Thread: Defining Aikido
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Old 03-20-2005, 05:01 PM   #10
Brion Toss
Dojo: Aikido Port Townsend
Location: Port Townsend, Wa.
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 104
Re: Defining Aikido

Mike Sigman wrote:
I'll counter your assertion that "you know when you've tried to make it into something that it isn't" by saying you first have to really do Aikido before you can change it. I'd say you have to be one of the recognized experts (by the peer uchi-deshi of Ueshiba) of Aikido before you can claim your grasp of "Aikido" is such that you couldn't do anything counter to the essential intent of Aikido. I'd say a lot of people do or easily can do absolutely bogus stuff and claim that it's really Aikido. Until they have the go-ahead from the Do-Shu, they have no legitimacy and are just assumptive amateurs. And that's not just my view, either... that's the traditional view. If you have support for your position that counters that traditional view, I'd like to hear it.


Mike Sigman
In my earlier post, just after the "you know when you've tried to make it into something that it isn't" line, I added, "This might sound like the famous definition of pornography: 'I know it when I see it.'" Are you saying, then, that in order to recognize pornography, I must first do it? Would I need to be accredited by Johnny Wadd?
Of course, it's not a direct analogy, which is why I then added,"The difference is that we have a formal technical structure to draw on, plus a somewhat less formal spiritual structure. We can only recognize the real thing after significant amounts of study, and then we can point to the details that exemplify it." Perhaps I should have added that there should be an imprimatur on our practice, from someone recognized as knowing the real deal. No guarantees that Hombu's blessing only falls on those who practice "real" Aikido; it does tend to improve the signal-to-noise ratio, but is that blessing really your sole determinant of whether someone knows what real Aikido is?
Brion Toss
Mark, thanks for the kind words.
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