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Old 05-26-2012, 12:27 PM   #37
Gary David
Gary David's Avatar
Location: Long Beach, CA
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 332
Re: Being Committed to Aiki

Francis Takahashi wrote: View Post
Greetings Gary,

It is great to see you participating on Aiki Web, and continuing your personal quest for excellence in Aiki. It has been years since we trained at Frank McGouirk Sensei's dojo. As far as I can see, you are achieving your goal of pursuing the Aikido ideal in your own fashion, as well as most of the others I know. This is the message I have been attempting to convey, one I believe in fully, and consistent with the Founder's oft stated wish and admonition to all his direct students.

I have never advocated, nor ever championed any logic behind placing Aikikai's version of Aikido training, historical legitimacy, and pre-eminent identity with the Founder's mission and purpose as being necessary or even realistic. Their's is but one of many legitimate and critically vital attempts for the entire Aikido membership to continuously research, develop, enhance and make more clear and accessible, the Founder's Aiki, and his Aikido to the current generation, and to future ones as well.

Yes, I have continually been identified with Aikikai Foundation, due to my special relationships with the Ueshibas, Osawa Sensei, Fujita Sensei, and other direct students of O Sensei. I have never advocated that the aikido sponsored and taught by Hombu Dojo, both Doshus, and the full spate of uchideshi instructors over time, is, or has ever been intended to be the blueprint or even the best template for all others to follow. I have repeatedly echoed the Founder's admonition that we should all develop our own aikido, from whatever resource we choose, and I will never cease doing so.

When I speak of aligning one's training with "the teachings, techniques and unique philosophy" of the Founder, I meant it as a starting point, for isn't this where any legitimate study of his creation would begin. From there, I recognize no restrictions on anyone to seek out and incorporate teachings, techniques and unique philosophies of other masters of their own choosing, to either augment, to replace in part, or even to reconstruct the entirety of their programming. This said, there should also not be any demeaning or disrespectful rhetoric and slander against those who choose to stay true to the Aikikai Hombu agenda, or to base their foundational authenticity on such a provenance and association. We must find ways to emphasize those aspects we all have in common, and not dwell on those negatives, primarily false, that strive to keep us at odds, and quibbling over dubious definitions and useless delusions of entitlement.

I do believe, as do other significant leaders, that true leadership and paradigm shifting efforts will come from the West. Being an American, I am biased towards the immense talent pool and proven capabilities we have home grown over the decades.

Be well.
Thanks for responding. This has cleared up some of the gray that I perceived in your column.

As for the demeaning or disrespectful rhetoric and slander here on this is a two way street. You and I both started Aikido long before it was thought of by many as paired cooperative moving mediation, as spiritual only, as love that can free the world.......

I don't have any problems with anyone who wants to work this way and for those goals. I am happy for them......I just find those aspects of my life from other sources than Aikido. I understand that some on this site who are pushing IP/IS and a clearly differing definition of Aiki seem hard and pushing.....sometimes downright obnoxious in pressing their claims...but they have something.

The Aiki arts are multi leveled and each step up is harder to achieve that the one that was just accomplished. It is like floors in building, but you can't take the elevator......the stairs are the only way up. I am good with folks who want to stay on the first problem with that at all. The difficulty is when those folks say there are no other floors...that this is it....when all they have to do is go outside and look up.......or go a check out some of the folks talking Aiki to see what is happening. Maybe they discover something maybe they don't. That works to.....but don't keep telling me that this is all there is and that they have it.

Maybe the issue is with the Do part...... maybe Aikido is only the first floor....that's cool

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