I could use some help in these discussions. I sense ( and by sense, I mean I have been TOLD DIRECTLY by various people ) that there is a big shift happening in Aikido.
Great! Awesome! Count me in.
Ah, but there is a problem I have. Much of what is said in the IP/AIKI discussions fly over my head, or around my head. While I find a lot of what Dan says to be intriguing, a lot of it feels like rhetorical questions, or questions that he obviously has an answer for, but I don't.
How to get them? Well of course, go and feel. Awesome. At first opportunity, I think.
In the meantime... maybe we should think about building something on the web to speaks to these things. When the IP / AIKI crowd talks about "Aiki" and its definition, and InYo, and other things ... it would be really nice to have a definition written down.
Or, when talk about O-Sensei and his solo training occurs - can we point to them and say what the were? Can we reconstruct them?
When talk comes up about the long lineages of thought that Uaeshiba subscribed to - can we point to those as well?
And if by "we" that means "I need to set up a wiki or something" then I guess I'm volunteering...
I know there has been some derision about people being "too cerebral" here, and I understand it. Things need to be felt and done. I'm just looking for some understanding in the meanwhile. Maybe do some of that solo training.
The questions were not meant to be rhetorical and where they lead should be quite compelling. What is equally relevant is that the undisputed and actual results I am achieving facing teachers on a world wide stage are the physical evidence of a much broader topic, one that can ONLY be debated online. In person...it's over.
I thought the startling fact that almost 100% of the teachers exposed to this work change and adopt it would be the....single....most compelling talking point to help bring the discussion forward.
The above statement has never been fully addressed. Chris Hein decided to tell us that he knows some people
who thought the work (in this case, mine) was nothing special. Fine by me. I never said 100%. What he still doesn't address is the other 99%, or that fact that his "people" still failed to demonstrate unusual power...face to face. Why can I say that? Because I would have remembered them. They would have been different.
So here again we have
Talking point #1
What on this earth would cause almost 100% of the people going in one direction (many of whom have invested significant portions of their lives to it)....to entirely change direction?
I think that is a compelling talking point.
Talking point #2
Even if only 99% of those exposed change their direction...100% of those exposed....failed.
What does that really say about skills and teaching methods?
It is my belief that those two issues will forever remain un-addressed. They are not rhetorical questions. They should require an answer. The reasons they will not be addressed are simple:
1. It is irrefutable. Too many credible teachers were present in all those rooms.
2. It means that one must accept the claims that are associated with them:
- There is a historical pedagogy outside of Aikido
- A historical pedagogy within Aikido.
- Direct terminology containing the same concepts across cultures and eras
- Those concepts are known for producing power
- There is a means to demonstrate the understanding of the above along with clear demonstrations of that power.
- That the teachers in the art (in whole or in part) either don't know this, can't show this or can't teach this.
It is for those reasons I started this thread. I wanted to go past the never ending internet debate and get someone to address the face to face results. Long past the debate over translations and every other imaginable debate point (mostly pivoting around "My teacher told me,"
) the face to face results...remain beyond reproach. The one and only counter that remains is to somehow disqualify actual results. The results make a defining statement.
Of course I am aware that it is an uncomfortable discussion. One would have to be fairly dull not to realize that tackling these issues head-on was going to cause some distress for both parties. But what does it say when one side, continues to clearly demonstrate and prove their point, without anyone from the other side who is capable of demonstrating a counter in person. The points still remain and they are not our enemy, they are our friend, for they challenge us all.
In continue to look forward. Many now understand and realize that this work will move the art of Aikido forward into the West in the hands of teachers who now will have a much better teaching model for Ueshiba's work to give to the world. We can display power, place his work in the proper light, explain, teach, and do things in a way that Westerners can understand and that the traditional teaching method either cannot or will not, address or answer. It's a good time to be in Budo.