Thread: Defining Aikido
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Old 03-20-2005, 05:38 PM   #11
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Defining Aikido

Brion Toss wrote:
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?
Sorry, but you haven't made any case to support your idea that you "know" what Aikido is. At best, you're going down the logic-path of "Acceptable Aikido is what people want it to be" without acknowledging that some things are not Aikido. Not everything is Aikido; you have shown no support in credentials, acknowledgement from experts, etc., that you are qualified to make your assertions, Brion. Do me a favor and address the basic idea of why anyone should accept your assertions... I.e., using some factual support and not your feelings.

I am not prudish about the definition of what is Aikido or any other martial art, but there must be some beginning definition and that beginning definition is taken into account in Asia by the lineage and the acknowledged standard-bearer of a specific martial art (the "Do-shu", in the case of Aikido). It is not determined by what every wannabe decides it to be.

I am also not nitpicky enough to want to break the rice-bowl of every wannabe-teacher who makes an income from teaching their take on what a particular martial art is.... but on the other hand, I think that sincere, dues-paying students who are paying for a particular "name-brand" martial art should rightfully expect that a "teacher" is honest enough to make clear the differences, how much personal take is in what they teach, etc. You may not think that it is important to be really clear with students that there may be differences in a school from the original art, but I do. I am not prudish, but I do have a bottom-line definition that starts with complete honesty.


Mike Sigman
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