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Old 03-11-2011, 09:29 AM   #183
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,153
Re: Is your Aikido as a Martial Art up to Reality?

First, I think the our social advances have reduced the need for "protection" and that attitude flavors many perspectives on martial arts. I think other resources available to consumers now are better for protection. In the US we have a wide variety of self-defense tools, tactical workshops, security devices and other resources available to improve our safety in addition to our law enforcement services. Aikido (the martial art) is one of those resources. Arguably, there are better resources and tools but that is a different discussion.

I think aikido is a valid resource for self-defense. My experience with good aikido confirms my confidence aikdio works. I think those who practice aikido without a perspective that acknowledges the validity of aikido to work are missing not only an important part of the physical curriculum, but also the intellectual curriculum. I believe that part of our education is the transformation of our strategic reasoning and cognitive process to a tactical perspective. I think it is important that aikido people have confidence in their technique to work when assessing their strategic position; I think it is important for aikido people to understand their technique so they may apply the best tactic.

I think there are many in aikido who practice aikido as a hobby and will never mature their cognitive behavior because they do not want to; they are happy showing up and falling down. There have been several threads on these happy dojos and hobbyist aikido people.

The problem is now there are many of these hobbyists and they are damaging the integrity of the art.The problem is many of these hobbyists fancy themselves as doing more than exercise. Yoga, pilates and other exercise programs do not appeal to these individuals because those programs do not promote the fantasy of being a fighter. So we are left with a group of individuals who practice in a manner scarcely considered "martial" clinging to a namesake that includes "martial" in its title. And for the record, I am a big fan of yoga ( I do not mean to imply exercise programs are inferior to martial arts).

I think the challenge in aikido is re-introducing the curriculum that steers aikido back into a functioning art. I think we are on that road and we are starting to see a difference in the haves and have nots. I go to a seminar now and its more clear who knows and who does not. I hope pressure from the art (excelling) will challenge these remedial individuals to either pick up their pace or pack up their things.

Maybe we need a washout bell...