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#125452 - 03/02/03 10:06 AM Funny
ShoreiGojuKarateka Offline
Member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 108
Loc: indianapolis, in, USA
Haaaahaaaa!

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#125453 - 03/03/03 02:55 AM Re: Funny
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
I'm sorry, Aikido is generally considered a art for the more intelligent and thoughfull martial artist. I think you'll be more at home over on one of the others.

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#125454 - 03/04/03 12:58 AM Re: Funny
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
So Cato, while we are here, explain to me why you think Aiki arts have changed over the past 10 years. In my humble opinion, many practioners here, seem to pretend to be Japanees, rather than train in a Japaneese art. The like the look, talk the talk, but when it comes to training hard, there always seem to be an excuse.....What do you think?

[This message has been edited by senseilou (edited 03-04-2003).]

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#125455 - 03/05/03 03:10 AM Re: Funny
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
How long have you got, Lou? I think the reasons behind the diversity within aikido training are manyfold, and would fill a book. In the intrest of not boring the pants off everyone, I'll limit myself to a couple.

First and foremost, I think O'sensei was aikido and the art mirrors the man. He encouraged development away from purely martial aims as he grew older and his aikido from this time does the same. The problem faced by aikidoka is that O'sensei kept the name whilst changing the emphasis of his art.

Therefore it is perfectly correct to say that aikido is both a martial art and a vehicle for spiritual development. But what is often overlooked is that the two things don't go hand in hand. They are different styles, in much the same way as karate varies between Ryuha.

This is exacerbated by aiki arts all coming under the aikido umbrella. For most people aiki jutsu begins and ends with Daito Ryu, and any other aiki art is aikido. In actual fact the style of "aikido" I was learnt was being taught before the name aikido had even been though of. My art should perhaps more peoperly be called Ueshiba ha aiki jutsu, O'sensei did use that name for a short while, before going onto aikbudo and then finally, aikido.

He dropped the "Bu" character from the name to reflect the move away from purely martial aims within his art. Yet I call myself an aikidoka, and my art is considered a rather robust form of aikido, even though there are major stylistic differences between it and a later aikido style, such as Iwama Ryu or Tomiki.

To add further confusion to an already complicated plot, there is the issue of "Ki". I don't even want to begin to start that debate right now, save to say it is another area where opinions differ and no clkar conclusions can be reached. What does ki mean to you? I bet it means something different to me, and something different again to the next person.

So when the Rainbow Warriors state they practice aikido they are probably more entitled to do so than I am. the problem is aikido has become too broad a term, with different meanings for different people. That will always lead to confusion and conflict, which is ironic considering O'sensei's profound beliefs.

There, you did ask. I know I'm only scratching the surface, but it's enough for a start.

Budo

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#125456 - 03/10/03 01:05 PM Re: Funny
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
you know what I think Cato........it doesn't matter what I think, but I do agree with your view and I think there is another factor as well. Most Aikidoka are very un-flexible in their accepting of information. They do what is taught to them, exactly how it is taught to them. The won't accept information from a different Aikido Organization, much less than other styles. I can't tell you how many people do things they say are Aiki-like and would make Aikido very functional, but most won't accept anything except from their Sensei or the Head of THEIR organization. I have found Silant, Bhag Wa, and Kung Fu techniques just like Aikido, yet they refuse to look. Silant does an 'Ikkyo' technique and add what they call 'Bissett'. What it is basically is stepping back into a long stance after the ikkyo, it looks like a sweep, but your just moving the leg, to different angles. Now having learned that, you can incorporate a sweep with ikkyo, and we do, but its more of a pre-war ikkyo, complete with atemi waza. I was told that is not Aikido, but it is, it doesn't violate any principles, but they are too rigid to see this.
A student who trained at one of the Shaolin Temples in China visited our Aikido dojo and wanted to train with someone. All the other Black Belts except me ran, and no way would they play with a Kung Fu specialist. His Kung Fu was snake and tiger Kung Fu so I said sure, I will. we had a blast, It was having great fun, he'd attack and I would do a technique then I would, then he would reverse and I would reverse, it was great training. One time I got carried away and did a Sankyo throw, but took his hand between his legs, and he flipped in mid-air, I was about to apologize, but had to admire his ukemi, it was awesome, he was awestruck with the technique so all we did was compliment each other and share information. We hugged vowed to find each other again sometime and he left. My Sensei came and told me I was not doing Aikido, to cut the 'junk' out. I told him though that the techniques we use, I made work. His answer was "its not the way we practice here, either do it our way or leave. I never want to see that s**t again" To noone's surprise, I was gone within the month, I just finally got tired of a one way street, and doing things one certain way. There are several sytles of Aikido, let alone AikiBudo, AikiBujitsu and Ueshsiba-Ha Daito ryu, yet they won't acknowledge any thing but their own. The blinders they wear, hinder their art.

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#125457 - 03/10/03 03:11 PM Re: Funny
raccoon Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
Hope I am not intruding a private thread. If I am, I apologize.

I've probably said this before... people I met in aikido generally turn out to be a lot more defensive and close-minded than people I've met in any other arts. It's the exact opposite of what I expect "aiki" to be.

I think part of the problem is that aikido had acquired a reputation for being a dance, a philosophy, and not budo. O Sensei also forbids shiai. So aikidoka are left accused and have no way to prove themselves. I don't recall seeing any aikidoka challenging masters in other arts to a duel; people like to judge effectiveness of an art by looking at fights results. Aikidoka won't engage themselves in fights, so there is no way to prove it's effectiveness, both to themselves and to others.

To me, defensiveness reflects lack of confidence. It really makes me wonder how many aikidoka truly have faith in their art. I am not only talking about beginners; I know I am in no position to criticise them... but I am going to say it anyway. I am throughoutly disgusted, discouraged, disappointed, by all the interdojo politics/ fights. They don't engage in physical fights alright. But there are so many rivaries. If you are trained under Chiba sensei, or a student of aikidoka under Chiba sensei's wing, you are not allowed to attend Kawahara sensei's semina. When a Japanese Master visited our city last year and to host a one day seminar, kawahara sensei decides to give a seminar on the same day. Students are informed they are not allowed to attend the seminar by the visiting master if they are yudansha. Then there is Ishihama sensei. He came to Vancouver Island before Kawahara Shihan, but since Kawahara is the official chief instructor... I don't care if you are only testing for 5th kyu; if you are tested by Ishihama Sensei, you are going to have to deal with kawahara sensei's wraph. It's common knowledge that the two sensei don't get along.

And the black belts I've met at seminars also have very little tolerance for anything. I was at a particular crowded seminar once, and I was paired up with a 2nd Dan woman who happens to be the wife of the Chief instructor of my dojo. A few seconds after I thrown her onto the tatami, the pair next to us performed the same technique and the uke landed on her foot. It probably hurts, but no real damage inflicted. And she got so mad the poor guys bowed off the mats and left.

I know, this is just what I see in one of the many aikido organizations all over the world... but this is also the kind of behaviors I see in the "grand masters". As I have expressed before, Chiba sensei's behavior doesn't fit into my understanding of "aiki" at all.

Pardon my rants. I love O Sensei's teachings, I am hating what I see.

-raccoon

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#125458 - 03/10/03 04:20 PM Re: Funny
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Absolutely right guys. I think aikido gets a bad press because there is no clear definition of what it should be. Too much BS politics and profit margin MA philosophy has crept in (as it does with most arts) and we have lost our way.

Interestingly, in the UK a similar feeling developed about Judo and there is now a groundswell of opinion that tries to re-establish the ethos of Kano sensei's original art. I think we need something similar to happen within aikido.

I'm not sure I would agree that defensive tactics equals a lack of confidence. I think it is a common theme in a number of MA's and is more indicative of the Budhist philosophy, inherent in Japanese arts in particular.

Budo

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#125459 - 03/10/03 05:21 PM Re: Funny
raccoon Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
Pardon my choice of words, English is not my 1st language. (Excuse excuse [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/tongue.gif[/IMG])

When I said defensiveness ... what I really meant is over reaction. Antagonizing other dojos is one of them; it tells me they need to put down other dojos to feel good about themselves. Jumping up and down calling you traitor simply because you train with a kung fu artist or because you've added other movements into the aikido techniques is another example.

I don't see anything buddist about it, but then I am not very religious.

-raccoon

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#125460 - 03/10/03 11:04 PM Re: Funny
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
I think all 3 of us are in agreement, no matter how we say it. Aikido itself is a good art, and applied with a martial mindset could work. I think the per-war techniques and attitude are martial, the post war is an Art form, to seek the way, and thats fine but its not martial art. My biggest issue is O'Sensei said Aikido should be an EGOLESS art, yet there is more ego there than in any other art I have encountered. I would love to see Aikido go back to its roots as Cato says, but there are too many 'country club Aikido practioners'. If the political, socialazation crab would leave the art alone, it would be a great art.

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#125461 - 03/11/03 09:35 PM Re: Funny
Jamoni Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1514
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
I think one of the ego factors in other arts is losing. In Aikido, there is no "loser", so humility is hard to come by. In a room full of serious bad mofos, if you get your ass handed to you, you learn humility. The problem with Aikidoka is that (sometimes) the martial is removed, and without that, humility is hard to come by. I guess I'm saying the occasional ass whipping is a good reality check.

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