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Old 04-30-2001, 11:30 PM   #26
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Mesa, AZ
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 199
Re: teaching effectiveness

Originally posted by Hagen Seibert
And another point: Teaching seems to stop after the basics, as basic are difficult enough, but for effictivness itīs got to go further.
Yeah, your basics have to be effective. In a combative situation, gut instinct and basics will save your butt over volume of knowledge any day. Remember that real aiki is applied by competent practitioners, and that the aiki techniques taught within most classical ryu were only given to higher ranked individuals (both socially and experience related rankings). It is hard for today's aikidoka to start from ground zero and be competent in "aiki" related arts. It was taught mostly as a finishing school for the competent. So that means you must develop competency somehow, either in your dojo or from some other resource.

Now these are some possible reasons. My question is what to do about it? This is an important point, because Aikido claims to deal aggression in a non-aggressive manner. But if it fails to handle real, physical aggression properly, the whole concept was a failure.

Do you share that kind of experience? What to do about it?
Gosh, I hate to be so persnickity, but what is so bad about being aggressive? Let's talk about what it is NOT:

1. Aggression does not mean violence, nor must it have malicious intent.
2. Aggression does not mean raging testosterone, or other hormones for that matter.
3. Aggression does not mean throwing caution to wind to win at any cost.
4. Aggression does not mean forcing someone to do something they don't want to, such as military dictatorships.

But we always see the word aggression applied to these situations, and think "Gosh, Aikido is not about any of those things. I surely am not aggressive." Think about this: Is a world-class chess player aggressive about chess? When you are hungry, are you aggressive with your food? When you want to make love with your spouse, when you enjoy your job, when you hug your kids (or family members).... I think you have to want something to be aggressive, to be motivated. Nothing more.
If I thought tying one hand behind my back would help me in a fight, I would be nuts. Why hinder your real chances in a life to life struggle (if it has to come to that) because you think you can't be aggressive? That's just a good way to get hurt or worse.
I think we study in a dojo so that in real life we have a choice about these things.

Jim Vance
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