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Old 06-23-2014, 08:12 AM   #25
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,135
Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

1) No real sparing, no real feedback. (Foundational problem)
2) No real atemi. (Degraded Aikido)
3) The whole system works from the outside in, not from the inside out.(i.e. one need many years of practice in order to grasp the basics) (Foundational problem)

Since there are already some good points... I will try not to duplicate...

1. I am not sure to what this is referring. Kata is a great feedback system, since it is a controlled environment. There is a long-standing debate of kata v. kumite in education context and I would be hesitant to qualitatively assert that kumite is a superior training methodology. Sport-orientation has pushed "sparring" to the forefront of popular arts, but that doesn't mean its better...
2. Again, I am not sure if this isn't just the experience you've had. Most of our techniques provide for the application of striking. Some dojos choose not to show those strikes and some dojos choose not to teach strikes. Those independent choices are not indicative of the art, I think.
3. No, the system is inside out. You only learn one thing: aiki. The rest of our education is how to create ki, express aiki and creatively use it. Again, this is probably more representative of the dojos in which you have trained.

All three comments are fair criticisms of the individual failings of our training, but I would not pass those failings onto the art.

Aikido class is only so long; I see no reason why you would not continue your striking training outside of class. Just because we don't have time to cover it in class doesn't mean it is not important, only that there is other education which takes precedence. This would also go for physical fitness and individual exercises.

Yes, it is possible that your dojo is not optimizing its aikido training. It is also possible that you are not optimizing your aiki training. The concept of cross-training is not foreign to aikido people and my advice would be to keep the training separate and refrain from conflating arts. Western boxing is different striking than Japanese striking than Chinese striking. Bastardizing aikido with your opinion of "should" is not going to teach you aikido.

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