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Old 07-14-2011, 07:19 PM   #176
oisin bourke
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
And it's a basic fallacy that you need to get to the dojo in order to train.

Best,

Chris
While I personally agree with that, I think George Ledyard is has been quite clear that he sees Aikido training (i.e training recognised as improving one's Aikido/needed for grading etc) as dojo training. Other training, though important, is supplementary.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:44 PM   #177
Chris Li
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

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Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
While I personally agree with that, I think George Ledyard is has been quite clear that he sees Aikido training (i.e training recognised as improving one's Aikido/needed for grading etc) as dojo training. Other training, though important, is supplementary.
Well, everybody has an opinion - but it's not an either/or thing, IMO. If someone is really interested in training - then they'll find a way to train.

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-14-2011, 07:44 PM   #178
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Yes, she works and cooks (as do I). Time to dojo has varied over the years, anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours. And it's a basic fallacy that you need to get to the dojo in order to train.

Best,

Chris
Thanks for the reply Chris. I didn't mean to ask you to tell us those things or to force you to 'prove your dedication'. I just meant that each of those factors plays a part in how often people can train. You are absolutely right about not needing to get to the Dojo to train, but like Oisin, I was specifically referring to Dojo training.

To Oisin, the arrangement you suggested is exactly what I am working on at the moment. It will take a bit of refining, but I think we can make it work.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:17 PM   #179
oisin bourke
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

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Robin Boyd wrote: View Post

To Oisin, the arrangement you suggested is exactly what I am working on at the moment. It will take a bit of refining, but I think we can make it work.
Best of luck to you. If you have children, IME the taikukan are very family-friendly places. There are often lots of other children around that your child can play with while you do some practice.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:41 PM   #180
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

No children yet. I am newly married and trying to work out a schedule with my wife. We are both working long(ish) hours, she doesn't cook at all and she has had a few health problems lately, so it is a bit tricky. Over the last few weeks we have got to the stage where she can look after herself one night per week and I don't need to spend an hour doing housework when I get home at 10:30. Still, I try to have dinner prepared for her to heat up. The next step is to find her something interesting to do 1 night per week..
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:01 PM   #181
Chris Li
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

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Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Thanks for the reply Chris. I didn't mean to ask you to tell us those things or to force you to 'prove your dedication'. I just meant that each of those factors plays a part in how often people can train. You are absolutely right about not needing to get to the Dojo to train, but like Oisin, I was specifically referring to Dojo training.

To Oisin, the arrangement you suggested is exactly what I am working on at the moment. It will take a bit of refining, but I think we can make it work.
I think that it is a basic mistake to assume that dojo training is better, but that's a different discussion.

Even if you assume that dojo training is better, that doesn't mean, therefore, that training on your own has no value.

Anyway, everybody has to make their own choices.

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-14-2011, 09:06 PM   #182
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Well, everybody has an opinion - but it's not an either/or thing, IMO. If someone is really interested in training - then they'll find a way to train.

Best,

Chris
The problem about non-dojo training is that not very many folks know much to do solo. I used to do some solo exercises such as I learned from Aikido teachers and would do weapons work in my back yard, but I have to say that it wasn't until I did some of the IP work that I recognized how solo training was not just something you'd do when you couldn't get to the dojo but Important in itself.

- George

George S. Ledyard
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:48 PM   #183
Chris Li
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
The problem about non-dojo training is that not very many folks know much to do solo. I used to do some solo exercises such as I learned from Aikido teachers and would do weapons work in my back yard, but I have to say that it wasn't until I did some of the IP work that I recognized how solo training was not just something you'd do when you couldn't get to the dojo but Important in itself.

- George
I agree absolutely.

If someone really has no clue what to do on their own then I'd recommend that they do their hard physical work outs at home and then concentrate on moving softly and slowly in the dojo. At least then they can optimize each part of their trainings.

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-15-2011, 01:47 PM   #184
JW
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

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Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
All of these things play a major role, so to say because you are able to work full time and train regularly with a wife and a child is still comparing apples to oranges in my opinion.
It's always an important point that one's life experiences do not on their own allow one to see another's point of view clearly. Sometimes we have to think, hey maybe someone's life really is different from what I have been through.

Anyway.. sorry for perpetuating OT distractions.. Ledyard Sensei, yes our art is changing and the way it is practiced is changing. I for one am glad we have you on the front lines of that change. I wish you the best and hope to visit you sometime soon.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:32 PM   #185
aikilouis
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I have a couple of seniors, one San Dan and one Nidan who started with me who show ever sign of being better than I am. I have a couple of other students who started with other teachers but who are now training with me. I am having a significant contribution to the training although technically they aren't really my students. They also should be better than I am.

My only yardstick is to lo0ok at folks and reflect back as to where i was when i had the same amount of experience. Using that metric, I may have as many as 6 - 8 people who will eventually be better than I am. There is however, a difference between how technically proficient one is and the amount of "stuff" one knows. I am not sure any of my students will be able to put the time in that will allow them to cram as much "stuff" into their heads as I have. But what hey'll do, they'll do well.
Takeda or Ueshiba both taught many decades and their top students could be counted on two hands. It might be a cynical view, but the rest of the practitioners (and given my current practise I would be in that number if I studied with you) are mostly here to provide an environment for excellence of a few to grow. They might benefit of course of training with better people, but it is chiefly a byproduct.

If on the contrary the inertia of the majority of mediocre students is such that it endangers the developpement of the best, then you might get worried for the future of your lineage.

After reading your posts and blogs for quite some time and purchasing a few DVD sets (very informative for a reasonable price !), I think you are one of those who perceive the best that aikido today is in a very exciting phase. I previously made a parallel between Ellis Amdur's Hidden in Plain Sight and Michael Lewis's Moneyball. Both books describe how a few people challenge the conventional wisdom (is Mike Sigman aikido's Bill James ?) and show a way to simply do things better simply by shaking off the old habits and organising training towards more concrete goals, starting from day one of one's journey as a student.

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Old 07-15-2011, 07:46 PM   #186
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Peter,
I can confirm the T.K. Chiba statements about the tree[roots, trunk, branches].I may be wrong here[my memory is going fast ]but I seem to remember a logo with a flourishing tree on it.Was it the Aikikai of G.B logo?
Regarding the system of future /potential teachers as you know Chiba Sensei introduced the shidoin/fukushidoin certification tests in the U.K. in the early 70s.Having moved later to San Diego he then set up Kenshusei /Uchi deshi programmes.There are now from these programmes many U.S.A teachers, and a number of
European/U.K. ex kenshusei now teaching currently.
Hope you are well, Joe
Hello Joe,

Many apologies. I missed this mail of yours.

Certainly, Tamura Shihan's European organization had a tree as an emblem. People like Pierre Chassang and Andre Gonze used to wear navy blue blazers with the tree emblem on the breast pocket. I can remember a seminar at the London Boys' Club taught by N Tamura. All the EAF people wore blazers, as did N Tamura himself. I think the AGB/BAF thought this was taking European solidarity a bit too far.

When I was in the UK, K Chiba was trying to get the shidoin / fukushidoin system adopted throughout the Aikikai. I saw repeated early drafts of what are now the Aikikai international regulations. (The Hombu were not so enthusiastic.) But I seem to remember a kenshusei system in place at the Tempukan, which, as you know, was really K Chiba's London outpost in the UK, after he had returned to Japan. I have some grounds for believing that he came to regret his decision to return to Japan.

I have heard many times from some deshi of K Chiba's generation that there was unhappiness at what was allegedly happening in the Hombu Dojo, but the unhappiness seems to have been based on a vague nostalgia for the old ways, coupled with a certain resignation that ‘things have to change'. I do not think this unhappiness has anything to do with the issues concerning 'internal' training that have been discussed in other threads. In the last few years I have talked a lot with some senior Hombu shihans (both resident in Japan and resident abroad, some still living; many passed away) and I remain unconvinced that Morihei Ueshiba actually taught his deshi how to practice this type of solo training. He might well have shown it in his own daily training sessions—which those deshi who claim to have been very close to Morihei Ueshiba would presumably have seen, but I doubt whether those deshi who had not had some related experience (like R Shirata and K Tomiki, prewar, or K Tohei, H Tada, M Sasaki postwar, the latter all at the hands of Tempu Nakamura) would have had a conceptual grasp of what he was showing.

Best wishes,

PAG

P A Goldsbury
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:22 PM   #187
Toby Threadgill
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
George,

Instead pressuring your students into obtaining what you want for them in Aikido, why don't you ask them what they want from Aikido and how they think you can help them.

dps
Hi,

If ever a statement concisely described why I dedicated so much effort to Nihon Koryu and gave up on gendai budo, this is it.

Toby Threadgill / TSYR
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:36 PM   #188
dps
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

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Hi,

If ever a statement concisely described why I dedicated so much effort to Nihon Koryu and gave up on gendai budo, this is it.

Toby Threadgill / TSYR
And you are getting what you want from your Nihon Koryu that you weren't getting from a gendai budo such as Aikido.

dps
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:54 PM   #189
Michael Hackett
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

This presents a question to those involved, is the integrity of the art/skill/school more important than the desires of the student? If your answer to the question is "yes", then you are firmly in the camp of Ledyard and Threadgill Sensei. If "no" then by all means change your curriculum, your standards, your teaching method to satisfy those desires. The only correct answer is the one you adopt for yourself and your teaching or training. Others may disagree, but it is your house and your vision for the future. Somehow it seems simple to me - but then maybe I haven't tucked my head enough in ukemi.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:02 AM   #190
dps
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

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If "no" then by all means change your curriculum, your standards, your teaching method to satisfy those desires.
You don't have to change anything to show them that what they want is in Aikido.

If the students are afraid of the teacher ( the Wrath of God ) then there is no connection between the two. They might as well be watching a dvd.

Make a connection with the student before they resign.

dps
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:14 AM   #191
Basia Halliop
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
This presents a question to those involved, is the integrity of the art/skill/school more important than the desires of the student? If your answer to the question is "yes", then you are firmly in the camp of Ledyard and Threadgill Sensei
I wouldn't always assume that if a students isn't 'happy' that the two things (desires of the student and integrity of the art) are in conflict, though. Of course sometimes they are, but people can be unhappy or in conflict about all kinds of other things too.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:47 AM   #192
Michael Hackett
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Basia, you're right, of course. There can be many issues as to why a student may be unhappy in a particular dojo or with a particular teacher. I was, at least in my mind, addressing the underlying expectations that Ledyard Sensei set in his open letter. My interpretation was that he has a prescription for maintaining the quality of the aikido taught in his school, and if a student was unhappy following that path, so be it. No doubt a student could follow his pathway and still be unhappy for some other reason.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:09 AM   #193
Toby Threadgill
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
And you are getting what you want from your Nihon Koryu that you weren't getting from a gendai budo such as Aikido.

dps
(Mr Skaggs, I think you botched your question but I believe I understand what you were asking....)

It's a mindset thing.

People who undertake training koryu have almost always started in gendai budo. They move to koryu for very concrete reasons.

I had frankly become bored and rather disenfranchised with the casual mindset I kept running to in modern budo circles. Generally the people I was surrounded by treated their training with all the emotional intensity you find in a bowling alley. I was looking for more, for people on the same wavelength as I was. I was looking to be challenged at the most visceral and intense levels. Finally, after a long search I met a man who was so intense that he changed my perception of what budo was. A man who really lived and breathed budo to the point of dedicating his whole life to it. Becoming involved in TSYR required a level of dedication and passion I had not encountered before, and what made the journey all the more fantastic was that the people around me were similarly dedicated. This is obliquely what I think George is getting at. He is lamenting the fact that the full measure of aikido is in danger of degenerating because he's not finding the level of dedication in todays students that he had. He has dedicated himself to do something about this delimma and is disappointed to realize that many of his own students may not be willing or interested in following his lead.

We all understand that every student can't be a budo zealot, but every dojo needs a core of powerfully motivated zealots to drive the spirit of the dojo forward. They are the ones that the teacher hopes he can count on, the ones who will pick up the mantle when he can no longer carry on. This type of personal bond and sense of trust is what differentiates a real dojo from a gym. You can feel it when you step in the door. I felt it everytime I stepped on the mat in Taks or Dave Maynards dojo and I feel it everytime I step in my dojo. It is unmistakable. It is a feeling that is hard to define, but very powerful and real.

So...Forgive me, but when people start talking about catering to the whims and desires of the students, I wince. I know that's how it is supposed to be in most modern budo schools but in koryu we do not cater to students. This type of consumer mindset is simply not part of the koryu paradigm. In TSYR all the formal members of the ryu have taken a blood oath to the school and are dedicated to it's survival. They all understood from the moment their blood was entered in the student register, alongside all the other students, deceased and living, that they were part of something much larger than themselves and not part of a casual circle of hobbyists. Every formal TSYR member has become part of a living legacy, part of an entity with a rich history and uncertain future. To live up to the promise made to those members who had preceded them and were responsible for the knowledge they now draw from, they each have a personal duty or obligation. It's not about them, its about the school.

Sure...there are dedicated people in modern budo, very dedicated people. George is obviously one of those, but its rather common that a modern budo like aikido struggles internally because it tries to appeal to everyone. I've said this for years... Aikido has just about the most difficult mandate of any martial art I know of. It is functionally schizophrenic. It has to be. It's mission is to be a non-violent martial art. Think about that statement for a second. It is not a criticism, in fact, I admire the heck of out of all you aikido instructors out there. You guys have a very tough job, a job that is frequently at odds with itself. Ueshiba set you on a quest that is so doggone difficult that I cannot imagine it.

George has been asking the aikido community to wake up for a long time because he sees problems down the road. I completely understand that when he looks down the aiki road and doesn't see some of the faces he expected to be right behind him, its more than a little disquieting.

My only advice is: Keep up the good work and don't quit, never quit.

Toby Threadgill / TSYR
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:44 PM   #194
Diana Frese
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

My experience is time-limited as far as teaching is concerned and being part of dojos, but a few people kept in touch. One practices around three days a week, at her present dojo where she has attended for over ten years. Around two years in this area, fourth kyu and now going for nidan, maybe later this year, maybe next.

Many changes happened in my own life, so I wasn't able to keep up with everyone after the main class ended August 1983. Another student ended up assisting a first kyu in founding a dojo with someone from the midwest she met through a notice on a bulletin board at work in the state she moved here in the northeast.

Both were fourth kyu when they left here, neither had met the other, and both re started in their new locations after quite a few years.

I guess my point is, cast a wide net, we can't always know in advance who will be dedicated in future, who will persist. It seems like in the koryu you must make a committment. Many of us rather than making a formal commitment, just assumed that we would be training in some form or other for our whole lives. In my case, I learned from former students that we who have stopped may yet return ....
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Old 07-21-2011, 06:55 PM   #195
Byron Foster
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Wow, this topic has stirred up more conversation than I thought it would at first. Why we practice and how we practice Aikido seems to be very personal...

I do find it amazing based on this thread and others that it is often people who no longer practice Aikido (Toby Threadgill, Ellis Amdur, Dan Harden) can have the most insightful comments regarding the state of Aikido being practiced today. Do you have to be outside the system to see the system?
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:23 PM   #196
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

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Wow, this topic has stirred up more conversation than I thought it would at first. Why we practice and how we practice Aikido seems to be very personal...

I do find it amazing based on this thread and others that it is often people who no longer practice Aikido (Toby Threadgill, Ellis Amdur, Dan Harden) can have the most insightful comments regarding the state of Aikido being practiced today. Do you have to be outside the system to see the system?
I think there are a number of points of view, obviously. There are certainly there are the folks that feel "it's all good" and there is no problem to be fixed. Everyone knows Aikido is changing, the whole world is changing. so Aikido will inevitably change with it. They are happy with going along with that change.

But amongst the folks that started Aikido "back in the day" it w3as presented as a certain thing... that's why we started training. Over time as folks poured themselves into their training, the started questioning as to whether Aikido was delivering on its promise. Folks were exposed to other martial systems, looked at what they felt they were getting out of their art and the group split into two. There were the folks that left... the vast majority of the koryu folks started in Aikido or trained seriously at some point. They left because they perceived problems with our art and felt that the koryu training either delivered something that most Aikido training did not or that it had less dysfunction than the koryu they had encountered. This continues to this day. There are a really significant number oif Systema folks who left Aikido because Systema delivered what Aikido had only promised.

There are a number of us that, while not in disagreement with these folks about the issues, have chosen to stay within Aikido hoping to help the art deliver in its promise. Of the koryu folks, the only one I am familiar with is Larry Biery Sensei who teaches in Ithaca, NY. He started training in koryu back in the day along with the other big names of American koryu, but he never quit Aikido. While I have not trained at his dojo, I would suspect that what he does with his Aikido would have a quite different "content" than the Aikido we often find problematical.

I think we have a great gift to be practicing at the first time in history when circumstances have made information exchange possible on a scale never ever dreamt of in the past. I really think that the information and the instruction is available to make Aikido what it always should have been, what it certainly was for the Founder. It isn't a koryu nor is it a "fighting" style. But it can have all of the elements that folks found so satisfying in these other styles. It will certainly be an Aikido-ized version but it can be something that folks from other arts find respectable rather than failing toi live up with its promise. If we can do that for our art, perhaps the exodus of our "best and the brightest" so to speak, will stop and we'll get back to the place at which highly experienced folks from other martial arts come to Aikido to train.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:53 PM   #197
JO
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Thank you Toby. Your post struck a chord. I've seen people leave, including one of my favorite training partners because they didn't feel the focus of the training was high enough. Around here there is no serious koryu I know of, so they just move on to unrelated pursuits. Personally I try to make the best of what little time I manage to put in my training and try to bring out the best in my partners, whatever their level of commitment.

It has been a common mistake to try to please all the students, usually by watering down the intensity. I always try to push my partners a bit and get them to step up. Though aikido is meant to be open to all, irrespective of strength, age, ability or even level of commitment, it is not too much to expect people to be THERE when they step on the mat and put 100% of what they have to offer up. But that requires a lot of input and focus by the instructor and the senior students. I try, but tired at the end of the day I don't always live up to my own standards.

You also have to be willing to lose a few. But the ones you lose will generally be the lazy ones. Those that are there to train will stick around when pushed, even if they are slow learners, or tired, or can only show up once every two weeks. But when they bow on, they will be present. I also think that solid intense training will attract more of the type of people that will stick around longer and become more passionate about their training.

Note to George. I didn't realize Larry Bieri had a koryu background. Trained with him once at a seminar. Nice guy, asked me about my teachers and noted my Kanai-ish take on a technique taught by Yamada sensei. I didn't note much unusual about his aikido, but then he wasn't teaching. I noticed on the USAF site that he is now a certified shihan.

Jonathan Olson
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:26 PM   #198
Lan Powers
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

The point that resonated the most for me, throughout this long, and deeply interesting thread was just one simple statement,
(paraphrased, of course since it is waaay back there and I am too lazy to seek back for the EXACT wording )
" No matter how expert the instruction, without putting in 10,000 hours practice, it all is meaningless"
Words to that effect....

Rang- out pretty strongly for me, anyway.
Best,
Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 08-11-2011, 01:33 AM   #199
richardlowc
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

George,

I have stayed away from the Aikido forums for nearly 11 years for several reasons.

I talked with my friend ten years ago and I predicted exactly what you said in your first post.

I'll keep this simple as I can. I could go on but I won't.

When I read your statement that said "membership is at an all time low" in 15 years. There are several things you have not addressed. People may not agree with me but based on my prediction 10 years ago I believe I am right.

I don't think you or the "aikido world" have acknowledged, accepted and realized how the martial arts world was turned on its head the day the Gracie family introduced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to the world in the UFC. You had a skinny white boy from Brazil (Royce Gracie) who nobody thought would do much went on to single handily destroy almost every single martial art in one night to prove their art could beat anyone from any style.

It completely shook the martial arts world and the seed was sewn that night in Denver Colorado in 1994. The world was about to stand up and take notice of Gracie Jiu Jitsu. MMA today as we know it based on what happened that night. MMA is based on Gracie Jiu Jitsu/Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The explosive growth of this art has been nothing short of a phenomenon and whether you choose to accept it or not, it has been hugely responsible for the decline of other arts.

A lot of people take up martial arts for self defence not to hear religious quotes of love and peace from an old man they had never met or cannot relate to. Half the Japanese students had no idea what O'sensei was talking about

I hear you and other high ranking Aikidoka quote all these Japanese teachers and bitch about who was first, who was connected with who, who brought what first etc, it's stupid. You all fail to acknowledge the one person who was perhaps single handedly responsible for creating an explosion of new Aikido students to you and all the other Aikido dojos throughout the world over the last 15 years. I think you know who I am going to say. Steven Seagal. Maybe you don't want to admit a fellow American was responsible for the huge growth in the later 80's early 90s.

Seagal sensei kept it real. He kept it simple. You knew what you were going to get. I travelled to Japan last year and out of all the dojos I visited, his dojo in Osaka stood out head and shoulders above anyone else in my opinion. Seagal can't carry people any longer. He is not the same anymore. The glory days have gone.

A lot of Aikido teachers are arrogant. They treat the students like crap and they believe its ok to behave like it. They don't appreciate or they forget it's the students who keep the club going. The Gracie family said It should be us bowing to the students for allowing us to teach them. It says it all doesn't it. They strut around in their Hakama thinking they are it. They are not. They are far from it.

People just don't know what they are getting anymore when they come into Aikido. You change it when it suits you.

I don't know where Aikidos future lies anymore. It's quite worrying. The Aikido class I go to has dropped down to just 4 people now. I've only stayed because of Steven Seagal and I do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu anyway.

I hate going to Aikido seminars. It's full of arrogant people, it's too much of a tense atmosphere, it's not enjoyable and it's like a freaking institution. You all need to take a chill pill and stop thinking you are a cut above the rest.

I hear you all talk about how hard you all used to train back in the day. You should see how hard the BJJ training is.

I could say a lot more but I think you get my point.

Peace.

Last edited by richardlowc : 08-11-2011 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:36 AM   #200
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,118
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Re: Open Letter to My Students

Quote:
Richard Lowcock wrote: View Post
George,

I have stayed away from the Aikido forums for nearly 11 years for several reasons.

I talked with my friend ten years ago and I predicted exactly what you said in your first post.

I'll keep this simple as I can. I could go on but I won't.

When I read your statement that said "membership is at an all time low" in 15 years. There are several things you have not addressed. People may not agree with me but based on my prediction 10 years ago I believe I am right.

I don't think you or the "aikido world" have acknowledged, accepted and realized how the martial arts world was turned on its head the day the Gracie family introduced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to the world in the UFC. You had a skinny white boy from Brazil (Royce Gracie) who nobody thought would do much went on to single handily destroy almost every single martial art in one night to prove their art could beat anyone from any style.

It completely shook the martial arts world and the seed was sewn that night in Denver Colorado in 1994. The world was about to stand up and take notice of Gracie Jiu Jitsu. MMA today as we know it based on what happened that night. MMA is based on Gracie Jiu Jitsu/Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The explosive growth of this art has been nothing short of a phenomenon and whether you choose to accept it or not, it has been hugely responsible for the decline of other arts.

A lot of people take up martial arts for self defence not to hear religious quotes of love and peace from an old man they had never met or cannot relate to. Half the Japanese students had no idea what O'sensei was talking about

I hear you and other high ranking Aikidoka quote all these Japanese teachers and bitch about who was first, who was connected with who, who brought what first etc, it's stupid. You all fail to acknowledge the one person who was perhaps single handedly responsible for creating an explosion of new Aikido students to you and all the other Aikido dojos throughout the world over the last 15 years. I think you know who I am going to say. Steven Seagal. Maybe you don't want to admit a fellow American was responsible for the huge growth in the later 80's early 90s.

Seagal sensei kept it real. He kept it simple. You knew what you were going to get. I travelled to Japan last year and out of all the dojos I visited, his dojo in Osaka stood out head and shoulders above anyone else in my opinion. Seagal can't carry people any longer. He is not the same anymore. The glory days have gone.

A lot of Aikido teachers are arrogant. They treat the students like crap and they believe its ok to behave like it. They don't appreciate or they forget it's the students who keep the club going. The Gracie family said It should be us bowing to the students for allowing us to teach them. It says it all doesn't it. They strut around in their Hakama thinking they are it. They are not. They are far from it.

People just don't know what they are getting anymore when they come into Aikido. You change it when it suits you.

I don't know where Aikidos future lies anymore. It's quite worrying. The Aikido class I go to has dropped down to just 4 people now. I've only stayed because of Steven Seagal and I do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu anyway.

I hate going to Aikido seminars. It's full of arrogant people, it's too much of a tense atmosphere, it's not enjoyable and it's like a freaking institution. You all need to take a chill pill and stop thinking you are a cut above the rest.

I hear you all talk about how hard you all used to train back in the day. You should see how hard the BJJ training is.

I could say a lot more but I think you get my point.

Peace.
Points taken and never have truer words been written.

dps
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