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Janet Rosen
08-02-2009, 11:38 PM
This Sunday's NYT "Modern Love" column describes one of the finest examples I've ever read of living aikido off the mat.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/02/fashion/02love.html?pagewanted=all

Mark Mueller
08-03-2009, 01:32 AM
Janet, Thanks for posting that. Beautiful example.

gdandscompserv
08-03-2009, 02:27 AM
I have a wife like that!:)

Shadowfax
08-03-2009, 07:55 AM
Wow..... I'm glade you shared this. What an amazing example she sets.

Kevin Leavitt
08-03-2009, 08:27 AM
Thanks Janet...that is very moving. They should make a movie out of that story.

Ron Tisdale
08-03-2009, 11:14 AM
WOW.

Best,
Ron

ninjaqutie
08-03-2009, 11:16 AM
Wow. That is a great story. Not too many women could do something like that. I don't know if I could....

RED
08-03-2009, 01:11 PM
That takes reserve I hope I can have some day.

Susan Dalton
08-04-2009, 07:55 AM
The most amazing part is how she kept from blaming "uke". Wow.
Susan

Maarten De Queecker
08-11-2009, 07:33 AM
Beautiful story. It kind of moved me...

MM
08-11-2009, 07:45 AM
This Sunday's NYT "Modern Love" column describes one of the finest examples I've ever read of living aikido off the mat.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/02/fashion/02love.html?pagewanted=all

Hello,

Um, please don't take this the wrong way. But, would you (my grammar teacher always hated "could". Of course you are capable) explain how this story is aikido off the mat for me? Truthfully, I'm just not seeing it. I was hoping that if I gave you the chance, the open mic, maybe you'd explain how it is aikido off the mat. My promise is that I'll not debate it with you. I'll most likely ask questions to clarify what you say, but no debates on validity. No interjections on my views of aikido.

If you don't care to discuss it, that's fine.

Thanks,
Mark

rob_liberti
08-11-2009, 09:45 AM
I just read something that resonated with me about this topic in a different thread:

Survival in today's jungle:

Self-absorption: no empathy or love, could lead one to the delusion that he is the only person with free will and emotion.

Altruism: pure empathy and love, dangerous mind state leads to manipulation from self-absorbed others. Feelings of weakness, learned helplessness, and a total external locus of control.

Invulnerable Altruism: The result of proper, consistent Aiki-geiko. A moderate, chronic euphoria that words cannot further describe.

I like this idea of "Invulnerable Altruism". I look at it as being unassailable. I'm working on that because I suspect it will help me also become much more unassailing!

You can debate with me to your hearts content. I would also like to read the OP's perspective.

Rob

Abasan
08-11-2009, 10:16 AM
Hello,

Um, please don't take this the wrong way. But, would you (my grammar teacher always hated "could". Of course you are capable) explain how this story is aikido off the mat for me? Truthfully, I'm just not seeing it. I was hoping that if I gave you the chance, the open mic, maybe you'd explain how it is aikido off the mat. My promise is that I'll not debate it with you. I'll most likely ask questions to clarify what you say, but no debates on validity. No interjections on my views of aikido.

If you don't care to discuss it, that's fine.

Thanks,
Mark

I thought it was picture perfect. She kept her calm and centered. She didn't clash but blended. She led but did not push. She did not cower nor did she fight back, but she accepted. And finally, both of them won. Neither lost. Balance restored, harmony prevailed.

Janet Rosen
08-11-2009, 10:38 AM
Hello,
Um, please don't take this the wrong way. But, would you (my grammar teacher always hated "could". Of course you are capable) explain how this story is aikido off the mat for me?

As the OP: she stayed centered, dealt with the global reality in front of her without necessarily buying into her partner's version of it, continued to blend and lead however long it took until harmony was restored.

L. Camejo
08-11-2009, 10:54 PM
Nice story with a happy ending.

Shows a lot about resolve. Her resolve was to hold the family together and it won out. Of course if the husband was actually serious about leaving and had the resolve to do so he would have just left and not look back - saying he was about to leave was merely a means of asking her to help him find the means to stay. He may have never been serious about actually acting on what he said from the beginning.

Imho perpetual blending does not always resolve conflict. It often only prolongs the inevitable. This case was different.

LC

Janet Rosen
08-11-2009, 11:20 PM
Imho perpetual blending does not always resolve conflict. It often only prolongs the inevitable. This case was different.

I totally agree.
In this case there are a couple of things that struck me though:
One is that she did from the start tell him "I don't buy it." She didn't do a pat "yes dear I hear you" blend. She actually stated her reaction to his attack - and she continued to reframe things. You'll note this very much took his balance - lots of "huh?"s and angry "oh you mean this...", which she continues to reframe - like from the start she had a gut feeling that it wasn't about what he said it was about so if she reframed it, it might work.
The reframing is sort of a continual kuzushi more than a continual blend, I guess, now that I think of it!

Kevin Leavitt
08-11-2009, 11:38 PM
I think it has alot to do with the concept of entering as well. She entered by standing her ground and by her convictions, yet allowed him to move where he naturally wanted to go without letting go of him or pushing him away. By doing this, I think she was able to maintain her self control, not feel like a push over, yet he resolved his own problem...or something like that.

It is hard to describe in detail, but I do believe it is a fantastic story that illustrates the concept. She held on by letting go, but not by pushing away. Very skillful way of handling the issue!

Giving uke the space he needs while protecting ourselves.

gdandscompserv
08-11-2009, 11:43 PM
Hello,

Um, please don't take this the wrong way. But, would you (my grammar teacher always hated "could". Of course you are capable) explain how this story is aikido off the mat for me? Truthfully, I'm just not seeing it. I was hoping that if I gave you the chance, the open mic, maybe you'd explain how it is aikido off the mat. My promise is that I'll not debate it with you. I'll most likely ask questions to clarify what you say, but no debates on validity. No interjections on my views of aikido.

If you don't care to discuss it, that's fine.

Thanks,
Mark
Or alternatively, perhaps you could explain how it is NOT aikido.:p

MM
08-12-2009, 07:38 AM
Or alternatively, perhaps you could explain how it is NOT aikido.:p

No. That would be debating. I said I wouldn't do that. I won't.

fisher6000
08-15-2009, 03:44 PM
I think it's OK to debate in a forum. Isn't that what forums are for?

I thought it was an excellent example of kuzushi. And also, a sensei I had in the past said all the time that it was important to be "sticky," or not be in such a hurry to resolve an attack.

On the mat and in life, I tend to rush. I rush to understand a workplace conflict, rush to apologize, rush to find a technique in randori... and I do this so that I can end the ambiguity.

It takes a lot of courage to let the ambiguity play itself out when it's appropriate to do so.

MM
08-15-2009, 07:08 PM
I think it's OK to debate in a forum. Isn't that what forums are for?


Sure, I think it's okay to debate in a forum, too. I've done so here on Aikiweb. But, I wanted Janet's view without my interfering, or debating, so that not only could she explain her view, but I could focus on understanding her view. Beyond that, I said I wouldn't debate. I stand by what I say. :)

David Orange
08-17-2009, 03:05 PM
I have a wife like that!:)

Is that why you're in Okinawa now???

Hope she's with you.

David

Commander13CnC3
09-29-2011, 08:42 AM
Fantastic Aikido "off the mat" reference!
Interesting story, too.

genin
09-29-2011, 04:25 PM
At first it sounds like she was letting him walk all over her, or that she was desperate to keep him. But in actuality, she recognized a conflict, and she took the perceived best course of action so that she could acheive victory. Victory, in this case, was not allowing her husband to leave her family, and to a lesser extent, allowing him to draw her into an ongoing argument over divorce.

At the most basic level, you can ask yourself what your enemy (uke/husband) wants you to do, and then simply don't do that thing. The husband wanted her to fly off the deep end and give him a reason to leave. While I'm sure she felt the urge to flip out, and she would've been right in doing so, she instead chose to defeat her enemy with a more effective tactic.

Gorgeous George
10-04-2011, 04:15 PM
I don't think it's quite that simple: the children were forced, by her actions, to live in an erratic, discord-riven environment, because she chose to bring about that situation...

genin
10-04-2011, 04:40 PM
I don't think it's quite that simple: the children were forced, by her actions, to live in an erratic, discord-riven environment, because she chose to bring about that situation...

Once the husband chose to tell her he fell out of love and was acting cold towards the family, then it was HE who created the situation. She could've played into his game, but the children still would've been negatively impacted by an aloof and uncaring father. She gambled, assuming that the choice she was making was the lesser of two evils and would be better for the kids in the long run...and she was right!

worrier
10-05-2011, 02:45 AM
That is a great story and it kind of reminds me of Paolo Coelho's book The Witch of Portobello just a little bit in the way it describes the woman's journey and her thoughts and feelings.

lbb
10-05-2011, 07:36 AM
I liked the story. It's a wonderful story. But it's not aikido off the mat.

Perhaps if someone from this forum were to act in this way, they might be driven by aikido principles, and then you could call it aikido off the mat. But the author makes no mention of aikido. Instead, she has several references in there to Buddhist concepts using Buddhist terminology, although she doesn't use the B-word either.

Aikido did not create harmony in the universe. Aikido does not own the patent on harmonious action or resolution of conflict. If aikido is your vehicle to seeing "the third way", then call it aikido off the mat -- for you.

Janet Rosen
10-05-2011, 10:22 AM
I liked the story. It's a wonderful story. But it's not aikido off the mat. .
.... If aikido is your vehicle to seeing "the third way", then call it aikido off the mat -- for you.

And so I did. Thank you.

Walter Martindale
10-05-2011, 10:26 AM
Is that why you're in Okinawa now???

Hope she's with you.

David

My first reaction was along the lines of... do you also have a wife who's not like that? :freaky:
W
Re: the OP and the article... Good story.