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Old 08-17-2017, 04:55 AM   #26
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Re: Is Aikido a Martial Art

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Jim Redel wrote: View Post
Unfortunately, if you're looking for meaning, you will be disappointed. There is no answer, because, as you've already seen, there will never be complete agreement on the exact use of the term. From a non-academic perspective (popular usage), I like to tell my students that ...
An interesting point of view - but sharing it with your students will make them very disappointed, I think. Certainly selling illusions by instructors who have just made aikido as a way to make money, will be more suited to them.
However, on the side of the discussion of words, one can not say that Katori Shinto Ryu and Kyudo belong to the same category of martial arts as Aikido, right?

Last edited by observer : 08-17-2017 at 05:00 AM.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:08 AM   #27
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Re: Is Aikido a Martial Art

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Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
However, on the side of the discussion of words, one can not say that Katori Shinto Ryu ... belong to the same category of martial arts as Aikido, right?
Are you Aware of the connection between TSKSR and aikidō? (By which I don't mean the developments, derivates and descendants called Aikido, but the aikidō connected to the Ueshiba family.) If you made your statement being aware of this connection, could you please explain it in more Detail.
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Old 08-17-2017, 09:37 AM   #28
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Re: Is Aikido a Martial Art

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Are you Aware of the connection between TSKSR and aikidō? .
It is funny that your attention is addressed personally. I just raised the fact that in my understanding both Kataori Shinto Ryu and Kyudo are seeking to improve potentially lethal skills. Literally represent the art of war. Can you say the same about aikido?
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Old 08-17-2017, 09:41 AM   #29
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Re:

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If I take a butter knife from my kitchen drawer and use it to tighten the screws on the kitchen cabinet , is it still a butter knife or now a screw driver?
Put it back in the drawer and until you take it out again to use it, it's both.

Ron

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Old 08-17-2017, 10:21 AM   #30
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Re: "Is Aikido A Martial Art?" - Roy Dean, Lenny Sly, Vince Salvatore, Corky Quakenbush

Meow.

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Old 08-17-2017, 01:57 PM   #31
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Re: Is Aikido a Martial Art

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Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
... seeking to improve potentially lethal skills. ... Can you say the same about aikido?
I think the katori shintō ryū and aikidō share the very same principle of heihō wa heihō nari. This word of the founder Iizasa Choisai Ieano can also be heard listening to Ueshiba Morihei. The katori shintō ryū and aikidō - as I learn it from my teachers - share the way to develop peace - and a peacefull personality of the practioner - by learning a true budō. I.e. a budō that is meant to teach potentially lethal skills.
I own a copy of Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu Budo Kyohan with a personal dedication saying: True aikidō spirit is true budō spirit.
It is my experience that the katori shintō ryū and the aikidō taught in the line of the Ueshiba family not only don't disagree, but express the same understanding of budō. One using weapons, one using only the body.

Sugino Yoshio sensei found the aikidō of Ueshiba sensei to be more effective in the martial sense than the yawara of the katori shintō ryū. And it is taught in that same martial sense until today.

But besides that the aikidō I was taught allways had that martial aspect of seriously harming or even being potentially lethal. The very first aikidō technique that was shown during my very first aikidō seminar was atemi to the throat, or to the larynx to be more precise. I was taught with the words: "If it
works - finished. If it does not, more sophisticated techniques like ikkyo, for instance, may arise ... ."
Most teachers I have practiced with understand aikidō as being shinken. And some taught this concretely, in detail.

I myself think by now, that being honest and serious about that martial aspect actually is most important for being able to make aikidō a way to become a peaceful mind, a loving intention and to let grow and blossom the togetherness of people:
heihō wa heihō nari. It's a paradox. It's a kind of koan. Or - to me - a way to describe the tao. And how to get there. To me the martial way is a spiritual way ...
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Old 08-17-2017, 03:12 PM   #32
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Re: "Is Aikido A Martial Art?" - Roy Dean, Lenny Sly, Vince Salvatore, Corky Quakenbush

Humorous references to Schrodinger's cat and David's butter knife aside, there's a deeper principle at work here. Cats and butter knives are "things" in the sense that they're material. Their uses are sometimes variable but they're largely single use objects. Cats are pets, butter knives are used for spreading butter and other soft coatings on bread or crackers. They can be held, petted, wielded, put in boxes or drawers...

Aikido, in that sense is not a thing; it's a body of knowledge dealing with mind/body training and unification. Aikido isn't "used" in the same way that butter knives are used. What gets used are the abilities the student acquires from the study of Aikido. The abilities the student acquires are determined largely by the personal goals set by the student. These goals may change over time as the student grows and experiences Aikido at a deeper level of understanding.

Students of Aikido are free to explore its applications in daily life without the restrictions imposed on the utilization of material objects. Whether by design or happenstance, Aikido has proved to be very pliable when it comes to how it's used in everyday situations.

So to the question posed in the OP, "Is Aikido a martial art?"; while it's true that the abilities one learns thru the study of Aikido can be applied in martial situations, that is only one small slice of the Aikido pie. The rest of the pie is there for the taking, so eat up and enjoy.

Ron

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Old 08-18-2017, 02:32 AM   #33
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Re:

It is difficult for me to accept point of view of previous both respondents. All the attributes, as peaceful mind and personality, determination and personal goals set by the student, and changing over time as the student grows and experiences at a deeper level of understanding, simply come with time from any skills you learn. Also, if Katori Shinto Ryu and Kyudo use weapons, aikido practitioner, by his practice, should become a weapon by himself. Is it true?
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:54 AM   #34
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Re: "Is Aikido A Martial Art?" - Roy Dean, Lenny Sly, Vince Salvatore, Corky Quakenbush

So don't accept it. This is a discussion of ideas not an encyclopedia of facts.
"Should" is different than "could"...as you can see from this tiny discussion people train for different reasons.
The goal does not define the art...and the name Aikido just on Aikiweb means different things to different people. Having a narrow definition is not not going to change that.

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Old 08-18-2017, 11:56 AM   #35
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"Should" is different than "could"...
This discussion is not a wordplay. Please read my first post here. I would like to jointly determine the meaning of the term martial arts to be able to continue this topic. Your objections do not help.
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Old 08-18-2017, 12:27 PM   #36
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Re: "Is Aikido A Martial Art?" - Roy Dean, Lenny Sly, Vince Salvatore, Corky Quakenbush

Aw...my point is that there will be no consensus of the definition of either martial art or aikido.

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Old 08-20-2017, 10:21 PM   #37
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Re: "Is Aikido A Martial Art?" - Roy Dean, Lenny Sly, Vince Salvatore, Corky Quakenbush

A weapon may be used to commit violence, or it may be possessed to deter violence......like the "sword that brings death" and the "sword that protects life." True Aiki Budo is meant to be the latter.
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Old 08-21-2017, 07:19 AM   #38
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Re:

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Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
... if Katori Shinto Ryu and Kyudo use weapons, aikido practitioner, by his practice, should become a weapon by himself.
I don't get your point about waepons: TSKSR has yawara, it has spiritual practice, it teaches healing ... and has a philosphy of not fighting if at all possible ...
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Old 08-21-2017, 10:41 AM   #39
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I don't get your point about waepons: TSKSR has yawara, it has spiritual practice, it teaches healing ... and has a philosphy of not fighting if at all possible ...
I try to express myself clearly. Katori Shinto Ryu and Kyudo, for instance, focus on fighting with weapons. The fact is that, by the way, the students give themselves to other practices, it is another matter. Aikido, at least according to the original premise, is a martial art without weapons. Thus, a man who fights with empty hands becomes his own weapon. And that the fight should be avoided, if it is possible, is not a philosophy, only a phrase. Are you still in doubt?
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Old 08-21-2017, 03:34 PM   #40
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And that the fight should be avoided, if it is possible, is not a philosophy, only a phrase.
And that assumption is based on...?

Ron

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Old 08-21-2017, 03:47 PM   #41
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And that assumption is based on...?
This is due to my personal experiences.
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Old 08-21-2017, 07:46 PM   #42
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This is due to my personal experiences.
In that case it is applicable to you and not to the full set of Aikido students. You, and like minded students form a subset of the set of all Aikido students. And that gets back to my earlier point that "Aikido isn't "used" in the same way that butter knives are used. What gets used are the abilities the student acquires from the study of Aikido. The abilities the student acquires are determined largely by the personal goals set by the student. These goals may (emphasis added) change over time as the student grows and experiences Aikido at a deeper level of understanding."

Ron

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Old 08-22-2017, 01:32 AM   #43
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The abilities the student acquires are determined largely by the personal goals set by the student.
I agree with you on this point but please come back to the topic.
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:44 AM   #44
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Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
I agree with you on this point but please come back to the topic.
Back to the original question then. "Is Aikido a martial art?" is a member of the class of questions that will elude answering unless you restrict the set of respondents to Aikido students who think as you do. Doing so, however, will insure that you may reach consensus only within that group (even that's not guaranteed). Therefore you will have answered the question for a special case of Aikido students only. If you try to expand the set of respondents beyond the original group, other viewpoints will be introduced and consensus most likely will be lost.

Is Aikido a martial art? That depends upon how it's practiced. How it's practiced is a decision each student will be faced with repeatedly over years of study as experience builds, skills are acquired and areas of applicability are discovered. And those decisions will be driven by each student's goals at any given point in time.

Ron

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Old 08-22-2017, 02:45 PM   #45
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Is Aikido a martial art? That depends upon how it's practiced. How it's practiced is a decision each student will be faced with repeatedly over years of study as experience builds, skills are acquired and areas of applicability are discovered.
Let's start from the beginning. If a child visits your dojo and you ask what he sees here, what do you think he will answer? "One person attacks another who defends himself against this", right? Will not say "They dance with each other". Not to mention setting goals, spiritual development, etc. This is the reason why someone has opened this topic to start discussing it openly. Please do not tell others about your personal goals, because the way we do and what we do in dojo depends on our instructors. In turn, it depends on a school, style, etc. Tell me, please - why most aikido students do not achieve the basic goal, that is what even a child sees - self defense skills. If it were otherwise, it would not make sense to discuss this topic.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:13 PM   #46
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Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
the way we do and what we do in dojo depends on our instructors...
For a time this will be true. But at some point in your training you have to look beyond being a cookie cutter clone of your instructor and move along a path of your own choosing. A good instructor will allow his or her students to grow beyond the confines of the instructor's personal preferences and explore their individual Aikido within the dojo and not force them to seek the experience elsewhere.

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Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
Tell me, please - why most aikido students do not achieve the basic goal, that is what even a child sees - self defense skills. If it were otherwise, it would not make sense to discuss this topic.
That "basic goal" you refer to is likely why many people take up the study of Aikido. But it's not the only reason why. And I will venture to say it is less a long term than a short term goal. It's been my experience that once students put in a number of years of study time that they begin to look for more out of Aikido than self defense skills. I won't make assumptions about "most" anything since I personally know, taught and have trained with only a very small percentage of the Aikido student population. I can say, however, that over the 40 years I have studied Aikido I have met many students who were driven to study in order to realize many varied goals; more than a few of them having little or nothing to do with self defense.

Ron

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Old 08-22-2017, 06:35 PM   #47
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Re: "Is Aikido A Martial Art?" - Roy Dean, Lenny Sly, Vince Salvatore, Corky Quakenbush

While there may be some, hopefully less and less, that would like to have a single understanding or definition of something, such as for Aikido, the fact remains that things, especially Aikido, mean a great many things to a great many people. And, this fact remains true even when an instructor or a dojo claims it to be otherwise. People in the past had no problem with this, but today we do. It likely has to do with how today information has taken on a kind of cultural capital that one can then go on to use, or so they believe, to navigate and/or win power games. Meaning, and for example, one may only really be interested in a single definition of Aikido so that one can then point at others and say, “He/She is not doing Aikido.”

I use the word “Aikido” colloquially, but it is always for matters of convenience and always with a slight hesitation because I know how really no such thing exists. Sometimes, people, those wishing to be more accurate, might speak of a Senshin Aikido, but this is a term I have never used, and in the end, I don’t care either way. This is because the truth of the art can only take place at a level of the individual, and that means that for Aikido to be true it must be a deeply personal thing. Once you drop the power games, the will to want to call something false, or wrong, or a misunderstanding, and you are left with only this deeply personal truth, and with this hesitation to use collective phases and words as if single things exist for all people.

This does not cause any problem at the level of practice, because at that level it is all everyone is doing, even with they are stuck in truth games and power struggles. When a new person comes in, they come with their own preconceived notions. They have then in a sense a kind of blindness, a perspective by which they may see my Aikido but actually filter it to fit their lack of experience. As such, I do not expect the new student to know or understand what they are looking at – and so I do not expect them to see my Aikido, or even their own. They are seeing a delusion – at best. If they want to stay and train, and if we let them, then their role as deshi is to see my Aikido as best they can over time. However, I know that is not the goal. That is merely the vehicle. By searching for my Aikido, they are developing and coming to define their own. This way, a student is not just doing their own thing in the dojo, but they are in fact developing their own Aikido. Weird? Paradoxical? Yes, but true.

As there are a great many Aikidoka today, including those that hosted the podcast, that see Aikido not as or not primarily as a technology of violence that one uses against another human being, I can say that this is not my take on the art, or I can say that that is not my Aikido, but I have no interest or want to say that that is not Aikido. It is their Aikido. It has nothing to do with me, but it is their Aikido. And if they want to look at my Aikido and say that it is not Aikido, I’m fine with that too since they and their understanding of Aikido has nothing to do with me.

This is how I read what a great many people had already said. That said, an exchange of ideas can be productive and a common ground is needed for such production. How does one accomplish this when there is no single definition then? Take a person’s definition or description and measure it against it’s own principles. Use the common ground of consistency of thought and practice, soundness, and the absence of contradiction or inconsistency to have a discussion.

David M. Valadez
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Old 08-23-2017, 02:46 AM   #48
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For a time this will be true. But at some point in your training you have to look beyond being a cookie cutter clone of your instructor and move along a path of your own choosing.
I do not know how to tell you it anymore. We will always do in the dojo what the child sees and describes. Likewise, we do what the instructor asks us to do. We do not practice aikido in a backyard.

Last edited by observer : 08-23-2017 at 02:48 AM.
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Old 08-23-2017, 06:00 AM   #49
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Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
And that the fight should be avoided, if it is possible, is not a philosophy, only a phrase.
In case oft the katori shintō ryū this philosophy has been made tangible through the policy of the ryū. I.e. not binding the ryū to a clan or familiy and figthing for them. And also through prohibiting pracitioners of the ryū to engage in duels or fights.

Quote:
Are you still in doubt?
I am sorry, but I have to admit, that I don't get your point.

In my experience the practice of aikidō and katori shintō ryū are very closely knit together. So I'm not able to relate to your understanding of aikidō and katori shintō ryū being fundamentally different. It is simply my experience that they are not.

Your question about "the body or the pracitioner becoming a weapon" doesn't make sense to me: Using a sword you cut the attacker. Using your hands you hurt him with your body parts. The latter is true for the yawara of the katori shintō ryū as it is for aikidō. On the other hand you practice tai sabaki in aikidō, and in katori shintō ryū tai sabaki is the base of all the weapons work.

[quote=Maciej Jesmanowicz;351979]We will always do in the dojo what the child sees ... [/QUOTEWhen asked what they see in my keiko, children often answer: "People are laughing a lot." ...
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Old 08-23-2017, 06:43 AM   #50
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Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote: View Post
We do not practice aikido in a backyard.
"One does not need buildings, money, power or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train." - Morihei Ueshiba

Can't really add to that.

Ron

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