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Old 03-15-2014, 12:33 PM   #7
Krystal Locke
Location: Phoenix, Oregon
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 407
Re: YouTube: Yoko Okamoto in Offenbach, Germany 2014

Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
I remember, back in the day when Steven Seagal sensei was a 6th dan, he used to look soft, fast and lethal. Lately, I see more and more high ranking in paper teachers who can't even come close to that.
Of course, this is my opinion of what I see in this specific video, I haven't seen her anywhere else, so maybe it's just the way she is demonstrating here.
But still, it reminds me how irrelevant ranking is. You compare two teachers with the same rank and they have nothing in common,so what's the point...?
Anyway, it's just me posting...out loud.
The point is that we get to choose our sensei. The point is that we are all different. There are at least twice as many reasons that we study aikido as there are people who study aikido.

I find Okamoto sensei's aikido to be very similar to my sensei's aikido. And, they are of similar ranks. The lines she takes for kuzushi are the important part and she does a great job of setting those lines up by controlling her body position just before she is attacked. Aikido happens before waza happens. Waza is determined by the necessarily dynamic system present at the moment of attack. I cant control uke's body, but I can control mine. Okamoto sensei demonstrates that idea beautifully.

The idea that aikido happens before waza is hugely powerful and effective, but it often makes the waza look weak or that uke is tanking. Also, the emotional state nage portrays when doing aikido is important, and it really affects how the aikido looks. Seagal's aikido looked strong and lethal because he was acting, even in his aikido demos. To tell if someone's aikido is more effective than it looks, I listen for the grunts and exhalations of uke as he or she runs into a brick wall and has to redirect their attack, or they follow through the attack and find themselves striking air with nage tapping them on their shoulder.

It occurs to me that Steven Seagal's aikido looks nothing like Bruce Lee's "aikido", but both made movies of about the same "rank." Why should rank necessarily imply that practitioners should look the same? Even PhDs with the same degree in the same field have different skill sets, research focuses, and purposes.

We need them all. We dont need any one of them to be it all. Diversity is a really good thing.
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