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Old 08-27-2013, 07:08 AM   #101
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,154
Re: Is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Like what do you mean specifically? Could you list some examples?
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.

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