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Dennis Hooker
03-08-2007, 08:16 AM
I am tired of the pompous attitudes the nastiness and the overall degradation of this thread. I am done with it and I am done with the Aikiweb.

Goodbye

gdandscompserv
03-08-2007, 09:22 AM
PLEASE don't leave Hooker sensei. I would miss you terribly. And what about the ARK? What will become of it? NOoo, please don't go.

Jorge Garcia
03-08-2007, 09:29 AM
I am tired of the pompous attitudes the nastiness and the overall degradation of this thread. I am done with it and I am done with the Aikiweb.

Goodbye

Sensei,
You took the words right out of my mouth. I am very close to the same thing myself. I was just talking to someone offline who was also saying the same thing. These kinds of internet forums are open and can go all kinds of ways but it does become really tiring to have to sort through this kind of stuff and there are better uses of our time. I think that the shame is that it didn't have to be this way and we all could benefit from people with your experience but it is those who enforce their right to do and say anything that are depriving the rest of us of a more civil and balanced conversation. I think that can't be helped. It is the state of humanity which sometimes goes in a downward spiral. My apologies if I have contributed to this in any way.
I admire you and I hope to meet you someday.
Best wishes,
Jorge

Josh Reyer
03-08-2007, 09:45 AM
Wow. There seem to be a fair number of babies going out with the bathwater.

Gentlemen, it's a web forum. It is entirely the user's choice which threads they will read. If certain discussions/posters/attitudes bother you, offend you, or upset you, then the measured response is not reading those threads, rather than quitting the forum altogether. That way, you minimize exposure to what you don't like on AikiWeb, while retaining what you do like.

Every time I see a "How much does Aikido really work?" type thread, I studiously avoid it. I enjoy AikiWeb all the more by what I choose not to read.

Mike Sigman
03-08-2007, 09:52 AM
I think that the shame is that it didn't have to be this way and we all could benefit from people with your experience but it is those who enforce their right to do and say anything that are depriving the rest of us of a more civil and balanced conversation. I think that can't be helped. It is the state of humanity which sometimes goes in a downward spiral. My apologies if I have contributed to this in any way. ????? Who has "enforced" or imposed anything on this thread. As far as I know, people have the right to not read anything that doesn't interest them.

What really appears to be happening with a few people is that they're trying to "enforce" who can post what, according to the way they view Aikido and who has the right to post about Aikido. Is it possible to take this totally off-topic attempt at censorship and put it in another thread?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
03-08-2007, 09:59 AM
I wonder how people who feel like Hooker Sensei would react to the following proposal...

Create a forum within aikiweb for these types of discussions. Call it Jin/Kokyu/Aiki/ki or whatever catchy name we can come up with. When people have questions on that kind of topic, simply direct them to that forum. Those who aren't interested don't have to read that entire forum. Then aikiweb continues to service everyone.

It would be a shame to lose good people simply because a certain topic or group of posters annoys them. It would also be a shame to paint a certain group of posters in a negative light simply because they respond to repeated attacks...

On the other hand...Jun has stated SEVERAL times that he just doesn't care WHO started it...maybe we all just need to BACK OFF a little bit...

Best,
Ron

Best,
Ron

Jorge Garcia
03-08-2007, 10:06 AM
????? Who has "enforced" or imposed anything on this thread. As far as I know, people have the right to not read anything that doesn't interest them.

What really appears to be happening with a few people is that they're trying to "enforce" who can post what, according to the way they view Aikido and who has the right to post about Aikido. Is it possible to take this totally off-topic attempt at censorship and put it in another thread?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Thanks Mike for highlighting something I wasn't emphasizing. You made me seem like I was shouting when I was talking calmly. Please recall I also said ,"I think that can't be helped." That's not trying to enforce anything. That's accepting what is.
Please Mike, take it easy.
best wishes,
Jorge

George S. Ledyard
03-08-2007, 10:22 AM
I wonder how people who feel like Hooker Sensei would react to the following proposal...

Create a forum within aikiweb for these types of discussions. Call it Jin/Kokyu/Aiki/ki or whatever catchy name we can come up with. When people have questions on that kind of topic, simply direct them to that forum. Those who aren't interested don't have to read that entire forum. Then aikiweb continues to service everyone.

It would be a shame to lose good people simply because a certain topic or group of posters annoys them. It would also be a shame to paint a certain group of posters in a negative light simply because they respond to repeated attacks...

On the other hand...Jun has stated SEVERAL times that he just doesn't care WHO started it...maybe we all just need to BACK OFF a little bit...

Best,
Ron

Best,
Ron

I think this a wonderful idea. Aikido Journal has separate divisions relating to Systema, Daito Ryu etc. We could have one devoted to Internal Skills or some such where folks who are experts in that area could post without Aikido folks feeling like they are being pushed out of their own forum by people who do not do the art.

Mike Sigman
03-08-2007, 10:30 AM
I think this a wonderful idea. Aikido Journal has separate divisions relating to Systema, Daito Ryu etc. We could have one devoted to Internal Skills or some such where folks who are experts in that area could post without Aikido folks feeling like they are being pushed out of their own forum by people who do not do the art.Actually, I think there are a fairly large number of "Aikido folks" who are in these discussions, although of course some engage in the discussion on other forums. Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that *some* Aikido folks who want to maintain the status quo would feel more comfortable if these discussions were elsewhere.... but not all Aikido folks want that?

As a second point, and perhaps you didn't mean it that way, it seems that you're somehow putting "internal skills" .... and that means Ki and Kokyu skills .... as something outside of Aikido practice, like Systema, etc. That seems a bit of a stretch. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

aikidoc
03-08-2007, 10:36 AM
I don't think censorship is the particular issue. Topics can be discussed without name calling, posturing, or simply bad manners. In most traditional arts, we attempt to maintain some form of etiquette. Why does that have to go away simply because someone is sitting behind a keyboard? When threads start going back in forth with statements about someone's skills or knowledge being in question it detracts from meaningful discourse.

Perhaps a good approach would be to ask oneself a simple question. Is what I am going to put down adding anything to the discussion? Or, is it my opinion directed at another person? People may be discussing the same concepts only with a different perspective. Trying to understand the perspective rather than criticize it might be a more productive approach.

Yes, one can pick and choose their viewings. However, why should I have to do so? Why can't a thread maintain civility and discuss the topic without all the barbs? It wastes a lot of space and frequently deviates from the concepts/issues being discussed. If you seriously want to try to learn something from others, then you have to sift through the trash talk to get to the meat of it.

Mike Sigman
03-08-2007, 10:48 AM
I agree with your points, mainly, John, but it's always a complex issue. On some of the ancient forums I've been on I wound up going through all sorts of perspectives.

The primary rule should be to stick to the issue.

If there's a moderator, he should moderate to be sure the issue is stuck to (and not be fooled by some of the transparent "I'm sticking to the issue, but really trying to stick it to someone").

Expect some contention, particularly on a martial arts forum, and see if some of the measured bickering actually produces results. Too many times I've seen hopeless-appearing threads suddenly blossom into very productive discussions. Personally, when I moderate, I judge whether to cut off bickering by who is bickering (their apparent knowledge level of the base topic). The people who don't contribute anything but personal "feelings" and observations about other posters get the door.

I think those are the guidelines to watch.... everytime that sort of format is used, a discussion forum becomes "civil". What I worry about with regard to "civility" is that sometimes a certain faction will use "civility" to impose their own viewpoints and cut off discussion they don't want to hear. That's censorship. That's the reason right now that Aikido has gotten to the point that it loses a lot of younger students and why many of even the old guard are "looking for something to make Aikido viable". The people at the top of the pecking order will do a lot to protect their positions and that needs to be remembered as typical in all martial arts (and life in general). ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ecosamurai
03-08-2007, 10:55 AM
Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that *some* Aikido folks who want to maintain the status quo would feel more comfortable if these discussions were elsewhere.... but not all Aikido folks want that?

Respectfully Mike, even though I sometimes engage in discussions with people like yourself and Dan who are critical of aikido and post here, I do not particularly like much of what is said by people whose only purpose here seems to be to criticise aikido. I've seen your posts concerning internal skills and I have to disagree with a lot of what you say, I find it amusing that you often refuse to discuss certain things but are happy to tell us all how we're doing it all wrong. Same goes for Dan and his MMA perspective, it is, in my opinion a mixture of conceit, genuine insight and highly intelligent trolling.

I haven't shied away from discussing difficult topics with people who are very critical of aikido, it's training methods and it's effectiveness but I have to say that I do feel that I preferred aikiweb when you weren't here.

Mike

clwk
03-08-2007, 10:56 AM
John,When threads start going back in forth with statements about someone's skills or knowledge being in question it detracts from meaningful discourse.
This is only true if the level of "someone's skills or knowledge" is immaterial to a discussion. Certainly gratuitous ad hominem is problematic, and *some* types of argument based on an implicit appeal to authority amount to that. However, in a discussion whose topic *is* 'skills and knowledge', such assessments are necessarily involved. Consider a discussion of brain surgery: there are various possible qualifications for entry into the discussion. One might be a medical degree -- but that might be insufficient. Knowledge of and skill in brain surgery is, in my opinion, absolutely germane to discussion of brain surgery. Speculation about brain surgery divorced from actual experience performing such surgery is confusing at best. This has nothing to do with specific individuals or what they have said. It is a general comment about the relevance of 'qualifications' for discussions. The best qualification for public discussion is that one's contributions demonstrate specific knowledge of the topic. If this is not the case, it is incumbent upon those with whom one argues to point this out. Treating all opinions as equal is another way of 'detracting from meaningful discourse'. If debate arises as to whose version of 'specific knowledge of the topic' is accurate, then so be it. That is the nature of discourse, and it cannot be swept under the rug by the wish that it not be so.

Chhi'mèd

aikidoc
03-08-2007, 11:03 AM
John,
This is only true if the level of "someone's skills or knowledge" is immaterial to a discussion. Certainly gratuitous ad hominem is problematic, and *some* types of argument based on an implicit appeal to authority amount to that. However, in a discussion whose topic *is* 'skills and knowledge', such assessments are necessarily involved. Consider a discussion of brain surgery: there are various possible qualifications for entry into the discussion. One might be a medical degree -- but that might be insufficient. Knowledge of and skill in brain surgery is, in my opinion, absolutely germane to discussion of brain surgery. Speculation about brain surgery divorced from actual experience performing such surgery is confusing at best. This has nothing to do with specific individuals or what they have said. It is a general comment about the relevance of 'qualifications' for discussions. The best qualification for public discussion is that one's contributions demonstrate specific knowledge of the topic. If this is not the case, it is incumbent upon those with whom one argues to point this out. Treating all opinions as equal is another way of 'detracting from meaningful discourse'. If debate arises as to whose version of 'specific knowledge of the topic' is accurate, then so be it. That is the nature of discourse, and it cannot be swept under the rug by the wish that it not be so.

Chhi'mèd

Yes, I agree knowledge about a topic is an issue. However, you will not likely see brain surgeons attacking each other personally. THey can disagree scientifically. And MDs have some of the biggest egos on the planet.

Personal attacks are not necessary. Questioning knowledge can be done inoffensively.

Mike Sigman
03-08-2007, 11:10 AM
I've seen your posts concerning internal skills and I have to disagree with a lot of what you say Can you point me to some posts where you've factually disagreed, Mike, or is this statement something where you're just fulminating? I find it amusing that you often refuse to discuss certain things but are happy to tell us all how we're doing it all wrong. Can you point to a post as an example? I disagree with your blanket "refuse to discuss certain things" since I've drawn diagrams, gone into lengthy discussions on basics a number of times. Insofar as your "tell us all how we're doing it wrong", I claim bullshit.... I have never spoken to "us all" (the phrase you're trying to hide your personal attack behind) in Aikido at any time.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

clwk
03-08-2007, 11:35 AM
Yes, I agree knowledge about a topic is an issue. However, you will not likely see brain surgeons attacking each other personally. THey can disagree scientifically. And MDs have some of the biggest egos on the planet.

Personal attacks are not necessary. Questioning knowledge can be done inoffensively.

Not to belabor the point, but the issue is not 'brain surgeons attacking each other personally'. The issue is a number of individuals attempting to remotely discussion brain surgery without universal knowledge of one another's brain surgery abilities. Some of the participants may not actually be qualified brain surgeons at all. Depending on the content of advice being doled out, discussion *might* become slightly heated: "Please stop telling people to cut that 'insignifcant nerve'. Anyone who thinks that nerve is insignificant proves himself not to know."

Personal attacks are never necssary, but when individuals align themselves with their views and back them up with personal credentials of any kind then attacks on views can easily become conflated with attacks on persons. It is better if the 'attackers' can refrain from unnecessary insult, but it has to be noted that at a certain point, there is implicit insult in disagreement. This is a result of individuals aligning themselves closely with their arguments. Human nature, I think.

Chhi'mèd

Alfonso
03-08-2007, 11:48 AM
Hmm... Hooker sensei objected to the tone in the threads, the name calling , which degenerated the thread from where it was. I don't recall seeing this as a problem with the topic itself or the posters.

I hate to see a good discussion sidetracked so.

aikidoc
03-08-2007, 12:00 PM
Not to belabor the point, but the issue is not 'brain surgeons attacking each other personally'. The issue is a number of individuals attempting to remotely discussion brain surgery without universal knowledge of one another's brain surgery abilities. Some of the participants may not actually be qualified brain surgeons at all. Depending on the content of advice being doled out, discussion *might* become slightly heated: "Please stop telling people to cut that 'insignifcant nerve'. Anyone who thinks that nerve is insignificant proves himself not to know."

Personal attacks are never necssary, but when individuals align themselves with their views and back them up with personal credentials of any kind then attacks on views can easily become conflated with attacks on persons. It is better if the 'attackers' can refrain from unnecessary insult, but it has to be noted that at a certain point, there is implicit insult in disagreement. This is a result of individuals aligning themselves closely with their arguments. Human nature, I think.

Chhi'mèd

Agreed. I understand your perspective. I think the point I'm trying to make is that it all gets down to a choice of words and how you say things. You can get a point across in many different ways. Unfortunately, some seem to always chose the way that seems to rile the feathers of others. THere is a book written about basically how to discuss things without eliciting negative reactions-I think it is called non-violent verbal communications-Marshall? I'll have to look at the author and book title-it's been a while. Dobson tried to discuss the issues in his book as well. Verbal aikido if you will.

I realize some are not as smooth with their wordings and tend to value directness, etc. However, many of the comments could simply be put a better way and facilitate discussion rather than result in four or five defensive or offensive repsonses.

Knowledge can always confuse the conversation and make communication difficult. However, "communication" is almost always the responsibility of the sender. If you want to get a message across and it is not received, then you hold the resposiblity to figure out how to do so. Sometimes it is not possible if the receiver is simply not willing to receive no matter what you do. However, subliminal insults or attacks generally serve little purpose and generally say more about the attacker than the receiver.

The thread this spun off started out great, however, after a while I simply could not mentally sift through all the trash talking enough to get anything out of it. If that was cut out the thread would be about half the size or less. For me, it turned something I was interested in to something that ultimately serve little purpose because I was simply not willing to continuously sift through the verbal warfare to try and find the potential gems.

Communication is extremely challenging. Everything one says can be misinterpreted. However, learning to speak with some forethought about how the audience might respond can minimize misinterpretations.

Ecosamurai
03-08-2007, 12:02 PM
Insofar as your "tell us all how we're doing it wrong", I claim bullshit.... I have never spoken to "us all" (the phrase you're trying to hide your personal attack behind) in Aikido at any time.

I can't particularly be bothered to dredge through your backlog of posts to find examples, I am referring to the general tone of your comments and my reading of them, it is entirely possible I am doing you an injustice but the only thing I can think of that comes to mind quickly is your rather patronizing statement at the beginning of the baseline skillset thread (incidentally the reason I stopped reading it was because of that as I had better things to do that day):

My comment, BTW, to Ki Society people is ..... you've got a viably good start; now go further. Figure out what Sum is doing.

One of many examples I don't have the time or inclination to look for, if it weren't for the fact that I knew it was at the beginning of that thread I wouldn't have posted anything here at all.

And to be honest with you I don't really think that what I said counted as a personal attack, but this certainly does and I make no apologies for it: I really don't care what you think, I find you occasionally engaging, often interesting and equally as often wrong in your assumptions and statements, patronizing, condescending and prone to pontificating. I often read things you have written and find myself tempted to challenge you on many points but decided long ago that I really don't care what you say too much and have better things to do than write endlessly on internet forums. I suspect that others have felt similarly.

Sincerely

Mike Haft

AsimHanif
03-08-2007, 12:03 PM
Some time ago I decided to back off the discussion forums for several reasons. I do keep an eye out for the thoughts of some who I admire and respect such as Peter G and Dennis H.
I believe Jun has done an excellent job of maintaining this site and I will continue to support him in my own way. However I feel it is unfortunate that people of varying experience levels get "the business" from a few who obviously need ALOT of attention. Simply put- there is just too much mental masturbation going on for some to put up with, especially if it's at the expense of others. Unfortunately I have a feeling that if you ignore these people, they'll find you- not go away.

MM
03-08-2007, 12:04 PM
Respectfully Mike, even though I sometimes engage in discussions with people like yourself and Dan who are critical of aikido and post here, I do not particularly like much of what is said by people whose only purpose here seems to be to criticise aikido. I've seen your posts concerning internal skills and I have to disagree with a lot of what you say, I find it amusing that you often refuse to discuss certain things but are happy to tell us all how we're doing it all wrong. Same goes for Dan and his MMA perspective, it is, in my opinion a mixture of conceit, genuine insight and highly intelligent trolling.

I haven't shied away from discussing difficult topics with people who are very critical of aikido, it's training methods and it's effectiveness but I have to say that I do feel that I preferred aikiweb when you weren't here.

Mike

Actually, you left parts out. While Mike and Dan might be critical of *some* aikido, they *also* believe that these baseline skills would improve aikido. Lest we not forget, too, that Mike's posted about the Ki Society and them being on a good track. Nor any amount of comments about Ikeda sensei working in a good manner within Aikido.

However, if you've taken their comments as being critical and as a criticism of aikido, perhaps a mirror might help clear up whose aikido you have aligned their citicisms with. ;) I know I held that mirror up and found it justified in the sense that I did not have those baseline skills mentioned.

As for conceit and trolling. You have that completely wrong. I've met Rob, Mike and Dan. I find those traits as far from the truth as could possibly be.

And lastly, just to be another voice read, I like AikiWeb with them here. I have learned a lot from their posts.

Mark

clwk
03-08-2007, 12:15 PM
Unfortunately, some seem to always chose the way that seems to rile the feathers of others.
And when people disagree at a sufficiently fundamental level, that will always be there. It does not really matter who takes the 'aggressive' versus the 'passive-aggressive' stance when communication breaks down. That tends to depend on who is attempting to frame their position as somehow outside or superior to the actual point of contention. That *I* am the one playing by 'the rules' is the implicit position of the passive aggressive arguer. Sometimes that position has to be called.
I realize some are not as smooth with their wordings and tend to value directness, etc. However, many of the comments could simply be put a better way and facilitate discussion rather than result in four or five defensive or offensive repsonses.
So true. Things could be better in the world, but can calls for politeness help much amongst those who have abandoned it?

The thread this spun off started out great, however, after a while I simply could not mentally sift through all the trash talking enough to get anything out of it. If that was cut out the thread would be about half the size or less. For me, it turned something I was interested in to something that ultimately serve little purpose because I was simply not willing to continuously sift through the verbal warfare to try and find the potential gems.
It sounds like you are saying that your desire for 'information' is less than your desire to 'sift through' the noise. That is a personal choice, or at least a personal reality. There are two solutions. One, deal with the noise; or two: try to change the situation.

In terms of Two. Let's assume the situation is Chimpanzees vs Brain Surgeons, but no-one knows which is which. We cannot expect the Chimps to become civilized. It is not in their nature. Nor can we expect the Brain Surgeons to treat the Chimps as equals. If we pretend there is not a disagreement so fundamental that each position demands a total negation of the other, then we can imagine that 'civil discourse' is the answer. The problem is that by civilly allowing the Chimps to take their turn with the scalpel, the Brain Surgeons prove irresponsible.

Dung is going to fly. Readers have to decide whether it's worth enduring dung to attend a public lecture on brain surgery. It might not be, but it's definitely not worth confusing the two 'matters'.

Chhi'mèd

akiy
03-08-2007, 12:19 PM
Hi folks,

So, to try to provide a bit of perspective on things from where I stand (sit)...

What I read in Dennis's initial post above has less to do with the subject matter but the overall tone which he has seemingly perceived in recent discussions. As I have written and requested, time and time and time again, the first rule of AikiWeb is to treat others with respect. If I can be so honest, I find it surprising if not frustrating that such a request be a seemingly difficult one to subscribe to, as this community is one that is based in budo -- a pursuit which, in my mind, must be rooted in etiquette and respect.

Many times I have sent a request to people via private means to please moderate their tone or manner of conducting discussion here on AikiWeb; many times I have received angry responses pointing the finger at another person or even at me at times for asking. I get people sending me private messages saying that so-and-so is being rude again, that such-and-such can't be anything but arrogant/disrespectful/uncouth/etc while others send in the same complaints regarding them in turn. It seems that many people repeat the phrase "But s/he started it!" to excuse their own behavior.

Some of this really makes me wonder if it's all worth it, folks.

However, I believe that discussing the art of aikido is a very worthwhile endeavor. Any field which is not open to the thoughts and feedback from people outside of that field is one that needs, in my mind, to be further opened up. However again, I will say that I sometimes wish that there were more discussions to the effect of "How does aikido ?" rather than "Why doesn't aikido [insert something that someone considers isn't in aikido here]?" They're both valid questions, of course, but the tone and seeming intent behind the latter may be taken as undermining. Also, I personally think it's very important to choose words and ways to phrase them with care, especially when presenting a critical or controversial idea. Relatedly perhaps, as this website is about aikido, I hope that people relate what they are writing to aikido explicitly and specifically.

Maybe it's just me who thinks this way about etiquette and respect. Maybe it's because I have personally met and trained with so many people on AikiWeb and other parts of the aikido/budo community that, honestly, I really don't understand how people can write words to the effect of, "Why are you so stupid as to not get what I'm saying?" Honestly, reading some of the words seemingly slung at one another here on AikiWeb (including in the Open Discussions forum) sometimes breaks my heart. I think to myself, "Is this what I've created? This is the community which I helped create after hundreds if not thousands of hours of work?"

Now, many of you know that I take a pretty laissez-faire stance with the discussions here on AikiWeb. I do this not because I don't care about what is happening here on AikiWeb (see "hundreds if not thousands of hours of work" above) but because I truly believe that all of us have the ability and capacity to conduct meaningful, insightful, and even controversial and heated discussions in a civil, level-headed, and open-hearted manner. Just like in budo training wherein the crux of keiko comes from oneself, the same applies here, I think. If I've learned something from my own time in budo, it's that [I]I am responsible for my actions. How others treat me is how they act and is not something I can readily control. How I respond, though, is my responsibility.

So, please, folks. Let's conduct ourselves in a manner which cultivates responsibility, respect, and community. I don't know about all of you, but personally, I think it's worth it.

Best,

-- Jun

jonreading
03-08-2007, 12:52 PM
My high school english professor used to say that, "writing is simple - if a reader can misunderstand what you wrote, then it was poorly written."

Mark Freeman
03-08-2007, 01:03 PM
It would be a great shame if Dennis Hooker chooses not to post here, I have always enjoyed his posts, and have had my understanding of the aikido world broadened by his input.
There are posters here that you know you would like to practice with, given what they have to say. I hope he has a re think, but understand if he doesn't.:(

regards,

Mark
p.s. Thanks for all the hard work Jun!

Mike Sigman
03-08-2007, 01:19 PM
[snip part that is personal attack, again]Mike, in regard to my comment about the Ki Society, OK..... let me rephrase it so it sounds better to you: "Guys, uh, you're doing great. I can't see any room for improvement, so I'm not going to make any challenging statements for fear that they may be misconstrued as attacks on your self-esteem".

P.S. If any of you are interested, I'll be glad to show you what I'm taling about and I made my statement based on my experience of 46 years in martial arts.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
03-08-2007, 01:39 PM
What I read in Dennis's initial post above has less to do with the subject matter but the overall tone which he has seemingly perceived in recent discussions. As I have written and requested, time and time and time again, the first rule of AikiWeb is to treat others with respect. If I can be so honest, I find it surprising if not frustrating that such a request be a seemingly difficult one to subscribe to, as this community is one that is based in budo -- a pursuit which, in my mind, must be rooted in etiquette and respect.Jun, let me toss in a couple of thoughts here... and I mean them also as a response to John Riggs' good comments.

The subject that is raising a lot of ruckus... the ki/kokyu stuff... is one that is never going to be discussed on this forum or the forum of any other martial-art, qigong, yoga, tea-ceremony, calligraphy, traditional Asian dance, etc., website without causing a furor. To expect it to be totally civil borders on being absurd.

Why? Because the inference is that some established teachers don't really know what they're talking about, in the sense that their art is in actuality based on those same ki-kokyu skills. Note the other "arts" I just listed above. If someone went on one of their forums and said something about these ki skills and most of the teachers didn't understand it, the *same thing would happen*.

If the occasional lack of civility is surprising to *some* people (and remember, only a few are trying to take this tack about diplomacy... many others are just into the conversation to discuss, get information, etc.), then I've got to say that I'm surprised at how civil it is. It could be a lot worse. Toss out the few bad apples who are here only to complain and make personal remarks and there is not really that much friction. And some of the friction is helpful in the discussion.

Think about the magnitude of the subject. Hiroshi Ikeda thinks the subject is so important that he, in contradiction to a lot of Japanese martial tradition, brought in a karate teacher to teach these exact same subjects. That's how important he thought it was. It was recognizably so important, that Saotome Sensei understood and allowed his student to do such a thing. Those 2 facts alone should be enough, but if you look at Tohei's emphasis, Abe Sensei's emphasis, etc., this becomes obviously a hugely significant discussion. So significant that all the expert teachers should have been able to jump in and intelligently discuss the topic with any "outsiders". But they couldn't... or few could (offline, there are indeed some Aikido teachers who have some of these skills, BTW, so my implication is not about 'ALL' of Aikido). What we're seeing with the negative reactions is mainly defensive maneuvering, which is to be expected in a topic of this magnitude.

Even though I disagree with Erick Mead (it's more than that; my experience/knowledge tells me that I'm as safe in my position as a Christian holding 4 aces), I have to give him credit for debating hammer and tongs what he believes to be true. Now he just needs to get out and trade his opinions in a hands-on way.... as do many others. It's not going to be easy and it's not always going to be polite, given the import and ramifications of the 'new' knowledge (you know, the stuff that was in all the books from day one but we thought it was about ritual crap and woo woo stuff). But "treat others with respect"? I think everyone would like for it to be an easy diplomatic discussion, but the implication that some teachers may not know something basic is inherent in the conversation, and assuredly they are going to react like they are not being treated with respect.

I honestly think this is a far more civil conversation, on the whole, than we have a right to expect, given the implications. I'm impressed, not disappointed.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

akiy
03-08-2007, 01:50 PM
Hi Mike, everyone else,

I am not here in this thread to talk about specific people or topics. I believe what I am asking for applies regardless of the people involved or the subject covered.

Once again (copying and pasting since I don't have too much time here at my day job), let's conduct ourselves in a manner which cultivates responsibility, respect, and community.

Thanks,

-- Jun

Ellis Amdur
03-08-2007, 01:50 PM
There are people posting on Aikiweb whom I cannot abide. I don't like what they say, I don't like how they say it, and I don't like who they are - at least as they portray themselves on the web. They make my flesh crawl, my guts churn and not even beneficent thoughts of aikido and harmony can pull me through. Instead, I imagine them locked in a nikkyo, screaming to Mike or Dan for those internal skills to ward off the damage, but it's too late, too late - I just laugh and crank it on harder.
But if they post on a thread that I am personally interested, I will, God help me, read them and get irritated. It is like Plato's dialogue which describes a man passing an execution ground, determined not to look because he's better than "that," and then suddenly screaming at his own eyes, "Dammit, look if it's so important!"
But this is not necessary on Aikiweb! I have an ignore list which grows evermore each week or so. I know that so-and-so posted, but I never have to have his or her comments put my knickers in a twist, because I simply never see what would disturb me. Or as PeeWee Herman said with his fingers in his ears, "LALLALLLALLLALLAAA"

Mike Sigman
03-08-2007, 01:55 PM
OK... John Riggs... please take my post #27 as addressed to you. ;)

Best.

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
03-08-2007, 02:01 PM
Having participated in this thread and discussion. I will be the first to defend the right of those that are posting here. I do not agree with the name calling and personal attacks. However, I find them few and far in between. If someone does it to me and I don't like it, I will tell them. (So you will always know where you stand with me! :))

This topic I think is very important in a way. I think overall it is a healthy discussion. Many of us grow frustrated occassionally and impatient.

I appreciate the candor of most everyone here on the thread. Yes, it crosses the line occassionally, but I think a simple "time out" can put it back into place!

I have to admit, that I am growing tired of this thread some though as it is getting old and in many cases going no where, but I am a big boy and can simply NOT participate and not read it if I choose.

I don't think many of these guys understand budo or aikido...that is my opinion. I think some of them probably know a few things that I would benefit from though, so I am open to them.

I applaud guys like George Ledyard, Dennis Hooker, Jimmy Sorentino who have opened up there minds, faced the challenges, and even let guys like Rob and Mike into there dojos! It says alot about them and their committment to art and establishing a true learning environment.

If we are going to evolve and grow, we need to open up a little. It is scary at times, and it will get emotional and heated. I think this to be good though, once the smoke clears we will understand things a little better.

I'd really hate to see Dennis go. Frankly I have thought about it myself over the last few days as this gets frustrating and you begin to wonder what is going on with people...have they lost their senses!!! There are better things to do with my time!

However, guys like Dennis keep me here, so I hope he will stay.

More importantly though, I hope that Jun will continue to moderate or not moderate in the manner he has in the past...it is more important than if Dennis chooses to not participate.

That said, we do all need to keep in mind, that if it continues to degrade, people will lose interest and go elsewhere and then Aikiweb will degenerate to nothing.

Thanks for all you do Jun.

aikidoc
03-08-2007, 02:30 PM
Thank you Jun. You said a lot of what I was attempting to convey. Perhaps simply asking onself while writing a post whether you can frame the question or the topic in a manner to generate constructive discussion might help. Negative questions tend to generate defensive or negative feedback. "What's wrong with ----aspect of aikido". As you so aptly pointed out, the how does or how can I do type questions typically generates more constructive responses.

I too am amazed that we can generate the "How can you be so stupid" questions as well. This is in my opinion devolved, provocative behavior that suggests a very ego-centric, condescending perspective. If you just want to argue, join a debate club. If you want to help others evolve their art, then try to be constructive not destructive with commentary.

I too have engaged in a few verbal "discussions", but usually because the person was being downright rude and obnoxious. I tend to avoid those now since they did little to change the person's attitude.

Respect and etiquette should follow you everywhere you go if you are truly trying to learn something from the arts. If the person is really a problem, I think there used to be a block function on this site. I have used it in the past by blocking someone whom I felt was not interested in conveying anything worthwhile or who was a warrior troll.

THere are communication styles that tend to negate everything. I think they are called mismatchers by some. What ever you say they have to go against it. I guess they just can't help it.

I don't think anyone wants to squelch legitimate honest debate. However, I do think that with a little effort we can all elevate our communications style to an "aiki" level and choose our words/sentences with less offensive flair and discuss things in a positive manner.

One of my former students had a girl friend that he was always fighting with over pretty much everything. They came to me, I'm not sure why, to ask for help in trying to get their relationship to a less contentious level. After a lengthy discussion we discovered that her family expressed their love for each other by yelling, shouting, screaming and arguing. His family, however, expressed their love in a more calm fashion. She view her contentious nature as being a sign of affection. He on the other hand was seriously stressed out by the constant bickering and fighting over everything. The ultimate outcome was that this did not have a good chance of changing much so they agreed to stop the relationship since it was not making either of them very happy. Many different styles come to the table, however, etiquette and respect should be maintained off the mat as well. IMHO

aikidoc
03-08-2007, 02:43 PM
OK... John Riggs... please take my post #27 as addressed to you. ;)

Best.

Mike

?Post 27 where? Which thread?

aikidoc
03-08-2007, 02:57 PM
Mike, nevermind. I found the reference.

I agree with most of what you said. It could have been worse. However, for a while the thread got so contentious back and forth that when I had to read two or three pages before it got back on topic it sort of lost its value. Perhaps that's just me. I'm not interested in reading all the you don't know what the hell you are talking about posts, especially when they go on and on and generally repeat the same stuff several times.

Oh well, it's just me. I guess I'm getting less tolerant of bs as I get older.

For what it's worth. My sensei is teaching one of his students who also does MMA to be able to use aikido to defend himself. It's important stuff since he is competing in Japan. In fact at a recent seminar, they has some activity going on while he was demonstrating that was subtle. The student was trying to reverse or trip up the shihan at every opportunity. Sensei's approach to his study of aikido from what I have learned was to not seek out other arts for make him better but to learn out how to make his aikido work by training with other high level martial artists. Apparently, he did since he is rumored to have been the one to "educate" or deal with difficult people or dojo busters.

DarkShodan
03-08-2007, 03:38 PM
My dad can beat up your dad!

Mike Sigman
03-08-2007, 03:42 PM
I agree with most of what you said. It could have been worse. However, for a while the thread got so contentious back and forth that when I had to read two or three pages before it got back on topic it sort of lost its value. Well, I expect a certain amount of contention, particularly in contentious topics. As I said, given the involvement of some of the shihans, in groundbreaking and non-traditional ways, there are plenty of clues that this goes outside of discussing the proper way of folding a hakama. ;)

Also, there are different personalities on the forum. To expect everyone to conform to a norm determined by some few, as to what is proper, can lead to problems. Mainly, I feel that Ellis hit it right on the head. The people who tend to express their displeasures seem to not understand that there are some blunt-but-polite people who don't get into voicing personal comments quite as much as some of the "polite" ones do. It's a two-way street. The best strategy may be to stick to the issue and debate it. On the other hand, I think one of the problems is that some people cannot really join in the debate, so they switch to arguing their side by discussing personality, posting-style, etc.

The biggest clue is often to go back over someone's post and see if they have posted a reasonable percentage of truly useful posts, how-to's, etc. That's the standard I've used for many years. And I flat out don't like the personality of some of the people who honestly post useful information.... but who cares? This ain't no ^$#*@ weinie roast!!! ;)

Best.

Mike

Ecosamurai
03-08-2007, 04:41 PM
Mike, in regard to my comment about the Ki Society, OK..... let me rephrase it so it sounds better to you: "Guys, uh, you're doing great. I can't see any room for improvement, so I'm not going to make any challenging statements for fear that they may be misconstrued as attacks on your self-esteem".

P.S. If any of you are interested, I'll be glad to show you what I'm taling about and I made my statement based on my experience of 46 years in martial arts.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

My self-esteem is doing just fine, I am not a member of the Ki Society and I picked one isolated example I could find off of the top of my head. I am quite ready to apologise to you publicly and unreservedly should I feel it is merited. My 20 years of martial arts experience seems to be telling that your 46 years hasn't been long enough to learn not to be condescending and sarcastic.

I met a man last weekend who has decades of Iaido experience, when he discovered that I did aikido he politely asked me to show him some and I offered some of what I knew. I greatly enjoyed learning everything he was offering to teach me, politely and humbly. I don't get the impression based on what you have said here on these forums ad nauseam that a similar thing would happen were we to meet in person.

As I said before I find your comments well informed, as are others here, I find them interesting and all too often I find them condescending.

As Jun said: "However again, I will say that I sometimes wish that there were more discussions to the effect of "How does aikido [insert something that may or may not be in aikido here]?" rather than "Why doesn't aikido [insert something that someone considers isn't in aikido here]?" They're both valid questions, of course, but the tone and seeming intent behind the latter may be taken as undermining"

I have no problem with much of what you say, I find it interesting and informative, just how you say it a lot of the time is what I dislike. But then I suppose that those sort of things are what we all need to work on, especially on an internet forum.

Mike

PS - I would very much like to see what you are talking about, and if you are ever in the UK please make sure I know about it beforehand so I can come and play. I've no doubt it will be informative.

Cady Goldfield
03-08-2007, 04:45 PM
Why can't all "internal practices" threads just be posted in the Open Discussion forum? After all, that's where all of the controversial and not-directly-Aikido-related stuff goes, and it's where the big, ugly arguments and tempests in teapots happily steam, far away from the main Aikido discussions. Only people who want to read about non-Aikido topics go to that forum.

If we didn't have the Open Discussions forum, where else could Mike Sigman and Neil Mick go to have their political and idealogical Matter/Anti-matter slapfests? ;) What better place for the "Outsiders" (MMA, CMA, internal arts practioners, et al.) to also talk about their mysterious, exotic ideas?

So, if Jun doesn't start an Internal Practices forum or something like that, I'd suggest that all topics not directly related to Aikido -as it is currently widely practiced- be directed to Open Discussions, where anything goes, and even Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum could spat over their ruint new rattle to their hearts' content. :)

Mike Sigman
03-08-2007, 05:00 PM
My 20 years of martial arts experience seems to be telling that your 46 years hasn't been long enough to learn not to be condescending and sarcastic. Go back and read Ellis' post again, Mike. This is how many posts that are focused on the personal?I met a man last weekend who has decades of Iaido experience, when he discovered that I did aikido he politely asked me to show him some and I offered some of what I knew. I greatly enjoyed learning everything he was offering to teach me, politely and humbly. I don't get the impression based on what you have said here on these forums ad nauseam that a similar thing would happen were we to meet in person. Somehow Mike, I have the same feeling. One of the weird things I've noted over the years is that real martial artists tend to just get along fine; others not so fine. C'est la vie. But nice continuation of your thesis on me. As I said before I find your comments well informed, as are others here, I find them interesting and all too often I find them condescending.Go back and read Ellis' post, Mike. I have no problem with much of what you say, I find it interesting and informative, just how you say it a lot of the time is what I dislike. But then I suppose that those sort of things are what we all need to work on, especially on an internet forum. Read Ellis' post one more time. And see if you can somehow drag your mind over to the topic of "Baseline Skillset", although I'm sure you don't like people who suggest such things and probably you think it's condescending.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Hogan
03-08-2007, 05:03 PM
http://www.med.uiuc.edu/m1/neurosci/Web_Neuro/staff_photos/Scream%20-%20homer.jpg

You're all bitches...

gdandscompserv
03-08-2007, 05:52 PM
Why can't all "internal practices" threads just be posted in the Open Discussion forum? After all, that's where all of the controversial and not-directly-Aikido-related stuff goes, and it's where the big, ugly arguments and tempests in teapots happily steam, far away from the main Aikido discussions. Only people who want to read about non-Aikido topics go to that forum.

If we didn't have the Open Discussions forum, where else could Mike Sigman and Neil Mick go to have their political and idealogical Matter/Anti-matter slapfests? ;) What better place for the "Outsiders" (MMA, CMA, internal arts practioners, et al.) to also talk about their mysterious, exotic ideas?

So, if Jun doesn't start an Internal Practices forum or something like that, I'd suggest that all topics not directly related to Aikido -as it is currently widely practiced- be directed to Open Discussions, where anything goes, and even Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum could spat over their ruint new rattle to their hearts' content. :)
Cady,
Thank you for an enlightening and humorous post. I know I needed it.
:)
I couldn't agree more about the Open Discussions idea. It is grand in it's simplicity. That is where my snide/sarcastic or otherwise insulting posts are banished to anyway. Hell, I've even had my lame attempts at humor moved from the Humor section to the Open Discussions section.
I think I am gonna do a couple things though;
Be nicer.:D
Talk less and train more.
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b379/deserthippie/peace.gif

Ecosamurai
03-08-2007, 06:40 PM
Go back and read Ellis' post again, Mike. This is how many posts that are focused on the personal?
SNIP CONDESCENSION
although I'm sure you don't like people who suggest such things and probably you think it's condescending.

If you're referring to Ellis' post in this thread, I've read it. It says he likes what you say etc.. Aren't you basically saying that I should listen to you cos Ellis Amdur likes what you have to say? Or are you referring to a different thread? No disrespect to Ellis but I don't find everything he writes compelling enough to base my entire view of budo on the writings of Ellis Amdur, as well written and informed as they are.

Actually, it is condescending when you come to an aikido forum, an art you do not (appear to) favour and come here solely to discuss how we need more internal skills, my internal skills are coming along just fine thank you, as is my training against resisting partners and 'aliveness' in practice (which I think is totally over rated btw). If this isn't what you and others have been saying then I apologise but your output is quite prolific and I have other things to do than read it all.

In my small amount of time as a teacher I have seen many people come and go. Without doubt the ones I dislike the most are those who come to my lessons, knowing little of me, my character, my experience etc and come to teach and not to learn. They walk into the dojo with a 'critical eye', this at least is uderstandable if you have come as a spectator or guest, but when they decide to train and continue to appear on a regular basis they are often the ones who hide behind the formal etiquette the most, the ones who call me sensei louder and more often than others, who bow to me too much and wear their humility like a badly fitting mask. They reserve their skepticism because they know it is impolite and instead of testing me the teacher they make life difficult for my students, seeking to prove something to their ego by stopping my students learning. I would prefer it if they simply challenged me outright to prove myself.

Far far too much of what has been appearing on aikiweb in recent years reminds me of such people. People who correct the students rather than challenge the teacher, people who wear humility like a badly fitting mask, insisting that they really aren't so uncouth as to do anything so impolite even though they are doing it anyway for everyone to see.

Have you come to aikiweb to learn or to teach us about aikido? I have not come to your dojo or forum to correct you on what you spend most of your time doing. Have I?

Challenging assumptions and discussing difficult topics is fine, better than fine, it is a good thing. It's mostly about how you choose to do it.

Sincerely

Mike Haft

Mike Sigman
03-08-2007, 06:48 PM
If you're referring to Ellis' post in this thread, I've read it.It says if you don't like reading somebody, don't read them.

Mike Sigman

Ecosamurai
03-08-2007, 06:54 PM
It says if you don't like reading somebody, don't read them.

Mike Sigman

And yet you feel the need to reply to my posts....

Mike

aikidoc
03-08-2007, 06:56 PM
"Also, there are different personalities on the forum. To expect everyone to conform to a norm determined by some few, as to what is proper, can lead to problems."

I'm not expecting norm conformity. Different personalities is not an excuse for rude behavior or bad etiquette.

"The best strategy may be to stick to the issue and debate it."

Agreed.

"On the other hand, I think one of the problems is that some people cannot really join in the debate, so they switch to arguing their side by discussing personality, posting-style, etc."

Possible, but there are some who don't feel like they can join the debate but want to learn who are turned off by the "personality or posting style".

Mike Sigman
03-08-2007, 07:39 PM
"Possible, but there are some who don't feel like they can join the debate but want to learn who are turned off by the "personality or posting style".And on the other hand there are people who feel just the opposite, John? What has that got to do with the debate of an issue? Notice for instance that I've never made the slightest inference about how you strike me personally, your posting style, etc. If you wanted to start a discussion of personal things you don't like, it's possible I'd pull your chain a little bit, but generally I read for content. It's just not that big of a deal to worry about someone's posting style.

I read a comment about someone's posting style in here a few months ago and I went back and read what they'd said. I realized it was maybe too blunt, if that's what someone was focusing on, but I missed it completely the first time I read it because I only read for information. People who don't have any information don't get much attention..... and I've found that more people get offended because they're not getting "respected" for who they think they are than for anything else. The way around it.... debate the issues. Meet up with people. Don't read too much into someone's "posting style". ;)

Mike Sigman

aikidoc
03-08-2007, 07:59 PM
By posting style, I was meaning more of the rude behavior, bad etiquette, personality attack type posters. I don't have a problem with someone being direct as long as they are not being an a$$ or waging personal attacks. It's simply not necessary. So if that is a style issue, then I guess I have a problem with it. :)

xuzen
03-08-2007, 09:56 PM
Too much involvement... not so good for mental health.

Aikiweb, for chill out and relax. No think too much. Enjoy life more. Ossu!

Boon.

SeiserL
03-09-2007, 07:25 AM
Sorry to see yet another voice leave due to ignorance and arrogance in tone. Yet, I must respect their choice, and perhaps wisdom, to exit. I was once told to never get in a pissing match with a skunk. Good advice.

I think it is a good reminder to all of us that choose to be here, to participate and contribute, to practice keeping our own center and balance (by not taking others too seriously or too personally despite their tone) and to treat others in a way that will invite and welcome them to continual training in conversation and discussion. Most people here do conduct themselves with openness and respect. Compliments and appreciation to the majority.

So lets see who can, and can't, practice what is being discussed here, control of tone. I'll just pay heed to my own training and practice.

Again, sorry to hear about the lose to so many due to the tone of so few.

gregstec
03-09-2007, 09:08 AM
I hate people; I really do! - I believe they are the root cause of all the problems the World faces today. My favorite pastime is sitting on my boat in a quite anchorage away from everyone on the Chesapeake bay, sucking down a cold-one, and just listening to the fish procreate.

However, I love myself. Unfortunately, I am 'people' too - so, I guess I really have to love people as well. But, I can still hate what some of them say or do. For those with things to say that I can relate to, we interact - for those others, I just think of fish…..

Regards

Greg Steckel

PS - I have had the opportunity to train with Dennis Hooker (and a good number of his students) during the last two Aikido cruises - an exemplary group of 'people' that made the training sessions fun and informative. So Dennis, grab a couple cold ones, chill, and just come back with some brilliant post that will keep us all saying: "Oh, I understand that now!" :)

aikidoc
03-09-2007, 09:11 AM
Speaking of style/tone. Communication is an interesting and challenging endeavor. One of my former students, when I was teaching at Memphis Aikikai, had a girlfriend he was always in a row with over about everything. They approached me, don't know why other than being a neutral 3rd party, and asked to see if I could help them iron out the conflict. After a long discussion, we discovered she grew up in an environment where love was expressed by arguing and fighting over issues. He on the other hand grew up in an environment where conflict was not only not an expression of love it was avoided and people discussed things in a more calm manner. Ultimately, they decided this was not going to work and amicably parted ways.

The lesson for me was to recognize that some thrive on conflict situations and others totally avoid it. I for one am in the avoidance category. My wife and I have been married 11 years and have never had a fight. We both realize the futility of conflict and see little need for verbal fisticuffs. I also don't recall ever getting into a verbal fight with my previous spouses either. That doesn't mean we did not have issues where we did not see eye to eye. We simply were able to work through them without contentious behavior. And we even work together every day.

FWIW we should all recognize people respond differently in such situations. Some need conflict while others hate it. By watching how we say things, we can still get our messages across in a respectful manner. Dennis leaving is unfortunate but this is not the first time. If I recall correctly, the Rev. Furuyu, may he rest in peace, also left the forum due to the brutal and disrespectful treatment he received by some. We lost the potentially valuable perspectives of someone with 47 years of aikido experience. He simply did not want to be involved with the behavior. His Buddhist training probably did not leave him to believe people were taking the middle path or for that matter had learned how to run their own brains in desirable manner. He did not hang around long once he started getting jumped on.

gdandscompserv
03-09-2007, 09:56 AM
Even Shihan's have feelings.

DH
03-09-2007, 09:58 AM
I've gotten disgusted and left twice. Over much the same issues as Dennis. In the recent flak I'd like to offer a thought I haven't seen mentioned yet
The threads that discuss these skills are few, very few in proportion to all the threads on the site. Yet they bring about the largest number of views. I can't help but corellate that to the number of folks who continue to question Aiki-do. It seems many folks realize the waza is empty of something they can't quite get a handle on. Those I have met who have felt this stuff have more or less said "Ah Hah!!" and they see that it is in fact the missing pieces. Odd, that they are now- after having felt it-simply saying what we have been saying- all along.
Folks it insn't about -who's- right.
Its about -what- is right.
All of us have or are discovering a couple truths. We've been lied to held back from or teacher outright donlt know.
Those of us who do know parts and pieces are sharing.

I dissagree with the notion of these discussions being placed in Open discussions. Why?
They are about the essence of Aiki-do. Aiki
Almost to a man folks here dissagreed with us.
Now, almost to a man every guy who has felt it....now agrees with us.
So relegating it to open discusions or off topic makes a clear statement. One that is actually in open defience of what many shihans in the art are either already doing themselves and not openly teaching, or are in fact researching and learning themselves.
No clearer statement could be made- other than showing up at the dojo with a pair of horse-in harness "blinders" on and doing the same thng for the NEXT ten years.
I think many folks who have felt it- would now agree.

Last, I will say that I've seen -some- people make perfect asses out of themselves in these debates and calling out folks with contrary ideas. I think I have been blunt but have always tried to be nice while arguing.

Cheers
Dan

Jorge Garcia
03-09-2007, 10:19 AM
I hate people; I really do! - I believe they are the root cause of all the problems the World faces today. My favorite pastime is sitting on my boat in a quite anchorage away from everyone on the Chesapeake bay, sucking down a cold-one, and just listening to the fish procreate.

I liked your examples Sensei.
I once had a pastor that said in church, "Christianity would be wonderful if it didn't have any people in it!"
The truth is that everything wrong in the world and anything that goes wrong has something to do with our human nature. We just can't stop being human. That's why I have always understood that being a leader in anything is a sacrifice if people are involved. The sacrifice is one of giving. No matter what authority you have, no matter how much money you make, no matter how famous you are or how much you are loved; if you are responsible for other humans, that factor will eventually weigh heavy on you until your leadership becomes a sacrifice on your part. It is when the giving that you do is borne out of benevolence for the good of others (sometimes called love), that what you do becomes service and then, you are on a new level. It is being at this new level that prevents a person from buying a cabin on the shore of the Chesapeake bay and living there permanently free from the rest of deficient humanity. Instead once recovered, we row back in and get in our cars and drive back to the job of helping broken humans, trying to do what we can for them in our weak and imperfect way.
The problem here is that where "everyman is a king", we can use our freedom for selfish ends and then courtesy, understanding and respect go out the window. A few of us have lived our lives in such a way, that we can't even recognize those things anymore.
Aikiweb is an artificial environment where we only get along if we all govern ourselves with the rules of a common courtesy. We cry out for moderation until we are given a moderator. Is it only with an authority, with a cop of sorts to give us warnings that we can behave? Can we self govern ourselves in an internet land of equals where we have the freedom to misbehave if we want?
If we can't and if we persist, it will be to our own ruin because we will drive down the quality of the forum until it will die a death of any meaningful discourse.
It may well be that this is out of all control because the immature can't get maturity quickly nor can they recognize their own immaturity. There are no winners or losers here because we are both from time to time. It's just that if we become abusive, then we will go down for sure.
I will say this that is true for all the internet forums. There are the good, the bad and the terrible posting. There are also some that are all four at different times but when the tone and tenor attracts the vultures and then, the immature and abusive congregate, It is then that the end is near and they will do their work and then Aikiweb will become so strictly moderated, that the forum will die a natural death. maybe that is as it should be. What a shame.

Jorge

aikidoc
03-09-2007, 10:22 AM
I don't want to take this off topic. But, a question/statement posed by Dan is interesting. Rick Clark years ago made the same comment on pressure point issues. Do the shihans who know the stuff really try to hide it from us or do they simply expect us to figure it out on our own? I think the Japanese style of teaching is a lot different from most Americans. They don't try to break it down for you, or at least a lot of them won't. THey demo, you do, or try to do. My sensei seems to be willing to help you learn and does break things down a lot, which I like. We get a lot of dame desu.

Ecosamurai
03-09-2007, 10:42 AM
Last, I will say that I've seen -some- people make perfect asses out of themselves in these debates and calling out folks with contrary ideas. I think I have been blunt but have always tried to be nice while arguing.

I think that for the most part that's a fair statement, not just for yourself but for Mike Sigman too. My irritation is mostly that a lot of these conversations remind me of the sort of people who come into my dojo and correct my aikido because when they did things that they 'think' I'm doing back in their karate/TKD/MMA dojo they did it differently and therefore they assume it is better than what I'm doing. They may have interesting things to say and may even be right. But it's my dojo, my art and my lesson, and more often than not they've missed what I was doing because they weren't listening, they were talking instead.

Respectfully

Mike

DarkShodan
03-09-2007, 11:03 AM
I don't need this abuse! If I want abuse I'll go home to my wife!

Ba dum dum!

Thank you! Thank you Aikiweb! I'll be here all week, two shows nightly! Don't forget to tip your waitresses! Try the nachos!

gregstec
03-09-2007, 11:23 AM
I liked your examples Sensei. Jorge

Thanks for the comment - however, I am not a Sensei; just another guy that does Aikido... :)

Greg

Mike Sigman
03-09-2007, 11:24 AM
I think that for the most part that's a fair statement, not just for yourself but for Mike Sigman too. My irritation is mostly that a lot of these conversations remind me of the sort of people who come into my dojo and correct my aikido because when they did things that they 'think' I'm doing back in their karate/TKD/MMA dojo they did it differently and therefore they assume it is better than what I'm doing. They may have interesting things to say and may even be right. But it's my dojo, my art and my lesson, and more often than not they've missed what I was doing because they weren't listening, they were talking instead.

Respectfully

MikeI think this is an interesting and continued example of the type of posts that are nothing but personal by this guy. He has nothing else to contribute, other than the comment that his teacher, yada, yada, can do the same things that Chen Xiao Wang can do.

When Dennis Hooker asked why some people posted on this forum, there weren't just one or two people, "outsiders", who responded.... there were a great number. These are people that left Aikido and a lot of them left because of the type of people who think they represent Aikido. One lady posted something a year or so ago about the constant passive-aggressive snipe-personalities that inhabit too much of Aikido and that's why she left.

Maybe the idea of "Subject/Tone" should be looked at from the perspective of both sides. So far, a lot of what I'm seeing is personal and vituperative attacks by people who think they are on the moral high-ground. I suggest again that they might be in a better position if they got more involved in "how to" posts, rather than in moralizing to others. There's a reason some very old friends of mine in Aikido don't post on this forum.... they're just as turned off by the quality of posters in the "old guard" as the "old guard is turned off by people who don't give them 'respect'. As Ellis indicated, the way around this silly problem is to simply ignore people you don't like and stick to the issues.... one of which is martial arts.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ecosamurai
03-09-2007, 11:47 AM
I think this is an interesting and continued example of the type of posts that are nothing but personal by this guy. He has nothing else to contribute, other than the comment that his teacher, yada, yada, can do the same things that Chen Xiao Wang can do.

Now ask yourself who's making things personal here Mike? I believe my comments concerning my teacher and Chen Xiao Wang referred only to the kotegaeshi at the end of a clip posted by someone else (Ellis Amdur I think?). At least that was all they were intended to refer to, any other inference was poor writing on my part, and as far as that video clip went, I can do the same thing from kotegaeshi too, it isn't hard it's a simple trick.
Add me to your ignore list if it makes you feel better, I won't lose sleep over it. But perhaps you should take your own advice concerning ignoring people rather than trying to exhort others to ignore me, because I disagree with you and happen to find the tone of your posts sometimes condescending (and am willing to say so publically).

Mike

aikidoc
03-09-2007, 01:31 PM
Let's avoid turning this one into what we are talking about.

SeiserL
03-09-2007, 03:08 PM
I have seen this situation many times in many places. IMHO, it has never been a content/subject or insider/outsider situation. It is usually, as stated in the goodbye, the personal "tone" some people use to express themselves.

It always saddens me that some people cannot express themselves without their insecurity, arrogance, and ignorance becoming more important than the content/subject. It also saddens me that we have not learned to separate the message from the messenger and not get hooked into taking their attacks and observations seriously and personally. A lot of sadness today.

Oh well, back to training.

dhebert
03-10-2007, 12:19 PM
I am reminded of this story:

..the old story of a king who sent to another king, saying, "Send me a blue pig with a black tail, or else ..." The other, in high dudgeon at the presumed insult, replied: "I have not got one, and if I had ..." On this weighty cause they went to war for many years. After a satiety of glories and miseries, they finally bethought them that, as their armies and resources were exhausted and their kingdoms mutually laid waste, it might be well enough to consult about the preliminaries of peace; but before this could be concluded, a diplomatic explanation was first needed of the insulting language which formed the ground of the quarrel. "What could you mean," said the second king to the first, "by saying, 'Send me blue pig with a black tail, or else...?' " "Why," said the other, " I meant a blue pig with a black tail, or else some other color. But," retorted he, "what did you mean by saying, 'I have not got one, and if I had ...' " "Why, of course, if I had, I should have sent it." An explanation which was entirely satisfactory, and peace was concluded accordingly.

-DH

gregstec
03-11-2007, 01:02 PM
There is a good article on the Aikido Journal from Todd Jones on Angular Attacks. I would like to quote an excerpt from that article that I think is appropriate for this thread.

"Perception colors perspective. Perspective affects philosophy. What a person believes is a function of their intelligence, experience, education, and circumstance. Disagreement is usually a matter of insufficient commonality. When one or more parties to a disagreement are sufficiently lacking in experience (i.e. maturity and/or patience), we frequently observe physical altercations." Or, I may add, personal attack posts.

Greg

DH
03-11-2007, 01:23 PM
Perception does color everything...but so does experience.
Different experiences color opinions about things as well.
It is by far the most puzzling thing to me, to see folks here who previously doubted and even argued writing in and admitting they were wrong, and others writing in who really never doubted but honestly stated they had no clue, And now that these folks have met and experienced these skills they all agree they are germain to Aikido. Isn't that odd?

So once again their "experiences" have colored -their- perceptions and in turn-changed their opinions of things. In much the same ways you can now consider how our earlier experiences colored ours. In fact Ron Tisdale stated it bluntly that he doesn't always agree with my views- but he now has a clearer understanding why I have them and where I'm coming from.

As someone here stated after feeling these things. "Its like getting converted. Nothing looks the same again. You see a whole different reality in these arts.
I'm glad I remained nice. It led to me meeting these kind of folks. The real researchers. Everyone esle can keep doing waza and taking the very long road looking for something they may never find-real power.
Cheers
Dan

statisticool
03-11-2007, 01:37 PM
So far, a lot of what I'm seeing is personal and vituperative attacks by people who think they are on the moral high-ground.


Indeed. Some people even have ~10 years of internet history doing just that on martial arts forums.

DH
03-11-2007, 01:52 PM
Moral highground to me is how you act. I've seen folks disagree strongly and still be civil-even nice to one another. There is no justification in my view for arguing strongly, even gaining an advantage-and then being a jerk, just because you can or want too. None.
Dan

SeiserL
03-12-2007, 07:30 AM
I've seen folks disagree strongly and still be civil-even nice to one another.
IMHO, disagreement is an invitation to learn for both sides.

DarkShodan
03-12-2007, 08:25 AM
That's it! :grr:
I'm taking my Ki-Ball and going home! :crazy:

*stomp* *stomp* *stomp*

CitoMaramba
03-12-2007, 09:40 AM
IMHO, disagreement is an invitation to learn for both sides.

I disagree! :D

Sorry Dr. Seiser, I couldn't resist.. I'll be crawling back into my cave now..

aikidoc
03-12-2007, 11:32 AM
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Create Your Life, Your Relationships, and Your World in Harmony with Your Values by Marshall Rosenberg.

This is the book I referred to previously.

Ecosamurai
03-12-2007, 12:05 PM
Wow, I just re-read my earlier posts, I must've been in a really bad mood last week. I'd like to apologise for being a cantankerous grouch if I may.

Regards

Mike Haft

gdandscompserv
03-21-2007, 10:21 PM
I am tired of the pompous attitudes the nastiness and the overall degradation of this thread. I am done with it and I am done with the Aikiweb.

Goodbye
Yeah, Aikiweb is beginning to depress me. I think I'll take a break for a while too.

DonMagee
03-22-2007, 08:10 AM
I for one would never post on a forum where everyone agreed with me. I prefer to have my opinions challenged. It helps me grow as a person. I've never understood some of the forums on the web where everyone is in one happy group think about how great X is.

I also believe in treating everyone with the exact same respect I give people I meet in real life. I know a lot of people believe my message is wrong, or that my conclusions are incorrect, but rarely do I get told my attitude is poor.

Jorge Garcia
03-22-2007, 10:30 AM
I for one would never post on a forum where everyone agreed with me. I prefer to have my opinions challenged. It helps me grow as a person. I've never understood some of the forums on the web where everyone is in one happy group think about how great X is.

I also believe in treating everyone with the exact same respect I give people I meet in real life. I know a lot of people believe my message is wrong, or that my conclusions are incorrect, but rarely do I get told my attitude is poor.

Your attitude is ok Don but I've been on this forum for years and never had everyone agree with me and I am sure that is the case for everyone else too. The difference is that we have a core group of posters who have come on disagreeing with most of the posters and insisting that they are right and everyone else is wrong, and our teachers too. When the teachers are mentioned, there are innuendos like, "They either know and won't share or they themselves don't know and they are teachers!" It sounds like a mockery of our teachers and I think that affected Dennis Hooker because he mentioned he didn't like the broad categorization of all Aikido teachers of which he is one.
When I joined the Daito ryu Roppokai and "felt" their aiki, it was different from anything I had ever felt. Their techniques were different than the techniques of Aikido. There were 5 Aikido instructors that went in together. We were amazed because what we saw and felt was what everyone said Aikido was. Roppokai aiki is minimum force with no effort and even small weak person can do it. We talked a lot trying to figure out what happened because we wondered if O Sensei knew this kind of Aiki and held it back to make himself appearer superior to his students. We figured that there is no way he got the KYOJU DAIRI from Takeda sensei and never learned this. In our talks, the discussion has gone two ways. Some believe what I just mentioned. I believe that he used this kind of aiki on people and that this describes when people said he threw me but "I don't know how he did it". Some Daito ryu people believe he did know it but kept the knowledge to himself. I have come to acknowledge that he didn't teach it as Aikido because he wanted Aikido to be categorized as different from Daito ryu.
Having said all that, none of us had the slightest idea to hit the Aikido forums with the kind of talk about internal skills and everyones teachers that we have heard on Aikiweb recently. This is the first time I mention this in 3 years and it will be the last. My own teacher doesn't do this but I respect deeply what he does do and it has a value of it's own equal to or greater than what I learned in Daito ryu. I guess the "group" that has launched all the talk can't see how they come across.
Maybe you guys have something, but nothing you all has said has made me want to learn it. What I have learned from Aikido is great. I'm not not about fighting or trying to be able to beat other people,. I want to avoid all fights. There is no victory for me in that. In this life, I can't become invincible enough and I won't. I train because I enjoy it and I seek and learn everyday.I feel no need to become a preacher on any forum telling others what they don't have.
I may someday stumble onto a teacher of "these skills" and who knows? I may learn them and love them but it won't be because someone talking like we have read here convinced me to go that route. The reason is the subject of this thread- the tone has been really poor but I guess in those testoserone filled gyms where you have reality matches and call people out and name BS as BS, the tone is different and maybe after so many years of being in that environment, the way you guys talk now IS polite in your own ears.

It just sounds like a group of guys that are lovin to be right. It sounds like they are saying,"We're better, we know we're better, you guys aren't as good as we are, you all should be with us. Your leaders lied to you or are incompetent. Aikido is BS, you guys need to get what we have and we're such great guys, that we will teach you. All your guys are finding out the real truth over here. We're better.

Maybe Dan, Mike and the others don't mean it like that but that is the way it sounds to some and it isn't very attractive. There is a saying that says the truth is like an apple of gold when it is spoken in due time. It is a "word fitly spoken". The raw unvarnished truth will often fail to get the response we are looking for. I think tactfulness was invented so that our message would get across without being perceived wrongly. It would have saved a lot of misunderstanding in this case.

Best wishes,
Jorge

aikidoc
03-22-2007, 11:48 AM
Disagreement advances concepts and helps us move forward in our understanding of things. Impolite disagreement only fosters territoriality/defensive behaviors.

The internal stuff is important. Jorge, I somewhat disagree with you that sensei does not do it. I have had a lot of feeling from his technique that I could not explain and simply go down laughing. It's one of those how did he do that so softly feelings. However, I have not felt the Daito-ryu version.

As I have stated before, IMHO intelligent, productive discussions can occur without having to cast dispersions on the art or the knowledge/understanding of instructors or individuals. There is little need for statements either directly stating or insinuating that because you don't now what I know, then you or your instructors or your art must be stupid or ineffective. The measure of a person is evident by how he/she treats others. Rising above the level of the comments can be achieved by simply learning to use language in a respectful, non-violent or non-aggressive manner.

Jorge Garcia
03-22-2007, 03:19 PM
Disagreement advances concepts and helps us move forward in our understanding of things. Impolite disagreement only fosters territoriality/defensive behaviors.

The internal stuff is important. Jorge, I somewhat disagree with you that sensei does not do it. I have had a lot of feeling from his technique that I could not explain and simply go down laughing. It's one of those how did he do that so softly feelings. However, I have not felt the Daito-ryu version.

As I have stated before, IMHO intelligent, productive discussions can occur without having to cast dispersions on the art or the knowledge/understanding of instructors or individuals. There is little need for statements either directly stating or insinuating that because you don't now what I know, then you or your instructors or your art must be stupid or ineffective. The measure of a person is evident by how he/she treats others. Rising above the level of the comments can be achieved by simply learning to use language in a respectful, non-violent or non-aggressive manner.

I didn't mean to say he doesn't do internal stuff. I meant to say he doesn't do Daito ryu Roppokai techniques. He does have a lot of Daito ryu like movements though and he definitely works with internal skills although he doesn't talk about that much.
Best,
Jorge