View Single Post
Old 08-27-2013, 09:14 AM   #104
Cliff Judge
Location: Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,276
Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Since starting aikido, I have revised my pronunciation of the spoken terminology, I have refined the definition of many of the terms themselves (life-taking sword, connection, "aiki", "Sensei" to name a few), I have added terms from judo, karate, and jujitsu, I have taken teaching concepts and exercises from other arts, I even wear my gi differently than when I first started. In these few examples, most of the original content was not the "best" and has since been refined. That does not necessarily mean it was wrong, only that I have worked diligently to improve my understanding and in that effort changed my information.

To be more elaborate, I think some of the new pieces published by Ellis, Chris, and others that are reworking some of the original translations from O Sensei are improving our understanding of aikido. This are/should be natural learning evolution points as we increase the depth and breath of our knowledge.

To my point, I am advocating caution in accepting cultural and historical lessons in aikido as fact. I think for example, John Stevens made some translation mistakes in his works, many of which I own and have read multiple times. Some more grievous than others and some that changed the way I thought about aikido. Same thing for Pranin sensei. I think even these two individuals have remarked than given what they know now, their translations from earlier were not the best. But, they did the best they could at the time and I am grateful for what they did.

Hope that clarifies things.
You aren't saying that, because your understanding of these things has evolved, that you cannot accept anything about Aikido?

A minor point, but....because your understanding and opinion on these matters has changed, does not mean "we" were "wrong" about them.

We have some new and different translations available to us now, but they have not proven the older ones to be "wrong."

  Reply With Quote