Dojo: Shobukan Dojo, St.Louis
Join Date: Aug 2010
I agree with this (warrior, engineer, archaeologist)
I have come to admire David Valadez sensei of the Senshin Center in Santa Barbara. He recently posted the following on the Center's FB page. I have to say that I agree with him 100%.
"I'm using the classes as a description for the perspective taken in studying, learning, and practicing the art. In my experience, the "engineer" and the "warrior" look to study waza for different reasons and as a result come to learn and do different things. As a result of that, the art becomes as different as the artists themselves are different. Studying waza for the sake of idealizing postural force vectors, for example, as the "engineer" would, does not produce the exact same insights as studying waza for the sake of being able to return home safely at the end of watch or at the completion of a tour of duty, and this is true no matter how important postural force vectors are to the martial effectiveness of a given waza. The same holds true for those that are looking to emphasize the grace and beauty of the art, the "artists," or those that are looking to uncover the origins of dead forms, the "archeologists." Each of these dominant groups today may hold, albeit in their own way, that what they emphasize IS the doorway to martial effectiveness and/or the ultimate Truth of the art, but none of them have seen that they have remained stuck in that doorway -- that they have created a secondary emphasis now held as primary, that they are not in the inner sanctum but are only on the outside looking in. This is why, and of course for other larger cultural reasons, Aikido training sessions all over the world resemble more a science class, or an art class, or a history class, than any warrior tradition from the past or present. Today, at these training sessions, you are more likely to hear, "Your vector to the attacking angle is supposed to be complimentary," or "Relax, and feel the infinite nature of the circle being expressed," or "This is how Osensei taught my teacher to do the technique," than you are, "Get your f-ing face off the mat, dig deeper, and get your ass up NOW and do it again because someone else is already training harder to put you back down once and for all!" Thus, training sessions all over the world do not require strong bodies, or the self-discipline that goes with maintaining a 24/7 operational fitness that's built upon proper diet and conditioning. Training sessions to do not generate fear and instigate survival reactions via the presence of martial intensity, so nor do they cultivate the spiritual centeredness necessary to move beyond the lack of virtue contained in our habitual and reactive states of being. Training sessions do not utilize repeated and prolonged exposure to danger as a means of fettering the mind, so nor do they cultivate authentic forms of awareness and centeredness capable of surviving beyond ideal conditions. In the past, when the Hell Dojo opened its doors up to the engineers, artists, and archeologists of that day, they were all thought of as guests, and its clear from the photo documentation of that time that there was two schools in that dojo -- an inner, more real school, and an outer less authentic school. The former school was made up of warriors and they looked and thought and acted like warriors of any age and culture. The latter school, well, its members looked like and thought like and acted like the dominant practitioners of today. The guests have taken over the house, and today, the warrior is not only a stranger to the art, but he/she is an unwanted stranger.". I agree with this.
I began my training in Aikido with a teacher (Dave Lowry) who understood and taught an Aikido That worked in a real world self defence situation. Lowry's teaching was spot on as I had to use it to defend myself twice while working security at a housing complex in a very bad neighborhood.
I have known Dave Lowry for over 35 years and he has always had the warrior/samurai mind set.
Hell Dojo's are good for you.