Michael Young wrote:
The thread devolved into a tirade of those people who believed the Aikido wasn't up to their own (nebulous) standards and those defending the people on the video. As was observed then...you can't judge someone's Aikido quality from a couple of minutes of video.
There must be some standards we can all agree on. I know of a 5th dan (at the time) who was demonstrating shihonage in the Mass area. He called up a 4th kyu who had every intention of doing his best job to take ukemi. The godan basically tried to crank his uke over and when he got way less resistance than he must have been expecting, he actually lost his own balance and fell while trying to demonstrate the waza. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this was a sub-par display of godan aikido. (If this means that I'm not spiritually evolved for this judgment then so be it. I kind of feel like if I pay for an aikido seminar, the person should be qualified. If I get a pizza that tastes terrible, I should get to complain about that too, even if I don't know how to make pizzas myself!)
I've had shihan totally fail to do basic waza on me (like tenkan, sankyo, and katadori nikyo), That is just absurd to me as my sempai have NO trouble performing these techniques on me. My feeling is that if your basic waza is sub-par then DECLINE invitations to teach seminars so you have enough time to work on your own basics before going out and teaching nonsense to people!
I know people will want to say, sub-par to what standards, or something like that; so, can we come up with some at least some _less nebulous_ standards? I think we could all agree that the aikido sensei should be able to demonstrate basic waza without falling down especially when working out with willing ukes. I'd say we generally don't expect any jumping kicks in normal aikido practice. Maybe we can take the idea further and say we can expect the person doing aikido to behave in a way that does the minimal damage to the attacker? Any other standards we can agree on?
As far as this specific video is concerned, it is obviously meant to advertise aikido and for that I liked liked it just fine - especially the sprawl (that was great!). In that guy's defence, it's not always so easy to perform stellar technique on white belt ukes because they tend to bail out a bit early, or resist a bit too much in a way that is not really ideal for uke or nage. Black belts do the same, just *generally* not as much.