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Old 06-24-2003, 12:08 PM   #10
Dojo: Shoshin Aikido Dojos
Location: Orlando
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 159
It seems that I am in the minority on this. I think it is important to break with the tradition of using Japanese. There are several aspects that have to be looked at to understand my position.

As for techinque? No problem - stay with the Japanese for several reasons. The first is that it allows individuals to learn the archetypal form of a technique without a preconceived notion of what that form is. E.G. Kote Gaishi. We could call it a wrist twist but anyone who understnds the form knows that twisting a wrist is the smallest part of the throw. So, we call it by the Japanese, we learn the technique and it's principle and by not naming it, we create a new name/form conection that is unique, not preconceived by the English term. Fine so far.

However when we start trying to understand the principles of Aikido we find that so many of the terms are from a dead part of the language, archaic and harboring on mystical, we only beat a dead horse while trying to translate, define, untangle, and generally attempt to interpret what was an unbelievably obtuse notion in the first place. Now, there are some who love this, who really enjoy being the one to interpret these ideas - to be the mystic sensei with the esoteric knowledge.

But the fact is that we can define these ideas in English far better for English speakers. Using terms which have to do with human physiology we can define the center, the nexus of energies, triangulation and a host of other ideas with far greater clarity than with an ancient kangi term that is no longer understood by even the Japanese.

To those who are bound to the mysticism, the pagent, the hakima and the bowing the language is vital and I respect your desire to maintain it. However if you really want to understand mastership in this art, you should be looking for someone who can help you bring it home on your (English) terms and not on the back of some dead fifteenth century samurai.

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
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