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Old 04-13-2004, 06:27 PM   #1
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Discuss the article, "Whose Aikido is Best?" by Chuck Clark here.

Article URL: http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/cclark/2004_04.html
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Old 04-13-2004, 08:02 PM   #2
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I completely agree with Chuck Clark. To train only to reproduce what you have been taught is ultimately wasteful. If a species does not evolve it dies out, the same could be true of our martial art.

Anyway, each time it is passed on and reproduced it will be dilluted like chinese whispers, so trying to faithfully reproduce it is futile. The art must evolve. Your Aikido must be YOUR Aikido.

I cannot do Yoshinkan just like Kancho Shioda as I am taller, heavier, and obviously a different shape. So I do MY Yoshinkan Aikido, within the principles.

We must try to be faithful to our teacher's Aikido at first, as we are learning the under pinning basics, but later we have tofind our way.

I disagree with the analogy with music though, Chuck. Every singer has their own voice, just as every pianist has different weight and timimg, every wind player their own vibrato, etc. They play within the notes their way, so I think Music sits very well as an analogy for finding your Aikido "voice".
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Old 04-13-2004, 08:41 PM   #3
zachbiesanz
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Quote:
Mark Dobro (Doka) wrote:
I completely agree with Chuck Clark. To train only to reproduce what you have been taught is ultimately wasteful. If a species does not evolve it dies out, the same could be true of our martial art.
I don't disagree with aikido's evolution being positive, but I must step in on behalf of evolutionary theory and point out that there are several species that haven't changed much or at all in millions of years. Several vareties of bacteria, for instance, haven't changed in a long, long time.

Aikido is the art of hitting an assailant with the planet.
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Old 04-14-2004, 01:11 AM   #4
Chuck Clark
 
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Quote:
Mark Dobro wrote:
I disagree with the analogy with music though, Chuck. Every singer has their own voice, just as every pianist has different weight and timing, every wind player their own vibrato, etc. They play within the notes their way, so I think Music sits very well as an analogy for finding your Aikido "voice".
Thanks for the comments Mark. I think your point above about music is true. What I was trying to get across is that through the practice of the basic fundamentals of music and the fact that there is a notation system that is very clear, people that have developed a facility with those basic tools can then develop and present their own "style" as you mention. If everyone that wanted to learn music had to imitate a master playing songs in their own style without those tools for learning fundamentals, I doubt we would have the vast number of really proficient musicians that we do in the world.

I see a lot of similarities in the practice of budo and music (and many other art forms).

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 04-14-2004, 12:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Zach Biesanz (zachrocksteady) wrote:
I don't disagree with aikido's evolution being positive, but I must step in on behalf of evolutionary theory and point out that there are several species that haven't changed much or at all in millions of years. Several vareties of bacteria, for instance, haven't changed in a long, long time.
Who is to say how long it takes to reach extiction?

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Old 04-14-2004, 12:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
C.E. Clark (Chuck Clark) wrote:
Thanks for the comments Mark. I think your point above about music is true. What I was trying to get across is that through the practice of the basic fundamentals of music and the fact that there is a notation system that is very clear, people that have developed a facility with those basic tools can then develop and present their own "style" as you mention. If everyone that wanted to learn music had to imitate a master playing songs in their own style without those tools for learning fundamentals, I doubt we would have the vast number of really proficient musicians that we do in the world.

I see a lot of similarities in the practice of budo and music (and many other art forms).
Absolutely!

May I paraphrase?

"Through the practice of the basic fundamentals of AIKIDO and the fact that there is a STRUCTURED system that is very clear, people that have developed a facility with those basic tools can then develop and present their own "style" as you mention. If everyone that wanted to learn AIKIDO had to imitate a master EXECUTING TECHNIQUE in their own style without those tools for learning fundamentals, I doubt we would have the vast number of really proficient AIKIDOKA that we do in the world."

I could not agree more!


Last edited by Doka : 04-14-2004 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 04-14-2004, 03:01 PM   #7
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Yes Mark, that's my point exactly.

Thanks for taking part in the discussion.

Chuck Clark
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Old 04-14-2004, 03:31 PM   #8
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Likewise.

As an Aikidoka and classical musician I see so many parallels! One physically hurts more though, so why is it that that is my favourite?
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Old 04-16-2004, 08:29 PM   #9
Charles Hill
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Actually, in the point where Mr. Clark considered the martial arts and music to be different, I think they are the same. The music, in the European classical, is written down, but at the higher levels, a student must go to a teacher to study how to interpret the notes and to get the important points that are not one the page. There is a strict lineage in the classical music world that I think parallels Budo.

Similarly, I think that I could buy all the Jiyushinkan`s videos and learn a lot, but I could never consider the process complete until I go to Texas and have Mr. Clark actually do the techniques on me.

I think that individual techniques have very little value in themselves. It is through the practice of form that I can get that unnameable/intangible thing from my teachers.

Charles Hill
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Old 04-17-2004, 04:24 AM   #10
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Thank you Charles. Very well put! That was what I was trying to get at.

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Old 04-17-2004, 07:21 AM   #11
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Hello Charles,

I'm in Bloomington, Indiana just now with a bunch of folks in a dojo in the woods overlooking Lake Lemon. Ain't it great!!!

Actually, I agree with what you said above. I must not be communicating clearly because I don't consider music and budo that different as you suggest.

By the way, we have dojo in Texas, but the Jiyushinkan is in Tempe, Arizona just down the street from ASU campus.

Chuck Clark
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Old 04-17-2004, 12:24 PM   #12
George S. Ledyard
 
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Going Beyond

Quote:
Mark Dobro (Doka) wrote:
I completely agree with Chuck Clark. To train only to reproduce what you have been taught is ultimately wasteful. If a species does not evolve it dies out, the same could be true of our martial art.

Anyway, each time it is passed on and reproduced it will be dilluted like chinese whispers, so trying to faithfully reproduce it is futile. The art must evolve. Your Aikido must be YOUR Aikido.
Nishio sensei said this in an old Aikido Journal interview:
Quote:
They say that O-Sensei practiced sword and staff, but he did so in the process of giving birth to modern Aikido. Even though we imitate him we will not be able to go beyond what he did. O-Sensei used to tell us, "This old man reached this stage. you should surpass me building on what I have left." However, we tend to imitate what he did and end up going backwards. Ten years from now, we may practicing the level of Aikido of O-Sensei as it was a number of years ago. After fifteen, we may end up going back to what he practiced at an even earlier date. This is not right, he told us over and over again to go beyond what he did.
I think that while it may be true that it is difficult for us as individuals to aspire to "surpass" O-Sensei or our own teachers, that does not mean that Aikido should be degenerating each generation. While one person may not be able to master all that his teacher did, there are now thousands of people training hard and developing their Aikido. If people train up to their capacity and don't artificially limit themselves, Aikido can continue to grow through our collective efforts. Each of us will add something of ourselves to the art. That way it is quite possible that Aikido as a whole will keep developing after O-Sensei and his direct Uchideshi are gone. It's a collective effort of individuals, each going as deep as he or she can.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 04-17-2004 at 12:34 PM.

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Old 04-17-2004, 04:30 PM   #13
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Mark, I can remember when I first started drumming how my wrists and shoulders hurted so much. Then I learned to relax and let it flow. Sound familiar??

Good points Mark I often see the same similarities.
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Old 04-17-2004, 06:03 PM   #14
Charles Hill
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Mr. Clark,

I think you have been communicating very clearly. That is one of the reasons your articles and posts are so enlightening to me and, I`m sure, most everyone else.

My post was about just one part of your article, in which I felt that music (classical anyway) supports your ideas, not contradicting them.

Sorry about the mix up as to your location. I may be in Arizona in December. If I am, I would love to visit your dojo.

Thank you,

Charles Hill
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Old 04-19-2004, 09:49 AM   #15
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Talking Re: Article: Whose Aikido is Best? by Chuck Clark

At a recent local international fair on the university campus, a group of taekwondo students were doing a demonstration in the center of things.
As the students went though basic forms as a group, their instructor was moving around the mat with a microphone selling his dojang to the crowd.
But when he got to the part where he said,
Quote:
We will demonstrate why our technique is superior to others... .
I could barely restrain my laughter.
I suppose if I couldn't have restrained it, it may have turned into an even better demonstration of Aikido vs Taekwonddo
Which would have been foolish, since our aikido is superior to all others!

jon

jon harris

Life is a journey...
Now, who took my @#$%! map?!
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Old 04-24-2004, 07:51 PM   #16
Susan Dalton
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Re: Going Beyond

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Nishio sensei said this in an old Aikido Journal interview:


I think that while it may be true that it is difficult for us as individuals to aspire to "surpass" O-Sensei or our own teachers, that does not mean that Aikido should be degenerating each generation. While one person may not be able to master all that his teacher did, there are now thousands of people training hard and developing their Aikido. If people train up to their capacity and don't artificially limit themselves, Aikido can continue to grow through our collective efforts. Each of us will add something of ourselves to the art. That way it is quite possible that Aikido as a whole will keep developing after O-Sensei and his direct Uchideshi are gone. It's a collective effort of individuals, each going as deep as he or she can.
We've noticed that as we have more senior students, our beginners seem to learn more quickly. Now it could be that these young whipper snapper beginners are just quicker than we were, but I think as we get more teaching input, learning happens faster. Can you imagine how difficult teaching must have been for those first students venturing out to spread aikido? In many ways, we have an easier time because we have many people with years of experience to be uke and help us teach. Even if they've never tried aikido, most folks have heard of it. Still, as I only train 3 or so hours each week, 5 at the most, I can't imagine I'll ever catch up with folks who trained that many hours each day.
Susan
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:06 AM   #17
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Re: Article: Whose Aikido is Best? by Chuck Clark

Chuck, I would just like to say thank you. I have been asking that question for some time now and you answered it perfectly. Once again thank you.


Ben
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