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Buck
10-14-2008, 11:19 PM
What vices are acceptable for the Aikidoka outside the dojo.

Would beer drinking be acceptable and if so why?

Is hard liquor acceptable, if so why?

Is smoking tobacco acceptable, if so why?

Is pot smoking acceptable, if so why?

Gambling, solicitations, etc.

Or are there none that are acceptable?

Keith Larman
10-15-2008, 12:06 AM
You must be kidding... What the heck does any of that have to do with Aikido in the first place?

batemanb
10-15-2008, 01:32 AM
They're not aikido vices at all, they're yours, or at least they are the individuals. I don't care what you do, as long as you don't smoke in the dojo, or come onto the mat drunk.

I heard an instructor in Japan asked many years ago why he did aikido, the answer "because it makes the beer taste better". Personally I never drink alcohol before training, but I have to agree with that instructor, beer doesn't taste anywhere near as good as it does when I drink one after a good hard keiko session. After practice in Japan the class often retired to a local izakaya for a few "nama dai" glasses of ice cold beer, especially in the summer.

I can't even say don't drink on the mat, as I have had the pleasure of drinking beer on the mat at Hombu dojo ;) :D

SeiserL
10-15-2008, 06:22 AM
IMHO, if you call it a vice, why would you want it to be acceptable?

Perhaps its called a vice because you already know you shouldn't be doing it.

Being incongruent in behavior and intent, works against unification and harmony on and off the mat.

Mark Uttech
10-15-2008, 09:13 AM
Onegaishimasu. A vice is a vice. That is my advice. Heh heh

In gassho,

Mark

John Matsushima
10-15-2008, 09:57 AM
I have heard of people bad-mouthing a certain Japanese shihan because he smokes, drinks, and chases women. I think a point to be made is that as practitioners of budo we expect some kind of moral standards from those who claim to be serious about it, since the "goal" of budo has been said to be self-victory. When I first started Aikido, I was very disappointed to see people I respected on the mat, to be harassing women, getting drunk and making an arse of themselves at parties, showing of their power and hurting people, etc. off the mat (and sometimes on it). I decided to avoid those people and go my own way.

When we practice Aikido, we practice respect, compassion, love, harmony, and we all know that the ones who are really good at it learn by practicing in everything they do.

I think that as one progresses higher up the ranks, more is expected morally, especially if you are a teacher. It isn't an easy road, but can one claim or even say he is on the road to self-victory if he or she is an alcoholic, drug addict, or habitual gambler? I don't think so.

phitruong
10-15-2008, 10:08 AM
one should take the advice to treat a vice like a lice and be not so nice lest one turns man into mice which in budo world is no dice. :D

*stage left exit like Vanilla Ice*

oh dear me! i need to go a drink more brews made from rice! arrrrghhhhhh :eek:

Ketsan
10-15-2008, 11:27 AM
Speaking as my dojo's offically designated party animal.........:D

I see Aikido as being more of a way of dealing with life rather than a seperation from it.
So I'd say that as long as you're in control, know your limits and maintain your dignity then it isn't a vice. With the excption of solicitation because even if there's a dignified way of doing it you might be harming someone else.

Ketsan
10-15-2008, 11:30 AM
one should take the advice to treat a vice like a lice and be not so nice lest one turns man into mice which in budo world is no dice. :D

*stage left exit like Vanilla Ice*

oh dear me! i need to go a drink more brews made from rice! arrrrghhhhhh :eek:

:D

Shane Marcum
10-15-2008, 02:20 PM
That stuff has nothing to do with Aikido! But, I certainly don't want to practice with a Nage or Uke who is drunk or stoned. An Aikido vice would be something like......preferring to do an omote technique when you should do ura.

Buck
10-15-2008, 08:03 PM
Ok, got it, try instead Vices of Aikidokas that are Acceptable. :)

It is about tolerances..mmmm....social tolerances.

Joe McParland
10-15-2008, 09:55 PM
I have heard of people bad-mouthing a certain Japanese shihan because he smokes, drinks, and chases women. I think a point to be made is that as practitioners of budo we expect some kind of moral standards from those who claim to be serious about it, since the "goal" of budo has been said to be self-victory.

masakatsu agatsu katsuhayabi
True victory is self-victory, a victory right here, right now.

If Aikido is a tool that represents or even bolsters one's personal concepts of morality, love, compassion, harmony, right & wrong, and so forth, then his Aikido is divisive. After all, there are other practitioners in different circumstances---different cultures, different faiths, different upbringings, and so forth---who have different understandings of those terms. His Aikido separates those who think like him from those who don't.

Can this be Aikido? Can this be self-victory?

Right here, right now---in this very moment, when the blade is swinging toward you---there is no morality, love, compassion, harmony, right or wrong; there is no womanizer, smoker, drunkard, or anything else. If when the blade is falling you're stuck on those concepts, you are dead.

So, what must "self-victory" really mean?

Keith Larman
10-15-2008, 11:23 PM
Ok, got it, try instead Vices of Aikidokas that are Acceptable. :)


Okay, let's turn it around. Ignoring the obvious objection about how some "vices" are more about our victorian tight-butt attitudes, why should you have different standards for different people?

Or to put it another way... Shouldn't everyone be held to the same standards regardless? And as a result why would being a student of Aikido make the slightest difference?

Sy Labthavikul
10-15-2008, 11:40 PM
Right here, right now---in this very moment, when the blade is swinging toward you---there is no morality, love, compassion, harmony, right or wrong; there is no womanizer, smoker, drunkard, or anything else. If when the blade is falling you're stuck on those concepts, you are dead.


Thats all very fine for that one, brief moment. But I think that, after that blade has fallen, and if you have survived and resolved that encounter and can go on to the longer moments of your life when the blade ISN'T falling, if you don't give those concepts a single thought, then was surviving that falling blade really worthwhile?

Joe McParland
10-16-2008, 12:02 AM
Thats all very fine for that one, brief moment. But I think that, after that blade has fallen, and if you have survived and resolved that encounter and can go on to the longer moments of your life when the blade ISN'T falling, if you don't give those concepts a single thought, then was surviving that falling blade really worthwhile?

At what moment is the blade not falling?

Every moment is that moment. That is life.

If someday we meet, I am hopeful I will smile---rather than think I should smile :)

Michael Douglas
10-16-2008, 09:41 AM
...
Would beer drinking be acceptable and if so why?

Is hard liquor acceptable, if so why?

Is smoking tobacco acceptable, if so why?

Is pot smoking acceptable, if so why?

Gambling, solicitations, etc.
Those are vices?

They sound like hobbies to me.

Janet Rosen
10-16-2008, 09:53 AM
A vice to me implies a moral failing, and I don't see how moderate drinking or using tobacco or drugs (assuming you are not putting others at risk by how you do so) is a moral issue. Health yes, moral no. And on that basis, it makes as little sense to me as asking if it is acceptable for an aikidoka to skip a health screening like a cholesterol level or a PSA test.

A person who trains in aikido is a person who trains in aikido, one of many martial arts, along with everything else that person does in his life. Aikido is not a religion and lays out no specific rules of conduct off the mat. Anything a person draws from it of a personal or spiritual nature or as a guide to living is that person's interpretation and not necessarily what anybody else draws from the art.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-16-2008, 10:14 AM
A bit of history:

In the early XX century the Spanish Foreign Legion was founded by José Millán-Astray (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Mill%C3%A1n_Astray) who was also involved in the spanish translation of Nitobe's "Bushido, the soul of Japan".

Nitobe's Bushido was very influential on his view about how a Legionnaire should behave... and, you know, all those "vices" Mr. Burgess listed in his post (and some more) were "virtues" for the old school Foreign Spanish Legion members.

FWIW

Mary Eastland
10-16-2008, 04:29 PM
What vices are acceptable for the Aikidoka outside the dojo.

Would beer drinking be acceptable and if so why?

Is hard liquor acceptable, if so why?

Is smoking tobacco acceptable, if so why?

Is pot smoking acceptable, if so why?

Gambling, solicitations, etc.

Or are there none that are acceptable?

For me ...for myself none of these are acceptable....others must decide for themselves.
Mary

Buck
10-16-2008, 05:20 PM
Should the Aikido community (from a single dojo to all the dojo's in the world) tolerate people that have vices or not?

The Japanese like to drink heavily, and thus is acceptable for an Aikidokas to drinking and get drunk after class because that is what they do after work. And it is more acceptable to smoke, so you will have Aikido who smoke.

The Japanese drink heavily and smoke more then in the US, and because they are Japanese we tolerate that from them, because the are Japanese Aikidoka. We make exceptions for them. And some Aikido will emulate the whole Japanese experience of Aikido and take on their vices.

It is a question of tolerance, in what setting is it acceptable and in other it isn't.

gregg block
10-16-2008, 05:33 PM
Do you think the earth is round ? If so why

Do you think the chicken came before the egg? if so why

Do you think if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to here it the sound would still be more interesting than this topic?

Joe McParland
10-16-2008, 05:54 PM
Do you think if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to here it the sound would still be more interesting than this topic?

The tree didn't fall; I hear Greg holding it up ;)

I find it interesting that people attach morality (and whatever else) to Aikido.

It comes up in different threads. For instance, in one extreme, there's the thread discussing the fall of an aikido icon involved with a minor, which went on for 15 or so pages. Efforts to quash that thread were met with a storm of resistance. Then there is this thread. What if the aikido student or teacher is a drinker, smoker, womanizer, ...? No traction---except for the occasional (and possibly insightful) "What does this have to do with aikido?"

I find this irony interesting too. :)

Ketsan
10-16-2008, 07:38 PM
I find it interesting that people attach morality (and whatever else) to Aikido.

Well a major theme of martial arts from as far back as we can go is character development, it's never been just about developing physical skills.
It's always been about producing someone who can look after the tribe or nation in wartime and wont be a threat to society in peacetime.

Joe McParland
10-16-2008, 08:58 PM
Well a major theme of martial arts from as far back as we can go is character development, it's never been just about developing physical skills.
It's always been about producing someone who can look after the tribe or nation in wartime and wont be a threat to society in peacetime.

These are both very sweeping statements...

Let me try one too! ;)

There has always been the popularized romantic notion of the lone warrior sage, the samurai with his code. These people are attracted to aikido and other martial arts; they are not necessarily the product of them. Moreover, it is not necessarily the purpose of aikido to create them.

People who cling to such a samurai-ish image or code may see themselves as above the fray, intrinsically better than others among the unwashed masses.

This is ego---very divisive...

This samurai wannabe has as much to learn about self-victory as any unwashed bastard off the street.

Keith Larman
10-16-2008, 09:33 PM
The tree didn't fall; I hear Greg holding it up ;)

I find it interesting that people attach morality (and whatever else) to Aikido.

It comes up in different threads. For instance, in one extreme, there's the thread discussing the fall of an aikido icon involved with a minor, which went on for 15 or so pages. Efforts to quash that thread were met with a storm of resistance. Then there is this thread. What if the aikido student or teacher is a drinker, smoker, womanizer, ...? No traction---except for the occasional (and possibly insightful) "What does this have to do with aikido?"

I find this irony interesting too. :)

Because, Joe, in that other thread the concern of some of ours had little to do with the fella being an "icon". There aren't many out there I hold in all that much esteem. The issue was a very real one of sexual abuse of minors. Something which is a concern to many of us. It has little to do with the guy's experience or rank -- it has to do with some of us a) hoping it wasn't true but b) trying to learn what we can from mistakes that have been made that allow those things to happen.

I would have the same reaction to someone posting a thread about a murder in a dojo. Or a rape in a dojo. Or theft. Those are things that are germaine for discussion. And it wouldn't matter to me if it was Aikido, my local chess club, or the local group of guys I know who collect Japanese swords. Those sorts of things are quite different from whether someone drinks or smokes too much.

That said I do agree that the whole equating of morality with Aikido tends to much things up horribly. I don't come to aikido to find morality. I expect the same level of moral behavior no matter where I go. Aikido, chess club, token kai, ...

So to be completely clear -- I don't see how drinking or smoking (or any of the other "vices" listed) have much of anything to do with Aikido to the extent that they don't affect ability to perform. However, I do think whether someone is sexually abusing children and how to prevent it in the future is a bit more important as a topic of discussion.

Joe McParland
10-16-2008, 10:08 PM
Keith, I don't think I could have made my own point better than you just did...

... post #2 in this thread notwithstanding.

ilia rudnitskiy
10-16-2008, 10:08 PM
I agree with most of the things most people have said here, so to summarize my thoughts:

You can do whatever you want since it is your own life, as long as you don't interfere with other members of society and the dojo. Because once you interfere with them (by coming to the dojo drunk, etc.) you're interfering with their learning, and they should have the right to avoid you in order to keep learning effectively... but if you want to make an ass of yourself, I guess that's your choice too! Personally I have nothing against most of these things, except maybe for smoking and drugs...

Some people may want Aikido to be a way of their life (like me!), but as far as I know, teachers don't prohibit these things from being done outside of the dojo... and if you want to have a wholesome life, there's nothing wrong in doing any of these things if they are done in moderation... most things are fine if they're done in moderation (even if you drink too much water you can die!)... so it's all up to you.

Keith Larman
10-17-2008, 12:54 AM
Keith, I don't think I could have made my own point better than you just did...

... post #2 in this thread notwithstanding.

You're not by any chance Sarah Palin's speech writer...

Joe McParland
10-17-2008, 01:27 AM
You're not by any chance Sarah Palin's speech writer...

Now post #2 is appropriate:

You must be kidding... What the heck does any of that have to do with Aikido in the first place?

You know, we really don't have to guess about a lot of this stuff. Consider:


As soon as you concern yourself with the "good" and "bad" of your fellows, you create an opening to your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you.

iain wilson
10-17-2008, 01:44 AM
...maybe it is people with vices that are particularly the kinds of people who stick with Aikido? Weakness, cowardice, general unfitness, etc.

Maybe they think, "Wow, I am really mixed up in some negative things. I really can't seem to change them. Maybe this spiritual art called Aikido will give me tools to change myself. Maybe someday what I get from that dojo I'll be able to bring into my life, and if not get rid of these pesky life-habits, at least find a better way to deal with them."

Like churches, or gyms. People want to get better, that's why they're doing this. This does not mean they will ever be perfect.

I started all my bad habits before Aikido, I hope not to form any more, and if I'm able to cut out this or reduce that, I consider the monthly dues worthwhile.

Aikido is not an immunization shot against anything.

I think. But I've just been doing this for a month, so, handful of salt if you like.

-iain

Mark Uttech
10-17-2008, 12:17 PM
Onegaishimasu. If a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, it doesn't matter if there is a sound or not. For what it's worth.

In gassho,

Mark

Ketsan
10-17-2008, 10:00 PM
These are both very sweeping statements...

Let me try one too! ;)

There has always been the popularized romantic notion of the lone warrior sage, the samurai with his code. These people are attracted to aikido and other martial arts; they are not necessarily the product of them. Moreover, it is not necessarily the purpose of aikido to create them.

People who cling to such a samurai-ish image or code may see themselves as above the fray, intrinsically better than others among the unwashed masses.

This is ego---very divisive...

This samurai wannabe has as much to learn about self-victory as any unwashed bastard off the street.

Hmmmm. :)

That's not quite what I had in mind. I was thinking more pragmatically. Yes there have always been romantic tales of the martial arts but at their heart was a central truth: An art that doesn't psychologically prepare you to put your physical skills into action isn't worth the paper it's densho are written on.

At the risk of sounding like a samurai wannabe, a bit in bushido shoshinshu kinda relates to this when the author states that you can tell brave people even in peace time by their personal habbits.

If someone for example can't even handle their drinking or their gambling, or whatever "vice" you care to mention, can you expect them to be particularly reliable in a life and death situation?
An issue like that indicates some deep personality flaw and thus an opening.

So if you think about it closing up those openings is as vital, as closing up your physical openings.

Joe McParland
10-18-2008, 12:26 AM
Hmmmm. :)

That's not quite what I had in mind. I was thinking more pragmatically. Yes there have always been romantic tales of the martial arts but at their heart was a central truth: An art that doesn't psychologically prepare you to put your physical skills into action isn't worth the paper it's densho are written on.

At the risk of sounding like a samurai wannabe, a bit in bushido shoshinshu kinda relates to this when the author states that you can tell brave people even in peace time by their personal habbits.

If someone for example can't even handle their drinking or their gambling, or whatever "vice" you care to mention, can you expect them to be particularly reliable in a life and death situation?
An issue like that indicates some deep personality flaw and thus an opening.

So if you think about it closing up those openings is as vital, as closing up your physical openings.

When you hold such a pragmatic view of what aikido is to you, you naturally judge everyone around you according to that standard.

So, here's a question: During your actual practice---particularly during the more intense or exhausting moments---are you actively holding that view and judging others accordingly?

Outside of the dojo, sitting in easy chairs, you and I may have some intellectual disagreement about what the practice is for, and our minds may never meet on these issues---we are not in harmony. On the mats, though, if I strike at you with all of my being and you throw me with all of yours, then in that moment our minds do match---they are equally empty, and we are in harmony.

So it's true: my talking about my own opinion of aikido is not different than you talking about yours. Our thoughts about aikido are equally pointless. On the mats, though, we may both have it ;)

Buck
10-26-2008, 09:48 PM
Vices I think effect the personally of a person, and that personally is reflected on the mat. being on the mat is a interpersonal and intimate exchange between two people. Funny thing about practice is you can really get to know someone with out ever taking to them just through the exchange of practice.

Vices affect that mat relationship, i.e. respect, attitude, harmony, etc. Vices can interfere with the dynamics of O'Sensei's philosophy he had for Aikido. You can dislike a person based on the result of a vice and never blend with them, find harmony, etc. It can adversely effect what happen's on the mat.

Some vices are stronger than others. Some not so seemly bad vices if intense enough are like a super typhoon. It permeates so deeply the personality that the vice radiates through the personality of that person. A habitual vice is deeply ingrained into the personality where there is almost no distinguishing separation.

I don' t think there are many acceptable vices in Aikido, because the vice become the down fall of the Aikidoka. The Aikidoka's behavior dictated by the vice will ultimate ruin the Aikido relationship. There are many cases in Aikido of this.

I think there are no acceptable vices, a person should work-out those personality issues that are a result of a vice either before or early on in the practice of Aikido. You might say I am advocating making saints out of Aikidoka. That wouldn't be a bad thing if it wasn't impossible. But, understanding that being intolerant of vices will help the Aikidoka experience a clear Aikido, and more of Aikido's dynamic.

Joe McParland
10-26-2008, 10:54 PM
I think there are no acceptable vices, a person should work-out those personality issues that are a result of a vice either before or early on in the practice of Aikido. You might say I am advocating making saints out of Aikidoka. That wouldn't be a bad thing if it wasn't impossible. But, understanding that being intolerant of vices will help the Aikidoka experience a clear Aikido, and more of Aikido's dynamic.

Pride.

Janet Rosen
10-27-2008, 01:44 AM
Funny thing about practice is you can really get to know someone with out ever taking to them just through the exchange of practice. ....
Vices affect that mat relationship, i.e. respect, attitude, harmony, etc. ....
I think there are no acceptable vices, a person should work-out those personality issues that are a result of a vice either before or early on in the practice of Aikido....

There's some assumptions built in to this that I question.

The first sentence I totally agree with, and for that reason, the second sentence makes no sense. As I exchange somatic and energetic touch with a training partner I indeed learn a lot about them on a nonverbal level. Often I develop trust and respect for a person about whose life I know very little: a lot of the time I have no idea how s/he earns a living, marital status, religious convictions, favorite color, etc. So in fact I also have no idea if she or he engages in "vice". And frankly, my ability to totally trust this person as a training partner (which means, with my health and well-bring) within the context of training on the mat, doesn't require me to know those things as they don't count for how we train together.

I'm also confused by your use of the word "vice." The OP listed things like smoking, drinking, and drinking, which may be posited (depending on one's background, beliefs, or training) as habits or as physical addictions or as symptoms of an illness, but I'm not sure that "personality issues" are either a cause or an effect of these things. The word "vice" and the list read to me like a list of things some religions ban, and again it doesn't jive for me (unless you think the dojo is a church?). Do you honestly believe that if a person bets on the horses that is something I feel in his technique or it makes it impossible for him to contribute positively to the dojo culture? I strongly disagree.

Finally, we are all "works in progress," muddling through life the best we can at any given time. I hate to think there needs to be a "morality test" we are expected to pass before we can start training.

C. David Henderson
10-27-2008, 02:10 PM
I guess if one did know one's partner had a "vice," it might affect on-mat interactions. Is that because of the "vice," or because of my knowledge of the "vice," and my judgment that it is a "vice?"

A sincere question -- would this feel to the person who has a "vice" as a withholding of harmony and respect to the extent it affects practice?

Sure, lots of bad habits can seriously affect a person's health, family, friends, happiness, lifespan, and -- to the extent it matters next to this list -- development as a martial artist.

But, is my intent as the partner to this person to sit in judgment or engage in practice?

A line from a recent Santana song comes to mind -- Even if your fallen, or struggling, there's still beauty in what we do.

Regards,

DH

Buck
10-27-2008, 09:44 PM
Janet,

I think of it in two ways and first is the external. This is the effects vices have on relationships as training partners, as people, and the sexes in the dojo. The second is internal and relates heavily to budo. To examine and recognize one's weaknesses; lacking emotional control or psychological stability, i.e. vices. To be aggressive and intent to over-come the weakness, i.e. having the mental discipline. Here in lies the modern sense of the samurai duty, and code, and conduct, bushido. The mental discipline.

Your warriorhood as an Aikidoka lies in winning over one's self. Mental discipline is metaphorically the sword that cuts the enemy. It is the ability of self-discipline to overcome personal vices that measures the character of the budoka. It is not the ease of which technical ability preformed by an Aikidoka that shows strength.

In combat, fights ( often on the losing end, but I had my share ), no one is undefeatable. Even the great Polumbus the Roman Gladiator was eventually slain. it is just that those who are said to be undefeatable knew when to quit. The real victory is the mental combat to over come weaknesses where a person can truly be undefeatable.

It all ties into having the mental discipline to over come the weaknesses i.e. vices that can bring harmony etc. internally and externally. And all of which is a part of Aikido; that is budo.

:)

Amadeus
10-27-2008, 10:18 PM
-You smoke, baaaad aikidoka
-You drink, so I'm better than you
-If you use drugs you are evil and your mother hate you
ect.
Those statements are lies.

I'm a moralist. I find anything that make other people feel smaller evil.

Janet Rosen
10-27-2008, 11:25 PM
Philip, I think you and I shall have to "agree to disagree" as we are approaching this issue from such different places. Although I don't feel my previous questions have been directly answered - which is fine - my next question is :
If the internal task of the aikidoka is some kind of self-transformation (and you and I probably are in agreement on that, in general terms), then how can the imperfect human we each are essay to work on it if we are not permitted in the dojo until AFTER solving the problem, ie, achieving the self-transformation? To extend the part of your arguement with which I disagree: If it can be done before entering the dojo, why bother to train?

Amadeus
10-27-2008, 11:34 PM
If you feel like a better person for an hour 2-3 times a week, it could be enug ;)

A defenition of learning I came over a while back went somewhat like: "Learning is a change of behavior". So there is alot of self-transformation just by learning aikido (or go to school, read an informative article, ect. ). Everything counts.

Buck
10-27-2008, 11:53 PM
Philip, I think you and I shall have to "agree to disagree" as we are approaching this issue from such different places. Although I don't feel my previous questions have been directly answered - which is fine - my next question is :
If the internal task of the aikidoka is some kind of self-transformation (and you and I probably are in agreement on that, in general terms), then how can the imperfect human we each are essay to work on it if we are not permitted in the dojo until AFTER solving the problem, ie, achieving the self-transformation? To extend the part of your arguement with which I disagree: If it can be done before entering the dojo, why bother to train?

Yea, maybe we do. I am coming strictly from Budo that is about mental strength/discipline. Look at O'Sensei's life as a example. He said Takeda taught him Budo. Mental training is a part of Aikido because Aikido is a Budo and mental training is part of Budo. That is all there is to it, no psychological evaluations, or the complexity, or the judgements involved. Or the fear.

Janet Rosen
10-28-2008, 10:16 AM
Was O Sensei "free from vice"?

Lyle Bogin
11-03-2008, 06:47 PM
Living in moderation includes moderating our desire for a perfectly clean life.

Perfect is perfectly boring.