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Old 01-29-2013, 08:47 PM   #20
Stephen Nichol
Dojo: Aikilife, Canberra
Location: Canberra, ACT
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 90
Re: Traditional Aikido? Iwama Aikido?

Having read and compared both Ueshiba's 'Budo' from 1938, Saito Senei's 'Traditional Aikido' series (Older one) and the set through Aikido Journal as well as training in Iwama style now for just over two years it looks and feels to me that Saito Sensei only teaches and demonstrates basic kihon in all of the 'books' as a way of keeping the essential foundation building 'intact'.

What we see O'Sensei do in any video is many levels above anything 'kihon' but my instructors (and many here on Aikiweb) will tell me that you need to build that solid foundation first and it will be a very long path before one 'truly' internalizes the skill to perform anything remotely like O'Sensei under 'non co-operative situations' even in the dojo let alone outside of it.

Coming to the topic of 'traditional'... well, I feel it is important to put the emphasis on principle moral/spiritual teachings of O'Sensei's Aikido first, followed by the technical curriculum that best suits the individual. I would leave it at that if only because the very reason there are so many flavors of 'Aikido' that have come from students of O'Sensei is because people learn and perceive differently from one another.

People will find some aspects of the training require more attention than others based on their own individual 'take' on what it took for them to make it fall into place and so they will focus on that and pass it down to their students who in turn will repeat this and so over time, things change towards a certain area of 'focus' over all other areas.* This is merely a difference in focus to me, not a way to label something as traditional or not traditional.

*(In my opinion a teacher who recognizes this within them self and that is not in conflict over it will explain this tendency to their students. To offer the best possible opportunity for their students they will make considerable efforts to expose their students to many other teachers and encourage them to see/hear/feel it for themselves and caution that they not to focus purely on 'better/worse/right/wrong etc... only different and nothing more, be accepting of it, take what you will and leave the rest for thought later... but never to be entirely dismissed out of hand.)
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