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Old 10-30-2013, 11:38 AM   #68
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,135
Re: It's not You, It's Me

Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Even within the topic of internal strength, I'd agree a lot of the discussion is around the very baseline table stakes required to have a credible conversation around how internal strength works in aikido. I've yet to see any advanced level topics - partially because no one wants to tip their hand regarding all they know and partially because there's folks out there still furiously trying to gather information regarding the "how's it work".
Homerun. I think forums such as this are some percent WhatIf. This gives us some fantasy to conduct dialogue outside of our normal realm of knowledge. I think some fair push back is to call out when that fantasy bends the dialogue too much.

Starting from a "path" dialogue, I think it is fair to declare the destination before critiquing the path. I think it is fair to criticize the practitioner traveling a path with no destination. I think it is fair to criticize the path if it will not lead to the declared destination.

I think internal strength dialogue cause some issues because:
1. The stated destination for aiki is not the same destination as modern aikido. I think there is a contention from modern aikido that it contains aiki and therefore the path to modern aikido is inclusive of the path to aiki.
2. The path to the destination is not yet fully determined. The path for modern aikido has been around for many years with a clear record of success (or failure) for that model. The path for aiki development is not yet concrete.
3. The path for aiki training is currently using a non-standard lexicon and exercises not well understood by many practitioners. We are pontificating upon a subject about which we know little, taking offense to the observation that we know little about which we are talking... In a forum in which are granted some level of fantastical discussion.

From my perspective, modern aikido is not inclusive of aiki. I think there are individuals within organizations who may express, for better or worse, their personal aiki. I do not think an organization exists for which one may convincingly argue the majority of practitioners are expressing aiki to a level of proficiency. Even under the tutelage of an individual who expresses aiki to a level of proficiency, it is difficult to argue the majority of practitioners express aiki to a level of proficiency. For me, it is difficult to concede these two observations while continuing to argue the presence of aiki in modern aikido. So, I began looking first for individuals who could do the stuff. Then they recommended things that helped their learning process and now I am pursuing that path.

Aikido has many peaks to which we can set our gaze and strive to reach. They are not necessarily better or worse. Some require more proficiency, some less. Some are more difficult to reach, some less. But we need to set our gaze somewhere. Otherwise, we just end of squinting into the sun while one of the foursome points vaguely to a collection of trees and says, "See that tree? Your ball is just under the 2nd large branch on the right." Sure it is.

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