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Old 05-26-2016, 08:12 AM   #18
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,153
Re: Looking for Aiki (in all the wrong places)

I would also question deriving a conclusion by observing motion if it was assumptive. Part of my post also clarified who is able to make that distinction and I think that is critical. If you are assuming everyone who has an opinion about about aiki is correct in their observations... I think a big problem is aikido is too many years of people without the expertise to make a distinction... making a [wrong] distinction. To be less wordy... There are people who know what is aiki - they have the credibility to say, "That. That feeling is aiki."

How does a baseball player know a home run swing? How does the sound of striking a ball let a golfer know she caught the ball in her sweet spot? How can a taste tell a chef his dessert is just right? Expertise yields better guessing even when given less access to information. The mistake is in equating expertise with experience. Baking a cake wrong 10,000 times does not give you the expertise to advise how to bake a cake.

In sports, there is a criticism that color commentary is dying in broadcasting. Gone are the days where an ex-player would ad-lib with sports jargon and insider commentary while a straight man called the game. The trouble is, sports has dumbed down over the years. Unless you played football (or Madden NFL), you will never know what is a cover 2 defense - so a color guy talking about the cover 2 is talking above your understanding. If you've never played baseball, knowing when to bunt is useless knowledge - so listening to a color guy talk about a bunting situation is talking above your understanding. Better to listen to a talking head that throws statistics than a color guy that might say something boring or worse, he might say the wrong thing. Trouble is, despite what the broadcasters might say, Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks ever, Pete Rose is a hall-of-famer, and everyone in professional sports uses performance-enhancing concoctions to keep them competitive and able to withstand the strain on their bodies.

The rub of all of this is the unspoken theme that maybe we don't know what we think we know. Worse, maybe what we need to know is neither popular, nor easy to understand. Even worse[er?], maybe not everyone is gonna get to that level of expertise to be able to talk about what they do.

Last edited by jonreading : 05-26-2016 at 08:16 AM.

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