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Old 12-08-2012, 08:20 AM   #24
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,604
Re: aiki, aikido, tomato, tomahto

I've known Dan quite some time due to my professional world of swords. The dude has never been shy to share his opinions (although that reminds me -- he posed a question once years ago about a sword smith yaki-ire secret that he never answered -- gonna have to try to pin him down on that). Anyway, after a couple seminars with Dan (and Mike S and Toby and...) I will say I just see my Aikido differently now. I have lost count of the number of things I've realized that I missed in the past. Things that now go through different filters and help me see them in different ways. Does it make anything "wrong"? Nah, I don't think of it that way. I see it as people trying to communicate stuff that is by its very nature difficult to communicate. And ironically as someone teaching myself I see the same "how do I explain this?" conundrum in everything I do as well. I get a lot from every training session no matter who it is I'm training with. Heck, Jun held a Aikiweb seminar years ago that had Threadgil, Ledyard, and Aaron Clark. I got a ton from all three men. Heck, I learned a lot watching one of Aaron's students, a lovely woman who it turns out was a musician. I saw things in her movement that caused lightbulbs to turn on in my head with respect to stuff I had learned that were in some senses totally unrelated. I love that stuff.

I love to learn. I love to stretch my brain. I truly dislike feeling comfortable in what I do as it makes me wonder if I've become complacent.

So y'all do whatever it is that floats your boat. And pardon my enthusiasm if I get a bit excited about something new I've learned even if it is just from watching a video of Ark hitting someone. Or realizing some deeper significance of something Toby mentioned in passing. Or having some epiphany about how I should be doing my Aikitaiso simply because of an exercise Dan taught me.

I really don't see a problem. And comments about herd mentality, "drinking the koolaid", that kind of stuff simply don't help. I see posts from some trying to "defend the honor" of Aikido as it is currently practiced. Fine, whatever, but it is a waste of air IMHO. Frankly I don't think it needs defending -- good god, how many 10's of thousands practice Aikido? Hundreds of thousands? Pffft. Ignore the rest of us if it isn't what you like. If we're wrong we'll fade away over time. Time and experience has a habit of helping vacuous trends to vanish.

Train. Train hard. Train well. Keep an open mind. And if you're the type that doesn't like disagreement or discussion, well, don't discuss. These are just pixels on a screen, devoid of power, devoid of any significance to the overwhelming majority of people. And Aikido will go where it goes no matter what any of us do.

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