Re: An Aikidoka on the Way of Disgrace
A careful textual analysis of this interview prevents false meanings being read into Gaurin Sensei's words and also helps to clarify what he means. In this discussion of the interview certain inferences are being drawn that don't seem to be supported by his words, other reasonable interpretations are ignored, and terms are not defined. For example, the word Aiki is used in the interview and it is used in this discussion of the interview, but there are clearly different notions of Aiki at play. Also, if anyone thinks that Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei are only connecting somewhat, that is that they don't completely suck but apparently are taken to be somewhat deficient nonetheless, then the definition of connecting is also problematic, because they have no difficulty connecting. Saotome Sensei is able to connect and blend on a very advanced level.
Some things that are important to recognize from the interview:
Gaurin Sensei does not support the idea that Doshu watered down Aikido or took Daito Ru out. He says that O Sensei did this.
He does not claim that Doshu was lacking in his abilities as many have stated in previous discussions. He praises Doshu for his ability.
He argues that Aikido is really just the most advanced level of Daito Ru, what he calls Nagare, "the dynamic utilization of the aggressor's intentions" (consistent with how I have defined Aiki previously).
He states that Yamaguchi Sensei was demonstrating Nagare as well.
Though Nagare is the highest level and thus the ideal to strive for, Gaurin Sensei seems to be saying that some Aikido practice does not provide students with a fall back plan when Nagere fails for whatever reason. For him this fall back is the techniques and application of Daito Ru because it works when Uke's momentum stops. [I find this a perfectly reasonable argument. Take Muso Aiki and Oyo Henka are better backup plans. Strikes, sweeps, breaking balance internally, and other responses are also possible]. He is not saying that Nagare should be abandoned as an ideal or that it can't work. It's the highest level.
He believes that the one real innovation in Aikido was the mercy of allowing Uke to take Ukemi. This and his arguments about Aiki working on someone who is not moving are where I think he is confusing things, though this may be largely at the level of language. The Aiki of Aikido is always about blending. Blending does not always mean tenkan. There can be blending in Irimi. If someone has really stopped they have stopped attacking and Nage can disengage. If Uke is holding on but doing nothing more then Uke is very vulnerable and foolish and at any rate is not hurting Nage. In every other situation Uke is attempting to do something to Nage. Nage can use that energy. That is Aikido. The mercy in Aikido that Gaurin Sensei points too is more than kindness. It is part and parcel of what set's Aikido apart from Daito Ru. Aikido is non-impossitional. It is not non-violent in the sense that an attacker may be injured. I have no doubt that Nagare is found in high level Daito Ru, but it is confined by the destructive aims of the art. O Sensei set Nagare free and found the power in this harmony.
Last edited by Ken McGrew : 01-09-2012 at 10:54 AM.