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Old 05-18-2007, 06:20 AM   #51
happysod
Dojo: Kiburn, London, UK
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Re: Poll: Would you consider aikido without a physical practice component to still be

Quote:
...I think if we become too general in our definitions in the end we define nothing
nice post Larry, although I'd claim only shodothugs should qualify wrt judo as they're the nasty types who embrace external competition.

I'd actually go one stage further here. If you never practice the physical aspect of aikido, why bother calling what you're doing aikido?

I can understand people using examples of non-physical interactions to promote aikido, even using the term "that's true aikido" as a high compliment (if somewhat biased and a bit arrogant to my mind). However, why anyone who embodies such a "spiritual summit" would want to be associated with a bunch of badly dressed trannys is a bit beyond me. Anyway, if I didn't get to hit someone (in a nice harmonious way of course) my own spirit would reach a very great nadir rather quickly.
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Old 05-18-2007, 07:13 AM   #52
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Poll: Would you consider aikido without a physical practice component to still be

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote: View Post
only shodothugs should qualify wrt judo as they're the nasty types who embrace external competition.
Oh yeah, well your hakama looks funny.

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:08 AM   #53
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Poll: Would you consider aikido without a physical practice component to still be

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I wrote a piece a while back about whether there was really anything we could really call Aikido. It might be relevant to the discussion on some level...

http://www.aikidojournal.com/index?id=259
Thank you George,
I like the essay, while I wondered, what it helps us inthis particular question.

Only after Larry's comment, that I see, it matches perfectly.

Ueshiba M. called his first book about techniques Budo, not aiki(ju)jutsu, not aiki-budo, not aikido, as that name was invented later. While he taught some, probably a lot of techniques, I do not heard him telling his students, that specific techniques are not aikido or that whatever one does is not aikido unless you do a specific technique (except ikkyo probably, but that could be just have been taken as one example).

If there is only "budo" and not different types of budo (I refer to the little part I understood from Saotome's lectures), and budo is the Path of Protection, where is exact border to call something aikido or not. If we cannot find it in technique, can we find it beyond technique - with or without?

Nevertheless there are things out there, I would not call something I could see aikido in. That are paths, which use the same techniques, we do, and paths without techniques. And while something without physical training could be some optional complement to physical aikido, it would not be sufficient for "my aikido".

best regards

Dirk
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:44 AM   #54
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Poll: Would you consider aikido without a physical practice component to still be

Aikido is all about connection. Training is about realizing the essential connectedness of all human beings and beyond that, all elements in the universe. But one of the things that makes it Aikido is the we should be able to manifest that understanding in our bodies as well as on an emotional and intellectual level. It's fundamental goal is Body Mind Spirit unification.

Doran Sensei told me that he had once done some training for a group of fairly senior Zen practitioners. These were folks who had a fairly deep understanding of the true nature of things from their training. Doran Sensei said that it was really funny though, because when it came to their bodies, they made all the same mistakes that any beginner makes. Their training hadn't focused on what I would call "body centered" wisdom.

To be Aikido there has to be some physical practice that focuses on manifesting ones understanding through the body. I am not at all sure that O-Sensei actually cared about what form that took. He was always doing things like giving some master dance teacher rank in Aikido. I think for him it was the wholeness of understanding on the Body Mind Spirit that made it Aikido, not just some great insight, no matter how profound, that left the body out.

On the other hand, I think that O-Sensei would have looked at Systema as a form of Aikido that someone from another culture had come up with. It's purpose is precisely the same as Aikido, it is body centered practice, has a deep spiritual underpinning, and its focus is on Body Mind Spirit unification. I could easily envision O-Sensei whipping off a certificate of achievement in Aikido and giving it to Michael Ryabko if he had had a chance to see him.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:26 AM   #55
Qatana
 
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Re: Poll: Would you consider aikido without a physical practice component to still be

Both yes and no. The Energy Pracitce of Bob Nadeau and Wendy Palmer's Concious Embodiment both incorporate physical practice, but entirely Non-martial. However both of these practices are clearly aikido, to me.Connection, extension, center, circle,protection, compassion ;principles all identical.
And i have mentioned before, when looked at with aiki eyes, Tango is aikido, though possibly not budo. I do other things which probably are budo but also, entirley non-martial...

Q
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:55 AM   #56
senshincenter
 
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Re: Poll: Would you consider aikido without a physical practice component to still be

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post

Doran Sensei told me that he had once done some training for a group of fairly senior Zen practitioners. These were folks who had a fairly deep understanding of the true nature of things from their training. Doran Sensei said that it was really funny though, because when it came to their bodies, they made all the same mistakes that any beginner makes. Their training hadn't focused on what I would call "body centered" wisdom.
As I said, I do understand this point of view, but the kink, for me, is that it kinds of lends itself to the position that once we are old, too old to train anymore, for example, that we are done practicing Aikido. I'm not sure what kind of "life practice" that would be if it was something as temporal as our physical selves. Or, is it enough that we were once able to express Aikido with our bodies? Is that what is supposed to count? If it is, for me, that re-raises the issues I raised before: On what basis could we support such a position? There seems to be something faulty with the notion that it's enough to have at least embodied it once - for example.

On another note: I too have had this experience with folks that are quite expert on the cushion, only I understood it differently. For me, as an instructor that looks to the spiritual reasons behind the physical, when I saw these "awakened" masters come to the mat and look like any other beginner, I didn't just see, for example, a lack of physical coordination, or an inability to manifest their insight physically. This was because it wasn't like they just couldn't tell their right from their left or because they had no physical conditioning or sense of balance. They had these things, of course, but when they didn't know their right from their left, or when they got pre-exhausted, or when their feet were all over the ground, they also had their breathing stop, their shoulders tense, etc. In other words, they were reacting to the fear. Thus, what I saw was not an inability to transfer an insight from the mind to the body. What I saw was a more keen view into what the cushion had not yet touched - master or no master on the zafu. In other words, from another post I made, the mat was more amplifying than the cushion, as a marriage is more amplifying than the mat, etc. The mat is more revealing and all we are seeing is the spiritual immaturity that remains unreconciled. If it was otherwise, we would not see the same habitual reactions to fear - for example - as it is possible to train without fear and to learn differently (particularly a lot faster) when we are not burdened by fear. I am thinking mostly of my kids in my children's class. For the most part, they can pick something up within fifteen minutes and train with it at level that would take my average adult member about three weeks (with 3 to 4 classes per week) to learn.

fwiw,
dmv

David M. Valadez
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