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Old 06-03-2010, 12:08 AM   #76
bulevardi
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
Does aikido teach me more about myself then the following?

Basketball?
Wrestling?
Guitar Playing?
Running?
Texas Hold em?
It teaches me not specially more than the other things. Basketball won't learn me more about Texas Hold em.

Since I'm doing Aikido, I learned I get a better condition by playing basketball or by running.
As sport, Aikido isn't meant to get fit
All things have different purposes.
I play guitar aswel, and enjoy creating new stuff. It's a totally different thing than Aikido, of course. Let's say for example, I do aikido in group and play guitar alone.

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Old 06-03-2010, 12:20 AM   #77
Janet Rosen
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
*put's on my devils advocate hat*

Does aikido teach me more about myself then the following?

Basketball?
Wrestling?
Guitar Playing?
Running?
Texas Hold em?

I learned the most about myself when I started teaching at a college. My failings, my skills, etc were all on display and I was forced to face them. In terms of self discovery I learned a lot about myself, but nowhere close compared to how much I learned standing in front of a room of 18 year old kids.
Don, that's a really valid point you raise. I can say - speaking JUST FOR ME - that in the practice of aikido on the mat, the encounter with the other person, I find I work on how I am in the world with other people in a way that nothing else has ever done for me. I think it is why, despite having no natural talent for anything having to do with movement, from the moment I bowed into the mat I was hooked. I have been/am a nurse and a teacher and a massage therapist and an artist. I learn things about myself in all endeavors, push against my limits, and try to grow in all areas. But it is in the process of working with another being in the dojo, nonverbally, trying to incorporate all at once an open heart, a martial spirit, an extending presence, a sensitivity to the partner, plus yeah the myriad little technical or postural details I'm working on, that I feel small transformations in myself for the better. That's why I consider aikido my spiritual practice. But I don't think it has to be anybody else's.

Janet Rosen
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:58 AM   #78
bulevardi
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Aikido vs playing guitar.
From a martial view, you can smash someone to the ground with a guitar like you should with a katana.

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Old 06-03-2010, 02:34 AM   #79
Darryl Cowens
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Yeah, but I suspect if Hendrix tried playing a katana with his teeth it might have hurt...
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:33 AM   #80
dps
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Before you complain about how Aikido is misunderstood by outsiders, it would be a good idea to see how well it is understood by insiders.
Good Luck with that.

David
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:45 AM   #81
bulevardi
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

It will always be misunderstood in any way.
Things just happen like this.
For example in music, name a particular music band, and someone will say it's metal, another one says rock, someone different says 80's prog symphonic power metal, etc... depending on the box you want to put it in. Every metal band is misunderstood in the metal world. Trust me. And that's for anything else...

If you name Aikido, one will claim it's a martial art, another says it's just a sport, someone says it's budo, it's self defence or it could even be a paradigm.

A paradigm !!

Whatever you call it, don't stress your mind about it, or replace it into another box ;-)

Last edited by bulevardi : 06-03-2010 at 06:51 AM.

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Old 06-03-2010, 07:55 AM   #82
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
The point is we are dishonest at the moment.
Eh. Some people may be, but that's not true as a blanket statement.

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
If someone asks if what we do is effective in a fight we question just what effectiveness means as if the person asking the question is a moron. We never say, "Well what's your definiton of effectiveness?" and then give an answer based on that.
Horsefeathers we don't. I've said just that many times. Funny how you rarely get a response, though.

Last edited by lbb : 06-03-2010 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:55 AM   #83
Aikibu
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

It's all selective perception...Pathos and Ethos.

I don't think Aikido is "misunderstood" and I have allot of experience with it's "effectiveness"

I also think that most of the folks here understand what those two "terms" mean for them and they don't have to jibe with mine...

It took a few years...but when it comes to most Bulshido Posters and some folks here I think Herbert Spencer said it best..

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation."

I don't know about you but the one thing I enjoy about Aikido is the fact I still have so much to "understand."

William Hazen
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:57 AM   #84
Keith Larman
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Gotta agree with Mary here. I try to be as honest and forthcoming with visitors to the dojo as I can. And I find issues of effectiveness to be a difficult one to discuss because it is a nuanced and usually context dependent issue. I don't pussy foot around it. I want people to be informed when they walk through the door. I also routinely suggest people check out other arts depending on what they're looking for. I've referred people to friends doing Chinese Arts, Kempo, Krav Maga, BJJ, and a variety of other things. You just can't brush with such broad strokes.

I get tired of the bliss ninnies on one side and the "we're rad martial artist/octogon of death martial wizards -- AIKIDO RULZ" crowd on the other. Reality is a lot more nuanced. But in the end it matters little to me what others think. What matters is my own training. And hopefully some of the kids I work with will pick up some of the things I find of value in the training themselves and pass it along. If not... Well... I've done my part. That's as much as we can do. It needs to stand on its own merits.

Or as I was told when I first starting learning traditional sword crafts, "Let the work speak for you. That's enough."

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Old 06-03-2010, 09:52 AM   #85
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

I'm just curious; does the skeptics have practical experience where Aikido has personally failed them? Or, are the criticism based on prejudice, or preconception of how combative should operate?

There was that time O' Sensei chased a kid out in the street and out of carelessness, he slipped and fell in a puddle. I guess that's Aikido failing... but if that's the only example skeptics can site than Aikido frankly has a good track record.

MM
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:13 AM   #86
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Jason Rudolph wrote: View Post
The last point seems appropriate should--however unlikely--a situation were to arise where we Aikidoka cannot intellectualize harmony back into a situation and real danger to well-being exits.
Speaking as a lawyer -- for whatever it is worth -- intellectualizing is not a road to harmony -- it is merely another field of possible conflict on which harmony may -- or may not -- be sought ...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:18 AM   #87
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
We never say, "Well what's your definiton of effectiveness?" and then give an answer based on that.
Well, what's your definition of effectiveness?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:45 AM   #88
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Aikido isn't an easy art by far. To manipulate the entire body from a simple offensive movement, to a level where the body can't right its self or control what is happening to it, isn't easy as learning to or applying a strike, or putting a hold someone.

Aikido came from an art that was very effective and proven results that range from brutal to deadly. That art called Daito Ryu is unique. No other country developed anything like it or applied it in warfare. On top of that Daito Ryu tradition because it was a weapon was kept from others who'd use it against them. Daito Ryu has a tradition of secrecy as a result it is full of coded and cryptic language that made it difficult to learn, I am sure even for O'Sensei.

I would bet O'Sensei struggled with learning and understanding the art from a hard core traditional Takeda who subscribed to the samurai way and the traditional Daito Ryu way. It wasn't a quick few lessons and BAM! O'Sensei was instantly proficient at Daito Ryu. Daito Ryu also has allot of things to learn from.

Aikido isn't something you can learn in 6 mos, It isn't instant. It isn't something that is a single dimensional art that focuses on merely combat. There are layers of complexity because of it's spiritual, it's traditional martial arts culture base mixed in with personal philosophy of a very complexed founder. Who valued the past and worked toward the future.

It is very difficult to take a combat tool made for violent conflicts, and use that to deescalate the conflict without harm avoiding it to a higher level of violence where both parties suffer injury.

Look at UFC, both fighters take heavy damage. Most fighters because of that very short fighting careers. The body can only take so much punishment dealt out in a UFC fight. A fighter who has fought like 20 pro MMA fights is rare (not BJJ which is easier on the body as damage goes as finishing is chokes or arm bars and you tap out). These rare MMA guys are not the average MMM fighter. They may have years of wrestling or karate skills behind them prior to MMA and fighting in the UFC. Plus, these fighters take many months off between fights to heal and rest. And their numbers are few.

Injuries rates are very high in MMA fights no one walks away without damage. That is a fact. Now Aikido takes that fact and shoots for not injuring the other guy thus no injury to the defender. Very difficult thing to do in a conflict situation. There by itself is a lot to learn and understand. And is only one of many such components contained in Aikido.

It will take many years to understand Aikido. Some people come along and say "do this or that" that can be helpful. But that doesn't mean it didn't already exist in Aikido, it means there is so much to learn and contained in Aikido that it takes time to learn, and very easy for those not engrossed in their studies to point something out. For instance, I had allot on my mind and had to consider many possibilities on a project at work I was working on. My brain is seeing and processing allot of information contained and required by this project that I was involved in. As a result, I ran into a slight problem. A co-worker looking at the project, who was not working on it, not engrossed in it, not thinking about all it's complexities and considering them was able to see the problem in a way I didn't. As a result came up with the solution. A solution that was so obvious and simple. That is because he was not taking on all the weight, all the considerations of the project, he simply walked in looked at it and seen the problem. I do the same for him on his projects. And sometimes, in these situations I find the solution on my own, but I am carrying all the weight of the project. That is am considering all angles, possibilities, and consequences, I understand the project. It is something about humans where it is easy to come from the outside and point out a solution, that is the only focus, they are not carrying the total weight of the thing. Being on the inside of a something takes longer to solve a problem because of the weight that is carried and stuff. You have so much more to think about and consider as just one angle or area.

Understanding something as complex and complicated as Aikido that has so many dimensions to it isn't easy. It was built on layers of contributions of others for centuries until it came to O'Sensei. Part of the learning process then is misunderstanding it in every way as an insider. That is why you work at it. That is why there is no simple fixes. Someone can point out something, to a new student and it will not have the same depth or impact as those who have 20 years of experience. And the person pointing that thing out doesn't have the same depth of understanding in relation to Aikido and it's purpose than the person of 20 years of experience in Aikido has. Such an aikido person has made hundreds of discoveries and not just one. So of course it is easy to point something out from the outside. But that is just one part of it, one component of many, that will have a greater impact on those with years of experience and understanding than those who first start.

Understanding Aikido isn't easy, you are taking physics and applying them in such away to defeat someone without doing harm to yourself or others. To control another human's body where they lack control and ability to right themselves. I guess Aikido is like science the more you understand the more you realize the vastness of what you don't know.

Yea, it is misunderstood if it wasn't it would be a challenge in learning it, and I think that is often forgotten or not considered. If you want to defeat someone with harm and injury, quickly and effectively then weapons like a knife and gun is what you want to learn. There is no depth to that. But Aikido has depth where you keep searching and digging, nothing is instant. And that is want makes it worth learning. That is what is misunderstood in my book.

Last edited by Buck : 06-03-2010 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:56 AM   #89
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

How can I expect non-aikidoka to understand aikido when I myself don't understand aikido? That's why I go to the dojo 3x a week. so I can learn about what I don't understand. Because Iit fascinates me. It really does not matter what others think about aikido.It only matters (to me) what I think about aikido.

Recently I said to my sensei that I did not find certain other martial arts to be of real interest. I disliked what I saw. I had some criticism of those arts. My senseis answer... "there is a reason you do aikido and not those other martial arts."

well there is a reason other people do other martial arts and not aikido. We don't have to agree with them to recognize their right to decide what does and does not have value in their own eyes.

I kind of like that aikido is not so well known or so popular as other martial arts. Its a small but not exclusive club. One made up of people who are serious about that they do. Who appreciate it for what it is... to them. The weeds quickly weed themselves out.

When someone asks me what aikido is about I explain what it is to me as best I can but I tell everyone aikido is something you really have to experience for yourself in order to find what it means to you.

As for the how has aikido helped your life, sport, hobby etc.... everything in our life is part of a whole. An interlocking puzzle where each thing enhances the other.

IE: my aikido has really enhanced my horsemanship. My horsemanship brings a lot to my aikido. My aikido and my horsemanship influence how I deal with other situations, and people, in life.
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:39 PM   #90
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I'm just curious; does the skeptics have practical experience where Aikido has personally failed them? Or, are the criticism based on prejudice, or preconception of how combative should operate?

There was that time O' Sensei chased a kid out in the street and out of carelessness, he slipped and fell in a puddle. I guess that's Aikido failing... but if that's the only example skeptics can site than Aikido frankly has a good track record.
I don't care how awesome the founder of a martial art is. It doesn't matter if Helio Gracie was undefeated, or if O'Sensei could dodge bullets and disappear like a mystical ninja.

I have to base my decision on experience, observation, and evidence. My experience in aikido lead me to find myself unable to cope with 1 month judo and bjj students, and generally finding myself unable to find rational reasons why or why not things would work. The only answers I could get from the art were faith based. I am simply not a man of faith.

I could go on and on with reasons, but that really isn't the point. The point is I did what I consider due diligence in attempting my training. What I found was that the training method did not realistically prepare me to perform what I was being taught in any venue outside of a willing participant. I wanted more then that. I wanted a means of unarmed self defense. While I did eventually find some merit to techniques I had been taught in aikido, I still believe that I would never had achieved my desired results had I not started using the training methods I use today.

It is obvious to me that aikido comes from effective forms of combat. I just think the measuring stick was lost somewhere and many people have forgotten that martial arts are about more then just feelings and philosophies. Unfortunately (to me) I see it as an eventuality that left isolated, martial arts all eventually turn into a watered down system of physical activity and morality preaching.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:42 PM   #91
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Smile Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Speaking as a lawyer -- for whatever it is worth -- intellectualizing is not a road to harmony -- it is merely another field of possible conflict on which harmony may -- or may not -- be sought ...
Agreed!!!
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:47 PM   #92
RED
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
I don't care how awesome the founder of a martial art is. It doesn't matter if Helio Gracie was undefeated, or if O'Sensei could dodge bullets and disappear like a mystical ninja.

I have to base my decision on experience, observation, and evidence. My experience in aikido lead me to find myself unable to cope with 1 month judo and bjj students, and generally finding myself unable to find rational reasons why or why not things would work. The only answers I could get from the art were faith based. I am simply not a man of faith.

I could go on and on with reasons, but that really isn't the point. The point is I did what I consider due diligence in attempting my training. What I found was that the training method did not realistically prepare me to perform what I was being taught in any venue outside of a willing participant. I wanted more then that. I wanted a means of unarmed self defense. While I did eventually find some merit to techniques I had been taught in aikido, I still believe that I would never had achieved my desired results had I not started using the training methods I use today.

It is obvious to me that aikido comes from effective forms of combat. I just think the measuring stick was lost somewhere and many people have forgotten that martial arts are about more then just feelings and philosophies. Unfortunately (to me) I see it as an eventuality that left isolated, martial arts all eventually turn into a watered down system of physical activity and morality preaching.
I heard a teacher say something I found useful at a seminar recently.. He said he knew a girl who wrote an essay on aikido, he read it but couldn't find anything about aikido in it...it was just a letter of philosophical principles. He said that there has to be a ballance. A martial art has to respect both the martial side and art side. Sometimes the martial side is lost.

However, I don't share your experience of inadequacy in dealing with sport martial students. I've found that the rules of the sports arena also put the 1 month Sports student at a disadvantage. It's all how we train. If the Aikidoka never has a live uke they never learn to get a feel for a moving attacker. If the Judo student never has to worry about some one striking, they never train to deal with it. If the Karate student never has to worry about protecting his face because face kicks are illegal in competition...he will never learn to prepare for a kick to the face.
There are flaws in the training of every art, not in the art it self IMO.
The object is to be aware of the failings, and adapt to work out the kinks.

Last edited by RED : 06-03-2010 at 01:49 PM.

MM
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:39 PM   #93
Anjisan
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Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I heard a teacher say something I found useful at a seminar recently.. He said he knew a girl who wrote an essay on aikido, he read it but couldn't find anything about aikido in it...it was just a letter of philosophical principles. He said that there has to be a ballance. A martial art has to respect both the martial side and art side. Sometimes the martial side is lost.

However, I don't share your experience of inadequacy in dealing with sport martial students. I've found that the rules of the sports arena also put the 1 month Sports student at a disadvantage. It's all how we train. If the Aikidoka never has a live uke they never learn to get a feel for a moving attacker. If the Judo student never has to worry about some one striking, they never train to deal with it. If the Karate student never has to worry about protecting his face because face kicks are illegal in competition...he will never learn to prepare for a kick to the face.
There are flaws in the training of every art, not in the art it self IMO.
The object is to be aware of the failings, and adapt to work out the kinks.
I agree with your take on this one and see a lot of validity in Don's comments as well. Based on what type of Aikido training is available to a Aikidoka, one can incorporate other forms in during some classes if appropriate or during open mat time. I have found that there are often others who feel the same way but have not spoken up for whatever reason.

Personally, I incorporated my karate background, and now am incorporating Kali and Krav Maga as well and it all seems to blend. Just the other night in the changing room I was speaking of incorporating other arts to compliment my Aikido and I found a guy who said "I'm in."
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:47 PM   #94
RED
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Jason Rudolph wrote: View Post
I agree with your take on this one and see a lot of validity in Don's comments as well. Based on what type of Aikido training is available to a Aikidoka, one can incorporate other forms in during some classes if appropriate or during open mat time. I have found that there are often others who feel the same way but have not spoken up for whatever reason.

Personally, I incorporated my karate background, and now am incorporating Kali and Krav Maga as well and it all seems to blend. Just the other night in the changing room I was speaking of incorporating other arts to compliment my Aikido and I found a guy who said "I'm in."
I'm not saying necessarily to mix other martial arts into your Aikido.

I think Aikido is adequate on its own. The principles are sound, the same principals that have been in use for and combat effective for centuries. I'm saying their might be, in some schools a lack of training in aliveness. No live uke. If you never have a live uke, how will you learn to defend against one? If you don't ever train to guard your face, what will you do when some one kicks it?

I think the core principles are adequate and universally adaptable to any attack. But if you have a static uke holding your wrist forever, you might never get there.
The kata is key, don';t get me wrong. You gotta walk before you run.

MM
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:21 PM   #95
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Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I'm not saying necessarily to mix other martial arts into your Aikido.

I think Aikido is adequate on its own. The principles are sound, the same principals that have been in use for and combat effective for centuries. I'm saying their might be, in some schools a lack of training in aliveness. No live uke. If you never have a live uke, how will you learn to defend against one? If you don't ever train to guard your face, what will you do when some one kicks it?

I think the core principles are adequate and universally adaptable to any attack. But if you have a static uke holding your wrist forever, you might never get there.
The kata is key, don';t get me wrong. You gotta walk before you run.
I agree. I am speaking of those whom Aikido techniques are not enough, don't have access to a teacher who incorporates realistic martial aspects into training or just want (like me) to expand for the fun, additional pragmatic options, and the challenge of it all.
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:49 PM   #96
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

ALL martial arts have intential flaws built in to their training models to make training safe, or there would be no healthy students. When you train and/or judge an art (your own or someone elses) without realizing what those flaws are, there are bound to be a ton of misunderstandings.

Kevin, the only aikido I know, is absolutely jujutsu...but then again maybe it's not "aikido".

Last edited by Stormcrow34 : 06-03-2010 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:08 PM   #97
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Sorry. Meant to type "intentional flaws", not "intential flaws".
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:21 PM   #98
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
*put's on my devils advocate hat*

Does aikido teach me more about myself then the following?

Basketball?
Wrestling?
Guitar Playing?
Running?
Texas Hold em?

I learned the most about myself when I started teaching at a college. My failings, my skills, etc were all on display and I was forced to face them. In terms of self discovery I learned a lot about myself, but nowhere close compared to how much I learned standing in front of a room of 18 year old kids.
Hi Don,
Aikido may or may not learn you more about yourself than any of the other examples you quote.I do not think that Aikido has the monopoly in terms of self discovery.Obviously in your case college teaching made some impact on your own understanding of your own self
. I simply replied to the question being asked.I did not state that one could not discover ones True Self solely by Aikido.There can be many paths to reach the top of a mountain.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:03 AM   #99
bulevardi
Dojo: Tobu Chiku Aikikai
Location: Brussels
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 99
Belgium
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

If you read Morihei's biography, you can clearly notice that Ueshiba meant: "Aikido is becoming one with the universe"
"Aikido is love and harmony", "Aikido is combining the three worlds". etc etc...
He didn't meant to create another martial art. He didn't want competition or fights. He wanted to create a movement where people get closer to enlightment, where people get in harmony instead of fight. Where people would misunderstand Aikido in the Martial Art world.
Aikido is an achievement of awareness in the physical and spiritual world.

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Old 06-04-2010, 11:27 AM   #100
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,931
United_States
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

read a story the other day and want to share. it's about a guy climbed up the mountain to ask a guru question. ever notice, that guru and such folks always hang around mountain tops. there can't be that many mountain tops are there? and why nobody bother to install an elevator of some sort? if i was a guru, i would hang around Las Vegas. but i digress...

so a guy climbed up the mountain to see a guru. he asked the guru, "what is the meaning of life?" the guru said "life is a cup of tea." the guy screamed at the guru, "I almost killed myself climbing up this mountain to ask such important question, and you said it's a cup of tea! are you mad?!!! the guru said "maybe it's not a cup of tea!"

aikido is a cup of tea!
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