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Old 06-29-2008, 10:59 AM   #177
Gary David
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Location: Long Beach, CA
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 332
Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Just to throw something in here that just came up for me while my wife and I talked over the once in a great while bacon, eggs, and popovers. I am an only child, while my wife is the second of six children. The recent passage of my wife's mother has brought a lot of stuff up for all of the kids with both parents now gone. My wife is the 2nd and what we talked about is the difference in the raising and the expectations of the first 3 and how the younger three were raised. The older three got more attention from the parents and the expectations were greater on them. At some point my wife's parents just got worn out and essentially left the raising of the younger three to the older children. The older three don't see the world in the same way the younger three do. Something was missing in the training, the training had changed, and the older kids while capable in themselves had a hard time passing along what they had gotten to the younger brother and sisters. I see something similar when viewing Aikido. Strong father, strict with his students while having high expectations. Things happen, things change.... the father goes off for years while the younger of the ist generation students run the show. The father re-appears after years away and adds to the mix, but he has changed again from what was his approach prior to leaving. The 2nd and 3rd generation is not seeing what the 1st generation saw....time and culture being what it is the window to see through is small and opaque.

So what do we do about it.....what we are doing here.... we act like brothers and sisters in large family often do. In the end tho' we need to allow the differences and allow for those who will never agree while giving respect where respect is given and returned.....while finding so common ground were possible.

As for me....i've been training in Aikido since 1974. Through the 70's & 80's I had a chance to cross wrists with just about every Aikido instructor who came through the West Coast, including Tohei Sensei and the 2nd Doshu. Lately I have had the chance to meet with Mike Sigman for a short time, finding him to be what he sez he is. I still have contact with Mike and have found him to be thoughtful and gracious. Dan Harden I have never met and unless he comes to the West Coast I am not likely to, but he raises issues that need to be looked at. Eric I don't know either, tho' I have friends who talk with him and have respect for him and his approach. I guess what I am saying is that this is all good........everyone will come away with something, maybe not even know what it is now. Let me leave with some lines from a Edie Brickell song:

What I am is what I am.
Are you what you are - or what?
I'm not aware of too many things,
but I know what I know if you know what I mean.
Philosophy is a walk on the slippery rocks.

Maybe we need to have a giant block party and see what else we can become aware of...... thanks for listening
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