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Old 08-27-2013, 05:29 PM   #123
Janet Rosen
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Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,340
Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Well if you went and changed things drastically from the way you were taught, there is a good chance you'd fail to transmit a lot of stuff you learned.
Cliff, again, not meaning to be snarky in my questioning but sincerely asking - I believe there is room for a variety of opinions:

Do you think we each owe it to our students to be mere transmitters of what came before?

I don't and the reason became manifestly clear to me many years ago:
After returning to training after a long break from knee injury/surgery/rehab, I decided to check out a small independent dojo pretty close to home. They were very welcoming, they seemed technically sound, but....something was lacking. And what it was: the man who founded the dojo had died some years ago and his sr. students felt obligated to teach only what he taught, as he taught it. They may or may not have gotten out to the many other dojos and seminars available in the SF Bay Area, but nothing else was permitted to affect the training inside.

Frankly it was stifling. It was Aikido as a museum piece, not as a living thing. Even the koryu change - not from below, of course, but via the head of the ryu continuing to think and learn and refine things. And certainly the other dojos I've been part of (I only lasted a month and a half at this one) have been continually cross-pollinated as dojocho and sr. students keep learning, train with others at seminars, etc.

I don't have advanced rank but do have a lot of yrs and pretty wide experience (aiki-mutt) and when I lead my Low Impact Aikido I bring in a variety of things I've learned from different teachers, within and without aikido, plus things that come to me spontaneously in training, as long as they are congruent with the principles adhered to within the dojo I'm a member of.

Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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