Pseudo-aikido is identifiable by the ineptness of its practitioners, something which waving a camera around, hot music, drums and grass growing introductions cannot hide. It impresses no one but those who know better, and that negatively.
Sizzle does not win fights, nor enable survival against serious odds. Skill does.
Skill cannot be faked, and at best, any attempt to do so is worse than amateurish. It is suicidal.
Remember the good ol’ Chinese Fung-ku movies where someone would punch the air (out of the maai) and the other guy would rush in to “block” it? What on earth for? Why on earth block anything?
“Modern aikido” has become too self-excusing. Many schools do not even know what the basic techniques are or have a name for them. They “flow.” And well they may. Among each other. Because any real attacker would have other plans.
If you wake up, it will be in a hospital. But DO NOT BLAME AIKIDO. That’s not where the fault lies, but rather in the fact that you have been deceived and have allowed yourself to be deceived by the unscrupulous posing as proponents of Aikido. Or simply deceived yourself because you live in fear of death and lack the backbone to admit it.
If your attacks are weak you are practicing nothing more than dancing. Real attacks will not be weak. In any case, Aikido cannot function without strong ki to harmonise. Without strong ki, you will necessarily and obviously have to revert to initiating atemi waza.
If you are an “accomplished martial artist,” but only in the confines of your own dojo with people half your size and have no clue how you would fare in reality, well may you dream on, but the awakening, when it comes, will be a cruel one.
Ballet like attacks, aside from being funny to look at, are also stupid in the extreme.
Flinging yourself around in the fakest of ukemi in order to make an incompetent look good, deceives no one, but yourself. And sometimes the incompetent you are propping up.
If you don’t know what covering up means, or how to, what the **** are you doing playing at being a “martial artist?”
Standing waiting and posing for an attacker to reach you is another sign of ineptitude, dullness of mind and combative incompetence. You wait, you die.
Does no one read O’Sensei’s exacting references to moving whole body, intercepting, irimi-tenkan, etc.? Do you watch the movies with him in them for mere entertainment?
And then there are the excuses. Holes in doughnut theories and fairy tales and “we train for spiritual reasons.” Meaning exactly what? If someone can DEFINE this bullshit and make sense of it, I’m willing to listen.
I will not dignify the politico players, as they are not worthy of anyone’s undersoles. They just want to collect money by dishonest means and have no moral worth.
So what are we doing people, when we mimic small cuttings from Shinto rituals we do not understand, when we poorly mimic Japanese language we don’t understand, and when we pose and carry on?
On the other hand, it IS POSSIBLE to actually learn AIKIDO. This is achieved by carefully studying and regularly practicing the basics with progressively increasing real intention.
It’s a question of backbone and integrity.
If a builder builds you a house, you expect it to stand and not collapse on you. His “spirituality” is not your concern.
His integrity and skill ARE.
You expect the car manufacturers to build you a machine which is reliable and safe. You expect the butcher, baker, grocery and fruit and vegetables to be clean, safe, nutritious and good for you and not toxic. And so on.
Budo is no different. Unless you have successfully served in an industry that SERVES society with skill to prevent and mitigate emergency; and in this case, particularly violence, and yet you presume such titles as “sensei,” “shihan,” “gohan” and other fancifully invented nonsense, YOU ARE IN FACT A FRAUD!
There is no field so full of fools and frauds, thugs and deceivers, incompetents and snake oil salesmen than that of so called “martial arts.”
This is because the average person fears what they do not understand, and are easily deceived by smoke and mirrors.
Certificates, coloured cloth and lineages mean nothing when you’ve never cut your teeth and proven your mettle in the litmus test. Live action.
So then you should call your pseudo-budo, ballet, dance, yoga, light cardio, sandplay… anything but “martial.”
There are more than too many liars and cheats in the world who prostitute the appearance of something and market bells, whistles and shadows for an illicit buck.
A gi, a hakama, accoutrements, do not make you a teacher. Their significance is wasted on pretenders.
Only skill gained in experience and the clear thinking it brings, and ongoing study of the subject you propose, serve as a qualification of merit.
And as a SERVANT of those you presume to teach, you ought to have something of value to impart. Not just rote you copied from someone without thinking, or got out of a book or something.
Budo is the stopping of aggression.
There is no more responsibility more sacred, more potent, more loaded with the immensity of sacred trust than the PROTECTION OF LIFE.
See to it then that you are in fact capable. Otherwise, leave for other pastures and other arts more fitting of your stature and measure of courage and integrity.
And leave the Budo to those who can.
Otherwise, keep training, but stop pretending to have all the answers. No Budo, Aikido included, is set in concrete but is a Path of Endless Discovery.
Every true teacher of stature, Morihei Ueshiba included, have made the request that those who follow in that Path, improve with authentic discovery, what they left behind.
“What I have done, you can do greater,” and, “Please take what I have left behind and continue this process of discovery,” etc.
Let us then continue to discover together with the humility that is due.
And when the call to arms comes and it is time to protect everything we all cherish, then we’ll see what you are really made of.
Even better, don’t wait. There are numerous, non-military as well as military career paths that require courage, backbone, integrity and applied Aikido attitudes and which will serve to uplift society and our world. Some pay well too. You will be earning it.
If your Budo is increasing your clarity and perspective, you will increase in harmony both inner and outer in all your relationships. If, on the other hand, it is adding to your delusions, this too will be noticeable; more so by the feedback than your own evaluations.
It is very hard to be objective about oneself. The fruit of your actions define you. The trail you leave and whether it is one of increased suffering or upliftment.
The litmus test is in the capability of serving for uplift in the face of adversity.