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Old 11-19-2012, 12:33 PM   #13
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,135
Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

Michael Varin wrote: View Post

I wonder if it isn't simply the way this discussion is framed, and the meanings that people place on the terminology being used that is causing the problems for those on both sides?

What makes this interesting? What causes people to be so passionate and persistent about it? Where do you think the divide really lies?

If you could ideally frame this dicussion, how would you do it?
Yes, I think the foundation of the argument is inherently flawed by the participation of persons who are not educated in the terminology or principles of the subject matter. This includes me. As a result, the argument uses uncommon language and incorrect information on which the argument dialogue is made. As an observation, I think this issue is improving.

The material is relevant because the potential impact upon refining kata, improving martial validity and empowering the artist is significant. I believe the problem lies with the fact that 1. Many do not believe the aikido kata requires refinement. 2. Many do not consider the validity of aikido as a martial art to be important. 3. Many already consider aikido to empower its practitioners.

The internal strength movement is a counter-culture movement. Its a minority group trying to raise awareness of training that can improve aikido. But that means first admitting there is something wrong with aikido (or at least room for improvement).

I am grateful for the work the internal people have done. From the people I have worked with, I believe internal power to be as significant as to change the way you do aikido. Internal power training will shake your aikido to its core and cause you to rethink everything you know about aikido. I believe this to be the foundation of the anxiety in the dialogue. Not everyone is ready to receive that message yet; some never will be ready to receive that message.

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