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Old 11-20-2000, 05:20 AM   #18
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Magic Waza

Saotome Sensei said that in fifteen years of training with the Founder on a daily basis he never witnessed any kind of "magic waza" like disappearing and reappearing etc. He said that to make up stories like that detracted from understanding his real achievement.

In my own opinion I think that this kind of deification is extremely harmful because it allows the rest of us to accept mediocrity from ourselves and our training. We aren't "special" so we can never attain what he did. We do the same thing with the uchi deshi who trained with him. We make them out to be special, something above us that we can't ourseleves expect to match.

If that's what is really true then we might as well kiss off the whole thing. Aikido is doomed to get watered down after several generations and cease to be anything really deep either spiritually or technically. Some people would say that this is actually happening.

O-Sensei was a man whose major trait that separated him from others was the dedication to his training, martial and spiritual. Very few people trained with more dedication than he did. That should be the inspiration we derive from his experience as Founder. And the same is true for the UchiDeshi. They aren't people any different than we are. They just had the opportunity to train harder directunder the Founder. We can't dupliacte that experience and that does make them special. But they are not special because of some inherent superiority. Once again we need to look at them as inspirations for our own training rather than as representing some unattainable height.

So we should educate ourselves about the Founder's life and his ideas and experiences but only to point the way for our training. Forget all this stuff about how the guy was magic or some sort of super Saint. Unless you wan't to worship rather than train yourself, those things are irrelevant.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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