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Old 06-17-2005, 12:07 AM   #1
CNYMike
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
Location: Cortland, NY
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Is Aikido Really Canadian?

Disclaimer: This is an attempt at humor. A laim one at that. I mean know disrepsect to Aikido, Canada, or Canadian Aikidoka, and apologize in advance to any of the above parties who may be offended.

Warning: In the event this has the desired effect, please refrain from eating or drinking while reading. I'm serious now!


And without further ado ....

We all know the history and origin of Aikido: It was founded by Morihei Ueshiba (sp), also known as O Sensei, who lived the bulk of his life in Japan. Aikido's headquarters dojo is in Japan, as well as O Sensei's home. There can be no doubt, then, that Aikido originated in Japan.

Or did it?

From where I live in Central New York State, the border with Canada is 2 to 4 hours away, depending on which way you go; Ottawa is about as far from me as New York City. Or as close depending on your POV. I have hopped the border regularly since 1993; and for eight years, read Maclean's, Canada's answer to Time, at my local library every week. While visting Canada, I watch CTV Newsnet, their answer to CNN's Headline News. So I kinda sorta have an idea about what's going on up there. And since my return to Aikido, I've noticed some coincidences that can not be ignored. Let us look at the following three areas:

Niceness: Canadians seem to be unflappably nice. Even when disagreeing with the US on matters of policy, the worst that happens is a noisy street protest that snarls up traffic all over Ottawa when they close the street in front of the US embassy, and it's over and done with in a couple of hours. The acquaintances and friendships you make over there seem to last, regardless of you're being an American. It's hard to believe that Canadians could have any bad bones in their bodies.

Aikidoka seem to be unflappably nice. Even when you make a mistake, the worst that happens is your butt gets sore from hitting the mat a little harder than normal. You make friends and enjoy yourself regardless of being a Kali person. And in the case of my sensei, it's hard to believe the man could have a bad bone in his body. (Which is no joke -- that's really my impression of him.)

Bipolar self image: When you read Macleans, you get two images of how Canadians view their country: On the one hand, the best place on Earth, considered so on the UN; and on the other hand, doomed by any and all of the following: Quebec separation, abosrbtion by the US, loss of the loonie to the American dollar. In other words, the national mood swings. A lot.

When one reads the Aikiweb forum one gets two images of how Aikidoka view their art: One the one hand, the best art in the world, personally enjoyable even to the point of being considered addictive; and on the other hand, doomed by any and all of the following: Not enough strikes and no kicks, not enough randori, not enough grappling, too much spirituality and cooperation, too much Japaneseness. In other words, the Aikido mood swings. A lot.

Inferiority and insecurity complex: Canadians are very concerned about how the United States views Canada. When the US doesn't pay much attention -- benign neglect! When the US pays attention to Canada -- the US is trying to take over! One Macleans columnist wrote the US would send troops in if Canada didn't go along with US policy, and the same issue had an article about how the US wasn't worried about Canada.

Aikidoka are very concerned about how their art is viewed by other martial artists. I've read at least one article on this forum about how Jun Fan/JKD people ridicule Aikido. Yet the Jun Fan people in my Kali class, including my Kali instructor, have never had a bad word to say about Aikido. In fact, one of my seniors bumped into Yamada sensei back in the day.

So can it be true? Have we had the wool pulled over our eyes? Have we spent years beleiving Aikido originated somewhere in the Mysterious East, when in fact it's from the Frozen North? Too many coincidences beg the question; it can not be ignored any longer.

You may now returned to your regularly scheduled insanity.

(I am so dead when my sensei gets wind of this.)

Last edited by CNYMike : 06-17-2005 at 12:08 AM. Reason: subscription
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Old 06-17-2005, 12:42 AM   #2
Keith_k
Dojo: Kim's Hapkido
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Re: Is Aikido Really Canadian?

You may have something there. So kiai is a really loud "eh?"
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Old 06-17-2005, 02:08 AM   #3
PeterR
 
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Re: Is Aikido Really Canadian?

I thought Ueshiba M. was Irish - gee maybe Aikido is actually a Newfie art. That would explain an awful lot.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-17-2005, 10:10 AM   #4
Nick P.
 
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Re: Is Aikido Really Canadian?

Except for the fact Canadians burnt your White House in in the War of 1812, your theory has merit.

But I am biased.

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Old 06-17-2005, 12:51 PM   #5
Ulises Garcia
 
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Re: Is Aikido Really Canadian?

Mmmh, Aikido from "The Frozen North"? I would guess that's the reason for the extra layers of fabric. You know Mike, you might have a point right there...

U.

"He who dies with the most toys...still dies."
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Old 06-17-2005, 12:54 PM   #6
DaveO
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Re: Is Aikido Really Canadian?

ROFL!

Got a huge giggle out of this - thanks!

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 06-17-2005, 02:03 PM   #7
Neil Yamamoto
Dojo: TNBBC
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Re: Is Aikido Really Canadian?

Actually, not lame at all. Pretty well executed. You left out the bit about the fondness for beer though.

Neil Yamamoto
Tuesday Night Bad Budo Club and Icho Ryu Chief Fluffy Bunny
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Old 06-17-2005, 05:09 PM   #8
malsmith
Dojo: Masters of Aikido in Fogelsville
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Re: Is Aikido Really Canadian?

id agree with that... there is a sensei in canada who comes down and trains in the same dojo as me during the summers, and he is really cool or unflappably nice as michael said.
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Old 06-18-2005, 12:20 AM   #9
CNYMike
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
Location: Cortland, NY
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Re: Is Aikido Really Canadian?

Quote:
Neil Yamamoto wrote:
Actually, not lame at all. Pretty well executed. You left out the bit about the fondness for beer though.
You've got a point there. My sensei -- an extremely nice guy and very knolegeable individual, make no mistake -- is notorious for going and having a BEER right after class. Everyone else goes for Gatorade, water; he has beer. And he brews his own beer, too.

And he keeps going up to seminars in Montreal.

Y'know, this was a joke, but now it's getting spooky ....
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Old 06-18-2005, 12:27 AM   #10
ElizabethCastor
 
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Re: Is Aikido Really Canadian?

Quote:
Neil Yamamoto wrote:
Actually, not lame at all. Pretty well executed. You left out the bit about the fondness for beer though.
I just thought the beer argument just puts closed on the case!
After classes we've gone to the bar and I'm almost positive that sensei or someone had ordered a Molson....
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Old 06-18-2005, 12:40 AM   #11
Ulises Garcia
 
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Re: Is Aikido Really Canadian?

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
You've got a point there. My sensei -- an extremely nice guy and very knolegeable individual, make no mistake -- is notorious for going and having a BEER right after class. Everyone else goes for Gatorade, water; he has beer. And he brews his own beer, too.

You know, that sounds a lot like Mexicali. Would your sensei have any relatives in Mexicali or any strong Mexicalian influence? "Corona" and "Tecate Light" are the "sports" drinks here. Gatorade is for kids. That is freaky...

U.

"He who dies with the most toys...still dies."
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Old 06-18-2005, 09:22 AM   #12
ajbarron
Dojo: Calgary Aikikai
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
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Re: Is Aikido Really Canadian?

Is Aikido Really Canadian ?

Finally the truth begins to immerge. Deep Throat has come to the surface after 30 years and now, finally, the truth about Aikido. Aikido is really a Canadian Martial Art.

Let's look at the similarities between Aikido and Canuck culture to see if we can gain some insight to this once mocked theory.

1) Aikidoka and Canadians both use foreign terminology and spelling to hide and obscure their meanings from outsiders. For example Toque (knit hat), two four (24 pack of beer), eh (can be used when ever!), Giv'er ( let's get it on, here we go, faster etc.), and better Giv'er eh! With the eh used for emphasis . Humour not humor, neighbour not neighbor, pyjamas not pajamas. Aikido…….Canada, obscurity and cult like terminology………. it's all starting to fit together.

2) Weapons: Canadians do not have nuclear deterrents and therefore must make do with our natural resources. What do we have in Canada? We have trees……..we have lots of trees………….we have lots and lots and lots of trees. What can you get from trees ( you can see where I'm going can't you !!!?) You can get sticks. What do we use in Aikido to fight with. We use sticks. What do Canadian have a lot of sticks. Coincidence……………………I doubt it.


3) Clothing: Canadians are known for their parkas, toques and mukluks. Why might you ask. (good question by the way) Well I'll tell you; when it's -50 Centigrade (that's about-500 Fahrenheit) and your running around in white pyjamas, zori and black skirts you'd better wear something to keep you body parts from freezing and dropping off.


4) Bowing: The evidence mounts because what country bows more to other countries who think they are more powerful, who think they are bigger, who think they are smarter……………….Canada. And do you know why? Because when you bow we pull the sticks from under our parkas and give you a good enlightening Zen whack on the head.


5) Humour: Aikido is love, laughter, blending and non-violence. Think now, how is Canada conquering the world.

Love …..Laughter…..Blending…..Non-Violence……… some of the precepts of Aikiido

Jim Carrey, Wayne and Shuster (60's) Rich Little, Martin Short, Ed, Dan Ackroyd and half the comedy writers in Hollywood. Canucks every one. We are taking over the world eh! ( I won't go into singers ……Celine Dion, Paul Anka, Avil Lavigne, Brian Adams, etc,etc

And by the way here's the clincher:

6) What are two things that Aikidoka and Canada share???? Good beer and we've got the best.


So if any of you wish to come to the birth place of Aikido ( Canada) we welcome you to our 25th anniversary Summer Camp in the Canadian Rockies with Igarashi Shihan (Japan), Kubo Shihan (Hawaii) and Inaba Shihan (Calgary).

Visit our website at www.calgaryaikikai.com. For information

Cheers, have fun and keep on rolling ‘cause the alternative hurts eh!
Andrew
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Old 06-18-2005, 09:33 AM   #13
CNYMike
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
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Re: Is Aikido Really Canadian?

Quote:
Ulises Garcia wrote:
You know, that sounds a lot like Mexicali. Would your sensei have any relatives in Mexicali or any strong Mexicalian influence? " ....
No, actually, I'm pretty sure he's originally from Michigan .... which is right next to Canada ..... hmmmmm .....
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Old 06-18-2005, 09:39 AM   #14
CNYMike
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
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Re: Is Aikido Really Canadian?

Quote:
Dave Organ wrote:
ROFL!

Got a huge giggle out of this - thanks!
You're welcome.
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