ueshiba aiki thread. I won't speak for the internal guys. There's an old saying about doing something to messengers that bring bad news and I think some of the IS folks get that treatment. Internal strength training is contesting some serious concepts in aikido, some of which have become strong beliefs... and we all know how well people take to challenging their belief system. I think aikido needs to wrestle with why some spiritual and philosophical concepts have transformed into such entrenched beliefs that we can not tolerate attacks upon them.

The best way to resolve some of these discussions is simple to get on the mat with each other. You will either do or do not.
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