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Old 04-17-2010, 06:28 AM   #277
Dojo: Aiki Kurabu
Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,110
Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post

I wonder, too, if there isn't some resistance to sharing the method of developing internal power openly because those who could share it have had to work hard to develop their own skill and don't think, consequently, that it should be made readily available to others. Is there a sort of "if it cost me, it should cost you, too" attitude at play in the unwillingness of those who claim skill in this area to share openly and fully how to develop such skill? Maybe…The problem with this sort of thinking is that it doesn't take into account those who really, truly can't train directly with skilled teachers of Aiki, but who would very much like to learn how to manifest it. They are simply told, in essence, "You don't have it and if you don't come to me, you can't have it. Tough nuts." This kind of response makes all the posts by those who are skilled in Aiki that express concern about the loss of this martial element in Aikido quite disingenuous. Their interest can't be in helping the art regain such an important part of its skill-set or they would be more willing to do all that they could to help any who practice Aikido who wish to develop Aiki to do so. Instead, they say, basically, "I am the mountain. You must come to me," which seems to suggest, not concern for the development of Aiki in Aikido, but simple self-aggrandizement.

There is a flip side to all of this too. In my experience, I have found those skilled in this area have been more than willing to freely share what they know, but not at their own expense. These people are not messiahs with a mission in life to spread the word of aiki - they are normal people (well almost normal ) with family, jobs, and other things going on in their lives. They are not in it for the money. When you go see Dan, there is no cost other than your own expenses. When Dan did a workshop at my place, the only cost was his expenses - he did not make money on the deal.

I believe 'Come to the Mountain' is not an ego thing, but just simply a matter of economics and practicality since this stuff truly can not be learned effectively from words and videos. Personally, I am grateful that they do post what their aiki is about and do offer to allow you to come to them for more - if they did not, we truly would not know what we don't know, and would just continue down the path of ignorance.

When I go back over this thread and look at it objectively, I see that there are essentially two types of groups posting - those that have some hands on experience in IS/IP from Dan, Mike, or the Ark and those that have not. Those that have not, want to see videos with explanations of how to do this and what it looks like so they can believe it's real. On the other side, there are those with first hand knowledge saying that videos are not the way to teach nor train IS/IP, and that at best, a video could only provide a minor glimpse into what is going on. So, their preferred method of transmission is in person; which is pretty traditional for most (if not all) JMA and CMA. What I find interesting is that no one from the experienced group has ever said what these people are doing is not real, and that most of the people in the experienced group are very accomplished within their own arts and some are very senior ranking members of their arts - and they all are saying the same thing. So, that just begs the question, how can all these people be wrong in exactly the same way? The laws of probability tells me that they are not and that it would be wise to listen them. If those in the other group keep insisting that these people in the know just hand deliver their knowledge to their doorstep because they are part of the I want generation, the experienced people will just fade away and all that would be left is a bunch of people jabbering on the net about what ever happened to those aiki folks? I wish they would come back because I want to learn more...

To me it is pretty simple - if someone has something I want, and I want it for nothing, and the other person is willing to give it to me for nothing, I am going to accept it on their terms - the last thing I am going to do is to insist they give it to me on my terms. Bottom line here folks is that we all need to get real on this issue and just accept it for what it is.