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marlon10
12-31-2008, 01:22 PM
I know this issue has been buried to death. However I wanted to get your opinion on some ideas of mine. In a previous post I asked for advice on finding good Aikido schools in the Maryland area. Thanks for all the wonderful replies I have received from such a terrific community of practitioners and teachers. I have only had some introductory classes in Aikido years ago, so my experience with it on a physical level is limited. I have, however been involved in the Martial Arts since I was 12 and now I am 33 years of age. I have always kept an open mind towards the various martial arts styles based on the early exposure I had to the concepts and philosophy of Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do. I have been involved with traditional martial arts as well as more modern reality based styles. The conclusions that I have come up with is that many people want to train to protect themselves but few have ever really needed to demonstrate those skills they work so hard to perfect. Also by the very nature of studying how to deal with true combat (definition meaning that the result can leave someone dead or maimed, definition excluding local bar fight to prove how tough you are) you realize how serious physical confrontation is that you do your best to avoid it. It is my belief that O'sensei grew old enough to realize that most people will never need the type of combat skill soldiers need. That is why the techniques he taught his students evolved during the years into less "lethal" methods with dealing with an aggressor. Anyone who has seen a lot of fighting knows that the only constant in fighting is that anything can happen and you can't prepare for everything. Having been in very limited amounts of confrontations I have discovered one simple concept. Avoidance. 90% of all fights are avoidable. Combat situations like muggings where the assailant intends to kill the victim, rapes, and other criminal activity can possibly avoided that percentage of the time with awareness. The point I am trying to make here is that first we have to identify the definition of types of physical confrontation and then we have to really honestly ask ourselves whether or not we are committed to avoiding it. Violence is serious business, needles to say, MMA training is great for sport but without the awareness training, and clear definition of what type of violence you are training for it is just as susceptible to any of the flaws that traditional Martial arts is criticized for. To sum this up I chose Aikido because spiritually it is a vehicle for greater enlightenment. But BJJ, and other arts can be as well if I choose it to be. It is up to the individual. There really are no great Martial Arts, there are great Martial Artists. But even they are not defined by how many people they killed or defended themselves against, but how many people they influenced. With the spiritual base of Aikido, especially in the latter years of O'sensei's life you can influence so many more people with the love and lifestyle that Aikido has the potential to promote then you can with all the fists thrown. Love and harmony with the universe is something that you can practice no matter how old you get. This is why I chose Aikido.

lifeafter2am
12-31-2008, 01:29 PM
Personally, I think that was well put. :)

Tony Wagstaffe
12-31-2008, 03:28 PM
Then you have chosen wisely:)

Tony

Kevin Leavitt
12-31-2008, 08:06 PM
Good thoughts Marlon! O'Sensei I think had a keen understanding of the balance between violence and peace. I think he taught the way he did to help us better understand and appreciate that balance. The practice of aikido really becomes a reconciliation. Have a Happy New Year!

ChrisHein
01-01-2009, 12:04 PM
A paragraph would have been nice, but who am I to judge, hahaha!

Is Aikido a "vehicle to enlightenment"? I am a proponent of Aikido. There are lots of things about it that I think are awesome. I think its philosophy has the possibility to help enlighten.

But most Aikidoka are arrogant and egotistical. Most Aikidoka are passive aggressive, angry people. Sure everyone talks about love and harmony, but as soon as things become challenging or different we often become a hateful lot.

marlon10
01-01-2009, 01:54 PM
Yes Chris sorry for the long post. When I look back at it I can't believe how much I wrote. I should probably just start a blog. But the point I am trying to make is that so many of us here train for the wrong reasons. Martial Arts was a means of survival back a long time ago. That is why you can trace methods of organized instruction of fighting back to almost any countries history. Not just the Asian one's. Countries in Africa and Europe as well. The thing about it is that times have changed. You don't have honorable people willing to look you in the eye and issue a challenge. You have rob first, clean up the mess later types of situations. Martial Artists of the past lived a lifestyle that cultivated there ability to defend themselves 24 hours a day. Now a days we may devote 4 hours at most 3 -5 days a week in controlled conditions for the possibility of a maybe one life or death confrontation in our lives. It just doesn't add up anymore. Samurai were great warriors because anything less carried the probability of there demise. Today people don't have the time to devote to that type of dedication. And should we even. I mean even if you watch the news everynight where murders and muggings are always being reported do you really believe that the chance of you getting mugged is that great. You have a much better chance of being in a car accident, yet most of us have not devised a martial science of driving safely. And for all you reality based artists who think that I am wrong about your chances of being involved in a confrontation, just take a poll on this forum full of Marital artists and ask how many of these people have been in life or death combat and can back it up with proof. I am not trying to belittle anyone here. All I am saying is for people to stop putting down Martial Arts for their lack of reality, especially Aikido. You may, if your unlucky, be involved in one situation in your life where your Aikido techniques were put to use. But every day of your life the spiritual benefits of your art may be put to the test. Criminals live a lifestyle that dictates they fight and scratch for every minute of their existence. Remember hard core criminals don't usually live a 9-5 existence as we do. They are to busy planning there next hussle or chance to take advantage of them. So they have a lot of experience fighting someone. And most of the times they will only do it on their own terms. This is where regardless of what art you practice you have to incorporate awareness training. Not just Ki but what are the signs of a possible mugging or set-up. Remember even Rickson Gracie or Bruce Lee is susceptible to a sucker punch they don't see coming. The funny thing about the Reality based stuff was they always would train you so that you could feel like you could walk down the middle of compton, california and dodge bullets. That mentality is just as dangerous as a martial art that doesn't prepare you for a real fight because you spend all your time doing Kata. What I am saying is just a regurgitation of some of the reality based authors that don't believe it is possible to build a rambo in 10 easy steps. But blending this type of mentality and awareness training with my study and love for Aikido will allow me to improve my odds of ever getting into another confrontation and also spiritually find a balance that will have me more in synch with the Universe and world around me. I really believe that one can develop enough skill to neutralize an attack without hurting a less skilled attacker. That is why I chose arts the involve some sort of grappling. Aikido specifically because it doesn't involve grappling with the purpose of taking someone to the ground with me being there as well. Plus I believe Aikido is the best answer to empty hand vs. weapons and multiple attackers. Having been on the receiving end of both, albeit they weren't life threatening although the knife incident could have escalated to that point, I think Aikido meets the requirements of an art that teaches very applicable self-defense concepts and principles. I apologize I just can't keep these posts short. I promise this will be my last long post for at least today. Please let me know if I am full of hot air or you can make suggestions or agree. I am always open to differing points of views.

lbb
01-01-2009, 02:26 PM
Bruce Lee isn't susceptible to sucker punches. He's dead.

Tell me something, which does more damage: an elbow strike to the chin, or a kotegaishi for all you're worth? I know which I'd rather be on the receiving end of.

marlon10
01-01-2009, 04:38 PM
Mary,

But do you understand the point I am trying to make. What does what you are saying have to do with what I am saying. I am talking about defining our purpose for studying Martial arts.

lbb
01-01-2009, 05:20 PM
But do you understand the point I am trying to make. What does what you are saying have to do with what I am saying. I am talking about defining our purpose for studying Martial arts.

Are those questions or are they statements? I don't understand "the point" that you are trying to make because you appear to be attempting to make several, including:

1)In modern times, the average person's need for physical self-defense is not great enough that it makes sense to martial arts with a primary objective of developing physical self-defense skills.

2)Aikido is better than other martial arts because it involves grappling and therefore is less likely than other styles to result in serious injury in a physical confrontation.

I agree with the first; I think the second is hooey.

Joe McParland
01-01-2009, 05:42 PM
Tell me something, which does more damage: an elbow strike to the chin, or a kotegaishi for all you're worth? I know which I'd rather be on the receiving end of.

When I do a kotegaeshi for all I'm worth, I often throw in an elbow strike to the chin as part of the throw, so the question is moot. :D

marlon10
01-01-2009, 06:15 PM
Mary,

I believe that I always preceded my statements with the reason that "I" chose Aikido. I don't believe that it is a better art then any other. I believe that based on my experience it fits my needs best. And based on the inherent spiritual aspects of Aikido I believe it more closely fulfills the requirements of today's martial artist. Please let me apologize if I did not make myself clear. I have written some very long posts so my meaning may get lost. Not to mention my spelling and punctuation.

GeneC
01-01-2009, 06:16 PM
Imo, one must understand, realize and 'fess up' why they're taking MA. Is it for health? (Join a gym) well being? (self help group) self defense? (see below) Spiritual 'enlightenment' ? ( join a guru) Flexibility? ( take yoga) "Traditional Asian mystic"? (most common reason) They like the way they feel in a Gi? ( yeah, right {but most'd be surprised} Some unknown reason? (at least 10%). I have no problem with any of those, but IMO, what's important to me is to be realistic about why they are practicing MA (as opposed to some other venue). I suspect most'd say self defense, but realistically, with modern technology, true self defense is mace, a taser and a gun and there's plenty of folks to most effectively teach those skills. For self defense, I have and carry a CWP ( concealed weapons permit), mace, a taser and a gun, but I study/practice Aikido, to relax, find my center and my ki. Btw, the 'Asian tradition' thing is my least favorite thing about all this.

lbb
01-01-2009, 06:48 PM
Mary,

I believe that I always preceded my statements with the reason that "I" chose Aikido. I don't believe that it is a better art then any other. I believe that based on my experience it fits my needs best. And based on the inherent spiritual aspects of Aikido I believe it more closely fulfills the requirements of today's martial artist. Please let me apologize if I did not make myself clear. I have written some very long posts so my meaning may get lost. Not to mention my spelling and punctuation.

Hi Marlon,

I'm not disputing your choices in the least. I'm only saying that I think it's a bit of a fallacy (well, no, a whole lot of a fallacy) to believe that aikido training allows one to do less damage to an attacker, for all practical purposes.

lbb
01-01-2009, 06:50 PM
Imo, one must understand, realize and 'fess up' why they're taking MA. Is it for health? (Join a gym) well being? (self help group) self defense? (see below) Spiritual 'enlightenment' ? ( join a guru) Flexibility? ( take yoga) "Traditional Asian mystic"? (most common reason) They like the way they feel in a Gi? ( yeah, right {but most'd be surprised} Some unknown reason? (at least 10%). I have no problem with any of those, but IMO, what's important to me is to be realistic about why they are practicing MA (as opposed to some other venue). I suspect most'd say self defense

I think there's also a fair number who are looking for a form of exercise that will be more interesting and engaging than training in a gym. I know that's why I started.

GeneC
01-01-2009, 06:58 PM
I think there's also a fair number who are looking for a form of exercise that will be more interesting and engaging than training in a gym. I know that's why I started.

The YMCA offers personal trainers, for free, that'll get you to your goal exponentially faster.

Buck
01-01-2009, 07:06 PM
I think there's also a fair number who are looking for a form of exercise that will be more interesting and engaging than training in a gym. I know that's why I started.

I am just amazed that such a thing escapes some people.

ChrisHein
01-01-2009, 07:07 PM
Hey Marlon,

Here is a blog of mine where I address some of the issues I believe you are talking about.

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/christopher-hein-7509/aikido-as-budo-3398/

I believe what you are talking about is budo, as opposed to bujutsu. Studying martial arts for the sake of self development, vs. study for practical fighting skill.

What I was saying in my first post, was Aikido as a budo; a way of self development, or "enlightenment" seems to be lacking. The reason I say this is because so many of us (I wouldn't exclude myself here) seem to be no more enlightened then the average Joe.

Aikibu
01-01-2009, 07:30 PM
Hey Marlon,

Here is a blog of mine where I address some of the issues I believe you are talking about.

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/christopher-hein-7509/aikido-as-budo-3398/

I believe what you are talking about is budo, as opposed to bujutsu. Studying martial arts for the sake of self development, vs. study for practical fighting skill.

What I was saying in my first post, was Aikido as a budo; a way of self development, or "enlightenment" seems to be lacking. The reason I say this is because so many of us (I wouldn't exclude myself here) seem to be no more enlightened then the average Joe.

I would love for to to explain why you feel that way because you have trained very hard think outside the box and often display humility in your posts.

We never did get a chance to practice together Chris I hope that changes someday but perhaps this discussion would be more fruitful with some great food after a hard practice.

Despite all my training and life experiance with the Martial Arts there would be no way for me to answer that question. Having studied Military History and been an Enthusiast (aka Grognard) of Conflict Simulations (aka Wargames) Since 1970 the only thing I could draw upon is books like John Keegans "The Face of Battle" Ernest Sledge's "With the Old Breed" and the recent well researched War Drama Passchendaele and frankly Melee Combat seems to be nothing more than Mass Umitigated Slaughter No matter what era or training you have. The whole point would be just to survive. Modern Combat is so horrible that our Armed Forces try as hard as possible to use technology to "stand off" conflicts between our soldiers and enemy combatants.

How Aikido would factor in such a scenario is beyond me.

William Hazen

seank
01-01-2009, 07:45 PM
Hi Marlon,

I'm not disputing your choices in the least. I'm only saying that I think it's a bit of a fallacy (well, no, a whole lot of a fallacy) to believe that aikido training allows one to do less damage to an attacker, for all practical purposes.

Hi Mary,
I've been having a good long look at the whys and wherefores of practicing Aikido leading up to my shodan grading. I fervently believe that it was the choice in Aikido that led me away from other martial arts.

I had a confrontation with my father, an ex-soldier, that at the time left me with an option of getting pummelled or doing him a severe injury (I had been training in Kyokushin for quite some years at this point). It appalled me afterwards that I could only defend myself by hurting my attacker.

After practicing Aikido, one truth I have begun to understand is that now I at least have a choice as to whether to injure an attacker, it is no longer a given.

I agree, and in some ways am thankful, that various techniques that we practice in Aikido can be devastatingly powerful and could potentially lead to a significant injury to an attacker, but I also think that the mindset and the application set it apart.

Sure, I can do kote gaeshi and shatter an opponents arm, or irimi and slam them head first into the ground, but thats not what I'm intending, nor is it the reason I see Aikido the way that I do.

Everyone has their own decision to make at the time (and I must admit that Marlon makes some good points in his initial post). Everyone has their reasons, everyone learns what they want and how they want, and everyone applies what they've learnt within their own boundaries and values. And therein lies Aikido....

GeneC
01-01-2009, 07:54 PM
Hey Marlon,

Here is a blog of mine where I address some of the issues I believe you are talking about.

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/christopher-hein-7509/aikido-as-budo-3398/

I believe what you are talking about is budo, as opposed to bujutsu. Studying martial arts for the sake of self development, vs. study for practical fighting skill.

What I was saying in my first post, was Aikido as a budo; a way of self development, or "enlightenment" seems to be lacking. The reason I say this is because so many of us (I wouldn't exclude myself here) seem to be no more enlightened then the average Joe.

I'd add, military and LE have history as a training guide. Specific battles, shootouts, firefights, etc with plenty of debriefing to develope a much more effective training program.


What we train when we study any martial art is Budo. We train not to be physically unstoppable, but spiritually undefeatable; Budo.

Hmmm....

jennifer paige smith
01-01-2009, 08:54 PM
But most Aikidoka are arrogant and egotistical. Most Aikidoka are passive aggressive, angry people. Sure everyone talks about love and harmony, but as soon as things become challenging or different we often become a hateful lot.

God I hate it when you say that!
Love,
jen

lbb
01-01-2009, 09:02 PM
Sure, I can do kote gaeshi and shatter an opponents arm, or irimi and slam them head first into the ground, but thats not what I'm intending, nor is it the reason I see Aikido the way that I do.

Everyone has their own decision to make at the time (and I must admit that Marlon makes some good points in his initial post). Everyone has their reasons, everyone learns what they want and how they want, and everyone applies what they've learnt within their own boundaries and values. And therein lies Aikido....

My point was a much simpler one. Intent is all well and good, but no matter what your intent, no matter what "decision" you make, you're not in absolute control of the damage you do. Furthermore, because of the nature of the techniques, I think you're more likely to do lasting damage with aikido techniques. I've recovered from a dislocated shoulder, and I've recovered from a boot to the head. The latter was over and done with in a matter of days; the former will probably always trouble me.

marlon10
01-02-2009, 09:05 AM
Chris,

I finally read your blog entry concerning this subject and I must say that I enjoyed it very much. Essentially you have already said, more eloquently, what I tried to say with this thread. I think that the minute we all agree that fighting and combat are two different things we can come to some common ground. As Chris said there are flaws in all the styles that we pracitice, as it relates to dealing with street lethal situations. I remember when I was a student of a pretty well known Reality based instructor who taught a style that evolved out of Bruce Lee's JKD I was initially entralled by the realism of the training. It was fantasitic we trained with weapons from day one. We learned techniques and de-escalation methods and just about anything you could think of. We sparred hard with weapons and without. But after a short period I realized: 1. I was becoming this lethal killing machine for a situation that may never come. 2. Spiritually the only thing I was learning was to not take sh@t from anyone. Which fed into my disharmony with the world around me. 3. The real reason I was taking this art to begin with was based off of some stupid high school fantasy that romantically had me kicking the butts of all those school bullies I had dealt with. 4. No matter how prepared I was it just didn't amount to the type of emotional turmoil an actual life and death confrontation puts you through. I mean military servicemen train for this type of stuff for years with the most realistic training possible and they still talk about the fog of war and come out of conflicts with post-traumatic stress disorder. And contrary to popular belief the bad guy is not always the one who goes to jail. If a jury of your peers (who don't train in the same art you train in) feel that you used excessive force defending yourself then you will have all the ample opportunity to test your Martial arts skills in jail. Remember the police don't always prevent crimes they are often tasked with cleaning them up. And if it comes down to your word against a dead mans, or a man seriously injured sometimes it will not go your way.

allowedcloud
01-02-2009, 09:17 AM
Marlon,

May I suggest that you divide your posts into paragraphs? Sorry to nitpick...it's just that when I see a big blob of text, I not only find it difficult to read, it also makes me think I'm reading an excerpt from the Unabomber's manifesto. :)

marlon10
01-02-2009, 09:21 AM
lol! You are absolutely right. I know when I see blobs of text like that I hardly ever read the whole thing, if at all.

Kevin Leavitt
01-02-2009, 09:21 AM
William Hazen wrote:

The whole point would be just to survive. Modern Combat is so horrible that our Armed Forces try as hard as possible to use technology to "stand off" conflicts between our soldiers and enemy combatants.

How Aikido would factor in such a scenario is beyond me.

Yea, but we have "discovered" in the last several years that technology doesn't always work. It wins the battle but not the war.

I put "discovered" in quotes. Come on...Rangers know this best!

Major Robert Rogers
Francis Marion
J.S. Mosby
William O Darby

The four SOF Truths (Special Operations Forces)

1. Humans are more important that hardware
2. Quality is better than quantity
3. Competent special operations forces cannot be created after a crisis occurs.
4. Special operations forces cannot be mass produced.

There are varying opinions in the military about what it takes to truely win a war. It takes the right skill sets to win the hearts and mind and to reconcile bad situations. Hopefully before they even start.

This is true victory.

I'd say the same applies to Budo and Aikido, which is why I study it. I have hope that we can produce human beings with the above qualities even outside a military situation, that we will become a better world.

Alas, many of you are correct....I think what we are actually doing in Budo escapes many, or they don't reallly care. Budo is hard work, mentally and physically if you are really practicing budo!

Demetrio Cereijo
01-02-2009, 09:44 AM
...3. The real reason I was taking this art to begin with was based off of some stupid high school fantasy that romantically had me kicking the butts of all those school bullies I had dealt with.

This is a recurrent theme and, really, I don't get it. Why you (pl.) didn't kicked bullies butts back then. Aikido or any other ma is not a time machine and won't bring you back in time for doing what had to be done.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-02-2009, 10:25 AM
Come on...Rangers know this best!

Do they Kevin?

I always thought the most elite were the Special Air Service.....

"Who dares wins"

But then again...... ;) :cool: :rolleyes:

Tony

Aikibu
01-02-2009, 10:44 AM
William Hazen wrote:

Yea, but we have "discovered" in the last several years that technology doesn't always work. It wins the battle but not the war. Not always in a insergency anyway But even here things like MAPP vehicle technology Anti IED and RPG technologies are vital to Soldier survival.

I put "discovered" in quotes. Come on...Rangers know this best!

Major Robert Rogers
Francis Marion
J.S. Mosby
William O Darby

Lets not forget my ancestor Ranger Moses Hazen LOL

The four SOF Truths (Special Operations Forces)

1. Humans are more important that hardware
2. Quality is better than quantity
3. Competent special operations forces cannot be created after a crisis occurs.
4. Special operations forces cannot be mass produced.
Amen... but I don't think Aikido is being taught anywhere within SOCOM. Why? Because there are (as you have pointed out time and again) more effective Close Combat Skill Sets. Google James Williams and you see some of the Koryu type "stuff" he's teaching SOF. He's been helping out Snake eaters for quite a few years now.

There are varying opinions in the military about what it takes to truely win a war. It takes the right skill sets to win the hearts and mind and to reconcile bad situations. Hopefully before they even start.

This is true victory.

I'd say the same applies to Budo and Aikido, which is why I study it. I have hope that we can produce human beings with the above qualities even outside a military situation, that we will become a better world.

Alas, many of you are correct....I think what we are actually doing in Budo escapes many, or they don't reallly care. Budo is hard work, mentally and physically if you are really practicing budo!

Amen.No quibble with anything here Sir.

Rangers Lead the Way!

William Hazen

marlon10
01-02-2009, 10:47 AM
Demetrio,

Because this is a common theme that comes up in, at least American culture. Many movies, books and television shows here have a long history of selling the notion that dealing with school bully problems meant enlisting the training of Martial arts.

Take a look at the Movie the Karate kid. There is a sociological reason that this movie was such a big hit during the eighties. So many people could identify with it, or wanted to identify with it.

The time during a young boy's development leaves lasting psychological roots. It's like the nerd in high school who can't seem to move past the teasing he endured even years after. I think Martial Arts is a way to deal with the fear that they felt. It's an internal announcement to one's self that they never want to feel that helpless again.

Erick Mead
01-02-2009, 11:15 AM
Is Aikido a "vehicle to enlightenment"? I am a proponent of Aikido. There are lots of things about it that I think are awesome. I think its philosophy has the possibility to help enlighten.

But most Aikidoka are arrogant and egotistical. Most Aikidoka are passive aggressive, angry people. Sure everyone talks about love and harmony, but as soon as things become challenging or different we often become a hateful lot.OK. I really have never understood thiscomplaint, but it keeps being made. It is a MARTIAL art for pity's sake. Aggression is hardly objectionable as such. It is the STYLE of the aggression that you dislike.

Do we really mean that passive-aggressive is worse than the bloody-handed brutal-minded kind? Is it really preferable (strategically, ethically, economically etc.) to handle all situations requiring some aggression with nothing less than a headlong, full-throated, frontal assault?

Demetrio Cereijo
01-02-2009, 11:33 AM
Marlon,

I can understand people starting martial arts training to avoid present or future bullying but... for things that happened time ago?. Doesn't work. Healing past psychological injuries is not the purpose of martial arts training, imo, you have therapists for that.

In my experience, people who starts martial arts training without coming clean are looking for more trouble. Not for feeling helpless again but to not facing what made them helpless back then.

Now that you mention the horrible Karate Kid movie, Daniel-chan kicked really hard the bad guy, in a light-contact karate tournament nonetheless, isn't it? ;)

Demetrio Cereijo
01-02-2009, 11:38 AM
OK. I really have never understood thiscomplaint, but it keeps being made. It is a MARTIAL art for pity's sake. Aggression is hardly objectionable as such. It is the STYLE of the aggression that you dislike.

Do we really mean that passive-aggressive is worse than the bloody-handed brutal-minded kind? Is it really preferable (strategically, ethically, economically etc.) to handle all situations requiring some aggression with nothing less than a headlong, full-throated, frontal assault?

Not worse, but not better. However when passive-aggresiveness is not a conscious strategy but a guts lacking coping attitute, you tell me...

lbb
01-02-2009, 11:55 AM
OK. I really have never understood thiscomplaint, but it keeps being made. It is a MARTIAL art for pity's sake. Aggression is hardly objectionable as such. It is the STYLE of the aggression that you dislike.

Do we really mean that passive-aggressive is worse than the bloody-handed brutal-minded kind? Is it really preferable (strategically, ethically, economically etc.) to handle all situations requiring some aggression with nothing less than a headlong, full-throated, frontal assault?

You're speaking as if passive-aggressiveness is some milder form of aggression, and that's not really the case. Passive-aggressiveness tends to express itself in situations that, IMO, do not "require some aggression". It expresses itself as a tool for one-upmanship, bullying and harassment.

Chris's point is this: there are a lot of aikido people who have bought the line that aikido is inherently a peaceful practice, and have extrapolated that to mean that they, therefore, are inherently peaceful people...and thus it follows that nothing they do can be construed as attacking others. It's a bit like people who follow the written dictates of a religion while still managing to hate others and behave like bastards. Any organization, belief system, or what have you that encourages the belief that as a practitioner, you're on a Better Way, is subject to this pitfall.

lbb
01-02-2009, 11:56 AM
In my experience, people who starts martial arts training without coming clean are looking for more trouble.

What you said.

raul rodrigo
01-02-2009, 12:03 PM
You're speaking as if passive-aggressiveness is some milder form of aggression, and that's not really the case. Passive-aggressiveness tends to express itself in situations that, IMO, do not "require some aggression". It expresses itself as a tool for one-upmanship, bullying and harassment.

Lord knows we've seen this on the mat all too often. As in the case of the know-it-all uke. "Your technique won't work on me," etc etc.

Aikibu
01-02-2009, 12:11 PM
You're speaking as if passive-aggressiveness is some milder form of aggression, and that's not really the case. Passive-aggressiveness tends to express itself in situations that, IMO, do not "require some aggression". It expresses itself as a tool for one-upmanship, bullying and harassment.

Chris's point is this: there are a lot of aikido people who have bought the line that aikido is inherently a peaceful practice, and have extrapolated that to mean that they, therefore, are inherently peaceful people...and thus it follows that nothing they do can be construed as attacking others. It's a bit like people who follow the written dictates of a religion while still managing to hate others and behave like bastards. Any organization, belief system, or what have you that encourages the belief that as a practitioner, you're on a Better Way, is subject to this pitfall.

Concur....I see it all the time in Aikido...I can tell you though that this fallacy is inherent in many belief systems and it can affect folks in one of two ways in my experiance in Aikido/Martial Arts One... It's part of a learning curve that everyone goes through when practice aka "Black Belt Disease. Eventually with hard practice and experiance they grow out of it....Two it's like hanging a sign around your neck announcing you're a Martial Arts Dilitantte. The phrase gets thrown around allot as kind of a blanket excuse to make the accuser look like they are coming from a place of higher learning/experiance and is a sub-fallacy of Argumentum Ad Athoritum.

In my counseling experiance Acute Passive Agressive Behaviour can be a sign that you're dealing with a sociopath or more often than not someone who has an underlying issue that needs to be addressed and delt with/recover from.

Sorry to get off topic but I love your insight Mary. :)

William Hazen

graham butt
01-02-2009, 03:25 PM
i've been in a situation where my girlfriend and brother were being attacked by a group of youths, We were accused of chasing them, when actually we were just out for a walk on a saturday afternoon at 4pm. my brother and girlfriend both of who i love were there, I took it upon myself to get the out. In that situation i was willing to do anything to get them out. I totally agree with what the author of this post is saying... i often think i'm in control, but when push comes to shove your gonna bet yout your ass i'm gonna do my best to harm them!!

Joe McParland
01-02-2009, 03:40 PM
http://www.aikidofaq.com/stories/real_life2.html

There are some interesting things in the old thread, but you can scan for "Joe McParland" on that page and find mine. It's a story of a fight from before I knew aikido told from my view after military service and after becoming an aikido nut :)

GeneC
01-02-2009, 04:07 PM
Rangers Lead the Way!William Hazen

????Excuse me? No offense, but Marines have that distinction. May I remind you (just as an example) of "Black Hawk Down" 'incident'... The Marines were sent in first and kicked butt and secured the place, handed it over to the Army( Ranger and Delta) and THEN the fiasco. There's many examples of such occasions (where in fact, the Marines lead the way).
Ohhhrahh!
Semper Fi, GeneC

Kevin Leavitt
01-02-2009, 04:18 PM
Not always in a insergency anyway But even here things like MAPP vehicle technology Anti IED and RPG technologies are vital to Soldier survival.

Lets not forget my ancestor Ranger Moses Hazen LOL

Amen... but I don't think Aikido is being taught anywhere within SOCOM. Why? Because there are (as you have pointed out time and again) more effective Close Combat Skill Sets. Google James Williams and you see some of the Koryu type "stuff" he's teaching SOF. He's been helping out Snake eaters for quite a few years now.

Amen.No quibble with anything here Sir.

Rangers Lead the Way!

William Hazen

I knew you agreed! I couldn't tell you if aikido is being taught or not. We ARE teaching Modern Army Combatives. SOF guys do alot of whatever they want as you know.

IMO, direct combat skills is what is necessary. The whole "Soft" skill set comes in a very complex way. Aikido would be a little to removed and a little too philosophically direct and would not reallly impart much to them on a day to day basis. Plus they get this kind of training in other ways.

Of course there is always the wonderful example of What Dr Heckler-Strozzi did and I always think that is a good thing!

Technology is a wonderful thing, it can certainly leverage things and provide the necessary distance for you to affect them, but they cannot affect you. In the end though, we have to look at people face to face and deal with them as human beings!

I always think there is room for improvement in this department...always. RTLW.

Oh btw, Tony, SAS is pretty good too! Seriously, they have pretty much taught the rest of us how to do business.

Aikibu
01-02-2009, 05:28 PM
????Excuse me? No offense, but Marines have that distinction. May I remind you (just as an example) of "Black Hawk Down" 'incident'... The Marines were sent in first and kicked butt and secured the place, handed it over to the Army( Ranger and Delta) and THEN the fiasco. There's many examples of such occasions (where in fact, the Marines lead the way).
Ohhhrahh!
Semper Fi, GeneC

I knew a few Marines who reenlisted in the Army to go Ranger....

Some of them made it. LOL :D

William Hazen

GeneC
01-02-2009, 05:52 PM
I knew a few Marines who reenlisted in the Army to go Ranger....

Some of them made it. LOL :D

William Hazen

Well, that doesn't change history....but anyway.....hmmm...effectiveness of Aikido in combat. Wonder how many soldiers here actually used Aikido in combat and what could be gleaned from it...this might be a moot topic.

jennifer paige smith
01-02-2009, 06:53 PM
I'm not a military expert, so please excuse my ignorance.

As a Budoka and a 'survivor' I found the following documentary extremely relevant to the subject of Bushido. Please go to the second paragraph if you only have time for a quick browse.

http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2008/soldiersofconscience/about.html


If anyone else has seen it I'd be interested in your perspective.
Thanks,
js

mickeygelum
01-02-2009, 07:29 PM
Operation Restore Hope, under which the United States would assume the unified command of the new operation, in accordance with Resolution 794 (1992). The U.S. Marine Corps landed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Mogadishu and, with elements of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines and 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines, secured nearly one-third of the city,the port, and airport facilities, to facilitate airlifted humanitarian supplies in two weeks time. Elements of the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines and 1st Battalion, 7th Marines quickly secured routes to Baidoa, Balidogle and Kismayo, then were reinforced by the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion and the US Army's 10th Mountain Division.

Yes Sir, let's get our history lesson correct.

Operation Gothic Serpent that was fought on October 3 and 4, 1993, in Mogadishu, Somalia, by forces of the United States supported by UNOSOM II against Somali militia fighters loyal to warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. The battle is also referred to as the First Battle of Mogadishu to distinguish it from the later Second Battle of Mogadishu. Akram, which consisted of an assault force made up of US Army Delta Force, Ranger teams, an air element provided by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, four Navy SEAL operators from SEAL Team 6, and members of the Air Force Pararescue/Air Force Combat Controllers, executed an operation which involved traveling from their compound on the outskirts of the city to capture tier one personalities of the Habr Gidr clan, headed by Aidid. The assault force consisted of nineteen aircraft, twelve vehicles and 160 men. During the operation, two U.S. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were shot down by rocket-propelled grenades, and three others were damaged. Some of the soldiers were able to evacuate wounded back to the compound, but others were trapped at the crash sites and cut off

Operation Gothic Serpent

On October 3, 1993, Task Force Ranger, U.S. Special Operations Forces composed mainly of Bravo Company 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D; better known as "Delta Force") operators, and aviation support from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) ("The Night Stalkers"), attempted to capture Aidid's foreign minister, Omar Salad Elmi, and his top political advisor, Mohamed Hassan Awale.[16]

The plan was to fast rope from hovering MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, capture the targets, and load them onto a ground convoy for transport back to the U.S. compound. Four Ranger chalks commanded by Captain Michael Steele, also inserted by helicopter, were to provide a secure square perimeter on the four corners of the operation's target building.

The ground extraction convoy was supposed to reach the captive targets a few minutes after the beginning of the operation. However, it ran into delays. Somali citizens and local militia formed barricades along the streets of Mogadishu with rocks and burning tires, blocking the convoy from reaching the Rangers and their captives. A five-ton truck, part of the convoy, was struck by an RPG-7 rocket, inflicting fatal wounds to MSG Tim "Griz" Martin.

Other complications arose. A Ranger was seriously injured during the insertion. PFC Todd Blackburn fell while fast roping from a helicopter hovering 70 feet (21 m) above the streets. Minutes later, a MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, Super 61 piloted by CW3 Cliff Wolcott, was shot down by a rocket propelled grenade.

A Combat Search and Rescue team, led by TSgt Scott Fales of the Air Force Pararescuemen, were able to rope down to Super 61's crash site despite an RPG hit that crippled their helicopter. They found the pilots dead and five injured inside the Black Hawk. Under intense fire, the team removed the injured to a nearby collection point, where they built a make-shift shelter for the wounded using Kevlar floorboards from the Black Hawk.

There was confusion between the ground convoy and the assault team. The assault team and the ground convoy waited for twenty minutes just out of sight of each other, ready to move, but each under the impression that they were to be first contacted by the other. During the wait, a second Black Hawk helicopter, Super 64 piloted by CW3 Michael Durant, was downed.

Most of the assault team went to the first crash site for a rescue operation. Upon reaching the site, about 90 Rangers found themselves under siege from heavy militia fire. Despite air support, the Rangers were effectively trapped for the night. With a growing number of wounded needing shelter, the Rangers occupied several nearby houses taking the residents prisoner. Outside, a stiff breeze stirred up blinding brown clouds of dust.

The local SNA commander, Colonel Sharif Hassan Giumale, decided to call for a mortar bombardment of the houses occupied by the Rangers. Giumale requested a "half dozen" 60 mm mortars crews. The information that civilians were being held captive changed his plans.[17]

At the second crash site, two Delta snipers, SFC Randy Shughart and MSG Gary Gordon, were inserted by helicopter (at their own request, permission was denied twice by Command but granted when they persisted and made a third request) to protect the injured crew from the approaching mob. Both snipers were later killed when the site was overrun by Somali militiamen. The Black Hawk's pilot, CW3 Michael Durant, who was seriously injured in the crash, was taken hostage. For their actions, Shughart and Gordon were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Repeated attempts by the Somalis to mass forces and overrun the American positions in a series of firefights near the crash sites were neutralized by aggressive small arms fire and by strafing and rocket attacks from AH-6J Little Bird helicopter gunships of the Nightstalkers, the only air support equipped to operate at night. The Somali National Alliance militia casualties were reported as 700 killed and about 1000 wounded. However, an eyewitness to the battle says the recovery parties for the SNA dead in the vicinity of the Olympic Hotel would indicate about 60.[18]

A relief convoy of men from Task Force 2-14 Infantry, 10th Mountain Division, aided by Malaysian and Pakistani UN forces, arrived in the early morning. No contingency planning or coordination with UN forces had been arranged prior to the operation; consequently, the recovery of the surrounded U.S. soldiers was significantly complicated and delayed. Determined to protect all members of the rescue convoy, Gen. Garrison made sure to roll out in force. When the convoy finally pushed into the city, it consisted of more than 100 vehicles including Malaysian forces' German made Condor APCs, four Pakistani tanks, American Humvees and several five-ton flatbed trucks. This two mile long column was supported by several other Black Hawks and Cobra assault helicopters stationed with the 10th Mountain Division. The "Little Birds" of Task Force Ranger (TFR) continued their defense of the downed crew and rescuers of Super 61 throughout the night, the Night Stalkers being some of the only pilots trained and practiced in nighttime flying.

The battle was over by October 4, 1993, at 6:30 AM. American forces were finally evacuated to the UN Pakistani base by the armored convoy and the "Mogadishu Mile." In all, 18 U.S. soldiers died of wounds from the battle and another 83 were injured[2]. After the battle, the bodies of several US casualties of the conflict, members of the Black Hawk "Super 64" crew and their protectors, Delta Operators MSG Shughart and SFC Gordon, were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu by crowds of local civilians and SNA forces.[19] The Malaysian forces lost one soldier and had seven injured, while the Pakistanis suffered two injured. Casualties on the Somali side were heavy, with estimates on fatalities ranging from 315 [3]to over 2,000 people. The Somali casualties were a mixture of militiamen and local civilians. Somali civilians suffered heavy casualties due to the dense urban character of that portion of Mogadishu. Two days later, a mortar round fell on the U.S. compound, killing one U.S. soldier, SFC Matt Rierson, and injuring another twelve.


Charlie-Mike

Mickey

lbb
01-02-2009, 07:31 PM
Would it be inappropriate to suggest that the debates over what branch of service did what when be hashed over in another thread?

Kevin Leavitt
01-02-2009, 08:39 PM
I'm not a military expert, so please excuse my ignorance.

As a Budoka and a 'survivor' I found the following documentary extremely relevant to the subject of Bushido. Please go to the second paragraph if you only have time for a quick browse.

http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2008/soldiersofconscience/about.html

If anyone else has seen it I'd be interested in your perspective.
Thanks,
js

Thanks for the link. It looks very interesting and very well done. Looks like it might actually be a good piece about the issue vice a polictical agenda.

Thanks again!

Kevin Leavitt
01-02-2009, 08:41 PM
Would it be inappropriate to suggest that the debates over what branch of service did what when be hashed over in another thread?

Yes, it is a stupid and immature argument to have. I work on a joint staff with professionals from all branches of the service, to include Delta, Marines, Rangers, SF, Seals and we never have these discussions, we each do our jobs and drive on.

GeneC
01-02-2009, 10:34 PM
An argument is when two folks try to impose their opinion on each other. I don't believe that's happening here. So exactly how effective is Aikido in combat? Anybody here use Aikido in combat with enough regularity to make a definitive conclusion?

Aikibu
01-02-2009, 11:34 PM
Would it be inappropriate to suggest that the debates over what branch of service did what when be hashed over in another thread?

Who is "hashing" exactly?

Please Mary for my part it was nothing but a friendly ribbing that has been going on between the Services since the Services were founded nothing more...

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
01-03-2009, 07:04 AM
An argument is when two folks try to impose their opinion on each other. I don't believe that's happening here. So exactly how effective is Aikido in combat? Anybody here use Aikido in combat with enough regularity to make a definitive conclusion?

Gene,

What is your point or agenda here? Is it to learn aikido, expand your knowledge? Or is it to confirm what you believe you already know or suspect about aikido?

You will definitely find the answer you are looking for, everyone always does.

As Aiki "DO" is the "WAY" of Ai Ki. it really makes it a philosophical methodology.

A Methodology. I think that is worth repeating.

Ellis eloguently already addressed this in another thread that I am pretty sure you already read as you were participating in it.

You don't fight or typically apply a martial methodology directly....you use your "SELF", as a DO the lessons become ingrained into you and hopefully they provide you some sort of framework or structure which helps you in some way.

Use aikido in combat? Well I think that would depend on your definition on what the spectrum of combat includes, anything from a non-violent de-escalation, situational awareness, to full on violent attack.

We have plently of Police Officers on this board, I have a number in my Dojo as well as military, and FBI agents that have been in "situations" and still study aikido and will tell you that the training is good for what the training is designed to do.

I can tell you I have used many of the "awareness" lessons obtained through the study of budo to avoid a few very dangerous situations. Mainly through the keen understanding of Ma ai, and learning to read body language.

It must not be so common, as I have spent countless hours with other soldiers showing them why they need to change their position realitive to how they are standing when interviewing or talking to suspects. How to de-escalate situations, and how to shutdown risk.

Use it actual combat? Well if you are talking "Physical" skills, well no I have not actually been in a real "combat" encounter. There are plently of folks that have been there.

They will tell you they kicked, punched, grappled, and struggled in the fight and prevailed.

Did they use "aikido" well I think that is a matter of personal perspective and what they consider to be the boundaries of their training. Most warriors don't really try and confine themselves or define themselves to one particular label or methodology. That is dangerous and will get you killed.

Only folks with a limited understanding of what Martial Methodologies are about and no real fighting experience at all are concerned with such labels, parameters, and definittions in my experiences.

lbb
01-03-2009, 10:05 AM
Please Mary for my part it was nothing but a friendly ribbing that has been going on between the Services since the Services were founded nothing more...

Understood; it seemed to be heating up for others. I suppose the thread was already sufficiently derailed that it was a waste of time making the effort, though.

George S. Ledyard
01-03-2009, 12:24 PM
This is one of those discussions that seems never to get resolved. So I will make my once a year contribution to it.

Aikido, as an art created by Morihei Ueshiba, has nothing to do with combat. It is not about self defense in a conventional sense although some level of defensive capability should be a by-product of good training.

Aikido is an art that was created as a "michi" or "path" which focuses primarily on the study of "connection" and "integration". It is designed to gradually remove the sense of separateness from each other and our environment we all have. It does so by striving for technique using "aiki" rather than mere physical force.

The requirement of relaxation, both mental and physical, needed to execute technique on this level is, for many people, quite transformative. Aiki requires a willingness to "connect". Most Aikido is done by people who do not really wish to connect.

The "fighters" wish to win, to defeat, to maintain their separateness by overcoming the "enemy", whoever that is. Generally, these folks have technique characterized by a lot of strength and tension.

The "spiritual" folks go to the other extreme and, despite their assertion that Aikido is about "conflict resolution", simply remove all conflict from the practice. Their practice is generally characterized by non-existent attacks, lots of graceful movement with little content, and, surprisingly, no real connection at all, just avoidance.

In my opinion, both of these archetypal groups are fundamentally motivated by fear at the heart of things. Aikido practice is fundamentally about transforming our fearful natures into something else. It is about attaining an internal balance, both mental and physical which allows one to let the world in rather than hold it away. The more one relaxes, the more one can develop that internal balance, the more the stresses of the world simply pass through one without taking hold, without causing damage, and without creating that need to push back which causes so much pain and destruction in our world.

Too many people try to reshape our art in their own image. They try to make Aikido into something that supports their own predisposition rather than requiring that they themselves change.

The fact that Aikido, as art of personal transformation, has a martial paradigm as its methodology does not mean that it was intended to be about fighting at all. It is no more about fighting or combat than kenjutsu. No one does kenjutsu thinking he is preparing for combat with swords in any practical sense. No one sits around and discusses whether mixed martial arts are superior to kenjutsu or whether kenjutsu works in the "real world" as opposed to some ill defined "unreal world". It is true that, for anyone involved in combat as a professional, the study of the principles of kenjutsu can be applied but it requires some translation into modern combat reality (like guns).

Aikido is the same. The fact that Aikido contains techniques that it shares in common with arts concerned with developing combat capability allows some to mistake the purpose of the art. I taught for many years a system of police defensive tactics to law enforcement and security personnel based on Aikido principles and techniques. It was not Aikido, it was Aikido based.

On the other hand, taking the "martial" out of the art results in an art which is really just a dance. Now dance is great. But dance is essentially a cooperative enterprise. It does require connection but it does not require an understanding of the energetics of connection which are crucial to the martial application of technique. I do not believe that dance is a form of practice that is primarily focused on transforming the individual's fearful nature and I do believe that about Aikido.

Aikido is like a big Koan. It requires the ability to hold opposites at the same time and bring them together. Most people simply try to pursue one side of the other, never trying to bring the opposites into balance. Yet, balance is what the whole practice is about.

Aikido is a form of Budo. If the Budo is left out of Aikido it is nothing but a form of interesting aerobic movement done by like minded individuals in a social club called a dojo.

But focus on combat, constant tailoring of the practice to attain some level of practical fighting skill in preparation for some future confrontation with an as yet not encountered enemy simply misses the whole point of Aikido. Aikido is about not having an enemy. It is about reaching an understanding that there is no enemy apart from oneself. O-Sensei repeatedly stated that there is simply no separation between us and it is a misunderstanding of that fact that causes violence. He also stated that if one is in the state of ignorance, one is defeated before he even attacks. The practice is about understanding that there "is no spoon" so to speak.

I see very little discussion that indicates that many folks are pursuing a practice of the art which would eventually result in an understanding of that kind of connection. If folks are so worried about combat, find an art which is designed for combat. Don't try to devolve an art which is so much more than than into something far more limited.

Ok, that should hold me for 2009 on the subject. It's not that I suspect that this topic will go away but it would be nice to see it go to a back page once in a while. It doesn't bode well for the art that these discussions seem to get, by far, the most attention and participation.

mathewjgano
01-03-2009, 01:02 PM
Ok, that should hold me for 2009 on the subject. It's not that I suspect that this topic will go away but it would be nice to see it go to a back page once in a while. It doesn't bode well for the art that these discussions seem to get, by far, the most attention and participation.

Thank you George. You make some great points! I always feel like I take a lot away from your posts, and as usual, this is no exception.
Happy New Year,
Matt

Kevin Leavitt
01-03-2009, 01:26 PM
Thanks for your comments and wisdom George.

jennifer paige smith
01-03-2009, 03:21 PM
Thanks for the link. It looks very interesting and very well done. Looks like it might actually be a good piece about the issue vice a polictical agenda.

Thanks again!

You're very welcome. I did very much appreciate it's lack of political agenda as I think everyone loses when topics become obscured by such. That is, the important aspect, human wellness, can become lost.

I think our collective budo traditions are exemplary in providing a balance between sustainability and intervention. I believe if people were introduced to aikido as a method of strategy/ethic their combat fatigue would be lessened. In that sense I feel it is effective in combat, because it allows for a person's life to continue in health should it survive a combat environment. I believe soldiers hearts, which tend to be uncommonly big (;) ), would benefit from the ethics of aiki-budo engagement.

These are my heart felt beliefs.

Perhaps aikido would be a good art to subscribe to during occupational withdraw(i.e. when we're leaving a war zone as it is being stabilized) or for soldiers who are staying on to assist in re-establishing communities post combat.( Again, I apologize if my language is cumbersome.)

I also believe that these thoughts are in line with George's post above, which I whole heartedly concur with. Thanks George!

What do you think?

Kevin Leavitt
01-03-2009, 04:28 PM
I share your hypothesis Jennifer.

Have you by chance read "In Search of the Warrior Spirit"?

Dr Strozzi-Heckler covers alot of this in that book.

This links to Amazon Book: http://cli.gs/6q30SS

The good news is that the Army has instituted the Modern Army Combatives Program, which is a form of budo. Although I am not sure how many people identify with it for the reasons you state, but it is a step in the direction.

The army also has started a whole program on "Battlemind" as well.

https://www.battlemind.army.mil/

While we might not recognize it in the form we see in the dojo, there are things that are being done these days.

I agree though that for many, budo and particularly Aikido, for the reasons Dr Strozzi-Heckler outlines in his book would be a good thing too!

mickeygelum
01-03-2009, 05:43 PM
Did they use "aikido" well I think that is a matter of personal perspective and what they consider to be the boundaries of their training. Most warriors don't really try and confine themselves or define themselves to one particular label or methodology. That is dangerous and will get you killed.

Only folks with a limited understanding of what Martial Methodologies are about and no real fighting experience at all are concerned with such labels, parameters, and definittions in my experiences.

Very well stated, Sir.

Mickey

lbb
01-03-2009, 07:15 PM
This is one of those discussions that seems never to get resolved. So I will make my once a year contribution to it.

And the best I can come up with is circus ponies. That was brilliant, thank you.

Erick Mead
01-03-2009, 07:57 PM
The requirement of relaxation, both mental and physical, needed to execute technique on this level is, for many people, quite transformative. Aiki requires a willingness to "connect". Most Aikido is done by people who do not really wish to connect.

The "fighters" wish to win, to defeat, to maintain their separateness by overcoming the "enemy", whoever that is. Generally, these folks have technique characterized by a lot of strength and tension.

The "spiritual" folks go to the other extreme and, despite their assertion that Aikido is about "conflict resolution", simply remove all conflict from the practice. Their practice is generally characterized by non-existent attacks, lots of graceful movement with little content, and, surprisingly, no real connection at all, just avoidance. In my opinion, both of these archetypal groups are fundamentally motivated by fear at the heart of things. Aikido practice is fundamentally about transforming our fearful natures into something else. Flip sides of the same coin. On the one hand "fighters" attempt to eliminate, and "spiritual" types attempt to avoid, the sources by which they both fear their freedom will be diminished. Aiki, seen as a cyclic process allows one to act fully when the opponent cannot resist, and allows the opponent to act fully when one does not resist at all. Perfect freedom for both. No fear necessary.

In juuji, there is absolutely no resistance, it creates resonance feedback and a creative, chaotic development gives rise to sequences of interaction that neither could have predicted (takemusu aiki) -- which is not possible if either one avoids joining in the conflict that drives it, and impossible if one is competing to win or defeat the opponent in that conflict.

L. Camejo
01-03-2009, 08:30 PM
Aikido practice is fundamentally about transforming our fearful natures into something else. It is about attaining an internal balance, both mental and physical which allows one to let the world in rather than hold it away. The more one relaxes, the more one can develop that internal balance, the more the stresses of the world simply pass through one without taking hold, without causing damage, and without creating that need to push back which causes so much pain and destruction in our world.I think this section of George's post is well worth repeating. It is quite important to the topic I think and is worth taking the time to really understand what is being said.

Having said that - How does one transform a fearful nature into something else through Aikido practice exactly? Fear is often only removed through deep understanding of what is feared and why it is feared which in a very real way gives one a degree of POWER over that fear. Fears are also often products of environment and circumstance, developed well over time. For example, if one has consistently lived in an environment where the threat of death or injury by an armed assault is very high, then that fear will be very deep seated and require a very high degree of understanding (iow POWER) to be overcome. The only other option is to become fully unattached to whatever may be lost by the threat that is feared, but attaining skill in non-attachment may be better found in a school of Zen or similar, not a martial art.

As per George's statement, fear creates tension and becomes a block to attaining true balance, so it can be said that as long as fear is a factor in what drives us it will be very difficult to relax and "let the world in." We can only honestly let the world in if we feel secure enough to do so, or if we are totally unattached to any negative effects of "letting the world in."

Part of the reason that the "effectiveness" question comes up regularly is because of fear and attachment. Many simply don't believe that their training methodology (and this includes any training method, not only Aikido) empowers them enough to remove their basic fears towards conflict and confrontation. If this basic fear cannot be removed then the hope of transforming the fearful self into something else is quite slim via that methodology.

So what George is saying is very important to many who train Aikido in its original intent as Budo. If ones practice does not assist one in removing fears through empowerment or unattachment, then what is one really learning to achieve?

Just some thoughts on the subject. I always smile at the effectiveness questions by newbies to the forum because it reminds me of the human-ness of those out there who practice in many different countries, who live in many different realities that may not be appreciated by many. Even Ueshiba M. started his training because of fear. Fortunately he was able to remove enough fear that he started getting to the "good stuff." But I wonder if he did not find empowerment or unattachment if he would have ever achieved what he did to create Aikido after all of it.

Best.
LC

George S. Ledyard
01-03-2009, 09:14 PM
I think this section of George's post is well worth repeating. It is quite important to the topic I think and is worth taking the time to really understand what is being said.

Having said that - How does one transform a fearful nature into something else through Aikido practice exactly? Fear is often only removed through deep understanding of what is feared and why it is feared which in a very real way gives one a degree of POWER over that fear. Fears are also often products of environment and circumstance, developed well over time. For example, if one has consistently lived in an environment where the threat of death or injury by an armed assault is very high, then that fear will be very deep seated and require a very high degree of understanding (iow POWER) to be overcome. The only other option is to become fully unattached to whatever may be lost by the threat that is feared, but attaining skill in non-attachment may be better found in a school of Zen or similar, not a martial art.

As per George's statement, fear creates tension and becomes a block to attaining true balance, so it can be said that as long as fear is a factor in what drives us it will be very difficult to relax and "let the world in." We can only honestly let the world in if we feel secure enough to do so, or if we are totally unattached to any negative effects of "letting the world in."

Part of the reason that the "effectiveness" question comes up regularly is because of fear and attachment. Many simply don't believe that their training methodology (and this includes any training method, not only Aikido) empowers them enough to remove their basic fears towards conflict and confrontation. If this basic fear cannot be removed then the hope of transforming the fearful self into something else is quite slim via that methodology.

So what George is saying is very important to many who train Aikido in its original intent as Budo. If ones practice does not assist one in removing fears through empowerment or unattachment, then what is one really learning to achieve?

Just some thoughts on the subject. I always smile at the effectiveness questions by newbies to the forum because it reminds me of the human-ness of those out there who practice in many different countries, who live in many different realities that may not be appreciated by many. Even Ueshiba M. started his training because of fear. Fortunately he was able to remove enough fear that he started getting to the "good stuff." But I wonder if he did not find empowerment or unattachment if he would have ever achieved what he did to create Aikido after all of it.

Best.
LC

Hi Larry,
Fear is a very complex issue for a practitioner. Often it has nothing to do with fear of the physical pain or injury possible in training. You can have a guy who wouldn't bat an eye about getting on the mat with four people with sticks all trying to hit him but he wouldn't go to counseling to save his relationship.

We had one of our randori intensives and a couple of my friends who are 5th Dans attended. Initially they each had a tremendous difficulty in accessing their skills under pressure. Neither of these fellows is scared of being hit or making contact but the tension they carried was tangible even to an observer. So where did all that come from? Fear of failure, fear of not measuring up in the eyes of your peers, juniors, teacher, or even your own eyes?

I have another friend who is a wonderful Aikidoka. She is absolutely fearless on the mat in terms of ukemi and has no back off about anything you throw at her. Yet she is terrified of hitting someone else. Her back off about putting out a strong Yang energy creates a balance problem in her practice. Where does fear like that come from in one who is actually quite courageous in facing danger when it is herself at risk?

We all carry all sorts of tension. Some is tension from past hurts and trauma that we have contracted around and now carry in our bodies. Some is tension that is created by not really being present but rather anticipate suffering that MIGHT be coming.

People whose habit is to be barricaded often find that connecting, really connecting with another human being is fraught with perceived danger. In Aikido, as in relationships, you can't succeed unless you place yourself in a place of vulnerability.

Can you do technique with aiki without dealing with your fears? Absolutely. The Founder was very careful in the early days not to show his technique to people he did not know directly. He was worried that someone of low character would steal the technique.

As Aikido began to assume its modern post-war form after the war, this became less of a concern as technique shifted away from combat technique designed to cause harm towards technique which allowed full commitment of spirit and energy in relative safety.

Of course there were always those who misused the practice to dominate, even injure their partners. But you could really see an art develop which could be done by gentlemen (and the female equivalent) like the Nidai Doshu.

I have learned a lot by watching how the Systema folks practice. In my opinion the purpose of Systema training is the same as it is for Aikido. But I think that in many ways they do a better job of it. Right from day one there is an emphasis on developing an awareness of the tension we carry in our minds and bodies and they work constantly to learn to move that energy and release it. Having watched several people completely transform as individuals after only four or five years of Systema. I have to say that they do a better job of personal transformation than we do. Much of their methodology is transferable however.

Aikido will not become what the Founder wished it to be, fulfill its mission so to speak, as long as people get stuck on issues of whether the art is effective in combat, can be used against mixed martial artists and blah, blah, blah. These concerns are completely irrelevant to the point of the practice. We need to look at how Aikido practice serves to transform our fearful natures into something grander, braver, more balanced. Part of that is facing our fears through hard training. That is part of Budo. But it is also about letting go of the need to win all the time and taking our ukemi. We need to learn how to stop turning everything we do into conflict in order to survive as a species. I see no other reason to do the art if it isn't about that.

lifeafter2am
01-03-2009, 09:34 PM
George,

Well said, well said. I like this post 100000x more than the first one, and I liked the first one!

:-)

Erick Mead
01-03-2009, 09:58 PM
Fear is a very complex issue for a practitioner. Often it has nothing to do with fear of the physical pain or injury possible in training. ...
I have another friend who is a wonderful Aikidoka. She is absolutely fearless on the mat in terms of ukemi and has no back off about anything you throw at her. Yet she is terrified of hitting someone else. Her back off about putting out a strong Yang energy creates a balance problem in her practice. Where does fear like that come from in one who is actually quite courageous in facing danger when it is herself at risk?Larry's point about the only other option with fear being non-attachment is true. But aikido is emphatically not about non-attachment. When the Founder said "true budo is love" -- that is the answer -- complete connection -- the opposite of detachment.

For your friend, love does not mean not wanting to hit people. Anyone who does think that has never had kids. Loving instruction -- it is only loving instruction -- Please tell her that. :D ;)

C. David Henderson
01-03-2009, 10:36 PM
To me, non-attachment doesn't mean I don't care; it means I don't dwell on stuff. A hot fire leaves only ashes.

lbb
01-03-2009, 10:57 PM
I think it's a bit of a fallacy to believe that fear can always be "dealt with", in the sense that most people understand the term. Understanding may bring peace if a fear is imaginary or overstated, but it may not if the fear is grounded in reality. Likewise, although many recite platitudes about needing to "face your fears head-on" or "get back on the horse that threw you", sometimes the reality is that when the horse threw you, you were getting off lucky -- get back on and you not only get thrown again, you get trampled as well. And sometimes, to a sufficiently traumatized person, even if a fear of future threats is not grounded in reality, no amount of "understanding" or "facing it" is going to make it go away. Psychic injury is like physical injury: quite frequently, it doesn't heal up good as new. You do what you can to minimize the damage, but sometimes dealing with fear, like dealing with any damage, consists simply of accepting that the damage exists, accepting that it may always be with you to some degree, and doing what you can to let yourself heal as much as you can over time.

(FWIW, and I may regret saying this, but I speak as someone who's gone through PTSD)

Aikibu
01-04-2009, 12:30 AM
We need to learn how to stop turning everything we do into conflict in order to survive as a species. I see no other reason to do the art if it isn't about that.


Thanks Sensei...

This comes very close to being Aikido's "mission statement."

There are many ways to resolve and live with fear and I have many different practices and experiances with it. From Counseling, Surfing 20 foot waves, Jumping out of planes, Zazen and on and on

My Aikido practice is one of these but the essence of practice is not to deal with fear so much as to learn how to resolve conflict. Practice is about what you do AFTER your fears manifest into a conflict.

The practice of Aikido gives me a way to resolve it. The Aikidoka learns how not to act on his/hers fears in way that causes undue harm to themselves or others by accepting and blending with "The Conflict." That is what Shoji Nishio called Yurusu Budo "The Budo of Acceptance."

Which brings me back to my original post on the "Effectivness of Aikido in a combat situation." All the Budo platitudes aside it has no real place in modern combat "situation" There is no Aikido "Practice" with automatic weapons, morter fire, air strikes, nuclear weapons, suicide bombers, on one end of the scale or alcoholism, severe child abuse,gang rape,drive by shootings, or genocide on the other.

As a philosphy and a way of living it has promise... The same as any religious or spiritual practice. That promise falls upon the shoulders of the person who subscribes to the "way" and like any other human endeavor it's up to the person to live it.

I used to see that poster of the hands grasping wrists with the Quote "A way to change the world" in some Aikido Dojos and think to myself "How fracking arrogent is that!"

To expect Aikido to be the end all be all and to change the world is folly...What we really need to do is use it to change ourselves.

William Hazen

Tony Wagstaffe
01-04-2009, 07:27 AM
Oh btw, Tony, SAS is pretty good too! Seriously, they have pretty much taught the rest of us how to do business.[/QUOTE]

Thank you Kevin,
They certainly do don't they.....

Having met and trained with a couple (aikido) I have found them to be very tough mentally but also have that humanity about them..... to them its a job that has to be done..... I remember after one training session many years ago where one of the fellers I was having a quiet beer with said to me..... we bruise, cut, bleed, die just like everyone else..... the trick is to train so we bloody don't!!.......

Gives you food for thought doesn't it .........

Joe McParland
01-04-2009, 08:19 AM
To expect Aikido to be the end all be all and to change the world is folly...What we really need to do is use it to change ourselves.


Maybe before aikido (or surfing, or jumping out of planes, or zazen, or ...), changing the world and changing yourself are different... ;)

Erick Mead
01-04-2009, 09:21 AM
To me, non-attachment doesn't mean I don't care; it means I don't dwell on stuff. A hot fire leaves only ashes.Ashes. Bleak. Aikido does not seem so bleak to me. Hm. After ashes, rain; after rain, a green shoot. So, not just ashes, after all.

Love of light propels life from darkness. The truth is all things are made new again, you just have to remain connected long enough for it to arrive. Connection requires love. Love conquers fear, it tames the beast, not diminishing or destroying it. And pulling up the shoot does not make it grow faster, or cover the ash with grass any sooner.

jennifer paige smith
01-04-2009, 09:39 AM
I share your hypothesis Jennifer.

Have you by chance read "In Search of the Warrior Spirit"?

Dr Strozzi-Heckler covers alot of this in that book.

Yes, fortunately I have. It indeed came to find again in the context of this conversation.

This links to Amazon Book: http://cli.gs/6q30SS

The good news is that the Army has instituted the Modern Army Combatives Program, which is a form of budo. Although I am not sure how many people identify with it for the reasons you state, but it is a step in the direction.

That's interesting. I'll look into it. I think it can be a great advantage when people don't know the benefits of what they are doing to begin with. It doesn't give their 'defensive mind' (or ego defenses) a chance to get in the way.

https://www.battlemind.army.mil/[/url]

While we might not recognize it in the form we see in the dojo, there are things that are being done these days.

If they are based on Budo principles and codes I might recognize them.

I agree though that for many, budo and particularly Aikido, for the reasons Dr Strozzi-Heckler outlines in his book would be a good thing too!

I am so glad to hear that from you. I believe there will be an even greater need in the future and it would be great to have experienced people in a position to share their skills and collected wisdom.

Thanks for your thoughtful response!

jen

jennifer paige smith
01-04-2009, 09:45 AM
or cover the ash with grass any sooner.

I find my self covering my ash before it turns to grass on aikiweb all the time:D . Maybe I should do it sooner.LOL,

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2009, 10:01 AM
Yes, fortunately I have. It indeed came to find again in the context of this conversation.

This links to Amazon Book: http://cli.gs/6q30SS

That's interesting. I'll look into it. I think it can be a great advantage when people don't know the benefits of what they are doing to begin with. It doesn't give their 'defensive mind' (or ego defenses) a chance to get in the way.

If they are based on Budo principles and codes I might recognize them.

I am so glad to hear that from you. I believe there will be an even greater need in the future and it would be great to have experienced people in a position to share their skills and collected wisdom.

Thanks for your thoughtful response!

jen

I think a big part of the issue is that soldiers and people in general as George mentions above have fears.

Moving left or right of their current "center" or what is familiar to most people is can be a very scary thing. We don't have much security, but what we do have, we want to hold onto.

People create all sorts of coping mechanisms to deal with things. Programs like battlemind try to work as close to that "center" as possible to allow people to open up and trust.

Trust is the big issue.

So, you take a "eastern" practice like aikido, were we use a different language, we kneel, bow, oh yea...we wear pajamas and many of us wear "dresses" and you are far, far to the left in what most ordinary people are comfortable with.

I found it better to embrace and exploit the "center" line and to look at what I could personally do within programs or areas that soldiers are already familiar with.

Really when you get down to it, the Army Combatives Program allows us to reach down and accomplish many of the things that Aikido is designed to do. Maybe not as literal or directly, but at the base...it is a practice of budo for those that decide to participate on an ongoing basis.

Sure, you get a bunch of young studs out there that are quick, agile, and strong and they certainly figure out how to use those skills successfully to beat their opponent. However, many of them find out that they are not so successful with those same skillsets against a 44 year old, liberal vegetarian! :) AND they decide to explore the practice a little deeper to get better.

That is when we start looking hard at posture, relaxation, breath, timing etc.

It is not for everyone, but for the ones that take to it, I think it is a good thing as you guys already know!

jennifer paige smith
01-04-2009, 10:04 AM
Thanks Sensei...

This comes very close to being Aikido's "mission statement."
Exactly

.

That is what Shoji Nishio called Yurusu Budo "The Budo of Acceptance."
I call it a method of Radical Acceptance, but only radical if you're hung up in worldly ways of thinking, like I can be. It is pretty natural when you're tuned in to a Do or Tao like approach. But then it's the Art of Approach, which I also think of it as.

Which brings me back to my original post on the "Effectivness of Aikido in a combat situation." All the Budo platitudes aside it has no real place in modern combat "situation" There is no Aikido "Practice" with automatic weapons, morter fire, air strikes, nuclear weapons, suicide bombers, on one end of the scale or alcoholism, severe child abuse,gang rape,drive by shootings, or genocide on the other.
Which is where I think the radical acceptance part comes in, because sometimes you just have to let ugliness dissolve on it's own accord without feeding it too much energy; kinda like a bad dream or an imaginary friend when you're a child.(Not to avoid it, but to engage that which rests behind it. So ,please, nobody go thinking I'm saying something I ain't ) At some point something more substantive and alive takes it's place. To my mind that relates to a latter part of your post.

I used to see that poster of the hands grasping wrists with the Quote "A way to change the world" in some Aikido Dojos and think to myself "How fracking arrogent is that!"

Very frackin' arrogant if you think trying to change the world around you is going to do anything except manipulate it to your projected sense of 'right and wrong'.; which is likely fragemented and off the mark. Training Budo is certainly a way of getting to know the mechanics of your nature and that leads to an inner freedom which incidentally leads to accepting that their is sh*t in this world and knowing when or when not to act. Simply focusing on it and it calling it bad names doesn't bring out our goodness truth, or beauty.

As a philosphy and a way of living it has promise... The same as any religious or spiritual practice. That promise falls upon the shoulders of the person who subscribes to the "way" and like any other human endeavor it's up to the person to live it.

Like a marriage to my mind. Aikido is an Art of Engagement which encompasses life, death, generation, decay, radical acceptance, approach, sustainability, maximum benevolence, self-sacrifice (sutemi), neutrality, & organic activity.

And so to my mind it redefines what combat may need to become; an act of inclusion rather than dominance. Which then ties it in to evolution (not to bring up that sore subject again), for me.

To expect Aikido to be the end all be all and to change the world is folly...What we really need to do is use it to change ourselves.
Yes, expectations can sink even the best of relationships. And, I think changing ourselves comes from engaging in an ever increasing level of honesty that can lead to remembering who we all are, God's precious children.

William Hazen

Thanks William. You Rock!

jennifer paige smith
01-04-2009, 10:17 AM
I think a big part of the issue is that soldiers and people in general as George mentions above have fears.

Moving left or right of their current "center" or what is familiar to most people is can be a very scary thing. We don't have much security, but what we do have, we want to hold onto.

People create all sorts of coping mechanisms to deal with things. Programs like battlemind try to work as close to that "center" as possible to allow people to open up and trust.

Trust is the big issue.

So, you take a "eastern" practice like aikido, were we use a different language, we kneel, bow, oh yea...we wear pajamas and many of us wear "dresses" and you are far, far to the left in what most ordinary people are comfortable with.

I found it better to embrace and exploit the "center" line and to look at what I could personally do within programs or areas that soldiers are already familiar with.

Really when you get down to it, the Army Combatives Program allows us to reach down and accomplish many of the things that Aikido is designed to do. Maybe not as literal or directly, but at the base...it is a practice of budo for those that decide to participate on an ongoing basis.

Sure, you get a bunch of young studs out there that are quick, agile, and strong and they certainly figure out how to use those skills successfully to beat their opponent. However, many of them find out that they are not so successful with those same skillsets against a 44 year old, liberal vegetarian! :) AND they decide to explore the practice a little deeper to get better.

That is when we start looking hard at posture, relaxation, breath, timing etc.

It is not for everyone, but for the ones that take to it, I think it is a good thing as you guys already know!

I've seen the same thing in regard to fear,trust, and security. I suppose that has partially instigated my observation that if you don't tell people "this is going to change you like........(fill in blank)", it doesn't get their ego hackles up. On the other hand ( good thing we do aikido the same on both sides) going for the center is the direct line to engagement. You can accomplish this physically, as you have outlined.

The military is lucky to have you. Even if you are a veggie eating, Jammie wearing, Kami worshipping, hand waving, neo-hippie.LOL.

L. Camejo
01-04-2009, 10:25 AM
Extremely insightful second post George. I'm happy you decided to post more than once for the year. :)

These are concepts that I have been working on for quite some time and the role of fear and tension on various levels have become a focal point as I realize that there is a lot that can be learnt in this area to get a deeper appreciation of what may need to be addressed in training in light of our ultimate goal.

I have learned a lot by watching how the Systema folks practice. In my opinion the purpose of Systema training is the same as it is for Aikido. But I think that in many ways they do a better job of it. Right from day one there is an emphasis on developing an awareness of the tension we carry in our minds and bodies and they work constantly to learn to move that energy and release it.This has become very central to my personal training of late. Very interesting results so far.

This was another great post by Erick:
But aikido is emphatically not about non-attachment. When the Founder said "true budo is love" -- that is the answer -- complete connection -- the opposite of detachment.I was wondering though, if we seek complete connection with someone in a situation of threat or danger (iow we may be hurt on some level), then is it safe to say that we detach ourselves from our sense of self-preservation to some extent? In other words, it is a move towards detachment from the ego? In this light even though we do not seek detachment from the other person (to facilitate complete connection), we do seek detachment from our self in that we cannot be worried about what may happen to us if this connection is not completely safe (i.e. the person uses the connection to hurt us).

We need to learn how to stop turning everything we do into conflict in order to survive as a species. I see no other reason to do the art if it isn't about that.Quite true. The trick is translating this from general theory into specific elements of training so that we can make this a reality in the world we live in every day, wherever we may be at the time.

Best.
LC

Joe McParland
01-04-2009, 11:03 AM
Larry's point about the only other option with fear being non-attachment is true. But aikido is emphatically not about non-attachment. When the Founder said "true budo is love" -- that is the answer -- complete connection -- the opposite of detachment.

To me, non-attachment doesn't mean I don't care; it means I don't dwell on stuff. A hot fire leaves only ashes.

I agree with David.

Additionally: Experiencing complete connection is not the opposite of non-attachment. Some would claim that non-attachment is a prerequisite for experiencing complete connection, adding that attachment interferes with connection.

If someone is intent upon (i.e., attached to) punching you in the nose and you are intent upon (attached to) not moving, you'll likely experience full connection---just not the aikido type. ;)

lbb
01-04-2009, 11:17 AM
Additionally: Experiencing complete connection is not the opposite of non-attachment. Some would claim that non-attachment is a prerequisite for experiencing complete connection, adding that attachment interferes with connection.

When I read Erick's words, I thought of lines from T. S. Eliot's poem "Ash Wednesday":

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.

"...to care and not to care" -- does that perhaps describe the line that separates connection from attachment? Feeling that a connection exists, but renouncing attachment to the outcome? And was Eliot only able to renounce such attachment when he finally accepted that he didn't control the outcome?

Aikibu
01-04-2009, 11:36 AM
Maybe before aikido (or surfing, or jumping out of planes, or zazen, or ...), changing the world and changing yourself are different... ;)

How so? :)

William Hazen

Aikibu
01-04-2009, 11:51 AM
Thanks William. You Rock!

No no no no no! You realy Rock! LOL Thank You Jen! :)

I love your sig line by the way "Wag More Bark Less" Perfect.

William Hazen

Joe McParland
01-04-2009, 12:42 PM
I used to see that poster of the hands grasping wrists with the Quote "A way to change the world" in some Aikido Dojos and think to myself "How fracking arrogent is that!"

To expect Aikido to be the end all be all and to change the world is folly...What we really need to do is use it to change ourselves.


Maybe before aikido (or surfing, or jumping out of planes, or zazen, or ...), changing the world and changing yourself are different... ;)

How so? :)

It's a matter of perception, of course ;)

Changing yourself is changing the world, on at least two levels:

You're part of the world, so, if you change, ...
With a little shift in thinking / perception, your view of the entire world can change in an instant. Aikido---and the other activities---can help to create that shift.


The first one is not terribly exciting on the immediate gratification meter, but the second one is large scale with instantaneous results! :D

But that bit aside, I do think I got the gist of your point. I'm personally leery of the Evangelical Applied Aikidoists---the "I'm right, you're wrong, and peace and harmony will be restored once I bring you to my point of view" folks. I believe the way to change the world is to fix me. If I ever get past that step, I'll see what I can do about anyone else who still needs fixing ;)

GeneC
01-04-2009, 01:11 PM
Gene, What is your point or agenda here?

No agenda, but definitely a point. The purpose of this website is to:
"AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information" The intent is for topics to be opened and then discussed so that info can be presented for all to glean.

My point is very simple, I don't believe there's anough folks here who have used Aikido often enough in combat to say how effective it is in combat, but I see other folks taking advantage of this thread to further their own agendas. Alot oif stuff has been discussed thathave b=nothing to do with the topic, so I's just merely trying to get the thread back onto being thread specific. My question stands- Who has been in combat and used Aikido with enough regularity to say for sure if Aikido is effective in combat?

Demetrio Cereijo
01-04-2009, 01:34 PM
My question stands- Who has been in combat and used Aikido with enough regularity to say for sure if Aikido is effective in combat?

Define "combat"
Define "aikido"
Define "enough regularity"
Define "effective"

Please. Thanks.

jennifer paige smith
01-04-2009, 02:29 PM
. My question stands- Who has been in combat and used Aikido with enough regularity to say for sure if Aikido is effective in combat?

My definition of combat would include 3 multi-person street fights I've been involved in since I started the art. Win,win,win......

It would also include training in aiki and working with gang kids on a daily basis and leading them to ah-ha moments that result in spending their time finding and getting legitimate jobs at the supermarket for union wages rather than gang-banging. One less headline.

It would also include reducing the amount of pain and confusion I experience from the wreckage of my earlier life; which one might easily (and do) define it as a battlefield. There are many wars going on in this world. Most of them relate to 'the inner war', if not immediately, then eventually.

I think George's post covered some of these things, too.

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2009, 02:33 PM
Gene wrote:

My question stands- Who has been in combat and used Aikido with enough regularity to say for sure if Aikido is effective in combat?

Okay, here is your answer. Nobody.

Nobody I have ever met meets the criteria you laid out.

So what is your conclusion based on this answer?

I think everyone I know in Aikido would back up this "Nobody" answer as well.

Again, that being the answer...what is your response or conclusion?

Mark Peckett
01-04-2009, 03:33 PM
Maybe before aikido (or surfing, or jumping out of planes, or zazen, or ...), changing the world and changing yourself are different... ;)

Perhaps changing the world requires arrogance and changing yourself needs humility.

Aikibu
01-04-2009, 03:48 PM
Perhaps changing the world requires arrogance and changing yourself needs humility.

Perfect. :)

William Hazen

marlon10
01-04-2009, 04:29 PM
I am the author of this post, obviously, and I want to apologize to everyone who has participated in this discussion. I should have never given the title "Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation", because that is not what I was trying to get at. This has been discussed so many times. My real intention for this post was to get at why we train and dedicate so much of our lives to the Martial Arts.

Regardless I can see that enough people feel strongly enough that some of you have added more then a few responses to this thread and I think thats great. My intentions were to touch on the deep rooted reasons as to why we train.

Fighting is always associated with Martial Arts and so little of what we really do can be considered fighting in the practical sense. As a newbie I wanted to first define my thoughts of the difference between fighting and actual street lethal combat. Once we came to that common ground identify whether YOU ALL felt that training for street confrontations is a realistic goal that is achievable.

Then asking the question of those that have been in training for sometime if self-defense is not the goal then what is your real purpose for dedication to the art.

So with respect to all the senior teachers and students here who feel that I am rehashing an old topic, I will say that I only meant to take this issue further a long from the same old "Aikido is to soft" or "Aikido can't beat MMA" arguments.

Having said that I really do appreciate all your comments and perspectives. Once I get up and running with my own Aikido studies I would love sharing my ongoing development of self-discovery.

mickeygelum
01-04-2009, 05:00 PM
Mr. Couch,

Barring your health issues, a man with all your experience and training should be able to enlighten us with the answer to your question. No disrespect intended, but you are requesting an answer to a question that you should already have the answer to....given your training and experience. Even given the fact that you are new to Aikido, most individuals that crosstrain do so to have a complete repertoire in any situation. The sum of ones training affords them the ability to use that which is most suitable for the situation at hand...or the point of now.

As for the "Nobody Response" from Mr. Leavitt...it is most accurate. Even the "Street Warriors" do not engage the populace on a daily/regular basis.

I hope you realize the answer soon.

Mickey

lbb
01-04-2009, 05:07 PM
My point is very simple, I don't believe there's anough folks here who have used Aikido often enough in combat to say how effective it is in combat

Ya know what? I don't believe there's enough folks here who have made enough baked Alaskas to say how effective liquid nitrogen is vs. a conventional freezer. Oh, what's that you say? Nobody here is trying to make an argument about the effectiveness of liquid nitrogen vs. a conventional freezer for making baked Alaskas? You're right...and I'm also not seeing anyone make arguments about how effective aikido is in "combat". So why are you arguing against an argument that hasn't been made?

but I see other folks taking advantage of this thread to further their own agendas.

Understood, Mr. Pot.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-04-2009, 05:19 PM
Then asking the question of those that have been in training for sometime if self-defense is not the goal then what is your real purpose for dedication to the art.

Chris Haueter (BJJ blackbelt) once said something like "the goal of sport BJJ is to win and the goal of BJJ as an art is to be as smooth as possible."

Learning Aikido with self-defense skills as primary goal is like practising sport jits only.

GeneC
01-04-2009, 05:34 PM
This is one of those discussions that seems never to get resolved. So I will make my once a year contribution to it.Aikido, as an art created by Morihei Ueshiba, has nothing to do with combat. It is not about self defense in a conventional sense although some level of defensive capability should be a by-product of good training.....

Wow, I'm so humbled and humiliated.....Nothing to do with combat? You're kidding, right? Aside from the fact that Osensei joined the Japanese military and taught high ranking officers( or anybody who'd pay- course, it was all about money/fame/prestige) his "art" of killing ( altho, some'd argue what he taught wasn't Aikido) that there's plenty of verifiable info that Osensei was the most competitive individual in all of Japan( to wit- a fact( that he carried all of his life and spoke of at every chance) that he very rarely, if ever, was beaten, at anything).
Btw, Imo, it may never get resolved because the very concept of Aiki may be the most lethal ( destructive) force in the Universe.

lbb
01-04-2009, 05:57 PM
Btw, Imo, it may never get resolved because the very concept of Aiki may be the most lethal ( destructive) force in the Universe.

So our heads are going to start exploding, is that the deal? Can't wait!

GeneC
01-04-2009, 06:34 PM
Define "combat"
Define "aikido"
Define "enough regularity"
Define "effective"

Please. Thanks.

Wow, I'm amazed at the (offended) responses to a simple inquiry. What's the problem? Someone asked the Combat effectiveness of Aikido and all of a sudden, everyone get's defensive. Hmmm, wonder why that is?

Ok, so:

combat:
1: a fight or contest between individuals or groups
2 : conflict , controversy
3 : active fighting in a war : action

Aikido: a Japanese art of self-defense employing locks and holds and utilizing the principle of nonresistance to cause an opponent's own momentum to work against him

enough: occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations

regularity-something that is regular - constituted, conducted, scheduled, or done in conformity with established or prescribed usages, rules, or discipline

effective- producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect

Now, your turn: Answer these simple questions: Have you? Then is this topic moot for you?

mathewjgano
01-04-2009, 06:40 PM
Wow, I'm so humbled and humiliated.....Nothing to do with combat? You're kidding, right? Aside from the fact that Osensei joined the Japanese military and taught high ranking officers( or anybody who'd pay- course, it was all about money/fame/prestige) his "art" of killing ( altho, some'd argue what he taught wasn't Aikido) that there's plenty of verifiable info that Osensei was the most competitive individual in all of Japan( to wit- a fact( that he carried all of his life and spoke of at every chance) that he very rarely, if ever, was beaten, at anything).
Btw, Imo, it may never get resolved because the very concept of Aiki may be the most lethal ( destructive) force in the Universe.
Humiliated? Really? I usually only feel that when I put my foot in my mouth...although, I do listen better after that.
I think if you read each part in terms of the rest you may find Ledyard Sensei's message makes more sense.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-04-2009, 06:51 PM
Now, your turn: Answer these simple questions: Have you? Then is this topic moot for you?

Yes to the first question*, no to the second. However I don't think "aikido" is effective in combat. It's me who is "effective".

What about you, Gene. Have you used your Aikido in combat? How it went?

*Without destroying the universe afaik.

lbb
01-04-2009, 07:01 PM
Wow, I'm amazed at the (offended) responses to a simple inquiry. What's the problem?

The problem is that it's not a simple inquiry, it's a loaded question.

GeneC
01-04-2009, 07:40 PM
So our heads are going to start exploding, is that the deal? Can't wait!

Hmmm, don't know where that's coming from, but...whatever floats yer boat.

George S. Ledyard
01-04-2009, 07:42 PM
Wow, I'm so humbled and humiliated.....Nothing to do with combat? You're kidding, right? Aside from the fact that Osensei joined the Japanese military and taught high ranking officers( or anybody who'd pay- course, it was all about money/fame/prestige) his "art" of killing ( altho, some'd argue what he taught wasn't Aikido) that there's plenty of verifiable info that Osensei was the most competitive individual in all of Japan( to wit- a fact( that he carried all of his life and spoke of at every chance) that he very rarely, if ever, was beaten, at anything).
Btw, Imo, it may never get resolved because the very concept of Aiki may be the most lethal ( destructive) force in the Universe.

Clarence,
It's always interesting to me that the folks who wish to maintain that Aikido is about fighting / combat pretty much choose to ignore the entire last half of the Founder's life.

What he did in the 30's was highly influenced by the times. Not to mention that what he taught initially during that period was Daito Ryu and not Aikido. Shioda, Mochizuki, Shirata, and Tomiki Senseis all had certificates in Daito Ryu. Of these students, all chose to go their own way after the war except for Shirata who stayed with the Aikikai and the Ueshiba family. O-Sensei's take on things evolved continuously until he died in 1969 yet the folks who want Aikido to be the ultimate fighting system pretty much ignore everything after 1940.

There is only a little published material by the Founder from the pre-war period. There is quite a lot more of his writings and even more of his lectures from the post war period. I can find absolutely no indication in these post war works that would lead me to believe that the Founder thought he was creating a system of combat. In fact, it was exactly the opposite.

Yes, the revisionists say! Those works were heavily edited by the Founder's son and the senior uchi deshi like Arikawa and Osawa senseis. They would maintain that they distorted the presentation of the Founder's ideas.

I think the "distortion" idea is valid in the sense that they clearly did two things after the war in their marketing of the Founder. First, like everyone else in Japan, they created distance from the militarists responsible for the war. I know there is continued debate to what extent the Founder shared the views of these men. I know in my own case I have several very close friends in Aikido with whom I share not one shred of agreement on political matters, so I am dubious that O-Sensei was a closet war criminal. I think one needs to go by his actual statements and actions rather than impute guilt by association. Anyway, whatever his views before the war, he was explicit after the war. Aikido is a form of misogi. He created it essentially by channeling insights given him by the Kami. It was created as a way to make the world a better place. Period. He repeats variations on that theme in everything he said and wrote until his death. His son, Kisshomaru recounts these statements as well. My own teacher, Saotome Sensei was with the Founder for 15 years and states the same thing. He once told us that if we were worried about self defense we should by a gun. Aikido was for personal development.

The second distortion by the inheritors of the system after the war was to remove much of the Shinto underpinning in the Founder's explanation of the art. This was partly as part of the above mentioned distancing from the militarists but also simply practical as no one really understood what the old fellow was talking about most of the time.

But to the extent that they did communicate his spiritual ideas, it was clear that the overwhelming message was bringing the world together, creating world Peace, the nature of True Budo as Love, etc.The practice of the art is misogi. He flat out, on innumerable occasions, states that the art is not for the destruction of ones enemies. That's a pretty straight forward statement, not hugely open to wide interpretation I think. Since a martial art that is a combat system would certainly be, first and foremost, about the destruction of ones enemies we must conclude that, ipso facto, Aikido is not an art concerned with combat.

Now, it is not the fault of the art itself that there are practitioners who fail to understand the Founder's message and insist on shaping the art to their preconceptions. As Ellis Amdur so eloquently pointed out, there have been a number of folks doing and even teaching the art who have been quite violent. The techniques of the art and it's training methodology lend themselves to abuse and I wouldn't train with anyone I didn't trust because of that. But that isn't the fault of the Founder or the art itself. It is a problem inherent in having human beings, with all their flaws, practicing the art. But the Founder was widely quoted as saying that "no one is doing my Aikido" and the idea that his concern was that the art as done by these folks wasn't combat oriented enough just isn't born out by the facts at hand. Rather, it seems clear, at least to me that he bemoaned the fact that his students seemed so preoccupied by technique and did not seem as interested in the spiritual principles underlying the art as would have wished.

Three teachers stand out as having tried to understand O-Sensei's Aikido as he himself understood it. Stan Pranin held that Sunadomari Sensei (an Omotokyo follower), Hikitsuchi Sensei (a Shinto Priest), and Abe Sensei were the three students of the Founder who pursued the spiritual side of the art as the Founder had taught it. Not one of these teachers has maintained that Aikido is a combat art. Once again, quite the opposite.

Now there are certainly teachers of styles that fall under the rubric of Aikido that concern themselves more with application. But each of these styles was started by a teacher who saw himself unable to follow O-Sensei in his spiritual quest. If we are talking about the Aikido of the man who created and evolved the art and taught it until his death, then postulating that the purpose of the art was combat, that it is about destruction of some enemy, that its "reason detre" was as a defensive fighting system, is quite simply a distortion of the Founder's art.

Finally, to maintain that "the very concept of Aiki may be the most lethal ( destructive) force in the Universe" is just plain silly. Leaving out the Universe and limiting ourselves to the human realm, our unrealized natures constitute the most destructive force we must contend with. The fact that we have nukes at our disposal is far more frightening than the idea that some person of less than stellar character might posses some "aiki" skills. Let's get real here...

dps
01-04-2009, 07:55 PM
I am the author of this post, obviously, and I want to apologize to everyone who has participated in this discussion. I should have never given the title "Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation", because that is not what I was trying to get at. This has been discussed so many times. ]My real intention for this post was to get at why we train and dedicate so much of our lives to the Martial Arts.

Regardless I can see that enough people feel strongly enough that some of you have added more then a few responses to this thread and I think thats great. My intentions were to touch on the deep rooted reasons as to why we train.

Fighting is always associated with Martial Arts and so little of what we really do can be considered fighting in the practical sense. As a newbie I wanted to first define my thoughts of the difference between fighting and actual street lethal combat. Once we came to that common ground identify whether YOU ALL felt that training for street confrontations is a realistic goal that is achievable.

Then asking the question of those that have been in training for sometime if self-defense is not the goal then what is your real purpose for dedication to the art.

So with respect to all the senior teachers and students here who feel that I am rehashing an old topic, I will say that I only meant to take this issue further a long from the same old "Aikido is to soft" or "Aikido can't beat MMA" arguments.

Having said that I really do appreciate all your comments and perspectives. Once I get up and running with my own Aikido studies I would love sharing my ongoing development of self-discovery.

My real intention for this post was to get at why we train and dedicate so much of our lives to the Martial Arts.

I enjoy the physicality of practice, the satisfaction of doing the techniques effectively. I enjoy the sweating and the exhaustion. I enjoy the effect practice has on my state of mind and the coordination of mind and body. It is addictive and I want more.

Once we came to that common ground identify whether YOU ALL felt that training for street confrontations is a realistic goal that is achievable.

It is a realistic goal but there is no way to measure if it is achievable?

David

GeneC
01-04-2009, 08:26 PM
Ya know what??

And I'm not seeing anyone (besides myself ) saying that this topic is moot, because of lack of 1st hand empirical data.

Understood, Mr. Pot.
Mary, Mary, quite contrary, what agenda do you perceive me to have? I'm merely trying to explore the oxymoron known as Aikido.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-04-2009, 08:44 PM
And I'm not seeing anyone (besides myself ) saying that this topic is moot, because of lack of 1st hand empirical data.

Well, it seems you're not going to answer the questions I made to you...

Your agenda is that you can't deal with this fact: with your claimed martial arts training you was owned by a street punk. You failed where others succeeded. You are the oxymoron, not aikido.

C. David Henderson
01-04-2009, 08:50 PM
How can one explore with eyes wide shut?

It's a loaded question, of course.

akiy
01-04-2009, 09:02 PM
Hi George,

I just wanted to say thank you for your recent posts in this thread. I appreciate your taking the time to put them down into words and sharing them with us.

Best,

-- Jun

George S. Ledyard
01-04-2009, 10:24 PM
Hi George,

I just wanted to say thank you for your recent posts in this thread. I appreciate your taking the time to put them down into words and sharing them with us.

Best,

-- Jun

Happy New Year Jun!
I know I have been away for a while... Most of the stuff I have been thinking about regarding Aikido doesn't really lend itself to written discussion. It's so much easier to show in person.The ideas that I have which do lend themselves to the written form I have mostly already put down (there was a period there when I wrote constantly). It doesn't seem very useful to keep restating them, except on those rare occasions when I get irritated and am moved to action. I like the Aikido Journal policy of recycling the old articles. Stuff I wrote years ago magically reappears as if newly minted and it often reaches a new audience. Of course people can find old material in the archives of the discussions here on the forum but you can see that only some people actually do research a subject before starting a new thread. Anyway, it's good to be posting again for as long as it lasts.

I am really looking forward to the Aikiweb seminar in Seattle. It will be an honor to teach alongside those fellows, I can tell you. I'll see you then.
- George

Erick Mead
01-04-2009, 10:34 PM
When I read Erick's words, I thought of lines from T. S. Eliot's poem "Ash Wednesday":
...
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still. [/I]
Eliot is always welcome. The discussion had actually already recalled to me this line of his: ""I will show you fear in a handful of dust."

"...to care and not to care" -- does that perhaps describe the line that separates connection from attachment? Feeling that a connection exists, but renouncing attachment to the outcome? And was Eliot only able to renounce such attachment when he finally accepted that he didn't control the outcome?In one way of viewing it, non-attachment is a way to harness the ego -- by diminishing it, in a sense, to but another object among others, an identity of objects.

The other option -- the mode of aikido as I see it (and while we are at it, Christianity, explicitly) is enlarge the "I" to include the one attacking me, my neighbor and, ultimately, the Godhead itself. Neither O Sensei's declared goals, nor the Two Great Commandments of Christ leave any room for misunderstanding on this one. Love results in an identity of subjects.

As an infant, my unruly arm was not made obedient to my will by beating it into cowed submission. I learned it was part of me and began to cooperate with its nature and thus to make it more fully of me, nor as a matter of will, at all, but as a matter of perfect identity. My arm, after a few months accommodation ("to make fit") is now just "me." In raising my hand I do not "will" an "it." I simply move myself.

My neighbor, my enemy, indeed, my God, is no different, and the means in every case is exactly the same -- Love. Many people accept this as a sympathetic and even intellectually valid principle of the mind and heart. We are, for better or worse not merely minds and hearts, but messy, hormonal, instinctive bodies -- "this quintessence of dust." Aikido is teaching this lesson to the as yet recalcitrant body.

Erick Mead
01-04-2009, 10:43 PM
My question stands- Who has been in combat and used Aikido with enough regularity to say for sure if Aikido is effective in combat?Define "combat"
Define "aikido"
Define "enough regularity"
Define "effective"

Please. Thanks.No need D. The answer to Gene's question is a man, name of Morihei Ueshiba, sadly deceased, who taught many, wrote a little -- and his record speaks for itself. I hear one can perhaps even learn some of what he taught -- oh, here and there. :)

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2009, 11:18 PM
[QUOTE=Marlon Hester;222833]I am the author of this post, obviously, and I want to apologize to everyone who has participated in this discussion. I should have never given the title "Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation", because that is not what I was trying to get at. This has been discussed so many times. My real intention for this post was to get at why we train and dedicate so much of our lives to the Martial Arts.

Regardless I can see that enough people feel strongly enough that some of you have added more then a few responses to this thread and I think thats great. My intentions were to touch on the deep rooted reasons as to why we train.

Fighting is always associated with Martial Arts and so little of what we really do can be considered fighting in the practical sense. As a newbie I wanted to first define my thoughts of the difference between fighting and actual street lethal combat. Once we came to that common ground identify whether YOU ALL felt that training for street confrontations is a realistic goal that is achievable.

Then asking the question of those that have been in training for sometime if self-defense is not the goal then what is your real purpose for dedication to the art.

So with respect to all the senior teachers and students here who feel that I am rehashing an old topic, I will say that I only meant to take this issue further a long from the same old "Aikido is to soft" or "Aikido can't beat MMA" arguments.

Having said that I really do appreciate all your comments and perspectives. Once I get up and running with my own Aikido studies I would love sharing my ongoing development of self-discovery.[/QUOTE

Good luck with your training!

There is so much that goes into studying budo and developing yourself as a "warrior" and preparing for whatever conflict may come your way physically or mentally. It is more than just the "hard" skills, although that is a big part of it too. Living a balanced and happy life, and being physically and mentally fit and stable are key. Moderation.

Anyway, I hope you find joy and happiness in your future training as I have found in mine!

Demetrio Cereijo
01-05-2009, 06:15 AM
The answer to Gene's question is a man, name of Morihei Ueshiba, sadly deceased, who taught many, wrote a little -- and his record speaks for itself. I hear one can perhaps even learn some of what he taught -- oh, here and there. :)

I'm pretty sure lots of aikido practitioneers would lecture the founder about what aikido is about if the old guy were still alive and posting here.
:)

lbb
01-05-2009, 07:28 AM
And I'm not seeing anyone (besides myself ) saying that this topic is moot, because of lack of 1st hand empirical data.

Given that the word "moot", in common parlance, has multiple meanings, some of which contradict each other, I can't even begin to address this until I know which (real or made-up) meaning of the word you're using. Do you mean "debatable", or do you mean "deprived of practical significance", or do you have yet another meaning that you're using?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

You do like to use that phrase. If I call you Clarence the Clown, is that going to raise the tone of the discourse?

lbb
01-05-2009, 08:31 AM
My neighbor, my enemy, indeed, my God, is no different, and the means in every case is exactly the same -- Love. Many people accept this as a sympathetic and even intellectually valid principle of the mind and heart. We are, for better or worse not merely minds and hearts, but messy, hormonal, instinctive bodies -- "this quintessence of dust." Aikido is teaching this lesson to the as yet recalcitrant body.
Up until now, the aikido "connection" business hasn't made sense to me (it hasn't made non-sense either, if you know what I mean)...but you just made it click with something that's already part of my world view (the Very Small Being from Sheri Tepper's novel "Grass", kind of obscure I guess). Thanks for this very much, Erick. That's about all the verbage I have for this very non-verbal set of feelings and concepts, which is not to say that I don't greatly appreciate the verbage of others...only if I don't say much more, it's because I'm letting it all soak in (or letting me soak into it).

mathewjgano
01-05-2009, 09:31 AM
My point is very simple, I don't believe there's anough folks here who have used Aikido often enough in combat to say how effective it is in combat, but I see other folks taking advantage of this thread to further their own agendas. Alot oif stuff has been discussed thathave b=nothing to do with the topic, so I's just merely trying to get the thread back onto being thread specific. My question stands- Who has been in combat and used Aikido with enough regularity to say for sure if Aikido is effective in combat?

I believe you're correct about Aikido having not been used much in combat (particularly after reading Ledyard Sensei's post). I'm not sure you're correct that folks have to have used it in combat to discuss whether or not it has a place there and why or why not. Under that premise, being fairly new to Aikido yourself, you wouldn't have much cause to talk about Aikido at all, would you not? Particularly in light of your comments in various threads to people who have been training in Aikido for years and years; who have the experience-based authority you yourself haven't even come close to having. Am I off base here?
I admire your passion Gene, but it seems to make sense to me why there's an air of combativeness surrounding your conversations.
Please forgive my presumption, but I'm betting if you tried a different tone you might find whatever it is you're looking for a little easier (communication happens better when there's a relaxed connection...kinda like Aikido). Just trying to help...
Sincerely,
Matthew

jennifer paige smith
01-05-2009, 09:50 AM
I'm pretty sure lots of aikido practitioneers would lecture the founder about what aikido is about if the old guy were still alive and posting here.
:)

Given that many people seem to think talking MORE is some elevated form of listening.. I'd have to agree.

They'd also probably call him an aiki-bunny. Boing-Boing. Bounce-Bounce.

jennifer paige smith
01-05-2009, 09:55 AM
Please forgive my presumption, but I'm betting if you tried a different tone you might find whatever it is you're looking for a little easier (communication happens better when there's a relaxed connection...kinda like Aikido). Just trying to help...
Sincerely,
Matthew

Maybe a little more Aiki-do and a little less Aiki-don't?

jennifer paige smith
01-05-2009, 09:59 AM
Perhaps changing the world requires arrogance and changing yourself needs humility.

"Anyone who strives too far from the majority or the conventional wisdom is bound to be labeled "arrogant," or "a maverick," "a wildman," "weird," or even "crazy."" ~ Dr. John Eliot from Overachievement

Perhaps a little of both makes for good stew.:) Irimi and Tenkan, as it were.

Ron Tisdale
01-05-2009, 10:14 AM
They'd also probably call him an aiki-bunny. Boing-Boing. Bounce-Bounce.

I doubt it. Though quite full of seeming contradictions, I think anyone taking a serious look at his life and various attitudes would have a hard time justifying that statement. In fact, if anything, I come to the exact opposite conclusion.

Best,
Ron

jennifer paige smith
01-05-2009, 10:25 AM
I doubt it. Though quite full of seeming contradictions, I think anyone taking a serious look at his life and various attitudes would have a hard time justifying that statement. In fact, if anything, I come to the exact opposite conclusion.

Best,
Ron

Yeah, me too. It was joke based in irony.

I think people might take a second look at that phrase, which I really wish they would.

Personally, I'd never use it in all seriousness. It's too close to another kind of derogatory 'Bunny' word we've just gotten over in this country. It always sounds like that to me. And my respect diminishes for those who use it thus.

And Demetrio implied O'Sensei was a senile old man in another of his posts recentl:(Usually, but sometimes senility also appears with age. Imagine for a moment this can be the case.
..So, I figured, What the hell. This was my humorous way of pointing that out.

Thanks for the opportunity to say this.

Jen

Demetrio Cereijo
01-05-2009, 10:27 AM
They'd also probably call him an aiki-bunny. Boing-Boing. Bounce-Bounce.
Sit down on the corner, I will be with you soon! (http://www.do-gen-do.com/Images/osensei77.jpg)

:D

jennifer paige smith
01-05-2009, 10:31 AM
Sit down on the corner, I will be with you soon! (http://www.do-gen-do.com/Images/osensei77.jpg)

:D

Bring it on!

Do I really have to explain it was a joke at people who use that phrase?

I'm appalled at the second guessing and dis-respectful manner in which people commonly talk about O'Sensei. I take him at face-value and that value couldn't be higher. I hope other people learn that lesson some day. Until then, I'll just keep kidding about it.

Back to topic?

Demetrio Cereijo
01-05-2009, 10:42 AM
And Demetrio called O'Sensei a senile old man in another of his posts recently..So, I figured, What the hell. This was my humorous way of pointing that out.

Thanks for the opportunity to say this.

Jen

You mean as in this post (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=221060&postcount=2)?

Are you a manipulative and covert-agressive person or that was an humorous atempt?

lbb
01-05-2009, 10:58 AM
I think people might take a second look at that phrase, which I really wish they would.

Personally, I'd never use it in all seriousness. It's too close to another kind of derogatory 'Bunny' word we've just gotten over in this country.

The other kind of derogatory 'Bunny' word may no longer be commonly used, but the attitude behind it is alive and well. It was bunny, then it was "blonde", now it's just another b-word, what will it be next? They've always got one, you can rest assured of that, and they all mean the same thing. When I'm disparaged by a sexist, I don't really give a damn what word they use.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-05-2009, 10:59 AM
Is there another category available?
Lots of them.

Perhaps you'd like to explain what you meant by that post? I don't understand it.

The "sit down at the corner..." one?

It was a joke*: Someone calls O Sensei an aiki bunny. O Sensei (who by all acounts had a quick temper) says "You're next for ukemi!".

Or the one when I somewhat implied O Sensei was senile?

You have never considered the posibility O Sensei could have became senile at advanced age like many other human beings? He had cancer, like lots of people; the posibility of him having other kind of health issues, like senility, can't be considered?. Why? Was he above nature?

There's nothing "wrong" with becoming senile... It's the nature at work.

Did't you noticed the :D in the post?

jennifer paige smith
01-05-2009, 11:08 AM
Yeah, me too. It was joke based in irony.

I think people might take a second look at that phrase, which I really wish they would.

Personally, I'd never use it in all seriousness. It's too close to another kind of derogatory 'Bunny' word we've just gotten over in this country. It always sounds like that to me. And my respect diminishes for those who use it thus.

And Demetrio implied O'Sensei was a senile old man in another of his posts recently
..So, I figured, What the hell. This was my humorous way of pointing that out.

Thanks for the opportunity to say this.

Jen

I think this will suffice.

Ewan Wilson
01-05-2009, 11:23 AM
Come on...Rangers know this best!

Do they Kevin?

I always thought the most elite were the Special Air Service.....

"Who dares wins"

But then again...... ;) :cool: :rolleyes:

Tony

What about the Special Boat Service? Amphibious hard men, those guys are incredible.

On the point about getting even with school bullies; that's a little sad is it not? I still recall coming out of a door and being accosted by school friends, having a bar of soap put in my mouth and held down while some of my supposed friends laughed. An unpleasant experience yes but subconscious reason for taking up Aikido, no. If I saw that person again now, I'd hope he'd be embarassed and ashamed but I doubt it. He will always be a fool! Events occur and we move on, learning all the time. Kinda rambled so much I've forgotten my point. Ho hum.

Joe McParland
01-05-2009, 11:24 AM
Rangers! Warning Order: Prepare and secure the LZ!! Jun should be arriving here shortly...

:D

Aikibu
01-05-2009, 11:50 AM
Funny how threads mimic human beings. At first young... full of curiosity and then.... the certainty of knowledge coupled with the insecurity of inexperiance of the teen years.... Followed by the endless formation and deconstrution of life experiance and philosophy.... until finally after much "back and forth" growth... Threads obtain the wisdom of a sage's long life....

Sadly then last phase of growth often includes dementia....

I will not be attending the funeral. :D

William Hazen

C. David Henderson
01-05-2009, 11:56 AM
Funny "ha, ha," or funny "wierd?" :confused: ;)

lbb
01-05-2009, 12:07 PM
Sadly then last phase of growth often includes dementia....

You forgot the "Get off my lawn!" stage.

Cyrijl
01-05-2009, 12:46 PM
This seems like the kind of hostility mentioned on the first page of this thread. Thanks for reading.

edit:Oops some people posted in right before me. I was referring to JS's and DC's exchange.

added: Trying to figure out what someone was like or thought during theor own time is hard enough nevermind decades after they have passed, in a different language with a different social construct. Even at that, I am sure no two people who knew Ueshiba personally would give tow exactly the same accounts of him.

GeneC
01-05-2009, 12:53 PM
Funny how threads mimic human beings. At first young... full of curiosity and then.... the certainty of knowledge coupled with the insecurity of inexperiance of the teen years.... Followed by the endless formation and deconstrution of life experiance and philosophy.... until finally after much "back and forth" growth... Threads obtain the wisdom of a sage's long life....

Sadly then last phase of growth often includes dementia....

I will not be attending the funeral. :D

William Hazen

Yes and then you forgot the other "human trait" of accuacy.

First, not "mimics human beings", but mimics (in your context) the cycle of a human being's life (loosely, in the most general context). Of course, forgiving all the variables and exception to your model, the more time goes by, the more folks are learnng about "dementia" ( 70 is the new 60, 60 is the new 50, 50 is the new 40, etc), but I digress, because I see your intent- to say that, in general, threads follow a pattern and then end up in babble. Amen.

Oh yeah, another human trait....when they don't understand something, they ridicule it.

Ron Tisdale
01-05-2009, 01:16 PM
Yeah, and sometimes, just sometimes, the ridicule is well deserved.

But not always....

Best,
Ron

GeneC
01-05-2009, 01:30 PM
This seems like the kind of hostility mentioned on the first page of this thread. Thanks for reading.

edit:Oops some people posted in right before me. I was referring to JS's and DC's exchange.

added: Trying to figure out what someone was like or thought during theor own time is hard enough nevermind decades after they have passed, in a different language with a different social construct. Even at that, I am sure no two people who knew Ueshiba personally would give tow exactly the same accounts of him.

????????this was editted?

akiy
01-05-2009, 01:38 PM
Thread closed due to multiple disrespectful, off-topic posts.

Come on, folks. Please respect the Forum Rules.

-- Jun