I welcome having my mind changed, Dan. That's why I keep harassing you to come visit us. Though to be honest, I wouldn't call it changing my mind because in my experience so far, we're closer to being on the same page than not. I think anyone who put in the time and had the luxury of having some people to work out with would come to those conclusions pretty quickly unless they have something invested in doing only what they're doing, which I do not. I have nothing invested in the training beyond the enjoyment of it. When you practice and come up with ideas and they're wrong, you fix them and keep moving forward and on those rare occasions that those ideas turn out to be right, you pat yourself on the back for putting in the time and thought and then you keep moving forward.
January you said?
Yes, I can see you're pretty "clean" when it comes to not holding on and just examining an approach. The differences we are discussing here become strident the more stress that is applied. In short, that make connection and move the both of you
model works in an aikido dojo doing waza- it is NOT going to work under freestyle fighting, and it will never work with people with developed centers and moving the way I am discussing.
Japanese Kata approach
How much power, how much center...is enough?
What does it look like under higher stress levels?
What does it look like against someone with a highly developed center who is not cooperating?
Does fighting ability validate an understanding of IS or Aiki?
Does IS or Aiki validate fighting skill?
Does rank...validate an understanding of either?
Those are the questions people should be also asking themselves.
It is interesting to note that these teachers, coming out of kata driven systems, don't really spend time interacting with people with highly developed centers, moving with retained centers, who have trained under extreme stress. Instead they tend to stay within a defined paradigm-thus their "development" and any discoveries they may have made come from the exact same input source they gave out. Hey, what's wrong with that, if you stay within those parameters it all works, you can pull off some really groovy stuff and the students will swear to God that were not cooperating-even while they were!
If people were to step-up, and to test themselves under serious stress they would make different discoveries and realizations about aiki, center, and training needs. There is a recent post about traditional arts dying in Japan, which echos another series of articles on the traditional arts of China dying. I really don't think it was the quality of the original arts that are failing. I think most of them were actually useful in their day. I think the problem is our inability to make them effective under modern stress and neutral "unaffiliated" analysis and critical examination. When is the last time you heard of a Menkyo in Koryu donning armor and going at it with boken or shinai...at speed in freestyle on a regular basis? Why then are we shocked that people who train like the dog bothers have made themselves very capable with weapons in the modern era. Certain Chinese ICMA guys have opened up to playing with grapplers and they will be better for it.
Again though-this is not my idea or my thoughts alone. This is a tried and true method that has worked for ages, hence all the solo training models. Beginning with the ability to retain a highly developed dynamic stability. It seems such a non argument that it speaks volumes to me when I see traditional people flummoxed by the very idea. After that it is learning how to use it and taking it out for a spin.
To repeat the opening post, does anyone think it was a smart idea to "make a connection" to Ueshiba's center? Takeda's? I certainly don't. And neither did generations of Asian martial disciplines.
Interestingly, the historical model of kata training finished with Musa shugyo. The idea was to go out and test ourselves, not go to other dojo's in our own systems who are all doing the same thing.
Test, Test, Test and prove you knew what you were talking about or die trying is a pretty severe challenge. But it made highly capable legends. Most people have no interest in doing what the greats did.
How is Jan 19 looking?