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Old 12-14-2008, 08:34 AM   #251
RonRagusa
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
...Fact is Osensei continued to evolve Aikido his whole life, ...How did he do that? By competing. He improved on techniques that didn't work in combat.
Citations please. From all I've been able to garner most of Ueshiba's challanges were of the "grab me here, push me there see I don't move but watch me throw you" variety. I'm not saying you're wrong Clarence but I'd like you to cite some specific instances where Ueshiba honed his Aikido technique in actual combat.

Ron
 
Old 12-14-2008, 09:14 AM   #252
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
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References? Not sure what you mean. I simply personally believe that Doshu Ueshiba would be the most likely to have the info I seek. Nothing more.
Those would be the references to your personal take on evolution.Nothing more.

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Old 12-14-2008, 09:19 AM   #253
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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Care to explain this? Wouldn't revolutionize mean to take it to an entirely different direction or add something that has never been thought of before?
Sure, I'll give it shot.

It would mean continuing to train with an observation that big nature is of greater power than my little self. In my case that gives rise to perspectives that are a lot more native than colonial; which is revolutionary to my experience and to my take on the art.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
 
Old 12-14-2008, 09:28 AM   #254
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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You have been cynical with me about this point before, Jen

Somewhere on the internet, Clarence says that aikido must be this way or it will die. Somewhere in each hombu dojo, there's probably someone saying that aikido must be that way or it will die. All the mats are getting dusty
Geeze Joe, Yeah,yeah,yeah...I read what has been written.blah,blah,blah you've said it before..See now that's me being cynical .

But the above statement wasn't [i]about you or directed toward you. I was joining with your thought and adding a visual. I can see how you might have made the mistake. Please read it again with what I'm telling you in mind.

Jennifer Paige Smith
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:33 AM   #255
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Ron,

I with your comments on effectiveness. It is all realitive.

BJJers tend to practice a in a method that pressure test grappling. We do it in such a way that you gain a fair amount of effective compentence in a short time. As such those that are concerned with those aspects of the spectrum are well served by it.

Aikido on the other hand, breaks down the problem/study with a different type of methodology that is designed to develop other attributes of the spectrum of martial movement. It may or may not be the best choice for someone for someone on a short, focused timeline.

There are tradeoffs with both methods I think concerning effectiveness.

There is alot of overlap in the methodologies, and frankly it is interesting to me exactly how much more closer they are related than they are not!

Going back to the topic at hand concerning evolution of aikido.

Again, we have to define and agree that aikido moved away from it's original intent.

I think that it IS reasonable to assume that aikido in many dojos may have gotten a little "dead". This especially can happen if folks simply practice it and don't continue to re-interpret and look at it critically.

I think aikidoka can learn much from the methodologies being employed and implemented in the MMA movement. Arts like Systema, BJJ, and others are doing somethings right, and there are many of us out there that are bringing things into our personal aikido that I believe are improving it.

these are good things. In fact, O'Sensei himself, would have been called an MMAer based on how he viewed and synthesized aikido.

Evolution or change though? Hmmmm, a tough one.

My perspective is that the basic foundational underpinnings, values, philosophy is still the same and will be for the next 100 years. As such, we should concentrate and focus on developing those things and attributes that best encourage growth along the foundations of aikido.

As such, the methods of practice that have been handed down to us through Aikikai and our various organizations are probably where the center of mass should be focused.

If we start changing the art wholely based on the perspective and criteria that judo, bjj, MMA, or other arts...then we run the risk of losing the lessons and methodolgy that imparts the Philosophy of Aikido.

Then we will be looking at each other trying to figure out why we are doing BJJ wearing a hakama when we could do it much better without one!

 
Old 12-14-2008, 09:35 AM   #256
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Hi Kevin,

I think you're right. This discussion has a different flavor from past discussions about martial effectiveness, etc., but martial effectiveness seems to be the obvious benchmark for 'evolution'. And seen in that context, it's not clear martial arts as most of us practice them are subject to the kinds of pressures that make "evolution" a good analogy.

"Good shiho nage -- now I will live to throw another day."

I went back to the OP. Much of what is said there could have been in a post entitled -- How can we make Aikido more effective? For example:

"Should we as Aikidoka sit back and stagnate our methodology. Or should we evolve Aikido, arming ourselves with the best knowledge possible to move Aikido to the next stage of progression? Should the Aikikai organization and it's many practitioners advocate for a different methodology of practice to test our skills? Should Aikido take on a different form?"

The OP also uses, however, what I would describe as social Darwinism to frame the debate -- i.e., that Aikido must adapt ("improve") or it will "die."

The whole idea that martial traditions survive based on their "effectiveness" makes sense of combat arts and, to some extent, sport-oriented art forms.

But so long as people are interested in, say, traditional Japanese archery or spear techniques, there is the chance those arts will continue to be taught. They certainly don't survive because their practitioners believe in -- much less would try to demonstrate -- the superior martial effectiveness of the bow, the spear, or what-have-you in a modern context, be it battlefield or barroom.

What may make a martial art popular, meanwhile, may include a whole host of attractions.

Let me concede for the sake of discussion, for example, that one of the real attractions of MMA does resolve around its perceived martial effectiveness and superiority over other arts in a ring setting. And those perceptions are pretty rational and subject to falsification, at least in the context of MMA contests.

That doesn't say, by the way, that it is or is not a really good way to train for other purposes, such as self-defense; it's just my take on where claims that MMA is "effective" are pretty hard for a reasonable person to deny.

But the popularity of MMA -- which I do not begrude it -- does have to do with the "popularizing" of MMA as well as the "evolution" or "refinement" of its methodologies, concepts, techniques, and training.

Professional wrestling is popular too, and also unlikely to die out soon. Which would I rather be able to use in a fight? Well, that's a different question than "which would I rather watch on TV," even though in this case my answer to both questions is the same.

But while it's easy to invoke with respect to martial arts the red-clawed image of classical Darwinism -- survival of the fittest -- and then infer that the "survival" of the arts reflects whether it's adherents can kick ass on all comers -- I can't find any reason to conclude that is paramount to whether an art, for better or worse, becomes wide-spread and popular.

It's like the day, which seems likely to occur this Century, that Chinese overtakes English as the lingua franca of the modern world. It won't be because the English language, while once a superior tool for speaking, changed and became a poorer language than, say, Manderin. Or that some revolution in Manderin grammar made it better than English.

It will be because so many people are speaking that language, it becomes the dominant language.

So, I guess I'd rather talk about all those complicated questions in martial effectiveness without looking over my shoulder for the shadow of HMS the Beagle.

Regards,

DH
 
Old 12-14-2008, 09:40 AM   #257
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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Sure, I'll give it shot.

It would mean continuing to train with an observation that big nature is of greater power than my little self. In my case that gives rise to perspectives that are a lot more native than colonial; which is revolutionary to my experience and to my take on the art.
One more thought. In a time of great pressure to 'make aikido better' and a time when ego's in aikido have gone off the scale, it is revolutionary,in my experience ,to continue in the simple training of self-correction, rather than pushing to evolve, change, better, or adding 'better techniques' to aikido. Although those things may occur of their own accord through shugyo.
It might be easy to assume, at this point, that I am against any innovations in the art. But I am of the belief that innovations arise naturally( takemusu) and that the way we communicate our art, the way we handle our dojo's, and the way we en-culturate in aikido needs to come from our own selves, whatever nation,tribe,nationality that might be. My dojo is hardly traditional japanese.But I'm not Japanese and could never hope to be in this lifetime. To wish to be so would be a sin of sorts. Because I'd be negating that which nature intended for me. Which is for Jen to be Jen. And Jen is from California. In case you can't tell.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 12-14-2008 at 09:48 AM.

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Old 12-14-2008, 10:15 AM   #258
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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But the above statement wasn't about you or directed toward you. I was joining with your thought and adding a visual. I can see how you might have made the mistake. Please read it again with what I'm telling you in mind.
Ha! I need more practice

 
Old 12-14-2008, 10:24 AM   #259
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Good post David. You certainly said what I wanted to say much better!

DO arts are such as aikido, judo, iaido, kyudo, and others are methodologies that use a martial framework to teach and enhance the way or philosophy of the practice. Each have developed a context of practice that accomplishes those goals.

Interesting enough....the governing bodies of Judo are once again changing the rules of judo. Why? I think it is basically to encourage good judo and to return to the foundation, not to evolve it into Jiujitsu and wrestling that has had an impact in competition.

Will it have it's desired goal or will it continue to isolate it from the mainstream more?

Hard to say, I think that depends on your perspective.

What I like about my judo practice is that it has provided me a very in depth study into the art of kuzushi and throwing that I don't believe I'd get in any other methodology.

Why is that? Because Judo has stuck to it's primary didactic and core curriculum and have changed the rules over time to ensure that it continues to be the focus.

Judged against the modern perspective of effectiveness from a BJJ or MMA perspective and Judo is a dying art that is moving away from effectiveness.

Judged against the criteria that makes judo good for what judo is good for...I'd say they are making the right choice.

As far as trends go what does this mean for the future of judo vice MMA/BJJ?

Hard to say again, but it may be that people want more of what MMA has to offer vice what Judo has to offer and you may see a time when BJJ or more specifically "sport jiujitsu" becomes an olympic sport and judo takes a back seat to it simply because more folks want to be measured in this respect vice the judo rules.

It could be that aikido loses students and there is actually a decline away from aikido with more folks going into MMA.

Based on the numbers in our dojo here in Virginia though, I don't believe we have seen a decline in the past 5 years. Aikido is such a small player anyway, in comparison to say Judo...much, much smaller! That I don't think the trends impact us to greatly anyway.

We have a very distinct client based and attract folks that are looking for Aikido.

It is for this reason that if we attempted to change to be more popular that I think we would be in trouble as we would no longer be doing our core competency well, and we would be doing a terrible job at the MMA stuff and it would backfire big time!

 
Old 12-14-2008, 10:52 AM   #260
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
David Henderson wrote: View Post
Buck,

I'm saying that if you pursue the metaphor of evolution with respect to something like a martial art....

David
David,
I am a little embrassed for missing that. Good post allots of layers of thought and insight to it. Kudos. I think my greatest fault in my posting habits are sometimes being like a pit bull and biting and locking on at one spot and not letting go. I've destroyed all my chew toys.

Last edited by Buck : 12-14-2008 at 10:59 AM.
 
Old 12-14-2008, 11:24 AM   #261
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Kevin said,
Quote:
Going back to the topic at hand concerning evolution of aikido.

Again, we have to define and agree that aikido moved away from it's original intent.
I know some people feel it is has. They say that Aikido today is a result not of O'Sensei, but his uchi deshi. If that is the case the original Aikido of O'Sensei is lost forever. In line with that then, when Aikido is changed by the uchi deshi's, uchi deshi that Aikido is lost and replace by another and so along the chain. Now Aikido is subject to a speciation of evolution. I guess it is the way we (as individuals) look at things. What ever model we choose to follow, what ever way we look at Aikido be it evolution or not will lead us (individual) to the ends we (the individual) intended to pick.

Last edited by Buck : 12-14-2008 at 11:27 AM.
 
Old 12-14-2008, 12:05 PM   #262
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
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So, you're saying for Aikido to remain 'pure' (whatever that means), Aikido should revert back to students sitting outside the Sensei's Dojo for weeks, waiting for the Sensei to invite them in, then engage in servitude for years ?
Nope, I mean changing the japanese cultural trappings for american ones will only affect the external aspects of the art, not the art itself. Evolution needs to happen in the core (like in living things at DNA level) not in the surface

Quote:
I dont't know about all that "hippy" stuff, but I believe I can embrace Budo and show my respect to the Founder in my own American way and go on about my training. I do want to compete, to see if my technique is viable or not and improve it.
The European way is acceptable, isn't it?

And about competition/sparring... no big deal (well, only for some), there is a lot of aikido clubs with competitive sparring and some where hard spontaneous exchange of techniques is not unusual. I don't see this as evolution, only different training methods, but still the same art.

Quote:
???Judo went mainstream and became an Olympic event.
Then judo's ground grappling got stagnated, striking ended in kata only practise and the Seiryoku Zenyo-Jita Kyoei is mostly forgotten.

Quote:
You're telling me UFC/MMA has gotten worse? Obviously you didn't follow the UFC from the beginning, which started out with black belts in various Karates and boxers and Judo got in the mix.
...
Sorry, I remember the other UFC, the almost no rules, no time limits, barecknuckle fights. The one where Royce owned everybody.

Today is a heavily regulated sport, way safer and friendly for the practitioner.

Quote:
Imo, if Aikido is not a MA, it shouldn't be called one. If it is, then it should go ahead and be one.
Well, imho aikido is a MA. However it has evolved in some (for some a lot, for others not) places, due the 60's - 70's social environment, and became a different thing.

I noticed later:
Quote:
Imo, for example, to intercept an attack with an attack, instead acting in defense would be an improvement.
Then find an aikido club where techniques are trained in the "old school" form not in the american post-hippy kumbaya singing "evolved" form.

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 12-14-2008 at 12:10 PM.

 
Old 12-14-2008, 01:27 PM   #263
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Come train with me, I am always on the offense, I avoid the defense and believe in always attack, always win. That is the aikido I was taught and the aikido I practice. Retrograde operations only occur when you cannot attack and they are only temporary measures to get you back to a position of dominance.

Anyway, not everyone in aikido is about the hippie fruity stuff! Actually I am on a philosophical level, just not in martial practice.

 
Old 12-14-2008, 01:35 PM   #264
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
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Kevin said,

I know some people feel it is has. They say that Aikido today is a result not of O'Sensei, but his uchi deshi. If that is the case the original Aikido of O'Sensei is lost forever. In line with that then, when Aikido is changed by the uchi deshi's, uchi deshi that Aikido is lost and replace by another and so along the chain. Now Aikido is subject to a speciation of evolution. I guess it is the way we (as individuals) look at things. What ever model we choose to follow, what ever way we look at Aikido be it evolution or not will lead us (individual) to the ends we (the individual) intended to pick.
We certainly have these discussions as well with my dojo mates. I think we do need to look critically at this issue and constantly re-evaluate what we are learning and if it is reaching our desired goals. Many of my sensei and instructors within my organization go to other practices, tai chi, BJJ, koryu, and Bujitsu with Akuzawa and look at them for new insights and understandings. We then synthesize those things back into our practice of aikido.

BJJ and Judo have had a profound impact on my understanding of aikido and aiki in general, and I can tell you that I probably won't practice aikido exactly the same as maybe I was taught as I may use different teaching techniques from time to time to teach aiki principles.

There are some aikido methods that I have employed in teaching BJJ that I think aikido does a better job of transmitting.

Semantics maybe, but I don't see what I would do as evolutionary as we are not changing the core measures and principles of aikido.

good discussion.

 
Old 12-14-2008, 05:49 PM   #265
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Come train with me, I am always on the offense, I avoid the defense and believe in always attack, always win. That is the aikido I was taught and the aikido I practice. Retrograde operations only occur when you cannot attack and they are only temporary measures to get you back to a position of dominance.

Anyway, not everyone in aikido is about the hippie fruity stuff! Actually I am on a philosophical level, just not in martial practice.
Hi Kevin!
It probably has a lot to do with semantics, but it's interesting to me how often "defense" takes on a negative connotation to people. In my opinion, there is only action and inaction; and offense or defense simply imply who's giving and who's receiving the attack. My view is that I can be defensive AND proactive/progressive in my approach to dealing with an attack...and even that this is usually the best way to prevent conflict in general. Defensive driving is a good example of what I'm trying to describe.
I was also curious what you mean by being on a philosophical level, though not in martial practice. My view is that people tend in one direction or the other (i.e. philosphical or physical), but cannot escape either. In my view, philosophy and physicality are just an extention of the mind-body dichotomy, and as such, are inseperable from each other. How the physical aspect of training evolves is through our philosophy, which is in turn shaped by our perception, which is based upon our physical interaction with the world around us, and so on and so forth.
Take care,
Matthew
ps-and not all us hippie fruity types are afraid to get physical. Even the softest peach has a pit that can break teeth...if you'll forgive the attempt at poetry.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 12-14-2008 at 05:57 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
 
Old 12-14-2008, 09:35 PM   #266
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
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Clarence, if you're so confident and believe it is right, then why not simply get to it?
But I am, my man, I am.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-14-2008, 09:42 PM   #267
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Citations please. From all I've been able to garner most of Ueshiba's challanges were of the "grab me here, push me there see I don't move but watch me throw you" variety. I'm not saying you're wrong Clarence but I'd like you to cite some specific instances where Ueshiba honed his Aikido technique in actual combat.Ron
Ok, I didn't say "in actual combat", as the combat of Aikido is with swords, right? I said "in competition".

But it was Shoji Nishio that said Osensei improved Aikido because in competition with a Judoka, the Judoka threw him. I can't find the actual vid right now, but when I do I promise to show it.

Ok, here's some:
http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=E0exZ_V1k9k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH0-IyJPsyc

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-14-2008, 09:56 PM   #268
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Sorry Clarence, I misinterpreted the last sentence of your post to which I was referring. Thanks for the vids.

Ron
 
Old 12-14-2008, 10:02 PM   #269
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
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Those would be the references to your personal take on evolution.Nothing more.
So you said:"However I observe that there is more to see in the references that are being used. "

And I said I wasnt' sure what you meant and you say the above.

Ok, I have to ask what more is there to see?

I'm sorry, I'm just not following you. I'm seeing that terms are being tossed around that really don't apply and I can't seem to get anyone to differentiate biological evolution and the "Industrial Revolution" evolution- two completely different concepts.

Some folks wants to try and apply the evolution of Aikido to the concept of biological evolution, which is a change in the DNA, over maybe thousands or millions of years, to improve a species to adapt to survive and that just doesn't apply.

The other evolution, the kind I'm talking about is the concept of simply changing (improving) a technique because it gets you hurt in competition (or combat) or just doesn't work. The folks that do get this are saying that Aikido is perfect and doesn't need changing. To that I say anything manmade is NOT perfect and always has room for improvement. The some say it's the person that evolves, not the art. To that I say, yes we do evolve as people practitioners (hopefully), but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking specifically about the evolution of Aikido (because that's what this thread is about).

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-14-2008, 10:08 PM   #270
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
Sure, I'll give it shot.

It would mean continuing to train with an observation that big nature is of greater power than my little self. In my case that gives rise to perspectives that are a lot more native than colonial; which is revolutionary to my experience and to my take on the art.
But that's not revolutonary( see, here we go with this terminology thing), that's the heart and soul of Aikido.
Btw, what does that "more native than colonial" mean?

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-14-2008, 10:17 PM   #271
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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And that would be a bad thing because...?
I'm sorry, I'm under the impression that the purpose of a business is to succeed and grow and expand and succeed.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-14-2008, 10:20 PM   #272
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
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Again, we have to define and agree that aikido moved away from it's original intent.
Not only that, we would also have to examine whether Ueshiba's legacy evolved from his original intent in developing Aikido as a distinct art. Why did Ueshiba develop Aikido in the first place? We really have to answer that in order to define the original intent of Aikido and have a point to move away from.

Ron
 
Old 12-14-2008, 10:28 PM   #273
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Kevin said,

I know some people feel it is has. They say that Aikido today is a result not of O'Sensei, but his uchi deshi. If that is the case the original Aikido of O'Sensei is lost forever. In line with that then, when Aikido is changed by the uchi deshi's, uchi deshi that Aikido is lost and replace by another and so along the chain. Now Aikido is subject to a speciation of evolution. I guess it is the way we (as individuals) look at things. What ever model we choose to follow, what ever way we look at Aikido be it evolution or not will lead us (individual) to the ends we (the individual) intended to pick.
My point is that it's each individual's responsibility to try and take Aikido beyond what Osensei ( or his students ) did. This is also Aikido evolving.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-14-2008, 10:29 PM   #274
RonRagusa
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
I'm sorry, I'm under the impression that the purpose of a business is to succeed and grow and expand and succeed.
Hi Clarence -

You're quite right in that. However two things come to mind: first, not all Aikido dojos are run as businesses and second, the location of the dojo doesn't imply anything about the quality of instruction being offered. Good Aikido will be found where it is being taught, the venue is irrelevant.

Ron
 
Old 12-14-2008, 10:35 PM   #275
RonRagusa
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
My point is that it's each individual's responsibility to try and take Aikido beyond what Osensei ( or his students ) did. This is also Aikido evolving.
I would say that individuals have a choice. An individual, may choose to innovate and move beyond his instructor or choose to preserve the instructors form and way of teaching, acting as an archivist. This way, Aikido continues to evolve but the path of evolution is preserved.

Ron
 

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