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Old 09-02-2016, 04:52 AM   #142
Alex Megann
Dojo: Southampton Aikikai
Location: Southampton
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 379
United Kingdom
Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

Pete Breeland wrote: View Post
I would say that Aikido in its essence is pure. Anyone can teach principles of Aikido, techniques of Aikido, and/or the philosophy of Aikido. However, unless the complete system is practiced as O'Sensei intended it to be practiced, whatever it is that you are doing is not Aikido. One can see many videos or hear discussions about Aikido vs "fill in the blank". That by O'Sensei's definition is no longer Aikido. Period.
One can easily read what O'Sensei said on the subject. Argue it out with him. In the mean time have fun with what you are doing, whatever that might be. To quote Bangor Maine Police Dept.'s Facebook page, "In the meantime, keep your hands to yourself, leave other people's things alone and be kind to one another."
Some would say this is a can of worms...

How many people these days are really practising the "complete system ... as O'Sensei intended it to be practiced"? Do you do daily solo training as he did? Misogi? Kotodama?

The researches of Stanley Pranin and Chris Li (see Chris's excellent set of interviews here) have shown that the message of O'Sensei's teaching is not quite what is generally assumed, particularly in the mainstream Aikikai tradition. He was fond of using esoteric code words referring back to the Shinto Classics that can be unambiguously linked to themes in Chinese internal martial arts, but most of his direct students disregarded this as the crazy talk of a cranky old man. Also, "what O-Sensei said on the subject" is heavily dependent on the biases of the translator.

As an example, it seems that O-Sensei used the phrase "standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven" more frequently than "Aiki is love", but how often do you hear your teacher use the former phrase?


Last edited by Alex Megann : 09-02-2016 at 04:58 AM.
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