Re: The Nage/Uke Dynamic - Guidelines
Thank you for replying.
I used the word "contributes" to note that while such a practice do not inevitably lead to personality cults, they can be conducive to such a thing. It is the conduciveness of such things that Mr. Little and I were discussing. I do not wish to make a blanket statement on what folks do with their profile or not. My point was that I feel it more beneficial to receive and discuss all ideas on equal basis -- human to human. I find that more beneficial than applying weight one way but not another.
I have to say that stylistic preferences for me are irrelevant. The ideas contained therein are what are important. If everything has to agree with our intellectual pallet then we are not going to open to a lot of things. In my opinion if one cannot get through his/her intellectual pallet to the meat of something then this says something more about that person that the material itself. I can only appreciate your stylistic likes or dislikes and say whether they are equal to mine or not. Not much else.
Again, the guidelines are not for beginners. However, it appears that there is a sense that the nage/uke dynamic is by quite a few folks considered to be a topic or issue that should be settled in one's understanding before one leaves the arena of being a beginner and enters into the intermediate stages of their training. For me, this is a falsehood. At the heart of the nage/uke dynamic is a very complex philosophical position on the nature of the universe -- one that comes to us primarily through yin/yang theory. This theory, while used by many throughout East Asian culture, has always been the area of the advanced -- not beginners.
Using your post to springboard to something I've been thinking about: I would like to remind folks that the combining of pen and sword is an ancient combination in Budo history. The idea that one can or that one should obtain anything, let alone everything, from training alone is a fairly new one -- one I believe that came into Budo when Muscular Christianity theories helped to modernize the practice. Personally, and not just out of a favoritism for things old, the idea that training alone is the solution to the ailments that face Aikido today -- mentioned throughout this web site and AikidoJournal.com -- is ridiculous. It is even more ridiculous than the idea that somehow experience is reduced by verbiage but not by silence. The guidelines to not put an end to experience -- they simply cannot do that.
One only has to look, and I will only mention the more well-known sources here, the Kojiki, the Heart Sutra, various chapters of the Book of Five Rings, etc., all written in a way that would also have to be described as "legalistic," have actual driven practice and not stifled it.
The guidelines try to address a central concern of training: The problem that two-man forms training presents in regards to remaining martial and keeping Aikido's (Budo's) transformative elements potent. In other words: How to train in two-man forms without reducing the art to a cooperative dance that has no martial or transformative potency of any kind. If this problematic could be so easily solvable by training alone, or if it is so easily solvable that it could be reduced to a beginner's issue, Aikido would not be in the state it is in. What state? A state wherein when Aikidoka are confronted with the possible negative effects of two-man forms training are likely to say to each other, "Hey, if you want to fix that or see how much fixing you need to do, go and try some spontaneous training with a guy from "X" martial art -- any art but Aikido."