Just out of curiosity, Graham, but do you consider your practice of Aikido to be a martial art? Or is it something that you feel has transcended martial? Just trying to get a "fix" on where you're coming from.
Having seen all the various reactions on here to 'martial' I don't think that term has any fixed meaning among martial artists by the look of it. So what do I say?
Aikido is a martial art. I think everyone in the world would agree give or take.
I do Aikido so obviously yes. As to others opinions as to how martial then I leave them with their opinions. C'est la vie.
Transcending martial? Now there is a new comment I've never seen but I think I know where you are coming from by saying it.
Many labels are extant in the annuls of martial arts to do with spiritual levels of all kinds so that tends to rule out transcending martial from that perspective. Take shimmejutsu etc.
Transcending fixed views or fixed ways due to different realizations and thus ways of doing then partly yes.
It's an interesting word.
I merely say what I do, what my views are, what I find, actually the views I share with others of my acquaintance.
I don't think in terms of transcending but using that word in retrospect then all I can say is that from a self developement point of view for me and others we have transcended many old fixed views and conditions so that's true. As far as Aikido goes in action then we have done the same over the years and transcended many fixed views and fixed ways of doing Aikido too so from that perspective yes too.
As far as the spiritual side goes I do and have contested that the understanding of that side helps exponentially in the understanding and doing of it. Nothing new there from me.
As far as me personally then I have outlined my past briefly, I have thus developed my own style of Aikido and those who have done it loved it, found it useful in both personal, life and 'martial' situations.
For me that's all I needed to know. For me that's all I need to know. Then as in life or rather on anyones path a new phenomenon comes along.
Suddenly there are people in a 'computer world' who say they don't know what I'm talking about or telling me what I am talking about, experts on me and my Aikido or else wondering all kinds of things about it. A new, strange phenomenon. As with virtually everything in life for me whether good or bad I find it interesting and that's the only word I can use.
Either way along this little path or project of communicating on a forum I was sure I would find out more about the scene worldwide and more importantly more about myself. The more about myself is one of the main reasons I am still on here actually.
I have one confession to make actually which only happened last week. An epiphany if you like. The students at Aikido were crowded around me with interest as to this latest 'thing' as they are all well aware of Aikiweb and read it often but don't join.
I realized that this 'outside world of Aikido' was there, wanting something from me, but hadn't got a clue why. I'm telling you that's what happened and it hit me like a bolt out of the blue, I didn't know why.
On describing this to the others and the feelings that came with it some of them burst out laughing and I was the only one not getting the joke. So I couldn't help but laugh with them.
I'll tell you at one point during this realization or realization part 1 so to speak my body had started shaking for no apparent reason. Wow. this was interesting and I sat down and went into meditation mode to face what this phenomenon was. The trigger was Aikiweb for some reason. The strong feeling I found myself facing I finally recognised as fear. I did with it what I do in Aikido really, I joined it. There it was like it was looking at me and I was looking at it, that's the only way I can describe it. I joined it in order to see what it was about. As it cleared found out and yet still it didn't quite make sense to me. They want me to show them something and I don't know why was the realization. Followed by what the hell did fear have to do with it.
This definitely gave me something to contemplate and as it cleared more and more all yhe significance fell away and a shiny simplicity took its place. Wow, that was good I thought.
The simplicity was that that big organizational world of Aikido, the one my teacher wanted nothing to do with, the one I wanted nothing to do with was asking me to have something to do with.
It was like a massive shift had happened I didn't understand fully yet felt exceptionally good.
Nothing logical fitted with regards to the fear factor as my mind went over all the incidents and people and weapons and crazy near death experiences I'd been through in the past and handled with Aikido without any such fear. I'd met many who said they were such and such a dan and well too many to mention and never had a problem so this didn't add up.
Thus my students and son and brother in law were laughing. They proceede to try to get me to recognise that last little bit that I appeared not to be seeing. My final piece came through listening to my son. He said he recognised the type of feeling I was describing and said it reminded him of when he first played saxaphone to a massive audience at the royal opera house. That hit home and he said he wished he had a camera with him at that moment. He explained how he had been playing for so many years, everyone knew and heard him, he played at parties and clubs and pubs but that was different, the same different that didn't make sense to me now.
So once again I learned something about myself I was unaware of.
To them, knowing me it made perfect sense. They proceeded to tell me how it's not me to want any big stage, hobnobbing with any 'stars' or people of 'rep' or performing of any kind. It's so not you was their conclusion and that's why they were laughing, because they could see how that would be my button.
Give me a lion to fight, it's much easier. Anyway, we had a good nights training and I even had them doing drills blindfold. All good fun.
So Keith, there's an insight into where I am coming from.
So now, having seen and confronted that button I know only that I will meet different people from this 'outside' world of Aikiweb Aikido and thus it will lead to something on my path. Who knows what. All I know is I will enjoy the moment as usual. I will be myself and still prefer to be the silent center making sure everyone else improves and has a good time.
That's all. I think ha, ha.