|jyumi - 'preference'|
I would like to bring up a useful concept for your aiki, and understanding other people's journey through their own development of aiki.
Before I go into the concept I want to share a little history. When I first started learning aikido from an organization they taught a lot of fundamental ideas that the students religiously followed. We were instructed that is was the only way. Us students believed them. They had a very rigid teaching structure. I then moved to Japan. I joined a Aikikai school and a Daito Ryu school. Every group moved in different ways, broke each other's rules...and somehow still made it work. How could this be? Again very rigid structure.
I moved back to the states and got loosely hooked up to an organization that if you broke a movement rule they would scream you out of the dojo. Their work looked alien to all the others I had seen,
You see, a lot of what you have grown to believe what is aiki IS, comes from a group's and individual teacher's PREFERENCES. It is largely political. We are easily swayed by the politics of our own groups.
Preferences are good to have. Great in fact. You get to know what qualities attract you in an artist, teacher, a movement, and in your own technique. The choices you make about your preferences greatly affect to art you develop. Do you prefer hard, soft or a balance? Stances? How hard of falls do you want to take? Do you want to develop an arrest type of art, or purely passive? Do you want to be ideological, or pragmatic? Do you feel creative in aiki, or do you feel you must faithfully copy your teacher's work. Is pain ok? Attack or defense? Spiritual or mundane?
All of these are preferences. Aikido is large enough to explore all of these things and a myriad more. The point. The way you view aikido is your preference. Your preference is not totality of aiki. You like your preference. I like mine. You when you look at another artist and think "that is not aikido." You really mean, "that is not my preference, because currently I am working on..."
You simply don't get to tell me what Aikido 'IS'.
You DO get to tell me what your preference is.