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Old 03-15-2014, 04:29 PM   #8
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 243
Re: YouTube: Yoko Okamoto in Offenbach, Germany 2014

Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
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.
Well, of course diversity is a good thing, I agree on that.
When I mentioned Seagal sensei I wasn't talking about movies of course, but about his demonstrations on the mat mainly before he started out in Hollywood. It seems clear to me that when it comes to aikido he is as sincere and serious as one can be and he never looked like he was acting (not even in his movies sometimes).
But since the topic is about the sensei of the original post's video I merely stated my opinion about what I saw in the demo, just as the OP asked.
I am not judging anybody, it's just my thoughts on the demo and my comparison to a teacher (Seagal sensei) I consider one of the best.
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