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Old 03-07-2008, 08:17 AM   #26
tuturuhan
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

In Taosim, in current day Spanish language, everything is defined in terms of male and female.

In Spanish, the "o" represents male and the "a" represents female. Every inanimate, inorganic object is given a male or female. The same tradition takes place in taoism. The dark-shade vegetables are yin/female, and water is yin/female. Anything, upward or protruding out is considered yang/male.

Likewise, the "hidden knife" small, and unseen is a female weapon. It is the weapon that best complements a women's general superiority with small motor movements, sensitivity and dexterity of hand.

This is what you see in the video. This woman teacher hides and protects her knife. She only let's it be seen, if she wants you to see it.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

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Old 03-08-2008, 08:42 AM   #27
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

Multiple Attack

It is simply the ability to multi-task without being stressed and overwhelmed. Though, she is defending against three people she is defending one opponent at a time. She is thinking three steps again. She is in the now...anticipating a change in the attack. She must fluidly adapt.

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Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

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Old 03-08-2008, 01:14 PM   #28
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

Just O-Sensei says in one of his doka:
Quote:
Even through surrounded by a great number of enemy
View them as one person
And so fight on!

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:02 AM   #29
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

Women and Men

Well, I guess only a few people want to bite as to the differences in gender in the martial arts. In china, there were many martial arts that we supposedly founded by women. In Japan, we see how the nagigata which was originally a man's weapon became a favorite of women.

I wonder if this is a topic that is a bit too politically incorrect?

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Joseph T. Oliva

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Old 03-09-2008, 11:35 AM   #30
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

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Joseph Arriola wrote: View Post
in current day Spanish language, everything is defined in terms of male and female
I might slide off-topic here, but in the Swedish language only human beings are gender specified, and sometimes not even they.

We have two kinds of neuter, not just one as in English. One with n-endings, the other with t. There is really no rule as how to apply them, you have to sort of feel it. And there is no explanation to their difference.

I don't know how that might affect Swedish aikido, but it creates huge problems for those few who want to learn our language.

Stefan Stenudd
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Old 03-09-2008, 01:58 PM   #31
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

Stefan,

I wonder though if the ancient swedish language had more gender specific words. Perhaps, given the evolution of society said swedish words were deleted from the common language

Certainly, in the U.S. that has happened. Many years ago, as a young lawyer, I was preparing for a case that required jury instructions. In the language of the jury instructions you had phases like "if you find that he committed said act...you must find him guilty of the crime."

The state legislature had just changed the law making the "jury instructions" gender free, meaning "if you should find he or she guilty...you must find he or she guilty.

It is my opinion that every nuance in the language, affects society, and thus individual behavior. Likewise, such nuances can affect our martial arts. I'm stretching a bit here...but, I believe this is one of the ways, we discern Internal Martial Art from External Martial Art.

Best wishes,
Joseph

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Old 03-09-2008, 03:10 PM   #32
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Language

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Joseph Arriola wrote: View Post
It is my opinion that every nuance in the language, affects society, and thus individual behavior. Likewise, such nuances can affect our martial arts. I'm stretching a bit here...but, I believe this is one of the ways, we discern Internal Martial Art from External Martial Art.
I am sure that you are right.
As far as I know, the Japanese language rarely makes the gender distinction - except for the sort of tone of language used by men being different from that of women. Maybe that corresponds to Japanese men and women practicing together, seemingly equal, but still very few women become high grade teachers.

It is also my impression that Japanese aikido teachers define aikido very much through etymology and other language considerations.
Myself, I am very fond of the word aikido, and how it can be interpreted. Still, I have to confess that the word iaido is even more mind-blowing. So I just have to practice that, too

PS: Sorry about continuing to deviate from the theme of the thread.

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Old 03-09-2008, 07:06 PM   #33
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Re: Language

Maybe that corresponds to Japanese men and women practicing together, seemingly equal, but still very few women become high grade teachers.

Stefan Sensei,

Wow...now that would be considered a very politically incorrect statement. You sir, have great courage.

The truth, is that very few people...become high grade teachers. You sir, I admire for your truth of statement.

However, I would put some of my women students against most men, provided a knife in their hands.

I love the layers of your practice. You go far beyond your practice of aikido. It exhibits itself in your intellect, interests and life. That sir, is indicative of a high grade teacher.

Best
Joseph

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Old 03-10-2008, 06:26 AM   #34
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

My only comment is that the attackers are only attacking one at a time, for the most part. So it still seems like a training exercise, rather than a, err... combat simulation. (Not to imply that there's anything wrong with that.)

But she looked pretty good, to my (untrained knife-fighting) eyes.

--Timothy Walters Kleinert

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Old 03-10-2008, 06:40 AM   #35
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

Quote:
Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
My only comment is that the attackers are only attacking one at a time, for the most part. So it still seems like a training exercise, rather than a, err... combat simulation. (Not to imply that there's anything wrong with that.)

But she looked pretty good, to my (untrained knife-fighting) eyes.
Sir,

Actually, her strategy was to position herself so that they had to attack seemingly one at a time. If you review the tape you will notice that when they attempted to to attack two at a time...she would either split them, or use the other as a barrier/shield. They would be knocked into each other.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

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Old 03-10-2008, 10:05 AM   #36
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

Ok,

I like the practice with women. There is a crackle of energy between the yin and the yang. If the male/female couple are free with each other, their is a connection of energy unlike the male/male energy. Yes, there is an attraction

From a practical point of view, as I aged, I found that I could not do the muscular things that I could in my teens, twenties, thirties or even forties. I shifted to the yin. I shifted to the internal energy beginning in my late twenties. My structure of my technique changed over the years. My strong, could be made stronger. My soft became pushed beyond my expectations. My technique and concepts now had a tool to hone themselves even as I got older.

Working with women, in the most positive sense is like the ballroom dance...male energy and female energies in synergy.

Sincerely
Joseph

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Old 03-10-2008, 10:27 AM   #37
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Movement

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Joseph Arriola wrote: View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Caqtib-pK38
Though, the style is different in name, I hope there are concepts and movements that aikido stylists will affirm.
Definitely. I can very much relate to the continous evasive movements, sort of like water around the attackers.

In taninzugake - several opponents - I think it is most important to be able to move with continuous taisabaki, and the techniques come second.

There are many other similarities to aikido on the video clip - and some others at your YouTube account that I hurried to see.
For example, I see the strikes as almost the same thing as the movements of an aikido technique - controlling and guiding the whole body of the attacker, more than trying to harm him or her.

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Old 03-10-2008, 10:50 AM   #38
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Re: Movement

[quote=Stefan Stenudd;201338]Definitely. I can very much relate to the continous evasive movements, sort of like water around the attackers.

Hi Stefan,

It will be so fun to meet you, practice and discuss our joint love of martial arts.

I told you I watched your tape of ikkyu. Funny, I kept thinking about it. I compared it in mind to what we do in our practice. The woman student in the tape, I believe is doing ikkyu. It's just that the movements a bit smaller. The hands raise to blend (the ballon) you manipulate to the outside and then the joint technique.

For me striking and joint application, and throw are the same technique. It's just that to the beginner, they look stunningly different. One of the one comes the many.

Sincerely
Joseph

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Old 03-11-2008, 08:30 AM   #39
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

Its Nature

They adage, "Women are the deadlier of the species". The evolutionary biologists explain to us the structure of nature is one of utility. The alpha female directs and guides the wolf pack, the wild mustang herd, and the elephant tribe. She makes the decisions and everyone goes along.

Likewise, in nature it is the female that does most of the hunting and the killing. The alpha male, is feed, gets to "war upon" and is protected by the females of the herd from all other males who wish to have his position.

Recent studies have shown that it is the "females of the tribe" specifically in monkeys that decide whether or not a male will have position of hieracrchy.

Because of the female's higher communication skills, "she can guide and direct...and thus mutli-tasks and is affective against the multiple attack.

The "hidden knife" is one of her weapons. It is not large (not yang). It nature is not to use intimidation. It's nature is one of need and necessity. Hunting, killing is essential if her family is to survive. (Likewise, in any martial art...we must not deny its nature...all martial arts are "maritial")

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Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

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Old 03-12-2008, 09:27 AM   #40
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

Stimulus & Response

So why do we practice with the knife? And do men and women practice the same with it.

Well, in my practice I do not allow a male student to use the "live knife" for a least a minimum of two years of solid training. Yet, I allow the women to use the knife almost immediately. Well, I actually start my women students with the use of the "Fan" as a weapon.

The reason for the gender distinction has to do with physiological, anatomical, and brain function. First, we look at "fine motor movement" vs. "gross motor movement". Women in general are simply better at fine motor movement. Take my 7 year old daughter and compare her to a 7 year old boy in how they manipulate a pair of scissors. The boy gets frustrated with fine motor movement and the girl is quite content with her detailed skills.

Using the small knife demands dexterity.

Second, in terms of fight vs. flight. Women exhibit less of the hormone adrenelin when confronted with the stimulus of an attack (fear). The result is that they are less "shaky" when first learning the knife. It takes years before the male student, becomes detail oriented. It is difficult for him to give up the "gross motor movements" which go hand and hand with muscling technique rather than using finesse.

Third, the practical matter, the "nature" of martial arts is such that self defense is important. I must make sure my women students can defend themselves if attacked by a bigger, stronger man. The knife gives them that ability. Yet, they must use the knife is a dark, deep, secretive manner. In taoism, the black represents female energy. It is deep, hidden and filled with the secrets of knowledge.

Now, as to men...as we get older, we learn to muscle less. We learn to control our emotions. We learn to be practical and less idealistic. There is less time for bravado when you are in your 50's.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

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Old 03-15-2008, 09:31 AM   #41
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

Stimulus & Response Part II

We use the knife to multiply the ability for a woman to defend herself. We use the knife to change the paradigm. To go from the mat, the ring and then to the actual possibility of being cut changes everything.

After two years men students are allowed to hold the "live knife". They are also allowed to to be uke against the knife. Before then, they cannot be trusted. The stimulus of the knife causes a surge of adrenelin and shakiness as a response. By learning to control their emotions during the two years previous, they are now ready to control their emotions when going against the knife. Next, they get to hold it and play with it.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

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Old 03-17-2008, 09:24 AM   #42
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

Goddess Kali

She is dark. She is deep. She is powerful. Kali is not simply the goddess of death and destruction. She is the goddess of birth and creativity,

When my teacher's teacher first encountered the Princess Josephina, on the island of Samar, in the village of Gundari, he knew only that the "method of warfare" moved in circles.

He was told by the chieftain of the tribe that he should go down to the river. It was there he would encounter the one that would teach him the Kali.

When he reached the river the next day, he encountered a woman standing near the water. He approached her and asked if she knew of a teacher that taught the Kali.

She replied, "I am that teacher". This begins the story of the Blind Princess Josephina, one of the great teachers in our linage.
(When you again watch the video of the "woman teacher" using your knife, imagine the Blind Princess as she used sensitivity to thwart her opponents.)

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

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Old 03-18-2008, 09:08 AM   #43
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

Man to Woman...knife to openhand

In my training, I am always comparing and contrasting. How does a man move compared to how a woman moves? The assumption is always one of strength vs. weakness.

This is a valid supposition. It is based on nature of humans overall. On average, men have a greater muscularity which gives them a greater strength.

Likewise, in women, they have a greater "sensitivity" and a greater "tolerance for pain". As such, women too, have "qualities" that when placed side by side (compare and contrast) to men are far superior.

I practice with and teach women because I want to get better. More so, I practice with women so that I can continue to win in combat against the younger guys.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

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Old 03-20-2008, 08:11 AM   #44
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

Protecting the Son

The Hidden Knife is a weapon in transition. Just as the yin and yang are the 2 that become the 4 (the seeds of white and black in the larger black and white areas.)

The hidden knife starts out as Black, as female. It is hidden and secretive. But, when the seed of white arises, the knife is born as male. It peeks out from the depths and shows itself as it strikes.

Yet, it is not fully Yang/Male. It must be protected by its mother. The left hand, guides and directs. It orchestrates, the environment for the protection of the hidden knife/Minor Yang.

When you watch the woman teacher in the tape. She not only hides the knife at every turn. She is attempting to protect the knife, so it is not taken away. She guides and directs the knife, putting it into peril. She does so just as she would put into peril her own son.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

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Old 03-22-2008, 07:59 AM   #45
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

Metaphorical to Literal and Back Again

I like talking about "women using knives" because there is a built-in analysis of the Yin and Yang. We aren't simply talking philosophy. We are talking life. We aren't just talking about "flow and internal energy". We have a literal description when we watch a capable woman doing martial arts.

When I was a young man it was an oddity to see a truly adept woman doing martial arts. Today, it is the same. How many of the woman do we know could truly defend themselves? How many men do we know could truly defend themselves?

Professions of belts, titles and teachers in linage all talk about political hierarchy more than actual martial skill. (Though, undoubtably there is skill in politics and moving up the hierarchy. Don't get me wrong, I show a respect for all skill).

Interestingly, in determining "this skill in martial arts" the beginner, the intermediate and even most of those who call themselves experts can't really "see" true skill in a practitioner. Like the elusive chi, blood flow is unseen as it travels through the arteries into and out of the heart. To follow the flow scientists and doctors use tracers and tags to follow what they cannot see.

The woman is Yin. She represents the deep, the dark and the secret knowledge that cannot be seen with normal eyes. When you put a knife in her hands, you see what had been hidden. You have used the knife as a tracer, a tag to follow the internal energy.

Sincerely
Joseph t. Oliva Arriola

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Old 03-25-2008, 10:18 AM   #46
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

Blend,

Ok, so I post on here as a bit of a challenge. I am not an aikido stylist. But, I wish to engage any stylist to test my skills.

As such, if you fought against a karate stylist, a gung fu man or even a capoeira stylist how would you blend?

In the tape provided the woman teacher is faced with three opponents that she must blend to. I provided this tape because it is the closest in terms of vision to aikido movements. Perhaps, some of you might "see" aikido in the movements.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

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Old 03-27-2008, 09:45 AM   #47
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

What is blending?

In today's society there is an ambivilance, an ambidexterity a belief that both sides of the body perform the same function.

Most young people have been taught that they are the center of the universe...that they deserve a medal just for signing up for soccer. Everyone is equal and everyone is entitled.

In fact, there is a hierarchy. Those who put in the daily practice, those who seek to go beyond acceptance beliefs learn not to expect others to blend to them...but that they but blend to others.

The teacher does not simply give out his knowledge. The student must wish to emulate him, to absorb his knowledge. He must blend.

This is what we learn from Yin Martial Art.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

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Old 03-27-2008, 10:13 AM   #48
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

Actually I think the opposite. everyone is equal and every one is entitled. With that entitlement comes great responsibility to realize that we are all in it together...interconnected with the universe. Our actions we choose matter.

Those that adhere to the hierarchy, that put in the work, many times are the ones that end up with the biggest egos and sense of entitlement over others.

Seek to understand, not be understood.

Teachers, if they are genuine, give freely because they love to give, they have no expectation about the students ability or merit.

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Old 03-27-2008, 10:46 AM   #49
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Actually I think the opposite. everyone is equal and every one is entitled. With that entitlement comes great responsibility to realize that we are all in it together...interconnected with the universe. Our actions we choose matter.

Those that adhere to the hierarchy, that put in the work, many times are the ones that end up with the biggest egos and sense of entitlement over others.

Seek to understand, not be understood.

Teachers, if they are genuine, give freely because they love to give, they have no expectation about the students ability or merit.
Mr Levitt,

Ah...a point of contention. The standard belief is that "ego" is a bad thing. Perhaps, ego can be seen as a good thing...no?

Of course, I have difficulty with the "young masters" who have no skill to back of their egos. The metric should be result rather than false talk.

Yes, I do think my generation screwed up badly. We eliminated words of respect like "thank you, your welcome, and yes sir and no mai'm. These words taught the hierarchy of respect.

Thank you for your comments.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

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Old 03-27-2008, 11:41 AM   #50
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Re: Woman's Knife vs. Multiple Attack

Quote:
Joseph Arriola wrote: View Post
What is blending?

In today's society there is an ambivilance, an ambidexterity a belief that both sides of the body perform the same function.

Most young people have been taught that they are the center of the universe...that they deserve a medal just for signing up for soccer. Everyone is equal and everyone is entitled.

In fact, there is a hierarchy. Those who put in the daily practice, those who seek to go beyond acceptance beliefs learn not to expect others to blend to them...but that they but blend to others.

The teacher does not simply give out his knowledge. The student must wish to emulate him, to absorb his knowledge. He must blend.

This is what we learn from Yin Martial Art.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola
I have a bit of a different take on this. Everybody complians about how we have gone too far towards the "empowerment" side of the spectrum with our children.

But there is a very good reason that the pendulum has swung this far. When I was growing up everyone faced barriers based on racism, sexism, class, etc. I had a friend who wanted to be a doctor. She was talked out of it by her parents and convinced that teaching was more suitable for a girl. She always regretted it and at 35 went back to med school and became a doctor.

When I was young, which was in the post WWII period of uber conformity, people made their choices based on a set of social expectations. If the attempted to disregard these expectations they ran into outright discrimination. Yes, certain exceptionally strong individuals did make it despite these impediments but most folks don't have the support or the simple strength of will to do that.

My generation has attempted to re-balance the system and not pass these socially determined limits on to our kids. The result has been a swing towards a sense of entitlement. Well, sports is one of the great ways that our kids learn that whereas they all have the opportunity, only hard work gets you a win. I think when kids are little, everyone should get a medal just for showing up. In my kid's soccer leagues, everyone plays, period. The emphasis is on giving each and every child the opportunity to play, the encouragement to do his best, etc.

As the kids hit the junior high age, competition becomes more important. The kids with great talent and strong desire go into select leagues. Other kids play for their school teams. Some kids stay in the regular leagues and play more for fun and exercise. Because the playing field was even from the start and everyone was told he or she could do it if they tried, it was the competition which gradually gave the kids a sense of how things work in the world. If you work hard you do better. Some folks are more talented at certain things than you are and they will rise to the top. My kids all eventually came to the realization that none of them was destined for the English Premier leagues... none had the talent or really wanted it that much anyway. The competition took care of that without our having to set any limitations on the kids. No one told them they couldn't do it.

I think the same thing has been true of Aikido but without the competition to sort things out so clearly. The art has morphed from being a martial art which required that you applied and were accepted to train. It was very exclusive and the Founder didn't even wish the public to see the techniques he taught. The art was not adapted to the students, the students adapted to the art or left.

After the war the decision was made to spread the art world wide. Now the dojo is open to anyone. We actually advertise to bring in new students. The art is being adapted to this new situation. Overall, I think this is fine. Aikido has become accessible. Huge numbers of people train in our art who probably would never have trained in martial arts at all otherwise.

We have chosen, for the most part, to reward those who train and stay in the art by promoting them. We have kyu ranks and dan ranks and moving up these ranks does not entail defeating anyone else, no win and lose... on some level everyone is a winner. This is fine I think.

Those of us who have a great concern for "falling standards" and ranks that seems meaningless have had to realize that all of this is personal choice on the part of each teacher. I once asked Ikeda Sensei what the "standard" was for dan testing. He told me that I had to set the standard. I was the teacher and I determined what my expectations were for my students. So that is what I have done. My expectations are different than others. I have fewer yudansha than some others teachers because I have a different set of expectations.

I used to worry about this but I have come to realize that the rank doesn't mean much anyway. People see what the quality is regardless of what rank you have. So within my own school people know what the expectations are and they know that outside it can be different. No one has to be told they can't do it or is held back. Actually, I tell them the opposite. Every one of them has the capacity to achieve some level of mastery of this art. It will simply depend on how hard they work and what innate capacity they started with.

So over time, these students will rise up in the ranks. Some will get shodan due to exceptional ability and it might take a relatively short time. Some will take twice as long and work twice as hard because things don't come so easily. Those that don't want to do the work will either leave or will not get there. But I put out that they can all do it and I teach accordingly.

I no longer worry so much about the rank and standards issue. Really, there are only two types of practitioner, students and teachers. As the dan ranks have swelled to accommodate the folks who have trained for so many decades, adjustment has been made at the top to designate those who have attained the higher standard. We now have 7th Dans and Shihans. I have yet to see anyone who has that status who isn't highly competent at what he or she has been taught. So does it matter that a 4th Dan doesn't mean the same thing it did 40 years ago? I don't think so. Everyone knows who the top people are and the system will eventually acknowledge that.

Mary Heiny Sensei is a good example of that. She dropped out of the system years ago and has been independent ever since. But here ability has spoken for itself. She received promotion from a teacher even though she was not his student, simply because he felt she should have the recognition. She teaches widely around the country at dojos which are not in any way under her nor is she part of their organizational structure. Why? Because her ability as a teacher simply stands out.

So, I think that the whole "empowerment" issue has by and large been positive. Many more people have been brought into the art. They will be rewarded in some way for their efforts and time in and they will be happy with that. Yet the best amongst them will find a way to rise farther and faster. The ones who want it the most will get it and no one has to be held back or told they can't do it... In fact they can all be told the exact opposite. Everyone CAN do it, only a few will. That is different than it was when I was younger and many people were told they couldn't based on sets of expectations which had nothing to do with them personally.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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