How are aikidoka different? ARE they different?
IMNSHO: Not really.
I count amongst my dearest friends several aikidoka (from no-kyu to godan and then some), and they're just folks; fickle, serious, weird, intent, funny, annoying, hopeful, depressed ...
My wife is a shodan in aikido as well. She's pretty dear to me, and I know her pretty well. She's a good person, thoroughly, but that's not because of her 10 years of aikido, it's because, well, she's a good person.
Aikido helped, it gave her some good tools. But so did her time in counseling for anorexia during her teens; so did her parents; so did her education ... etc.
I've known real saints (or as close as any of us humans can come to that ideal), who never set foot on a mat and probably couldn't have imagined taking any martial art.
I've known senior aikido (and other budo folks as well) to whom I wouldn't loan a dollar and to whom I would not leave my back unguarded.
Sadly, much of the high moral tone of aikido doesn't seem to have rubbed off on some of the higher-level folks. You'd think, if the art WAS as spiritually powerful as some would have us believe, that it would change those folks, too ...
Senior aikidoka are just people. Some are saints, most are normal, everyday folks (and that, I think, is a Good Thing), and, alas, some are assholes.
Bottom line is that they're people. It ain't the art, it's what you do with it.
Last edited by Chuck.Gordon : 07-18-2003 at 01:04 PM.