View Single Post
Old 07-10-2006, 12:19 PM   #16
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,153
Re: Poll: How strong of an existence will aikido have in a hundred years?

When things evolve, we use nomenclature to differentiate the products. For example, we call a butterfly a pupa before it metamorphosises into a butterfly. We called early man homo erectus, not homo sapien. The nature of evolution is progressive; things either evolve or die out, they do not regress. Yet I am not convinced that aikido is evolving, merely changing.

I witness dojo after dojo claiming aikido, but not teaching aikido. They don't hang a picture of O'Sensei, they don't use Japanese terminology, they don't wear traditional gi and hakama, I could go on but will stop. Yet for all that they have changed, these dojo still call what they do "aikido" even though it resembles little of what was traditional aikido. Why will these dojo not leave behind "aikido" as they have everything else that is the martial art and move forward with their new martial art? Fear.

We are fearful to leave behind the ethos of aikido and move forward with our own martial system because it may be unsuccessful. As a result, these branch dojo cling to aikido and continue to change the martial art, without the courageous step of evolution to progress. We are left with more "variations" of aikido than Michael Jackson's has faces. In time, aikido will either evolve into a better martial art or change into something that is no longer a martial art, but a calisthenic of sorts. I always view this scenario as a Darwinism, "is aikido prepared to evolve into a stronger martial art, or metamophose into a different thing?"
  Reply With Quote