Sunday, November 3, 2013

There Is No Competition In Aikido

I wince when I hear this.  People who make that claim do not understand the plain meaning of the word.  Competition come from the Greek, "to strive with."  The reason they run seven people at a time in a race is each does best when running (striving with) other runners.)

What I think they mean is in aikido there is no conflict.  This too is absurd.  In Japan as aikido was quickening plenty of practitioners were breaking off to do their own thing, like Shioda Sensei and his Yoshinkan style, there are plenty of authentic aikido styles, both associated and not associated with Hombu.

Aikido seems to be pretty good at accommodating splits, but it had a spectacular one when Tohei Sensei split with many top instructors to form Shin Shin Toitsu aikido, which in turn has at least three different groups now.

In the USA alone there are at least three major schools (and countless independent ones) directly affiliated with Hombu dojo:  Birankai, Aikido Schools of Ueshiba and US Aikido Federation.  Everyone one of these fine outfits manifested in conflict.

It is distressing to read a dojo teaches an aikido with no competition.  Either they do not understand the word, or far worse, they do.  In any event, fair warning.

Just as distressing is a dojo that offers no conflict.  Isn't the point of aikido an ethical response to conflict?  Isn't the result of conflict "divide and multiple?"

It seems to me a dojo ought to celebrate conflict, promote competition.

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