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Old 04-17-2004, 12:24 PM   #12
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Going Beyond

Mark Dobro (Doka) wrote:
I completely agree with Chuck Clark. To train only to reproduce what you have been taught is ultimately wasteful. If a species does not evolve it dies out, the same could be true of our martial art.

Anyway, each time it is passed on and reproduced it will be dilluted like chinese whispers, so trying to faithfully reproduce it is futile. The art must evolve. Your Aikido must be YOUR Aikido.
Nishio sensei said this in an old Aikido Journal interview:
They say that O-Sensei practiced sword and staff, but he did so in the process of giving birth to modern Aikido. Even though we imitate him we will not be able to go beyond what he did. O-Sensei used to tell us, "This old man reached this stage. you should surpass me building on what I have left." However, we tend to imitate what he did and end up going backwards. Ten years from now, we may practicing the level of Aikido of O-Sensei as it was a number of years ago. After fifteen, we may end up going back to what he practiced at an even earlier date. This is not right, he told us over and over again to go beyond what he did.
I think that while it may be true that it is difficult for us as individuals to aspire to "surpass" O-Sensei or our own teachers, that does not mean that Aikido should be degenerating each generation. While one person may not be able to master all that his teacher did, there are now thousands of people training hard and developing their Aikido. If people train up to their capacity and don't artificially limit themselves, Aikido can continue to grow through our collective efforts. Each of us will add something of ourselves to the art. That way it is quite possible that Aikido as a whole will keep developing after O-Sensei and his direct Uchideshi are gone. It's a collective effort of individuals, each going as deep as he or she can.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 04-17-2004 at 12:34 PM.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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