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Old 05-03-2013, 10:55 AM   #107
Chris Li
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Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,307
Re: Can we see that aikido is all over the place in MMA?

Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I don't think Ueshiba thought of aiki as an ethically or morally neutral thing at all. This is one of the ways I think you guys are cutting yourselves off from the majority of the point of Aikido by framing aiki as a technical object. You are closing a lot of doors.

I also think you are misapplying the term aiki. A year back people were speaking mostly of internal power and then it became IP/Aiki and now you just say aiki. Aiki is a term that was not applied to particularly important aspects of martial arts before the sensational, travelling medicine show days of the late Meiji / Taisho / Showa periods. Other Japanese systems had their own ideas about internal power, as inner teachings. If it was considered to be such a game-changer, you would imagine the game would have been changed when people relied on these skills to survive and do their job.

And as a sidebar....I'm finding it curious how loudly the "Aikido waza are 87% correlated with Daito ryu kata" idea, promulgated by John Driscoll, is being thumped in this and a couple other recent threads. Most of the waza in Aikido - even some of the Daito ryu kata that are not commonly practiced in Aikido, for example Obi Otoshi - are common old jujutsu techniques.

I think you could argue that the simple fact that Aikido is a non-competitive gendai budo descended from jujutsu, and is an environment in which is preserved old jujutsu techniques that are too dangerous for competition, is a better reason for its continued transmission than some poorly-defined skill that is apparently completely separate from the technical syllabus.

For me it really does make the most sense that Aikido is the martial art transmitted from Morihei Ueshiba that uses a collection of techniques distilled from classical jujutsu to create an environment where the practitioner has a chance to experience aiki.
IP/Aiki just didn't show up much in the context of this particular thread, there hasn't been any real change in terms that I've seen.

There are plenty of discussions on a technical level on AikiWeb that don't get accused of "cutting yourselves off from the majority of the point of Aikido" or "closing a lot of doors". Does discussing the mechanics of kote-gaeshi mean that we're throwing away any spiritual dimension of Aikido?

Discussion of Aiki as a technical method has nothing to do cutting anything off from anything. In fact, I would argue that Ueshiba found his way to the spiritual side of Aiki that he quoted so often through the technical method, that in fact he said that very thing, and that this was (according to him) "the only way that he knew" to get there. The two are tied together intimately. So much so that I could well argue that it is conventional modern Aikido has cut itself off from the very methods that Morihei Ueshiba himself employed.

For that matter, there are plenty of Aikido folks (and even styles) that place little or no emphasis on the spiritual side at all, why aren't those folks criticized for that on Aikiweb?

You're right about "common old jujutsu techniques", of course, and that's really my point about the difficulty of defining Aikido by a particular technical curriculum. I don't know about none competitive anymore, there are at least two major styles that have competition, and some minor ones.



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