Re: A dojo in my area!!!
My name is Brian Lambert. When I was informed of this forum I became quite upset. Let me introduce you to my background.
I have been a bodybuilder and an extreme athlete for 17 years. Literally, I work out every day of the week. This includes 5 days a week of classes at Sensei Liedke's school in New Haven, CT for the past 4 years. Let me inform the "traditional" practitioners, including Mr. Liberti, about my Sensei.
First, I'll offer my thoughts on traditional Aikido as a martial art. Quite simply, it is not. For someone who has been in a number of street fights and provided security to various bars in the area when I was younger, traditional practice of aikido techniques DO NOT prepare the student for the time when they may need to use this on the street.
Let us take the traditional yokomenuchi sankyo attack.
When I see traditional aikidoists practice this technique I have to laugh. No one throws a punch at you from 5 feet away. No one waits on the street for you to "blend" with his energy. This belief is incorrect. However, the new student to a traditional aikido dojo is led in many instances to believe this to be true.
My Sensei is too humble and kind to come out and defend himself. Not being one to be shy about my opinions, I will say this: Anyone who criticizes a man who has been practicing martial arts for well over 45 YEARS, and is highly regarded by the big names in the industry including, just to name a few, Bill "Superfoot" Wallace (you guys might have heard of him), Gene Labelle (you might also have heard of him) and was a good friend to Ed Parker before he passed on (you might also have heard of him) is quite frankly an idiot.
Sensei Liedke has modified traditional aikido and made it into a system that is street applicable. How else could he go to karate seminars and humble the biggest, baddest black belt there? How is it that he gains instant respect from his peers? How is it that we have a number of New Haven cops who battle test these techniques daily with success?
Mr. Liberti, I think this pathetic "fundamentalist" approach that martial artists, especially aikidoists have when comparing practitioners between "pure" and "unpure" is a waste of time and energy. The only thing that matters to me is that I now have a self-defense system that allows me NOT TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS IN A VIOLENT FASHION. I would not have that confidence going to Aikikai or a traditional school.
Now that I'm done ranting, I will conclude with this comment. I am not dissing a practitioner of traditional aikido if that is what they enjoy doing. The implementation of an activity that improves a person is a noble goal. However, traditional aikido has been billed as a martial art. The sad state of affairs is that the martial portion has been removed. All that is left are the coordinational exercises (E.G. JUI-NAGE, IRIMINAGE) and pretty throws for the cameras which are billed by people who have not even a quarter of the experience my Sensei has as self-defense techniques.
I LOVE AND RESPECT my Sensei greatly. He is a MASTER martial artist and a resource which is in short supply in this country. Any attack on his system is an attack to my work ethic, which I take personally. The lesson to be learned my friends is this: If you have no idea what you are talking about, keep your mouth shut or look like a fool.