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Old 02-14-2011, 07:39 PM   #26
aikishihan
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Re: Future of Aikido

Hello again, Mary and Ron,

Thank you for your welcome clarification.

I find that it is often easy to misinterpret words, and perhaps even easier to misinterpret, or inaccurately anticipate intent.

Rest assured, your commitments and your contributions do count!

in oneness,
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:20 PM   #27
RonRagusa
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
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.
Hi George -

I like that. It's very apples to apples, oranges to oranges.

Weather permitting Mary and I are planning to attend the Friday night Aiki and Connection class at your seminar in Bedford Hills. It's the only class we'll be able to attend due to teaching commitments Saturday and Sunday. We are looking forward to meeting you.

Best,

Ron
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:23 AM   #28
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Hi George -

I like that. It's very apples to apples, oranges to oranges.

Weather permitting Mary and I are planning to attend the Friday night Aiki and Connection class at your seminar in Bedford Hills. It's the only class we'll be able to attend due to teaching commitments Saturday and Sunday. We are looking forward to meeting you.

Best,

Ron
I hope you can make it. If you don't have to head out too quickly maybe we cab do dinner together...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:35 AM   #29
mrlizard123
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Some are more concerned with the future of their revenue stream.

dps
I'm sure this is true for some and I think that it's the wrong approach if your goal is merely revenue, we agree; it's also not a reality for me since I work full time, study in my spare time, train and still put in a lot of what's left for students. It is self-serving, in that improving them improves my training environment and experience as well as laying foundations for a more solid future.

Revenue cannot be completely discounted as it is important as long as you need a roof and lights otherwise everyone loses out.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
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... the point is FAITH and CONFIDENCE in what you are doing far outweighing worrying abt others.
Why do Aikido? Why are you not starting something of your own? We are all building on the past to one degree or another. Faith and confidence are fine as long as we know what it is we are putting our faith and confidence into; what do you use as a yard stick? If it is "this is something I like" then it matters not, if it is "this is good aikido" then we venture in a slightly more narrowed direction since it must fit some criteria in order to be Aikido and where do these come from?

The past present and future all play a part:
Past: Let's not reinvent the wheel, or more accurately; let's not try all the failed attempts at wheels that came before
Present: When teaching/training let's be focused on the "now"
Future: Plan for the future; who will teach when I cannot? What will they be teaching and will they understand to the degree that they can pass it on again? Do I know everything?(!)

It is ok to be on the path and only look at the step you're taking but I think that without an idea of where you're heading you might find that you aren't where you expected to be when you get there.

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Show me your yardstick for measuring how "good" someone is at Aikido... in rigorous quantifiable terms
This is indeed the rub but I would say that just because it is not easy it cannot be accomplished at least within some degree of confidence. I also think it's something particularly difficult to discuss online (at least I prefer to wave my arms around when I talk!). If one eats at 3 different restaurants that all claim to serve the same cuisine and have no specific complaints you can likely say which was the "best one" or which was better than another but I think it would be difficult in many circumstances to say "exactly" why; this does not mean that one is or is not better. Some may be able to describe the subtle differences in the chef's technique, or the nuances of the effect the furniture and decor on the experience, the manner/knowledge/appearance of the staff and so on. We may not know all these specifics ourselves but we feel the result.

I think that there is no reason we shouldn't be able to develop a means of discussing what is "good" and "bad" even though this may in fact not gel with everyone's perspective. Just because you or I believe something is good or bad whilst another believes it not to be so is no reason not to discuss; it may mean that looking for people who are trying for the same specific goals to have such discussions with will be more fruitful as we all know there will be groups of people who will simply disagree on points though as long as people accept this there is no harm is evaluation/discussion.

There is a big difference between whining about something, rationally evaluating and learning from, closing ones eyes and ears to the past and the destination ahead, etc... I'm not suggesting that anyone fits into such pigeon holed behaviour and perhaps there may be a degree of misunderstanding on my part in the intent of the OP; the only umbrage I take is the implication (possibly incorrectly) that being concerned about the future and mindful of the past equates whining and lack of centre.

Last edited by mrlizard123 : 02-15-2011 at 02:41 AM.

Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:12 AM   #30
phitruong
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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.

Ron
I have two yardsticks: Saotome and Ikeda. with most aikido folks, i used Ikeda sensei. currently, in ASU, the folks that can do what Ikeda doing, the number is ..... NONE! i would consider someone aikido is good if they could do half of what Ikeda sensei. I don't even bother to pull out Saotome yardstick. outside of my aikido organization, i have another yardstick: Endo sensei. outside of aikido yardsticks: Howard Popkin, Mike Sigman. those are the folks i have my hands on at one time or another. i am planning to update my yardsticks bundle whenever i can get my hands on other folks like Toby, Dan Harden, Akuzawa, Ushiro, Kuroda, and others. there are so many folks who have an incredible amount of knowledge and experience. At time, i felt like a kid standing in the pit and looking up at the sky full of candies.

ps. i didn't mention Ledyard sensei because i have elected him to be my guidance counselor.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:03 AM   #31
Marc Abrams
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
I have two yardsticks: Saotome and Ikeda. with most aikido folks, i used Ikeda sensei. currently, in ASU, the folks that can do what Ikeda doing, the number is ..... NONE! i would consider someone aikido is good if they could do half of what Ikeda sensei. I don't even bother to pull out Saotome yardstick. outside of my aikido organization, i have another yardstick: Endo sensei. outside of aikido yardsticks: Howard Popkin, Mike Sigman. those are the folks i have my hands on at one time or another. i am planning to update my yardsticks bundle whenever i can get my hands on other folks like Toby, Dan Harden, Akuzawa, Ushiro, Kuroda, and others. there are so many folks who have an incredible amount of knowledge and experience. At time, i felt like a kid standing in the pit and looking up at the sky full of candies.

ps. i didn't mention Ledyard sensei because i have elected him to be my guidance counselor.
Phil:

NEVER give up that perspective! I truly believe that it prevents institutional myopia from narrowing our understandings within our art. I openly tell people that Stanley Pranin is a true hero in having provided invaluable opportunities to see the depth of knowledge and experience that is out there and how much it can directly benefit us in the deepened understanding of our art. It was suffering from institutional myopia until Stanley blew through the "doors created by a narrow vision."

Regards,

marc abrams
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:17 AM   #32
dps
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
I have two yardsticks: Saotome and Ikeda. with most aikido folks, i used Ikeda sensei. currently, in ASU, the folks that can do what Ikeda doing, the number is ..... NONE! i would consider someone aikido is good if they could do half of what Ikeda sensei. I don't even bother to pull out Saotome yardstick. outside of my aikido organization, i have another yardstick: Endo sensei.
Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
NEVER give up that perspective! I truly believe that it prevents institutional myopia from narrowing our understandings within our art.
I don't understand how defining Aikido by using only a narrow sample of people as yardsticks prevents the narrow understanding of Aikido.

dps
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:24 AM   #33
Marc Abrams
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
I don't understand how defining Aikido by using only a narrow sample of people as yardsticks prevents the narrow understanding of Aikido.

dps
David:

Are you intentionally misusing my statement? I was referring directly to his willingness to experience exemplary martial artists OUTSIDE of Aikido in order to deepen his understanding of Aikido. It is also important to note that both Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei do that as well. They are outstanding examples of open-mindedness ( and I am not in the ASU).

Marc Abrams
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:27 AM   #34
dps
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
David:

Are you intentionally misusing my statement? I was referring directly to his willingness to experience exemplary martial artists OUTSIDE of Aikido in order to deepen his understanding of Aikido. It is also important to note that both Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei do that as well. They are outstanding examples of open-mindedness ( and I am not in the ASU).

Marc Abrams
No, it was not clear that you were only referring to part or what part of his post.

dps
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:32 AM   #35
dps
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
I have two yardsticks: Saotome and Ikeda. with most aikido folks, i used Ikeda sensei. currently, in ASU, the folks that can do what Ikeda doing, the number is ..... NONE! i would consider someone aikido is good if they could do half of what Ikeda sensei. I don't even bother to pull out Saotome yardstick. outside of my aikido organization, i have another yardstick: Endo sensei. outside of aikido yardsticks: Howard Popkin, Mike Sigman.
It seems that your main experience of Aikido is within the ASU and you go outside of Aikido to gain understanding of what is inside of the Aikido you know.

Is this correct?

Why not experience more of the different styles of what is inside Aikido as well?

dps
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:55 AM   #36
phitruong
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
It seems that your main experience of Aikido is within the ASU and you go outside of Aikido to gain understanding of what is inside of the Aikido you know.

Is this correct?

Why not experience more of the different styles of what is inside Aikido as well?

dps
i do. i have trained with folks at their dojo such as AAA, AWA, USAF, and others. when i travel, even if there is an ASU dojo in town, i usually look for other dojo and visit them. and not just aikido either.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:02 AM   #37
dps
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
i do. i have trained with folks at their dojo such as AAA, AWA, USAF, and others. when i travel, even if there is an ASU dojo in town, i usually look for other dojo and visit them. and not just aikido either.
Ok, thank you

dps
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:39 AM   #38
DH
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Ok, thank you

dps
Okay
So David follow that up. What does it say that he has discovered something quite substantial...to...his aikido....outside of aikido?

Some people in this thread, have said elsewhere:

*That everything they need is already in Aikido
*That their teacher has IT (contextually when discussing the IP/aiki debate)

Yet the same people who have said that -have not trained with the people being discussed to feel and experience aiki-outside of their art.

What does it say, when those same people read year after year their peers and seniors in the art arriving at the same conclusion. That the study of IP/aiki has substantially changed their Aikido for the better, and the validity of that is denied..

Experience is an interesting thing and agenda is ugly and contrary to good will. Slowly and steadily more people with good will are coming together (in defiance of some people who have agenda written all over them...on both sides of this issue)..and they are arriving at conclusions that benefit the art of Aikido.

I don't know why it has to be confrontational, but apparently when people feel so passionate about a hobby, these things happen. I am going to continue to strive to be better at listening and being reasonable in light of some of the resistance I face on line, since it always seems to end in a shared common interest I keep arriving at in person.
IP/aiki is the cornerstone of what made the Asian arts legendary. It is a shared pedagogy for all of us who pursue these arts. It is my hope that this new movement doesn't get absorbed...in itself... into factionalism as some are now trying to do. Nor does it get absorbed into even more factionalism within the arts.

Remember that the aikido teachers are encountering something that they cannot do. I know that as I go out and meet so many teachers in an amazing array of arts, that my eyes have been opened to some interesting things as well. This collaborative effort has been positive and is growing and I for one am striving to keep it that way, (as Ellis first mentioned in his book) by extending an open hand.
Cheers
Dan, .

Last edited by DH : 02-15-2011 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:02 AM   #39
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Some are more concerned with the future of their revenue stream.
My version of protecting my revenue stream is making darn sure that absolutely nothing happens to my wife, Genie, since she's the one with the real job.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:18 AM   #40
OwlMatt
 
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Re: Future of Aikido

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Toby Threadgill wrote: View Post
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.
...
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.
I don't necessarily disagree with you, but isn't there a danger of losing aikido altogether if we take our flexibility too far? It seems that every year the definition of the word aikido grows more and more vague. Where is the line between being informed by our martial arts relatives and disappearing into them?

.

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Old 02-15-2011, 10:32 AM   #41
Keith Larman
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Matthew Story wrote: View Post
I don't necessarily disagree with you, but isn't there a danger of losing aikido altogether if we take our flexibility too far? It seems that every year the definition of the word aikido grows more and more vague. Where is the line between being informed by our martial arts relatives and disappearing into them?

.
Maybe that's the exact reason some are looking back trying to reconnect the dots. Things have become quite gray and fuzzy.

Things evolve and while some (many?) may like the direction it has taken, some may prefer to instead go back to what the old guy was doing before things became quite so popular... I personally have no problem with Aikido going in all sorts of directions. I think that's fine, inevitable and natural. The question for each of us is where *you* want to go with it. For me it is looking back to understand where it came from so I can take it where it will naturally go *for me*.

I don't get the wailing and gnashing of teeth on this issue. Some are perfectly content to do what they're doing and what they've always done. That's cool. Others want other things. That's cool too. Me, I'm constantly looking around trying to find things to help me better understand where I came from and what I'm doing. That is, I think, the biggest compliment I can pay to my teachers -- to sincerely try my best to understand what they were taught and are teaching me. Trying to get better. And we all do it our own ways.

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Old 02-15-2011, 10:39 AM   #42
OwlMatt
 
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Re: Future of Aikido

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Maybe that's the exact reason some are looking back trying to reconnect the dots. Things have become quite gray and fuzzy.

Things evolve and while some (many?) may like the direction it has taken, some may prefer to instead go back to what the old guy was doing before things became quite so popular... I personally have no problem with Aikido going in all sorts of directions. I think that's fine, inevitable and natural. The question for each of us is where *you* want to go with it. For me it is looking back to understand where it came from so I can take it where it will naturally go *for me*.

I don't get the wailing and gnashing of teeth on this issue. Some are perfectly content to do what they're doing and what they've always done. That's cool. Others want other things. That's cool too. Me, I'm constantly looking around trying to find things to help me better understand where I came from and what I'm doing. That is, I think, the biggest compliment I can pay to my teachers -- to sincerely try my best to understand what they were taught and are teaching me. Trying to get better. And we all do it our own ways.
I guess what I'm trying to do is differentiate between trying to understand aikido and trying to change aikido. If we are doing the former (which I think is what is being suggested both here and in the previous post I quoted), that's great. I just think caution must be taken to make sure that we are not stretching the definition of aikido to mean whatever we want it to mean.

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Old 02-15-2011, 10:47 AM   #43
graham christian
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I hope you can make it. If you don't have to head out too quickly maybe we cab do dinner together...
Quote:
Rich Hobbs wrote: View Post
I'm sure this is true for some and I think that it's the wrong approach if your goal is merely revenue, we agree; it's also not a reality for me since I work full time, study in my spare time, train and still put in a lot of what's left for students. It is self-serving, in that improving them improves my training environment and experience as well as laying foundations for a more solid future.

Revenue cannot be completely discounted as it is important as long as you need a roof and lights otherwise everyone loses out.

Why do Aikido? Why are you not starting something of your own? We are all building on the past to one degree or another. Faith and confidence are fine as long as we know what it is we are putting our faith and confidence into; what do you use as a yard stick? If it is "this is something I like" then it matters not, if it is "this is good aikido" then we venture in a slightly more narrowed direction since it must fit some criteria in order to be Aikido and where do these come from?

The past present and future all play a part:
Past: Let's not reinvent the wheel, or more accurately; let's not try all the failed attempts at wheels that came before
Present: When teaching/training let's be focused on the "now"
Future: Plan for the future; who will teach when I cannot? What will they be teaching and will they understand to the degree that they can pass it on again? Do I know everything?(!)

It is ok to be on the path and only look at the step you're taking but I think that without an idea of where you're heading you might find that you aren't where you expected to be when you get there.

This is indeed the rub but I would say that just because it is not easy it cannot be accomplished at least within some degree of confidence. I also think it's something particularly difficult to discuss online (at least I prefer to wave my arms around when I talk!). If one eats at 3 different restaurants that all claim to serve the same cuisine and have no specific complaints you can likely say which was the "best one" or which was better than another but I think it would be difficult in many circumstances to say "exactly" why; this does not mean that one is or is not better. Some may be able to describe the subtle differences in the chef's technique, or the nuances of the effect the furniture and decor on the experience, the manner/knowledge/appearance of the staff and so on. We may not know all these specifics ourselves but we feel the result.

I think that there is no reason we shouldn't be able to develop a means of discussing what is "good" and "bad" even though this may in fact not gel with everyone's perspective. Just because you or I believe something is good or bad whilst another believes it not to be so is no reason not to discuss; it may mean that looking for people who are trying for the same specific goals to have such discussions with will be more fruitful as we all know there will be groups of people who will simply disagree on points though as long as people accept this there is no harm is evaluation/discussion.

There is a big difference between whining about something, rationally evaluating and learning from, closing ones eyes and ears to the past and the destination ahead, etc... I'm not suggesting that anyone fits into such pigeon holed behaviour and perhaps there may be a degree of misunderstanding on my part in the intent of the OP; the only umbrage I take is the implication (possibly incorrectly) that being concerned about the future and mindful of the past equates whining and lack of centre.
Hi Rich.
Like your post. You asked me some questions so I'll try to answer.

Why do I do Aikido? Cos I love it and find it's good for self developement and to help others. That's the simplicity for me.

What do I use as a yardstick? I have many yardsticks but the most important one for me is how are the students doing. Are they learning the principles? Improving their application of them in their practice? Applying those same principles to the different areas of their life to good effect? Bottom line are they winning students?

If so the garden is rosy and I give thanks to the past and have confidence in the future.

I look at it this way, a teacher has a product and his or her product is winning, happy students. So you could say my yardstick is in present time, in review and for extra information I study the past, especially the words of O'Sensei and his allocated teachers. Having said that I also include the wisdom of others from all fields. Future for me is simply a matter of organizing in the present and when the present isn't going so well the future looks bleak. That could make a person worry and blame and lead to saying others must worry and blame but I see that as counter productive.

If your not happy and the future looks bleak then it's time to review. The answer lies where you are and the simplicity is teaching and winning students.

In my experience if your own scene is good and you then are shown that the scene generally elsewhere is not good then you will be surprised.

On the other hand I find that if your own scene is not good and then you are shown that the scene elsewhere is also not good then you will be worried, annoyed, looking to blame etc.

Finally in response to something else you said. My personal belief is that if you want to improve yourself you must learn how to be and act selflessly. Sounds strange maybe but not to me.

Regards. G.
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:47 AM   #44
Keith Larman
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Re: Future of Aikido

No doubt about it, Matt. You see, I don't have a problem with thinking of words as having a history, evolution and flexible meaning. In other words, even *if* aikido has evolved in such a way that what most practice today is quite different from what was being done by O-sensei, that's fine with me as well. It *did* change. Tohei had a major hand in that. Then it really changed quite extensively with the Kisshomaru's taking over. It became incredibly popular in a way I'm sure O-sensei would never have imagined.

So what it is today in various places may in fact be the perfect thing for many, providing exactly what the students want out of the art. But many of those changes may not be what everyone wants. Some may want to go back to a different time. Or a different aikido.

The point for me is that I've heard people ask "what is aikido *really*?" as if there's an answer to that question. To me the question makes no sense given the broad acceptance and multiple directions it took, heck, well before O-sensei passed away. Some of the changes in some places may be wonderful for some. Those very same things may in fact be the absolute worst for others. Just the nature of evolution of this type.

It's greatest strength is the widespread popularity. It's greatest weakness is the widespread popularity. It just depends on what you want.

Nothing will be lost by those folk looking back because there will always be those who are quite happy now, and rightfully so for them. I honestly don't see why people need to worry about what others are looking for. My concern is for what I'm pursuing. Y'all do whatever you want...

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Old 02-15-2011, 11:03 AM   #45
AsimHanif
Join Date: May 2003
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Re: Future of Aikido

Well its obvious that aikido means many different things to many different people. I for one like what Tamura Sensei said about ‘not trying to sell it' to paraphrase. Each person has to be content with what they are doing. As an instructor what you are doing may or may not attract some sort of following but either way the individual has to make a personal choice.
I've been fortunate to feel an Endo, Ikeda, Nadeau, Sugawara, and others from within aikido as well as practitioners from outside of aikido. I have at this moment a very clear idea of where I'd like my practice to go so thankfully I have an instructor from within aikido who not only has a practice that inspires me but has always encouraged me to challenge myself.
So with regards to the future of aikido, yes I share some of the same concerns as others regarding quality but I also realize that you can only control yourself.
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:57 AM   #46
Eric Winters
Dojo: Aikido of San Leandro and Berkeley
Location: Emeryville, CA
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Re: Future of Aikido

Hello,

I felt I had to go outside of aikido to get what I want out of my training. I have trained with Toby Threadgill's students for a while and visit Toby every so often. The IS training I am doing within TSYR and the jujitsu principles that I plug into my aikido does not change the outer appearance of my aikido that much. It just makes it more efficient. I also try to do the TSYR kata because it is really cool and it gives me something that aikido does not. I see nothing wrong with going outside of aikido to get other things that aikido does not teach. From what I understand Koryu did it all the time because they need to know what the other guy was doing so they could counter it.

Best,

Eric
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:25 PM   #47
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
My concern is for what I'm pursuing. Y'all do whatever you want...
i am concern about what you are pursuing. if you pursuit the same stuffs as i am, then i have to find way to off you. can't have competition, you know!
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:27 PM   #48
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
i am concern about what you are pursuing. if you pursuit the same stuffs as i am, then i have to find way to off you. can't have competition, you know!
Hey, dude, if you're going to do the "there can be only ONE!" thing you have to remember I live in a house FULL of swords...

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Old 02-15-2011, 12:40 PM   #49
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Re: Future of Aikido

Quote:
Matthew Story wrote: View Post
I guess what I'm trying to do is differentiate between trying to understand aikido and trying to change aikido. If we are doing the former (which I think is what is being suggested both here and in the previous post I quoted), that's great. I just think caution must be taken to make sure that we are not stretching the definition of aikido to mean whatever we want it to mean.
Hi Matthew,

aikido - the way of harmony with ki, I guess that can mean a lot of different things to a lot of people.

If you feel you are achieving that in your practice, then you are doing aikido, your own form of aikido, but aikido nonetheless. Plenty of people may point and say 'you are not doing the real aikido' or you are not doing O Sensei's aikido, or 'you are not doing the aikido that I do'.

Whether your aikido is 'martially effective' is a whole other ball game, which can be debated ad nauseum.

Who is to define what aikido is apart from the teachers who claim to be teaching it. If you come to me I will teach you 'my' aikido as I understand it, and I'll teach you in much the same way as I was taught by my own teacher. I'll also define it in terms of how it makes sense to me.

I think Keith is right, aikido is widely popular and is practiced in many different ways. I'm not sure if O Sensei was alive today, what he would think, but I would like to think he would see that his desire for aikido to be for everyone, was making some progress. He might raise an eyebrow as to some of the more 'out there' practices, but at least it is global and being enjoyed by many.

It is up to the individual teachers to try to hone their own skills, to be the best that they can be, to go in search if they feel what they are doing is lacking in some way. Because if they don't, they are being lazy and complacent and their students in the end will suffer.

The future of aikido is in the hands of the teachers who are alive today, not those whose legacy we draw on from the past.

regards

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:54 PM   #50
jonreading
 
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Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
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Re: Future of Aikido

Consipracy time. Since this thread is taken a different turn...

I think the undercurrent of the exploration of aikido outside aikido is one of fear. What happens to our ethos when a karate guy can better explain "aiki"? Or a kung fu guy that can better explain the role of dominant and recessive pressure? or the Systema guy that can better explain relaxation? Voiced or not, I think we all have a bit of trepidation, if not concern, that these things may be true. Trouble is, these scenarios are becoming more common - these people are getting better and pushing aikido into the sidelines. We have a great opportunity to recover and learn from these people.

The future of aikido is similar. We see more, better, people who are challenging the aikido people. Our principles are being challenged and quite frankly, many of us are not prepared to handle those people. Our principles are faltering under pressure (i.e. they are not working). But how many principles do we have? How many different interpretations do we have? Heck, we cannot even agree on the definition of "ki".

What do we do with these people who attack our principles or challenge our betterment? Marginalize. Ostracize. Ridicule. We need to understand the number of people better then us is increasing, while the number of us better then them is decreasing. We hide behind our ethics and our morals and our stance that aikido is not about fighting. But on some level isn't that just avoiding the fact a young athletic male who has some wrestling experience can hand us our lunch? We got some elitism going on and now the common folk are better at what we do than we are... We need to shape up.

We need stewards of aikido who are interested in the future of aikido. Some of the instructors of whom I am aware are doing these things and their aikido (and their explanations of aikido principle) are improving. At one point in time other arts came to aikido seeking knowledge. You want my measuring stick? When was the last time a karate guy came into your dojo to learn better karate? Or a judo guy? It's been about 2 months since I asked a judo guy to make my aikido better... I am looking forward to the day a judo guy comes into my dojo asking to make his judo better.

I am making some gross statements here to outline a point and I aim to cast a blanket statement across aikido but realize there are people doing these things... and it shows.
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