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Old 03-15-2014, 08:35 PM   #9
Dojo: Aikido of Madison
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 188
Smile 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.
If you watch Seagal sensei in The Path Beyond Thought (available on YouTube) I don't see much acting In fact, much of it takes place in Japan in the 70's long before any movies. In Santa Barbara he was doing a demo so perhaps that was the closest. It seems like the real deal to me with an emphasis on being practical which can be lacking in some Aikido teaching IMO as for the reference to Bruce Lee I may have misunderstood. He did Wing Chun (of Chinese origin) before creating Jeet Kune do so I do t understand what you meant by that.

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