Find the Missing Pieces in Aikido!
I am a terrific fan of O Sensei Aikido. The art is genius. And, there is a terrible wrongness in it.
To understand what I mean by this oxymoronic viewpoint one has to understand where Morihei Ueshiba Aikido came from. Morihei Ueshiba studied many arts, and all must have contributed to his knowledge. The predominate art behind aikido training, however, is Daito Ryu Aiki Ju Jitsu.
This form of jujitsu was founded a thousand years ago by a fellow named Yoshimitsu. There are different versions concerning the birth of this art. One version holds that the samurai who survived great battles were asked what techniques worked for them, and the other version has Yoshimitsu dissecting cadavers to understand jointlocks and such.
While there is probably truth in both versions, the truth is obscured by history. One thing is sure, the art became very technique heavy. The list of recorded techniques is somewhere between 3200 and 3500, depending upon which branch of the school one is pursuing.
At any rate, the Aikido of Morihei Ueshiba is not the whole art of Daito Ryu. The founder of aikido selected only the techniques which were aiki in nature, which were based on harmonious flowing movements. Thus, one could argue that Aikido is half of a whole art.
To be sure, there were techniques that should be tossed out. After all, of what value is a technique developed for a specific type of body armor, or weapon, or situation from a thousand years ago. The necessity for these types of ancient techniques will never arise on a modern battlefield.
On the other hand, bread and butter techniques (atemi) which would end a fight with a strike are left out and barely mentioned. Thus, unless one is persistent enough to pursue Diato Ryu, or accumulate teachings in specific strike related arts, one will never have the whole teachings behind Aikido. Thus, because of the absence of techniques, and the slant given to the martial arts, Aikido is lacking certain fundamentals as a martial art.
I say these things not to offend, but to educate. If you are satisfied with O Sensei Aikido, so be it and more power to you. If you wish to explore further, and find the things that are not being taught in your Aikido Dojo, however, you will find the journey much richer.
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