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Old 11-07-2013, 07:28 AM   #23
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,604
Re: YouTube: Tsuruzo Miyamoto at 2013 World Combat Games

You know, it's funny. I can honestly say that just 10 years ago I probably would have been grousing about some stuff. But now with a bad back, bad knee, etc. I see some things I probably do myself. I also recognize that my Aikido, even on my best days, isn't as clean as I'd like, especially if my uke is really putting it out there for me. Sometimes I don't handle the incoming energy as well as I'd like, sometimes I"m not as clean as I'd like. But any day of the week I'd rather they push me to that point so I can practice as contrasted with the other style of demonstration that emphasizes the smooth, clean, perfect (but ritualized and artificial) matching up of a "perfect" technique with an uke trying to blend completely with you and help you "look good". I get quite tired of "perfect sensei powers" when demonstrating in front of a class. Uke knows you're trying to demonstrate a technique so we get up there and do those amazing things minus the warts, bobbles, and misses. He comes yokomen with perfect form to allow me to do my technique with perfect form. Any loss of connection, timing, whatever is masked by perfectly compliant practice. Yeah, it looks good, and you can speed up, make it look even more spectacular, make it even more amazing. And yes, it has value, it shows the Platonic Form of the perfect technique, if you will. And I love watching it myself. But I can *certainly* respect seeing a video like this with an uke attacking with a bit more power at times. With more of the bumpy, textured parts of life, aging, and non-idealized reality peeking through. Yeah, nowadays I often stand with a little help of my arms because of a bad knee, sore hips, and spine damaged by a congenital defect, age and self--inflicted injury. I can see my future when I watch videos like this and to be quite honest I hope I will look that good.

I suppose my point is that anyone with a goodly amount of experience in doing demonstrations can put on a pretty demo. And while I enjoy those sorts of demos as well, the longer I do this myself the more I realize that the demo of that sort (which has its own intrinsic value) isn't about what I'm hoping to learn in Aikido. This demo is more about what I find valuable. And I hope I have the integrity and fortitude (and capability) to demonstrate it that way when I'm his age... Hell, I hope I'm still able to get up off the mat even after tossing someone else.

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