Thread: Aiki in MMA
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:00 PM   #50
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 653
Re: Aiki in MMA

Lukas Stark wrote: View Post
Aiki like the article said isn' a proprietary word, "When reviewing the literature, it does seem to mean different things to different people." The definition isn't a strict one pertaining specifics. Because the term isn't cut in stone, different understanding arise and disagreements follow... I have no problem with saying Silva or others have aiki. I have no problem saying aiki in my mind isn't a thing, but instead having it all come together consistently. Here is where I think people have trouble. It is a matter of the application and the results of that application. We are too hung up specific application and results. If it doesn't fit in that box, it isn't aiki.

I don't see things that way, my profession and experience tells me things don't fit into neat little boxes. Besides, putting things into boxes when being discussed leads to fruitless arguments. It also provides opportunities for exploitation by people looking for personal and financial gain.They require things to be in boxes. You can't sell something that isn't unique, it has lesser value. You can't be unique and special if others have it too.

The point has come down too for me is to analyze Silva's performance and from there we can identify his use of aiki.
Trouble with your approach is that everything gets flattened out into mush. The reason why some are insisting on a particular definition of "aiki" is because they care about what it signifies: a set of body skills which are not common, are not easy to come by, but were demonstrated and taught by Takeda Sokaku and Ueshiba Morihei. (Who called them "aiki." Hence the name.)

Allowing "aiki" to mean something like "martially effective movement", which appears to be all you mean by it, doesn't get you out of any boxes. It just makes it impossible to talk about the truly interesting distinctions: Does Silva win the same way Ueshiba won? Does he leverage the same skills or is he using different skills? How are they different? How does that show up in his movement?

It also makes it impossible for you to address Kevin's hypothesis on his own terms. Is it true that you can't get to a high level of martial performance without some level of aiki skills, as Ueshiba and Takeda defined them? Why or why not? What markers could we observe to provide evidence one way or the other? You can't even enter the conversation, because you've turned the distinctions that matter into mush.

Yeah, we can all join hands and sing kumbaya and declare your definition of aiki to be as good as anybody's. But then the word becomes useless, and the concept the word stands for is lost. This has already happened, almost completely. Which makes it a matter of some urgency to recover the word, the concept, and the skills they represent.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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