Perhaps it may amount to the same question, but it is not unusual that we may gain more insight by posing things in the negative. A lot of traditions do this very thing when they want to speak of something that is both particular and universal - which is something I would say about Aikido. So would you say that when a person is not open to all interpretations of Aikido, then you would not have Aikido? Or is that just still more of the same for you - the wrong thing to ask or say? If so, why? (assuming I can ask).
Rob Cunningham wrote:
So my conclusion is this: Aikido, like any other concept, is what you want it to be. It is what you believe in.
In your quote - see above - is this not too much of an open door? Basically, your position posits that anything can be Aikido. Such that, using the examples thus far, I could do without "aiki" and make use of ineffective technique while I am harboring destructive views in my heart/mind - is that Aikido (simply because I want it to be)?
I agree with your position that there are numerous expressions in Aikido - but it seems a jump in logic to go from there to saying that anything can be Aikido or that the definition of Aikido is at best always limited to the subjective. After all, a position that says that there is still some objectivity to what Aikido is and/or is not still allows for multiple views - only those views are broken down into degrees of correct and incorrect - not ALL CORRECT or ACCURATE. Why should we jump from the multiplicity of Aikido's expression to saying that we are dealing with an entirely subjective matter?
Out of curiosity, out of any of the instructors you asked, did any others say, "It's whatever you want it to be?"
I'm wondering, and this is for everyone, should we not be able to define the art we practice as part of our maturity in that art? Should we not be able to tell it apart from other things that we sense it is not or can never be? I would say "yes," and I'm not so sure that leaving things at a purely subjective level can allow for this to happen.
Thanks in advance for the reply,