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Dennis Hooker
12-07-2006, 12:09 PM
I believe in open and honest discussion between people that are truly interested in a subject like Aikido. However, I have a few questions for those of you that do not practice Aikido or have not been an active student under an Aikido teacher for a long time. . Why are you here? Are there not web sites more in line with your interest? It seems that in several threads there is a lot of negative comments regarding Aikido in general and some teachers in particular and in it's or their usefulness, understanding and ability. Are you here to show the light to the uninformed masses? Many statements would seem to indicate that attitude. Are you here to say you found a better way and we are all misinformed and misguided if we don't accept your way as "the" way? Many statements in many threads would seem to suggest this attitude. Why are you here with us and why are we not on your other forums? Why are you not on the other forums as strongly as you are on this one? Do you find more in common with us than with others of your own ilk? I truly want to know why you are here. I know this is for the greatest part an unmonitored forum but it is still an Aikido forum.
Oh, do you find our conversation more open and stimulating than other forums?

ChrisMoses
12-07-2006, 12:30 PM
That's a good question Dennis. I consider myself as being in grey area between being in and out of aikido. I consider what I'm working on as Aikido, but I think a lot of people wouldn't. I sort of addressed the same issue over in this thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=161057&postcount=66) when I said, "After all, most of the detractors on this forum who go on and on about what Aikido's missing are outside of Aikido, looking in. At this point, I'm guilty of that as much as anyone. I suppose I still love Aikido for what it could be, rather than what it is today, I don't know what Dan and Mike's reasons for posting here are. Perhaps, like me, they just like arguing on th3 int3rw3bs…"

It really is mostly people on the outside looking in making the most noise on here now. I love it because it gives me a chance to pick their brains and steal all I can, but I can certainly see how it would be frustrating, since every thread seems to get hijacked these days. My appologies for being part of the problem. (no sarcasm intended)

Rupert Atkinson
12-07-2006, 12:36 PM
I too sometimes wonder why they are here, but, I am happy that they are. They tend to keep us in reality mode.

Michael Neal
12-07-2006, 12:44 PM
For me its that I still like Aikido and hope to return to it some day. I have had many criticisms of Aikido here on these forums over the years but it has always been out of desire to see its improvement rather than to belittle it.

Michael Neal
12-07-2006, 01:03 PM
I think the arguments that dominate the forums are generally between the two extremes that either argue that Aikido is useless or that Aikido alone (that is trained in a mostly cooperative manner) is a deadly effective martial art. The former is certainly not true and the latter insults the intelligence of rational people with other training experience.

I personally view Aikido as advanced training most suitable for people who already have a solid base in another art, preferably one that involves some type of sparring. I do believe Aikido works, but most people's Aikido probably does not.

DonMagee
12-07-2006, 01:10 PM
I am a casual student of aikido. I enjoy aspects of it, other aspects of it annoy me to no end. I still train a few times a month when I can find time in my busy bjj/judo training. I'm here because i like to bounce my point of view off others who might disagree with me. It helps me grow and better understand why I train. I've looked back at posts I've made on bullshido, here, and other forums and I can see how much I've grown and how my ideas on what I want to do have matured in the past year.

You will notice I normally keep myself confined to conversation on technique, martial effectiveness, and training methods. These areas are the areas that concern me. You wont see me posting in lineage battles, ki concepts, or other more 'aiki' type conversations because I'm not too terribly interested on how to generate the best ki power, or who's aikido is the real aikido.

I try not to belittle or make fun of anyone's ideas of beliefs. Rather I try to explain my point of view and see how they react. I don't really care if they see it my way or not. But the 'argument' allows me to better explore why I feel the way I feel.

Ron Tisdale
12-07-2006, 01:13 PM
Hi Dennis,

I respect you because of what I've heard from others, because of what you've written over the years, and because of what I've felt from others on the mat that share your teacher...so I mean no disrespect...but...

Why does it matter?

Best,
Ron

SeiserL
12-07-2006, 01:33 PM
IMHO, this question is very important and one that we should ask ourselves on a regular.

To me, it speaks to intent.

What is my intention by being here? I am an active student of Aikido. My intent if to further my understanding in dialog and discussion and hopefully be of some small assistance in sharing my perceptions with others. If you read my post with that intent in mind, you will probably get what I am trying to say. If on the other hand, you believe my intent is to hide behind rank and gentlemanly ways, you will get a whole different meaning.

Some people (only a few) I have no idea why they post here. Their intent is totally lost on me. Unless its just to stir the pot. I must admit that I think the Aikido pot needs stirring every once and a while. Even being questioned by "outsiders" keeps me open to finding answers and hearing different perspective.

Now, IMHO, intent is a major component of efficient and effective waza. I believe that Ki is directed by our intent. Therefore, I can often feel the difference in being thrown by someone who is just walking through the motions, trying not to hurt me, and one who really intends to send me flying. I can feel the anger, fear, love, competence, and insecurity of the person throwing. We can feel the comfort level in the person taking the fall. No mystery. We all can.

While we can not nothing about why others train or not train, post or not post, we can surely do something about our own intent.

Others? Well, that does remain a mystery to me, but not everything needs an explanation to my satisfaction, especially if I don't really care.

Great question. Compliments and appreciation. Looking forward to the seminar.

mickeygelum
12-07-2006, 01:52 PM
Great question...Understandable reasoning...I often have asked the same, that is why I am selective to which threads I will post/reply.

Miku-san

Keith R Lee
12-07-2006, 02:50 PM
I am a casual student of aikido. I enjoy aspects of it, other aspects of it annoy me to no end. I still train a few times a month when I can find time in my busy bjj/judo training. I'm here because i like to bounce my point of view off others who might disagree with me. It helps me grow and better understand why I train. I've looked back at posts I've made on bullshido, here, and other forums and I can see how much I've grown and how my ideas on what I want to do have matured in the past year.

You will notice I normally keep myself confined to conversation on technique, martial effectiveness, and training methods. These areas are the areas that concern me. You wont see me posting in lineage battles, ki concepts, or other more 'aiki' type conversations because I'm not too terribly interested on how to generate the best ki power, or who's aikido is the real aikido.

I try not to belittle or make fun of anyone's ideas of beliefs. Rather I try to explain my point of view and see how they react. I don't really care if they see it my way or not. But the 'argument' allows me to better explore why I feel the way I feel.

This seems like as good a reason to be "here" as any.

Janet Rosen
12-07-2006, 02:51 PM
To learn (I read much more than I reply to) - both knowledge and "what others are thinking"

To share -- by teaching a bit in the narrow areas in which I believe my facts, or my judgements based on facts, are sufficiently strong -- also sometimes just to share musings.

Intent behind them is to be a contributing member of a community.

crbateman
12-07-2006, 02:57 PM
Not everything one reads is factual. Not everything one learns is useful. And not everything you see in a forum is relevant. That's life. Some folks enjoy being adversarial or confrontational online, especially if they desire impunity. You feed their need if you offer a reaction. Otherwise, they just leave.

I don't favor exclusion of non-aikidoka out-of-hand. Curiosity about the art helps to advance it, even if somewhat condescending. Outright disrespect does not work, but that is unfortunately not limited to the uninitiated. I try to take things with a grain of salt. I have seen other fora where people get banned whenever they say the first thing non-conformist. Personally, I like this way better.

Just one guy's not-particularly-important opinion...

Michael McCaslin
12-07-2006, 03:31 PM
I know my posts have not been as contentious as others, but I think that is largely because I do a lot more lurking and learning than posting.

However, I do fit into the category of someone who does not train in Aikido, yet who is here, and I can tell you why.

I train in an unaffiliated aikijujutsu school. Kokyu is given short shrift in our dojo-- we just train for "efficient body mechanics" and trust that the rest will take care of itself. Whenever we have trouble making something go, the answer is often "atemi." (While we're on the subject, yes, I am a believer in atemi. I think the ability to hit and hit hard should figure into anyone's self defense repertoire.)

Allow me to outline why I'm here. I don't expect everyone to agree, but maybe it will help shed some light on my motivation:

1. I believe aikido, aikijujutsu, hakko ryu, (insert art here) share a common "engine," that being kokyu/internal strength.
2. I believe that while the flavor may differ, the Chinese and Japanese arts share common principles and mechanics.
3. I believe that the vast majority of people who practice these arts do not understand how to use internal strength.
4. I believe that the majority of people who practice these arts do not have access to teachers who can and will show them.
5. I believe that anyone who studies very seriously in *any* of these arts will eventually run into the issue of how to use these skills.

So, my theory is that I should be able to have discussions with any serious practitioner of an art that uses internal strength and find some common ground. We should have things to discuss and share. All of us, in any art, should fear the day the last person who has real internal skill passes away. We all owe it to our arts to learn as much as we can while it's still possible.

I trained in aikido for a while, and I remember feeling a great deal of cognitive dissonance comparing how it is trained to how it could be. This is true of every art. I think it's fine if most train one way and a few grasp the real truths, but increasingly it looks like a day is coming when the real truths will pass from knowledge.

Call it greed or hubris if you want, but I don't want to connect myself with any art and fail to become an example of that art's full potential.

I think some of the people here share information in the true hope that they are helping others to learn. Some people share information as a way of "seeding" discussion, hoping to get information in return. Most, like me, are reading a lot and benefitting from the knowledge of people they would never have access to were it not for forums like this one. I try to contribute as best I can but the truth is I'm getting a lot more than I am giving right now, and I am truly greatful for that. (Thanks!)

Knowledge about this stuff is scattered and fragmented. Who knows who in what art will have a little piece of the puzzle, or some history that isn't widely known?

So here I am. I'm sorry if I offend anyone by not showing the deference he feels he or his teacher deserves, or if something that comes off my keyboard kills one of his sacred cows. I am here with the best of intentions: to learn and to share. I think George Ledyard's advice to gloss over the delivery and give the content careful consideration is spot on. I forget who said offense can never be given, only taken, but there is some wisdom there. Really, we all train in arts that claim ego loss is a goal and that too much ego is a barrier to progress. How many of us are setting good examples in this respect?

One thing that draws people here is the high signal to noise ratio. Are there arguments? Yes, everyone here is heavily emotionally invested in what they do, and not all of us see things the same way. But there are more mature, level-headed people on this forum than I've seen in one place in a long time. On the whole, there is a decent collection of folks here. I lurk on all of them I can find, but this is the only one I've bothered to register for. I hope we will all be able to check our ego's at the door and continue to share information. It's best for us as individuals, and best for us as a collective. Really, how hard is it to read what's out there, work with what is useful, and leave the rest for others to make their own decisions about?

Thinking back on the last year, a truly staggering amount of information has been presented here. Like many of you, I have a bookshelf full of martial arts books of every description at home. If I had to choose between them and what has become available to me online, it would be a hard decision but I know I would keep the online interaction. I won't name names, since some names seem to cause people to clamp their minds shut, but THANK YOU to those of you who take time to share the knowledge you've worked for here. I will do my best to be able to make your efforts worthwhile.


Michael

Mark Freeman
12-07-2006, 06:39 PM
Hi Michael,

I enjoyed your considered response to the well put questions at the head of the thread. There are a couple of points, maybe you could clarify for me?
3. I believe that the vast majority of people who practice these arts do not understand how to use internal strength.
4. I believe that the majority of people who practice these arts do not have access to teachers who can and will show them.

Now I neither agree or disagree with the rightness of these 'beliefs'. I personally have no idea if they are true. They do however seem amazingly all encompassing. It's a big world with martial arts being practiced in virtually every country. What leads you to be so confident that your beliefs are as they are? I'm quite sure you have evidence based on your own experience, but is it correct to extrapolate this out to be so 'wide' an observation?

This forum if nothing else gets many of us thinking ;)

regards,

Mark

xuzen
12-07-2006, 09:23 PM
I am a casual student of aikido. I enjoy aspects of it, other aspects of it annoy me to no end. I still train a few times a month when I can find time in my busy bjj/judo training. I'm here because i like to bounce my point of view off others who might disagree with me. It helps me grow and better understand why I train. I've looked back at posts I've made on bullshido, here, and other forums and I can see how much I've grown and how my ideas on what I want to do have matured in the past year.

You will notice I normally keep myself confined to conversation on technique, martial effectiveness, and training methods. These areas are the areas that concern me. You wont see me posting in lineage battles, ki concepts, or other more 'aiki' type conversations because I'm not too terribly interested on how to generate the best ki power, or who's aikido is the real aikido.

I try not to belittle or make fun of anyone's ideas of beliefs. Rather I try to explain my point of view and see how they react. I don't really care if they see it my way or not. But the 'argument' allows me to better explore why I feel the way I feel.

Ever since I have been doing Judo since past one year, I have been seduced by the pleasure it gives me. The adrenaline rush of being locked in combat, the ectasy of tasting victory and the humbling and self-reflective feeling of facing defeat... All these aikido are not able to give me.

As Darth Sidious said, "The Darkside is a path that will lead to many things"

So let me, take this opportunity to take a bow, and exit this stage gracefully.

As DonMagee says, I will remain a casual student of aikido and will post from time to time if any interesting topics do come out.

Ossu!

Boon.

Ellis Amdur
12-07-2006, 10:03 PM
I am also in a grey area as far as my involvement in aikido goes. My active training days in aikido, a total of five years, ended in 1978. But aside from that, an interesting thought arises. Why post here? The action seems to be here. At Aikiweb - which, BTW, is not called "AikidoWeb" :) I've learned a tremendous amount.
When I came back to America, I entered Psych grad school - and had a terrible time. I was hot for intellectual dialogue and when I disagreed with someone, the response was a hurt little pout, teary eyes, and a response something like, "How could you criticize that. That was one of my favorite thoughts!" So I started hopping the fence and taking philosophy courses, where one ran a gauntlet everytime one spoke. One had to defend - with logic AND wit, anything that came out of one's mouth. I would wager that if the non-aikido folks (and those in the grey area, who also have hard questions) stopped posting, things would get rather pallid and uninformative real quick.
Best

Upyu
12-07-2006, 10:21 PM
Two arms, two legs man.
Doesn't matter whether you're Aikido, Shaolin fist, xxx fist, mma, wrestling, thai boxing, armed or unarmed.

Only so many ways you can efficiently move the human body (both in a martial context, and more importantly out of a martial context)

And for what its worth, this is where that discussion seems to be taking place, and moreover where the people that have the head to develop this kind of skill seem to be at. ;)

No hate, we're all out to better ourselves :D
(and for some of us, kick ass)

DH
12-07-2006, 11:17 PM
Hey Dennis
Number one. Aikikoka are looking. I talk shop with folks who will talk shop. Otherwise I don't.
Many see and are now willing to talk about the work that is needed. They are finding after feeling some outside of Aikido (just like Ikeda did)...that they have been cheated in not being taught a clear means to get there by practical step by step improvements. Instead they are dragged through the twenty year man ideal. We can get them there much faster.
What was it that guy said that pissed people off on the Aikido list back in 1996... He said he felt he learned more in that weekend with me than in three years of doing Aikido.
So some come to us and we give them a means to fix it.
Everyones having fun as far as I can tell.
The skills that we have been discussing are the source of Aiki.
Very...very...few know even the pieces of them. Fewer still the mastery-if there is one-of them. And these skills are the cornerstone of your art.

That said, as long as I have read I have seen folks from all walks and styles who are interested in AIKI read and contribute here. Unless folks think Aiki is under the ownership of Aikido...which it clearly is not, I'd suggest ignoring those who do not contribute in a positive way and just post where you see fit..

Last
If you will note* Every person FROM aikido who has gone out and met folks who can do these things and felt the power..
a. sees the value and wants it
b wants to incorporate it into their ...AiKido...

And since they are enjoying the training....let me flip the question around

Dennis
Since Ikeda made a very impassioned statement about what is missing and went outside Aikido to find it....and stated clearly that the art is in crisis and needs to have its training radically altered
And snce the training folks are doing with us...smacks of Aiki....by their admission.
Let me ask you.............why would this bother you?

Cheers
Dan

Robert Rumpf
12-08-2006, 06:50 AM
Aikiweb - which, BTW, is not called "AikidoWeb" :)

Although I tend to enjoy your posts Ellis,


AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Dennis Hooker
12-08-2006, 07:06 AM
Dan, I don't remember saying it bothered me and I don’t remember hearing my friend Ikeda Sensei say any such thing about Aikido lacking. He did say to me “seeing it through a different perspective helped him understand things a little better”. I do not believe I made any statement that could not be substantatuated through a search of posts but that would serve little propose beyond redundancy. I also do not believe I was being confrontational or unkind. I simply ask a question that went to many people on the AikiWeb not just you. I am truly interested in why you all chose to come here an interact with us. For you it seems you are truly interested in saving us from ourselves. Laudable even if unnecessary. We are of a different mind for sure. I believe in Mohammad going to the Mountain and you believe the Mountain should come to Mohammad. I believe if we are truly interested in the welfare of the Aikido community at large we should make every attempt to be out and amongst it, you do not. Your candor at times confuses and befuddles new and more inexperienced students and you are not willing to meet them in mass to demonstrate your skills and understanding but insist they meet with you one on one, or a few at most, on your terms. Dan this is just not realistic and smacks of a condescend attitude when you rebuff legitimate invitations to interact. From all accounts you are a great guy. From you own statements you are a great guy. Perhaps your skill is great I don’t know and have not heard anyone else say it but I will take you at your word. I have a hard time believing your convictions are as genuine as you say when you requirements for interaction are so restrictive and condition filled.

I know I will catch hell for even questioning motivations of people on this list. Even if I do it with the best of intentions.

Dazzler
12-08-2006, 07:23 AM
Well - I know this thread is aimed at those outside of Aikido so I don't really qualify.

FWIW although I don't agree with everything that Dan , Don and Mike Sigman for instance post, I certainly welcome and value their input and over time have seen much good advice within it.

On the one hand you get an insight onto just how much is involved in the study of internals, ki and such, and from the others you get an opinion on what it is to focus on purely martial effectiveness.

While most of us are just gonna keep on trucking when it comes to our training, at least some validation takes place when we read their posts so we at least consider an alternative view.

I'd hate to feel that us Aikidoka were becoming a completly separate bunch from the rest of the MA world - theres surely more common ground than variance?

Regards

D

DH
12-08-2006, 08:05 AM
Gees
I don't want to be part of a contention about it either.
I was referring to what Ikeda said in the article at Aikido journal I posted hereabout summer camp.
Darren is right. And if you hold to your own and insist that only Aikidoka can understand Aikido... your pretty much being duped.

Dennis
Since you asked....and If you are seriously curious, and not mad at me. My restrictions and interactions are just my lack of time (remember I am a student in others things and have to train, and I have a dojo with guys who want me to train with them, and I go outside to train and test with other folks) and a dissinterest in a gaggle of people who won't train solo and do the work. (Makes the long, cold, winters of Hokkaido between Takeda's visits, and why so few got it make more sense though. Lots of solo training time). I'm not a teacher and don't want to be one. And I think these things are a waste of everyone's time if you don't establish a relationship and train on a regular follow up basis. I've had over almost 200 people through here in 16 years. With maybe 6 who are any good. I'll leave that frustration to others. Maybe I just stink at teaching anyway
But enough about that. We continue to point that folks should ask to be taught the specifics. If these teachers can supposedly do then they should have students who know these skills and how they are done. That's all. But things that are "Aiki" are in others arts and can "expressed" as Aiki-do in a heartbeat.

Anyway, we shouldn't argue about it. It seems it is more beneficial than harmful. Particularly to those who are out there looking and can't seem to find someone who actually has it and is willing and able to teach it ....in Aikido.
Cheers
Dan

Ecosamurai
12-08-2006, 08:15 AM
I'm here because I practice Aikido. I enjoy discussing aikido both its apparent strengths and apparent weaknesses with whoever may want to talk about it in a reasonably sensible fashion (childish rude trolls are exempt from this).

I don't care if they come here from inside or outside of aikido, or that 'grey area' in between. So long as the conversation is stimulating and challenging then its worthwhile. This isn't after all a dojo, regardless of what we do away from the keyboard here we intellectualise, discuss and debate as armchair budoka.

One of my favourite literary quotes ever is from The Last of The Mohicans:

"Young blood and hot blood, they say, are much the same thing. We are not about to start on a squirrel hunt, or to drive a deer into the Horican, but to outlie for days and nights, and to stretch across a wilderness where the feet of men seldom go, and where no bookish knowledge would carry you through harmless."

IMHO Internet discussion is "bookish knowledge", Budo is the wilderness :)

Best

Mike Haft

Cady Goldfield
12-08-2006, 08:31 AM
Some of who visit here do so because they have an interest in the direction aikido has taken, not because they train in it, but because they are from aikido's parent art, Daito-ryu. It's interesting to see how aikido has largely spun away from the physical principles that make many of the older arts so powerful, and some from the older systems may wonder why aikidoka wouldn't want to have some of that power in their own system, seeing as it can be used to subdue an attacker completely without violence or even pain.

Personally, I think that this "outside" perspective adds food for thought for aikidoka who may feel that they want to explore all of the possibilities for what their art could be. It's all conversational, anyway. Think of the perspectives and insights a Christian group might gain on the meaning of their "Old Testament" and even into their "New" if they were to invite some scholarly Jews to their discussion group. It's sort of like that. You don't have to adopt or adapt any of the intelligence provided, but it does give you a new body of knowledge that you didn't have before, and it might broaden and deepen your understanding of what you have.

Kevin Leavitt
12-08-2006, 10:02 AM
I participate in aikiweb mainly because I enjoy the people in aikido and find that most are pretty honest in why they are studying the art. I think aikido offers a good philosophy that cannot be found in many other arts. I think the methodolgy is wonderful for conveying that philosophy. The world certainly would be a better place if all could implement the lessons learned in practice. That is mainly why I am here.

I do not current do aikido for a number of reasons. The most important one is that I have no one to practice it with where I am located. Second, I am deeply involved as a soldier in the Army Combatives program which is based heavily on BJJ.

I find that my background in Aikido has provided me an solid foundation in basic principles and philosophy. The BJJ/Army Combatives training offers me some very, very practical applications of that theory.

Much like Dennis Hooker discusses Ikeda's perspective...it is not about looking for the gaps in what aikido is lacking, but better understanding what aikido is through the study and perspective of other sound martial arts.

Those that look at aikido as the "glass half full" paradigm, that is, viewing it for it's limitations, are missing the picture. I did have that perspective years ago...I think we all go through it. However, as I proceed in my current studies, I have found it to not be lacking in any sense in principle. This, however, should not be applied to practice or actual application necessary...as that is a different animal all together, and frankly in my opinion...not a good,valid reason to study aikido!

Sure there are those out there that come to aikido to find what is wrong with it...some people love to watch a good train wreck!

There will also be those that want to convert/convince others that aikido is not "it".

There are also those that believe that they have found the true meaning and others simply "don't get it" and feel the need to tell them on a regular basis boost there own egos or to make others feel inferior.

I think though the majority are only here because they are seeking knowledge and enjoy aikido and the journey they are on.

I find most martial arts forums boring, but aikiweb has a vast majority of people that discuss concepts in a very knowledgable, respectful, and honest way!

Michael McCaslin
12-08-2006, 10:20 AM
Hi Michael,

I enjoyed your considered response to the well put questions at the head of the thread. There are a couple of points, maybe you could clarify for me?


Quote:
3. I believe that the vast majority of people who practice these arts do not understand how to use internal strength.
4. I believe that the majority of people who practice these arts do not have access to teachers who can and will show them.


Now I neither agree or disagree with the rightness of these 'beliefs'. I personally have no idea if they are true. They do however seem amazingly all encompassing. It's a big world with martial arts being practiced in virtually every country. What leads you to be so confident that your beliefs are as they are? I'm quite sure you have evidence based on your own experience, but is it correct to extrapolate this out to be so 'wide' an observation?

This forum if nothing else gets many of us thinking

regards,

Mark


Good question, Mark. If you want a one word answer, that would be YouTube! ( ;) )

But seriously, you hit the nail on the head. My opinions are subjective, and based solely on my limited experience with a small sample population. I realize I'm guilty of painting with a pretty broad brush.

So why did I say it? Well, I'm not just trying to be provocative, although it's OK if it makes people pause for a moment to consider where they are with their training and where they would like to be. I really feel like there is something lacking. I'll try to elaborate on my experience a bit, and maybe that will help people see where I am coming from with this.

I've been involved with martial arts for a long time, in different Japanese, Korean, and Chinese arts. I'm sure that's true of lots of people. Since I grew up in a small town, and moved to a small city, what I train has largely been dictated by who is available to teach. I've been a part of both large and small organizations, and all up I guess I'm close to 20 years of formal training time. Here are some of my observations:

1. Teachers are forced to decide between training to the highest standard or to the lowest common denominator. Economics will drive the system toward the LCD. I had a hapkido teacher with five students called back to Korea "for training." His replacement has 80 students and is still there today. I won't comment on the change in quality with the increase in quantity. I think it's just a truism that martial arts isn't for everyone, but teachers also need to make a living. This dynamic causes some interesting evolutions. Unfortunately, we no longer live in a time where there are lots of people training as if their life depended on it.
2. Training in "aiki" arts is almost always predicated on some aggreements between tori and uke which allow tori to experience some success with the techniques. These agreements, while vital in the beginning, are also limiting. Yet even in high level randori, these agreements seem to persist. Most randori I've seen amounts to doing kata from unannounced starting points really fast.

I got my first glimmer of understanding of internal strength from a tai chi teacher here in New Orleans. He was a tiny fellow, but one day in class he put his hands on me and I felt like I was being run over by a truck. At the time, I concluded tai chi was the answer to all my problems, and has what all the other arts lack.

Unfortunately, I failed to learn what he had to teach before he passed away. None of us in his class "got it" in time. Still, he gave me a gift-- while I can't do internal strength, I now know it when I see it.

And that's the problem-- following the death of my tai chi teacher, I started looking for somewhere to train. I know what I'm looking for, but it's just not around. There are many more people teaching tai chi who don't have internal strength than there are who do. Much later, I've realized that many arts are complete with internal strength, and somewhat meaningless in its absence. It's not the art, it's the person. That gets said so much it's meaning no longer comes across. It means something different to me now than it did the first time I heard it. Another one: Before I started training, all that martial arts stuff looked the same to me. Then I started training, and my eyes opened to all the wonderful differences. Now, much later, they all look the same again. To me, these statements both mean the same thing-- without the "engine" that makes these arts work, you are practicing self deception. That's fine, because in today's world there's really no penalty for that, but I want to be true to the ideal, as much work as that takes.

I started training with my current aikijujutsu teacher because he can do techniques against people who are not trained, don't know any ukemi, and are actively resisting. I can't stop him from doing technique to me, and he can stop me from doing technique to him. I believe he has some internal strength, but does not teach it. When I ask him specific questions, I get redirected. My teacher is primarily interested in self defense, and I don't think he believes internal training is necessary to adequately defend yourself. I think he's right, but I want to learn internal strength for reasons that go beyond merely defending myself. At least the folks I train with aren't going to do me the disservice of taking a dive while I wave my arms around. They don't respond to my incoming energy-- I have to take control of them and move them. Our only agreements are that I will do my best not to hurt them and they will do their best not to let me accomplish my objectives. I give them the same as uke. While I think this is a great way to train, you can do it for a long time and not spontaneously develop internal strength. So I'm out here doing my homework and searching. I expect to learn how to use internal strength to make whatever art I'm doing work, and one day I'd like to teach others.

I realize this hasn't really addressed the "It's a big world out there, what makes you think you've seen enough to comment?" aspect of your question. Perhaps the infamous "jo trick" thread is part of my answer. I really hoped some people would come forward and say "Yeah, it's no big deal. Here's how we practice it in my dojo." It never happened. Then I see guys like Akuzawa, blowing people's minds (and filming it) and then saying "It's the basics." I believe him. But I don't see many people doing "the basics." They might be all over the place and I just don't know about it. But for me, that's the same as if they never existed. Oh, and YouTube. No, I'm serious this time. YouTube has allowed me to see people doing what I know should be possible. I'm not chasing a myth-- there are people who can really do these things. I want to learn. It's also allowed me to see lots of people doing some things I don't really want to learn.

I think some people would rather believe there's nothing else out there to relieve themselves from the obligation to find it. That's OK, I'm just making a different choice. I hope this helps clarify where I'm coming from-- thanks for asking.


Michael

Dennis Hooker
12-08-2006, 10:59 AM
Well Dan I am most certainly not mad at you. Over the years we have had civil if not friendly commutations on a number of topics. One thing I do disagree about is the way you and others sometimes paint all Aikido with a broad brush. I know it is expedient to not have to qualify your statements and most people should be able to read between the lines but it is not really always so apparent. You know over all the years I have been teaching (and I do take teaching seriously) I have had a good many Daito-ryu students visit the dojo or attend seminars from Illinois, Tennessee, Las Vegas to San Juan P.R. They have always been friendly encounters and almost always they go away with a greater understanding of the differences between Daito-ryu and Aikido. They left with a new or perhaps deeper respect for Aikido. On several occasions they have said "now I understand". Note that I did not say I gave them something new. It was perhaps the same message or lesson they had seen a hundred times but from a different perspective they now understood. I did not, and do not, fault their art or their teachers for a lack of ability or understanding. I do not go onto their forums and ask why they don't get it. It is not because I fear a rebuffing or some kind of physical challenge but because as you say "my time is limited" and I chose to spend it with people on Aikido sites. That is what inspired the question in the first place.

Perhaps I am thin skinned but my friend (and I mean that) many times you come across as doing bot (faulting the art or the teachers) I have trained to yudansha level in Karate -- Judo -- Kenjutsu - Iaijutsu and of course Aikido I have also trained in boxing and have military training. I am by no means naive nor am I gullible. I am but a reflection of many Aikido teaches I know. Some people may believe us unknowing or unskilled and some people in Aikido are unknowing and unskilled but until proven so I would ask not to be painted with a broad brush. I would ask that people who offer knowledge do so without innuendo regarding an entire body of teachers. That is unless one has direct knowledge of an Aikido teachers abilities through hands on experience.

gregstec
12-08-2006, 11:06 AM
I am also in a grey area as far as my involvement in aikido goes. My active training days in aikido, a total of five years, ended in 1978.

Ellis,

I don't think you are in that much of a grey area. I have had the opportunity to be on the mat with many diverse groups of Aikidoka over the years starting with Koretoshi Maruyama from the Ki Society back in the late 70s, AAA shihans, Bill Witt and a group of Iwama folks, the who's-who from ASU during the two Aikido cruises, as well as you from last weekend at the Itten dojo. All have different perspectives on Aikido, but all are really doing the same thing, just in different ways.

The best way to find 'your own' Aikido is to experience as much as you can from others' Aikido. I really appreciate all those that are willing to share what they know so we all can benefit from that knowledge in our own way.

Thank You
Greg Steckel

NagaBaba
12-08-2006, 11:25 AM
What a nice topic, Dennis, what a nice topic, thank you! :)

Dennis Hooker
12-08-2006, 11:39 AM
You are quite welcome Szczepan. I might add for a guy like me with dyslexia I find your name a devil at times to spell right.

Erick Mead
12-08-2006, 04:25 PM
Many ... are finding ...that they have been cheated ... dragged through the twenty year man ideal. We can get them there much faster.... The skills that we have been discussing are the source of Aiki. Very...very...few know even the pieces of them. Fewer still the mastery-if there is one-of them. And these skills are the cornerstone of your art. ... Since Ikeda made a very impassioned statement about what is missing and went outside Aikido to find it....and stated clearly that the art is in crisis and needs to have its training radically altered I am here because proper argument, like proper atemi, should bring definitive clarity -- and not obscurity, and definitely not mere ego satisfaction. That is my calling -- proper argument. An unacknowledged opening shows an error that needs attention. This is as true in concept as it is in training.

Therefore, I tend to take on, where the openings are evident, statements such as the above. I try to do this from my own experience and learning in aikido, which even though it may be relatively feeble compared with many here and elsewhere, is enough to identify and challenge a good deal of improper argument on the topic that otherwise impedes learning.

I do this not in a spirit of conflict, but to confirm, to clarify and challenge the openings. I learn more about what I know, and advance my own knowledge by carefully defending it from challenge. Sometime, I lose arguments and I learn from that, too, and generally learn more from the failures than from the successes. Success can often be just dumb luck, but failure always has a culprit.

I hope this same effort on my part inspires greater care and caution in distinguishing what is being discussed from what is not, and in seeing that something is actually learned from the expense of all the effort that so many willingly contribute here, be they from whatever background.

Peter Goldsbury
12-08-2006, 07:23 PM
Mr Hooker asked some serious questions, which risk being misunderstood.

I post here and write a column because I have met some of the people who practise aikido and post here and also because it is a forum: a place for the expression of opinions and exchange of ideas. I must confess that it does not really matter to me whether people practise aikido or not. It is what they write that matters.

I have my own ideas of what constitutes a good discussion (and they are similar to Erik Mead's), but this is also a website and a discussion forum and so it is difficult, even if it were desirable, to pretend that it is an academic seminar.

I cannot speak for aikido in the US, but in my experience the dissemination of knowledge in the aikido world has been governed too much on a 'need-to-know' basis: you cannot have the knowledge unless you can prove that you need to know it and that you can also handle it if it were given. In this respect (and always in my experience), aikido follows some Japanese traditions.

I think somewhere the Founder talked about training as a means of blowing away dust and cobwebs from the body/mind/self. Similarly (though I do not think the Founder talked about this), a good stream of fresh air, in the form of questions and opinions, also help to blow away the cobwebs, even if these come from people who do not practise the art. As I stated, it is the ideas that matter, not who it is who stated them. In this respect, websites can be seen as a part of another Japanese tradition: the fruitful combination of BUN and BU: training and intellectual culture.

This said, we all know that discussion, like training, requires a measure of self-discipline.

NagaBaba
12-08-2006, 08:30 PM
I think somewhere the Founder talked about training as a means of blowing away dust and cobwebs from the body/mind/self.
I tend to agree with you, however, recently almost all this dust was redirected to only one topic -- how to develop esoteric 'internal power' that O sensei apparently 'didn't pass to his late students'. This is done by these few non-aikidoka who has nothing else to say, because they can't even do decent ikkyo. They also never practice with direct students of Founder. And those ppl lecturing and patronizing about all aspects aikido practice -- not only for beginners, but also to old timers like you or Dennis......

Thing is, ppl who had experience with shihans like Saotome, Arikawa,Tada sensei will only smile reading about all these mysterious ninja-like tricks, but fresh naïve beginners haven’t right judgment..

Topic is interesting. I always though that if one doesn’t practice aikido he will come to aikido forum to learn about aikido, but non one of our own non-aikidoka have such desire. Instead they are teaching us how to do aikido!!!! I can’t believe it…..

DH
12-08-2006, 09:07 PM
Well I'm not near as nice as Ellis.
Your low opinion of my skills....site unseen... is fine by me.
If I can play and not have to actually -do- AIkido with someone and see them do something to me that is meaningful in any way to move me. If they did, it would be the same or similar skill sets. So who would be arguing? It'd be more shop talk.
And Ikkyo? Please.

The real discussion is- if they have it and are they sharing and teaching it in a manner that takes just a few years to get. And when is that? a year in, two, ten?
If you think for a minute that that the head guys in Aikido or many Asian arts are openly teaching the real body skills, or that it takes twenty years. Your greatly mistaken. ....As your seniors in your arts are telling you...right here... that, this idea of open teaching in Aikido or most all Asian arts? Just aint true.
Thats the real battle Szcepan. Not who is better then whom. Who cares.
The point is what needs to truly be taught, and is being held back and then where it is even know at all.

Cheers
Dan

jason jordan
12-08-2006, 09:13 PM
Hey you know what???? and this is very off the subject, but I can not wait for the day when I can meet face to face the ladies and gentlemen who are serious posters here, the Lynn Seisers', Erick Meads', and the Jun's etc. etc. It seems that no matter what forum I visit I see you there....This tells me that I am not the only aikidoka who eats, sleeps and breaths Aikido......"I AM AIKIDO" Lol

0h yeah and I can't forget Ron Tisdale too, and others that are regulars!

Anyway... I think that the people who don't study Aikido and post "Stupid" negative remarks (stupid because you can not judge something or comment on something you have never really experienced;)

I think they are valuable to us. They make sure that we don't get too relaxed. And further more, aikido keiko is not just on the mat....it's in everyday life! "including these forums"

Onegaishimasu

Mark Jakabcsin
12-08-2006, 09:20 PM
Dennis,
Interesting question and one I ask myself from time to time, as I am one of the accused.....errr, ahhh, one of the aforementioned non-practicing akidoka. It has been several years since I trained in Daito-ryu and a few more since I have actively trained in Aikido and yet I do continue to frequent this forum, Aikido Journal and E-budo. I have noticed over the years I read fewer and fewer threads and respond to even less, and yet I still 'check in' and look for that one thread that interests me.

Perhaps that is the reason I am here: I am always looking for that one thread with quality posts about specific topics of interest. Unfortunately my favorite topics are seldom discussed in a meaningful way. This is not a discouragement to me as I find the information I need elsewhere but I do enjoy a good discussion and have found many insightful tips over the years on the various forums. I'll look for that needle in a haystack. Hence I still drop by to read and occassional contribute.

Plus, I know and train (when travel permits) with a few of the contributors here and greatly enjoy reading their posts and seeing what interests them. I suppose I am also on the look out for other good potential training partners for when I am on the road.

Take care and Happy Holidays,

Mark J.

DH
12-08-2006, 09:24 PM
Anyway... I think that the people who don't study Aikido and post "Stupid" negative remarks (stupid because you can not judge something or comment on something you have never really experienced;)

Onegaishimasu
Here is your quote edited for you
Anyway... I think that the people who don't study internal skills and post "Stupid" negative remarks (like szcepan did above).... stupid because you can not judge something or comment on something you have never really experienced;)

*Please note*
Your community.....your Aikido practioners... are adding up to about a dozen or so folks from this Aikiweb site who have gone out this year and met the folks you few are complaining about.
No one
None
Have come back and said anything other then "Great stuff" and "Yes it is directly relevant to Aikido."
So just what are you...who are oultined in bold in your own quote above ...not feeling and yet discounting?

Good questions all around
I still like to think we are all on a search to improve ourselves. I'm not often dissapointed when someone feels these things. It's like- minded budo seekers falling in love with something obviously excellent. It never turns into one-upmanship. Its usually a lot of fun. Gee...just as they reported back here.
Most of us who like budo are a little whacked anyway. It makes friends -not enemies.
Happy holidays back at ya
Dan

jason jordan
12-08-2006, 09:42 PM
[QUOTE=Dan Harden]Here is your quote edited for you
Anyway... I think that the people who don't study internal skills and post "Stupid" negative remarks (like szcepan did above).... stupid because you can not judge something or comment on something you have never really experienced;)

Well first of all Dan...I would never stoop so low as to call anyones name, especially people who I know nothing about. So I would appreciate it if you would kindly not edit my quotes... "Thank you"

Second of all, the people I am referring too, are people who negatively post comments about what Aikido can and can not do, why it won't work, and so on and so forth. You nor myself or anyone else for that matter can not judge people or their practices based on what we or they have never experienced.

Thirdly, I don't think anyone is complaining, I think the question was posted humbly and with genuine curiosity.

Peace bruh,
And if I offended you, then my most humble apologies.

Jason
:ai: :ki: :do:

DH
12-08-2006, 09:48 PM
Fair enough, Jason. Sorry about that. Consider it a comment to the general ...reader.. since its too late to edit.
Have a happy
Dan

NagaBaba
12-08-2006, 09:58 PM
Oh, and btw - and you know, never having laid eyes on any of us, that they/we cannot do a "decent ikkyo" through what mystic ninja trick?
Ellis, please, 5 years it is something like shodan level. from that level normally you START learning. What do you want to teach me after 20 years of vacations? Your body forgot everything you learned from those great teachers. After, you learned completly different conditionning from other MA and want to believe it is revelant to aikido??? I hope you are kiding yourself...

Dan, again talking about these (in)famous "internal skills' ? Even in this topic? :eek: I was right about you guys....it can't be helped....

Tim Fong
12-08-2006, 10:01 PM
Even though I am in the middle of finals, I think I should comment on why I am here:

I am here because I think there is potentially valuable information in aikido, as a guide to bodyskill training. I used to practice a related art for several years, and many of my classmates were serious aikido practiioners. I was impressed with the possibilty of aikido, much less so with how I have seen it play out in practice. I am here because until last year I had given up believing that the skills manifested by Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Shioda etc could be learned or taught.

As far as my current practice, well, let's just say that it's not aikido, but that I am certainly curious how the body skills we are discussing work in a live, freestyle format. I'm not getting any younger, and I'm hoping that the skills can help me stay in the mix longer than would otherwise be possible. With weapons or with grappling or striking or whatnot. My freestyle practice is mostly Judo and Serrada escrima, in case anyone is that interested in what an amateur like me is doing. And yes, Serrada does do more than flow sparring, in case anyone thinks otherwise.

This forum seems to have a lot of people who are curious about the body skills at the core of the fighting art shown by Takeda, Ueshiba, Shioda, Sagawa etc. I learn a lot from the discussions here, and I enjoy talking with fellow researchers. One might say, seekers on the path, but that might be a little bit too much religion for some. :D

In the end it's just fighting, and I'm interested in the most efficient and effective way to do that...but increasingly, I'm seeeing that it's about the most efficient and effective way to move.

akiy
12-08-2006, 11:25 PM
Hi folks,

First off, I would like to thank Dennis for bringing up this question and thread and thank all of you who have expressed their thoughts and feelings on why you're here. That such a question does not get met with only crickets quietly chirping shows that there are people who care about discussion of the kind that occurs here. That's why I established these forums in the first place -- so that people who are interested in aikido could respectfully share their thoughts and experiences on the art.

Frankly, I personally do not care how much experience, if any, people have in the art when they share their thoughts here. I think that, for the most part, people have been honest about letting us know about their experience level in aikido. If that matters to you in how you interpret their comments, please feel welcome in weighing such while reading their thoughts. As such, I'm happy that there are people who have experience with other arts share their thoughts on aikido, provided that they, too, understand that some people may not find their comments relevant to their own practice -- just as people choose the threads in which they want to participate or choose the people to whom to respond (or not respond, as the case may be).

But, please do remember that this website is aimed at being concerned with the art of aikido. I would very much appreciate it if threads/posts outside of the Open Discussions forum be directly pertinent to aikido. Frankly, since I'm pretty dense at times, I personally would appreciate it people would be willing to make such a connection explicit in the threads.

About the only ground rule, though, that I have established and wish to maintain is the first rule of AikiWeb: Treat your fellow AikiWeb Forum members with respect.. And, as I have said before, I don't care who started it -- being disrespectful to someone just because you believe you were slighted doesn't give you a license to disregard that first rule. If you wish to get into a personal argument with someone, please take it off-line from public discussion into personal e-mail or private messages. So, in this thread (as well as others, of course), I would very much appreciate it if people could please stop directing barbs at each other in a personal manner and, instead, direct your attention to the topic and subject at hand.

In any case, I'm glad that there are so many folks who are interested in sharing your thoughts, experiences, and feelings on aikido with each other here on AikiWeb. I hope everyone will help in creating and maintaining this site as a place where such sharing can occur in an open-spirited manner.

Best,

-- Jun

SeiserL
12-09-2006, 01:52 AM
Most of us who like budo are a little whacked anyway.
What do you mean "a little"? LOL

Grown mature adults running around in white pajamas and black pleated A-line pantaloons acting like ancient samurai, and loving it?

"A little whacked"? I want more credit than that please.

And as long as I can't take myself that serious, I have tried to separate the message from the messenger, and give the content more serious consideration than way the messenger expresses it. I hope people do the same with my insignificant sharing.

I love cross training, so I have no problems with non-Aikido being here. I hope to actually train someday with all of them. Maybe I can learn something. There appears so much i don't know.

Mark Freeman
12-09-2006, 04:12 AM
Grown mature adults running around in white pajamas and black pleated A-line pantaloons acting like ancient samurai, and loving it?



LOL when you put it like that Lynn, it behoves any of us to take ourselves too seriously :)

I'm sure that it is our passion for our practice that leads us to behave the way we do, and that our conduct on these fora is a reflection of how much we have invested.

Some like your good self, can carry yourself with restraint and deportment, others of us can get a little carried away by our own efforts :(

Good thread guys and thanks Jun for making it all possible.

regards,

Mark

SeiserL
12-09-2006, 06:07 AM
Some like your good self, can carry yourself with restraint and deportment,
Yes, many people think I should restrained and deported.
You must have actually seen me train.

Mike Sigman
12-09-2006, 07:13 AM
I have some thoughts I'd like to pass on to you guys outside of Aikido (and to the "insiders" too), but they'll have to wait until I get back from the Aikido seminar that I, as an insider, am attending. Hmmmmm.... what are the criteria for being an "insider", BTW? :p

Man, you should see me in my little white ice-cream suit being deferential to and taking the opinion of "the correct way to do things" from all including a 12-year-old boy. It's great hearing all the opinions and listening to the instructor's perspective. But more on that later. I agree essentially with Rob's perspective.... all this stuff is, or should be, about martial arts. There is a commonality to good Asian martial arts, not these imagined differences and bragging points. ;)

Best Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
12-09-2006, 07:34 AM
I'd pay to see that...you in a white suit. Did you haver your bow tie?


I will be heading out to the dojo to train with four AIkido guys this morning. After the two I trained with Tues.

Remember folks..... other folks are getting out and training from outside Aikido....in.


Dan.

Mark Uttech
12-09-2006, 08:43 AM
Jun, thank you for the metaphor of the crickets quietly chirping on the site. I guess I am such a cricket; and this site is a fine cricket ground.

In gassho,

Mark

Jorge Garcia
12-09-2006, 09:08 AM
I think that when most people post something, they have a good feeling because they are getting to express their own opinion. Then there is the followup excitement of wondering how others will respond to what you posted. Some folks have developed an addiction to that feeling. Then, in the process of posting and arguing, it is possible to drift into a mindset where we are just having fun defending our own argument. After that, we find ourselves standing on the slippery slope of gratifying our ego. Part of gratifying the ego involves finding a spot where I feel superior in my argument because it feeds my self identity and reconfirms to me that I am on the right path, so I argue harder because I really want to believe I am on the right path. Then I find myself caught in a never ending cycle which keeps repeating itself.
A possible symptom of this psychological malady is posting and posting on the same essential subject over and over again. I have felt a feeling like this myself and I believe I have felt it from others. That's why I have largely stopped reading the forum section of Aikiweb. I don't want to be caught in that cycle myself and I am tired in getting caught in reading the effects of that cycle in others. Somewhere in there are also swirling around all the other legitimate reasons non practicing people post here.

I must say though that if you look at Hooker Sensei's original question, it seems to be pointed at those with this kind of a problem who in fact are non practitioners of Aikido. In my way of thinking, some of this is OK but when so many of the threads devolve into the old hash, it's time to go somewhere else.

In short, if people are balanced, they should post in a balanced way. A non practitioner by that standard would have his say and eventually get on back to the forum discussing his own art, learning his own art and thinking about his own art. Someone who is looking to make the same argument every time and turning every tune into the same old song may have a problem that will ruin this for the people who happen to believe Aikido is sufficient for them..
I have no need to go to a BJJ or Aikijujutsu forum and get my jollies by playing the only song I know on their guitar. The bottom line is that if I am relatively ego-less in this, I will help others but if It is really all about me, then that will eventually come out as well and clearly be seen for what it is.
Best wishes,

AsimHanif
12-09-2006, 12:15 PM
Jorge...
what you said.
Very well done my friend.

Asim

billybob
12-09-2006, 02:37 PM
I train aikido regularly, if you call once a week regular. I notice that few of you post personal issues as I do, are argumentative, and are middle age yet low ranked. I may be considered by some to be a troll.

So, my very selfish reason for being here is to help heal myself emotionally and mentally. I've revealed some dreadful personal stuff, because keeping the secrets I did for so long cost me a chunk of my sanity. By causing you to be my confessors, I face the shame I hid from, and get back my sanity and my soul. It's a little unfair, as I may make you uncomfortable, but I think it helps me more than it hurts you.

Thanks for the training.

David aka billybob

Cady Goldfield
12-10-2006, 06:18 AM
Man, you should see me in my little white ice-cream suit being deferential to and taking the opinion of "the correct way to do things" from all including a 12-year-old boy. It's great hearing all the opinions and listening to the instructor's perspective. But more on that later.

Oh? And why do feel that you need to act any differently at an in-person aikido seminar than you do on Internet forums? Why can't you just correct their erroneous beliefs in the same frank way that you do here, accompanied by the "no-suffering-the-fools" sarcasm when the person expressing the opinion is completely off the mark or, in your opinion, is a total buffoon? I'd think that even a 12-year-old boy should learn to suck it up and take it.

I'm wondering, too, why you actually went to a seminar of an art you no longer practice, and of an instructor whose operating principles seem at odds with what you now practice and understand. Especially if you had no intentions of correcting the problems. Film at 11? :)

Mike Sigman
12-10-2006, 10:38 AM
Oh? And why do feel that you need to act any differently at an in-person aikido seminar than you do on Internet forums? Why can't you just correct their erroneous beliefs in the same frank way that you do here, accompanied by the "no-suffering-the-fools" sarcasm when the person expressing the opinion is completely off the mark or, in your opinion, is a total buffoon? I'd think that even a 12-year-old boy should learn to suck it up and take it. Er... Cady... did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? My light-hearted comment was meant to be more of a reason for not commenting on the thread. If you want to discuss my adventures, you need to start another thread, please. ;) I'm wondering, too, why you actually went to a seminar of an art you no longer practice, and of an instructor whose operating principles seem at odds with what you now practice and understand. Especially if you had no intentions of correcting the problems. Film at 11? :) I actually had a good reason or several. First of all, and most importantly, I wanted to see/hear a Japanese-speaking American who had studied directly with Tohei Sensei, so that I could hear some of his idiomatic translations of what Tohei said and meant.

But it's another thread,Cady. Next time I get ready to go out of town, I'll check with you first. ;)

Mike

Cady Goldfield
12-10-2006, 11:03 AM
Heh. I took the original post in the spirit it was given. Just given your more nearly 1,800 posts here, I had to wonder how you were gonna keep mum at an aikido seminar...And I did kinda wonder why you'd be subjecting yourself to such a seminar in the first place! :p

Sweet dreams. :)

Mike Sigman
12-10-2006, 11:12 AM
And I did kinda wonder why you'd be subjecting yourself to such a seminar in the first place! :p
Well, just be clear...... if I didn't think that I would learn something, I wouldn't have gone. I did learn something; in fact I learned several things and I got some ideas clarified about what Tohei is actually trying to say.

Same thing on this list, Cady. I'm willing to share information, but essentially, as I've mentioned to you before, I'm here to mine information. And frankly, I've learned things through conversations on AikiWeb and contacts made on AikiWeb that I came here without. That's why I "subject" myself to AikiWeb and why I post on this forum? You? Just saving people from themselves? ;)

Best.

Mike

DH
12-10-2006, 11:17 AM
Probably same reason I went tu some CMA things.
Mike...to his credit... is doing research.

MIke
My real question is how did you do in deciding to take falls. Thats the part I have trouble with. I willingly take ukemi when showing folks how to do things to actually capture my center. Did most folks have that ability? Were you able to help?

I hope you had fun and hopefully the guys was teaching something valid in clear terms

Cheers
Dan

Cady Goldfield
12-10-2006, 11:20 AM
Thanks for clarifying, Mike. Way cool. Just given your penchant for funnin' people, it sounded intitally to me like you didn't really want to go to the seminar and were doing it as a favor or something.
As for "being" here, for me it's pretty much because I enjoy the opportunity for discourse with people who are as passionate about their MA pursuits as I am with mine.

tedehara
12-10-2006, 01:44 PM
The main reason that I post is to organize my own thoughts. By playing off the questions of others, I can discover the structure of what could be the truth of the matter.

...But, please do remember that this website is aimed at being concerned with the art of aikido. I would very much appreciate it if threads/posts outside of the Open Discussions forum be directly pertinent to aikido. Frankly, since I'm pretty dense at times, I personally would appreciate it people would be willing to make such a connection explicit in the threads....

Best,

-- JunCertainly the focus of this web site should be aikido. However, I don't see how anyone can seriously consider themselves studying aikido without looking at contemporary sports medicine. I'm currently reading Relaxation, Meditation, & Mindfulness. This is a mental health practitioner's guide to new and traditional approaches. At first glance this has nothing to do with aikido, but is actually an insightful guide to the "internal skills" that has been the topic of current discussion.

Perhaps the real question is, "Where do you set the boundaries of your aikido?" What is inside and outside your field of study?

sullivanw
12-10-2006, 08:26 PM
To absorb diferent perspectives on what this fascinating martial art is, to contribute in small ways on various threads, and to take care of the aiki jones when I'm not training! :)

-Will

RoyK
12-11-2006, 05:10 AM
I'm here mainly as a reader, in order to immerse myself in Aikido and motivate me to learn.
I also use the blog system to keep a personal track of my thoughts and progress.

Thanks to various posters and article writers I've been inspired to double the amount of classes I take per week, and be more serious about attendance and seminars.

Aikiweb discussions surfaced questions like "Why am I studying Aikido" and "Do I think what I study is effective to that end" and "What really is Aikido", and finding the answers to these questions became an integral part of my training.

David Yap
12-11-2006, 08:18 AM
Perhaps the real question is, "Where do you set the boundaries of your aikido?" What is inside and outside your field of study?

Wow!! Ted, that was a great one. If I may, can I add on the "Why" and the "How"? :D

Great to have "meet" all your guys (black, white or grey) here on this forum. Thanks Jun for the opportunity.

Best training,

David Y

gdandscompserv
12-11-2006, 09:02 PM
because i've been banned from all the other forums. :D
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b379/deserthippie/banned.jpg

Aristeia
12-11-2006, 10:47 PM
Although I stopped formal Aikido training this year to concnetrate on BJJ - I still consider myself an Aikidoka. I studied for 13 years and it is simply an ingrained part of who I am. The BJJ I see as an extension of my Aikido and vice versa, and I have no doubt I will be back on an Aikido mat in the futre, once I've travelled a bit further down the BJJ path. In the meantime I enjoy discussing it and thinking about how it can be applied in various situations. My online discussions are split about 50/50 between discussing what Aikido is good for and where the limitations are, and trying to show the BJJ/MMA crowd that arts like Aikido have a lot to offer.

Ron Tisdale
12-13-2006, 07:54 AM
I found this link on AJ...thought it was applicable to this thread...

http://www.bujindesign.net/featured_articles/2000_8_article_1.html

Best,
Ron

Mato-san
12-13-2006, 08:50 AM
I didn`t read anything ...only Dennis your post.......WOW you must be upset. I just want to say that your post must be supported by some big gonads!! But in all fairness people that come here to belittle Aikido should be served a nice Iriminage! But people that come here to discuss the mechanics and etc..... should be embraced!!!....sorry I did not read the entire thread.

Mark Freeman
12-14-2006, 05:06 AM
I found this link on AJ...thought it was applicable to this thread...

http://www.bujindesign.net/featured_articles/2000_8_article_1.html

Best,
Ron

Thanks for that Ron, a timely article that we could all benefit from reading on a regular basis, it's short sweet and to the point :)

regards,

Mark

Dennis Hooker
12-14-2006, 05:47 AM
I I just want to say that your post must be supported by some big gonads!! .


Like cantaloupes, got to push them around in a wheelbarrow.

Mark Freeman
12-14-2006, 06:55 AM
Like cantaloupes, got to push them around in a wheelbarrow.

Blimey Dennis, that really does create an interesting image of when you are doing aikido :D :D

happy holidays!

Mark

Don_Modesto
12-14-2006, 09:06 AM
Like cantaloupes, got to push them around in a wheelbarrow.I'd like to hear your comments on MAAI...

Dennis Hooker
12-14-2006, 03:32 PM
Well Don I think Maai should be used in Aikido correctly. After all appropriate distance is the key to a lot of stuff.

Cady Goldfield
12-14-2006, 05:29 PM
Whew. Thank goodness Dennis didn't tell his old joke about the dog... Though, come to think of it, it does sort of relate to ma-ai.

Eddie Heinzelman
12-17-2006, 09:56 PM
I'm new and want to learn. I would hope that qualifies me to participate in these forums. I train a minimum of 2 times a week and will do 3 (that's the max the dojo offers) as much as I can schedule.

I belong to some other online forums (non Aikido) and there's the same bickering and back and forth there as well. In my hope that threads will be constructive and educational, I'm not naive enough to assume they all may be. There will always be people who criticize the art, but I don't think they are the intended audience of this website....besides, a couple kote gaeshi will straighten them right out (ha,ha!)

That's a neat article from Bujin, Mark. Thanks for sharing.

Eddie

Aristeia
12-18-2006, 02:04 AM
In my hope that threads will be constructive and educational, I'm not naive enough to assume they all may be. There will always be people who criticize the art, is it your opinion that any criticism of the art, and constructive discussion are mutually exclusive?

Scott Gressel
12-18-2006, 06:29 AM
I am on this forum as one who has an interest in "The Art of Peace". As a Christian, this is what Jesus taught. He taught that others will know that we are Christians by our LOVE. In the small amount of reading that I have done on Aikido so far (I am very new to the subject..not a practitioner), I have gathered that "O-Sensei" (as he is referred to) was very much in-line with Christ's teachings on this. I have studied Tae Kwon Do and feel, now, that neutralizing an aggression and restoring order is much more in my spiritual way of thinking.

I think I would rather pursue restoring Peace and balance to a situation than inflicting damage. You will have to forgive my ignorance, but can anyone suggest to me what "style" to pursue and where (since I am living in Ohio, now) that would be most in-line with what O-Sensei would have taught. Apparently there are some styles which some say are not consistent with his teachings.

My purpose for Aikido: To provide a way,when attacked, to restore balance and order and then communicate love and Peace. Remove danger from the situation, first...and then seek to understand.

Thank you,
Scott

Eddie Heinzelman
12-18-2006, 07:14 AM
Absolutely not. I'm fine with criticism of the art and discussions around that as long as it remains constructive. If threads become personal or if the person criticizing is not open to opinions beyond their own or to discussing in a constructive manner, that, to me, would not be constructive or educational. :0)

Ron Tisdale
12-18-2006, 08:17 AM
Hi Scott. I suggest you do a search in the dojo database on this site to see what aikido dojo in within travelling range for you. Then visit each one, watch the training, talk to the instructor and senior students, and try to get on the mat for at least one class.

Then you should have some idea of the place that is best suited for you. What style of aikido they teach is probably not the best measure for most new students unless they have a very firm idea of what they want, and what is typically offered. After some years of training, you may very well do a 180 degree turn in what you seek anyway...

Best,
Ron

jonreading
12-18-2006, 11:50 AM
I was very young when I found out "Santa Claus" was not a person. A kid at school told me and I was devastated. I was mad at my parents for lying and Christmas was ruined. After a few weeks, my parents realized what I have been told about Christmas and set me down for the talk. I then received a talk about Santa Claus and the spirit of Christmas, in greater detail and wisdom than anything a elementary school child could muster. After the talk, my faith in Christmas and the spirit of Santa Claus was restored, and my mistrust of my parents diminished.

On this forum, users gather to speak of aikido from an intellectual perspective, and [constructively] criticize teachings, training, and writings related to aikido, as well as general discussion. I am dissappointed when I see negative threads and comments intended to undermine or damage one's impression of aikido. In many cases, I believe some negative posts are written with poor communication skills. Conversely, some users on the forum are great communicators whose messages are clear and positively constructed.

I believe Hooker Sensei's comments are targeted towards those who write with malice or intent to undermine or damage aikido. For example, "aikido doesn't work," may in fact be true, but an important qualifier is exlcuded from the sentence, "MY aikido doesn't work." Sometimes we forget the implications of each sentence are completely different.

In a world of technology-driven blather, everyone now feels empowered to post comments, blogs, e-mails, websites, and so forth. A fellow techie friend of mind calls this technology drabble, e-puke because the posters general just throw up anything that comes to mind on their blog, web page, IM, etc. In posting everything, we remove filters that previously dictated what comments to say or write, and what comments to keep private. In defense of our publications, we wrap ourselves in the freedom of speech; if things get too hot, we say, "geez, I was just kidding."

When I post comments, I do so to provide another perspective that may help a fellow aikido student better understand aikido. I leave the more delicate matters to the sensei, who should be leading the student in their training and I trust they will act responsible in preparing the student. I never want to be the kid the ruined Christmas for another.

Jorge Garcia
12-18-2006, 12:16 PM
I was very young when I found out "Santa Claus" was not a person. A kid at school told me and I was devastated. I was mad at my parents for lying and Christmas was ruined. After a few weeks, my parents realized what I have been told about Christmas and set me down for the talk. I then received a talk about Santa Claus and the spirit of Christmas, in greater detail and wisdom than anything a elementary school child could muster. After the talk, my faith in Christmas and the spirit of Santa Claus was restored, and my mistrust of my parents diminished.

On this forum, users gather to speak of aikido from an intellectual perspective, and [constructively] criticize teachings, training, and writings related to aikido, as well as general discussion. I am dissappointed when I see negative threads and comments intended to undermine or damage one's impression of aikido. In many cases, I believe some negative posts are written with poor communication skills. Conversely, some users on the forum are great communicators whose messages are clear and positively constructed.

I believe Hooker Sensei's comments are targeted towards those who write with malice or intent to undermine or damage aikido. For example, "aikido doesn't work," may in fact be true, but an important qualifier is exlcuded from the sentence, "MY aikido doesn't work." Sometimes we forget the implications of each sentence are completely different.

In a world of technology-driven blather, everyone now feels empowered to post comments, blogs, e-mails, websites, and so forth. A fellow techie friend of mind calls this technology drabble, e-puke because the posters general just throw up anything that comes to mind on their blog, web page, IM, etc. In posting everything, we remove filters that previously dictated what comments to say or write, and what comments to keep private. In defense of our publications, we wrap ourselves in the freedom of speech; if things get too hot, we say, "geez, I was just kidding."

When I post comments, I do so to provide another perspective that may help a fellow aikido student better understand aikido. I leave the more delicate matters to the sensei, who should be leading the student in their training and I trust they will act responsible in preparing the student. I never want to be the kid the ruined Christmas for another.

Amen.

Jorge

Kevin Leavitt
12-18-2006, 12:29 PM
Good post Jon.

Never really heard the phrase e-puke before, but I get it! Cool.

On a positive note, I think that the free wheelilng, non-retributional environment (heck I spelled retributional incorrectly, but well, it is the internet, so who cares! wheeee!) that some good concepts, new thought, and paradigms are challenged and broken....so I think the good outweighs the bad in most cases.

I like aikweb, because it tends to be intelligent and thoughtful, not the typcial "you suck...no you do" enviornment.

Good post, as usual, Jon!

Luc X Saroufim
12-18-2006, 12:47 PM
I truly want to know why you are here

well, if you want to know why i'm here, it's because i usually contribute to chat forums centered around the hobbies that i have.

that being said, the only thing i expect to get from an internet forum is a good chat. there's only one way to improve your Aikido.

Dennis Hooker
12-18-2006, 01:29 PM
The key element of the original post was “I have a few questions for those of you that do not practice Aikido”

When my children were teens (many many years ago) their friends would come to our house everyday. They would stay and make themselves at home most of their wakening hours. That was cool with the wife and me as long as they obeyed the rules. Even then I sometimes ask them “don’t you have homes what do you find so interesting here” I was curious as to what we did that would make our home preferable to their own. I am not now, nor have I ever been, an easy person to be around so it wasn’t my sterling personality. There are many on the AikiWeb who are as uncongenial as I who consider this our web home, so it prompts the regurgitation of the question to the prolific posters who’s primary study is not the art of Aikido but other arts “don’t you have homes, what do you find so interesting here” I know there are sites out there that cater to their core beliefs. Do they feel less welcome on those sites? What about this Aikido site intrigues you so much that it would lure you away from people who share your interests? Or do those people not share your interest? Do you find your interest shared here or do you find this as a friendly forum from which to launch your opinions of yourselves and your opinions about others. I will admit this Aikido forum is a hell of a lot more tolerable about such things than are other forums.


Dennis Hooker
(I am a self made man, a product of unskilled labor)
www.shindai.com

Mark Freeman
12-18-2006, 01:56 PM
Great post Dennis, thanks. :cool:

regards,

Mark

Mike Sigman
12-18-2006, 02:08 PM
When my children were teens (many many years ago) their friends would come to our house everyday. They would stay and make themselves at home most of their wakening hours. That was cool with the wife and me as long as they obeyed the rules. Even then I sometimes ask them "don't you have homes what do you find so interesting here" I was curious as to what we did that would make our home preferable to their own. I am not now, nor have I ever been, an easy person to be around so it wasn't my sterling personality. There are many on the AikiWeb who are as uncongenial as I who consider this our web home, Hi Dennis:

I have a mailing list that is actually mine. I own it. It's a private list, so I can put people on or take them off, as I see fit because I determine what the discussion-limits are and who has the qualifications to join. Naturally, I wouldn't suggest who should or should not join on any other list that I didn't own, but let me extend an invitation to you to join the QiJing list, if you'd care to. There are people there from many different martial arts (we even take Aikido people occasionally!) and most of us discuss the common themes in Asian martial arts, because there is so much crossover and commonality in the Asian martial arts. I think that if we excluded anyone who didn't believe as we did, we might be missing some important information.

All the Best,

Mike Sigman

mriehle
12-18-2006, 02:54 PM
Jon and Dennis:

This thread has provided - at least for me - much needed perspective.

Dennis: as the one who started the thread and posted the latest brilliant comment I feel like I should just say "thank you".

Jon: as others have said, good post.

As for why I'm here: well, it doesn't really speak to Dennis' original question, which aimed at those who don't practice Aikido. I'm here because I train in Aikido and I teach Aikido. I hope to learn things that will help me in both (and have done). I also hope to help others who come for the same reason to the extent that I can.

Erik Calderon
01-17-2007, 08:33 AM
I personally enjoy reading what "non-aikidoists" have to say. Sometimes they challenge the idea's that need challenging and rethinking.

When I'm on the mat, and my fellow Aikidoka attack me, do I just want them to fall for me, take ukemi and fly.....

I want them to give me a sincere and honest attack, to challenge the way I think about Aikido and the way I perform it. Maybe I'll get better at it. And, yes it is very frustrating and at times I get very upset about it....because it's not working. I am the one that is having the difficulties with making it work.

Gregy
01-17-2007, 11:22 AM
People need to realize that every art and modality has its strengths and weaknesses and the humble student knows this.

Thomas Campbell
01-17-2007, 05:22 PM
People need to realize that every art and modality has its strengths and weaknesses and the humble student knows this.

And that's why I'm here . . . to humbly learn aikido's strengths and weaknesses.

In case I'm ever mugged by an aikidoka . . . ;)

Toby Threadgill
01-17-2007, 06:57 PM
Hi Dennis,

I guess your post was directed a someone like me even though I don't post here often. Mostly I'm a lurker.

One reason I come here is that many of my friends and current students are or have been involved in aikido. Some of them even hold very high rank. Through contact with these individuals I often find the discussions here relevant and some topics universal enough to be quite enlightening. FWIW.. I studied aikido and then aikijujutsu for over 12 years in addition to koryu jujutsu.

The second reason is that I ocassionally find myself teaching aikidoka at seminars. It's good to know where aikidoka are coming from as it is my desire to offer them something of value in such a venue. Isn't that how I first met you, at the Aiki Expo? I have also taught several times ( and will again this year ) at the Colorado Aiki Summit. In fact, I am frequently asked to teach seminars by aikido instructors. The feedback I get from these instructors is that they see a common technical thread that links us in budo, but recognize that this thread offers a different perspective from what they are familiar with. Notice I did not say a better perspective, but a different perspective. One prominent aikido instructor told me over lunch that evaluating aikido thru a prism from outside allowed him to grow and better define where he wanted his aikido to go. I hope what little I offer makes people think, whether they agree or disagree.

What I'm not here to do is convince anyone that TSYR is the cat's meow of budo. I'm not here to convert people, recruit people or lord my perspective on budo over anyone as if it is somehow superior. I don't come here and get my jolly's by criticising aikido or its purpose. That's just rude and infantile. I'm always amused when some guy starts dogging aikido because its.....what......Not kicking butt in Pride or the UFC?

Blah, Blah, Blah ...Yadda Yadda Yadda....

Look, we all do what we do because we enjoy it. Anyone training in aikido who is happy with it should definitely keep it up regardless of what anyone else says. Heck, I maintain an antiquated form of classical budo totally out of step with the modern era and western culture. People ask me all the time why I do this. I wish I had some deep and philosophical answer but in truth I do it because its fun. I got to train with a fantastic man who left an important imprint in my life. I now get to travel all over the world teaching what he taught me while meeting, and making great friends. How wonderful is that? If I can experience and share just a fraction of that "fun" with my cousins in aikido, that's why I'm here?

All my best,

Toby Threadgill / TSYR
www.shinyokai.com

Hebrew Hammer
03-03-2007, 06:28 PM
Dennis,
Thanks for the questions. I am here because I find Aikido and the Akidoka who post here incredibly intellectually stimulating. I can and have read posts/threads for hours, amazed at the thought complexity, courtesy, and yearning for shared knowledge that I don't always find in other forums. IMO much of westernized martial arts have strayed away from their sprititual roots and I am saddened by this. Ever since the first time I saw Steven Seagal in action, I became intrigued by this art...actually reading several books on the subject and learning about O'Sensei enhanced my respect for Aikido. I love everything about aikido, its philosophy, the beauty of movement, budo, and the way of the warrior. I have no doubts that Aikido is 'real' and relevant. I have tried Aikido a couple of times and don't feel I'm a fit for this art.

I compare it to a statement from the famous Jewish writer, Martin Buber, who wrote extensively about the Hassidum (Jewish Mystics). Something like "I am fascinated by them but I know I could never be one..."

Look at this way, I still enjoy Playboy even though I know I would probably never date one! :D

I'm sure there are those who admire Aikido or who find it laughable...maybe wanna be's perhaps fomer practioners who still have feelings or doubts about why they left.

I am a huge fan of many martial arts and martial artists, that is why I am here. Maybe one day I will become an Aikidoka.

senshincenter
03-03-2007, 10:12 PM
Well Dan I am most certainly not mad at you. Over the years we have had civil if not friendly commutations on a number of topics. One thing I do disagree about is the way you and others sometimes paint all Aikido with a broad brush. I know it is expedient to not have to qualify your statements and most people should be able to read between the lines but it is not really always so apparent. You know over all the years I have been teaching (and I do take teaching seriously) I have had a good many Daito-ryu students visit the dojo or attend seminars from Illinois, Tennessee, Las Vegas to San Juan P.R. They have always been friendly encounters and almost always they go away with a greater understanding of the differences between Daito-ryu and Aikido. They left with a new or perhaps deeper respect for Aikido. On several occasions they have said "now I understand". Note that I did not say I gave them something new. It was perhaps the same message or lesson they had seen a hundred times but from a different perspective they now understood. I did not, and do not, fault their art or their teachers for a lack of ability or understanding. I do not go onto their forums and ask why they don't get it. It is not because I fear a rebuffing or some kind of physical challenge but because as you say "my time is limited" and I chose to spend it with people on Aikido sites. That is what inspired the question in the first place.

Perhaps I am thin skinned but my friend (and I mean that) many times you come across as doing bot (faulting the art or the teachers) I have trained to yudansha level in Karate -- Judo -- Kenjutsu - Iaijutsu and of course Aikido I have also trained in boxing and have military training. I am by no means naive nor am I gullible. I am but a reflection of many Aikido teaches I know. Some people may believe us unknowing or unskilled and some people in Aikido are unknowing and unskilled but until proven so I would ask not to be painted with a broad brush. I would ask that people who offer knowledge do so without innuendo regarding an entire body of teachers. That is unless one has direct knowledge of an Aikido teachers abilities through hands on experience.

Dennis,

Thank you for a wonderful thread - filled with many wonderful posts by you (and of course others). What a treat - what an honor. A lot to consider - for everyone involved - hope folks stick to your points and not get side-tracked). I'm in a state of transition - for about another year at least - but after that, I hope to work things so that I can meet you and your students - to seek such favor. This is the impression you have made upon me as I have gotten to know of you/know you via your writing.

Thank you again - always.

david

senshincenter
03-03-2007, 10:23 PM
... you're an embarrassment to Aikido and you make Yamaguchi a laughingstock because you publicly broadcast him as your teacher while showing that you know nothing of Aikido.

What's this about? I mean, should this really be happening in a thread precisely about such things? Answer: no. What about in a thread where the site operator already requested otherwise? Answer: no.

As Jun said, repeated here because it should be repeated, one offense doesn't justify another.

But it's happening - time and time again. The answer, "to help folks" or "a lot of folks have found it useful" or "I have internal skills" just isn't any answer to this - which is why folks are being asked "why here?" I don't think this question is posed at anyone in particular, even if names have been mentioned or if I borrowed a quote from a particular person. This is really aimed at outsiders in my opinion - especially "outsiders" the likes of Mr. Threadgill and Mr. Amdur - who have always posted with both wisdom and grace here (my opinion). But it does seem fitting for any action similar to what I quoted above. That kind of action just seems so out of place here - for any number of reasons. Why do we do that? Why do we do that here? That is what should be asked and answered.

dmv

Brian King
03-04-2007, 03:20 AM
"I truly want to know why you are here"

Hello Mr. Hooker,
I am a long time lurker on this forum and while I do train in Martial Arts I do not nor have I ever trained in Aikido per se. I did train for some years with George Ledyard Sensei (his DT program) and John White Sensei for a few years prior to that and have been fortunate and continue to be in sharing the ‘mat' with many talented Aikidoka.

I come to this forum (and a couple of others) for the experience and exposure of reading how others are communicating their ideas and thoughts in the threads, columns and blogs. I do not have much education and fortunately little time to get some. I believe that a busy life is a blessing but that means I have to get my education in little bites and at odd hours, reading thoughtful posts from experienced martial artists and teachers fills a small part of that great void. There are many intelligent and experienced posters on this forum that raise many interesting thoughts as they express their opinions, I especially enjoy and feel I get much benefit from the posts that concern instructing and the communicating of ideas martial or otherwise. Many of the issues/topics raised on this forum seem to be of a higher concern than the usual art vs art type on other forums. I can understand the frustrations at the seemingly endless attacks and skepticisms but applaud those that rise up to voice their thoughts and replies in thoughtful response. I have no dog in the Aikido ‘hunt' but I do admire the way some here marshal their thoughts and the way they turn a phrase for this forum has more than a few thoughtful posters.

Brian King

Mike Sigman
03-04-2007, 07:52 AM
As Jun said, repeated here because it should be repeated, one offense doesn't justify another.

But we're not talking about just one offense, in too many cases. In too many cases, the people who have nothing to say but personal remarks/insinuations continue to make more and more remarks, unchecked. It's an embarrassment to the pretense that they're martial artists.

The question is not about interlopers discussing Aikido, because too many of the "outsiders" have real, bona fide Aikido experience and actually care about Aikido's place in the arts, to some degree. Besides, and I hate to mention this again since it's been put to bed a number of times.... there are a lot of people in Aikido who have a real interest in some of the discussions.... the people who are attacking other people for being "outside the group" don't actually represent the majority of the group at all, do they, David?

The real question that perhaps should be asked of some of the people who have usurped Aikido, turning it often into Kabuki theatre for their own aggrandizement..... why are they here and why can't they engage, if they're teachers (in many cases), by showing knowledge in basic skills rather than trying to deflect people who can discuss those topics?

But let's keep it away from personalities, charges, and counter-charges and go back to the issue. A very important topic has been introduced whose legitimacy cannot seriously be challenged (since it's in all the lore, the books, the articles, etc.). What seems to be happening is that many of the "insiders" cannot knowlegeably discuss an issue that they should be expert in... so they constantly divert the topic to personal or light-weight issues. I've seen the same thing happen time and again whenever inconvenient truths come out about the ill-qualified in any martial art.

Of course, there will always be some bickering in a martial arts environment, but it's very obvious that there is more than just bickering going on. There is an attempt by a few to silence some uncomfortable discussion topics. It's obvious, despite the charades. What *should* be happening is the really knowledgeable experts, if they have an issue with such a bona fide Aikido topic and/or the people discussing as being "outsiders", .... these experts should step in, settle the issue (and the upstart "outsiders") with knowledgeable material, and move on. You should defeat an opponent with your skills, not with back-biting, diversion, topic-deflection, etc. :)

If someone challenges me on my expertise in a given topic or in something that I *should* know at my claimed level, then I attempt to answer the challenge with my knowledge, exposition, etc. I'll take up the challenge and discuss the issue. I don't try to trivialize or attack under ridiculously-thin disguise, the personality of the people who show any knowledge. Why are such lightweights who do these silly attacks allowed on a martial arts forum?

Howzat?

Mike Sigman

Jorge Garcia
03-04-2007, 07:54 AM
As to the original question, (which was stated in general), "Why are the non or semi practiitoners of Aikido here", if they so value and believe in other arts. It has become evident to me that:
1) Some of them have a lot of time on their hands. I have only had time to make about 500 posts in the last 5 years. A few of them beat that last month.
2) There is somewhat of a group or pack mentality. I have experienced that in business. The members of a sub committee assigned to a certain area of study or a project find they have similar experiences and beliefs. They become fast friends a do a lot of discussion and develop some ideas as a group while doing a lot of patting on the back and givng support to each other (with occasional minor disagreements).
3) The group structure solidifies and even positions of sorts are recognized. They learn to love each other for their differences and specialties.
4) Outsiders to the group come in and are welcomed but everytime the outsider gives an ignorant or contrary argument to the groups corporate opinion which has already been previously decided, the group strives to "educate" the new one.
If the new one becomes contrary or doesn't agree or even see, they move in harder. If the new one attacks a group idea, they come in hard, hitting from all sides and they defend each other in the fray- not unlike the old tag team wrestling.
One by one, they take on all comers defending their positions and honing their arguments.

In short, it has become a "group thing" and it really fun to be in a group.

That is what I saw in business in some places where I worked. I have come to recognize that when I see it now. There is also a question in my mind about people who are so willing and anxious to help those not seeking help. I think that philosophers and religious leaders have addressed that theme. I suspect the motivation is actually more base than would first be assumed. I know that ignorant Aikido people really bug some folks. These know they can't defend themselves with Aikido and they really want to disabuse the Aikido folks of that false notion. They have a missionary zeal about it. It feels like the religious groups that come to my door to prove to me that my religion is wrong. I always just shut the door because my religious perspectives are not going to be solved by stranger at my door. I am responsible for my own ignorance and I won't give that responsibility away. If I go to hell, I intend for it to have been my fault, not his. If I need the help, I know where to find their "church".

It is terrific fun to be in the group that's right. It's even more fun defending our "rightness" and talking about it and just being right-over and over again. That's when I start to wonder. The point has been proven but the theme won't go away because there are more people to convert. There are yet more ignorant newbies to come that will ask the inevitable question, can I win with Aikido in a fight? and we will start the merry go round all over again!

Thanks Sensei for your great thread question. You asked what we have all been wondering.
best always,
Jorge

Mike Sigman
03-04-2007, 09:38 AM
Thanks Sensei for your great thread question. You asked what we have all been wondering.Is "we all" a sort of implication that you're part of a group, Jorge? ;)

I'd be curious about any contributions you'd care to make about the *substance*, on other threads, if you get a chance. This discussion on this thread is indeed about "groups" to a certain extent, but there is no one group that represents all of Aikido, factionalized as it is. As you'll notice, a number of people with many years of experience have expressed the idea that they don't have this "insider-outsider" mentality. It would appear that the people trying to foment that sort of attitude are indeed trying to preserve some imagined place in a "group", but it doesn't seem to exist.

How about joining into the discussion on the "Baseline Skillset" thread and let us in on some of your insights from many years of personal study with Kato Sensei?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Jorge Garcia
03-04-2007, 10:25 AM
Is "we all" a sort of implication that you're part of a group, Jorge? ;)

I'd be curious about any contributions you'd care to make about the *substance*, on other threads, if you get a chance. This discussion on this thread is indeed about "groups" to a certain extent, but there is no one group that represents all of Aikido, factionalized as it is. As you'll notice, a number of people with many years of experience have expressed the idea that they don't have this "insider-outsider" mentality. It would appear that the people trying to foment that sort of attitude are indeed trying to preserve some imagined place in a "group", but it doesn't seem to exist.

How about joining into the discussion on the "Baseline Skillset" thread and let us in on some of your insights from many years of personal study with Kato Sensei?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike,
I am willing to recognize myself as part of a "group" if that's necessary. I am in the "group" that actively has practiced Aikido consistently from between 200 and 300 days a year for the last 12 years. I am part of the group that believes in the philosophy of Aikido as espoused by Moreihei Ueshiba and his successors. I am part of the group that believes Aikido is a martial art and will meet the real (vs the imagined) self defense needs of the majority of people who are interested in martial arts. I am part of the group that has little interest in evangelising others to my point of view. I am glad to share my ideas and hope they can help others without having to insist on just one way with regard to the martial arts. I am part of the group that likes Aikido, respects it's traditions, history
and training methodologies. I am part of the group that trys to respect other martial arts and I try to keep my love of Aikido from making me triumphalistic over others. I am also part of a group you may also be a part of. I am part of the group that doesn't believe in lying to myself and believing things just because I want them to be true. I don't like to entertain fantasies. That said, I try to be honest in my training. I think my members will vouch for that. I am part of the group that would never go to the forum of a different martial art (just because I once practiced it) and point out their weaknesses and try to give them advice. That's the group I am part of.

As for discussing what I have learned from Kato Sensei, that is an interesting question. I think that if you guys could know of his ideas and philosophies, you would like him. He is not your run of the mill Aikidoist and in his younger days, he had the reputation of being a tough guy and was known to be able to handle people from other martial arts. His Aikido reflects his experiences in "sparring" with friends from other arts. Your discussions on internal energy are something he has worked on for 50 years. The one thing I would say is that he believes those energies are understood in the context of hard, exhaustive and constant realistic training. He has gone beyond what almost anyone I know or have heard of in that area and he did so in his imitation of O Sensei. He is a quiet, no nonsense kind of man that has the respect of lots of tough guys. He would get after me for even saying his name on this forum. That's why I don't join the discussion. I am no one to speak about him when I am so far from his level. He believes no one else can make us understand. We have to understand ourselves and make the sacrifices that those made who went before to find that place we are looking for.
Best wishes,
Jorge

Mike Sigman
03-04-2007, 11:00 AM
I am willing to recognize myself as part of a "group" if that's necessary. I am in the "group" that actively has practiced Aikido consistently from between 200 and 300 days a year for the last 12 years. I am part of the group that believes in the philosophy of Aikido as espoused by Moreihei Ueshiba and his successors. I am part of the group that believes Aikido is a martial art and will meet the real (vs the imagined) self defense needs of the majority of people who are interested in martial arts. I am part of the group that has little interest in evangelising others to my point of view. I am glad to share my ideas and hope they can help others without having to insist on just one way with regard to the martial arts. I am part of the group that likes Aikido, respects it's traditions, history
and training methodologies. I am part of the group that trys to respect other martial arts and I try to keep my love of Aikido from making me triumphalistic over others. I am also part of a group you may also be a part of. I am part of the group that doesn't believe in lying to myself and believing things just because I want them to be true. I don't like to entertain fantasies. That said, I try to be honest in my training. I think my members will vouch for that. I am part of the group that would never go to the forum of a different martial art (just because I once practiced it) and point out their weaknesses and try to give them advice. That's the group I am part of. Hi Jorge:

That's fine but I'm not going to insult your intelligence by pretending that you don't understand some of the issues here. Many Aikido teachers could post exactly what you posted above.... same words... and yet you meet them and they couldn't even do the basic ki skills, the grade-school stuff, that Tohei Sensei espoused. You know it. I know it. Can somebody do bogus Aikido with a lot of muscle and aggressiveness and still kick butt? Yes, of course. You know it. I know it. But the core of this quasi-"dispute" is about the ki skills, not about the superficial "god and country" stuff.

I could also say that I really cared about Aikido, it's tactics and strategies and the philosophies as I understood them and that **from my perspective** a lot of fairly bogus people started ruining Aikido, so while I like real Aikido, I don't think the bogus stuff serves anyone more than the teachers that are teaching it.

So your "groups" are a matter of whose perspectives you share. As you could see in the earlier part of the thread, not all Aikido people happen to share your perspective, nor do they share mine. The solution is to find the tangible discussions and ignore the "group" and "personal" issues.... not try to tell some group they shouldn't be here, particularly if the topic under heated discussion happens to be one that a bona fide "Aikido teacher" should be an expert in. Win the arguments with your knowledge, not oblique inference of character problems. As for discussing what I have learned from Kato Sensei, that is an interesting question. I think that if you guys could know of his ideas and philosophies, you would like him. He is not your run of the mill Aikidoist and in his younger days, he had the reputation of being a tough guy and was known to be able to handle people from other martial arts. His Aikido reflects his experiences in "sparring" with friends from other arts. Your discussions on internal energy are something he has worked on for 50 years. The one thing I would say is that he believes those energies are understood in the context of hard, exhaustive and constant realistic training. He has gone beyond what almost anyone I know or have heard of in that area and he did so in his imitation of O Sensei. He is a quiet, no nonsense kind of man that has the respect of lots of tough guys. He would get after me for even saying his name on this forum. That's why I don't join the discussion. I am no one to speak about him when I am so far from his level. He believes no one else can make us understand. We have to understand ourselves and make the sacrifices that those made who went before to find that place we are looking for.
Fine about Kato Sensei, whom I don't know personally, although I'm aware of his organizational efforts here in the US. But that's not what I asked. I asked about *your* knowledge. I'd like to get some idea of where it is. I have a reasonably good idea where Kato Sensei got his power and I could have a pretty interesting and detailed discussion about how to build up great-power with weapons training, if someone could help carry it.... but so far, it's difficult to find teachers who know these things. And that's part of the discussion about who should be posting and who should really be teaching and who really does Aikido, is it not?

The real problem is that this subject is only going to get bigger in coming years. It won't go away by trying to banish anyone who brings it up. That ostracization was done in the past, as people like Dan, me, Tohei, and many others can attest. It won't work now. And believe it or not, that's good for Aikido, even though it may not be so good for some people who are putting out the shingle as teachers.

But, hey..... if there are Aikido teachers that really know this stuff well, I'll listen. The "outsiders" so far have been posting a lot of substantive information, regardless of anything else. The "insiders" tend to post organizational stuff. I'd love to hear some "insiders" talking really knowledgeable stuff about the basic concepts.... the same concepts that Tohei as head of Hombu Dojo taught and the stuff every Aikido teacher should be a past expert in. That's why I asked. :)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

senshincenter
03-04-2007, 11:38 AM
Hi Mike,

All of that makes sense, but only to the degree that folks do not turn around and in the end make "once and for all" universal-like assumptions, often of the immature and insulting kind (e.g. in the name of defending the honor of some abstract entity like the "MARTIAL ARTS"), about someone else's position, character, practice, etc. Once a person does that, all that you say loses credibility - at least for the more mature and experienced.

I do not feel that this is a reason to exclude anyone from a forum or from any discussion - as I would never support such a position nor, do I feel the original post was about such a position. However, it is natural that the question should arise in the mind of Aikido folks, wondering "why?" - why the need for such quotes as I quoted above, especially when one doesn't even train in the art, never trained with the sensei in question, nor with the person at the short end of the insult, etc.? This is not a "why?" of insecurity, or of defensiveness, or of some marker of incompetence - which you have demonstrated time and time again is the way you must understand such things, and perhaps why you would insult someone so obviously (and out of place) in this very thread. Rather, it is the "why" that comes into any aikidoka's head whenever they see something that can for the most part qualify as as a kind of insanity (i.e. the performance of an act, thought, or speech that is completely contradictory to the environment in which it was performed).

Usually, we can say a person is immature (age-wise), hasn't figured it out yet, inexperienced (life-wise), etc., as an explanation for such contradictory behavior and thinking, but that is not the case here. I suppose on other sites, there is a great acceptance of and need for standing up for the honor of one's art, for one's skill, and for the greater entity Martial Arts, etc., all in the name of talking about what really matters, but in Aikido, as any skilled aikidoka would know, that acceptance and need only comes from a misunderstanding or non-understanding of what is not only basic to the art tactically but also the very center of the Founder's departure from what came before. In other words, it may be true that one can feel such needs to "defend" and still be able to establish an amazing ground-path, etc., under some amazing circumstances, and it may be true that one can use this amazing ground-path to establish some amazing victories, etc., but with such a need still in them, one can never use that ground-path in an Aikido-manner. One does not understand Aikido.

At first glance this seems like a silly little statement, one I'm sure you'd have to see as an attack, being the non-Aikidoka that you are, but when you have worked with a master of the art for a significant period of your time, or when you have practiced the art for a significant amount of time, or when you have wrestled with the Founder's words for a significant amount of time, etc., in other words, when you have made an investment into the art itself, you come to understand that the purity of the heart/mind, as Osensei pointed to time and time again, colors every aspect of the art - from ground-path to strategy and beyond - in very tangible ways. I imagine it is like you say, until you've experienced it, you are pretty sure it doesn't exist or that you are already doing it. Don't get me wrong, this is not a disagreement with what you have said regarding the main points of your posts, the mechanics, or anyone else's of like nature - especially when I was able to "blend" with the insistence upon a specific language. My issue, if there is one, has only been with the weight you give to such things - your discourse seems so singular in nature and in that sense a departure from Aikido and the Founder. In other words, no martial artist is ever going to argue that there are not common origins to all martial arts, no person that fights is ever going to argue that there are only so many ways to manipulate the body, no person of average intelligence and above is going to deny that a basic skill set must be achieved for progress to manifest, etc., but only a non-aikidoka would suggest that following the Founder's words on Love, Harmony, Purification, Selflessness, Prayer, etc., has no defining quality to the aforementioned truths. Only a non-aikidoka would suggest that he/she doesn't have to do Aikido in order to understand Aikido or even the very "core" of Aikido. Only a non-aikidoka would from there go on to feel justified in the very practice of things (e.g. close-mindedness, insulting behavior, etc.) that demonstrate their lack of experience in Aikido. Only a non-aikidoka would consider it a trivial thing to have not put time in with a master of the art or at least with the Founder's philosophy - what he saw as defining to his art. As I said above, this is no different from the person who has never experienced internal strength - everything just goes by them. However, since we are aikidoka, rather than just saying, "You do not know anything." "You are an insult to your teacher." "You are an embarrassment to the martial arts, the Founder, Japan, China, and the television show "Kung Fu," etc." we say "Why?" It is the why that the mature Aikido instructor asks the new member in the dojo, the new member that continues to "show" that he/she already knows Aikido. It is not an accusatory "why." It is not an insulting "why." It is not a defensive "why." When I read Mr. Hooker's "why," I saw it as the why of the mature spirit - which happens via Aikido training. It the "why" of, "If you already "x," why are acting like you do not have "x"?", etc. It is the "why" the unfettered and/or maturing spirit feels when they see someone or something that cannot be so unfettered but really and truly is. It is the "why" the unfettered/maturing spirit feels when it can no longer see the sense that the fettered spirit proposes as motivations.

In a sense, in a very real sense, it is a shame that this topic came up around your posts, insults, etc. As I see it, these issues are not really restricted to insider/outsider divisions. Additionally, your posts are filled with information that is of great value, and it could be misunderstood that these issues that are central to aikidoka make what you say not of great value and/or of great value to Aikido practice. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. If I were you, a person not practicing Aikido, I'd just let this thread go - since the real meat and potatoes of it has nothing really to do with what you do, want to do, and are interested in advancing. Your discussions on internal strength can very well stand on their own - that important, that good they are.

take care,
dmv

ChrisMoses
03-04-2007, 11:41 AM
In too many cases, the people who have nothing to say but personal remarks/insinuations continue to make more and more remarks, unchecked. It's an embarrassment to the pretense that they're martial artists.

[snip]

But let's keep it away from personalities, charges, and counter-charges and go back to the issue.

[snip]

I don't try to trivialize or attack under ridiculously-thin disguise, the personality of the people who show any knowledge. Why are such lightweights who do these silly attacks allowed on a martial arts forum?


What you're saying implies that Mochizuki was too dumb to realize that you didn't get it.

Forget about my skin, Ricky... you're an embarrassment to Aikido and you make Yamaguchi a laughingstock because you publicly broadcast him as your teacher while showing that you know nothing of Aikido. Don't worry about me or your total self-absorption. Worry about Yamaguchi.

I don't have a beef with much of what you have to say, the fact that you're an 'outsider' (I am too to a large extent) or that you're going up against the mainstream (again, ditto...). I don't like that you jump to wild conclusions without understanding the situation, and get offended the use of ad-hominem and other diversionary tactics as long as it's not you doing it. There are ways to enter into challenging dialectic without being condescending or insulting. That's obviously quite hard for you, and that's too bad, because I'm genuinely interested in a lot of what you have to say (and even agree with much of it!). You seem to feel that your own personal experiences and opinions should trump everyone else's. This is not your (fairly extensively moderated, by all accounts) list, so remembering, as Dennis pointed out, that we are *all* guests here would go a long way. Unless of course you're just itching to tick people off, something that I frankly doubt would be tolerated on your private list. That, as you say, would be an embarrassment to the pretense that you're a martial artist.

Mike Sigman
03-04-2007, 12:17 PM
However, it is natural that the question should arise in the mind of Aikido folks, No... there's that oblique assertion that your views are those of "Aikido folks", David. You don't represent "Aikido Folks" and I don't. If you're going to debate an issue, please do it without the standard false tricks of amateur debate. ;) Rather, it is the "why" that comes into any aikidoka's head There you go again. Your opinions do not reflect those of "any aikidoka's head", David. Usually, we can say a person is immature (age-wise), hasn't figured it out yet, inexperienced (life-wise), etc., as an explanation for such contradictory behavior and thinking, but that is not the case here. No, it's not the case here, David. Ricky Wood can be "immature", but when he deliberately plays second-fiddle to actual insanity like Justin Smith's and deliberately begins some bizarre game of "getting under the skin of Mike Sigman", I wonder why you don't wonder out loud that someone who publicly claims to be an "Aikido Teacher" is blemishing the art? Or maybe he represents a protection for you as an Aikido teacher? It's very murky exactly whom you're defending and why. Do you think an "Aikido Teacher" like Ricky Wood who is "getting under the skin of Mike Sigman" is someone who is akin to your own heart? Is that what Aikido is to you... some bogus role play where at heart there is just some punk pretending to "follow the Tao" and all that cool sounding, noble, stuff?

I don't like the clowns in any of the martial arts, David. I don't like the poseurs. I don't like the guys that are ripping off "students", both emotionally and economically by pretending some sort of status that they really don't have. What I see in your conversation is just one more attempt to divert the discussions away from an uncomfortable subject by attacking any "outsiders" who keep bringing it up. Prove me wrong by laying out your knowledge and expertise on this basic subject and THEN start telling me about who is an "outsider". Or point me to some actual students of yours (or anyone else who is a student of a teacher who "has the goods") so we can get the basics out of the way. Remember the old Dale Carnegie adage about first having the "right to talk". Someone with the "right to talk" and demonstrable skills (or their students have demonstrable skill), I'm all ears. Up until then it looks like the same petty stuff that Dan, I, and a number of others have noticed over the years... "don't say anything that might break the rice bowl of the existing teaching hierarchy". I think you see it's a valid tangent... why not tell me why no one should suspect that a lot of these objections aren't just self-serving maneuvers? ;)
In other words, it may be true that one can feel such needs to "defend" and still be able to establish an amazing ground-path, etc., under some amazing circumstances, and it may be true that one can use this amazing ground-path to establish some amazing victories, etc., but with such a need still in them, one can never use that ground-path in an Aikido-manner. One does not understand Aikido. Be glad to check it out, David, although just a "ground path" is, as has been noted repeatedly, just the film on the surface of the pond. But you should know that, if you're a teacher. At first glance this seems like a silly little statement, one I'm sure you'd have to see as an attack, being the non-Aikidoka that you are, but when you have worked with a master of the art for a significant period of your time, or when you have practiced the art for a significant amount of time, or when you have wrestled with the Founder's words for a significant amount of time, etc., in other words, when you have made an investment into the art itself, you come to understand that the purity of the heart/mind, as Osensei pointed to time and time again, colors every aspect of the art - from ground-path to strategy and beyond - in very tangible ways. Oh, stoppit. Next thing you'll be telling me that you have "Morihei" tatooed on your chest. :) I think our previous posting engagements have made it fairly clear that you don't really know how these basics work, David. Convince me that you really don't need the basics in order to have a subtle and refined understanding and ability in Aikido... that's what you appear to be saying. Again, this stuff is basic. It's basic to Aikido and all the literature, films, douka, etc., make it clear. The same basics are in karate, ju-jitsu, iaido, Taiji, Xingyi, you name it. So what do you ultimately think is the result of trying to argue that YOU or some other teacher doesn't really need to know these things... do you think somehow that you're indeed serving the students whom you purport to teach, if that is really your conviction?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Aristeia
03-04-2007, 01:21 PM
. There is also a question in my mind about people who are so willing and anxious to help those not seeking help. Jorge, I'm assuming you're talking about people like me, Kevin and Dan with this post. If I'm mistaken in that disregard the following.

Firstly it's interesting that you proudly list youself as being a part of one "group" (who many of us would also be a part of under your definition), but talk about our "group" as if it were somehow insidious. It's also easy to lump people into a group and treat them as if they were the same.

But I really wanted to address the quote above. Because it's not something that I see happening.

As I've said before, it's not like anyone is jumping into a thread on how to improve ones shiho nage and saying "aikido sucks go train an alive art" (actually no ones sayin that anywhere). The contributions we make are in responses to specific questinos that raise that topic of discussion. So we answer with our thoughts and expereinces as does everyone else. The only difference seems to be that you don't like the content of our replies...

Kevin Leavitt
03-04-2007, 01:35 PM
Jorge wrote

hese know they can't defend themselves with Aikido and they really want to disabuse the Aikido folks of that false notion. They have a missionary zeal about it. It feels like the religious groups that come to my door to prove to me that my religion is wrong. I always just shut the door because my religious perspectives are not going to be solved by stranger at my door. I am responsible for my own ignorance and I won't give that responsibility away. If I go to hell, I intend for it to have been my fault, not his. If I need the help, I know where to find their "church".

This brings up an interesting story.

My wife and I following buddhist precepts and philosophy for the most part, and are affiliated with the Unitarian-Universalist Church.

When we moved to Germany about 4 years ago, a Jehova's Witness knocked on our door and my wife answered. She invited her in and had a conversation with her. I thought she was crazy!

Anyway, four years later, she comes over to the house about every other Thursday to "witness". My wife sits down with her has tea, and they discuss the bible and religion.

It has been the most rewarding friendship for my wife and her. They openingly share their views and both have learned from each other.

Niether have converted the other, that is not the intent, it is to share and to have a better understanding of the world and each other.

I have learned through my wife, that Witnessing is not always about conversion, but simply being mindful and thinking.

Nothing wrong with exposing yourself to new ideas, concepts, and ways if it is done in a manner of respect and dignity!

Mike Sigman
03-04-2007, 01:36 PM
There are ways to enter into challenging dialectic without being condescending or insulting. That's obviously quite hard for you, and that's too bad, because I'm genuinely interested in a lot of what you have to say (and even agree with much of it!). You seem to feel that your own personal experiences and opinions should trump everyone else's. This is not your (fairly extensively moderated, by all accounts) list, so remembering, as Dennis pointed out, that we are *all* guests here would go a long way. Unless of course you're just itching to tick people off, something that I frankly doubt would be tolerated on your private list. That, as you say, would be an embarrassment to the pretense that you're a martial artist.Chris, why don't you get away from the analysis of my character? You pretty much embarrassed me already because I had privately defended you as not getting so much into the personal stuff to people that have a different opinion of you personally... but I seem to have made an error in judgement. Again.

In terms of the QiJing list being "heavily moderated", it's not. It just keeps the "my style", "I'm a Teacher", yada, yada, guys off the list. AikiWeb is like a forum that discusses the joys of mathematics; QiJing is a list that discusses how mathematics works and keeps that focus in sight.

The famous old Neijia List was a good example of what happens when you deal with the martial arts population at large without restricting who can join (too late, it became more restrictive). Too many people think they are experts and "teachers" and when they are substantively challenged, they're not really interested in discussing facts and information... they're interested in saving face and in pecking order. Right now I see a conflict between the "pecking order" people and the "martial arts information" people.

Disregarding "outsiders", there are a number of Aikido "insiders" who are interested in martial arts; there are also a number of "insiders" who are interested in protecting the status quo. In protecting the status quo, the latter drop all kinds of things like "years of experience", "my teacher", "my style", "my rank", "my understanding of the Mysteries of the Universe according to Morihei", and so forth. THAT is insulting to someone trying to have a bona fide conversation. To them is it insulting if someone doesn't take them seriously. The answer is to stick to the issues and legitimately discuss the issues. In the case at hand, the "Oh Yeah, We Do That Too" (what I always term the "Ohyeah's") doesn't fly in these discussions, so it would seem that there is a limited faction that would like to marginalize the discussion. My point was that that faction does NOT represent any consensus in Aikido, so all the terminology (from the very beginning of the thread) that implies there is a consensus about "outsiders" is spurious.

Are people "insulted"? Sure. On both sides. But generally the ones most "insulted" and who go to the personal remarks are the people who are in a losing position... a point well-established in debate. The way to win a debate is to have your ducks lined up and smack the other guy with facts. The "insulting" behaviour is the kind where issues other than the facts are introduced, such as personal remarks..... and oddly I notice that when I lob personal remarks back at the people who engage in them, there is great outrage and discussion of "insults". ;)

Oh... one slight caveat to emphasize again... any person who publicly proclaims that he is a "teacher" is always subject to questions about basics he should know. Unless someone wants to make the argument that misleading students is not really important. Other than that caveat.... debate on, but try to win on the issues.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

ChrisMoses
03-04-2007, 01:51 PM
Chris, why don't you get away from the analysis of my character? You pretty much embarrassed me already because I had privately defended you as not getting so much into the personal stuff to people that have a different opinion of you personally... but I seem to have made an error in judgement. Again.



I'm not analyzing your character. One of your posts offended me and I pointed it out. You claim not to understand why. Perhaps you could explain to me why you feel that I am out of line by saying that I consider some of your comments to be out of line, or using the colloquial, "Quit being a prick." Where you have every right to say that the head of my ryuha was "dumb." Does that really seem OK to you? Could you perhaps explain to me how that isn't a personal attack? You knew nearly nothing about the situation I was discussing, yet felt justified making a public statement of conclusion that Mochizuki Sensei was dumb? Yet now, when called on it, you appeal to the rules of civil discussion? Give me a break. Frankly, I feel I have every right to point that out.

But because I have crossed you, I'm now lumped into the worshiping masses in some way. Man, you really don't know me very well.

As for defending me, don't waste your time. I don't need anyone defending me.

Mike Sigman
03-04-2007, 02:02 PM
Where you have every right to say that the head of my ryuha was "dumb." Never said it. You're just digging your hole deeper by trying to misrepresent what I said:

"Pooh. What you're saying implies that Mochizuki was too dumb to realize that you didn't get it. Or that Saotome is too dumb to realize that people don't it. The old "Show 'em But Don't Show 'em" thing is legendary in Asia. Yes you show them correctly, but you never explain it, so in effect you didn't really show them. I'm actually stunned that there are people who don't know this ancient Asian old-saw. "

My remarks were accurate. Any good teacher knows exactly when he is fully explaining something and when he's not being totally clear. You need to find some other justification for the insult, Chris. But really... don't bother.

Mike Sigman

ChrisMoses
03-04-2007, 02:55 PM
Any good teacher knows exactly when he is fully explaining something and when he's not being totally clear.

Of course, I forgot. And nothing has ever been lost between two people when they don't speak each other's languages. :rolleyes:

gdandscompserv
03-04-2007, 03:44 PM
No... there's that oblique assertion that your views are those of "Aikido folks", David. You don't represent "Aikido Folks" and I don't. If you're going to debate an issue, please do it without the standard false tricks of amateur debate. ;) There you go again. Your opinions do not reflect those of "any aikidoka's head", David. No, it's not the case here, David. Ricky Wood can be "immature", but when he deliberately plays second-fiddle to actual insanity like Justin Smith's and deliberately begins some bizarre game of "getting under the skin of Mike Sigman", I wonder why you don't wonder out loud that someone who publicly claims to be an "Aikido Teacher" is blemishing the art? Or maybe he represents a protection for you as an Aikido teacher? It's very murky exactly whom you're defending and why. Do you think an "Aikido Teacher" like Ricky Wood who is "getting under the skin of Mike Sigman" is someone who is akin to your own heart? Is that what Aikido is to you... some bogus role play where at heart there is just some punk pretending to "follow the Tao" and all that cool sounding, noble, stuff?
Wow, I don't ever remember my name being mentioned so many times in one paragraph.
I am sorry Mike. Honestly. Many of my attempts at humor are misinterpreted. I bear you no malice whatsoever. You do your thing and I do mine. You are of the opinion that I know nothing about aikido and that I am blemishing the art, and yet Iwao Yamaguchi Sensei and Moriteru Ueshiba Doshu are of a different opinion, otherwise I don't suppose they would have seen fit to grant me a shodan certificate. Now, whose opinion do you suppose I place more value in?
My cup is truly empty and I feel woefully inadequate in my skills as both a teacher and a student. I do not need you to remind me of this. I have been "on my own" since leaving Okinawa. I do not have a sensei in the tradition to which I am accustomed and aikido dojo's are not so plentiful in my neck of the woods, so I teach out of necessity.
I too am one of "them" that wonder why you hang out in an aikido forum. You have every right to do so, yet I still wonder.
You are quite easy to draw in though. You should be more careful about that.
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b379/deserthippie/peace.gif

Mike Sigman
03-04-2007, 04:38 PM
You are of the opinion that I know nothing about aikido and that I am blemishing the art, and yet Iwao Yamaguchi Sensei and Moriteru Ueshiba Doshu are of a different opinion, otherwise I don't suppose they would have seen fit to grant me a shodan certificate. Well, that's a relief! I, like many other people, thought there was something basic missing in most Aikido teachings, most Karate teachings, most Taiji teachings, most ju-jitsu teachings, most Koryu arts' teachings, and so on. But now that I know that everyone got "diplomas" from the organizations, I realize that there actually can be no missing knowledge. Things are hunky dunky. ;)

BTW.... what the heck is Chris Moses, Rob Liberti and others talking about when they meet with Dan, Akuzawa, etc.? Since they have diplomas, don't they already know all that stuff?

Mike Sigman

senshincenter
03-04-2007, 05:00 PM
Mike,

Your posts in response to Chris' fine posts are the answer to this thread. Of course, it is in other posts as well (e.g. yours to mine, etc.), but that is where it is the most obvious. In that answer, the thread has ran its course and served its purpose. You do what you do, here in this place, because you cannot see yourself.

Please don't let this make you feel like an outsider or like you are being requested to leave, etc. That is just foolishness - especially from the likes of me. I am no one and no thing of importance. For me, you are a great part of the forum - minus the never-ending need for insulting others.

d

Mike Sigman
03-04-2007, 07:32 PM
Please don't let this make you feel like an outsider or like you are being requested to leave, etc. That is just foolishness - Thanks. I won't. But thanks for caring enough to patronize.

David, you probably should understand something of a personal perspective I have about people who carry on about spirituality, "meditation", "aiki" as a cry for help, "harmony with the univers", and so on, while obviously emoting against people they don't like .... I don't buy it. I'm old enough and smart enough to see what's driving that role. Get off of me, for the last time, and start talking about some issues. The passive-aggressive "hidden shots" stuff gets a little silly.

Regards.

Mike Sigman

DH
03-04-2007, 08:48 PM
Here is a different take Guys and gals

Ask the dozens of folks who have now come to train with us- many having felt various combinations of training with all three or two- if they regret having met us from here? If they object to the continued input?

Next question
Why are folks asking us to help in the first place?....after....feeling what we have?
Cheers
Dan

Jeremy Hulley
03-04-2007, 09:57 PM
Hey Dan,

In answer to your question....

Because Don Angier blew me away...

Because Neil (don't kill me please:) ) could move and move me in a way like I had never seen...

Because Ark and Rob gave me insomnia for three nights after I met them...

Because I think about this stuff all the time....

Because its hard and challenging....

And ten years in and I just started learning it...

FWIW
Jeremy

Ecosamurai
03-14-2007, 06:20 AM
[QUOTE=Tim Mailloux;171837]So if the peer reviews are ignored, and Ikedas words are ignored, and George miquotes us and thinks only Aikidoka can change it.
We should just leave them alone.

Perhaps you should. To be honest with you Dan I've been doing a lot of what you and Mike have been talking about for years, maybe I just got lucky with finding the right teacher, I don't know. I do know that back in the day, when I talked about these things in places on the net I got flamed, just like you guys are being flamed now (hell I'm even one of the people telling you to go somewhere else). I just discovered that there wasn't any real point in having these discussions - at least not on the internet - and that there were still many things I could learn and were good things to hear, from people who were not doing aikido the way I do it. I also just didn't see the point in going to a Tai Chi forum and telling them that aikido was better and Tai Chi was missing certain principles. Even though I could have done so because I used to study Tai Chi, just as you and Mike have done some aikido and daito ryu. I thought that doing that would be rather egotistical.

My question to you both (if you're still reading things I write and not got me on your ignore list) is... Why did you come here? It's an internet forum, it's all armchair budoka intellectualising about budo. If you really wanted to change things why didn't you start teaching aikido again, open your own dojo, teach the waza, become involved in the community again by applying the principles you have learned elsewhere to the aikido you teach and practice? Why do the trolling by coming here and telling us that we're all wrong and you're right? If aikido is so great and so in need of having these principles put back into it (which I think it is, so I agree with you) why not do that instead of just talking about it? I'm trying to, my teacher is trying to, and others are trying to do it too. Do it, don't talk about it, go and do it.

Regards

Mike Haft

Tim Mailloux
03-14-2007, 06:45 AM
[QUOTE=Dan Harden;171870]

My question to you both (if you're still reading things I write and not got me on your ignore list) is... Why did you come here? It's an internet forum, it's all armchair budoka intellectualising about budo. If you really wanted to change things why didn't you start teaching aikido again, open your own dojo, teach the waza, become involved in the community again by applying the principles you have learned elsewhere to the aikido you teach and practice? Why do the trolling by coming here and telling us that we're all wrong and you're right? If aikido is so great and so in need of having these principles put back into it (which I think it is, so I agree with you) why not do that instead of just talking about it? I'm trying to, my teacher is trying to, and others are trying to do it too. Do it, don't talk about it, go and do it.

Regards

Mike Haft

I for one a very glad that Dan has been talking about this stuff online. If not fot it, I would have never met him and would not be training with him right now as are quite a few aikidoka. So while Dan not be teaching aikido, he is doing his part to get these skills back into aikido by:
*Telling the aikido world that they are missing. So aikidoka search these skills out.
*Inviting aikidoka to come train with him and learn these skills to take back to aikido. Dan isn't trying to convert any of us training with him to DR or MMA. He is always telling us to work on these internal skills and take them back to what ever art we come from (aikido, judo, MMA, ect...).

So really, Dan is doing exactly what you are asking of him. He has just choosen to do it on a smaller more personal scale that most aikidoka are used to. Sure he could hold some giant seminars and charge lots of money for people to attend. But really, what would anyone get from that?. I mean besides Dan getting a fat bank account? Dan has chosen to keep things small to make sure that the people that train with him REALLY get these skills.

Ecosamurai
03-14-2007, 07:06 AM
So really, Dan is doing exactly what you are asking of him.

No. He isn't.

Mike

Ron Tisdale
03-14-2007, 07:16 AM
:D Yes, he is...

Best,
Ron (sheesh :()

Ecosamurai
03-14-2007, 07:30 AM
:D Yes, he is...

Best,
Ron (sheesh :()

Lol. Nope he definitely isn't. He's not teaching aikido he's teaching something else and telling people they need to put it into their aikido for their aikido to be 'real aikido'. When 'real aikido' is really just what aikidoka do anyway (might be bad 'real aikido' but it's still 'real aikido').

I try on the other hand to teach aikido and to practice it by using much of the methodology described by Dan and Mike, and always have. I am an aikidoka doing what they say I should be doing (or at least trying to anyway). I do not teach 'aikido flavoured something else' and say that all MMA and CMA people need to put it into their art in order to make their respective arts work, I do not go to their discussion forums and tell them these things because it would be rude. Budo begins and ends with rei, not big mouthes.

Basically we all agree that 'something else' is internal skills. They're still a part of aikido, they didn't really leave you just have to look for them quite hard because aikido expanded really fast under the direction of a man (Kisshomaru Ueshiba) who didn't really have these skills. They got left behind in lots of places, I'm sure Dan and Mike are trying to encourage people to fix that. But what they are also doing is telling people that they aren't good enough, that they have to do things the way they say they need to be done or its not aikido. Well I'm sorry but I beg to differ. It is aikido and what you've been talking about has been happening within aikido for years. You just need to look harder for it, and talk about what you do that is not aikido a little less. I'm sure you mean well (actually I know you mean well) but you are still being rather impolite and undermining, and trying to call it legitimate and challenging debate. Legitimate and challenging things can still be impolite and rude.

Regards

Mike

Ecosamurai
03-14-2007, 08:39 AM
Thanks for the positive advice.;)
Your opinion that I am not teaching Aikido is your own.

Of course it is my own I speak for nobody but me :)

Your syllabus just isn't that hard and once you have these skills they really aren't need much anymore.

You have not seen my syllabus it does not look anything like what you would expect it to based on your average aikido syllabus. Please be careful about such assumptions if you are going to use them to discuss things with me.

But if you show up I'll teach you many more ways to do just about any lock you know and teach you quite a few more throws. All with aiki all with aikido principles.


Again, for someone who has yet to see a copy of my syllabus and who has no knowledge of the technical content of our teaching curriculum these are looking like quite arrogant and presumptious statements. And Dan, I do agree with much of what you say about these things, and I also think that if we ever trained together there would be much more in common than you might think and I would hope it will be fun.

But no, based on what you have written on these forums and elsewhere it's not aikido and I dislike that you have come here to say these things. Take it or leave it, I have no problem with you talking about the martial arts you do and even teaching people things that will help them improve their aikido (hell I positively encourage it). But these are aikido forums and you're being rude and presumptious IMO, that is all I've been trying to say, probably less than politely myself unfortunately. But then that's another lesson I need to learn amongst many.

Mike

Ecosamurai
03-14-2007, 10:31 AM
He did. for example to Koichi Tohei Sensei who then taught it to quite a lot of people in his own way. Many of whom later due to history did not pass it on.

and I say that from personal experience as an Iaido teacher. I have had iaido students from many styles of aikido, because Iaido is another thing outside of aikido politics. It's made me appreciate the focus on mind and body coordination even when I didn't appreciate the lack vigorous practice sometimes. I am sneaking in internal stuff all the time from Tohei Sensei and elsewhere, because it's universal in having effective technique. Whether it bleeds back into their aikido I don't know.

-Craig

So now let me ask you if you go to the kendo-world forums and try to tell everyone in the iaido section that they need Tohei style mind and body coordination to do it correctly? I know that you don't because I read them all the time. Perhaps E-Budo? No

At a recent iaido seminar I attended I was asked to give an impromptu aikido demo. I instead talked about ki and unbendable arm, all present seemed suitably impressed and one of them even asked if he could travel the 70 or so miles to Aberdeen to train with me. I of course agreed wholeheartedly cos I want to learn more iaido.

Did I go to the iaido forums telling them they were not doing iaido properly? No. I didn't. Did (some of) the people I met want to learn 'this ki stuff'? Yes they did. So why do people want to come here to an aikido forum and tell aikido people how to do aikido?

They may have interesting things to say, they may be totally right about a lot of stuff. But why come here? What do they hope to acheive?

Mike

kironin
03-14-2007, 11:16 AM
So now let me ask you if you go to the kendo-world forums and try to tell everyone in the iaido section that they need Tohei style mind and body coordination to do it correctly? I know that you don't because I read them all the time. Perhaps E-Budo? No


Not only I haven't but I wouldn't see the point of doing so. I know from experience that there are those in iaido that have that internal aspect to their art and others that don't. I wouldn't presume to know which they are online. In person it just guides me in who I choose to learn from and follow of the numerous ones with more skill and knowledge in Iaido than I do. To appreciate nuances beyond technical form. I see it more as something I can bring to the table as a teacher that is an extra bonus to my iaido students. To be clear, I don't spend time talking about ki principles in iaido class but they do learn how to be unpushable at the finish of a kiri oroshi (kiri otoshi) for example. It all stays in context.

That said, I think it's important to have a thick skin when it comes to reading things online. I have picked a few things from what Dan and Mike and others have said so I don't really care if sometimes I need to scroll past a lot of stuff if I occasionally get an idea or exercise out of the equation for me and my students. I don't know why some who don't actually practice aikido or have ever done aikido like posting so much here, but if they have the time more power to them. Maybe it says something more about how active and dynamic a forum aikiweb is and how fantastic a job Jun has done here in creating and supporting this community.

I hardly ever visit e-budo, AJ, aikido-l anymore. Just don't have the time. But aikiweb is just so well put together that it's hard not to drop in and take a quick scan.

Ecosamurai
03-14-2007, 11:21 AM
I have picked a few things from what Dan and Mike and others I have said so I don't really care if sometimes I need to scroll past a lot of stuff if I occasionally get an idea or exercise out of the equation for me and my students.

Same here. Maybe I've just been having a bad week or something and am getting grouchy in my old age. Dunno.

Anyway off to kendo now. Then off to tell all the kendoka on the internet that they need aiki principles in order to make their kendo work. Bwahahaaaa :eek: Second thoughts maybe not, I know what happens when people do that.... ;)

Mike

Josh Reyer
03-14-2007, 11:58 AM
Anyway off to kendo now. Then off to tell all the kendoka on the internet that they need aiki principles in order to make their kendo work.

Maybe you should. Nakakura Kiyoshi credited his aikido training for his longevity in Kendo...

:D ;)

HL1978
03-14-2007, 12:26 PM
Same here. Maybe I've just been having a bad week or something and am getting grouchy in my old age. Dunno.

Anyway off to kendo now. Then off to tell all the kendoka on the internet that they need aiki principles in order to make their kendo work. Bwahahaaaa :eek: Second thoughts maybe not, I know what happens when people do that.... ;)

Mike
yeah though this time it is a lot more civil than the last time I did it :p

Though to tell the truth it was more dicussion of internal principles than aiki in the original discussion.

Oddly enough no one seems to offer alternative explanations for how hachidan/elderly practioners move or how to develop that level of skill other than simply repitition.

With respect to iaido, I was tought some of it years ago with respect to weight transfer and how the sword effects the body, but after training this sort of stuff it really becomes more apparent. I need to join the batto class at my school to try it out for cutting.

Ecosamurai
03-14-2007, 07:09 PM
I tell ya the conversation after was most interesting. They both were looking at a model Of how this will change their aikido. Tom was chewing things over about how to have it effect his dojo, considering its effect on his personal aikido. There was a logic string to the discussion (got to love the military mindset) Him thinking things through, to training himself before his students, or to training with them, what effects, what's more efficient for transmission. His mind was whirling and planning in such a way and with such intriguing questions that brought in single individuals-to-dojo to multiple ramifications of what this Aiki does to Aikido. He was a real thinker. I was impressed.
Stan Just called they're both coming back in a couple of weeks so I'll let you know.

As has been the conversations I've seen between ex-marines and my aikido teacher. Like I said I don't think I disagree with the things you do and teach. I only question why you need to come here as a non-aikido person and tell us about it all and imply that we're not up to the challenge.

I wonder what kind of ego it takes to do that and I wonder whether it is someone I would want to listen to? I'm sure I risk missing interesting insights but.... respectfully, can you understand this point of view?

Mike

Ecosamurai
03-15-2007, 03:26 AM
Everyone I've met in Aikido- just like everywhere else-is up to the challenge. Its just up to all of us to do the work. For some reason-I don't know why-I have a dojo lately full of currently practicing AIkido folks -several of whom are teachers-doing just that.

I suggest if you have a problem with them talking about both their Aikido and their training, here, on this forum, just tell them so. I'm sure they would like to hear your thoughts. I'll continue to talk to them about the Aiki-do we did just last night for 5 hours.
I thank you for once again sharing your wonderful, uplifting, and swell contributions. And thank you ever so much for your kind words.
Good luck in your training
Dan

Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. If you want to get into a pissing contest about how many people cross train with you that's fine, I have plenty of folks from other arts who cross train with me, yet I don't boast about it, nor do I go to the forums for the arts they practice and talk about how they're doing these things wrong.

I note that you haven't answered my question. Why not? Or are you going to just tell me that lots of aikido guys trained with you last night again? Perhaps I'll get another round of responses telling the world how great you are and telling me to shutup because I keep asking you why you are here on this forum in the first place. You wouldn't believe the brown-nosing PM I got recently from one of your pals.

Why are you here Dan? What do you hope to achieve?

Mike

MM
03-15-2007, 05:57 AM
Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. If you want to get into a pissing contest about how many people cross train with you that's fine, I have plenty of folks from other arts who cross train with me, yet I don't boast about it, nor do I go to the forums for the arts they practice and talk about how they're doing these things wrong.

I note that you haven't answered my question. Why not? Or are you going to just tell me that lots of aikido guys trained with you last night again? Perhaps I'll get another round of responses telling the world how great you are and telling me to shutup because I keep asking you why you are here on this forum in the first place. You wouldn't believe the brown-nosing PM I got recently from one of your pals.

Why are you here Dan? What do you hope to achieve?

Mike

Don't suppose you would take this offline or to the "Why are you here thread" where it really belongs?

Ben Joiner
03-15-2007, 06:12 AM
Hi all,

I'm more of a lurker than a poster, and in that role I've read many posts by both Mike Haft and Dan Harden and others. To Mike H I would say that from what I've READ you seem to be on the same page as Dan, Mike, Rob etc in terms of the usefulness of these internal skills within Aikido paradigm AND your stated ability to apply this stuff. I would say however, that from what I've READ many people here (see above posts) aren't even aware (or don't want to be told) that there MAY be something missing from what they do in their aikido dojos. I know I wasn't, we have a different and equally valid focus where I train.

Reading these posts has lead me to think about broadening my horizons, and for that I thank all involved including those from outside aikido. Reading only gets you so far after all. So I'm off to Paris to meet up with Rob in April and will write up my thoughts when I get back. I have also on the basis of what I've READ considered going to see Mike H north of the border if there's more than an evenings training available, or popping down to Dartington to train with Mark Freeman whose posts have again pricked my interest.

I just don't see what all the fuss is about or what it is people feel the need to defend.

Respectfully,

Ben

Ecosamurai
03-15-2007, 06:22 AM
Probably should but I think that the why are you here thread and this one are about the same thing really, hence the convergence.

I would just like to say one thing following a few strange PM's etc..

I am not questioning, nor have I ever doubted the abilities, good nature etc of Mike and Dan. If they can do the things they describe then fine (people who have met them seem to think they can so I'm sure they can), other peopel can do them too. They say that these things have been lost to aikido. This is not true. They have been actively taught for the last 50 years or so within aikido, if your instructor does not teach it ask him or her why, if they don't know the answer tell them to ask their own instructor, it's a reasonable question I think, and if the answer is 'we don't think it's important', then so be it, so long as you're comfortable with that. I agree wholeheartedly that the sorts of things they talk about are fundamental to aikido, but they are still part of aikido if you look for them, they have not left the art. You need not import chinese internal principles and training methods or anything else into aikido to make it real, effective and useful as a means of defence.

I do not understand if it is some sort of ego trip to come to an aikido forum to tell aikido people they are doing things wrong or not. I only know that I wouldn't go elsewehere and lecture people about ki principles. It smacks a little too much of self publicism and posting fliers for 'the one true way' IMO. So I ask, why are you here? What do you hope to acheive by educating us all as to the way you do things in your (non-aikido) dojo?

Anyway I'll be away from the keyboard for a few weeks so I doubt you'll see me reply after today anyway if it makes you feel better.

Regards

Mike

Ecosamurai
03-15-2007, 06:28 AM
I have also on the basis of what I've READ considered going to see Mike H north of the border if there's more than an evenings training available

SNIP

I just don't see what all the fuss is about or what it is people feel the need to defend.

Don't come to see me, looking at your profile you're closer to my teacher. He's based near Crediton in Devon. PM me for details if you want, you'll learn more from him than me cos I'm really not that good to be honest.

I'm also beginning to get tired of this whole thing. Feeling like I might just send Dan and Mike a crate of beer for their troubles and knock it all on the head. Think I let the PM's and other stuff get to me more than was strictly necessary to be honest. Great.... something else I've got to learn not to do. This bloody 'to do' list gets more ridiculous every day....

Kind regards

Mike

Mark Freeman
03-15-2007, 01:07 PM
Hi all,

I'm more of a lurker than a poster, and in that role I've read many posts by both Mike Haft and Dan Harden and others. To Mike H I would say that from what I've READ you seem to be on the same page as Dan, Mike, Rob etc in terms of the usefulness of these internal skills within Aikido paradigm AND your stated ability to apply this stuff. I would say however, that from what I've READ many people here (see above posts) aren't even aware (or don't want to be told) that there MAY be something missing from what they do in their aikido dojos. I know I wasn't, we have a different and equally valid focus where I train.

Reading these posts has lead me to think about broadening my horizons, and for that I thank all involved including those from outside aikido. Reading only gets you so far after all. So I'm off to Paris to meet up with Rob in April and will write up my thoughts when I get back. I have also on the basis of what I've READ considered going to see Mike H north of the border if there's more than an evenings training available, or popping down to Dartington to train with Mark Freeman whose posts have again pricked my interest.

I just don't see what all the fuss is about or what it is people feel the need to defend.

Respectfully,

Ben

Hi Ben,

as nice as it would be to see you down here in sunny Devon, you could save yourself both time and money, by checking out either:

http://www.kifederationofgreatbritain.co.uk/clubs/argoed.htm

or: http://www.kifederationofgreatbritain.co.uk/clubs/pentwynmawr.html

both teachers are further up the mountain than me, ;)

good luck & regards,

Mark