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Old 11-19-2012, 02:11 PM   #61
R.A. Robertson
Dojo: Still Point Aikido Center
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 345
Re: It Has to be Felt #0

Hi Again, Carsten,

One thing I've clearly mis-communicated: aikido is not a religion, and I strongly do not wish it to be. I am not looking for a religion, as I am resolutely secular in my orientation, and do my best to govern my life and outlook and decision processes on evidentiary premises. Sorry for any confusion about that.

One area where I do think we may diverge is on the primacy of kata. For me, kata comes after the fact. Kata is sometimes useful for isolating fleeting instances of particular dynamics for certain pedagogical purposes. But in my experience, too much emphasis on this leads to people thinking of kata as aikido. As both teacher and student, I find this restrictive when over-emphasized.

To the point, I find that the forms arise organically and spontaneously when we do aikido; but doing the forms does not automatically cause aikido to arise naturally.

My aikido tends not to be based in kata. Form happens, of course, and is useful to a degree. But I agree with (what I think might have been meant by) O Sensei when he referred to all the many techniques of aikido as "empty shells."

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