Follow-up to “An End To Collusion,” by Tom Collings

We have trivialized what is profound, and made superficial that which should have depth, the Founder’s earnest struggle to learn and understand, and find new possibilities in conflict. Our modern culture attempts to make everything light and easy, even O’Sensei’s work of a lifetime…

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  1. Charles Humphrey says:

    Maybe we need to all just stop naming what we’re doing. This branding of martial arts seems to be the root cause of all this nonsense. If instead of saying “we are doing Aikido, we should do Aikido this or this way” people were just saying “I’m learning martial arts….hmmmm…..what is involved in martial arts from a practical, physiological, psychological and spiritual perspective? What are the challenges? What are the shortcomings? How to reflect these issues in my training methods?” Then things like this wouldn’t happen so much. Naming and branding kills everything. Now you’ve got all these “Aikido” folks cutting off all sorts of useful avenues for learning by saying “well, that’s not the Aikido way.” What a crock. And it’s not just Aikido, it’s everything that gets a name. What the hell do people mean when they say “MMA is the best martial art,” that’s like saying “mixed food is the best food.” But just as Aikido = “we all wear pretty costumes and do fancy somersaults and say things like O’sensei, Ki, Harmony a lot and wave our hands around like flowers in the wind”, MMA = “we make an effort to look tough and unhappy and always try to get all sweaty and straddle each other on the floor and call people names like ‘pussy.'” Both of these (and the infinite other ways that people use language to shut their brains off) are ridiculous. That Ueshiba guy was pretty alright – fellow had some challenges and questions in his life, did his level best to try to come to grips with them, died aeons before he could do that but didn’t seem to mind anyway because he understood enough about nature to accept that what is, is. What is wrong with the rest of us that makes us so damned obsessed with using language to cut ourselves off from reality? Old Sam Beckett said it best – “People are bloody ignorant apes.”

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