Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?
The point of aiki is that it represents depth of understanding. Finding a much more direct approach to access that depth has been wonderful. I am not so much re-evaluating what "aiki" is - but rather how much depth I can attain personally in my lifetime and what I might be able to do with it.
People will have all sorts of ideas about what is best to learn/teach this stuff based on their own personal experiences. (Aiki...do is a VERY RARE experience.) Also people will tend to be ego-attached to those methods. Let's face it people are generally willing to fight when something violates their personal belief system.
When I used to read Mike Sigman discussing jin/kokyu and it matched my image of sandan in aikido - because it was about mind/body unification. Since training internals a bit, I believe it is probably much more in line with what my opinion of yondan in aikido SHOULD BE - that your mind and body do different things at the same time (separated) to accomplish things (where sandan is mind/body unified). I got my yondan and was completely intimidated by how much work - and how much time it was going to take - that I was going to have to do to be able to really manifest this. Now I am studying internal skills directly - I am still intimidated by how much work and time it will take - but it is CLEARLY going to get me further faster. (It already has, and I haven't really got started yet..) And I'll take any help I can get.
As far as the form "aikido" vrs. "aiki...do" I'm just not really attached. Whatever is best I'll do. My plan was to continue to teach aikido in the normal way and let those who are interested in aiki...do approach me for before/after class instruction in what I'm doing for myself. I'm not sure if I'll continue that plan in the future. The reason is that a bit of delusion sells to beginners. I think there should be a happy medium where you have enough "beginner's program" to keep paying the rent and insurance, so that the serious folks have a place to train.
I was given quite a lot by aikido itself, and I feel obligated to give back. I'll just decide what is the best way of doing that for myself as I progress. It's just valuable to have a practice. What is practiced and how it is practiced doesn't much matter to me. I just want it to be darn difficult (if I could do it easily I'd quit) and fun (I don't like the emotionally constipated approach to trying to prove how serious of a student you are thing).
The thing to consider is that IF this approach does take off in popularity I expect the following:
1 - it will shake up the system for who gets the money for dan grading. I don't do martial arts to make money - not my thing. (I'm not against breaking even - that's typically my goal.) But I can see how it would make some people very nervous. But well, things change - that's the nature of things...
2 - the aiki bunny dance method will be in serious trouble. People will show up to those dojos and completely invalidate the approach within seconds. Only the religious zealots will refuse to believe what they are seeing and feeling for themselves from people with 20 fewer years of training.
3 - the rift between some of the organizations may HEAL - because the nonsense that divides us will be mostly irrelevant (it already is - but it will be obvious to everyone).
Last edited by rob_liberti : 06-22-2008 at 08:48 PM.