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Old 05-01-2013, 07:47 PM   #83
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Dojo: Milwaukee Aikikai
Location: Wisconsin
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Re: Can we see that aikido is all over the place in MMA?

Christopher Li wrote: View Post
O Sensei didn't make a lot of it up - most he got from Daito-ryu. As Andy said, if you go by technique, then strictly speaking, we should be calling this Daito-ryu.
Even if we take what Andy said as literally as possible, there's still an 18% difference. That's almost one fifth. That's certainly enough to furnish definitions for two different words.

It does because they define (for many people) what the word is. Moriteru Ueshiba, for example has some little bit of influence over how hundreds of thousands of folks define Aikido. And he's not all that old.
Let me draw an analogy to another martial art. I used to train taekwondo. There are two major taekwondo camps in the world: the ITF and the Kukkiwon/WTF. The ITF insist that they are the only real taekwondo, and so do the Kukkiwon/WTF. But according to any conversationally functional definition of the word, they're both taekwondo. You can pick one side or the other as "good" taekwondo or "proper" taekwondo, but there's no way to define taekwondo in any way that one is and the other is not, unless your definition of taekwondo is, "Whatever this very influential guy says taekwondo is," which, of course, is not a definition with any practical use.

It's the same with our art. Doshu or anyone else can say that whatever organization isn't doing aikido, but any useful, functional definition of the word aikido is fulfilled by all the curricula we named above.

Why not? If certain princlples govern, for example, a cookie, then anything made that way will be a cookie. I think what you're talking about goes more to branding, and there might be more of an argument there.
I'm not talking about branding; I'm talking about simple logic. If you start with the assumption that A is based on B, it does not necessarily follow that all things which include B are A.

Well, I think that's a little extreme gently=Judo is not quite the same as Aiki=Aikido.
It is no more extreme than the linguistic argument you just made. If all things aiki are aikido, then all things empty handed are karatedo, all things gentle/yielding are judo, and all things involving swords are kendo. My point is that the name aikido, like the names of all Japanese martial arts, means something more specific than the sum of its etymological parts.

Adding "do" doesn't really make it that different, except for branding purposes. Westerners tend to get hung up on the "do" ending, but it really doesn't mean that much in Japanese.
It makes a very big difference in this case. Aiki is a principle of movement whereas aikido is the name O Sensei chose for his martial art. As I said above, the name of a Japanese martial art means something much more specific than the sum of its etymological parts.

Actually, the exact same kanji for "Aikido" can be used for esoteric Taoist sexual practices. It's not unique.
The exact same kanji are also used for the name of the Korean martial art hapkido. I'm not just talking about kanji, though. I'm talking about a spoken word.

He didn't invent it, he wasn't the first to use it, it was a generic category term for a number of arts that couldn't fit under other categories invented by a committee of the Dai Nippon Butokukai. There are at least three other groups from pre-war that I am aware of that also used the name and even continue to use the name.
Interesting. I'll have to look this up.

Anyway, if you're defining Aikido by technique, shouldn't any MMA guy who uses an Aikido technique be doing Aikido according to that standard? I'm not sure where you're going here...
No, because aikido is more than just one technique. It is a whole set of principles and techniques, and any functional definition of the word aikido must encompass enough of those principles and techniques that it can't simply be used as a name for any martial art. Let's use your cookie analogy: does everything with a single chocolate chip in it become a chocolate chip cookie?

A word's power to convey an idea is not in what it means, but in what it does not mean. The more things a word can mean, the less use it has. Your definition of aikido makes the word completely linguistically useless, because it can mean anything.

According to your definition of aikido, the sentence "I did aikido this morning," could mean that you trained in a dojo, it could mean you boxed in a ring, it could mean you danced, it could mean you mowed your lawn, it could mean you made waffles, anything. And so your sentence communicates nothing. The sentence means exactly as much as the sentence, "I hargashmalled this morning." You have effectively stripped the word aikido of any meaning at all.

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