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Ellis Amdur
12-24-2008, 11:55 AM
With the sometimes naive idea of aikido magically being able to resolve all conflict, particularly "soft" aikido, I find this statement by Toehi Koichi quite refreshing.

Tohei Koichi: http://www.toitsu.de/texte/tohei_en.htm

You have taught Ki-Aikido to police, FBI, and Secret Service personnel. How did you teach them to calm down or restrain a dangerous person, or someone who is on drugs and out of control?
If a person is dangerous, on drugs and out of control, the only thing to do is forcibly arrest them. They are temporarily out of their mind, so it makes no sense to talk about respecting their human rights. If they are putting others at risk they must be restrained, and then dealt with after they return to their senses.

Janet Rosen
12-24-2008, 12:42 PM
There you go, being realistic again! :-)

Aikibu
12-24-2008, 12:48 PM
What amazing is that some folks don't find that obvious about Aikido's "methodology of conflict resolution"

Happy Holidays Ellis. :)

William Hazen

Tony Wagstaffe
12-24-2008, 12:53 PM
With the sometimes naive idea of aikido magically being able to resolve all conflict, particularly "soft" aikido, I find this statement by Toehi Koichi quite refreshing.

Tohei Koichi: http://www.toitsu.de/texte/tohei_en.htm

It goes without saying!! They or people under the "influence" certainly won't worry about your concerns!! That's certainly been my experience........

Tony

PS Merry Crimbo to everyone and lets hope for a much better New Year.....

mickeygelum
12-25-2008, 06:27 PM
Mr Amdur,

I agree wholeheartedly, very refreshing. Thank you for posting this.:D

Train well,

Mickey

crbateman
12-25-2008, 06:38 PM
I find this statement by Toehi Koichi quite refreshing.So do I! Be well, Ellis... :)

Nathan Wallace
12-25-2008, 07:49 PM
lol...its funny, you'd think it was common sense.

SeiserL
12-26-2008, 06:05 AM
It is still a martial art, isn't it?

Mato-san
12-26-2008, 06:26 AM
touch me.... put your fingers on me

Mato-san
12-26-2008, 06:35 AM
My finger bleeds......bring it on....I know your god,,,, I submit....you cant take me.......just try....you cant take me

ChrisHein
12-26-2008, 10:07 AM
If it wasn't Tohei sensei who said it, and Ellis Amdur who quoted it, all the posts above mine would likely say something to the effect of, "No I think..", or "My teacher..", or "they must not be studying O-senseis Aikido", or "Saying that clearly means you don't have a grasp of Aikido" etc. etc.

mickeygelum
12-26-2008, 10:41 AM
If it wasn't Tohei sensei who said it, and Ellis Amdur who quoted it, all the posts above mine would likely say something to the effect of, "No I think..", or "My teacher..", or "they must not be studying O-senseis Aikido", or "Saying that clearly means you don't have a grasp of Aikido" etc. etc.

...Very true, Sir.

( I wonder how many are mumbling or thinking that still?:eek: )

Train well,

Mickey

mathewjgano
12-26-2008, 12:34 PM
If it wasn't Tohei sensei who said it, and Ellis Amdur who quoted it, all the posts above mine would likely say something to the effect of, "No I think..", or "My teacher..", or "they must not be studying O-senseis Aikido", or "Saying that clearly means you don't have a grasp of Aikido" etc. etc.

Maybe you're right, but I don't think that would necessarily be the case. It's hard to argue with highly respected positions of authority, but I think it also has a lot to do with how the topic is worded. I think many folks are a bit more free in offering counterpoints (which aren't necessarily contradictions, despite being taken that way by many) when your "average Joe" posts.
...At least, I think I tend to be one of those folks who is quick to talk about the peace and love side of Aikido when folks talk about the need for "martial-ness", but I also have a very firm sense of the violence of reality.

mathewjgano
12-26-2008, 04:50 PM
My finger bleeds......bring it on....I know your god,,,, I submit....you cant take me.......just try....you cant take me

Mato-san, what does this mean?

John Matsushima
12-26-2008, 05:47 PM
With the sometimes naive idea of aikido magically being able to resolve all conflict, particularly "soft" aikido, I find this statement by Toehi Koichi quite refreshing.

Tohei Koichi: http://www.toitsu.de/texte/tohei_en.htm

I don't understand what is so refreshing about this. Tohei seems to be saying that you can't calm down a dangerous person, and that they need to be restrained. Ok, I'll buy that. I haven't heard of any Aikido that focuses on talking down or calming down someone vs. restraint. I don't know what you mean about "soft Aikido" . Isn't restraining someone even though it may be "gentler or softer" resolving the conflict? . He doesn't answer the question on how to restrain them, only using the word "forcibly", but I don't think he is talking about hurting people because of his earlier comments in the article regarding violence. I don't agree or completely understand what he meant about not respecting people's human rights. Even police must respect respect the rights of everyone they arrest as much as they can, don't they?

Tony Wagstaffe
12-27-2008, 02:43 AM
Mato-san, what does this mean?

I shouldn't worry about it ....... either too much sake or he's smacked the back of his head into the tatami too many times!!......

Tony Wagstaffe
12-28-2008, 04:57 AM
I don't understand what is so refreshing about this. Tohei seems to be saying that you can't calm down a dangerous person, and that they need to be restrained. Ok, I'll buy that. I haven't heard of any Aikido that focuses on talking down or calming down someone vs. restraint. I don't know what you mean about "soft Aikido" . Isn't restraining someone even though it may be "gentler or softer" resolving the conflict? . He doesn't answer the question on how to restrain them, only using the word "forcibly", but I don't think he is talking about hurting people because of his earlier comments in the article regarding violence. I don't agree or completely understand what he meant about not respecting people's human rights. Even police must respect respect the rights of everyone they arrest as much as they can, don't they?

When they can yes...... much depends on the onslaught of the "human" who perpetrates the violence....... I'm sure you must be aware of how "ugly" people can get when under the influence of mental disorder or "madness" or drugs, alcohol and so forth.....
It won't happen like you think its going to..... very unpredictable as your life could be in danger and using what force is necessary is necessary...... If someone has to go "down" I try to make sure its them...... ask questions later and live to tell the tale.....

Mato-san
12-28-2008, 08:49 AM
Not sake but Asahi... my apologies..not the first time. But yeah the notorious beeraohlic Aikidioka. Sake and me don't dance

Mato-san
12-28-2008, 09:06 AM
Beer aside, soft Aikido is nice.
If it don't work the application becomes frustrating, one you give up, two you muscle through it, 3 you feel and do it.
I guess it is a whole new thread, when do you do 1, 2 or 3?
Or do you continuously strive on 3?
I find myself continuously working on 3 and that is also frustrating

Mato-san
12-28-2008, 09:22 AM
Apologize to the entire forum... just to keep the tread in tact, to much beer on the Bonenkai this year. Let the harmony flow

mathewjgano
12-28-2008, 07:25 PM
When they can yes...... much depends on the onslaught of the "human" who perpetrates the violence....... I'm sure you must be aware of how "ugly" people can get when under the influence of mental disorder or "madness" or drugs, alcohol and so forth.....
It won't happen like you think its going to..... very unpredictable as your life could be in danger and using what force is necessary is necessary...... If someone has to go "down" I try to make sure its them...... ask questions later and live to tell the tale.....

Like the great Hunter Thompson said (a man who was an authority on "altered" states): you can turn your back on a person, but never on a drug...I presume certain mental disorders are much the same thing.

Buck
12-28-2008, 10:09 PM
I know allot of people try to follow O'Sensei's philosophy and as a result of many things gravitate to one of the extremes. The soft Aikido end of the spectrum is being talked about here and isn't favored because of its seeming unrealistic view, and poor showing.

I want to throw a new spice into the soup, I think that the soft Aikido is the most difficult to achieve than the other extreme being hard Aikido. My criticism with the soft Aikido isn't the goal or if it is possible, effective, etc. it is those who really don't understand the soft end and are not good at it, but advocate publicly. Beside throwing in their own flavoring in the pot of soft Aikido. It is damaging to the idea and credibility of soft Aikido. Boy, does it also give the hard Aikido people ammo to attack the idea of soft Aikido.

I don't think soft Aikido is about soft people. O.K. then what is soft Aikido about, it is about the approach and application of the full use of skills applied effectively to a dangerous situation at hand. I think some people because of their meek nature feel Aikido should be practiced and applied meekly and passively like soft Aikido. By taking that route your abilities don't match up to the threat your are forced to face. As the ye ol' sayings go, your only as good as your training, and perfect practice makes perfect. Btw, as for the other extreme, hard Aikido, it suffers from the same conditions. No control, over aggressive, narrow perspectives, etc.

Everyone takes Aikido for different reasons, and not all of us will every have to use it on the street or as professionals. Bunches of people take Aikido for recreation, social, and spiritual reasons. I would say less take it for fighting. Even though many would agree O'Sensei didn't seem to be your typical meek and passive person. A person with a strong spirit, but not violent spirit. Maybe a person with a hot temper, but not a violent temper. Certainly, he wasn't Gandhi, I mean there are pictures of him where he is someone you wouldn't want to mess with. Despite those poses and moments of intense concentration, he wasn't a person who would injure or kill you if you angered him, as possibly done by those Japanese military officers document in WWII. I think that is what is the gauge we measure what violence by and what is peace when he speaks -based on his life experiences.

In a way soft Aikido is probably the most effective and refined Aikido, it is just that some people don't see it that way. :)

FWIW.

Joe McParland
12-28-2008, 11:11 PM
With the sometimes naive idea of aikido magically being able to resolve all conflict, particularly "soft" aikido, I find this statement by Toehi Koichi quite refreshing.

Tohei Koichi: http://www.toitsu.de/texte/tohei_en.htm

Since the interview does not say "arrest using aikido forcibly," "forcibly arrest using aikido," "aikido is already sufficient to forcibly arrest," or even "forcibly arrest with techniques outside aikido," it would seem Ellis is reading K. Tohei's statement through hard lenses. ;)

And where are these mythical aiki-bunnies with the "naive idea of aikido magically being able to resolve all conflict" anyway? And why do the "hard stylists" seem to tense up so in these forums thinking about them?


The one essential thing I learned from Ueshiba Sensei was how to relax. He was always relaxed in the face of conflict, which is why his Aikido was so strong.


Ducking! :D

C. David Henderson
12-29-2008, 02:02 PM
Like the great Hunter Thompson said (a man who was an authority on "altered" states): you can turn your back on a person, but never on a drug...I presume certain mental disorders are much the same thing.

In the summer of 1981, I took a bus from Salem, OR, where the State Hospital is located, to Portland, where I was living at the time.

A man got on the bus who clearly seemed schizophrenic, and decompensating. He muttered to himself constantly, and appeared apprehensive.

The bus was the "milk run," and so had multiple stops. At each stop, the man would come up to the door, mutter, and when the increasingly nervous bus driver asked him if he wanted out, you could almost see the wheels in his mind going, "No, don't get off now, it's a trick."

Eventually we pulled into the station in Portland. The man who I thought likely was a recently released hospital patient had grown more restless as the trip progressed, but thankfully he didn't act out.

When we were leaving the bus, he stopped at the door, and began to mutter. I couldn't help but think my fellow traveler was saying to himself, "Oh no; this was the trick all along." I thought -- Everywhere he goes, there he is, waiting for himself.

Hadn't thought of that in a long time.

DH

jennifer paige smith
12-29-2008, 02:19 PM
Reminds me of a joke:

A man is siting on a semi-crowded city bus when a mumbling, alcohol soaked, bum gets on. The sitting man se's him and starts counting seats to estimate the odds of the drunk guy sitting next to him. He realizes the chances look 50/50, so he starts to pray,"God,please don't let him sit next to me. God, please don't let him sit ext to me"..and on..
The bum inches his way down the bus, mumbling,mumbling...
The sitting man prays more rapidly,Please,please,please.....

As the bum gets right to the man's seat he smiles,unloads his backpack off his shoulders, throws himself down in the seat next to him, and says clear as a bell with a huge smile, "God told me to sit here.".

C. David Henderson
12-29-2008, 02:46 PM
Reminds me of this time I travelled over the top of Crete on a bus with a drunken British sailor as a travelling companion ... But oh, don't go there.

:freaky:

Buck
12-29-2008, 07:22 PM
With the sometimes naive idea of aikido magically being able to resolve all conflict, particularly "soft" aikido, I find this statement by Toehi Koichi quite refreshing.

Tohei Koichi: http://www.toitsu.de/texte/tohei_en.htm

Naive thinking I think is interwoven with lack of experience. Because experience plays a role in naive thinking lots of types and degrees of naive thinking come about. But, I think this is true for cynicism, often being mistaken for realistic thinking. :)

Buck
12-29-2008, 07:51 PM
Perhaps, we all delude ourselves by our thinking, in our training in some way. Some of us realize this at some point and face it, and other denial it, and some never do. I don't think we can expect people to put themselves in harms way to test their training, and skills. Though thinking about it, it would be great in a way, cause it would really weed out the poor, weak, unskilled and full of it instructors. The illusion what Ellis points to comes from the instructors. It comes from the top down, from people who don't seem themselves or skill realistically, and from those others who put them on those high pedestals. In essence you have the trickle down theory pertaining to miscomprehension and naive thinking of soft (and hard) Aikido and everything in between in all things and not just conflict resolution. For me that is because we don't take the life or death test, since we don't we really should look at ourselves realistically.

C. David Henderson
12-29-2008, 08:29 PM
Something I've become more conscious of in this Country since I began training in Aikido is the way in which most people here has a relatively high set-point of physical complacency.

The assumption that nothing bad should or will happen to me takes a number of forms. In one form, it allows one to entertain naive illusions or improbable ambition. It also may promote panic and extreme fear in the face of evidence that the world remains a dangerous place.

Complacency about physical safety reflects a lot of different things. It might reflect a belief in community, or expectations based on an idealized view of community, for example.

But I think in today's world it also reflects the existence of structures -- institutions -- that keep violence at more than arm's length. We don't even really need to think too hard about the burden of keeping this illusion on those who sacrifice in order to give it some semblance of reality.

No different really than going into the store and buying a package of meat. Or going to the hospital to die, in a way. We are insulated.

I heard a story recently about a vegetarian who decided she would serve turkey for Thanksgiving. Rather than buying a bird carcass, she raised a bird, and then slaughtered and prepared it. Her friends, who were not vegetarians, were appalled, and would not partake.

I wonder whether naive or magical thinking about martial arts isn't just another version of the same kind of thing. We can do good without risking doing bad; there are good choices, not just least-bad ones.

However, I also will admit it's been suggested in my hearing that I'm a cynic, which is to say, an idealist inverted.

Regards,

DH

jennifer paige smith
12-29-2008, 09:04 PM
Reminds me of this time I travelled over the top of Crete on a bus with a drunken British sailor as a travelling companion ... But oh, don't go there.

:freaky:

k ok ok ok ok;)

Further reminds me of the Terry Dobson tale A Kind Word Turneth Away Wrath

For those who would like to read or re-read it, Here ya go: http://www.aikidoofalamo.com/dobson.html

That's a refreshing perspective. too.

BTW the photo is from a San Francisco,CA dojo that was once affectionately referred to as the Rocky Horror Dojo and Skid Row Dojo. That group is now under the sponsorship of Kato Sensei. It was one of Terry's very last classes.

Best

Ellis Amdur
12-29-2008, 09:20 PM
Yes, I love that story of Terry's too. I also remember one night when Terry's girlfriend came into the dojo saying that a guy had just tried to grab her and when she shoved him away, he threw a bottle at her head, narrowly missing, and showering her with broken glass.
So Terry and I went next door to Great Jone's Street, and she pointed the guy out, and Terry grabbed him by the throat, and slammed him up against a wall, with the guy yelling, "That woman accosted me. She accosted me." The sheer absurdity of that made Terry pause and the man somehow broke free and darted down the street. Terry built for comfort, not for speed - (ie., he was fat), it was up to me, but the man had wings for feet, (though pure slime otherwise), and I couldn't catch him.
Terry was very mad at himself - but only for letting the man slip through his fingers - because he had full intentions of loving him to death.

jennifer paige smith
12-29-2008, 09:42 PM
Yes, I love that story of Terry's too. I also remember one night when Terry's girlfriend came into the dojo saying that a guy had just tried to grab her and when she shoved him away, he threw a bottle at her head, narrowly missing, and showering her with broken glass.
So Terry and I went next door to Great Jone's Street, and she pointed the guy out, and Terry grabbed him by the throat, and slammed him up against a wall, with the guy yelling, "That woman accosted me. She accosted me." The sheer absurdity of that made Terry pause and the man somehow broke free and darted down the street. Terry built for comfort, not for speed - (ie., he was fat), it was up to me, but the man had wings for feet, (though sh*t for brains), and I couldn't catch him.
Terry was very mad at himself - but only for letting the man slip through his fingers - because he had full intentions of loving him to death.

Gosh, I'm a 'tough cookie', too.

Aikido has connected me to the 'realness' in my life and has supported me in being real about myself, not someone else's idea about what conflict resolution means, but what it means for me to live in this body/personality in this life. That's it.

I figured you'd have another anecdote to continue the balancing act. I just didn't know it would arrive so soon.
Thanks for the story,
jen

Joe McParland
12-29-2008, 09:49 PM
Yes, I love that story of Terry's too. I also remember one night when [...]

Do you see a contradiction? I do not.

The famous subway story is about how someone else did it right, so to speak, no?

I mean no disrespect, of course, and I would never hazzard judgment about the action; but, I am curious, Ellis, as to why the second story seems to be presented as a counterpoint to the first. Does an angry man having someone by the throat tell us what aikido is or should be, or does it tell us about the man who happens to practice aikido?

Buck
12-29-2008, 10:13 PM
Stories not prefaced are dangerously misleading. It by default romanizes ugly situations or situations of poor judgement into unjust moments of heroism. A heroism misunderstood my the naive who model it, and because the situation isn't identical to the one they romanize the naive find themselves faced with a situation they can't survive. Gee, you know as strong as it sounds, the word irresponsible or reckless may apply to the story.

It is a thing of mine, that the more responsible action comes from those in higher places, you know higher ranks, the admired, etc. and they shouldn't have gone off to assault and batter the other guy, a crime in itself. More reasonable action would have had been cooler and smarter/wiser heads prevailing.

Myself, being a victim of bullies, I think I used the word bully-bait once to refer to myself, when your are out muscled or in a bad situation like someone throwing a beer bottle at you, they only thing you have is your wit from getting you rear-end kicked. You will be surprised how well witt and smart thinking works, over reactive force. Oh yea this is even more true if the bully (or another choice word) is bigger and stronger. Isn't there professional de-escalation and conflict resolution techniques that don't involve choking someone? Wouldn't point the guy out to the police be more effective, and the guy did run-off unpunished. Scared sure, but not punished.

If we are to admire people or model after those of higher rank and stature, we should do so for the right reasons, because they did the right thing as uneventful as it is. The right reasons are for doing the more difficult thing right. And not for shooting from the hip or for knee jerk reactions that make good stories, but instead could lead to a more dangerous situation. Because that shooting from the hip with such anger models to others a behavior that is seen as acceptable, that really isn't acceptable. I use this as an example of the unrealistic views of those of "hard" Aikido that are equal to the unrealistic views of those that are considered "soft" Aikido.

I don't think criticism and cynicism is a useful tool, I think education is the tool. The education has to come from the outside of Aikido, because it was from within Aikido that created the soft and the hard Aikidoka. Change comes from the top and admired. Insight comes from the rest of us. :)

Ellis Amdur
12-30-2008, 12:09 AM
Joe - in answer to your question - I started the thread just because Tohei's statement delighted me - as it is far from the grandiose, aikido can fix and handle any problem I have heard on occasion.
Terry's train story has been pulled up over and over as the ultimate "counter," of pure ai-ki-do(TM). A pure moment - yes. But that's all. Given another type of assailant, the old man in the story could have had his skull crushed. His story does exemplify a moment of grace. And a lesson learned - at least somewhat for Terry. But I do not think it exemplifies more than that. Nor does it, alone, tell us how to live.

As for my second anecdote,Terry never regretted for an instant trying to commit bodily harm on a man who tried first to sexually assault and then smash in the head - someone he loved. And as she was someone dear to me as well, I still regret not being able to catch that person when he broke and ran.

Whether this tells what aikido is or not? Hmmm - to me, it's just a martial art with some interesting technical attributes and oft-times misunderstood ideology. If it really offered directions on how to live, then it's exemplars would be more exemplary.

Joe McParland
12-30-2008, 12:28 AM
Thanks for the candid and thoughtful answer, Ellis. :)

Here's the only line with which I really do not concur:

If it really offered directions on how to live, then it's exemplars would be more exemplary.

Actual religions fail there routinely, even when the manuals spell out everything explicitly. And as for me, I'm not one of those guys who reads the manuals; I stumble through. I'm fortunate that no one has me on their exemplar radar ;)

By the way, just yesterday I was cleaning up old podcasts and rediscovered your interview in "Aikido - the Way of Harmony" with some fellows at Oberlin, I think. I was a bit intrigued by your presenting the view that O-Sensei wasn't very concerned with whether a student got either the spiritual or martial aspects of what he taught; rather, practitioners were, in essence---and if I understood it right---generating energy for O-Sensei to use (in his role as an "avatar"). Interesting stuff I'll want to revisit when the kids aren't hounding me :)

mathewjgano
12-30-2008, 03:17 AM
By the way, just yesterday I was cleaning up old podcasts and rediscovered your interview in "Aikido - the Way of Harmony" with some fellows at Oberlin, I think. I was a bit intrigued by your presenting the view that O-Sensei wasn't very concerned with whether a student got either the spiritual or martial aspects of what he taught; rather, practitioners were, in essence---and if I understood it right---generating energy for O-Sensei to use (in his role as an "avatar"). Interesting stuff I'll want to revisit when the kids aren't hounding me :)

Hey Joe, I just wanted to say thanks for mentioning that interview! I was just checking some of it out and I gotta say i really like what I was hearing. Not that I have any real understanding going on for me here (I've been a "dabbler" in Aikido for a while now), but it made a lot of sense to me.
Ellis, I'm curious what your thoughts are on how Aikido has been taught by Tohei Sensei and O Sensei; if you don't mind, how would you say they compare to each other (particularly as it relates to the thread of course)? Or what would you recommend as a good resource for me to look into?
Take care,
Matt

Tony Wagstaffe
12-30-2008, 04:09 AM
I know allot of people try to follow O'Sensei's philosophy and as a result of many things gravitate to one of the extremes. The soft Aikido end of the spectrum is being talked about here and isn't favored because of its seeming unrealistic view, and poor showing.

I want to throw a new spice into the soup, I think that the soft Aikido is the most difficult to achieve than the other extreme being hard Aikido. My criticism with the soft Aikido isn't the goal or if it is possible, effective, etc. it is those who really don't understand the soft end and are not good at it, but advocate publicly. Beside throwing in their own flavoring in the pot of soft Aikido. It is damaging to the idea and credibility of soft Aikido. Boy, does it also give the hard Aikido people ammo to attack the idea of soft Aikido.

I don't think soft Aikido is about soft people. O.K. then what is soft Aikido about, it is about the approach and application of the full use of skills applied effectively to a dangerous situation at hand. I think some people because of their meek nature feel Aikido should be practiced and applied meekly and passively like soft Aikido. By taking that route your abilities don't match up to the threat your are forced to face. As the ye ol' sayings go, your only as good as your training, and perfect practice makes perfect. Btw, as for the other extreme, hard Aikido, it suffers from the same conditions. No control, over aggressive, narrow perspectives, etc.

Everyone takes Aikido for different reasons, and not all of us will every have to use it on the street or as professionals. Bunches of people take Aikido for recreation, social, and spiritual reasons. I would say less take it for fighting. Even though many would agree O'Sensei didn't seem to be your typical meek and passive person. A person with a strong spirit, but not violent spirit. Maybe a person with a hot temper, but not a violent temper. Certainly, he wasn't Gandhi, I mean there are pictures of him where he is someone you wouldn't want to mess with. Despite those poses and moments of intense concentration, he wasn't a person who would injure or kill you if you angered him, as possibly done by those Japanese military officers document in WWII. I think that is what is the gauge we measure what violence by and what is peace when he speaks -based on his life experiences.

In a way soft Aikido is probably the most effective and refined Aikido, it is just that some people don't see it that way. :)

FWIW.

I see aikido as both soft and hard ....... its all a matter of knowing how to achieve a good balance...... in other words...... goju or jugo

Tony

eyrie
12-30-2008, 04:27 AM
But I do not think it exemplifies more than that. Nor does it, alone, tell us how to live.
....Whether this tells what aikido is or not? Hmmm - to me, it's just a martial art with some interesting technical attributes and oft-times misunderstood ideology. If it really offered directions on how to live, then it's exemplars would be more exemplary. Does anything else in life, let alone a martial art with, or without an ideology? Sometimes you just gotta do what's gotta be done and hope it was the right thing to do at the time.

crbateman
12-30-2008, 06:46 AM
I'm not sure it's about what Aikido is or isn't... I think it's about what people are or are not... While Aikido might lead people to temper their ideas in some fashion, what they do is still just an outgrowth of themselves.

I think this gets to the point of Ellis' original post... that someone as iconic in Aikido circles as Tohei Sensei would advocate a very practical and suitably "hard" response to a situation getting out-of-hand, rather than try to rationalize a philosophical "Aiki-bunny" solution. That is refreshing.

We are all people. Some of us do Aikido. But Aikido cannot exist without people.

Ron Tisdale
12-30-2008, 07:13 AM
Ellis, I'm curious what your thoughts are on how Aikido has been taught by Tohei Sensei and O Sensei; ...

I'm not Ellis...but...

If you do a search on aikido journal, there are some interesting articles there by and about Tohei that mention some of the differences. One being that after a hard night of drinking, Ueshiba couldn't understand how Tohei could do aikido well, since no self-respecting kami would enter such an impure body. ;)

This leads me to conclude that the two men had widely divergent world views...yet they both shared aikido.

I guess that is one reason I have friends in aikido who do very different styles from mine...and hold very different political associations or beliefs. If it was good enough for Tohei and Ueshiba...

Best,
Ron (pardon any unintended comment on some of the responses to the thread)

John Matsushima
12-30-2008, 07:49 AM
I think this gets to the point of Ellis' original post... that someone as iconic in Aikido circles as Tohei Sensei would advocate a very practical and suitably "hard" response to a situation getting out-of-hand, rather than try to rationalize a philosophical "Aiki-bunny" solution. That is refreshing.

What exactly is a "philosophical Aiki-bunny solution" to a situation getting out-of-hand? Who teaches this?

Ron Tisdale
12-30-2008, 08:30 AM
What exactly is a "philosophical Aiki-bunny solution" to a situation getting out-of-hand? Who teaches this?

Read a couple of issues of Aikido Today magazine...there was usually at least one article like that in just about every issue.

Best,
Ron

Keith Larman
12-30-2008, 08:48 AM
Just fwiw having dealt with folk "not of right mind" often you simply don't have many options. So I can't imagine why anyone would argue with the initial point. Heck, even the classic Dobson story about the train is a great *individual* story. But how many people have gotten whacked by a beligerent drunk when they tried to do the exact same thing the old man did? Great that it worked out in that case, but for all we know the old man just happened to get lucky that day. Or maybe he had a blackjack behind is back just in case... Now that would change the feel of the story, neh? ;) Heck, if he had tried to calm the drunk down then bonked him one good on the head if it hadn't worked I'd still say it was good Aikido. Blending with the situation right up till it became dangerous then using the blackjack to restore harmony... ;)

Step off the line and cut them down at the speed of light...

I will say that talking to some in Aikido is like talking to people enthusiastic about their 12-step program. Or religion. Or selling Amway. Or low-carb diets. Or Tony Robbins. Or whatever "that" thing is that seems to give them an overarching structure within which to live their lives. That's cool for them but I guess I'm just too cynical to go that far. I enjoy Aikido and I think applying it to daily life is a good thing for me. But I find lessons and "tools" for living in all aspects of my life, not just from Aikido.

Or as the expression goes, if all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail.

Not sure how it all relates, but back to the original post all my training has always emphasized that Aikido is also about learning to see things as they truly are. And that sometimes restoring harmony is obtained by the other guy accelerating into the ground face first...

Joe McParland
12-30-2008, 09:43 AM
I think this gets to the point of Ellis' original post... that someone as iconic in Aikido circles as Tohei Sensei would advocate a very practical and suitably "hard" response to a situation getting out-of-hand, rather than try to rationalize a philosophical "Aiki-bunny" solution. That is refreshing.


A spontaneous, appropriate response given the circumstances is what many seek. Doing whatever you do with full mind-body coordination, is also what many seek. It is not inconceivable that people can choose to embody these principles within their own constrained philosophical systems. Can one person "turn the other cheek" as a spontaneous response with full mind-body coordination? I think so. Can another person punch another in the nose with the same? I think so. Is there a point in these two people being frustrated with one another in seeing the difference in their sameness? Well, some would say that that interferes with the mind-body coordination business as well as the spontaneous, appropriate response bit...

If I have only one arm, my range of potential responses to a physical situation is limited---at least compared to your own. Still, I may be celebrated for my efforts by the aikido community for my heroic effort, training with such a handicap. Now, if I have two arms, but I always train with one arm tied behind my back, my range of responses is as limited as the one-armed fellow. Now you may call me an idiot for practicing this way, but can I not still learn mind-body coordination and finding a spontaneous, appropriate response within my constrained situation? That is, can aikido still not have value to me? "Well, maybe not that thing that you call 'aikido'..." each might say to the other...

A philosophical constraint is not much different than physically binding an arm in practice.

But before anyone gets too excited with a "Yeah! Stupid aiki-bunnies, limiting their responses with philosophy!" though, note that the need to have a completely unbound range of responses is just as much a hindrance as any; it's just lest obvious.

Finding something that bolsters one's point of view is a good opportunity to check one's self for this type of issue.

sorokod
12-30-2008, 10:15 AM
But before anyone gets too excited with a "Yeah! Stupid aiki-bunnies, limiting their responses with philosophy!" though, note that the need to have a completely unbound range of responses is just as much a hindrance as any; it's just lest obvious.


Not hindrance but challenge, and I do like the "one hand analogy", it captures something interesting. Aikido, as I understand it, is a physical discipline at its most basic level (it can be more, but you can not take the basics away). Intentionally handicapping yourself makes no sense.

Joe McParland
12-30-2008, 10:26 AM
Not hindrance but challenge, and I do like the "one hand analogy", it captures something interesting.

"Hindrance" to finding the mind-body coordination or the takemusu aspect, but I think we're matching. It's all a challenge :)

mathewjgano
12-30-2008, 11:43 AM
If you do a search on aikido journal, there are some interesting articles there by and about Tohei that mention some of the differences. One being that after a hard night of drinking, Ueshiba couldn't understand how Tohei could do aikido well, since no self-respecting kami would enter such an impure body. ;)

This leads me to conclude that the two men had widely divergent world views...yet they both shared aikido.

I guess that is one reason I have friends in aikido who do very different styles from mine...and hold very different political associations or beliefs. If it was good enough for Tohei and Ueshiba...

Best,
Ron (pardon any unintended comment on some of the responses to the thread)

Hi Ron! Thanks for the suggestion. I'll check it out. I remember browsing the site a while back, but I was mostly looking for cool pictures. :D
Take care,
Matt

Joe McParland
12-30-2008, 11:47 AM
Intentionally handicapping yourself makes no sense.

Someone living near the arctic circle could ask why that fool chooses to suffer living near the equator where it's so very hot...

Really, why ask why? ;)

sorokod
12-30-2008, 02:26 PM
I'll stick to your original analogy, why tie only one arm behind your back, why not both? And the feet, why not tie them as well?

One could claim that quadriplegic people are actually practicing Aikido by just living, but not very convincingly.

GeneC
12-30-2008, 03:56 PM
It goes without saying!! They or people under the "influence" certainly won't worry about your concerns!! That's certainly been my experience........Tony PS Merry Crimbo to everyone and lets hope for a much better New Year.....

So, it seems, all over the world, folks get "under the influence" before doing something really drastic.



p.s...that was my New Years hope for the last 30 years( that next year be a little better than last year).

Joe McParland
12-30-2008, 07:22 PM
I'll stick to your original analogy, why tie only one arm behind your back, why not both? And the feet, why not tie them as well?

One could claim that quadriplegic people are actually practicing Aikido by just living, but not very convincingly.

Show me that quadriplegic person practicing aikido, David, and we will ask that person. That way you may be relieved not to be burdened with concern about that person's practice or second-guess his or her motives.

Buck
12-30-2008, 08:08 PM
As for my second anecdote,Terry never regretted for an instant trying to commit bodily harm on a man who tried first to sexually assault and then smash in the head - someone he loved. And as she was someone dear to me as well, I still regret not being able to catch that person when he broke and ran.

Whether this tells what aikido is or not? Hmmm - to me, it's just a martial art with some interesting technical attributes and oft-times misunderstood ideology. If it really offered directions on how to live, then it's exemplars would be more exemplary.

I agree the ideology is misunderstood, and not just by the soft, by also by the hard. I often think that people get lost in the ideology and forgot the prevailing ideology of the society they live in.

I don't see Terry as a hero, or a well-balance individual acting as they should. He lost control, and committed assault and battery. Becoming a criminal himself. Other martial arts look down upon such actions and use of the art. I really don't like such stories of well recognized Aikidoka like this. For many reasons and some I already talked about. I think if you want to get to the heart of it, stories of average common unknown Aikido are far more relatable, powerful and not misleading.

Do people have a misleading perception of their abilities, yes, we all do in what ever choice we make with our Aikido; soft, hard, or what ever. It isn't just Aikido. The remedy is having to save yourself from harm, be it from a batter, raped, jumped, car-jacked etc. On the ideological side, it is important to see those idolized and worshipped for deeds and thought, as human, as fallible.

I just got done watching the worse show, it fallible and glorifies killing another person, with cuteness and humor. We have enough shows and games that trivialize death with Role Playing Games. Just as many shows romantize the "tough guy" thing so many movies do. More people live in delusion of their abilities than not, look at any 20 something year old males in the most popular martial art.

If disillusion amoung the populace is going to change, it has to change from those from the top, from the popular and the most admired. And from those who tell their stories. :)

Buck
12-30-2008, 08:17 PM
I guess what I want to hear is from the voices of those who used Aikido that were able to prevent themselves or loved ones from being harmed. It can be from verbal to the physical. I know I have been in a situation where I had a choice, not all situation are the same, I could have been physical, I wasn't, I was verbal and it worked. I resolved the conflict along the lines of Aikido philosophy. But as I said, not all situations are the same. Physical action in some situations are required where words ain't going to do a thing.

sorokod
12-31-2008, 02:10 AM
Show me that quadriplegic person practicing aikido, David, and we will ask that person. That way you may be relieved not to be burdened with concern about that person's practice or second-guess his or her motives.

I am not burdened or concerned and so, do not expect any relief. Not sure what you mean by "motives". Here is humoristic take on your "one arm tied behind my back" analogy: King Arthur and the Black Knight (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhRUe-gz690).

aikilouis
12-31-2008, 02:18 AM
Philip,
You are the one saying we need heroes to tell us what to do. To me, Ellis doesn't tell us stories about Terry Dobson to teach us about what a proper aikidoka should behave, but on the contrary to provoke thought and discussion and to burst a few bubbles of delusion.

The myth of the permanently serene sage, dealing the proper word or the proper ikkyo at the right time, always in the spirit of love, is a frightening caricature.

I don't believe in heroes, and I dont think our conscience can necessarily feel safe because "one has resolved a conflict along the lines of aikido philosophy". This philosophy is not prescriptive beyond a few basic recommendations. Past that, aikido only gives us an opportunity to see the world and ourselves with a bit more honesty, and hopefully influence our behaviour in a more mature and thus efficient way. It implies facing ugly sides of us, some of them would love to remain hidden behind a very tempting holier-than-thou attitude.

Joe McParland
12-31-2008, 04:34 AM
I am not burdened or concerned and so, do not expect any relief. Not sure what you mean by "motives". Here is humoristic take on your "one arm tied behind my back" analogy: King Arthur and the Black Knight (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhRUe-gz690).

"Merely a flesh wound!" :D

In that case: Hard Stylists versus the Aiki-Bunny. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmu5sRIizdw)

Yes, that's right: you know what it is. :p

Joe McParland
12-31-2008, 04:42 AM
To me, Ellis doesn't tell us stories about Terry Dobson to teach us about what a proper aikidoka should behave, but on the contrary to provoke thought and discussion and to burst a few bubbles of delusion.

Whether true or not, we don't have to speculate about what Ellis meant. He's right here; we can ask him.

Speculating is one of the great sources of delusion. :)

aikilouis
12-31-2008, 04:49 AM
Come on, he is a master of the thought-provoking anecdote, and his various writings on Terry Dobson were always meant to bear testimony on their friendship and how a great practitioner of aikido Mr Dobson was, not as attempts to put him on a pedestal.

Joe McParland
12-31-2008, 04:56 AM
Come on, he is a master of the thought-provoking anecdote, and his various writings on Terry Dobson were always meant to bear testimony on their friendship and how a great practitioner of aikido Mr Dobson was, not as attempts to put him on a pedestal.

You should ask Ellis if he enjoys the pedestal you've put him on. :)

Ron Tisdale
12-31-2008, 07:51 AM
Show me that quadriplegic person practicing aikido, David, and we will ask that person. That way you may be relieved not to be burdened with concern about that person's practice or second-guess his or her motives.

Well, you could ask *this* person...

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=293

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
12-31-2008, 07:54 AM
You should ask Ellis if he enjoys the pedestal you've put him on. :)

Believe me, if you've ever met him, you would *know* Ellis don't need no stinkin' pedestal. :D

Best,
Ron (man is he TALL...I remember being asked to strike yokomen, and looking around for a foot stool...;))

Joe McParland
12-31-2008, 08:14 AM
Well, you could ask *this* person...

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=293

Best,
Ron

Excellent! Let's wait for David to check in with his opinion about this fellow's practice :)

sorokod
12-31-2008, 09:00 AM
Excellent! Let's wait for David to check in with his opinion about this fellow's practice :)

I did not say anything about what a handicapped person is capable of achieving. I did say that handicapping oneself on purpose, as you suggested, is is silly.

Buck
12-31-2008, 09:12 AM
Come on, he is a master of the thought-provoking anecdote, and his various writings on Terry Dobson were always meant to bear testimony on their friendship and how a great practitioner of aikido Mr Dobson was, not as attempts to put him on a pedestal.

Not to criticize anyone individual who does tell stories like the one in the thread, but it does put someone on a pedestal, intentionally or not. That is why I think such stories should be prefaced, because it is human to read such a story as written and not walk away with admiration if you see that violence solves a problem.

What if Terry was a woman, how do we expect women to act in such a situation. Do we encourage her to act as Terry did, to go over there and man-handle some guy? And honestly, Terry didn't feel his girl friend had the abilities to protect herself, and needed to rough up the guy. If Terry was a woman, we wouldn't expect woman to retaliate on someone else behalf for an assault- threatening words, gestures, and throwing a beer bottle.

We can look at Terry's action in a more common way out side of Aikido. His actions where about old fashion chivalry and a hot temper who choose to act in a violent manner to intimidate. Yea, you can throw in some male ego too-not that is a bad thing.

If you hold to Aikido philosophy, or even those of some religions, many society. Even though I understand Ellis's point. Terry's actions are violent and not acceptable. They didn't resolve anything other then stuff within Terry and his girlfriend, i.e. they felt better as a result. It wasn't the best way to resolve a conflict by greater standards.

Repeated stories of the same person will often make them bigger than life. They often don't capture the reality of what is being told. They also don't provide complete context of the events told by the story, they are usually one sided and come from the bias view point of the story teller. They often mislead the reader into misconceptions etc. Stories then are for the most part not accurate accounts of realities or facts, and shouldn't be seen as such. Because stories can be very misleading and untruthful.

Stories are wonderful things, we use them to inspire, teach, persuade, entertain, tell history, provoke thought, etc. But, they also and do create fantasy and don't accurately show reality. We can say stories like those of O'Sensei catching bullets created allot of misconception leading to the unrealistic views of Aikido and the abilities of Aikidoka and conflict resolution. That is my point, I am not wanting to criticize, but rather point out the effects of stories and how they affect readers. That is why they should be prefaced.

To add, think about all the stories that where once believed as fact, to be later discoved the author used a writer's (artistic) license, wasn't Oprah fooled as many sometime ago by someone who wrote a book as a true story and it wasn't.

Ron Tisdale
12-31-2008, 09:22 AM
Even though I understand Ellis's point.

Hmmm, I'm not so sure you DO understand his point.

They also don't provide complete context of the events told by the story, they are usually one sided and come from the bias view point of the story teller. They often mislead the reader into misconceptions etc.

Actually, the story that Ellis told was obviously used to ADD context to the thread and other posts. Of course, it is up to the reader to interpret what they read ACCURATELY. Which seems to be something that is often ignored. I see people reading all kinds of things into what they read...and shake my head.

Stories then are for the most part not accurate accounts of realities or facts, and shouldn't be seen as such. Because stories can be very misleading and untruthful.

Again, common sense here...I wonder why it even needs saying?

We can say stories like those of O'Sensei catching bullets created allot of misconception leading to the unrealistic views of Aikido and the abilities ...

See, this is an excellent example. THERE ARE NO STORIES OF UESHIBA CATCHING BULLETS. You just made that up...having read something somewhere, and having forgotten what you read (if indeed you got it when you read it), you just popped off with something not accurate to even the story that was told.

Which leads me to think the problem here isn't with Ellis...

Best,
Ron

Buck
12-31-2008, 09:29 AM
Hmmm, I'm not so sure you DO understand his point.


That is the thing Ron, I am not addressing his point. I am addressing the use of stories to persuade people in terms of conflict resolution, and how people see those stories for means of conflict resolution. Stories that inspired the "soft" Aikidoka, and the "hard" Aikidoka. I am talking about stories related to Aikido and how they effect people's views. :)

Joe McParland
12-31-2008, 09:45 AM
I did not say anything about what a handicapped person is capable of achieving. I did say that handicapping oneself on purpose, as you suggested, is is silly.

I'll stick to your original analogy, why tie only one arm behind your back, why not both? And the feet, why not tie them as well?

One could claim that quadriplegic people are actually practicing Aikido by just living, but not very convincingly.

Emphasis added by me---but I'll concede that that was not your point, and I'll add that you missed my point as well.

Whether the person is in a wheelchair because he was paralyzed in a car accident (circumstance), or because he does not know he can walk (delusion or ignorance), or whether he consciously chooses to sit there (delusion or enlightened choice), who am I to criticize his practice or question what value he obtains from it?

As for why someone might make a choice to handicap himself, that is also not necessarily for me to question either. I, for instance, choose to be bound by laws. I choose to be bound by marriage. I choose to be bound by parental responsibilities. I choose to be bound by contracts I enter. ... I figure that handicapping myself in these ways benefits me, my family, society, ... But they're my choices. Will you question them?

I heard an interesting anecdote about an exchange with the Dali Lama. A lay person questions him, "Why are you celibate?" His response: "I am celibate for the same reason that you are not." I suspect that the answer points to an error in the question...

Ron Tisdale
12-31-2008, 10:14 AM
That is the thing Ron, I am not addressing his point. I am addressing the use of stories to persuade people in terms of conflict resolution, and how people see those stories for means of conflict resolution. Stories that inspired the "soft" Aikidoka, and the "hard" Aikidoka. I am talking about stories related to Aikido and how they effect people's views. :)

In that case, why not start a new thread and don't mention Ellis at all?

Why not at least use REAL events as your examples?

Best,
Ron (inquiring minds, and all that...)

sorokod
12-31-2008, 10:23 AM
In the mental experiment you suggested, you choose to train with your arm tied behind your back. I was not questioning every human being with every possible handicap, I was/am questioning you in that setup.

As to the Dalai Lama story, its cute, sounds deep without saying much. Works nicely with substitutions too:

"Why are you XXXX?" (where XXXX is any human activity done by choice)
"I am XXXX for the same reason that you are not."

so:

"I am vegetarian for the same reason that you are not."
"I am republican for the same reason that you are not."
"I am democrat for the same reason that you are not."
"I am communist for the same reason that you are not."

Ron Tisdale
12-31-2008, 10:31 AM
Hi David, not taking sides, but I am currious about something.

Why did people originally practice waza from seiza? One answer might be...people found themselves *handicapped* by society's requirement to sit in seiza, so they found a method to practice fighting under that handicap.

Why do we practice two hands grabbing one? Well, sometimes people do that, which places you at a disadvantage, a *handicap* of sorts.

Why do we practice against multiple attackers? Or unarmed against armed?

Why are any of those methods or scenarios different from say, simulating losing the use of one arm?

Best,
Ron

sorokod
12-31-2008, 10:52 AM
Ron, perhaps I am wrong, but Joe's approach seems to extend beyond a method of training to life outside the dojo, so to speak.

Ron Tisdale
12-31-2008, 10:55 AM
Ah, perhaps that's where the mis-understanding is.

Best,
Ron

Joe McParland
12-31-2008, 11:04 AM
In the mental experiment you suggested, you choose to train with your arm tied behind your back. I was not questioning every human being with every possible handicap, I was/am questioning you in that setup.


Not hindrance but challenge, and I do like the "one hand analogy", it captures something interesting. Aikido, as I understand it, is a physical discipline at its most basic level (it can be more, but you can not take the basics away). Intentionally handicapping yourself makes no sense.

Emphasis mine, again. I'm sorry; I thought you caught the abstraction when you correctly called it an analogy. :o

If you'd like to make it a concrete example, I'm good with that. Let's say that I was training for the circumstance that my arm was incapacitated in a knife fight. Let's say that I have a student with an amputation, and I want to understand his circumstances so I can maximize his practice.

Is it still a silly way to practice?

When you don't know the full picture about why a person does what he does, and you draw conclusions, you make an error. But the error was not necessarily drawing the wrong conclusion; it was seeing the difference in the first place.

So, what is the point in a so-called "hard stylist" looking for error in a so-called "aiki-bunny's" interpretation of aikido? Seeing the difference and holding to one side or the other, one's view of the world becomes skewed. For instance, you may read a neutral statement about making an arrest and interpret it as supporting your view.


As to the Dalai Lama story, its cute, sounds deep without saying much. Works nicely with substitutions too:

"Why are you XXXX?" (where XXXX is any human activity done by choice)
"I am XXXX for the same reason that you are not."

so:

"I am vegetarian for the same reason that you are not."
"I am republican for the same reason that you are not."
"I am democrat for the same reason that you are not."
"I am communist for the same reason that you are not."

I agree that certain types of substitutions work. And I'm glad it's so easy to understand! So, tell me, what is the reason he speaks of?

Joe McParland
12-31-2008, 11:07 AM
As an aside, I'm not oblivious to the possibility that I'm coming off like an ass. I'm zen-poisoned as well as an aikido fan. ;) Bear with me as I try to reason through my thoughts with you.

Ellis Amdur
12-31-2008, 11:09 AM
The only reason I brought up Terry was because the "train story" was brought up again, as the trump card in the discussion.
Ahh - I can't help it. My fingers are moving. I must write another anecdote . . .. I swear by all that is holy that this is true, and that Terry only figures into it because - - - well, you'll see.
I was riding on a train in Japan (see, I knew you wouldn't believe me!). It was the Sobu line - I was coming home from kick boxing practice (quelle horrible!!!), tired, oh so tired, hanging on a strap of the train. A muscular Japanese man got on the train, dressed in a camie jacket, his mouth in a snarl. He took a look at me, and without a word, slugged me in the stomach. I was in such good shape, then, that it didn't hurt. It's hard to be mad (well, harder) when you aren't hurt. I grabbed his forearm and told him, "If you try anything like that again, I'll have to hurt you." He struggled and cursed at me, and in the process, dropped a book he was carrying.
I thought of Terry. I thought of the train story. Compassion. Conflict resolution. And so, I let him go, bent my knees (I did keep my eyes on him), picked up his book and said, "You dropped this. Looks like a valuable book."
His eyes widened. He took the book, his face softened, and he said to me, "You are a good guy. Hey, let's say you and I go get a few drinks, and then grab some woman and rape her."

I will repeat. This story is absolutely true. I simply walked off the train at the next stop. Yet another occasion when I still wonder if the moral response should have been - - - well, I have another story about that in Dueling with Osensei.

C. David Henderson
12-31-2008, 11:18 AM
Nothing like the bloom of a new friendship, is there?

Buck
12-31-2008, 11:20 AM
In that case, why not start a new thread and don't mention Ellis at all?

Why not at least use REAL events as your examples?

Best,
Ron (inquiring minds, and all that...)

Ron,

I am sorry I rub you the wrong way, but this isn't a form for going into that.

Being human not everyone is going to like one another. I respect your right to disagree with passion and emotion on a topic or opinion with in reason and without intentional direct or indirect personal attacks. I respect the fact you admire Ellis and his opinions.

For that reason I am talking about the use of stories and the relationship they have with conflict resolution, and not about if Ellis's views via a story are the corrects views on conflict resolution or not. I am more concerned with the effects stories of conflict resolution (true or not, macho to superhuman) have on Aikido and conflict resolution. As we know stories of O'Sensei have shaped the way people see Aikido, both naively, skeptical, jadded, and more.

I am not putting down anyone, or judging those who look at Aikido differently then I do here. Yes, I do have my own personal opinion, though at this time I don't want to go into it at this point- trust me it wouldn't change the world if I did.

And FWIW, another thread has been started. :)

As I re-edit this I see Ellis has comment briefly reading it, it seem he has a sense of what I am talking about.

sorokod
12-31-2008, 11:21 AM
As an aside, I'm not oblivious to the possibility that I'm coming off like an ass. I'm zen-poisoned as well as an aikido fan. ;) Bear with me as I try to reason through my thoughts with you.

Peace man.

About the Dalai Lama, asking him about celibacy is so stupid I suspect he was just making fun of the interviewer with el cheapo zen koan.

Keith Larman
12-31-2008, 11:25 AM
Yet another occasion when I still wonder if the moral response should have been - - -

Tis a shame how the real world screws with our most cherished dogma.

Years ago in a graduate level ethics class there was a discussion about coming across a person raping the murdered body of a child. A "What would you do" kind of discussion. Lots of ideas were floated but when it came to me I had to be honest -- I'd probably try to beat the guy to death. I still remember the professor (from the religious studies department) starting to shake his head as I said it. He knew me. I pointed out that the discussion was about what you *would* do and not what you *should* do. I knew myself well enough to know that I'd likely not have the self-control to stop myself if I had witnessed something so horrible. But then as others tried to explain moral and categorical imperatives to me I quietly realized that maybe my answer to the *would* question was also the correct answer to the *should* question as well. That realization has never left me.

I must admit that discussion years ago forever destroyed my idealist view of myself and right action. I still don't know the "right" answer.

And I wonder if I *should* just hold him knowing he would likely have a chance to do it again...

Okay, flame away... Evil pagan in your midst. ;)

Ron Tisdale
12-31-2008, 11:49 AM
Ron,

I am sorry I rub you the wrong way, but this isn't a form for going into that.

I don't know you, so you don't rub me one way or the other...thankfully! :D

Being human not everyone is going to like one another.

Like or dislike has nothing to do with it (as far as any personal level is concerned). Again, I don't know you...so it hasn't occurred to me to like or dislike you.

I respect your right to disagree with passion and emotion on a topic or opinion with in reason and without intentional direct or indirect personal attacks. I respect the fact you admire Ellis and his opinions.

Ditto. I respect your opinions, what I most often take issue with is the manner in which those opinions are expressed. There are numerous times when it appears that your posts miss entirely the point of other posts, turn out to be insulting to other posters, are wordy or extremely confusing or unclear, and are ripe for mis-understanding. You have control over all of that...whether you exercise it or not.

As we know stories of O'Sensei have shaped the way people see Aikido, both naively, skeptical, jadded, and more.

So please explain to me how inaccurately quoting a story in any way promotes the points you want to make? Please explain to me how it does anything but actually FOSTER the very things you say you wish to highlight and prevent?

I am not putting down anyone, or judging those who look at Aikido differently then I do here. Yes, I do have my own personal opinion, though at this time I don't want to go into it at this point- trust me it wouldn't change the world if I did.

Hey don't take it personally...I see really awful writing, and I make suggestions for improving it. Toss it out with the trash if you like. But I can guarantee your reception on threads would be quite different if your writing improved. And I think your true meaning might come across as well.

Best,
Ron

Ellis Amdur
12-31-2008, 11:49 AM
Actually, I do not really have a sense of what Buck is getting at - but that's fine.
Keith - I think the "would" and the "should" may be the same in the example you gave. And to those who might say, "how will that end the 'cycle' of violence?' a) I don't see moral equivalency here b) I don't think we ever will. Bad things and bad people must be stopped - and I am well aware that there are many times we don't know who is bad and how best to stop them.

And, also germane to the subject, I have published a series of three books on the de-escalation of mentally ill and emotionally disturbed individuals. There are two versions - one for families who live with such folk and the other for social services professionals, although most all of it is applicable to anyone. You cannot always stop those who are trying to hurt you without force, but here is the best information I know of how to do so. http://www.edgework.info/care-action.html
Titles are:
1. Lifelines in the Dark: Communication Strategies for Reaching the Person Behind the Symptoms
2. Centering: Standing with Strength and Grace in Crisis Situations
3. In the Eye of the Hurricane: Calming and De-escalation of Aggressive Individuals
(NOTE: The professional version of this last is about triple the size and will go by another name - Grace Under Fire. It comes out in January

They even have a few anecdotes.
Best

Ron Tisdale
12-31-2008, 11:59 AM
Happy GNU Year Ellis, Buck and all!

I've hit my posting limit for 08.

Best,
Ron

aikilouis
12-31-2008, 12:04 PM
While we are promoting books, I am currently reading Protecting the Gift (by Gavin de Becker), and it is a good complement on the subject.

Keith Larman
12-31-2008, 12:40 PM
Keith - I think the "would" and the "should" may be the same in the example you gave. And to those who might say, "how will that end the 'cycle' of violence?' a) I don't see moral equivalency here b) I don't think we ever will. Bad things and bad people must be stopped - and I am well aware that there are many times we don't know who is bad and how best to stop them.

Yes, I think you are correct especially in the hypothetical I was given. Rarely is life so cut and dried and that's what makes things so difficult. Back at the time I was a single grad student and I realized that the *should* for me was easier to decide because I didn't have responsibilities outside of my individual life. Now with a wife and child the issue is even more difficult because I have to balance the likelihood of me being put away for doing what I think in such a case must be the correct action. And then feeling the conflict of protecting children like my very own. But not wanting to be taken away from my own child and family due to trying to protect someone else's...

We all find guidance somewhere. For some it would be the old holy books -- for some those are absolute truth, for others maybe convenient mythology. For some it is about looking inside for that innate sense of right and wrong. For some they look to their Aikido for guidance and while I think there are good lessons to be learned, well, the danger is relying too much on dogma instead of seeing the messy, screwy, grey-shaded world we live in. Or somewhat like Marx pointed out sometimes these things become our crutches that allow us to not bother questioning the more difficult problems we face.

One of my favorite Nietzsche quotes,

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

So to complete my philosopher name dropping I think the real problem for most of us is to avoid seeing the world through the rose-colored lenses. I think the best lesson in Aikido (as in many Japanese arts) is best summed up by Fudo Myo. Now there is an ideal to strive for.

Enough stream of consciousness deep thoughts for me for one day. On a more mundane note I've got a handle to wrap today and I wanted to show my daughter how it is done. Enough thoughts of bad things, time to focus on the good stuff for a while. :)

Buck
12-31-2008, 05:10 PM
THERE ARE NO STORIES OF UESHIBA CATCHING BULLETS. You just made that up...having read something somewhere, and having forgotten what you read (if indeed you got it when you read it), you just popped off with something not accurate to even the story that was told.

Which leads me to think the problem here isn't with Ellis...

Best,
Ron

I did used the word catch rather then dodge bullets. There was a story where O'Sensei was to dodge bullets. Here is the link http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=48651

I am sure my use of the word "catch" instead of "dodge" really threw allot of people off. That is another point with the use of stories (anecdotes) create inaccuracies leading people to a host of misunderstandings- to be naive about Aikido conflict resolution.

What ever the personal opinion of what Aikido conflict resolution is, be it naive "soft" Aikidoka, or not, it can't be outside of the law. And stories that promote such action and will inspire others, which needs to be done more responsibly when told. As I said before, many other arts don't look fondly upon using martial arts skills in the manner as told in Ellis's story. I think a preface should have been given.

Ellis Amdur
12-31-2008, 07:35 PM
AH, now I get it. Buck, you believe in non-violence! Now it's clear! (I don't, particularly, believe in non-violence, fwiw).
And you also believe that if someone read my story of Terry grabbing a rapist by the throat intent on hurting the man who tried to maim someone dear to him, that they, naive and ijmpressionable, will, from that story alone, be moved to act in a similar manner when someone tries to rape and maim their loved ones, when they never would have dreamed of doing so before - or, to be fair, might have dreamed of it, but wouldn't have, due to the powerful influence of TrueAikido(TM) as exemplified by Terry's train story, now irrevocably undermined by Terry's back alley story.
Reminds of another story - I just cannot resist!!! Fingers - you must stop!
Someone complained to Nidai Doshu (in my presence) about people being hurt on the mat, during aikido practice. Doshu looked amused and said, "Well, it is a martial art. Maybe such people shouldn't do aikido."
Arrrggghhh! Another slew of impressionable people will now, under Doshu's influence (as channeled by me) start hurting people, whereas before, believing Doshu to be kind and benign and peaceful, would never have hurt someone.
Keep messing with me and I will tell more stories - like a guy who wrote a letter to a newspaper after flying to Japan next to the Dalai lama, and he sees the holy man chowing down on a large steak, and asks him, "Excuse me, but aren't you Buddhists vegetarian?" And the Dalai Lama replied, "Oh, that's only for really serious Buddhists."
(And as you read this, Buck, know that somewhere, an aikidoka vegetarian is off the wagon and on the hunt, as vulnerable cow all unaware that she is about to be ingested by an anecdotally influenced fruitarian).

C. David Henderson
12-31-2008, 07:49 PM
You know, I understand a chinese finger trap or two helps with wayward fingers, but I would miss Ellis' stories. (And writing.)

Are we going to fight about conflict resolution?

Just asking.

DH

Keith Larman
12-31-2008, 08:19 PM
...As I said before, many other arts don't look fondly upon using martial arts skills in the manner as told in Ellis's story. I think a preface should have been given.

Since when was Terry Dobson the second coming of Christ? You know, I discuss quite a few things including some awkward, difficult situations with my daughter when she asks and she's only 8. The one thing I tell her consistently is that no matter what she hears or is told by others (myself included) she can always use her own brain to think, understand, and decide for herself. And I remind her that no one is perfect, no one is infallible. But the one thing you always have is your ability to decide for yourself. The rarest ability IMHO is to have the strength of character to look deep. I fail on it myself but it should always be a goal. Didn't I mention Fudo Myoo already? ;)

So... Good for you but honestly I see the world completely differently. I'm not at all interested in a "sanitized for your protection" world. And why should you if the stories you hear are only the ones that fit a predigested, packaged and hyped world view? Terry Dobson was a human being. O-sensei was a human being. And I've yet to meet the omniscient, omnibenevolent warrior sage stereotype in real life. The only ones who seem to try to be that warrior sage are usually puffed up deluded airbags more interested in supporting fragile egos.

Picking and choosing your "mytholody" may have a long history, but it still seems to me to be more like being fed a load of BS rather than, oh, learning, thinking, and deciding for yourself...

Give me the truth, warts and all. And let me decide for myself, thank you very much.

Buck
12-31-2008, 08:39 PM
AH, now I get it. Buck, you believe in non-violence! Now it's clear! (I don't, particularly, believe in non-violence, fwiw).


Nope, not at all. I too think Aikido is a martial art. And as I said before I believe you are as only good as you train, so perfect practice makes perfect. I do believe in the law, and control, and using necessary force, and non-violence long before Aikido, it came from the teaching of my parents, school, religion, and society when I was a wee laddy on how to resolve conflicts. And that is why I believe in non-violence. With that said, being bully bait and getting the violence, like the Dalai Lama eating steak, yes, am anti-violence. Yes, I had to fight back. Yes, I used other skills then my "machismo" awesome martial arts skills..."cough". I realized that is the highest form of skill, not always applicable to every situation is that. I know police are trained in such skill, they just don't shoot first and ask questions later. I guess that is for real cops. I guess as far as your are concerned the use of violence and taking matter's into your own hands is for real Aikidokas. Like, you are right, by your standards then I am not a real Aikidoka.

What is wrong with Terry calling the police first, then going over there and say..hmmm chatting it up with the guy (now a rapist who threw a beer bottle etc.) until the police came. See what has happen now this rapist wasn't put in jail, he went free to rape again. I disagree with the choice of conflict resolution Terry made of grabbing the guy by the throat, I didn't know that was an Aikido technique, etc. and then letting him go.

I understand, your saying we all should act out of the heat of the moment violently, that is the way to do things. Yea, I know, it is hard to exercise self-control with all that Aikido training under your belt. Is this what you want from all those Aikidoka who you say have a, "...naive idea of aikido magically being able to resolve all conflict, particularly 'soft' aikido." to do? To use violence? To assault someone who had done you wrong, because that is what real Aikidoka do? Really is that what Aikido is for? I am finding it hard to figure out who is really naive about resolving conflict.

Stories of those we decide to look up to, people we want to model ourselves in their likeness can be dangerous no matter how you look at resolving conflict.

Honestly, Terry was lucky he wasn't stabbed by the guy, or even shot at some point. I guess real Aikidokas take those chances?

Buck
12-31-2008, 08:52 PM
And FWIW, we are not talking about a person who is being raped, etc. We are taking about a boy friend whose girl friend was assaulted at another location then the boy friend. The boy friend and his friend gets wind of it and goes where the assault takes place finds the bad guy and teaches lesson. Once the lesson is administered the bad guy flees into the night.

That is all. I am not talking about a situation where a person is car-jacked, or victims of other violent crimes. I am not saying they shouldn't fight back. A person is only as good as their training. And as the saying goes, perfect practice makes perfect. :) Happy New Year 2009 !

Buck
12-31-2008, 09:05 PM
Ellis, when I think of conflict resolution and violence, I think of what is and has been happening in Israel and Palestine, in the last thousand or so years. Maybe...Christ was on to something, with turning the other cheek thingy. He, MLK, Gandhi, and others alike, I think had a real good handle on conflict resolution and violence concerning the story you told about Terry. I guess I am in good company.

Ellis Amdur
12-31-2008, 09:08 PM
I wouldn't know what an "aikidoka" is. I don't think such a thing exists. People practice aikido, a martial art, of some utility in certain circumstances. People also fantacize a lot about something they call aikido, based on poor English translations of the cryptic statements of a somewhat meglomaniacal shaman-like man, who imposed an ideology of sorts on his version of another martial art, and meld their own fantasies with those of their teachers and those whose views are congenial or stimulating that they read or hear somewhere - and state that this is AIKIDO.
What's interesting is how you fanticize about me as well. I never said that "taking violence in one's own hands is for real aikidoka." I never prescribe anything for aikidoka since I don't believe such an entity exists. And I never recommended anything in this thread, at least. I just told a couple of stories.
Seems to me, you may be the impressionable type of person you are so worried about - because I think you may be the only one who interpreted things as a) directed at how aikidoka should act b) directed at you.
For you say that by my standards, you are not a real aikidoka. Well, I don't think you are - because I don't think such a thing exists.
As for aikido, I believe that aikido is what Osensei said it was - and he was quite clear that a) he didn't care about good and evil, saying that they were irrelevent, b) that the conflict resolution he was concerned about was the reconciliation of cosmic forces, not helping people get along. And that is something I do not subscribe to in the least. Ueshiba interests me, but he is certainly not a model or exemplar of anything I would want to be, or model myself on.
(Terry, by the way, would disagree - but that would require another story, and that would be, as you say, a dangerous thing).
And finally - you say, yet again - "Stories of those we decide to look up to, people we want to model ourselves in their likeness can be dangerous no matter how you look at resolving conflict." In other words, "don't burst my bubble." OK, don't float it in my direction.
Ellis Amdur

Buck
12-31-2008, 09:09 PM
And I don't agree with the president and his philosophy on conflict resolution.

Buck
12-31-2008, 09:23 PM
Ellis, stories can be dangerous because they create naive notions of reality, if not properly prefaced. I am saying authors and story tellers have a responsibility to their readers in telling such stories as you do, for the reasons you do. My original concern was that the story you told was equally creating naive notions on the opposite end of the scale as those you criticized to be "soft." Is that fair, is that wise. Am sorry I popped your bubble.

I still think the greatest conflict resolution regarding this thread isn't going to be physical battery. That might not agree with you. But it has been my experience after a many sessions with the bully that a look can be the most effective way to resolve a conflict in many situations. In my case, a look from a bully was all it took for me and others to be intimidated. Well my Mom too. She had a look too. It resolved many conflicts for years between me and my siblings. Oh yea, and teachers, coaches, etc. too. Oh and Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry and other films. He was goooood. He had an eye.

mathewjgano
12-31-2008, 11:27 PM
I wouldn't know what an "aikidoka" is.

Well now I'm really confused! And if you don't know what it is...how do you not think such a thing exists? Sorry...couldn't help myself.:p
Happy new year!

Buck
01-01-2009, 10:33 AM
As for aikido, I believe that aikido is what Osensei said it was - and he was quite clear that a) he didn't care about good and evil, saying that they were irrelevent, b) that the conflict resolution he was concerned about was the reconciliation of cosmic forces, not helping people get along. And that is something I do not subscribe to in the least. Ueshiba interests me, but he is certainly not a model or exemplar of anything I would want to be, or model myself on.


Ellis, I agree here. In fact, I also have said before that I personally have no clue to what O'Sensei is saying with those types of thingies.I feel that misinterpretation of O'Sensei isn't a good thing. My models for conflict resolution don't come from O'Sensei, but Aikido does have a number of elements that parallel technically and philosophically i.e. working toward peace and not war, civility etc.

But for your last sentence that is the concern regarding Terry's behavior as well, and what I just talked about. Again, society -the law- tells how to handle things differently than Terry did in those situation. We shouldn't take the law into our own hands and we should be law abiding citizens. I think , well know, that is something that all Aikidoka/ Aikido people from the top of the ranks to the bottom of the ranks should do. And anything else is misleading, and irresponsible. :)

Ron, I hope you now can understand my point.

Ron Tisdale
01-01-2009, 02:25 PM
No, I cannot, and I also cannot understand how amazingly difficult it is for you to understand others.

No matter, we tried...

Best,
Ron (it is better to have tried and failed...)

Happy GNU Year! (Ellis, your writing just keeps getting better! :D)

Aikibu
01-01-2009, 03:30 PM
Happy New Year Everyone,

Good Points Ellis... Your stories...Reminds me of a personal story....

In my final interview for LASO The last question my background investigator asked was...Mr Hazen with your Military Background what would you do in the following scenario. Carlos The Jackel ( The worlds worst terrorist at the time) was holding a hostage at gunpoint in front of you and you are drawing down on him. You tell him to give himself up and he holds up his gun hand in an act of surrender and says I give up... what would you do? "I would shoot him in the head and them walk over and put two in his chest. "
This shocked him and he changed his recommendation from "hire" to "no hire" right on the spot and then asked me to explain myself which I spent the next half hour doing. I said a man who hold his gun up in the air has not really surrendered and a trained terrorist may be waiting to see if I relax and then shoot blah blah blah...Then I just said "Honestly Detective This is the worlds worst terrorist responsible for the deaths of thousands of people and HE HAS A GUN IN HIS HAND!!!" What would you do...He said I would go with my training and arrest him...and I said Well my training is to shoot first. He changed his mind back to hire and said the training would take care of my desire to shoot. LOL

Explains (some) Aikido to me in a nutshell. LOL

William Hazen

Buck
01-01-2009, 04:51 PM
No, I cannot, and I also cannot understand how amazingly difficult it is for you to understand others.

No matter, we tried...

Best,
Ron (it is better to have tried and failed...)

Happy GNU Year! (Ellis, your writing just keeps getting better! :D)

No Ron, you amaze me, over and over again. I bet you don't even drink.

ChrisMoses
01-02-2009, 10:36 AM
Happy New Year Everyone,

Good Points Ellis... Your stories...Reminds me of a personal story....



Fun thread!

William, this kind of reminds me or the non-hypothetical incident in local news right now: linky (http://www.komonews.com/news/local/36990559.html) The comments amaze me.

Aikibu
01-02-2009, 10:41 AM
Fun thread!

William, this kind of reminds me or the non-hypothetical incident in local news right now: linky (http://www.komonews.com/news/local/36990559.html) The comments amaze me.

Unreal and to think this stuff happens almost everyday.

Take Care Sensei Moses and congrats on the new location.:)

William Hazen

jennifer paige smith
01-02-2009, 10:58 AM
The only reason I brought up Terry was because the "train story" was brought up again, as the trump card in the discussion. [/QUOTE}

No. It was not brought up as a trump card. It was brought up as a relative thought and I believed some people who hadn't read it might enjoy it. Not a thing more. I can accept you took it that way. As a matter of fact, I guess I knew you would. But what am I 'sposed to do about that?

I've thought a bit about your tone over the last few days and I came to this idea:
I do think you brought it up because you have a bone to pick with what you perceive as a general malaise on the part of aikidoka and an unrealistic idea that may people have about what training should bring and what 'peace' means.



[QUOTE=]Ahh - I can't help it. My fingers are moving. I must write another anecdote . . .. I swear by all that is holy that this is true, and that Terry only figures into it because - - - well, you'll see.
I was riding on a train in Japan (see, I knew you wouldn't believe me!). It was the Sobu line - I was coming home from kick boxing practice (quelle horrible!!!), tired, oh so tired, hanging on a strap of the train. A muscular Japanese man got on the train, dressed in a camie jacket, his mouth in a snarl. He took a look at me, and without a word, slugged me in the stomach. I was in such good shape, then, that it didn't hurt. It's hard to be mad (well, harder) when you aren't hurt. I grabbed his forearm and told him, "If you try anything like that again, I'll have to hurt you." He struggled and cursed at me, and in the process, dropped a book he was carrying.
I thought of Terry. I thought of the train story. Compassion. Conflict resolution. And so, I let him go, bent my knees (I did keep my eyes on him), picked up his book and said, "You dropped this. Looks like a valuable book."
His eyes widened. He took the book, his face softened, and he said to me, "You are a good guy. Hey, let's say you and I go get a few drinks, and then grab some woman and rape her."

I will repeat. This story is absolutely true. I simply walked off the train at the next stop. Yet another occasion when I still wonder if the moral response should have been - - - well, I have another story about that in Dueling with Osensei.

Good stories all. And there is no quibble from me, as I honestly said, I've got a lot of war stories, too. And I mean what I said when I pointed out that we are all 'real people being real'. I believe I alluded to my point of view that we are not demi-gods setting some moral standard. We are people becoming more truly ourselves. For each person that is different. And If I didn't say it explicitly before. I'm saying it now.

Thanks

Aikibu
01-02-2009, 11:16 AM
[QUOTE=]T
Good stories all. And there is no quibble from me, as I honestly said, I've got a lot of war stories, too. And I mean what I said when I pointed out that we are all 'real people being real'. I believe I alluded to my point of view that we are not demi-gods setting some moral standard. We are people becoming more truly ourselves. For each person that is different. And If I didn't say it explicitly before. I'm saying it now.
Thanks

So very very true. :) I'll bet The Lane is foggy cold and perfect right now. Happy New Year Jen. :)

William Hazen

jennifer paige smith
01-02-2009, 11:21 AM
[QUOTE=Jennifer Smith;222662]

So very very true. :) I'll bet The Lane is foggy cold and perfect right now. Happy New Year Jen. :)

William Hazen

Thanks for hearing me, William.
About The Lane....You Got it, Buster;).

Michael Douglas
01-02-2009, 12:04 PM
...Again, society -the law- tells how to handle things differently than Terry did in those situation. We shouldn't take the law into our own hands and we should be law abiding citizens.
I surely can't be alone in thinking 'society' is NOT equal to 'the Law'.
Philip are you saying the Law reflects each society's ideal structure for justice? or maybe the Law in your area reflects an/THE ideal structure for justice?

I believe we should take justice into our own hands as and when required by circumstance. Most of the time that'd be law-abiding anyway.
I happen to believe Terry's throat-grab of bottle-chucker was well within my own view of justice, given the story and no extra facts.

Buck
01-02-2009, 02:46 PM
I surely can't be alone in thinking 'society' is NOT equal to 'the Law'.
Philip are you saying the Law reflects each society's ideal structure for justice? or maybe the Law in your area reflects an/THE ideal structure for justice?

I believe we should take justice into our own hands as and when required by circumstance. Most of the time that'd be law-abiding anyway.
I happen to believe Terry's throat-grab of bottle-chucker was well within my own view of justice, given the story and no extra facts.

What I am saying is you don't take the law into your own hands. Terry's actions means he by-passed the law, took matters into his own hands. Terry wasn't stopping a crime. He committed one too and both men got away with it. The end result is the emotional release Terry got from it, verses, calling the cops having the guy arrested. But some people are brawlers and feel the best way to resolve conflict is with violence, when violence is really not needed to resolve the conflict.

What if we allowed everyone to act like Terry did? The answer is seen in history of New York with all the gangs and violence, or the Barbary Coast of S.F. More importantly not everyone can intimidate people like Terry did. From what I can tell the guy was smaller than Terry. And as I said before, Terry is lucky he wasn't stabbed, or shot. I am not into vigilante justice, it tends to be more romanticized than it really is, and I ain't made for that, it wouldn't work for me. What is the saying, the pen is greater than the sword.

Here is what I really want to say is my major point. The law parallels O'Sensei's views on violence and peace, society wants a peaceful civil society, and not a violent chaotic society. That means yes you will have a murder rate, and other crime rates. But what you don't have is a feral society driven by violence. O'Sensei as difficult to understand, is really over-ridden by society (most I know of) that sets peace as its goals for its people.

I don't know about you, but prision isn't a society I would want to live in.

Keith Larman
01-02-2009, 04:49 PM
No Ron, you amaze me, over and over again. I bet you don't even drink.
Well, Buck, I'm not Ron but I do drink on occasion. And frankly reading your posts perfectly sober (right now) or after a few double martinis (a few days ago) appears to make little difference. I usually sit here scratching my head wondering how on earth you get what you seem to get from what is written.

Buck
01-02-2009, 07:44 PM
Ya, know Keith it really doesn't matter. This thread is really not worth it.

As threads go it's not all that interesting. It's not Ellis' best work, it will not win him any accolades if there where any for Aikido/martial arts. I just wish he would have prefaced Terry's story. :)