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Old 06-01-2010, 09:38 PM   #51
RED
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

I really do think there is a calling to spread the art. However I don't want to see the art losing itself in the process. Aikido has to be Aikido. Aikido can't be MMA or boxing. To flex just to fit the new fad is not authentic. And I'd be sad to see that sort of thing.

MM
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:44 PM   #52
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Among that, our site says it is an excellent way to lose weight!
Good point...which is true...but I wonder how many people go around calling it a fraud when they don't lose weight? lol!

Somehow, I suspect that many people simply are looking for a short cut, or someone or something to absolve themselves of any personal responsibility in the end.

Amazing how it is always someone elses fault when they fail to achieve an expectation isn't it!

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Old 06-01-2010, 10:02 PM   #53
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Good point...which is true...but I wonder how many people go around calling it a fraud when they don't lose weight? lol!

Somehow, I suspect that many people simply are looking for a short cut, or someone or something to absolve themselves of any personal responsibility in the end.

Amazing how it is always someone elses fault when they fail to achieve an expectation isn't it!
I'm not upset that it hasn't made me look like Tyra Banks. Because most people take personal responsibility when something doesn't live up to what it claims it can do. Like, Aikido claims that it can help me lose weight...but I'm not a size 2, because I enjoy pound cake! I take responsibility for my love of pound cake and the way pound cake love hinders the weight loss Aikido can provide.

The same personal responsibility should be taken when Aikido fails to make us martially effective. In stead of calling it a false claim, look at your training. What are you doing to make Aikido not work for you? What is hindering you to achieve Aikido's claims?

pound cake is an acceptable answer in this case as well

MM
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:37 PM   #54
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

First: to ask the question, "Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?" without giving your definition of Aikido opens up the box - as can be seen by the varying answers within our own community. Maybe that was intentional - I like.

If by misunderstood, you mean others do not consider Aikido to be a relevant Martial Art, then yes and no.

To answer, "No" means Aikido is not misunderstood. But is it seen as relevant or not? Reading Larry's post gives a legit knowledge of many Aikido schools with inbred illusions of grandeur and very little martial application or the ability to use Aikido techniques to protect oneself or others in a real-world street situation. If this is how some "outsiders" see us, they are unfortunately too often correct in their understanding of Aikido.
There are schools that never train against a punch that even a two-month karate yellow-belt dropout can do (even ten years later) - much less training against attacks that may be administered by a street thug - which is more likely to occur than a "trained" attack.
Alex' response (and others) concurs this non-martial training is not new.

To answer, "Yes" means we are understood. But again, how so? The same discussion as above applies.

If Aikido is to be "understood" as a legitimate, relevant Martial Arts Style by non-aikidoka, then, in their minds, one way to prove so would be to compete in their arena. But in so doing, would we then be aikido practioners? For an aikidoka to climb into the octagon would immediately show himself to be one not having the intent to master himself but only to prove himself better than his newfound opponent. ie: it would be going entirely against the spirit of aikido and hence giving a false definition - which indeed would be a misunderstanding of Aikido.

How is that for a non-answer.

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
I think that Aikido is misunderstood in the world of Aikido, much less the wider world of martial arts. The word is used to describe training methodologies that differ quite significantly depending on how one traces ones lineage back to Ueshiba M.
...
...In a real sense these groups train daily in a shared illusion at their dojo and do not want to endanger that illusion by exposing themselves to others outside their dojo and/or style who might start critiquing what they do. Their idea of sharing is for the outsider to drink the kool aid and share in the illusion.
...
In some sense many Aikido practitioners do not understand the jutsu or martial science behind what they do. As a result they misunderstand their own training, spreading that to others who know even less.
...
Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
...
There's no-one really fired up to do anything; instead there's 40-50 years of entrenchment and a suspicion of anything new and a constant intake of people that aren't all that interested in or even in a position to challenge things. As we say "Do as Sensei says" "Do as your dojo does." Got a question? The answer is, "Shut up and train." Any student who doesn't find their questions answered simply leaves, the only people left are the ones that don't ask questions i.e people that aren't all that interested in doing anything other than Sensei says.

People often ask why we're not in MMA. The reason is simple; we're really good at weeding out anyone that would want to be in MMA. We have them off the mat and bitching online in double quick time. We'd rather show someone the door than show them how Aikido is relevent to them.
...
I share your observation; the biggest gobs are on the people that at most have a years worth of training. With the exception of myself of course.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:17 AM   #55
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
...although it may have an unusually high percentage of practitioners who expect or want to be understood. Maybe we need to get over that.
Well i certainly fall into the "want to be understood" camp, though I don't usually expect to be. My first viewing of Aikido left me thinking it was unrealistic so I had a good example of how easy it is to misunderstand something shown in plain sight.

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Old 06-02-2010, 03:24 AM   #56
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Aikido is misunderstood in the Aikido world.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 06-02-2010, 04:20 AM   #57
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Yes, Aikido is misunderstood also within Aikido, after all, even some Shihsn suggest that what other Shihan do is not Aikido. After all Tohei and Kishomaru didi not see eye to eye over what "Aikido" is.
Does it matter? Not really. Everyone practices for their own reasons, with their own goals, with differing methods, and arrives where they arrive eventually. It is no different than any other MA I have studied or observed.
Is it effective in sport situations? Not if practised as a pure Do, but throw in the atemi and incline it more towards jutsu, then yes. But why would you want to, if you want sport MA then do that. Do not confuse sport skill for combat or street skill, they are entirely different.
Should Aikido be martially effective? IMO, yes, but that is a matter of how you train and the ring is not a test for martial effectivity, it is not life or death, it is rule based physical training which may or may not contribute to survival. Some of the best boxers in the world have been mugged on the street or broken their hand after hitting someone without boxing gloves on.
Will Aikido die if it is not represented correctly? Hopefully yes, but I doubt it, it will become something else. Only things which refuse to change die, so Aikido will morph into something else. It is impossible to preserve skills you do not have no matter how much you discuss them. As for the philosophy encrypted within Aikido. well one look at the Aikido world will tell you we have not come far with embodying "harmony and love", but we keep trying!

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 06-02-2010, 04:33 AM   #58
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
I wouldn't say that. I'd say there are two groups of people on bullshido.

1) Young people new to the martial arts who are trying to feel good about their choices. AKA just there to rip on anything that's not the flavor of the week.

2) People with scientific minds who believe strongly in result based training. These people read a lot of the crap many 'traditional' martial artists post on bullshido and simple become so jaded they can't help anymore and instead just insult you.

I'm probably in that number two category. I used to care and try to help people past the mistakes I feel I made. Now I realize it doesn't matter. I could introduce a 100 people to proper training methods (in my opinion) and a 1000 more would be signed up at the local ATA the next week.
I'm... jaded about the forums. Heck, I know of the founder from another site and when martial arts threads crop up there I duck and cover.

Frankly, I'm just sick of people judging things by a criteria I don't (which is ok) and then claiming I need to judge things the same way (which isn't ok).

Lots of folks get hung up on "martial" and "effectivness" without defining either and.... well, we've dealt with it here before, haven't we?
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:19 AM   #59
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Mark Gleadhill wrote: View Post
Interesting ideas.. Although the student contingent of Shodokan Aikido may be against what you say

As a 4th Kyu, 25 year old Fan of MMA.. I feel I totally go against everything you've typed lol. but I can see why you think that, and in some cases agree. Lots of people join try it, and then disappear, but that's the same with all martial arts. Because you need to learn and can't be an all action hero after 2 weeks people get bored and leave. I can't wait until I get good at this and can start just messing around with stuff, grappling with Judoka just for kicks and stuff.

I regularly try to defend Aikido on the depths that is the Sherdog Forum (MMA forum) and usually get nowhere, I do sometimes resort to slamming the whole not competitive side a little bit, if nothing more than just to draw a line stating that Shodokan / Tomiki is different and we do have competition, at least then maybe changing some MMA fan's minds slightly. but alas I don't get a lot of support. saying that Shodokan sometimes feels like the red headed stepchild of Aikido, not appreciated by the other sections of the art and at the same time tarred with the same brush by others
Yeah I can imagine things are totally different in shodokan; it appeals to a different set of people to Aikikai.

Last edited by Ketsan : 06-02-2010 at 05:22 AM.
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:58 AM   #60
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

The question is: "when is some physical movement a martial art?".
Since Aikido is not meant to do any harm to the opponent.... is it still a martial art?

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Old 06-02-2010, 09:31 AM   #61
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Dirk Desmet wrote: View Post
The question is: "when is some physical movement a martial art?".
Since Aikido is not meant to do any harm to the opponent.... is it still a martial art?
John Paul Jones famously described his martial purpose ".. I intend to go in harm's way."

In his first cruise aboard Ranger he succeeded in only one indecisive engagement with a small sloop, the Drake, and in plundering the plateware from the Lady Selkirk, for whose husband his father formerly worked as gardener. According to her, the affair of the silverware raid which occurred by a knock on her door as she was at breakfast was remarkable in at least one respect-- "Upon the whole, I must say they behaved civilly."

Now, was that "martial" or not? That initial and very indecisive cruise by a single and relatively lightly armed ship did more than all his other more famous exploits combined to tilt the naval balance. It sowed complete public distrust in the Royal Navy as the vaunted "wall of oak." It kept disproportionate naval forces around England and European sea lanes for the duration of the Revolution, and thereby denied the British sea lane dominance in the New World. It was therefore necessary to remove the British fleet back to sea to resume patrols once the army had been disembarked at Yorktown, and thus allowing the French fleet to come in and block any chance of escape or of any supporting naval bombardment.

Martial effectiveness is not -- simple. Wars are won in the will. Ask General Giap. As with our Revolution, in a life or death struggle, it is not always necessary to kill the other -- the other side often loses the will to destroy you, merely if you simply manage stay alive in the face of the threat. Not always -- but often enough to bet on -- with some hedging.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 06-02-2010 at 09:38 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:01 AM   #62
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

aikido isn't misunderstood; it's just baaaaddd. it's sheep in wolf clothing. oh wait... i am doing aikido. need to find something else. maybe ballet. wonder if i would look good in tights. maybe we should merge ballet and aikido to make "ballaikido: the way of men in tights"
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:24 AM   #63
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
aikido isn't misunderstood; it's just baaaaddd. it's sheep in wolf clothing. oh wait... i am doing aikido. need to find something else. maybe ballet. wonder if i would look good in tights. maybe we should merge ballet and aikido to make "ballaikido: the way of men in tights"
Ballkido? Just don't extend ki in my direction, thanks!
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:25 AM   #64
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Agreeing with Kevin and Keith here. I guess I'd summarize it as follows:

Honesty and truthfulness don't "work" any more than aspirational marketing does (that's the kind where you present images and messages that encourage the belief that if people buy your product, they'll take on certain desired characteristics or achieve certain things). Aspirational marketing is dishonest, and it tends to fail over time because it doesn't fulfill its promises, but it works in the short term because it tells people things that they want to believe. That's part of the reason why honesty and truthfulness doesn't work: because most people prefer the attractive lie to the not-quite-so-shiny truth. The other reason is because most people lack the prior experience to understand an honest and accurate explanation of the benefits of aikido, at least in detail. You might be able to tell them what the benefits are, in large outline, and they may choose to take it on faith...but most people don't have the life experience with something else that will allow them to understand the details.

So the evangelizing of aikido is ultimately futile, no matter what route you take: because no matter how honest and accurate (and articulate) you are, very few people outside aikido will understand what you're saying (bringing us back full circle to the subject of this thread). Do what you do for your own reasons. Don't expect, much less insist, that others practice for the same reasons. Let others come and go as they will, for their own reasons. It may not always be easy, but it is that simple.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:57 AM   #65
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

I think Aikido is misunderstood in the Aikido world.

-John Matsushima

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http://onecorneroftheplanetinjapan.blogspot.jp/
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:57 AM   #66
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Aikido is misunderstood by those who don't understand it. Aikido is criticized in the way some do here because it is understood by them. It is easy to make shallow and bitting quip criticisms. It is harder to commit to it, to work at it, to take the time to understand it.

It is not the end goal that brings understanding, but it is the process of learning that brings understanding.

Last edited by Buck : 06-02-2010 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:58 PM   #67
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote: View Post
I think Aikido is misunderstood in the Aikido world.
True, but it builds characters.

Mike
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:05 PM   #68
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Hi

If you do water colors, you learn to be able to "paint a picture". If you do ballet, you learn to be able to dance.

What do you learn when you do aikido?
Is the martial aspect, the budo-side of aikido really not important for you?

And can you achieve true self-mastery through aikido, in the case it will only work if done with other aikidoka and not if practiced with people of other MA?

I don't like this video. but:
Isn't aikido one particular sort of jujutsu? How do you distinguish between them?

???
What do you mean by this point?

Greetings, Carsten
Hi,
To answer your question what do you learn when you learn Aikido ?-you learn about yourself.
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:36 PM   #69
Janet Rosen
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

As a painter, I don't really care about what art teachers, art critics or even other artists think is "correct" or "relevent" art any given moment - if I work in a particular mode (say, for instance, representative or abstract) it is because it is what speaks to me, not because of anybody else's understanding of the value of representative vs. abstract art.

As a student of aikido, similarly, it doesn't really affect my training what other people, esp those not doing aikido, think about aikido.

Janet Rosen
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:00 PM   #70
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

I'm specifically torn in this case. I do agree that you shouldn't care what others think. You should practice for your own reasons. But I'm greatly against isolationism in Aikido. There is a call to represent and spread the art. You have to do Aikido for your own reasons, but like anything else, people are not islands. They aren't meant to do things in life just for themselves.
However, some people are just trolls....you're not gonna win over a troll while they are trolls.

MM
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Old 06-02-2010, 03:28 PM   #71
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Hi,
To answer your question what do you learn when you learn Aikido ?-you learn about yourself.
*put's on my devils advocate hat*

Does aikido teach me more about myself then the following?

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

I learned the most about myself when I started teaching at a college. My failings, my skills, etc were all on display and I was forced to face them. In terms of self discovery I learned a lot about myself, but nowhere close compared to how much I learned standing in front of a room of 18 year old kids.

- Don
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Old 06-02-2010, 03:58 PM   #72
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Ai symbol Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
... "Martial effectiveness" is not practiced in almost any "martial art" on offer outside of truly military training. "Martial effectiveness" is measured by willfully entering a situation in which you have an objective you commit your own life to achieve, there are men who are willing to kill you to prevent it, and you train to achieve your objective despite all of the above, which may, or may not, involve killing those men or others to achieve it, or you dying to do so, depending. NO ONE trains for that unless they -- well, train for THAT.

Nothing else is actually "martial." Brutal is not martial, nor even necessarily effective. Winning is not martial, many martial engagements don't involve that kind of "winning." "Winning" may mean dead -- with target achieved.

Aikido is a "DO" -- meaning that it is not merely a set of martial tools that accomplish the martial purpose ( a "bujutsu") -- it is a WAY -- a way in which those tools may be used to maximize a martial effect with the least martial harm -- not "no harm" and not "no effect."

Aikido is a measure of a certain martial optimality -- not the only one, nor necessarily the "best" set of optima for given set of circumstances -- but as an means of training critically optimal measures of types of martial action, it informs the WAY in which to understand and choose optimal criteria more generally -- without having to think about it -- because there is rarely time to think optimally in a truly martial circumstance. Thinking should be used in training in inverse proportion to the likelihood of being able to use it in the real circumstance -- but with equal intensity.
For me, martially effective is about giving one self a chance in a self-defence situation that is all-a chance. There are certainly no guarantees and one cannot train for everything. However, I believe that giving it my best to protect myself, family, and innocent is a worthy goal. Is a physical solution always practical? Of course not, but I want to have it as an option and in some situations I may (however unlikely) not have the choice-I may just be attacked.

Only speaking from my perspective, if one engages in a martial art following in the footsteps of the warriors past who have paved the budo path, to just focus on self development and not "effectiveness" only addresses to half of the coin in my opinion. Besides, how can one truly consider one self developing if on does not address defending not only oneself, but also others as well?. There seems to be a selfish element in there somewhere. I am speaking in general terms of course and and not addressing it to anyone in particular. The posting just got me thinking.

IMHO, to practice a budo, Aikido or otherwise, is in essence to attempt at least to walk the warrior path. A warrior's training would seem to address one's character, morals, ethics, among other aspects of personal and civic life as well as martial effectiveness. The last point seems appropriate should--however unlikely--a situation were to arise where we Aikidoka cannot intellectualize harmony back into a situation and real danger to well-being exits. Again, this is just my opinion.

As a side note, I would recommend the Warrior Wisdom book series by Bohdi Sanders Ph.D. and web-site for those so inclined. It has some great nuggets from some of histories philosophers, warriors, and many others. Not dogma, for me at least but perspectives to contemplate.
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Old 06-02-2010, 04:23 PM   #73
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Aikido is misunderstood by those who don't understand it. Aikido is criticized in the way some do here because it is NOT understood by them. It is easy to make shallow and bitting quip criticisms. It is harder to commit to it, to work at it, to take the time to understand it.

It is not the end goal that brings understanding, but it is the process of learning that brings understanding.
Error I needed to correct
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:46 PM   #74
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
And how should I convince them? With dishonesty? By telling them that they'll be "effective", presumably against everything since I've specified nothing?
The point is we are dishonest at the moment. We dodge questions and tell half truths. We lie by omission. We don't tell people what the benefits of Aikido are, we just say that it's a martial art and hope that will stop them asking any more questions. We do imply that Aikido is effective against everything because we dodge the question of effectiveness entirely.

If someone asks if what we do is effective in a fight we question just what effectiveness means as if the person asking the question is a moron. We never say, "Well what's your definiton of effectiveness?" and then give an answer based on that. We're passive aggresive; either they shut up and train or we call them morons.

This is, IMO, because to answer the question would be to settle what Aikido is and then we'd be in real trouble. At the moment we just lable our personal goals as Aikido. If Aikido suddenly aquires a definition then either we'd have to start working towards that definition or seek a new art!

How do you convince them? Or better yet how do we as an art convince them? Same way O-Sensei did.
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:23 PM   #75
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Re: Is Aikido misunderstood in the Martial Art world?

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Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I really do think there is a calling to spread the art. However I don't want to see the art losing itself in the process. Aikido has to be Aikido. Aikido can't be MMA or boxing. To flex just to fit the new fad is not authentic. And I'd be sad to see that sort of thing.
I don't think it would loose itself. It's more a case of getting up off it's lazy arse and showing what it can do than adapting.
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