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Hard or Soft

posted 12 Nov 2009, 14:52 by Unknown user
Are the hard styles or aikido or the soft styles better? this is often a discussion point from seniors from around the world. 
Invariably those from the hard schools say they are on the right track as this is the only way to have rigorous martial technique. 
Invariabley those from the soft styles say they are on the right track because aikido is about blending and you can only do that if you are soft.
Critics of the hard schools say that the movements are rigid, blocky and forceful and that students never learn to relax.
Critics of the soft schools say that the technique is more like dance, that anyone can walk through their technique because its not martial.

My own view is that hard or soft all aikido schools provide a particular view of aikido, but if you look at exceptional people in any of these schools you will see they transcend the hard/ soft aspects when they do aikido. i think all schools have a predelection to certain aspects and will tend to develop students favouring certain aspects.

Maruyama sensei says 'aikido is aikido' and David Brown sensei says there are no styles of aikido and only 2 types of people those that can do aikido and those that can't. Fantasy aside probably  most of us are in the latter catagory  but through regular diligent training and seeking we can get glimpses f the former.