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Old 02-25-2012, 09:09 AM   #7
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: Everyone gets an 'A'

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
To address the underlined points (in the order from the original post):
1. If Everyone gets an 'A' in my book for offering an opinion. Everyone gets an 'F' for degrading another. What do you get for degrading those who degrade aikido? I think it a very important function of our peers to vet one another; in this sense the hammer of criticism helps to remove the impurities and forge ourselves into something. I think you need to understand some hammer fells will will accomplish more than others. I think you also need to understand sometimes those hammer fells bang us back into the right direction.
2. Bad aikido looks stupid, it does not need help in that regard. Do not confuse your inability to resolve fundamental conflicts from outside of aikido as a fault in a sister art's observations against aikido. I have heard, and seen good aikido people do just fine in the presence of sister arts; I know many good aikido people who train in multiple arts because there is much overlap. I do not think you should project your personal issues with aikido onto the art as a whole.
3. When I see these arguments, I think, "but good aikido has many similarities in each of these examples...." If you have learned to punch in a manner that is dis-similar with than of [any] other art, maybe you should be asking, "why is my punch dis-similar from everyone else's?"
4. This is, of course, mathematically impossible if one interprets the the letter grading analogy as that of the modern educational grading scale. Again, I think your effort to qualify yourself as an "A" student is a personal issue for you. Not everyone in aikido can be an "A" student, and some are content to be average. It is no small feat to be excellent in any endeavor, and to imply that by some minimal participation one may assume mastery or excellence is degrading to those who do put forth the effort and commitment to realize expertise.

As a point of observation, the cult of aikido seems to require the dismissal of martial validity, usually through a call of ignorance. While tangental to the point of the thread, I bolded comments Graham made to using the vehicle of ignorance to point out that only stupid people point out the fallibility of aikido. For such a short post, there are many occasions of such language. For someone who is claiming to only talk positive (see double **) there is a lot of negative language. I guess let he who has no sin...

I responded to this post because I feel some people need to qualify themselves as experts and they cannot do it through physical demonstration. I responded to this post because if Aikido is not about competition, why the f%#$ do I care if I get an "A" or a "C"? Do you know what they call a "C" student who graduates medical school? Doctor. I do not know why this insecurity is prevalent in aikido, I hazard a guess it is because the cult of aikido's philosophical underpinnings are not conducive to functioning aikido.

Aikido is about mind and body unification. Ikeda Sensei uses an analogy of playing baseball versus coaching baseball. Some of us have the talent but not the experience, some have the experience but not the talent, some have both. You look at leaders in the aikido community who are trying to engage those with the experience to revitalize their bodies using ukemi. You look at leaders in the aikido community who are trying to improve the transmission of aikido so we know what's going on without training for 30 years. When I look at the leaders I want to emulate they do not express this insecurity - they are looking at what they can do better, not excusing away what they cannot do. This is the positive of aikido. The honesty in our training comes from understanding our problems and finding the solution. Introspection sucks, and for that, anyone with courage to look inside themselves gets a "P" from me.

P.S. I don't know what "Kunk Fu" is, but if that's the only thing the Kung Fu people are good at then let's have at them!
1) Self evident I would say. Don't degrade others. Very simple.

2) Many do many things. The sensible ones don't mix them. Each is of itself.

3) Indeed. Precisely my point.

4) Well expressed opinions, you get an 'A'.