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Old 03-12-2007, 12:36 PM   #12
Ellis Amdur
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Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 903
Re: "Non-Aikido Martial Traditions" Forum

If this were cut-and-dried, it would be easy, wouldn't it? But -
Where does the aiki in aikido stop and the aiki in Daito-ryu begin?Is the aiki in aikido similar to the jin/chi in Chinese martial arts? If not, why did Ueshiba rely on Chinese philosophical concepts to describe so much of what he did? If one puts an arm-bar or wrist lock on someone, is it intrinsicly different when done by an aikidoka or a jujutsuka or karateka? If Osensei was doing something different from his followers, what was it? (BTW - Is it possible that the world benefits far more from the changes that his son et al made than if aikido continued in the vein that Osensei taught?) And I'm not asking for answers to these rhetorical questions, just outlining the dilemma.
We have a situation where a site devoted to the discussion of aikido naturally draws in connections - by history, similarity of function, etc. At the same time, it's gotten obvious that the creative ferment has not been entirely productive, with a lot of ugly, personal references, etc.
Seems to me that "Non-Aikido Martial Traditions" is the PERFECT name. A) For those folks who honestly wish to confine the discussion to "orthodox" aikido matters, (there will be cross-over, regardless, they know where not to go B) For those who have a more fluid, inclusive - or from another perspective, more fundamental(ist) - definition, they come to this forum. Given that some people prefer to call such things Ueshiba-ha Daito-ryu , perhaps this really is fitting. And if in the process, some readers say, "Wait a minute, shouldn't this be my aikido?" Wonderful. I think the name thereby provokes the right questions. Whereas if people get huffy about being sectored off, it begs the question, in my mind, if such folks are getting a touch missionary in approach. I get as tired of phrases like, "If you want to devote yourself to twenty years of twisting wrists," as I do "You are talkign about resistence. Osensei never resisted."
Actually, I do have a better name - The "Popular Body Mechanics" forum - How to do, rather than all the rest of the personal insinuation and huffy outrage.
And it seems to me that tact requires two things.
1. For those who find this subject interesting, this is the place to post and be enthusiastic and provocative. Personally, I'm interested in reading about the skills and the exercises and the history. I am not interested in the least in the semantic debates and arguments about whether it works or is real or needs to be felt, or whether current aikido is a valid martial art with or without such skills. That's been done to death and ground into the pavement!
2. For those who find this subject overly provocative, IGNORE. For example, the Baseline Skills thread could easily be cut down to three pages, rather than it's current 39, if we went only by real information rather than sterile debate and shrill, school-girl level arguments.