Thread: Vantage points
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:44 AM   #318
Bernd Lehnen
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 140
Re: Vantage points

Seng-Yew Ong wrote: View Post
A wonderful read. It certainly sums up experiences many of us who have lived with aikido for a lengthy time of our lives in search for the underlying core, each of us for his own part, might attest to, perhaps not so thoroughly and not to this extent of personal rigorousness, but nevertheless.

After we'd been introduced to the real thing, we shouldn't forget this:
The truth is, were one to become well-trained in this manner, one could easily -- and respectfully -- enter any aikido dojo on the planet, and never even reveal -- unless you chose -- that you could stop the other person's technique (as one friend teases me, "Aiki Superman, eh? Replicating Ueshiba's Aiki-Avatar role!!"). Even so, you could train with them, without disturbing practice -- unless you chose -- and yet further enhance your ability at aiki, because taking good ukemi via receiving and fitting in appropriately can be a fantastic training for aiki.[xxxv] Remember my quotation of Ueshiba Morihei from 1921: "Aiki is a means of achieving harmony with another person so that you can make them do what you want." What a marvelous practice of aiki, therefore, that I have just proposed! You will be training in ostensibly classic aikido, and your training partners will be helping you develop your aiki skills, all the while unawares.

You will be part of the community and yet beyond it. There may be something lonely about this, perhaps like an opera singer who can never sing arias outside his or her own home, because his country music loving neighbors think he sounds like a dying cat - or, on the other hand, a wonderful singer of country music in an Italian neighborhood. But this loneliness is, frankly, part of the dues you've got to pay if you choose to remain within the aikido community and do so tactfully as well. Until you have developed truly superlative skills in aiki, you will have nothing to brag about anyway. Why be a missionary for something you cannot manifest?

At your own dojo, or with those one or two training partners, you will be able take your training to further and further limits, practicing, if you will, a version of pre-war/post-war aikido: the best of both worlds. It is quite possible at some future date, you will step out on your own, leaving behind an aikido that is no longer part of your world. I expect that there will then be a more extensive community, however small, waiting. But if you desire it to be an aikido community, treat all who are part of the aikido legacy, and all who chose to participate within it, with respect while you do your homework.
Then we might decide.
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