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Old 11-22-2011, 03:32 PM   #96
Dojo: Aikido Kenkyukai International
Location: Ambler, Pennsylvania
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 232
Re: why do people search outside Aikido for IS?

I've only been working on this IP/Aiki stuff for a year, and I speak only for myself (and I'm pretty sure I know nothing of which I speak anyway) But, since around 2007, after about 13 years of aikido training, I found myself with this hunch, or just an odd sense that I was missing something important. For example, I just kept thinking that funakogi undo must hold some important clue to something that I was missing. I had nothing really on which to base this hunch, but it was there, always in the back of my mind - that there was something more and I wasn't getting it. I was in a slump aikido-wise and felt I was not growing. I must also admit that I was not getting to train with my teachers and senpai often enough, and that was no good. Then one day, after our group had held a seminar with my teacher, I was getting changed in the locker room (we train in a local tennis club) and an elderly Chinese gentleman, noticing my keikogi asked what I was doing. Aikido, I said and he asked me to show him a bit. For some reason, the first thing I showed him was funakogi undo. "Oh!" says he, "Tai chi! I taught tai chi for 30 years!" Stuff happened then and I never got the man's number and I haven't seen him since, but something crystalized for me in that moment. I wanted to know more and I began searching "outside" aikido. I'm still engaged in that search, and I'm enjoying it immensely. I don't see it as "outside" at all. The kakejiku that hangs in the dojos of our group is just the kanji AI and KI. A Zen monk made the original for the head of our organization. He asked the monk, "Why didn't you add the 'DO' at the end?" The monk told him, "Well, everyone has to find their own DO." True story and I always liked it and I'm trying, with greater or lesser success to do just that. The IS/Aiki guys that I've met seem an enthusiastic, dedicated and gracious bunch and they seem to be searchers too - really looking to find their "DO." I'm not trying to sell anybody anything; just having fun.

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