Thread: The Way of Aiki
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:25 AM   #36
Chris Li
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Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,220
Re: The Way of Aiki

Matthew Story wrote: View Post
I confess that I do not.

My feeling has always been that if a martial art purports to be built on principles, then those principles should be readily accessible in the actual physical practice of the art.
Yes - and they are, but nothing this difficult is easily accessible. People's abilities vary - and more importantly, their ability to transmit their own skills vary. There have been a number of discussions about why this is especially true for Aikido, but I'm not going to go into them now.

Matthew Story wrote: View Post
By contrast, one of the things that appeals to me about aikido is how the principles on which it was founded are evident in the actual training. When Ueshiba talks about "the principle of non-resistance", he doesn't just mean something abstract to be meditated on; the principle of non-resistance is right there in our waza. Non-resistance is how aikido physically works.
It is, but I have a hunch that my explanation for that would be different than yours.

Matthew Story wrote: View Post
If aiki is essential to our aikido, then (a) we should be able to explain what it is, and (b) we should be able to find it on the mat without any extracurricular investigating. I think that if we have to look outside aikido to find it, then it was never a part of aikido in the first place.
That assumes that everybody who's teaching Aikido knows what they're doing (they don't - but that's true in any art), that everybody who's teaching Aikido was able to understand fully what Ueshiba was doing (they didn't - by their own admission), and that everybody who learned something of what Ueshiba was doing is able to explain and transmit what they were doing - and I think that there are a large number of people who feel that they weren't.

Morihei Ueshiba encouraged his students to go and experiment with other arts - as he himself did. It boggles my mind to see people today encouraging the exact opposite.



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