It is a fact that native speakers in one language or culture, find it beyond difficult to fully assimilate and incorporate the nuances, cultural aspects and ease of facility with their adopted language or culture.
If we look at Aikido as a product of another culture, should we automatically fall into the trap of subconsciously and unfortunately accepting "second citizen status", and not attempt to become "native speakers ' and actors in the adopted culture, as many others triumphantly have? Yes, it takes an awful lot of drive, devotion, and dogged determination to accomplish the work that only time can oversee.
Names notwithstanding, many well meaning people can be actually immersed into a powerful cultural setting, and with teflon indifference, fail to carry any important or relevant lessons forward from such an experience when they subsequently return to their original pastures. Such proof is evident when one fairly and faithfully compares the results of those who are believable, and those who remain poseurs for the rest of their lives. The second category consistently fails to do the due diligence and honorable work of confirming their opinions, and affirming their understandings and knowledge.
Until the aikido community at large demands greater accountability, proven sources of provenance, and qualifying experiences of those who dare to expound without oversight, this forum will remain forever suspect in championing worthy discussions and theories of merit.
Oh yes, elegance is the title, yet how inelegant of me to ignore it until now.
Elegance is an opinion of what may or many not be factual, quantifiable, or even tangible. It remains in the eye, mind and soul of the lover of beauty to ultimately judge whether "elegance" indeed is an appropriate definition
Thank you for your reply. I like to think, that discussion about elegance in aikido must take in consideration various aspects of the Japanese culture. If we take a look at the calligraphy masters, swordsmith, painting, ikebana or tea ceremony masters, they attempt to reach perfection in simplicity. That is how elegance is achieved in Japan.
Aikido is on the same line -- a technique is compared to one cut with sword. Add one unnecessary gesture and suddenly elegance becomes a ‘Mannerism'. Pure heart and spiritual intuition can't be achieved with such ‘Mannerism'.
So yes, you are right, from one point of view a definition of elegance in aikido can be futile, but in the other hand, we need the directions for our training. May we, even temporary, provide working definition to help us become perfect?