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Old 08-11-2010, 07:23 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
White Knuckling Tradition or Not

There is wide variety, of course, in the differences Aikido tradition is taught. With just as many differences there are purposes for it.

Some Aikidoka strictly adhere to tradition and fine value in that. Some Aikidoka are on the opposite end, and find little value in that. And then there are those who fall in between.

For all the Aikidoka out, my question is where do you fall on this spectrum? And why?
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:31 AM   #2
Adam Huss
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Location: Ohio
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 709
Re: White Knuckling Tradition or Not

Depends who I'm with. Aikido, being a community practice, one must learn to get along with fellow practitioners at dojo, seminars, etc. I'm a die hard traditionalist at heart, but I'll adjust myself to certain degrees in order to make my training partner feel more comfortable. When I get with like minded practitioners, I train and act with them in that manner, train extremely vigorously, and take things very seriously....and have an awesome time. Now, regardless of whom I'm training with I still have some personal training philosophy crossover; the way I bow, O toku, level of concentration, etc...whatever eccentric traditionalism I can get away with without confusing people or making them feel uncomfortable.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:24 AM   #3
Location: ATL
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 847
Re: White Knuckling Tradition or Not

In our org it's probably somewhere in the middle, if not closer to the less-tradition side. I mean we do most of the traditional aikido etiquette type things, but it's mostly done as a sign of respect to our instructor/partners and to honor the tradition, but that's about where it ends. We're very relaxed in that regard though. I mean anyone can go up to the head of our organization and carry on a conversation with him about whatever. He's not surrounded by a wall of shihan like most with his background. He's a very laid back guy who hugged O'sensei and got in trouble for not being so mindful of the japanese traditions himself, so it's certainly not a strict atmosphere.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:35 AM   #4
Adam Huss
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Location: Ohio
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 709
Re: White Knuckling Tradition or Not

I've always felt one can have a relatively open relationship with a high level instructor while still maintaining traditional etiquette (I know traditional is kind of an ambiguous qualifier). We just had a seminar with an 8th dan we flew in from Japan and our dojo cho (7th dan) told everyone to be sure and socialize with the high level instructors during after training social events.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:59 AM   #5
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Location: Orlando, FL
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,502
Re: White Knuckling Tradition or Not

I try to avail myself of both the traditional teaching and history of times past, and to the new ideas and perspectives of the growing aikido world. There are things to be learned in each.

I do not take a jocular, familiar or informal attitude on the mat, however. While I train with a smile and joyful spirit, I treat any instructor (even if I'm friends with them off the mat) with respect and strictly by the book. They've earned that.
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