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Old 11-29-2011, 11:03 PM   #49
Carl Thompson
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Location: Kasama
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 488
Re: O'Sensei teaching Aikido at the Hombu Dojo after WWII

Gerardo Torres wrote: View Post
If any aikido style today had the "real goods" or was operating at a level closer to the Founder, people would be flocking to it, just like people flocked to Takeda and Ueshiba looking for something especial. Such skills would be evident in the students of this style and people would want it. The fact that there's no mass migration to any particular aikido style, and so many styles and organizations survive in parallel and none can claim superiority based on skill, tells you that everybody is pretty much on the same relative level compared to the aikido propounded by the Founder, regardless of whether your lineage is pre-War or post-War, or comes from Shingu, Iwama, Tokyo, etc. As Marc Abrams suggested, it's less imperative to discuss lineages thatn it is to concentrate on what the Founder was really doing and work to replicate it.
I think styles and lineages, like high grades and time training with the founder only give an indication that someone had a chance to get the goods. They can all be false indicators or they can be true but despite the opportunity, there is still the possibility that someone still didn't get it.

But it seems to me that when teachers who genuinely tick most of the indicator-boxes try to do the same training they did with the founder in their own dojos, there are few people who are willing to tolerate it. Whether it's the "real goods" or not, there aren't many who want to do the tanren some who were close to the founder think is necessary to build an aikido mind and body. Wartime and Postwar Japan was a different world compared to the soft living of modern Japan and other first world countries.

Even when people make the effort to try out different teachers within aikido they sometimes carry baggage with them regarding how the training should be and struggle to accept that things could be any different from what their own teacher told them. How are they to recognise the "real goods"? They even struggle to accept provable facts and logic on occasion. With so much effort invested it is a lot easier to drink up the anecdotal evidence telling them where the goods are rather than grub around looking for bitter pills that are hard to swallow. The waters are very muddy these days. It's no surprise people are looking in neigbouring ponds or tracing things back to the source for the founder's aiki.

Wherever the real goods are, I don't think they will necessarily be found by people who are "flocking" because not being a sheep is a prerequisite.


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