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Old 05-24-2012, 03:56 PM   #13
Carl Thompson
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Location: Kasama
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 488
Re: Why Have Martial Arts Demonstrations?

As I understand it, the need to popularise the art was one reason the Founder began giving more public displays. However another relates to the lack of competition, which Niall mentioned in the column. There are shinsa (tests) and there are embu (demonstrations) which put you in a position in which the spirit is tested at least. For some it may be easy, but for others, public speaking can be mortifying enough. Showing your aikido to around ten thousand people in the same venue the Beatles played at can be very different from regular training.

There are some traditional aikido songs that were sung by Osensei, Nidai Doshu, Shioda, Tohei et al. One relates specifically to demonstrations and is called "Hana no Aikido" (The Flower of Aikido). Here is a small sample of one of the verses:


My rough translation (corrections appreciated):

Once you have prepared on the inside
All anxiety is gone on the outside
With your techniques and mind as one
The flower blooms in the embu

The English version of the programme for the 50th All Japan Demonstration is now available here:

Good luck to anyone taking part

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