In the system of aikido I was originally indoctrinated in we had rules. If you followed the rules of the system you were doing aikido. If you didn't - well you were doing aiki wrong. That was all fine and well. It helps clarify the goals when things are clearly laid out.
Then I moved to Japan. Ota Sensei, my Daito Ryu instructor, seemed to break all the rules I had been taught. Yet he moved me around effortlessly. Apparently there are many ways to break the rules. Then I met my current judo and aikido teachers in Round Rock. Neither one of them have any concept of rules as they were originally presented to me, and both of them break many previous rules I had come to understand.
All of my teachers approach the practice and game differently. Apparently the thing I had thought of as "laws of aikido" were merely a teaching pedagogy to conform to a particular teacher's preference for aiki aesthetics. Every time I meet a new teacher it amazes me how diverse the thinking and approaches the simple act of throwing a person on the ground can be.
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