Thread: Dynamic aikido
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Old 03-05-2001, 02:57 PM   #8
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
One size doesn't fit all

Do you think that some styles of aikido try to be too soft and flowing all the time and thus lose practicality of the art due to this?

Emphatically yes!

However, I also think the other side applies too. I don't think an exclusively hard style produces particularly good aikido either, at least as I define it.

The problem I see with both methods (hard to soft or vice versa) is that when it becomes time to change you've spent at least 10 years doing it a certain way and it's in your nature by then. Very hard to change.

One of the things I find is that the harder styles really struggle with flow. Sure they can get that shiho nage on you from any angle but that isn't really blending. It's effective, in a way, but it's not flow and it's surely not connection. With the really soft styles I see the things Matt pointed out. It's kind of why I think one style doesn't fit all.

Personally, I have yet to find a dojo that balances this out really well unless they aren't hard core committed to a certain style or method. It takes a very open dojo to get really good balance in my opinion and that type of pure openness seems to be on the rare side.

Consequently, I find myself training at 4 different dojos on a very regular basis. Sometimes all of them in a week.
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