Thread: What is Aikido?
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Old 09-22-2004, 02:41 AM   #4
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
Location: Tokyo
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 571
Re: What is Aikido?

The best definition I ever heard for Aikido was to focus all your power and all your energy at a single point at a single time. I've extrapolated that to be that every movement of every technique should (ideally) be with that idea of balance/power/energy in mind as you move through the series of points that make up the technique.

I've also been studying Yoshinkan for umpteen years and I have thought about the points you bring up.

I think that the Yoshinkan teaching methodology is a way (not necessarily the only way) of teaching you to be balanced and focused through-out the technique. I also think that in some cases that the dissecting of the technique has unfortunately become the goal instead of the tool.

That not withstanding, I feel that the training we do in class is just a way of teaching you to move your body to various stimuli. This training is done with techniques that get broken up into smaller and smaller components that we can understand individually. Putting everything back together - as we advance - will hopefully bring up a smooth, powerful, focused technique as well as the ability to react to attacks/situations that we haven't trained for specifically.

If that's the case then it isn't surprising that you have come up with "new stuff" based upon the training you have done. In fact, it might not be "new stuff" but just "old stuff" revisited in a less basic manner (note: in this case I mean basic in the Yoshinkan sense of the basic movements and how they apply to basic techniques).

I wouldn't say "Let go of it" because I think it is a good idea to look at what you are doing and how that might be derived from your basics, but I would suggest you not worry about it.

An aside about this Yoshinkan training methodology (I've only heard this second hand so it might not be 100% accurate):

One day (a long time ago) one of the foreign instructors at the Yoshinkan Hombu dojo went into Shioda Kancho Sensei's office with a question on Tai no henko ni. "I don't know how to do this pivot thing" he said, looking for enlightenment. Kancho Sensei looked at him and said "I don't know. I never do that."

This just highlights to me that the step-by-step method is a training methodology and not the goal of Yoshinkan.

*my* thoughts,


Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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