Thread: Nice Video...
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Old 02-03-2005, 09:29 AM   #20
Michael Young
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Dojo: Alamo City Aikido
Location: San Antonio, TX
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 133
Re: Nice 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!)
In general, I agree with you, I think there should be some universal standards, but judging by the things I've seen both in my travels and the discussions I've read on these and other threads, there are many who would disagree what those standards should be. I also agree about getting bad pizza, but its hard for me to judge how a pizza tastes by watching someone else eat it .

My point was not that we shouldn't discuss the merits of something we see, but just jumping to generalized, harsh, high-handed criticisms about someone's ability to teach and perform Aikido isn't the way to go about it, and says more about the person making the comments than about those being commented upon. Yes, if I see some ridiculous demonstration of people holding their hands out and making people fall ten feet across the room from them, or a guy standing in bikini briefs with blood on his chest and arms raised above his head in victory after displaying his "Aikido" prowess...I might have something overtly critical to say. No doubt there are some standards...but there is also a lot of gray area within those standards too.
Addressing this video directly, it seems that the opinions are that overall it is a decent piece of Aikido demo, but not an example of perfect technique demonstrated every time...this is how I feel about it also. But then show me some video of someone performing "perfect" Aikido. I didn't see anywhere on the video that claims the people on it were all-powerful-perfect-masters of Aikido. I rather enjoyed watching it, and yes there are things that I wouldn't do in my Aikido practice that they do...but that doesn't invalidate their practice or pursuit of Aikido, or even the stuff demonstrated on the short video clip. Discussing what they did on the 2 minute video demo is not invalid, but it also isn't an excuse to berate other people and what they do in order to validate your own sense of "right and wrong".

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