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Old 06-01-2004, 09:33 PM   #20
David Yap
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 561
Re: Meaning of Aikido - A Test

Hi all,

Thanks for all the response thus far. This question wasn't actually meant to be a test test thingy.

I'm sure a lot of us here already knew the answers but I'm just as sure that that there is an equal number of us who don't really know the answer. In my previous post to Peter, I pointed out that in a yudansha exam that I witnessed years ago when I was a raw student, a couple of my instructors failed in their nidan and sandan exams despite what we thought was a flawless and free-flowing techniques. The reason given for the failure by the visiting shihan then was the techniques lacked the essence of aikido. A couple of weeks ago, I watched a demonstration given by the same instructors (who incidentally have passed their exams under a different visiting shihan) and I realized why they failed in the first place. Six years (I estimated) had passed, with the training and instructing, still no spiritual growth. I didn't see any gentleness or compassion, I saw raw physical power. The "jutsu" part of the art was obvious but the "do" part was absolutely missing. Luckily, for us, the next performance given by the two visiting shihan reminded us what really is aikido. My "test" here is not about acknowledge of techniques and Japanese terminology but rather is focus on your passion for the art. If you love the art, then put in the extra effort to find out what it is all about, from all angles. How do the techniques blend with the philosophy? Don't just wait for the kyu/yudansha exams. The test begins the moment we step on the mat: Why I can't move our sempai? Why I can't do it (the technique) with less effort? Am I not extending enough? Why can't I keep my balance after executing a throw? Am I using too much force? etc., etc. If we trying want to move on to being instructors, then we need to test ourselves, widen my understanding of art, accept the truths and discard the misconceptions - that's the path to growth.

Again, this post or "test" is not like the "you must respond" kind of post. It is about O' Sense's aikido. If you do not know, fine, either you do some research/study or just wait for the answer(s) from others who do. Years ago, I torn some ligaments in my knee and couldn't train for three months, yet I attended class and watched every training and found that I actually learned more from watching. I watched the instructors' movements and students' and analyzed what were in the techniques and what weren't. When I recovered from my injury, my techniques were better than before.

As far as contributors or non-contributors for growth is concerned, I quote (with due respect), that three categories:

1. Those who make things happen
2. Those who watch things happened
3. Those who do not know what's happening.



PS. To those of you thought that I've put up a smart-ass thread, again, my humble apology.

Last edited by David Yap : 06-01-2004 at 09:40 PM.
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