The history which led to the arrival of Aikido as we now know it, was a long one. Many hundreds of years.
But is there as much of a driving need for the physical survival attributes of the art now as then?
Is the art at risk of becoming a quasi religious cult replete with superstitious beliefs and myths about its history?
What has driven Aikido?
What are the forces that led to its phenomenal popularization following WW2?
Has the advent of Aikido made a difference in the world?
If so for the better or for worse?
Since the death of its Founder, Morihei Ueshiba, has Aikido improved the life of its practitioners and the world in general?
Some find it in their minds to criticize Aikido. Always a good sign. Envy has that tendency. Envy is a sign of success the complacent would like to acquire, but are too lazy to work sufficiently to earn!
What do the critics have to say?
That Aikido does not work in a fight is a myth propagated by some incompetent practitioners. Some of the best security personnel on the planet utilize Aikido daily with immense success in both harm reduction and successful arrests.
That the “philosophy” of Aikido is bogus? Which “philosophy? Aikido has no dogma (Thank God for that!), but is a path of personal discovery. It is notable that the philosophies of dedicated practitioners, whilst each unique, do have a measure of similitude in the practical application in augmenting social harmony.
Can that be an accident?
As for being a “martial” art, Aikijutsu techniques have been incorporated, quietly drilled and deployed in action by elite special forces in the military. More so than in “the ring.”
The mind calming effects of good training has come into its own in multiple social and public spheres of influence. Also without too much fanfare, discussion of parroting of platitudes, rather the simple turning of circumstances for the better results in the achieving greater good. Skill in action!
Whether Aikido will survive with small groups in the suburbs bouncing each other of the walls and floors as we now enjoy, yet remains to be seen.
But whether it does or not, the ATTITUDE which is Aikido, that of the Peaceful Warrior who specializes in, as O’Sensei prayed for.. “The nurturing, care and protection of all life…” is, despite the fact we have a long way to go, clearly visible all around.
Good people are now sick and tired of tyranny, and prepared to do something effective and constructive about it.
Aikido may have a long way to go. Indeed, it may transmogrify into many and myriad applications without the label of Aikido necessarily attached.
But the influence of Aikido is unstoppable. It will continue to progress further than we can now see into the distant future.
For many years I have heard “war stories” come back. Some ranging from minor scuffles all the way to serious physical combat, but the more interesting ones have been of skilful deployment of ai-ki, loving intention in TURNING TIDES FOR BETTER OUTCOMES by the sheer courage of the Aikido practitioner involved knowing he or she had the backup of their Aikido training and thence feared not making the stand that made the difference.
Nearly everyone who trains has such a story or several.
I would love to hear what you have to share.
Please add your story here or submit an article. It’s not boasting but sharing to inspire others.