I have never enjoyed displays of “virtuosity”, in any field. As a flaunting of the “known” or the well-rehearsed, I find it uninspiring. I am much more excited by the stumbling into the unknown, the unfamiliar, the unpredictable. (Robin Williamson of the Incredible String Band had a nice phrase “inspired amateurishness”.
I enjoy our current ethos of collaborative enquiry. Freeform Aikido is in a sense “style-less”, by definition, form-less, not defined by the form it may temporarily manifest itself in. For me this contributes enormously to stripping the practice of being a demonstration of “mastery”.
There is strong egalitarian quality in our coming together to practice. There is no longer a vivid hierarchy organised around the sorting of those who know and can, against those who don’t know and can’t. I think this may reflect our approach to knowledge. Not as a defined commodity that can be handed down In this situation “knowledge is power” and creates a vertically in our relationships. Our current practice has an approach to knowledge as something contextual and evolutionary and played lightly with between us as we go. We are exploring with each other, rather than proving ourselves against each other.