Re: Perhaps the tide is changing.
I've chosen Martial Arts and specifically Aikido to be my way of life long time ago.Trying to live always in the way of harmony on the mats as well as off the mats i always try to find the common ground between myself and other people.So to me,a person who whould do anything in his training differently would still be a fellow Martial Artist in my eyes.
Still,every now and then i'm thinking that there are some lines that if crossed,what one does cannot qualify as Aikido anymore.
When i first started my training i used to be in pain trying to sit in Seiza.But this pain was a path to discipline,even if i didn't know it back then.
I also used to have problems with the use of weapons,but those problems were the path to correct technique and posture.
Kokyu was very hard for me as i had the habit of using muscle strength,but working on it was the path to Ki developement and effective waza.
The list can go on and on with dressing,ettiquette,technique names,nutrition habits,weight loss all things that looked like a huge mountain i had to climb.
Aikido the way i see it, is a spherical training in order to develope simultaneously the physical,mental and spiritual self,a way of life as well as self defense.One must not choose the easy and comfortable way,but the way Aikido is.Trends,fashions,action movie icons all come and go.But the principles and teachings of a traditional Martial Art are always there.
The student must not choose but face the Art as a complete set of training.The teacher must not regard the students as customers,and waste his time trying to find a way to gather more of them.He is responsible for the next generation of Aikidoka and he must rise to the importance of that role or the Art will fade away.
In Martial Arts trends, tides and mass comunication have no place,for it is a deeply personal choice of self discovery and developement.And at the end of each day,one should be in harmony with himself.The harvest of Aikido is always according to one's own seeding.