Last year, I composed a sort of Christmas list for Taido. It’s been an eventful year, and some of the things on that list became reality. One of the really awesome things about Taido is that it’s always changing, and I’m pretty excited that most of these changes appear to be happening for the better.
I have a lot of dreams for the next year in Taido. Before I start listing off every conceivable wish I could have for Taido over the next year, I’ll review the items I posted in last year’s list. Here they are:
2006 List Recap
- American-flag print, satin karate uniform – Nope! But I did get an awesome Gameness grappling gi this summer. I guess that’ll have to do for now.
- A DVD reference video of every hokei in Taido – Nope! But YouTube posting by Taidoka has really taken off over the last year, and I believe that this si going to have some really good impacts as more students see how Taido is trained in other dojo and other countries.
- A video of Ohashi winning jissen at the All-Japan tournament – Check! DVD graciously provided by Yasu Kato.
- Some better documentation of Saiko Shihan’s life – Nope!
- An English translation of Taido Gairon – Nope!
- A translation of Shin Karatedo Kyohan – Nope!
- A better floor at Tech – Check! The new floor is not perfect, but I think it’s an improvement. For some reason, nobody thought to order any kind of non-slip material to lie between the mats and the polished wood floor. This is easily corrected if a few folks will just get together and order few meters of it.
- A better uniform supplier – Nope!
- More students at Tech – Check! There are lots of new beginners at Tech right now, and I hope they stick with it. We have more black belts than ever now, and there is a lot of potential for Tech Taido to really take off. It’ll be interesting to see where things go if the club holds up over the next year. I’m really optimistic about this.
- And a partridge in a pear tree – Actually, I don’t think I ever really wanted that anyway.
So some of those things are going to roll over onto this year’s list. I’ve also discovered a few other things I’d like to see happening in the Taido world. Here’s some additions to the wish list for this year:
2007 Taido Holiday Wish List
And that’s it. If we want Taido to continue to improve, we have to change the way we award rankings and officiate competitions. The more I think about what Taido needs most in order to be taken seriously in the martial arts world and become the major force it deserves to be, the more convinced I am that we need to take a hard look at what we consider good Taido.
Is it enough to have awesome unshin if you can’t hit worth a damn? If you prevent your opponent from making gentai, does his attack hurt you any less? Is wrapping your legs around an opponent when you’re already on the ground going to have any chance of being an effective nengi? Of course not, and everyone knows that these things won’t work in real life, but they’re good enough for winning tournaments.
I guess I kind of got on a rant there, but if I could wish for one thing to change in Taido before the next WC, it would be this very fundamental issue. How we define quality in Taido is the single most important thing upon which we must focus. In Japan, that definition is increasingly decided as Taido slides down the slope from budo to sport. I hope the next year can see the balance begin to tip in the other direction.