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Old 02-14-2011, 07:38 AM   #1
Mary Eastland
 
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Future of Aikido

The future of Aikido is not important to me. I train in the present day. Now is all that is.
Today we had three students: one man in his late 50's, one woman who is 66, another woman who is 50, Ron who is 63 and me at 53.

We had a wonderful class. We all can take ukemi. We train very regularly so everyone is in good shape. Today we focused on connection, Ki development and waza. We explored so much together that was perfect for the combination of people that gathered to practice Aikido at that moment.

Accepting "what is" is an imporatnt part of training to me. If a teacher spends time whining about what is, what used to be, and what may happen, the teacher cannot be in the now. Can a teacher be centered and be whining about what is lacking? Blaming and wishing take away from positive mind. All that we need it right in front of us.

Woman and older or younger people are not place holders for young athletic men. Whoever is on the mat provide the picture of Aikido for that day.
If Ron waited for just young men to teach he would be very lonesome in his practice. Embrace the students you have, let go of the past and future and enjoy each class for the beauty and fun it brings.
We get on the mat with who shows up in a gi and we train together.
Here, grab my wrist and follow me to a centered moment where our energies mingle and creat a feeling of powerful peacefulness.

Aikido happens. All is well.
Mary
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:43 AM   #2
mrlizard123
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Re: Future of Aikido

Hi Mary,

I don't post on here often but wanted to ask something. Firstly let me say that agree that being mindful and "present" is very important when we are on the mat and it is something we should strive for, unfettered by outside concerns. In this sense I agree with you, but I think there is a time and place for "worrying" about the future.

You say that the future of aikido isn't important but I'm wondering what your views on Aikido continuing or ceasing are? As in; is there not some benefit to being mindful/caring of the future to ensure that there is continuation? Is it not laudable, to try and ensure that others get to experience the pleasure that you, I and many others, get from daily training? I have spoken to people who would not want to be involved in teaching because they are only interested in training and I can understand this, but what happens if everyone has this approach? When no one considers who will be teaching next week, next year, in X years time, how will aikido be practiced?

The reasons that I got involved with teaching were varied but the one that is apt to this topic is that I enjoy training so much I felt that I wanted to help people find that same passion for enjoyment of training I have. Without any concern for the future or taking stock of the past I feel that we could be doing the futherment of aikido a disservice.

I'm not saying we should fret or worry but, off of the mat, I believe we should allow ourselves to be informed by the past, allowing it and our daily experience guide our actions to bring about a pleasant future for others to be able to enjoy what we have had.

Kindest regards
Rich

Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:08 AM   #3
lbb
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Re: Future of Aikido

As I said to Sensei the other day when the temperature rose above 30 degrees and got me thinking of plans for a new dojo garden expansion, "The work you put into your soil will pay you back a hundred times." Gardeners always think about the future -- always. Note that thinking about the future is not the same thing as living in the future. It seems to me that trying to live in the future or the past, or only thinking of the present -- either is a recipe for failure.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:44 AM   #4
aikishihan
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Re: Future of Aikido

It seems to me that if an idea is truly valid, that nothing can prevent its continued development and acceptance. Conversely, it an idea is inherently invalid, then no action taken can keep it viable for long.

The Founder, and the countless other great teachers and thinkers of human history, did their work in the Now, realizing that their “nows” were the key connections to the past and the future of their respective purposeful contributions.

Agree that there is no useful need to dwell on what may be for anything. Yet we have learned that to ignore or forget the past, dooms us to repeat our mistakes again in the future. The plight of any future does depend on enlightened planning, and the follow through of persistence.

Aikido to me is an idea, with a chain of historical authenticity, that is valid mainly because of its tradition of forward thinking, coordinated effort and purposeful planning by teachers dedicated to such a transmission of truth.

I do not believe your first sentence at all, Mary. You and Ron are excellent teachers, carrying forward your unique versions of the Founder’s gift of genius. Admit it now, you do really care about Aikido’s future as I do, humbly accepting of the fact that we may not have much to say about how it happens.

in oneness,
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:57 AM   #5
dps
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
The future of Aikido is not important to me. I train in the present day. Now is all that is.
Today we had three students: one man in his late 50's, one woman who is 66, another woman who is 50, Ron who is 63 and me at 53.

We had a wonderful class. We all can take ukemi. We train very regularly so everyone is in good shape. Today we focused on connection, Ki development and waza. We explored so much together that was perfect for the combination of people that gathered to practice Aikido at that moment.

Accepting "what is" is an imporatnt part of training to me. If a teacher spends time whining about what is, what used to be, and what may happen, the teacher cannot be in the now. Can a teacher be centered and be whining about what is lacking? Blaming and wishing take away from positive mind. All that we need it right in front of us.

Woman and older or younger people are not place holders for young athletic men. Whoever is on the mat provide the picture of Aikido for that day.
If Ron waited for just young men to teach he would be very lonesome in his practice. Embrace the students you have, let go of the past and future and enjoy each class for the beauty and fun it brings.
We get on the mat with who shows up in a gi and we train together.
Here, grab my wrist and follow me to a centered moment where our energies mingle and creat a feeling of powerful peacefulness.

Aikido happens. All is well.
Mary
The sky is falling, the sky is falling !!!!

Thank God for you and Ron who live and train in the present. If the sky does fall it will raise again because of people like you.

"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:34

dps
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:12 AM   #6
philipsmith
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Re: Future of Aikido

Surely all teachers (of any discipline) are concerned with the future. Otherwise why teach?
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:17 AM   #7
Janet Rosen
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote: View Post
Surely all teachers (of any discipline) are concerned with the future. Otherwise why teach?
To have somebody to train with
(in all seriousness...your point is well taken)

I don't worry about who shows up and am happy to train with anybody who is ready to be present to the best of his/her abilities with me. But I'm glad the dojo offers kids and youth classes so there is ongoing community outreach.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:20 AM   #8
dps
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote: View Post
Surely all teachers (of any discipline) are concerned with the future. Otherwise why teach?
Some are more concerned with the future of their revenue stream.

dps
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:38 AM   #9
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
The future of Aikido is not important to me. I train in the present day. Now is all that is.
Today we had three students: one man in his late 50's, one woman who is 66, another woman who is 50, Ron who is 63 and me at 53.

We had a wonderful class. We all can take ukemi. We train very regularly so everyone is in good shape. Today we focused on connection, Ki development and waza. We explored so much together that was perfect for the combination of people that gathered to practice Aikido at that moment.

Accepting "what is" is an imporatnt part of training to me. If a teacher spends time whining about what is, what used to be, and what may happen, the teacher cannot be in the now. Can a teacher be centered and be whining about what is lacking? Blaming and wishing take away from positive mind. All that we need it right in front of us.

Woman and older or younger people are not place holders for young athletic men. Whoever is on the mat provide the picture of Aikido for that day.
If Ron waited for just young men to teach he would be very lonesome in his practice. Embrace the students you have, let go of the past and future and enjoy each class for the beauty and fun it brings.
We get on the mat with who shows up in a gi and we train together.
Here, grab my wrist and follow me to a centered moment where our energies mingle and creat a feeling of powerful peacefulness.

Aikido happens. All is well.
Mary
Hi Mary,
I understand what you are saying... but I do think it is important to be "intentional" about what one is doing. I noticed that you guys are independent but that you came out of the Kokikai. Decisions like that aren't made simply by focusing on the present... usually they come about because we realize one day that where we want to go, the direction we wish to pursue, isn't where we will go unless we make some change.

One of the reasons one encounters people who do not get better with each passing year, they just keep doing the same stuff over and over, is the lack of intentionality in their training. They just train expecting things to take acre of themselves. I sincerely doubt that you and Ron do that. You have your own school... that doesn't happen without effort and planning and a long term effort to be ready from a technical standpoint and organizational efforts that require planning, etc.

One of the reasons that I post about the future of Aikido so frequently is that I want to encourage everyone to realize that they are the future of Aikido. And folks who are teaching, even more so. In the same way I look at my own training and direct it towards the set of skills I wish to end up with ten or twenty years down the line, I have to do the very same thing with my students. I have to provide direction to their training so that they have what they need to be their own teachers when I am gone.

I am sure you guys do the very same thing with your own training and with the training you provide your students. It's only one step beyond that to look at not only your training, and not only your dojo, but your larger Aikido community. For me, as a member of the ASU, I think about what I can contribute to make the organization better... but why stop there? If I really think I have something positive to offer the folks in my own organization, why shouldn't I take that out into the larger Aikido community?

Often, folks go independent because they get tired of all the BS with a given teacher or organization. They look around, and probably correctly, realize that they'd find the same stuff anywhere else they went so they simply break with the whole system and become independent. Often, they simply drop of the face of the Aikido earth so to speak. I think this is a terrible shame. Quite often these folks could be a huge help in getting Aikido back on track. But once you are independent, you lose "access" in the way you might have had it when you were formally part of a larger group.

So folks like you, who love Aikido, are willing to do it without the support of some organization or Shihan, just because, should care about the future of the art and should be intentional about how they might go about creating the future they'd like to see. I think all of us who are teachers should feel that responsibility. The future is coming regardless...we can have hand in creating that future. There is no reason for folks to limit their thinking to their own little world. If what you are doing is of value to the folks at your own dojo, it is probably of value to the larger community beyond. But making that happen requires intentionality. Making a difference in the larger scheme of things requires direction and that involves something more than just being in the present.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 02-14-2011 at 10:41 AM.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:39 AM   #10
DH
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Re: Future of Aikido

Tough to read someone talking about the future of aikido,
Then talking about the fact that they don't care about it.
Then drawing attention to their own "now"
All while calling the statements of others "whining." and it discounting them from being in their own now. Insinuating that their research is somehow less than and expresses a weakness.

There have been several recent damning comments of others efforts to include casting doubts on your fellow senior Aikido teachers evaluations who see value in going outside of aikido to explore IP/aiki, Yet, those who make these statements are not to be found among those who have gone out to meet and train with other people being discussed. You stay away from it, and do not approach it while condemning it.
I think this type of narrative is counter productive to any genuine recognition of your peers and seniors efforts and views. What it does is help close doors, cause a separation and ends discussion among peers with good intentions.
It can lead to protectionism and circling the wagons.
There is a good analogy to this mindset in the life of acorporation:

First entrepreneurial spirit and creation
then defining a brand or product
then setting a standard by competing
then sitting on your laurels believing you have it all and failing to grow
then being out of touch with the R&D of the present market
then leaving old exec's to be complacent
then prolonged decline
then failure

There are so many teachers who actually do care about the future of the art, and who are making it. They are not whining, they are doing R&D...
They are most certainly ....in the now.
All parties are part of the narrative and of what the future of aikido is going to be.

Dan

Last edited by DH : 02-14-2011 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:43 AM   #11
jonreading
 
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Re: Future of Aikido

I remember the first time I saw the broadway musical "Wicked." Instead of a moral that one should be good, we get this perspective shift to understand why someone is bad. Sometimes perspective shifts can cause confusion, or miss the point of the original perspective...

We should absolutely live in the moment. This is one of the virtues derived from bushi preparing oneself to die each day, the appreciation for what you have now. Ichi go ichi e. However, I understand these bushi where most aware of the future... Bathing prior to battle. Funeral expenses pre-paid. The calculation of impact their death will have... To have a life where you were "square" with your friends, enemies, family; this is something I admire. To live in the present, but also have a clear future, untangled and not messy.

That being said, I think your perspective is throwing me off - didn't think I'd be able to work "Wicked" back into this? . To me, a good teacher draws focus on training now, but gives care to how training now will impact future training. I appreciate those teachers who think forward so that my training is one of continuity and progress.

It is difficult for me to tell if you are referring to a specific instance where instruction was harmed because a demographic was not present in class. Or, were you referring to your implication of preference there were no YAMs in class?

I don't think a teacher should withhold proper instruction because of a "preferred" demographic. For example, is there some benefit students miss when young athletic men are absent from class? Based upon other arguments presented on Aikiweb, I would have to say, yes, each demographic on the mat brings with it some benefit. Is the lamentation against which you advocate for more YAMs on behalf of those missing benefits? Would you consider it a responsibility of sensei to seek any element which might improve your aikido but is currently lacking? Or, more generally, do you consider it a responsibility of sensei to plan for and provide to the dojo that which is lacking?

Last edited by jonreading : 02-14-2011 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:00 PM   #12
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Re: Future of Aikido

The present is the foundation of the future.
This seems so simple, so common sense. Still, I was told the story of an instructor who had plans for his dojo. He was so focused on his plans that he did not realize that his students were not ready, and / or had other plans. The school collapsed.
In order to take good care of the present, one must have a carful eye on the future. And in order to pave wisely the way of the future, one must take good care of the present.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:16 PM   #13
carina reinhardt
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
The future of Aikido is not important to me. I train in the present day. Now is all that is.
Today we had three students: one man in his late 50's, one woman who is 66, another woman who is 50, Ron who is 63 and me at 53.

We had a wonderful class. We all can take ukemi. We train very regularly so everyone is in good shape. Today we focused on connection, Ki development and waza. We explored so much together that was perfect for the combination of people that gathered to practice Aikido at that moment.

Accepting "what is" is an imporatnt part of training to me. If a teacher spends time whining about what is, what used to be, and what may happen, the teacher cannot be in the now. Can a teacher be centered and be whining about what is lacking? Blaming and wishing take away from positive mind. All that we need it right in front of us.

Woman and older or younger people are not place holders for young athletic men. Whoever is on the mat provide the picture of Aikido for that day.
If Ron waited for just young men to teach he would be very lonesome in his practice. Embrace the students you have, let go of the past and future and enjoy each class for the beauty and fun it brings.
We get on the mat with who shows up in a gi and we train together.
Here, grab my wrist and follow me to a centered moment where our energies mingle and creat a feeling of powerful peacefulness.

Aikido happens. All is well.
Mary
Hi Mary, how was the weather like? maybe the others couldn't come, also today is Valentine's day, perhaps they had to be with wifes or girlsfriends. I wouldn't worry about the future of Aikido, one day you have only 5 students, but maybe next you'll have ten.
In our dojo are more than 30 registered, when there is a great soccer game, most of the "young athletic men" don't come We use that days to practice our ukemis, as we have more space.
So enjoy the moment, I hope you got a nice Valentines gift, I saw in internet that in Japan men are getting chocolates, here in Spain we women receive the gifts Last class our teacher asked us about what he could give to his wife
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:21 PM   #14
Toby Threadgill
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Re: Future of Aikido

Hummm.....

I hope this does not come off as too preachy but.....

I fail to understand what all the hair pulling is about. Modern budo enjoys freedom to evolve, adapt and improve as it's history is in the making, not made. Koryu on the other hand is much more restrictive, striving to maintain and preserve, in the manner of a historical preservation society. Both have their strengths and challenges to face but they also have very different reasons to be.

Look, why shouldn't aikido instructors look outside aikido for technical perspective and knowledge? Aikido is not koryu and not technically unique. It is aikido's ethos that makes it a unique representation of Nihon budo. It appears that some aikidoka are so closed minded as be threatened by perspectives existing outside their own art? It's almost like a level of insecurity is embraced by some aikidoka and that by stepping outside some imagined boundaries they are abandoning or compromising their beloved aikido. IMHO, this is nonsense. Aikido is all about manifesting flexibility isn't it? It seems to me that aikido's ability to function with a flexible paradigm is one of its its primary benefits. Ikeda sensei and I are good friends and we teach together every year. The topic of aikido's evolution is a frequent subject of conversation between us. I may lead a koryu jujutsu school but I enjoy interacting with an aikidoka like Ikeda sensei because we actually have a lot in common. To a guy like me who see's the context of budo in a manner that is perhaps more historical than most, aikido is just one modern jujutsu school among many. Consequently, our traditions share so many common principles that a real technical meeting of the minds is possible between us. Why such a technical meeting of the minds should threaten anyone in aikido is beyond my capability to grasp. It certainly doesn't threaten a wonderful and gifted aikidoka like Ikeda.

Let me provide something interesting and relevent....

Wado ryu karate is technically descended from Shindo Yoshin ryu jujutsu and Okinawan Te. So, Shindo Yoshin ryu is to Wado ryu karate what Daito ryu is to aikido. I have a very close relationship to many Wadoka, in fact I have several Wado ryu shihan in my organization and have taught seminars alongside Japanese Wado ryu shihan representing JKF Wadokai's technical committee. This is unprecedented but makes sense given the two schools historical connection. I have met with the JKF Wadokai Board of Directors in Tokyo and taught a seminar at their World Cup. Sure, my presence is raising eyebrows and making some of the old timers uncomfortable, but the technical heritage and historical perspective TSYR brings to many Wado ryu practitioners is so obviously positive that many of todays up and coming Wado ryu instructors view TSYR as an important resource which promotes a more cohesive understanding of their Wado ryu both technically and historically. Understand...most of these Wado ryu people have no interest in becoming students of a koryu jujutsu school with its arcane perspectives and practices, they just recognize TSYR for what it is, a technical and historical link to their legacy. It is an example "Keiko Shokan" or studying the past to understand the present.

Despite all aikido's lip service about flexibility of spirit and harmonious relationships can you guys imagine a seminar where the technical head of aikido and the technical head of Daito ryu got together in an effort to appreciate their shared technical legacy and historical relationship to one another? How many of you think a one on one meeting like this would ever be possible, but how many of you would love to attend this event? It's almost as if aikido suffers from institutionalized technical paranoia. Well...here's the good news. A new generation of aikido instructors are saying technical isolation is nonsense, and steeping out into the public arena with confidence and an open mind. They understand that aikido is more than a series of techniques, it is an art rich in principles and theory. These people understand that principles compatible with aikido exist in other arts and are willing to go outside aikido to investigate them regardless of their origin, whether it be a koryu like TSYR, an aikijujutsu school like Daito ryu, a Okinawan karate school like Shindo ryu or one of the many internal Chinese martial arts. It is these open minded instructors that demonstrate real love for the art and legacy of aikido. They are not abandoning aikido, they are the ones dedicated to making aikido's future brighter.

After years of study in modern budo I chose to follow the path of koryu. Why is a subject for another day, but to the aikido community I say, embrace the flexibility that modern budo has to offer you and seek to improve on the foundation of knowledge provided for you. Who knows, by manifesting such flexibility of spirit aikido's golden age may be in the future, not its past.

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

Last edited by Toby Threadgill : 02-14-2011 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:27 PM   #15
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Toby Threadgill wrote: View Post
It's almost as if aikido suffers from institutionalized technical paranoia.
^This.

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Old 02-14-2011, 01:42 PM   #16
Ketsan
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Can a teacher be centered and be whining about what is lacking? Mary
Can one perfect one's technique without wondering what is lacking?
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:36 PM   #17
Marc Abrams
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Re: Future of Aikido

Stanley Pranin made a lot of friends and a lot of enemies when he began his research into the art of Aikido. Stanley Pranin made even more friends and enemies when he put together the Aiki Expo series in the United States. Understanding the past is helpful in understanding the present and navigating into the future.

I was fortunate to be able to attend every expo. Mr. Threadgill was one of the people whom I was fortunate enough to have met. He, along with some other teachers from other arts and traditions, opened our eyes to recognize that some of the cherished opinions that we held about what our Aikido was, were less than accurate. Some of us were fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to pursue some of these arts and traditions, NOT with the intention of leaving Aikido, but to help Aikido live up to it's potential. If the founder of Aikido was able to look for inspiration and influences in other areas throughout his life, then should this not be our legacy as well?

Living in the moment is not that simple. This moment is made up of the past, the immediate perception and the future. I applaud the Aikido teachers who are firmly anchored in deeply understanding the past, giving fully in the present and aiming toward the future. I think that the opportunity to look around at the larger world is one that should be seized. It has been my experience that when I have done so, I have developed a better ability to understand what my teacher was doing. Through this exploration, I also try and explore ways to deeply understand the roots of what I am doing so that I can display it in the execution of the art and to teach the art.

I think that a myopic perspective is easy to develop when we stop looking outside of what we are doing. Another great benefit is that meeting and getting to know some of these other people, Toby Threadgill, Dan Harden, Kenji Ushiro, etc., is a gift that is contained not only in who these people are, but in what they have to offer us.

Marc Abrams
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:15 PM   #18
kewms
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Re: Future of Aikido

When someone asks me how to become a writer, I tell them to read a lot, and to write a lot.

Unless you read, you don't know what's been done, you don't know what the medium is capable of, you don't know what its strengths and weaknesses are.

Unless you write, you can't get better at writing. I'll bet even Shakespeare's first drafts were terrible.

In aikido terms... the past lays the foundation for the future. A dojo with no new students will die. A dojo with no senior students has no grounding.

Katherine
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:17 PM   #19
SeiserL
 
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Re: Future of Aikido

IMHO the most powerful present (now) is the one that includes the past and the future, giving it foundation and direction.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:43 PM   #20
RonRagusa
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
The future of Aikido is not important to me.
Quote:
Francis Takahashi wrote:
It seems to me that if an idea is truly valid, that nothing can prevent its continued development and acceptance.
Hi Francis -

Both Mary and I believe that the idea that is Aikido is not only truly valid but increasingly relevant in our modern age so besotted with the glorification of violence. If you look at the first sentence of her OP in the light of the first sentence of your post then her real meaning becomes clear. The truth of the matter is that nothing will prevent the development and acceptance of Aikido, that the future of Aikido in this global sense is assured and therefore need not concern us.

Quote:
Francis Takahashi wrote:
Admit it now, you do really care about Aikido's future as I do, humbly accepting of the fact that we may not have much to say about how it happens.
I hope that you can see now that we do indeed care about the future of Aikido in the small realm where we have a temporary say in the form of its future. This is where our commitment lies.

All the Best,

Ron & Mary
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:05 PM   #21
phitruong
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
H The truth of the matter is that nothing will prevent the development and acceptance of Aikido, that the future of Aikido in this global sense is assured and therefore need not concern us.

Ron & Mary
i respectfully disagree. the future of good quality aikido is not assured and should be our concern. the number of aikidoka across the globe doesn't speak to the quality of aikido. that's the under lying concern in most threads on aikiweb. ask yourself this. have you achieved the level of aikido as your teacher? have any of your students achieved your level of aikido? what about their students? then do the math for next few generations out. say that you have only achieve 80% of your teacher. your student achieve 80% or your. their 80% of their. the math will tell a better tale.

we want to assure the future of aikido. then we should be better than our teachers. and our students should be better than us.
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:30 PM   #22
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Re: Future of Aikido

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
i respectfully disagree. the future of good quality aikido is not assured and should be our concern. the number of aikidoka across the globe doesn't speak to the quality of aikido. that's the under lying concern in most threads on aikiweb. ask yourself this. have you achieved the level of aikido as your teacher? have any of your students achieved your level of aikido? what about their students? then do the math for next few generations out. say that you have only achieve 80% of your teacher. your student achieve 80% or your. their 80% of their. the math will tell a better tale.

we want to assure the future of aikido. then we should be better than our teachers. and our students should be better than us.
Hi Phi -

Therein lies the rub Phi. Show me the math. Show me your yardstick for measuring how "good" someone is at Aikido. Define what you mean by "level of Aikido" in rigorous quantifiable terms. Then show me how past results must be indicative of future performance.

Best,

Ron
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Old 02-14-2011, 05:54 PM   #23
crbateman
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Re: Future of Aikido

IMHO, if one does not look to and nurture the future, then when one gets there, who will be to blame if it's not right? Yes, what is, is... But what will be has not been decided, and I'd like to think we all have some say in the matter.
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:32 PM   #24
graham christian
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Re: Future of Aikido

HI folks.
I fully agree with what Mary says. I think it's quite sensible from the way she puts it.

Sometimes I shock people by saying ' in my religion worrying is a sin.'

I think when she says worry she means worry which is the modus operandi of many and is a waste of time, completely. She doesn't mean to not be responsible for, it's seeing this difference that is needed from my view. In fact I would say worry is inverted responsibility.

To look at with a clear mind, to face without fear, to act and handle in a calm efficient manner. Isn't that more budo? Isn't that wiser? Isn't that responsible? As I said worry is a waste of time.

Mary points out present time and don't care about the future and acceptance. Once again I believe it's understanding what is meant here.

Acceptance. I see acceptance relating directly with center. This includes accepting the scene as it is, in now. On so doing there is is no 'yeah but' for that only shows your lack of acceptance and thus lack of center. The aim is surely to remain centered, therefore practice accepting all. Once again don't care is to do with worry and so a responsible person can say that but maybe for sake of not being misunderstood maybe should say I don't worry about it.

Finally, to do with past and future. I didn't hear her say she's never studied any history. So I suggest a better understanding of what is meant by being in the present rather than assuming it means no responsibility for past or future. That leaves the major point about the future of Aikido.

Let me run this by you. If a person is doing Aikido in the present, doing it well, receiving all those who want to learn, delivering what is offered, then they are operating in a stable space. They are on line so to speak. They are responsible. If others do the same then you have a good overall scene. If they communicate to each other you have a network and maybe also an organization.

Then along comes worry disguised as a friend and destroys it all. Very simplistic I know but done so to emphasise a point.

In my view even if I study greats of the past then I find they didn't worry abt. the future. They got on with what they were passionate abt. and practiced and delivered and didn't care what others thought. They created their own space, their own scene and maintained their center so to speak. Some, like some famouse artists or musicians were only recognised after their death. To me that's budo also. Of course you can also share with others etc. but the point is FAITH and CONFIDENCE in what you are doing far outweighing worrying abt others. For in my humble opinion that is what moves mountains.

Regards.G.

Last edited by graham christian : 02-14-2011 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:51 PM   #25
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Hi Phi -

Therein lies the rub Phi. Show me the math. Show me your yardstick for measuring how "good" someone is at Aikido. Define what you mean by "level of Aikido" in rigorous quantifiable terms. Then show me how past results must be indicative of future performance.

Best,

Ron
Hi Ron,
The question reminds me of Robert Pirsig's assignment to his university class to define "quality". The students uniformly agreed when someone or something was "quality" yet they couldn't adequately define it. With Aikido it's even harder because two people can look at precisely the same person doing Aikido and have opposite opinions about whether its good Aikido or not. The worst Aikido I ever saw done in public was by an 8th Dan at the Aiki Expo. Of course that was just my opinion... I am use he thought he was wonderful. In fact I am sure he did since he pretty much kept telling everyone that throughout the demo.

Of course we can't quantify how good someone's Aikido is. But I think we know it when we see it (in our own subjective manner). I know a bit about how you trained. I can't believe that you think the kind of Aikido you were taught is the standard Aikido one encounters generally. I would presume that you wouldn't feel that Aikido in in pretty much the opposite manner than the manner in which you do things would be good Aikido. So, while you may have trouble defining or quantifying what you feel is good Aikido, I doubt you have any trouble knowing it when you see it.

So, in these discussions, we do talk about there not being enough good quality Aikido out there. I know very few people who would disagree. What they don't agree with is what good quality Aikido looks like. I have finally come to the point at which I understand that there are a number of approaches, some fairly incompatible with each other. Each has its own set of paradigms operating. But within each approach there still seems to be some that is a good quality version and some that seem like bad quality version, regardless of which paradigm is operating.

Anyway, that's my take on it.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
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