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Old 11-14-2011, 10:54 AM   #25
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,604
Re: why do people outside Aikido for IS?

There's a line from the old movie "Wargames" where down-to-earth general says "I'd piss on a spark plug if I thought it would help." Yup, that's me.

I've taught my daughter aspects of Aiki as I understand it to help her with her club soccer play. She's defense and a bit on the shorter side. But she's incredibly powerful and with the small bit of daily training with daddy ever since she started walking about "internal stuff" she's like running in to a fire hydrant for opposing players. She loves to push on me to try to shift my balance, often when I'm not looking. So we have that game and have been playing it for years. So these bigger, stronger girls are often confounded by this shorter, lean girl who can simply run right through them. Or spiral off when they lean on her leaving them face down in the turf. When she has an over 200 pound daddy pushing her around constantly as a game, those big 80 pound girls don't seem quite so imposing.

In my training in sword polishing I remember being told about how the gripping of the blade in each bare hand with the correct tenouchi allows you to connect through your body in a spiral so each stroke on the stones is precise, perfect, powerful and delivered from your hara. I found tremendous inspiration (and good solo training) there.

Hell, I've learned a lot now from my severe spinal stenosis. I get some good feedback sometimes from that pain about what i'm doing right or wrong.

And don't get me started on inspiration from yoga. Then consider Tohei's expressed debt to yoga.

In other words, I think Aikido can be a complete, comprehensive art is true, but only as a general but abstract proposition. To get complete as an individual practitioner is something else entirely. And I believe one should not hesitate be thankful for inspiration and enlightenment from wherever it comes. I find it interesting that some will say "How can you possibly go outside the dojo?!?!" right after talking about how Aikido should apply to your daily life." That seems to imply this stuff is "out there" and glimmers of it are everywhere. And if our goal is to become "aiki" within ourselves, well, it should manifest everywhere. It *should* change all that we do. And we shouldn't be surprised to find it elsewhere as well. Ueshiba didn't have a monopoly on this stuff.

So we have to realize that there are many different viable pedagogy for transmitting "knowledge" of this type.

We can make the general claim that some are better than others but that no individual pedagogy is best for all. And that to me is "the rub".

Each pedagogy usually has inherent weaknesses that are also sometimes signs of their greater strengths in other aspects. Dan isn't teaching Aikido. He says that explicitly. That's up to us fools who've been learning all those techniques for all these years.

Me, I spent a lot of time getting where I'm at. I suppose I could sit back like so many of my peers and say "Now it's just about refining." Nah, for me I keep thinking about how you have to completely destroy prior progress to solve some puzzles like the Rubic's cube. Solving part of it isn't enough. It is more that you have to learn to solve part of it, then destroy it to move forward again. I don't want to be finished. I don't want to be "content". I want to keep improving. Some of what I've learned from Dan, Toby, Mike, students of Ark, Ushiro, et al have helped me greatly refine and reform many things I do. Making for what I think is better Aikido *in* me.

So I'll piss on a spark plug if I thought it would help... And I go to anyone who I think might help me better understand what I'm doing. I don't necessarily suggest it to everyone. But for me it works.

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