Thursday, August 08, 2013

Aikido, doff thy name

Tis but thy name that is my enemy;

Thou art thyself, though not Jujutsu.

What's Jujutsu? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

So Aikido would, were it not Aikido call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which it owes
Without that title. Aikido, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

Every so often, we in our extended martial arts group have an identity crisis.  Are we doing aikido even though it's not quite what Ueshiba did? Or are we doing judo even though it's not quite what Kano did?  Is it Tomiki aikido even though it is not really Shodokan?  Should we call it hamare judo or just plain old Aikibudo?  Is it really just a new form of the ancient Kito school with a couple of drops of Daito flavoring?
Who knows?  Who cares?  What does it matter?
I personally do think it does matter. Names make a difference. See this thread of articles about how the name, shihonage, affects how you do the technique.  But I still haven't come up with a satisfactory answer for myself about this - what-do-we-call-what-we-do problem.

Want to discuss this blog post?
Come find me on Facebook at my Mokuren Dojo FB group

Patrick Parker

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