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Old 10-10-2012, 05:14 PM   #26
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
Re: Who's missing out? (On "Promotion and advertising" rhetoric)

Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Promotion and advertising. It appears to me that a lot of what's being talked about Aikido or Aiki wise has degraded into advertising in alignment unfortunately with modern ways of doing things.

The message given by such advertising is that you are missing out, that you must have and if you don't then you are wrong or less than.

Modern Aiki?

Or passive aggression?

The divide in modern aikido is between those who see it as a rather precise science with ancient roots and long-known methods; and those who believe that aikido is a very vague and general practice of moving circularly for some very unclear and rather dubious reasons.


Those in the "science" cohort use Morihei Ueshiba's recorded words and exact translations to understand what he "talked about".

Those in the "general art" group simply supply their own definitions for very general translations of O Sensei's words so that talk of the kami of yin and yang simply become "gods" rather than principles and from that all kinds of idiosyncratic forms of semi-religious practices replace O Sensei's aikido.


Those in the science cohort believe that the "unusual power" displayed by Morihei Ueshiba results from specific internal training methods described in correct translations of his words and that his "unusual power" can be replicated by those who follow his internal training methods. They believe that it is the quality of the body, developed through these methods, that causes the attacker to lose balance and control on contact with the aiki man's body, enabling the aiki man to generate techniques spontaneously to exploit the attacker's unbalance. And make no mistake, I've met women who can do this a lot better than I can.

Those in the "general art" group believe that Morihei Ueshiba was a very religious man whose words were never understood and never can be understood; that his "unusual power" was and remains inexplicable and unapproachable by anyone not so dedicated to his strange religion. They believe that any "body" of any type can produce aiki by moving in evasive circular movements tailored to the attacker's movement--that aiki depends on the attacker's movement rather than on the aiki man's internal organization and balance.


The scientific cohort develops internal skills along with fighting techniques and lives as Morihei Ueshiba did, welcoming others to test them. The scientific side believes that physical ability against serious physical force is the baseline of truth within aikido and all of budo. To this group, wearing a black belt implies serious interest in physical research with serious physical forces at play--in balanced and focused attacks and instant and unquestionably effective aikido technique.

The "general art" group believes that the black belt is symbolic of some vague idea of honor and commitment. In aikido, it also carries a patina of "spirituality" as general and intangible as the purpose of aikido itself. Any suggestion that one physically "test" his or her techniques or understanding of principles is perceived and denounced as "bullying" or "competition" and the response is generally to eject the offender from the dojo and/or engage in passive-aggressive denunciations.


Graham here has called the "scientific" cohort "modern aikido" though it goes directly to the roots of OLD aikido, while Graham clearly present something "new upon the earth" with his Golden Center videos.

Wearing a rasta hat with a hakama and calling traditionalists "modern aikido"....just...somehow...

It reminds me of Mitt Romney's verbal reversals, really.



Last edited by David Orange : 10-10-2012 at 05:16 PM.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"