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Old 01-17-2013, 07:32 PM   #9
James Sawers
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Dojo: Oak Park Aikikai, IL
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Re: Perhaps the tide is changing.

When I first started Aikido I was very frustrated by the use of Japanese and the dependence on it to understand and do the techniques. I thought that in the future, if I ever opened my own dojo, I would call it American Aikido, and everything would be in English. Prior to doing traditional Aikido, I used to do what was called Budo Aikido, basically a blended art, but it was all in English. So I know it can be done. I still have the frustration with processing the Japanese terms all these years later, but If I were to open a traditional Aikido dojo, I think I would be doing my students a disservice if I did not teach them the traditional Japanese terms and culture, even if it may differ somewhat with different places and organizations. They would still have a general knowledge of how to comport themselves at other Aikido dojos.

As for the gi, I first thought that sweats were better, too. But, experience has taught me that gis are very serviceable and hakamas, well, you get used to them. Personally, I do not understand those that wear their gis outside the dojo. When I finish my practice, I am usually a sweaty mess and can't wait till I change into my civies. If you wear a gi outside of the dojo, you should not be surprised at comments, good or bad.

Those who are seeking a true martial arts experience, will I think, seek out a traditional dojo. Those who want/need a self-defence course will seek that out. I have done that myself. In fact, they are probably better off taking a long weekend self-defence seminar if that is their only motivation.

MMA has done a good job of distilling what works and doesn't work inside a ring. But, some seek something more....A traditional dojo with its dojo culture and "weird" clothing can provide that. That "do" that some of us are looking for and should not be dismissed too quickly in response to trends and fads.

Just thoughts..........

Last edited by James Sawers : 01-17-2013 at 07:34 PM.

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