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Old 06-21-2004, 12:57 AM   #26
xuzen
 
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Re: Aikido suffering identity problem?

Wunder whatz wrong with the Seagle guy? Is he the type that girls-won't-wanna-bring-home-to-momma type?


Boon
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Old 11-09-2004, 07:11 PM   #27
John Matsushima
 
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Re: Aikido suffering identity problem?

Some common responses I've had...

oh...that's that Steven Seagal stuff you use to break peoples bones, right? NO

Is it a type of fighting ? NO

Do you do that kung-fu Bruce Lee stuff? NO

I've often had this problem it the past in describing AIKIDO. I don't like saying that it is a martial art, because then Mr. Joe Public hears "Everybody is kung fu fighting" playing in the background and asks, "So, you can beat people up? Joe Schmoe has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, do you think you can take him?"

What I would like to say is something that I actually heard in one of Bruce Lee's movies..."It is the art of fighting without fighting". However, I don't think anyone would know what that means.

In the end I usually invite people to come to watch practice, or I will show them videos.

But then people still don't understand.

In America, will live in a culture where when someone messes with us, we kick butt, take names, and ask questions later. So with that in mind, it is understandable that many find it diffucult to grasp the concept of nonviolence in the face of danger.

Perhaps there should be more public demonstrations in America to make people more aware of the Art of Peace.

-John Matsushima
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Old 11-09-2004, 10:19 PM   #28
CNYMike
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
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Re: Aikido suffering identity problem?

For myself, I found out Aikido existed after I'd begun taking karate, and bought some of those huge books that provides an overview on everything. So the moral here is a member of John Q. Public who starts MA training can blunder into finding out about Aikido or anything else.

Beyond that ..... AFAIK, worldwide, there are about 1.5 million people praciticing Aikido, and every time you turn around, new dojo are popping up. So as far as "marketing" Aikido goes, market share seems to be going up, so that's going just fine.
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Old 11-11-2004, 01:37 PM   #29
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido suffering identity problem?

I knew nothing of Aikido when I started studying Martial Arts about 12 years ago. All I knew of was karate and judo, kung fu, and tai chi. Who knew that all these other things existed!

I found out about Aikido after a couple of years of studying when one of my Sempai moved to ST Louis and started studying with one of Saotome Sensei's students out there. When I moved to Wash DC, my karate sensei and sempai heavily encouraged me to take up aikido at Aikido Shobukan in Wash DC. I did, and it has been a life changing experience for me!
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Old 11-11-2004, 05:37 PM   #30
Dan Gould
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Re: Aikido suffering identity problem?

Personally, I consider aikido as a martial art that offers personal growth, offers insight, etc, while offering potent self defence with as little damage to all combatants as possible.

Sound crap, right? To make it sound worse, the phrase "Art of fighting without fighting" comes to mind. There's more to a martial art than kicking ass. There's more to aikido than self defence and throwing people about. I wouldn't know how to really explain what it is, except to throw out some names like Steven Seagal. Then maybe show a move, or two.

But yeah, a way of fighting without fighting sums it up for ME. Dunno if others would agree.
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Old 11-12-2004, 04:10 AM   #31
Dario Rosati
Dojo: Zanshin - Milan
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Re: Aikido suffering identity problem?

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
Hi, I am the thread starter. My original purpose of this thread is to get fellow practitioner to ask themselve what if it is possible to associate aikido with..
I would leave "mature" concepts alone (from a training perspective), such as Ki or philosophical mumbo-jumbo about love etc, since they're not common ground. Too vague, too un-understandable for a non-practitioner (and not even perceived in the same manner through different styles/countries/senseis/dojos).
Don't want to sound heretic or disrespectful, but I (and many others) don't care about O'Sensei general philosophy of life, or the correlations between universe and aikido... I'm in aikido for his martial, phisical and fun aspects (for now, at least... I'll keep my mind open in the future), and bet many others are; others may obviously think what they want about love, ki, harmony, universe and their relationships with aikido, but, as you see, it's not common ground to describe/perceive aikido and martial arts in general, and, IMHO, have a negative impact on many non-practitioners.

I'll stick with

-) equilibrium and center control (yours & uke's)
-) exiting from the attack line rather than blocking
-) blend/use uke's energy, entering in the attack and/or "creating void", to apply locks or throws
-) keep proper distance

...these are common to all styles/practiotioners, and are concepts understandable by people you're explaining aikido at, no matter what country, religion, aikido perception, or "welt-anschaung".
All, rigorously, IMHO

--
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Old 04-30-2005, 12:52 AM   #32
xuzen
 
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Re: Aikido suffering identity problem?

Just two days ago a friend of my uncle came to visit him and I happened to be there. My uncle's friend has a background in TKD and Hung Gar style. We chat and the topic of MA crop up. When he heard that I am doing aikido, well the conversation goes like this,

Quote:
Friend: Aikido huh? It is a very soft style, yes? You people deliberately fall over the place. It is like tai chi isn't it, for relaxation
.

Luckily I happen to have my laptop with me and I have saved a copy of G. shioda video demo. I let him watch it. And it was fun to see his jaw dropped (figuratively). He said, is that aikido? It is not what he have in his mind. Further he asked me, how come aikido is so hard style?

With so much misconception surrounding aikido, it is not surprising our martial effectiveness has been under scrutiny over and over again. <sigh!>

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 04-30-2005, 09:15 AM   #33
CNYMike
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
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Re: Aikido suffering identity problem?

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
..... With so much misconception surrounding aikido, it is not surprising our martial effectiveness has been under scrutiny over and over again. <sigh!>

Boon.
Another one is that Aikido is for old people. Problem: You don't get 1.5 million aikido practitioners if you only teach people over 65, because odds are they'll die off before they can teach others. There are plenty of "young" people doing it, late teens or twenties. And the workout can be pretty intense. Only for old people? If they're little old Thai boxers!
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Old 05-08-2005, 11:24 AM   #34
aikigirl10
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Re: Aikido suffering identity problem?

I dont think aikido needs to be advertised. Those w/a real interest in martial arts will find the one that is right for them w/out us trying to persuade them to do only aikido. But yes, i do agree it would be nice for aikido to have some kind of counterpart . I just dont see it happening. When asked what aikido is, i simply say "it is a non-competetive martial art that combines joint-locks, pins and throwing" that pretty much sums it up
Hope this helps
Paige
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Old 05-09-2005, 07:46 PM   #35
CNYMike
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Re: Aikido suffering identity problem?

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
..... I dont think aikido needs to be advertised .....
Well, with 1.5 million pracitioners worldwide, Aikido is probbly not in immediate danger of dying out. However, some promotion is not a bad idea to keep the name out there. I found out about Aikido initially through a Big Martial Arts Book I read back in the '80s; then I got Dynamic Aikido by Gozo Shioda Sensei. When I found a local Aikido class, I signed up, but I'd already read about it.

So making sure people are aware of it is probably why the Doshu isn't resting on his laurels -- putting out books, DVDs, and consenting to having the odd documentary segment shot at Humbu Dojo. It's his family's art, after all -- an heirloom, if you will -- and if people don't practice it, it dies.
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Old 05-24-2005, 08:07 PM   #36
theflyingheadbuttsuplex
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Ai symbol Re: Aikido suffering identity problem?

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
Dear fellow practitioners,

Aikido is many things to many people, evidently as many poster here have their own idea what aikido is to them. It can be a very personal experience. Each practitioner's aikido experience is unique to oneself.

Speak of Tai Chi and most Joe Public will associate it as a health giving exercise, although its history was associated with martial. Talk about Judo and automatically one conjure up images of Olympic sportsmen and women. Judo as a martial art? No, it's image is more of a sport now. Talk about karate and tae kwon do and one sees a tough Bruce Lee figure doing all the high kicks and rapid punches never mind that Bruce's background was in Wing Chun. Talk about Choy Lei Fatt, Hung Gar, Shaolin style and without a doubt Mr. Joe Public will associate it with Self Defence or martial art, period. All the above arts are classified as martial art but they all have a constant image in the eye of Mr. Joe Public.

Now, let's head back to Aikido. Speak Aikido to non-practitioner and what images will one get? Many a times, over leisure talk with friends or business associates, I would inadvertently say aikido when asked what hobby or activities I do on my spare time. Is it like Judo where you throw people around? Yes we do. Is it like Karate with punches and kicks? Yes we do that too. You see, the point I am trying to convey is that Aikido does not have an associative element with the non-practitioner. Talk about Ki to them, and your conversation will end before it start, because many a times the concept is as foreign as Greek to any of us (Except Greek readers in this forum). Right now, when such a conversation comes out during leisure talk, I just say Judo and that's it. At least Mr Joe Public has some vague idea what it is, unlike Aikido.

Again aikido has many school and influnces. Ki Society style emphasizes Ki and esoteric, metaphysical aspect of the art. Yoshinkan and Yoseikan style emphasizes the Martial / technical aspect. Different practitioner says different thing. That is why to a non-practitioner, aikido does not have a constant image.

Dear fellow practitioner, the purpose of this thread is to welcome debate and discussion on what we would like to market aikido to the average Joe Public, if it is at all possible.

NB: I am very sorry if some of the information with regards to the various martial art groups stated above are inaccurate. They were meant for illustrative and comparative uses only.

Best regards,
Boon
I don't think Mr. joe public knows what hun gar or Choy li fut are!

If I knew what aikido was when I started, I probably wouldn't have started! But now I love It and probably wouldn't do anything else other than da cheng chuan (If only I could find a place!)

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