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Dan Richards
04-17-2008, 01:24 AM
I have no treatise here, or even deep thoughts on the matter. I started training years before the World Wide Web; back when anything we could get our hands on - a book, an aikidoist, a senior level aikidoka with old war stories - we would drink up and be left thirsty for more.

I'm asking opinions and experiences of others here, because I'm finding as a practictioner and teacher of aikido, my thought processes about aikido have been changing due to the massive amount of information about aikido online.

All the back stories, and politics, of the direct students have been picked apart and exposed (for lack of a better term) - for better and for worse. What O-Sensei might and might not have learned in the way of martial arts has been fairly well dissected and documented - with much to credit to Stanley Pranin and others. What the direct students may or may not have learned, depending on the timeline in which they trained, has come more into light.

For me, the more aikido is stripped away, the more fascinating it becomes. Much of the facets of exploration are more accessible now.

Aikido is changing and forming new branches, and I'm interested in what those here feel are the aspects of aikido - as it continues to evolve - that are changing and being influenced by online communication.

Q: How, and to what degree, has the sharing of information online about aikido changed aikido? And to what extent might it change aikido within the next generation of teachers and practitioners now poised to continue and pass on the art?

Any and all thoughts on this appreciated.

happysod
04-17-2008, 03:45 AM
Brilliant question, I doff my cap at you sir.

For me, I've always been a great believer in more information discourse and peer review available, the more robust the facts are likely to be.

In this manner, the internet is acting as a kind of filter for people just entering martial arts. Where all I knew about my first instructor was he wore a skirt, had a really cool sword and very pretty students (hey, I was 18, it was important), now they can actually see what they may be practicing in aikido, the general tone and viewpoints espoused by its practitioners and compare them against their own needs and also other martial arts.

Of course, this can be good and bad as "free" information often is, but I think the general thrust has been positive and people are less likely to join a dojo with unreasonable expectations.

For current (and long term) practitioners I think it has added a much needed bit of honesty and self appraisal. You can now see and hear from a much broader range of people and the fact that this information is provided in the more sterile realm of text and video rather than face-to-face removes some of the burgeoning ego problems we all have in accepting something different.

Personally, yes it has changed my approach - whether this is for good or ill I can't judge as generally it's just added to my own confusion. For me it will never compete with hands-on training for sheer fun, but it has certainly given me much food for thought.

DonMagee
04-17-2008, 06:56 AM
I think the biggest change is how hard it is to stay in your own little world. In the past it was possible for martial artists (and not just aikidoka) to stick their fingers in the ears about subjects they did not agree with (Say for example, a lineage dispute, or training methods, or false beliefs of a techniques effectiveness.).

For example, in the past, you could be asked a question by a student that is outside of your experience. Maybe for example you were asked how to stop a wrestling shot. You could get away with giving an answer that seemed reasonable to you without actually testing it on a wrestler or having any direct knowledge on how a wrestler shoots (however unethical that may be). This info, right or wrong could get passed down as fact throughout the years. We see evidence of this in early MMA where strikers were utterly confused as to why they could not stop takedowns.

Today, this is much harder to get away with. A quick google of youtube will find those examples and show why they don't work, it will also find good examples and show why they work. You have countless websites to discuss these techniques and debate them. You can and will get called on your bull.

I think for real students and teachers, this resource will improve their training. It will improve their knowledge of the history of their art, the techniques of their art, and help them understand everything else out there.

I long for the day where I don't hear silly and mostly wrong generalizations come out of the mouths of martial art instructors. It has become increasing hard for me to sit back and hear "A judo guy will do this", or a "A bjj guy will almost always try to do this". When the guy saying it is neither a judo or bjj guy and I am (with years of practice and competition, so I know what a 'judo' guy is going to do) I've often loved going home and finding 30 video examples of something I've just been told a judo guy will never do, or is unique to X martial art. I'm not a big enough jerk to email them to the guys making these statements, but I'm getting there (maybe once I decide I never want invited back).

I realize this does not relate exactly to aikido. But I think this can be good for all martial arts. Who knows, maybe someday, we will learn something.

crbateman
04-17-2008, 07:20 AM
That single question is so loaded that I don't think there is a definitive answer. While the laws of physics as they relate to Aikido foundation and mechanics have not changed, those changes that have occurred are brought about by peoples' perceptions of Aikido, and their better access to broader information and discussion of the subject. Certainly, a worldwide medium for communication can result in a better and more widespread understanding, but it can also lead to a more widespread misunderstanding, as nonsense travels as far and as fast as fact.

Mary Eastland
04-17-2008, 07:49 AM
Since I spend a little time on the web and a lot of time in the dojo...reading ideas on the web is good for me.
I take what I like and leave the rest.
There is so much that must be learned by getting on the mat and working with others....typing, reading and thinking about aikido is just another distraction from ourselves.
Mary

Budd
04-17-2008, 08:16 AM
For me, it's been a wonderful, fascinating and rewarding exercise in being able to make real life connections via this type of correspondence -- and then follow it up with persons of interest to get hands-on time to practice and train together. I'm very grateful for the opportunities that have resulted from these types of exchanges.

MM
04-17-2008, 08:30 AM
yeah, Budd, that's definitely been a good thing.

SeiserL
04-17-2008, 10:37 AM
Thanks to people like Jun and Stan, my understanding of Aikido and the international common-unity has grown. I will be forever in their debt.

Aikibu
04-17-2008, 11:46 AM
For me, it's been a wonderful, fascinating and rewarding exercise in being able to make real life connections via this type of correspondence -- and then follow it up with persons of interest to get hands-on time to practice and train together. I'm very grateful for the opportunities that have resulted from these types of exchanges.

Amen Budd

For the rest I highly recommend this book. I first read it when it was published in 2000 and I was at IBM and we were trying to figure out how to "socialize" the web

Here's a wiki entry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Social_Life_of_Information

The best of the web to me is a commons were we share our experiance, strength, hope and learn from each other...

The worst is a tribe were idiots flock together and drown out dissent and debate with an echo chamber of mastabatory self-important yes men...

Hence the need for good Tribal Elders aka Moderators like Jun. :)

I am also careful of You Tube Styled Detectives who lean too hard on video clips and staged actions as their sole rhetorical proof for their arguements. While it has brought some debunking clarity to the most outrageous claims Citing one as your sole point of referance is fallacious. Having worked in Media and Hollywood most of my life I know how easy it is to "trick" the human eye and it also can lead to lazy logic.

As a Social Tool the internet is the greatest thing since campfire songs, and it's what you sing around the campfire that determines if you are going to have a good experiance or not. :)

WIlliam Hazen

Ron Tisdale
04-17-2008, 12:01 PM
As long as you suppliment the Web by getting out and taking the ukemi in person, I think it's a good thing.

Best,
Ron

Robert Cowham
04-22-2008, 04:05 PM
The internet is a great source of information but also misinformation, conflict etc - caveat emptor!

I have discovered many useful things over the years, and am very greatful for that. The greatest value I have found is when some information has lead me to meet up with good people - the personal encounters are the most important thing.

Those of us "internet old enough" to be around pre-web had things such as aikido-l and newsgroups. The regular rec.martial-arts flame wars are something that one frequently sees on bulletin boards today. It needs good moderation (kudos Jun) to keep an eye on these things and prevent them running out of hand. From a pure efficiency point of view I did find a good newsgroup reader the most efficient way of scanning lots of threads, discarding most of it, and keeping the pearls. Web based bulletin boards have alternative virtues, but speed of reading isn't one of them.

As others have mentioned, the sheer amount of info is valuable, even if the nuggets are often hidden - but 'twas ever so.

Long live the internet!

dragonteeth
04-24-2008, 01:34 PM
Well I have a few insignificant thoughts, most of them pithy, but all of them true about how the 'Net has affected my own personal training experience.

1) The 'Net makes it a heck of a lot easier to find a dojo to visit when you are travelling, and to find out what their schedule is before you get there.

2) You realize very early on that while it is very important to listen to everything that Sensei has to teach, there are some very legitimate views out there which are very different from what Sensei has to say. I say that in general for the rest of you because Lord knows I would never dare to contradict anything my Sensei says!

(who, by the way, would probably be the one to point out that there are different ways to me in the first place, which is why I enjoy training with him so much!)

3) You can learn how to tie a hakama correctly without having to make an idiot out of yourself in front of your sempai!

4) While YouTube often has a lot of garbage posted on it, there are some very helpful references on there. I probably watched Stefan Stenudd's jo kata a hundred times trying to practice at home to make sure I didn't leave anything out. And I don't know who Guido is, but wow does he have great ukemi!

5) No matter where you practice, your little dojo is just a tiny piece of a great big world filled with crazy people just like you who get a kick out of bouncing off of hard rubber mats. And no, they don't make a medication for that. Sorry Mom.

(sappy mode on)

Last but not least - there is no way on this planet that at my lowly level I could have had access to some of the truly brilliant top level practioners that frequent the boards here. And, invariably, they have always been warm, friendly, supportive people who genuinely care about the art and all of its students. They embody the many beautiful facets of this gem that O Sensei has left to us, and are very worthy of my admiration and emulation.

Okay sappy mode off - have a great day!

Ron Tisdale
04-24-2008, 02:11 PM
(sappy mode on)

Last but not least - there is no way on this planet that at my lowly level I could have had access to some of the truly brilliant top level practioners that frequent the boards here. And, invariably, they have always been warm, friendly, supportive people who genuinely care about the art and all of its students. They embody the many beautiful facets of this gem that O Sensei has left to us, and are very worthy of my admiration and emulation.

Yeah, and I bet you think the glass is always half full, too! :D

Best,
Ron (what a nice thing to say!)

Peter Goldsbury
04-29-2008, 08:00 PM
I think the Internet is one of the best things to have happened to aikido, ever.

I have argued elsewhere that there was a huge shift in aikido as a result of Japan's defeat in World War II. It became freely available for people who were not Japanese and who did not think like Japanese. As a result it was transformed and Japan has been trying to keep up with the consequences of this shift ever since.

The Internet constitutes a second major transformation. There is just so much information available and with YouTube the information becomes even more dramatic and 'raw'. It is much harder to 'doctor' the information to suit the recipients and relate the information offered to the source.

Nevertheless, a major Internet rule is 'caveat lector' and I think someone like Plato would have hated the Internet. He did not like artists because they made imitations of what were already imitations of the Real. But with the Internet you have this huge mass of statements, all claiming to be worthy of attention because of the unstated assumption that they are true. This huge mass of material is based on another unstated assumption: that everything stated is of equal value, because it is based on the principle of free speech. Because you can 'say' it, then whatever you 'say' has value, simply because you have exercised your right to 'say' it. So people become very upset because they are shouted down.

I wonder what Morihei Ueshiba would have thought of it. Judging from the sparse contributions of his successors, not much. What would we think of his first post on Aikiweb?

"Hi, guys, Actually I created the art. I spent some time with this really cool guy in Hokkaido and then got involved with this amazing guru from Ayabe. You know, he has travelled all over the entire universe. You should read his memoirs. They're called Stories of the Spirit World and I can't wait until they come out in manga. The movie version would be awesome"

Then Jun would post his dutiful welcome: "Hi Morihei, welcome to Aikiweb. I hope you enjoy posting here".

To be followed by the more serious posts: "What do you mean, you created the art? All you did was to modify what the cool guy in Hokkaido taught you. Anyway, other people who have IT think you weren't all that good. As for the guy in Ayabe, well it is obvious to us that he was a total fruitcake. Are you really saying that he taught you to modify what you got from the Hokkaido guy? Come on, get real. And why did you bequeath the art to that son of yours? Can’t you see? He ruined everything. At least you kept the core more or less intact. He paired it all down to just a few techniques and his attackers clearly had no clue of what happens in a real fight..."

So Morihei would have to ponder the second major Internet rule: of 'caveat scriptor': the Internet can be merciless with those who state something without bothering to check everything beforehand, or to check that they are on the same planet as everyone else (more or less). Since he thought he was the Universe, this would have been difficult for him.

But I think the open access to information outweighs the potential problems suggested above. One problem is deciding whether or not to contribute. Sometimes I read things that I know to be untrue. The unstated assumption that everything on the Internet is true is sometimes thought to entail a further assumption that if something is not true, then it must be corrected—immediately. This is an assumption that I do not share.

rob_liberti
04-29-2008, 10:58 PM
Well, the Internet-aikido phenomenon will have finally arrived when I can have a virtual seminar. Where the teacher shows the techniques at their home dojo with their students live on a 2 way video conference, and the folks in my dojo can practice along, and actually ask some questions and get demos specifically geared toward answering the questions since you can't have hands on - on the virtual site.

Also, people making statements about you, or your methods, or whatever are much more open to being caught and addressed. I learned a heck of a quote from Mike Patterson last March. He wrote I am a firm believer that reticence is tantamount to agreement. It was here. (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=201390&postcount=20)

The next great invention will be the time-machine. Then we can just go ask Osensei questions and take his ukemi directly.

Rob

Keith Larman
04-29-2008, 11:13 PM
I think the internet is fantastic as it has allowed a lot of people to dig vastly more deeply into the history and lineage of this art. And while I may often cringe at what I see on youtube, I also think of it as evolution in action. Give the ego-driven nutcase wannabe's enough rope and they'll hang themselves. Often multiple times.

But all that said... In the end we're still left with the same reality when it comes to our own training and growth.

Damatte keikoshiro.

More mat, less chat.

Fall down 100 times, get up 101. Rinse and repeat...

So the internet to me has been both a godsend on the one hand but in other respects it is almost totally irrelevant...

Aristeia
04-30-2008, 06:08 AM
I agree with Don. I think the biggest impact of the Internet on Aikido (and every martial art) long term is that it will force people to be more honest about what they offer (which will first mean becoming honest with themselves). Potential students are going to walk in *much* more educated than we ever did. They will already have read the objections to the particular art involved, they may have questions around them and they will smell BS a mile a way. Arts that claim to be all things to all people - all you need, will simply not survive in this environment. Coaches and instructors will need to get very clear on what it is they offer, what it is good for and what it was never meant to address so they can be open about that and play in the right niche. The control of information and the passing on of myths that we've all fallen victim at some time will be almost impossible.

In otherwords everyone will have to stop leaving their critical thinking at the door to the dojo (again, whatever the art). This is of course a Good Thing (tm)

MM
04-30-2008, 06:55 AM
I wonder what Morihei Ueshiba would have thought of it. Judging from the sparse contributions of his successors, not much. What would we think of his first post on Aikiweb?

"Hi, guys, Actually I created the art. I spent some time with this really cool guy in Hokkaido and then got involved with this amazing guru from Ayabe. You know, he has travelled all over the entire universe. You should read his memoirs. They're called Stories of the Spirit World and I can't wait until they come out in manga. The movie version would be awesome"

Then Jun would post his dutiful welcome: "Hi Morihei, welcome to Aikiweb. I hope you enjoy posting here".

To be followed by the more serious posts: "What do you mean, you created the art? All you did was to modify what the cool guy in Hokkaido taught you. Anyway, other people who have IT think you weren't all that good. As for the guy in Ayabe, well it is obvious to us that he was a total fruitcake. Are you really saying that he taught you to modify what you got from the Hokkaido guy? Come on, get real. And why did you bequeath the art to that son of yours? Can't you see? He ruined everything. At least you kept the core more or less intact. He paired it all down to just a few techniques and his attackers clearly had no clue of what happens in a real fight..."



LOL! Very well done. :)

Mark

Peter Seth
04-30-2008, 07:15 AM
:) Hi.
Good thread and i'm sure lots of excellent comments to come.
But it is specific to Aikido and individual interpretations of the art - albeit a good thing.
Taking a similar tack I have over the past decade + been involved in organising multi art charity events - lots of different martial artists demonstrating their arts at events. Also with over 40 years marts experience, the last 30ish aikido, I have had the opportunity to study the similarities. Basically in general terms they are very much alike, the basic principles are the same, lots of the applications are the same. Even general philosophies are similar. Its only perception which sets each art apart. Lots of 'other martial artists' actually look at other art sites, Ive had jitsu sensei comparing so called aikido techniques with very similar if not the same so called jitsu techniques but with different names.
Ive also heard it said that aikido 'smoothes out' the techniques of other arts (good description).
Does anyone think that maybe it is a good thing to open up our perceptions and embrace other arts to blend into 'our' Aikido. Do you think this would enhance the art. Also highlight the fact that to have some knowledge of other arts, their technical application, strategies and even philosophies would help in the application of their own art to enhance its practical applications.
The internet has opened up the possibilities to also view many other arts and I think it is wise to step out of the box and have a look, compare, contrast etc. Put down our Aikido 'goggles' and gather in all that is usefull.
Any comments gratefully received. ( Traditionalists, modernists etc) the more the better.
All best
Pete:)

Michael Douglas
04-30-2008, 08:52 AM
Peter I hope your Sunderland Demo on Saturday went well.
We couldn't go unfortunately.

Lan Powers
04-30-2008, 03:46 PM
Good thread.... Lots of benefits V.S. very few negatives to my way of thinking.
One of the smaller perks to the "web" is being able to stream practice to the students who have moved to new places, but still maintain the connection to Sensei and this local dojo.

LOVE the youtube as well.....lots of laughs and some very sweet moments caught as well.
FWIW
Lan

Peter Seth
05-02-2008, 06:59 AM
:) Hi Michael.
Thanks - Festival went really well, lots of new arts this year. Pressure point SD, Capoeira, European historical weapons, Kobudo, etc. The kids were also great, youngest were 3years old and they loved performing. Also raised over 2,100 before expenses for Cancer Research.
Going to try organise 2 seperate days next year - one - multi matted area where everyone can rotate between mats and practice different arts. (everyone learns something). The following week the same as present, a day of demo's by different arts. All for Cancer Research fund. Also brings Marts together - Everyone says they have learned a lot over the past 8 years and made many friends in other arts.
(Sometimes does not suit some individuals but maybe gets their heads out of the sand even for a short while). Anyway its all for a good cause!
Cheers
Peter
PS: Thanks to Carl (Kaaru) in the land of 'WA'. For your support and brill Poster designs. And diary updates - you lucky man.

gregstec
05-02-2008, 11:40 AM
Q: How, and to what degree, has the sharing of information online about aikido changed aikido? And to what extent might it change aikido within the next generation of teachers and practitioners now poised to continue and pass on the art?

Any and all thoughts on this appreciated.

As you mention, in the olds days you grabbed a book and listened to stories from your seniors for info on the subject. Today, the web has immensely expanded the available data on aikido, some good and some not so good. It has also brought together so many diverse people into one big community for the sharing of information. This has helped the proliferation and understanding of the art dramatically.

I also believe it is a major factor that is helping to bring back together organizations that have drifted apart due to various reasons in the past. This trend will continue in the future and someday it will all be the same Aikido; albeit, there will still be some different flavors around.

Greg

George S. Ledyard
05-02-2008, 12:01 PM
I think that the Internet has provided an opportunity for some of us, as teachers, to establish ourselves in a way that never could have happened in the old days.

I have participated on-line for some time, as most of you know. I've spent thousands of hours over the years writing articles and posting on threads. When I started that process, I was simply an unknown instructor, one of Saotome Sensei's students but not even that well known within the ASU much less anywhere else.

Then came the first Aiki Expo in 2002. Because I had been such a big supporter of the Aikido Journal site, Stan Pranin asked me to demonstrate. We had 700 folks at that demo. I met some of the very top teachers in the world and forged relationships that have changed my Aikido 1000%. I stay in touch with these amazing teachers via e-mail... we check in with each other periodically and I don't ever feel too out of touch with them. I taught at both of the next two Expos as well.

I do no think that the Expos could have been put together without the internet and e-mail. Putting an event like that together before the era of instant communication would have been a nightmare I think. Anyway, the Expos changed my Aikido and they changed my position in the Aikido world.

I met and trained with many of the very top people in the US. Most of these folks were not from my organization and I might never have had a chance to meet them. I went from an instructor who was barely known to someone associated with a group of top tier teachers overnight. People have treated me completely differently since those appearances.

Between Aikiweb and Aikido Journal I have gotten exposure to the entire English speaking world. In fact several of my articles have been translated via the Aikido Journal translation project into a number of other languages. That would never have happened before the Internet. So now I get e-mails from all over the English speaking world. I have made friends globally with people whom I have never met face to face. If I were to travel, I could go almost anywhere and have folks to visit, even places to stay... it's truly amazing.

If one is a professional teacher, one doesn't get much income from the dojo. It's really getting out there and doing seminars that puts you over the top income-wise. It used to be that the only way to develop ones reputation as a teacher was to get exposure at the Camps conducted by ones organization. Between the classes you taught and the folks you trained with, you could gradually establish enough credibility that folks would start to invite you to teach.

With the Internet, it has been completely different. Folks from all over have read what I have written. That causes them to seek me out at the various events. I've had people invite me to teach simply based on the fact that they liked what I had written.

Then there are the videos... I have a website which has the DVD's I've produced. I have sold those videos on every continent except Antarctica. My video business pays for all of my training which means that now, I can afford to attend all of the major events I need to. So my videos support my training which in turn gets me out there to connect with people in person, which in turn gets me more exposure as a teacher... The videos have turned out to be one of the major ways I receive seminar invitations now. Folks check out a video or two and then decide they'd like to have me there in person.

It's pretty amazing. To get this kind of exposure as a teacher in the old days would have taken decades and still only a certain segment of the Aikido population would have had much, if any, knowledge of who you were. Now, you can use the Internet to get exposure to whole groups of folks that never would have ever encountered you before.

Just look at the discussions with Mike, Dan and Rob. How would folks busy doing their Aikido training have ever encountered these teachers?

Before the net, how many people would have encountered Ellis Amdur Sensei. Even though he wrote a couple of conventional books, how many would he have sold if there wasn't already a huge audience developed through his participation on-line?

From the standpoint of a professional teacher, the Internet has been a gift. I know I wouldn't be where I am today without it. I think that, from the standpoint of O-Sensei's dream of having Aikido change the world, the Internet is a primary factor in making something like that possible.

It's a double edged sword though. If you want to be on the net, you better have your act together. Just as someone with good ideas and a talent for expression can establish credibility with a world wide audience, a fool will be known for a fool globally as well. You put it all on the line when you decide to participate. Folks can be vicious. They smell blood and there can be a feeding frenzy. So you better be able to hold your own in discourse and be confident as well.

But for me it has been incredibly rewarding and has allowed me to establish myself as a viable professional in a fraction of the time it might have taken before the Net.

And since I met my wife on-line, I have to say that the current happy and more mellow version of myself that is the result of my marital bliss is also the direct result of the Internet and that alone makes it the one of the best things to come along in my life.

gdandscompserv
05-02-2008, 12:48 PM
It's a double edged sword though. If you want to be on the net, you better have your act together. Just as someone with good ideas and a talent for expression can establish credibility with a world wide audience, a fool will be known for a fool globally as well. You put it all on the line when you decide to participate. Folks can be vicious. They smell blood and there can be a feeding frenzy. So you better be able to hold your own in discourse and be confident as well.
George,
You speak as if this internet discourse is serious stuff.
:D
Ricky, (the fool known worldwide)

Peter Goldsbury
05-02-2008, 09:24 PM
George,
You speak as if this internet discourse is serious stuff.
:D
Ricky, (the fool known worldwide)

Hello Ricky,

If it weren't for the smiley :D , I'd have thought you were being serious.

Over on E-Budo there is a lawsuit in progress, brought against E-Budo by a certain martial arts school. Accordingly, the discussion concerning this school is off public limits and is open only to admin and moderators.

With this in mind I have been following the discussion about Clint George with some interest and am curious whether Jun has pondered any legal issues involved, especially if Mr George is found to be innocent of the charges brought.

As George Ledyard stated, the Internet is a double-edged sword, especially Internet discussion forums. There, those who are Lost in Space (who need special attention) are joined by others who think they are very firmly on the ground and are ready to sue (and who need very special attention).

Best wishes,

tuturuhan
05-02-2008, 10:00 PM
Hello Ricky,

With this in mind I have been following the discussion about Clint George with some interest and am curious whether Jun has pondered any legal issues involved, especially if Mr George is found to be innocent of the charges brought.

As George Ledyard stated, the Internet is a double-edged sword, especially Internet discussion forums. There, those who are Lost in Space (who need special attention) are joined by others who think they are very firmly on the ground and are ready to sue (and who need very special attention).

Best wishes,

P.A.

Quite interesting...on another board, I mentioned to them that defamation and it effects on "business reputation" and "interfering with business practices" could potentially result in legal action.

It is one thing to be disrespectful and use foul language. It's another thing to affect the business reputation of a martial artist whose income has been lessened by unsubstantiated rumors and lies.

They (the other board) were quite upset with any "talk" of legal actions. Instead, they continued to put their head in the sand. I predict that it will be only a matter of time before we see more of these legal actions.

As a lawyer and forum user, I would not have any desire to file such actions. I prefer the unfettered comments of free speech. But, this is quite interesting information. We all need to keep aware.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

gdandscompserv
05-03-2008, 10:00 AM
There, those who are Lost in Space (who need special attention) are joined by others who think they are very firmly on the ground and are ready to sue (and who need very special attention).

Best wishes,
And the trick is to figure out which one of those you are, and which one they are.
I like the internet. It gives me more choices. But one must remain cautious.
Personally, I believe the policy that e-budo and aikiweb have, that one must use their real name, brings more sue happy people to the feeding trough. It too seems to be a double edge sword. Most forums are much more anonymous than e-budo and aikiweb. I like the "real name" policy on MA forums as it keeps the noise down and it seems to keep discussions more civil. It also seems to keep discussions a little closer to what they might be "face-to-face." On the flip side, I would suspect that someone who wanted to sue you would not have to go through the legal process of obtaining your real identity since you have already voluntarily provided it. I am guessing that makes the suit process less cumbersome.

giriasis
05-03-2008, 03:47 PM
I can tell you the affect the internet has had on my aikido.

When I first started aikido there was only Aikido-L and AikiWeb (pre-discussion forums). It was AikiWeb that helped me find my current dojo and a Aikido-L that helped me adjust to my new dojo.

Also, I agree there is a lot of information and misinformation out there. I usually take what most say with a grain of salt, but I will file the interesting stuff in the back of my mind to sort through later. Doing this really helped in my training and aikido perspective. First the internet allowed me to realize that my dojo is part of a much greater aikido community and a much greater aikido community outside my own organization.

Also, the internet is probably the only place where I can non-stop talk about aikido with other folks without them thinking I'm a complete geek for talking about aikido non-stop because we are all aikiaddicts. I wouldn't even discuss aikido like this with other people in my own dojo. :hypno:

rob_liberti
05-03-2008, 07:12 PM
I agree entirely. In the dojo, rank and position matters. If your sempai says something stupid, you can think "go suck an egg" but you really shouldn't say it unless you have a very strong relationship with that person. On a forum, everyone gets equal say. If someone says something horrible (even if it seems perfectly normal to them) you can call them on it and discuss it as equals. I get to hear George Ledyard's and Dennis Hooker's perspectives on aikido and ASU issues in general that I never (or extremely rarely) would have had access too otherwise.

Due to the internet, I learned that my idea of cooperative practice was really called "progressive resistance" AND that some other people's idea of competition oriented practice was mostly ALSO "progressive resistance. We met mainly in the middle and just happened to refer to our extremely similar approaches by terms that more favored the polar opposites.

Thanks to the Internet, I learned about some of the more interesting internal training type things that Ikeda sensei had recently been teaching with uke's holding both ends of the jo staff and him touching the middle - and it inspired some good ideas for me to think about in my own training.

-Rob

I found other people who were more like minded and got to better understand people who think remarkably differently,.