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markwalsh
08-08-2006, 03:23 PM
Is aikido fundamentally radical or conservative?

Thoughts?

Would prefer to let each define their own terms rather than argue about that.

Ron Tisdale
08-08-2006, 03:31 PM
In it's formative years, aikido had strong connections to the far right in Japan.

In Yoshinkan aikido, some of those connections still exist.

It is often said that in America, aikido is very liberal.

It is often said that in California, aikido is radically liberal.

I've heard all kinds of liberal slurs on Boulder...none of which I will repeat because this server is hosted there... ;)

Best,
Ron

markwalsh
08-08-2006, 03:41 PM
What about aikido itself (as opposed to say the politics of those who practice it - though that's interesting too).

Don_Modesto
08-08-2006, 04:15 PM
What about aikido itself (as opposed to say the politics of those who practice it - though that's interesting too).
You mean...the ding an sich?!

THE DING AN SICH?!

Golly.

(How would you interepret such a thing, anyway?...)

...ducking and running...

Esaemann
08-08-2006, 04:18 PM
My experience only encompasses my dojo, and we don't discuss politics. So hard to say, but if someone held a gun to my head and told me to guess (not that you are), I'd have to say aikido in my dojo is more liberal.
Aikido as a "whole" - I don't see how it could be answered. I only see people as radical (liberal?) or conservative.
Me - libertarian (i.e. extremely conservative)

crbateman
08-08-2006, 04:23 PM
What about aikido itself (as opposed to say the politics of those who practice it - though that's interesting too).That's a loaded question, Mark. Many would say that Aikido is largely defined nowadays by the politics and opinions of those who practice it. Whose Aikido is "the" Aikido? Hard to categorize it as radical or conservative, even fundamentally, without a clear answer to that question. I have my own ideas, but that's just one more opinion to throw on the pile... ;)

MikeLogan
08-08-2006, 04:24 PM
Compared to itself, or other arts? The terms radical and conservative bring to mind the idea that they exist on a spectrum, they define it's end points, and so, at least as they are brought to my mind, suggest integrations along the way from one to the other. This is why I'm asking "Compared to itself, or other arts?"

All by its lonesome, I'd propose aikido to be the opposite of whatever neecessity happened to elicit the manifestation of aikido in a practitioner. Or in summary of one column I remember reading here 2 years ago, sometimes you supply the energy to resolve/harmonize the situation, sometimes you receive/blend with. Or, in brief, as brevity is the soul of wit, (duly evidenced by the above), it depends...


The easier interpretation of your question, I'd say any martial art that was practiced solely for itself, not competition, is the more conservative. Simply because in competition you don't have to worry about the thug having a knife, bat, beer bottle, etc, all of which can up the stress factor, and the liberty from such allows competition to happen safely at all, note the word liberty.

michael.

And I wish I knew what Mr. Modesto is referring to...


(editted 3000 times, jeez)

markwalsh
08-08-2006, 04:27 PM
What sparked this was remembering an article by Dave Lowery I believe stating that the martial arts were basically conservative in nature, particularly in regard to their respect for tradition.

My htought was well that's true, but is aikido also innovative in its attitude? Also, does it have any features like the lack of emphasis on competition (see other thread) that are contrary to the spirit of the times?

James Davis
08-08-2006, 05:09 PM
Having practiced Tae Kwon Do and Aikido, I'd say that Aikido definitely conserves my energy! ;)

markwalsh
08-08-2006, 05:39 PM
I've trained in dojos where long haired Californians all get naked changeing together and talk about "positive healing energy", and dojos where you learn eye gouges and how to remove peaceful protestors from the floor with sankyos (it's a fun game try it). I enjoyed both, and am not saying that aikidoka should be this way or that.

It's mildly interesting to me how aikidoka come from both ends of the political spectrum and that can lead to beautiful, odd mixes. More interesting personally is how aikido totally wrecks this and other dichotomies, as I think was suggested.

aikidoc
08-08-2006, 05:59 PM
I've trained in dojos where long haired Californians all get naked changeing together and talk about "positive healing energy"..

Interesting. It must have been those northern Californians. I trained for years in Southern California and never ran into any of those.

I think you'll find the spectrum pretty broad. I'm fairly liberal (do your own thing but don't mess with mine) but middle of the road-how's that for confusing. UU Buddhist background I guess. Politically, I live in one of the most conservative areas in the country - G.W.B's hometown-at least they claim him. Personally, I'm not in the fan club. Local Rep.s would probably lynch me. Not a real tolerant bunch, which is funny since the state at one time was democratic-LBJ. I've seen all spectrums in aikido. Is the art conservative-I don't know if you can put a lable on it. I'd say it depends and the ying yang symbol would represent it's flexibility. You'll find all approaches-soft and mystical to hard and aggressive. Just as with people.

dps
08-08-2006, 08:28 PM
Is aikido fundamentally radical or conservative?

Thoughts?

Would prefer to let each define their own terms rather than argue about that.
Wikipedia
an sich
An sich is an expression borrowed from German language. Its translation is "as such", "in itself", or per se.

Despite having an adequate translation, the term is used in philosophical contexts as a professional jargon to avoid ambiguity of the general language. The expression "something an sich" means that the discussed "something" is considered only in relation to its intrinsic properties, not related to its surroundings or context.

The expression "an sich" entered many languages after the famous German philosopher Immanuel Kant introduced his notion of Ding an sich (thing-in-itself), however in a somewhat mutated usage: Kant's notion indeed refers to the intrinsic properties of a "thing", but to the ones which are inherently beyond the human cognition.


an sich

From the 'American Heritage Dictionaries' online;

Conservative,
1. Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.
2. Traditional or restrained in style: a conservative dark suit.
3. Moderate; cautious: a conservative estimate.

Liberal,
1. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
2. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.



Conservative in the techniques practiced.
Liberal in the spiritual practice.
Political left up to the individual.






.

Dirk Hanss
08-09-2006, 03:57 AM
Aikido is conservative as opposite to destructive, as the goal is, to save the opponent. It is conservative as it is based on samurai virtues.

And it is radical as all movement starts from your inner roots, the hara or the "One Point", which obviously does not exist.

It is radically peaceful and radically powerful.

And it may be hijacked by any radical movement, but I am convinced that whenever this woul happen, a new free aikido would raise out of the dust.

Is that conservative and radical enough?

All the best

Dirk

Chuck.Gordon
08-09-2006, 06:51 AM
Neither. It's a martial art. It's a mistake to attribute to it anthropomorphic ideologies.

A better question might be: 'Are aikido practitioners lib or con?'

The answers, I'm pretty sure, will be all over the spectrum.

happysod
08-09-2006, 08:28 AM
Schizophrenic wannabe conservative with a bleeding heart conscience Ė tries to be conservative in its adherence to names, ritual, dress and etiquette yet at the same time attempts to be liberal by promoting individual expression and exploration in technique.

Chuck, Iím surprised at you, of course you can make ad-hoc anthropomorphic generalisations about a martial art, all you need do is assume the art is a direct reflection or gestalt of all the practitioners that youíve encountered then have fun from there... (annoyed ícos I had to use a dictionary again)

Mark Freeman
08-09-2006, 08:41 AM
Schizophrenic wannabe conservative with a bleeding heart conscience -- tries to be conservative in its adherence to names, ritual, dress and etiquette yet at the same time attempts to be liberal by promoting individual expression and exploration in technique.



If you want to anthropomorphise further you could even give it a name - "Dave" ( as in Cameron ) ;)

David Racho
08-09-2006, 11:28 AM
It was once defined in a book (Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere) that there are 4 outcomes when 2 people meet (in terms of martial arts.)

1. Person A attacks and kills, unprovoked.
2. Person B is provoked by Person A, attacks and gets killed.
3. Person A defends from an attack by Person B, but kills Person B in the process.
4. Person A defends from an attack by Person B, but leaves Person B alive.

Kills = seriously injured or something similar.
Alive = perhaps not even seriously injured and can recover completely. Subdued, submitted, tapped out, whatever.

Aikido's goal is #4, and I'd say this is radically conservative. Compared to almost all other forms of martial arts. I dare say, it is even an idealogy as Aikido is a "-do" form of a "-jutsu", but that's oversimplyfying it. The techniques themselves can seriously injure and even outright kill, but the philosophy behind the teachings of Aikido as Aikido is one of peace.

This can be said of other martial arts, but almost no other art results in the way that Aikido does. If I may say so, there isn't a striking art that does, and only a few grappling arts do, but most end up doing permanent damage if the opponent resists. This includes even the sport-competition based arts, although I haven't heard about an injury in Sumo wrestling. Boxers almost always end up having some sort of brain damage.

Anyway, back to the topic, even the sword in Aikido has a tendency not to be used to cut the opponent. Aiki Toho Iai is one example.

How much more conservative can a martial art get without being called a dance? (Not counting tai chi or kata only.)

It's radical in another sense that it's one of the very few arts that have people wearing a hakama. Not counting relatives and derivatives of Daito-Ryu, what other arts use a hakama? (Kyudo? Iaido? = they just happen to be closely related to Aikido, but beyond that?)

Now I understand why you don't like to include the politics, because every other art out there goes nuts when politics gets involved, but that's precisely another reason why you can't separate politics from Aikido. A former Chief Instructor leaves the mainline and starts his own group. Several first and second generation uchi-deshi start their own "styles". Personally, I'd like to see them all fall under the same umbrella Aikikai, but I doubt that will ever happen.

Maybe this doesn't answer the question though ... radically conservative ... conservatively radical. There's always two sides in a coin.

markwalsh
08-09-2006, 11:41 AM
There's some debate here. I have an article on this I'd like to share if anyone would be willing to put it online?
Mark

Mike Sigman
08-09-2006, 03:08 PM
In it's formative years, aikido had strong connections to the far right in Japan.

In Yoshinkan aikido, some of those connections still exist.

It is often said that in America, aikido is very liberal.

It is often said that in California, aikido is radically liberal.

I've heard all kinds of liberal slurs on Boulder...none of which I will repeat because this server is hosted there... ;)
Heh. I think my view is distorted by the fact that most of my formative years were in competition judo and pretty hard (in all meanings of the word) Okinawan karate on Okinawa, etc., where a lot of the dojo stuff was focused either on survival or getting better. ;) I never saw a woman in a dojo until I started doing Aikido and I never heard politics discussed in a dojo until I started doing Aikido. But overall I think most western dojo's of all arts tend to be more "social".

Boulder, of course, is a pretty "unusual" place, but it's not as "unusual" as some of the dojo's I've been to in California.

Still, the general rule of thumb, as I have heard it humorously put, is that if you're walking down the street and you glance in through a window and see martial arts gear and a shoe rack, indicating that it's a dojo.... then if you see birkenstocks in the shoe rack, it's an Aikido dojo.

:D

Mike

Dennis Hooker
08-09-2006, 03:19 PM
I think you will find your answerers here in this scientific paper. At least as far as the U.S. is concerned

http://www.aikiweb.com/humor/hooker2.html

Ron Tisdale
08-09-2006, 03:48 PM
Good one Mike! I'll remember to watch out for those birkenstocks! :)

B,
R

Mark Uttech
08-09-2006, 10:35 PM
Aikido is a radical approach to life. One could also call it, "very zen". By that, I think I mean that
Aikido is not everyone's answer, but it is a real answer.

George S. Ledyard
08-10-2006, 01:29 AM
Is aikido fundamentally radical or conservative?

Thoughts?

Would prefer to let each define their own terms rather than argue about that.

Aikido is fundamentally radical in the sense that the doing of it seriously will result in substantial personal change. It is therfore quite the opposite of conservative.

Dirk Hanss
08-10-2006, 03:01 AM
Aikido is fundamentally radical in the sense that the doing of it seriously will result in substantial personal change. It is therfore quite the opposite of conservative.
As long as you define "conservative" as "sticking to old rubbish", you are totally right.

But while you use the essential natural meaning of "radical", why don't you do the same with "conservative". Isn't it essential to aikido, that one preserves or even strengthens old virtues. Isn't Saotome's book "Aikido and the Harmony of Nature" full of statements, that on the "Way of Aiki" one has to save and protect the nature?

Well, Saotome Shihan seems to be somewhat conservative even in other views, but that does not change this argument.

And is Aikido not designed to save (conservare) the opponent, rather than destructing the enemy?

In all these meanings, I guess aikido is very conservative. It is absolutely not conservative in the definition some leaders of the Republican Party" might give and it is not radical in the meaning it is used by political or religious fanatics on either side.

Best regards

Dirk

Mike Sigman
08-10-2006, 07:17 AM
Aikido is fundamentally radical in the sense that the doing of it seriously will result in substantial personal change. It is therfore quite the opposite of conservative.Doing it seriously in whose interpretation of the right way to do it, though? If it gets down to brass tacks, martial discipline, if done correctly in any art, will change people usually.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
08-10-2006, 08:56 AM
And not necessarily always for the better. I think a certain war-criminal comes to mind....anyone remember his name?

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
08-10-2006, 09:49 AM
And not necessarily always for the better. I think a certain war-criminal comes to mind....anyone remember his name?Neil Mick :p

markwalsh
08-10-2006, 10:18 AM
Hi Mike, I'm assuming you're close to Neil if not calling him a war criminal is fairly offensive IMO. I've always found you're posts well informed and while it's not my job to moderate this site it is my job to say "Hey!" when someone bad mouths my friends, whatever their politics. As he hasn't been a part of this thread it kinds looks like an unprovoked attack but hey, maybe there's a context or I'm taking life to seriously - he'd probbaly just laugh it off.

Mike Sigman
08-10-2006, 10:27 AM
Hi Mike, I'm assuming you're close to Neil if not calling him a war criminal is fairly offensive IMO. I've always found you're posts well informed and while it's not my job to moderate this site it is my job to say "Hey!" when someone bad mouths my friends, whatever their politics. As he hasn't been a part of this thread it kinds looks like an unprovoked attack but hey, maybe there's a context or I'm taking life to seriously - he'd probbaly just laugh it off.I'm sure Neil wouldn't mind. After all, he calls people "war criminals" all the time. Surely you don't think he means to do it in a hurtful manner? I'd be amazed. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

akiy
08-10-2006, 10:56 AM
Can we please get back to the topic at hand rather than discussing personal politics? Thank you.

-- Jun

Mark Uttech
08-10-2006, 11:20 AM
What sparked this was remembering an article by Dave Lowery I believe stating that the martial arts were basically conservative in nature, particularly in regard to their respect for tradition.

My htought was well that's true, but is aikido also innovative in its attitude? Also, does it have any features like the lack of emphasis on competition (see other thread) that are contrary to the spirit of the times?

Competition is always the spirit of the times. Aikido then, is radical in declaring that "aikido is not competition".

Dennis Hooker
08-10-2006, 11:49 AM
Ueshiba was in many ways a traditionalist in that he was devoted to the Emperor and he was an fanatical patriot according to his pre war Doka. I would say that made him an extreme conservative. However, he chose to redefine budo under his own terms and the amazing thing is made it stick. That would make him a liberal in many eyes. Some of the old school folks are still pissed at him for that. He saw things differently after the war according to his post war Doka. In may ways he was a radical in his approach to budo and religion. Although he was a staunch conformist to Japanese tradition he broke with it in matters of budo and religion. Is it any wonder that Aikido Schools around the world vary so much? You can find Aikido factions around the world that are very reflective of each phase of his development from conservative to liberal, from conformist to nationalist.

markwalsh
08-10-2006, 11:58 AM
Competition is always the spirit of the times.

Hi Mark

Always? Perhaps - yes, it's part of evolution so on that level ok, but so is cooperation and harmony between systems in nature.
Is it always the guiding principle of society - no way. We have a cultural trend towards excessive competition and free (big laugh) markets in all areas of life, that has not always been the case. I'm not suggesting competition is bad per se, only that we are way out of balance at the moment, and that aikido leads us towards balance, so not really disagreeing.

Appreciate your clarity and conciseness as ever.

George S. Ledyard
08-10-2006, 12:20 PM
This is one of the "koans" one can see when one looks at just what we are doing in our Aikido training. In the sense that the entire raison detre for Aikido's creation was as a method for personal change, then Aikido could be looked at as a rather radical. Certainly choosing to pursue an art like ours in this time and in our culture is quite radical in many ways.

Aikido is almost at total odds with the direction our culture is taking. At a time in which we find individuals increasingly isolated, without the traditional sense of community folks once had, the dojo functions to give people that sense of shared community values that is lacking in the rest of our society. I actually think that this is one of the most important reasons people train. It's the social function of the art.

The training itself goes against every trend one observes in our modern world. Where the current fashion is to seek labor saving everything, we purposely choose to do that which is difficult. We have a culture obsessed with reducing pain but we choose to do something that can often be painful. Our society takes every possible opportunity to remove our own mortality from our present consciousness but in Budo we have to come to terms with our mortality. We practice right on the edge of what could be lethal interaction with only slight adjustment. In the age of the sixty second manager, the faster, quicker, time saving quest, we choose to take on something for which there is no quick fix.

In an age in which no one is actually responsible for anything, in which someone is sued if one is called on to face the consequences of his own actions, we choose to do a practice in which we have to take full responsibility. If our partner hits us, we don't sue him, we thank him for pointing out our openings and we train harder to fix that problem. If I can't throw my partner, it's not his fault, he is not damaging my self esteem, he is simply training, as I am. I have to fix myself, not worry about what the other guy is doing.

In the age in which value is assigned using monetary valuation, we choose to do an art which has virtually "no commercial potential" (in the words of the record executive evaluating Frank Zappa's first album). We pour our hearts and our time and our financial resources into an activity that has no financial payoff. If one gets to the point of great skill in our art, his practice might become self supporting.

Toady, I can watch mixed martial arts gladiators fighting nightly on prime time cable TV. "Ground and pound" they call it. We don't need a coliseum, it's brought right into our homes. In Aikido we choose to follow a path that isn't about fighting. Even when there is competition, it is about polishing ourselves, not defeating the other guy. We choose to train in an art that takes decades of hard work to perfect rather than take the short route functionality. We do this because the arts which get one someplace fast will never take you to the place that our art will. Like the rest of our culture in which we want to see results quickly, the new martial arts sacrifice the great depth of the tradition and focus on the short term result.

No, I have to say that making a real commitment to Aikido is about as radical a choice as one can make in today's world. There is simply nothing about what we do that finds support in our fast moving, increasingly fast changing, ultra hyper world. Our art is about being at peace within ourselves and with the world outside ourselves. While it is an intensively individual pursuit it is also one of the most intimate activities I can think of. In this day and age Aikido is definitely a radical choice to make.

If, however, one looks at Aikido from the standpoint of what one gets from the training one can certainly say that it is one of the most conservative practices one could imagine. The wisdom we seek is age old wisdom. The techniques we learn are the latest incarnation of techniques which go back through history, teacher to student, for hundreds, even thousands of years. The methods we use to cultivate this wisdom go back in time until we can not see their origin. So, yes, Aikido is about trying to preserve what is the very best about our martial and spiritual heritage. We are all "conservationists" which is by definition conservative.

This whole red state - blue state, left and right dichotomy describes nothing but a media created illusion. Equating radical with left and conservative with right provides no insight into the real issues of our day. Aikido fits none of the preconceived categories in the way we use them daily. It is, just like the physical practice itself, a mixture of opposites, all held in a certain balance with each other but never permanently resolved because nothing in life is ever static. We don't strive to eliminate conflict by destroying one side or another, we hold the opposites in a balance which is ever adjusting and changing. We find our stillness at the very center of the movement of these opposites. The battle which rages in the world between one side and another (whatever battle one chooses) is not our battle in the sense that we choose the path that doesn't battle. Perhaps in that sense it is the perfect art for that moderate center whose wisdom seems so much greater than that of the folks at the extremes who never seem to be able to actually solve anything and whose actions result in simply more problems. So in this sense I guess we could say that Aikido is neither radical or conservative but fundamentally "centrist".

Mark Freeman
08-10-2006, 12:29 PM
Great post George, thank you.

regards,

Mark

Mike Sigman
08-10-2006, 12:55 PM
Although a lot of people think that "radical" means leftism or extreme-leftist views, that's not what the core meaning was. "Radical" comes from the Greek "radix" meaning "root". A "radical" solution often denotes a simple "do this and the problem will be fixed" solution. Both the Left and Right can have segments advocating "radical" solutions. "Give Peace a Chance", meaning do everything "peaceful" and things will just work out. Or "Do everything the way Jesus would want you to do it". Obviously, it becomes hard to argue against "Jesus" (or "Allah" or whomever), but the idea of keeping the focus on a simple, philosophical answer to all problems ("harmonize with your opponent and the Spirit of Aiki will fill your heart") is pretty much what "radical" means.

Looking at some of the personality quirks that Ueshiba evinced or looking at some of the dramatic personality conflicts among some of the Uchi Deshi, I wonder how far we can go in insisting that the "peace of Aiki" is an exact read on what Ueshiba supposedly meant, according to many translations. There are many interpretations of philosophies, but maybe it's best to as closely approximate the technical skills shown by Ueshiba before we start trying to interpret the philosophy with too much exactness. It's like the guy who gets a nikyu rank and decides he knows enough to open his own dojo.... maybe it's too soon?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Dennis Hooker
08-10-2006, 01:45 PM
Radical has come to represent fundamental extremist to most of us I think. I believe we could call many budo masters Radical.

Luc X Saroufim
08-10-2006, 02:13 PM
we're getting answers all across the board here, which can be the only answer to this question.

Mike Sigman
08-10-2006, 03:03 PM
Radical has come to represent fundamental extremist to most of us I think. I believe we could call many budo masters Radical.Hmmmmm. Maybe so, Dennis. However, I still vividly remember listening to a group of very accomplished Asian martial artists wondering out loud why their idea of a martial expert was someone who thought more like an engineer and so many westerners think of martial arts as some sort of liberal-arts philosophy question. And they were not unfamiliar with the concept of budo/wude, by any means. Sometimes we create our own worlds.

A well-known name in western Taiji, once it sank home that full-blown Taiji as done by some world-known experts did not comport with the view she'd held for years and what she'd been "teaching" as Taiji for many years, simply turned her back on this new information and rejected the reality. She made the comment that she had taken the original Taiji and evolved it into something better, more in line with the Tao. Some of this happens in all martial arts, of course, but to an extent we all know it is present in Aikido. Great caution has to be used when surrounded by illusions and fortune cookies. ;)

All the Best.

Mike Sigman

markwalsh
08-10-2006, 03:05 PM
In Germany the Green party says (or at least used to say) "Neither left nor right but way out ahead" - I kinda like that :-)

Dennis Hooker
08-10-2006, 03:24 PM
Hmmmmm. Maybe so, Dennis. However, I still vividly remember listening to a group of very accomplished Asian martial artists wondering out loud why their idea of a martial expert was someone who thought more like an engineer and so many westerners think of martial arts as some sort of liberal-arts philosophy question. And they were not unfamiliar with the concept of budo/wude, by any means. Sometimes we create our own worlds.

A well-known name in western Taiji, once it sank home that full-blown Taiji as done by some world-known experts did not comport with the view she'd held for years and what she'd been "teaching" as Taiji for many years, simply turned her back on this new information and rejected the reality. She made the comment that she had taken the original Taiji and evolved it into something better, more in line with the Tao. Some of this happens in all martial arts, of course, but to an extent we all know it is present in Aikido. Great caution has to be used when surrounded by illusions and fortune cookies. ;)

All the Best.

Mike Sigman


Mike if I understood what you were saying I might agree, however it is late in the day here and my old rusty mind just can't process your line of thought.

Dirk Hanss
08-10-2006, 03:52 PM
In Germany the Green party says (or at least used to say) "Neither left nor right but way out ahead" - I kinda like that :-)
Unfortunately, I did not hear it in Germany, 'though being reliable "green" voter. In fact I thought we have a great - mosty left oriented - Green party, and a small "÷ko-Partei", which is slightly right of the center.

Well progressive just means "way out ahead". Maybe I just forgot the slogan.

And back to the topic, in this meaning, Aikido is totally Green, straight and way out ahead.

Cheers Dirk

markwalsh
08-10-2006, 04:16 PM
Aikido like life isn't black, white or grey - its rich imperial purple, it's verdant luscious green, it's Mediterranean blue and passionate blood red. It's psychedelic man.

...I really spent too long out West - Is Ian Hurst out there to take me back to the rain, misery and beer?

Erick Mead
08-10-2006, 04:33 PM
However, I still vividly remember listening to a group of very accomplished Asian martial artists wondering out loud why their idea of a martial expert was someone who thought more like an engineer and so many westerners think of martial arts as some sort of liberal-arts philosophy question. Why should there be any distinction at all by either one of them?

There is an apropos saying in the building trades that is applicable by extension to any practical art:

"A house built by an architect without an engineeer will fall down;
A house built by an engineer without an architect will be torn down."

The trick is finding the right collaboration between the two, or individuals who can personally embody both necessary aspects of any art.

crbateman
08-10-2006, 04:44 PM
The trick is finding the right collaboration between the two, or individuals who can personally embody both necessary aspects of any art.Methinks that this statement is true of anything where there is not a singular, universally accepted "way".