Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Chocolate in my peanut butter!

Excerpted from a buddy on FB - we were talking about aikido and judo being the same thing...

@Patrick Parker, I have a drill for you and it is mostly mental. 1) STOP separating aikido and judo 2)Recognize that Aikido is out and Judo is in. 3) When out Aikido throws 4) When in judo sweeps 5) This is all relative/relational...in that sometimes your feet are your hands and your hands are your feet. If you remember the release relationships, sweeps are at least the first four of the 8 releases except the relationship is sub-torso (legs). I think this is what Kano and JW were/are saying. O Sensei had perfected (completed) Judo at a distance and Kano recognized that. Take the Yin-Yang, Um-Yo relationships and ride through the changes as one morphs into the other vice stopping to transition from one change/source to the other as if the two entities are separate...they are one and the same but they are dualistic and require balance at all times....May the Force be with you...Master Jedi!!! Write this down and spread it if you wish...I am but the simple janitor and in 15 minutes I may not remember this conversation or what I said. Seize the moment.

I thought this was really interesting, because it is exactly what I've told all of my students from day #1 - that aikido (esp. Tomiki) and judo (esp. classical) are the same thing.
But despite paying lip service to the idea that aikido and judo are about the same thing, I've always kept the two things separate - to be practiced in their own classes.  Much of this was based on recommendations by one of my teachers who demanded that we keep them distinct things with their own practice times for reasons of "artistic purity."  Lately I've begun to think that a lot of what we heard as absolute gospel fact was actually more along the lines of personal preference or recommendations for "best practices."
Lately I've gotten to watch and/or practice with several very-highly ranked folks who have thoroughly gotten their chocolate mixed up in their peanut butter...  That is, they do aikido and judo, judo and aikido, aikijudo, ju-ish aiki, aikibujutsu-type things - flowing freely from one to other and back. An amazing fusion state!  Some of these amazing teachers do the two arts separately and some of them teach the fusion aiki-judo in the same classes.
What do y'all think? 
  • Are Tomiki aikido and classical judo about the same thing?
  • Should we practice them together in the same classes or separately?
Patrick Parker

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