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Buck
11-28-2009, 04:22 PM
Down through the years in my Aikido experience, I have heard and read on pulp allot of stuff being said about Aikido being a paradox concerning violence. Having a round-table chat with a few of my fellows has resulted in new thoughts about Aikido and it's paradox.

The Aikido Paradox of non-violence and violence is workable when there is less spine (stiffness). Often our views and ideas of things have a great spine -less flexibility. The key here is having less spine, or more flexibility and not aiming right on the target. That is done if we look at Aikido in the same way as the Archer's Paradox. (http://www.texasarchery.org/Documents/ArchersParadox/Archersparadox.htm) When we are able to understand that we realize there is a powerful truth to Aikido being paradoxical.

This truth then can also be applied to other areas of Aikido, such as Aikido's spiritual side, training and techniques. I think understanding the Aikido Paradox, much more to it than the Archer's Paradox.

Aikido's Paradox is very revealing and provides great insight to Aikido. And I think that is what sets Aikido apart from other martial arts; what is revealed, what insights are gained, and seeing there is a powerful truth to Aikido that in itself is a technique to discover.

Michael Hackett
11-28-2009, 08:07 PM
OK Buck, I've read your posting three times and the Archer's Paradox discussion twice and I'm still not sure what you are trying to define as the Aikido Paradox. I'm ashamed to be so dense, so would you pull out the crayons and draw me a picture?

Buck
11-28-2009, 11:31 PM
I apologize. Basically, what we might see as something of opposing forces that can't be true or possible can be. The Aikido Paradox is that Aikido can be non-violent and be violent as seen in the techniques. At the roots of Aikido techniques, are violent combative techniques that can harm and kill. With the model of the Archer's Paradox we see how Aikido can be a paradox. We can, therefore, make a resolve to this idea, where there maybe none before that Aikido can be violent without compromise to its philosophy of non-violence. There should be no conflict of any kind as a result of seeing Aikido in the model of the Archer's Paradox.

The Archer's Paradox is a model we can use to say Paradox's such as those in Aikido are true. We can observe the Archer's Paradox to reveal the physics at play that can apply and work in Aikido.

We can also take from the model that as Aikidoka to achieve our goal we should aim a bit off the target to hit the target. This can be applied to how we approach technique, how we preform technique, how we train, and how we see Aikido. Not being so precise (being a little off and acceptant and confident in that) to get us precise, is the idea of aiming a bit off to hit the target. That takes time to learn when thinking and perceptions are very stiff and where they are not at all flexible.

There are many things that the Aikido's Paradox, based on the Archer's Paradox, can teach us. Those who study this deeper will see the importance of Aikido's paradox as it permeates deeply and resounds even more deeply the workings and lessons of Aikido. That is something very powerful and revealing to understand that Aikido is a powerful paradox that works, and is nota martial art simply composed of poetry and sets of mechanical techniques. It shows us the complexity of the art and the forces that shape it.

Carsten Möllering
11-29-2009, 08:17 AM
Hi,

please excuse me, but I don't see the point you seem to be talking about.

Where do you see a contradiction or even a paradox of violence and non-violence in aikido?

It sounds a little bit as if you think about technique versus "philosopie of aikido" (whatever this would be)? Do I get that right?

Carsten

gregstec
11-29-2009, 08:30 AM
OK Buck, I've read your posting three times and the Archer's Paradox discussion twice and I'm still not sure what you are trying to define as the Aikido Paradox. I'm ashamed to be so dense, so would you pull out the crayons and draw me a picture?

I think we need to look at Buck's signature line for clues as to were he is coming from.

"Phil "Buck" Burgess

"Yea, I'm from Ann Arbor, Michigan, man. I was there in the 60's when the universe meant something" -Ashley Roachclip. LOL!"

Maybe if we all lit up a few joints, the picture may become clearer, or maybe not - but at that point, who would care :D

Greg Steckel

chillzATL
11-29-2009, 08:58 AM
I see no paradox or contradiction. Aikido is, first and foremost, a martial art. One can study the philosophy of the art and all the other non-technical aspects of it, but without the techniques (and in my opinion, effective technique) you're not doing Aikido. What separates it from other arts or styles (especially at the time of its creation) is that it's designed to work without a great deal of physical strength and it gives you a far greater level of control over the amount of damage that is handed out. It's through the practice and perfection of those techniques that we gain a greater understanding of that core philosophy.

In my opinion the only contradiction is when it's viewed from the other side of the fence. When one puts that philosophy above and ahead of the technique itself.

Buck
11-29-2009, 10:20 AM
I must apologize. I guess, I should have put a disclaimer in my post saying that I am being assumptive that the reader is well versed on the background information on the topic am posting. And it is also due to me being lazy and not writing it all out in one big monster long post; and the purpose of the links in the post.

I realize not everyone sees a conflict in Aikido being a paradox concerning violence and non-violence. We than can take this paradox (being possible modeled by the Archer's paradox, which is already proven, written out and well explained) and apply it to the physical techniques of Aikido, as well as other applications within Aikido. Therefore, what we see as conflicts of thought, ideas and perceptions in Aikido (in training and stuff) to be impossibilities (being the action of the arrow) can be revealed as harmonious actions of possibilities and truths. Such revelations and their importance and stuff is an individual experience that has its own value in degree and depth to the individual.

Now to focus on the Aikido Paradox of being non-violent, yet preforming violence via technique. We understand that like the arrow's compressing and flexing forces work together to achieve flight of the arrow on a forward path and not (to take a golfing term) slicing off to the right or left. The arrow situation parallels the ideas of violence and non-violence forces working together to achieve the goal of not injuring or killing an opponent, but rather controlling the opponent's spirit (will and intent) to continue to be violent. Of course this would mean when being attacked the the spirit is to stop the violence being paramount to success of Aikido.

Therefore, this doesn't mean individual becomes completely passive when attacked. The attacked individual tempers their violence allowing it to compress and flex- having adjustable degree of spine. The purpose is to be like the oscillating arrow. Rather then being the opposite of having a solid mind set of having an determinant unwavering spirit. A mind set that is focused on one goal, and that is of attacking without the bothersome and fretted thoughts of consequence. That of which is seen in ancient Japanese warriors and warrior culture. This isn't to say there is no validity in such a mind set and should be discarded that it too can be part of the Aikido Paradox .

And that is the point of the Aikido Paradox moving/oscillating withing the range of polar opposites. Not discarding one thing for the other, but instead using each to achieve the desired goal. Often we do that, we discard things when things don't seem to logically fit. But, in this case we can see things that don't seemingly fit can and do. They do fit, because these forces can share and occupy the same space; the Aikido Paradox.

* Jason says it in his post pretty nicely

**Greg, let's not and say you did. It is Chong's genius comedic insight and intelligence is what makes that line work. That is why I think it is so witty. I see his witt and comedic genius paralleling Mark Twain in regard to this line - my sig line. It's funny, note the LOL at the end of it :)

lbb
11-29-2009, 02:47 PM
In order to claim that a paradox exists, you must first state what the paradox is and then explain how it is a paradox: that is, how its parts are mutually exclusive. The confusion you're getting is that you didn't explicitly state the paradox: the closest you came was in the post above in which you said:

...the Aikido Paradox of being non-violent, yet preforming violence via technique.

The paradox, according to you, is that aikido is "non-violent", yet violence is committed when aikido techniques are performed. I think that either of those statements can be refuted fairly easily. If any part of the statement of a paradox is not true or complete, the paradox fails. I think that may be what some posters are getting at.

crbateman
11-29-2009, 03:36 PM
I'm not convinced there's a paradox. I think a more descriptive term would be contrast. There are diverse aspects to Aikido, and blending them together into a homogeneous practice is partly where the "harmony" comes in.

aikishrine
11-29-2009, 05:40 PM
Katsujinken/Setsujinken-life giving sword/life taking sword

Sometimes it is necassary to strike down the one to save the many.

This in my opinion is where the paradox in Aikido lies. If you have a proper understanding of the philosophy behind Aikido, and a good grasp of the techniques, then you can make the right decision of what to do when the time comes. You can choose to be merciful, or you can choose to be unmerciful.

Sometimes the most merciful thing to do is to end a life, if it means saving many lives. Here is where the paradox begins and ends.

Buck
11-29-2009, 06:35 PM
In order to claim that a paradox exists, you must first state what the paradox is and then explain how it is a paradox: that is, how its parts are mutually exclusive. The confusion you're getting is that you didn't explicitly state the paradox: the closest you came was in the post above in which you said:

The paradox, according to you, is that aikido is "non-violent", yet violence is committed when aikido techniques are performed. I think that either of those statements can be refuted fairly easily. If any part of the statement of a paradox is not true or complete, the paradox fails. I think that may be what some posters are getting at.

Well you'd have to take that up with O'Sensei if he were alive. I didn't created the paradox, I didn't create Aikido. All am doing is observing and commenting on the Aikido Paradox in my way. I see the Archer's Paradox as a way to explore the Aikido Paradox further than with common conventions. Again, I think your concerns are really best addressed to O'Sensei, if he where alive.

Where our energies maybe best placed is in discussing the Aikido Paradox, the Archer's Paradox and Katsujinken/Setsujinken-life giving sword/life taking sword. Like are they similar or different in regard to Aikido and violence and all that stuff. In all sincerity, I invite you to join and develop this discussion into a fine and noteworty discussion.

lbb
11-29-2009, 10:50 PM
Well you'd have to take that up with O'Sensei if he were alive. I didn't created the paradox, I didn't create Aikido.

..and O-Sensei didn't create the definition of a paradox. Even if he were alive, and even if he had asserted, "Wow, check this out! The Aikido Paradox! Here it is!", I still wouldn't have to "take it up" with him. If O-Sensei had said "2+2=5", his saying it wouldn't make it true.

All am doing is observing and commenting on the Aikido Paradox in my way. I see the Archer's Paradox as a way to explore the Aikido Paradox further than with common conventions. Again, I think your concerns are really best addressed to O'Sensei, if he where alive.

And I think that you are dodging a very simple question with, "But O-Sensei said!" -- without, of course, saying what he said or how it constitutes a paradox. So, please produce the statement, and we can go from there.

In all sincerity, I invite you to join and develop this discussion into a fine and noteworty discussion.
I invite you to do the same. Begin, please, with a clear statement of what exactly the "aikido paradox" is, and how it constitutes a paradox.

sorokod
11-30-2009, 03:09 AM
The article by Paul Linden titled "THE NON-VIOLENCE IN AIKIDO" seems to be relevant.

http://traditionalaikido.eu/doc/non_violence.pdf

chillzATL
11-30-2009, 06:17 AM
..and O-Sensei didn't create the definition of a paradox. Even if he were alive, and even if he had asserted, "Wow, check this out! The Aikido Paradox! Here it is!", I still wouldn't have to "take it up" with him. If O-Sensei had said "2+2=5", his saying it wouldn't make it true.

And I think that you are dodging a very simple question with, "But O-Sensei said!" -- without, of course, saying what he said or how it constitutes a paradox. So, please produce the statement, and we can go from there.

I invite you to do the same. Begin, please, with a clear statement of what exactly the "aikido paradox" is, and how it constitutes a paradox.

I'm not sure what the point of your questions are? One only has to spend a few minutes studying the history of Aikido and its founder to understand the paradox he's speaking of.

dps
11-30-2009, 06:18 AM
The article by Paul Linden titled "THE NON-VIOLENCE IN AIKIDO" seems to be relevant.

http://traditionalaikido.eu/doc/non_violence.pdf

I disagree with the author's premise.
Aikido is violent.

I Googled American Heritage Dictionary and this is the sight that I got.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/violence

vi⋅o⋅lence
1. swift and intense force: the violence of a storm.
2. rough or injurious physical force, action, or treatment: to die by violence.
3. an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws: to take over a government by violence.
4. a violent act or proceeding.
5. rough or immoderate vehemence, as of feeling or language: the violence of his hatred.
6. damage through distortion or unwarranted alteration: to do editorial violence to a text.

The first two definitions apply to Aikido because it uses the "swift and intense force" of the attacker.

The third, fourth and fifth definition implies intention which also comes from the attacker.

The Aikidoist intention and movement are not violent.

Aikido is as violent as the attacker's intention and movement.

There is no paradox.

dps

Carsten Möllering
11-30-2009, 07:00 AM
Hi

Thank you Mary, you got exactly the point:
In order to claim that a paradox exists, you must first state what the paradox is and then explain how it is a paradox:
This is indeed exactly an alternative formulation of the question I posted.

The paradox, according to you, is that aikido is "non-violent", yet violence is committed when aikido techniques are performed.
... If any part of the statement of a paradox is not true or complete, the paradox fails.
Again this expresses exactly my "inquiery" of the initial post.

I think that either of those statements can be refuted fairly easily.
I practice for over 15 years now and Aikido never was referred to in another way than "budo". This ist also true concerning the literature about Aikido I know.

And "budo" has nothing to do with what is normally understood when using the term "non-violence". "Non-violence" more refers to what e.g. Gandhi or Martin Luther King did.

Greetings,
Carsten

Carsten Möllering
11-30-2009, 07:07 AM
One only has to spend a few minutes studying the history of Aikido and its founder to understand the paradox he's speaking of.?
Could you please elaborate this?

I don't see such a paradox an I spend a big amount of time studying the history of Aikido and the life and words of the founder.
I don't see any paradox but a completely different understanding of specific phrases, terms and worldview.

Carsten

mickeygelum
11-30-2009, 07:26 AM
Mr Burgess,

Aikido paradox? Archer's paradox? Three aces and a pair of ducks, makes just as much sense...:confused:

lbb
11-30-2009, 07:56 AM
I'm not sure what the point of your questions are? One only has to spend a few minutes studying the history of Aikido and its founder to understand the paradox he's speaking of.

So pretend I'm an idiot and articulate it for me. If one "only has to spend a few minutes" to understand it, it should take little more to write it down. Oblige me, if you would, and then Buck can confirm whether or not this is the paradox that he's talking about.

FWIW, I'm not an idiot. What I am, is cognizant of the ways that things that "everybody knows" are often actually not "known" by "everybody"; thus, I prefer to have terms defined rather than assume that they all mean the same things to everyone. It seems like a reasonable basis for a discussion.

sorokod
11-30-2009, 08:21 AM
I disagree with the author's premise.
Aikido is violent.
...

Yet you seem to agree with the author's conclusions.

Dan O'Day
11-30-2009, 08:54 AM
I've always been drawn to the thoughtline of paradox being the last obscuring of truth on the path of discovery. In other words, when one sees paradox, they have traveled long and far to be able to understand at least two sides of a thoughtline and may know they are close to understanding the truth.

Maybe paradox is really nothing more than a resting point, a point at which to gather oneself for the final leap into realizing all they knew before, in a given area, was false.

In the case of aikido...violence and non-violence...what if, in fact, there is never any violence? If the goal is to become entirely non-violent? Would that seem paradoxical?

I would guess so. Using tools of seeming violence to become non-violent...but in fact, how may one ever overcome an obstacle if they are never even aware of the existance of the obstacle?

For me, when I see paradox, I know I'm on a good path; heading the right way.

Fun topic. Thank you for the discussion.

chillzATL
11-30-2009, 11:08 AM
So pretend I'm an idiot and articulate it for me. If one "only has to spend a few minutes" to understand it, it should take little more to write it down. Oblige me, if you would, and then Buck can confirm whether or not this is the paradox that he's talking about.

FWIW, I'm not an idiot. What I am, is cognizant of the ways that things that "everybody knows" are often actually not "known" by "everybody"; thus, I prefer to have terms defined rather than assume that they all mean the same things to everyone. It seems like a reasonable basis for a discussion.

ok.

Aikido, per the founders own words is a Budo, a martial way. Not a sport, not a dance, but a fighting art.

Aikido, also per the founders words, is a peaceful, loving art designed not to destroy, but to embrace the world in harmony and love.

Thus you have the common paradox of Aikido.

jxa127
11-30-2009, 11:21 AM
Wow, Buck is getting skewered!

I think I get what he's saying, or at least this is my understanding of an aikido paradox.

A paradox is a seeming contradiction that is nevertheless true or, (alternatively) a statement that seems true but is in fact self-contradictory.

The common understanding of aikido (as published in works like The Spirit of Aikido and The magic of conflict is that O Sensei developed his art as a way of unifying the universe. Therefore the art is expressed through techniques that deal with violent attacks in a way that practitioners can defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.

So far, so good.

Now the contradictory part: we practice defending ourselves against violent attacks by studying violent techniques that have a very real possibility of injuring our killing the attacker.

What makes this a seeming contradiction is the way we perform the techniques. We usually choose the "nice guy (or gal)" way of finishing a technique so that the risk of injury to the attacker is minimized.

Having written all of that, there's a lot of scholarship going on right now examining just exactly what O Sensei meant when taking about an art that unifies the universe. If anything, the new scholarship show even more paradoxes in the aikido world. I'll quote from the first of Peter Goldsbury's excellent series of articles on Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12008):


Transmission

(a) Morihei Ueshiba made no attempt to ‘teach' the knowledge and skills he possessed to his deshi.

(b) The latter all gained profound knowledge and skills during their time as deshi, but it is by no means clear that they gained all the knowledge or that all gained the same knowledge.

(c) Morihei Ueshiba appears to have made no specific attempt to check whether his deshi had understood what they had learned from him.

Inheritance

(d) On the other hand, all the evidence indicates that Morihei Ueshiba worried very much about passing on the art to future generations and finally designated his son Kisshomaru Ueshiba as heir and inheritor of the art.

(e) Kisshomaru Ueshiba seems to have changed the inheritance he received quite radically, again, with no clear reaction from his father, such that it has been stated that the aikido taught by him and by his successors nowadays is no longer Morihei Ueshiba's aikido.

Emulation

(f) Just as the heirs of Morihei Ueshiba have passed on their knowledge and skill to their deshi, so also have the deshi of Morihei Ueshiba passed on their knowledge and skill to their own deshi, but with very varying degrees of success, such that the knowledge and skills of present and future generations are becoming and will become increasingly varied in quality, in proportion as they become more distant from the source.

(g) The fact that many of these deshi live outside Japan and that aikido has become a Japanese art practiced more outside Japan than in Japan has profoundly affected and is profoundly affecting its essential character.


So, O Sensei cared very deeply about his art and its continuation, but did not attempt to teach those skills to his students or check that they understood what they learned from him.

If that's not a paradox, I'm not sure what is. :)

Regards,

gregstec
11-30-2009, 11:49 AM
So, O Sensei cared very deeply about his art and its continuation, but did not attempt to teach those skills to his students or check that they understood what they learned from him.

If that's not a paradox, I'm not sure what is. :)

Regards,

Hi Drew,

IMO, I think O Sensei and Takeda were more focused on developing their art for their own sake and really did not have too much of an interest in ensuring that their students got it to pass on. If that was not the case, why is there not an abundance of Shihans out there with the skills of Ueshiba and Takeda?

The true paradox of Aiki is that these two are regarded as teachers, but in reality they were not - they mostly shared their knowledge with their students so they could use them as learning tools for themselves. if they truly wanted to ensure their stuff was passed on, they would have categorized and documented their teachings better as well as made sure their students were getting it all, etc.

Greg Steckel

dps
11-30-2009, 11:57 AM
if they truly wanted to ensure their stuff was passed on, they would have categorized and documented their teachings better as well as made sure their students were getting it all, etc.

Greg Steckel

I think that you also have to look at how their teachers taught them.

David

dps
11-30-2009, 11:58 AM
Mr Burgess,

Aikido paradox? Archer's paradox? Three aces and a pair of ducks, makes just as much sense...:confused:

One ace and two pairs of ducks?

dps

Walter Martindale
11-30-2009, 12:01 PM
So pretend I'm an idiot and articulate it for me. If one "only has to spend a few minutes" to understand it, it should take little more to write it down. Oblige me, if you would,
(snip)


My thoughts too.

I had a math prof who used the word "Obviously" instead of writing down the steps in a solution.

I had another professor in another area who said that "'Obviously' means 'I don't know how to explain it.' or 'I can't be bothered explaining it (to you).'"

Someone who REALLY understands something can explain it in terms that a 10-year-old can figure out.

IMO, of course.
Walter

Dieter Haffner
11-30-2009, 12:02 PM
Si vis pacem, para bellumIf you wish for peace, prepare for war.

It seems that O'Sensei was not such a genius after all. People allready knew this paradox many, many centuries before him. I think our founder was just a copycat who brought the message in a more exotic flaviour.

And this brings us to another paradox:
Gain great wisdom by playing video gamesIn this way I would like to thank "Rome: Total War" for not only offering a lot of hours of fun, but also for letting me study the words of great men of the past.
And also a little recognition to my PC for being so slow. It gave me plenty of time to read the displayed quotes while the game was loading.

gregstec
11-30-2009, 12:09 PM
I think that you also have to look at how their teachers taught them.

David

I understand the 'steal the technique' approach that was prevalent at that time, but be that as it may, a true teacher with the intent of passing something along would have seen that more needed to be done if their students were not getting it - just my opinion.

Now, there is a flip side to that environment as well - lets say that that the teacher placed all of the learning responsibility on the student. In that case, the student should have realized they were not getting it and looked for more specific instruction. This scenario would explain the many different level of skills in the students like we see today. However, if the teacher was truly intent on getting it all across, they would have needed to do more at their own motivation and not the students.


Greg

chillzATL
11-30-2009, 12:26 PM
Hi Drew,

IMO, I think O Sensei and Takeda were more focused on developing their art for their own sake and really did not have too much of an interest in ensuring that their students got it to pass on. If that was not the case, why is there not an abundance of Shihans out there with the skills of Ueshiba and Takeda?

The true paradox of Aiki is that these two are regarded as teachers, but in reality they were not - they mostly shared their knowledge with their students so they could use them as learning tools for themselves. if they truly wanted to ensure their stuff was passed on, they would have categorized and documented their teachings better as well as made sure their students were getting it all, etc.

Greg Steckel

The O'sensei that we are most familiar with (from books, video, etc) had basically retired from active teaching. When he taught it wasn't about showing techniques and the like. He depended on his Shihan for that. Saito sensei and many of his deshi in the years immediately before and after the war seem to support the notion that his instruction was much more technical and technique based. I think even Tohei sensei has said he learned a lot of techniques from O'sensei, though he eventually cut out many of them himself.

It's still pretty much done the same way too, isn't it? The highest ranking instructor tends to teach less to the lower rank, reserving his instruction for the more senior students and allowing those senior students to teach the masses.

C. David Henderson
11-30-2009, 01:01 PM
I think Mary clearly has a good point about getting the premises for a discussion clear at the outset, which the OP didn't really do. Still, it seems there are a few candidates out on the table from other posters -- the "life-giving sword," or the "reconciliation of violence through budo" -- which, if not "paradoxes" in a strict sense, at least show an apparent conceptual tension (how does a sword "give life"?).

Let's suppose one or more of these is what the OP intended to evoke -- I still have a problem with the "archer's paradox" and "the flexible spine" as having much to do with the resolution of this conceptual tension. I dont' really understand what this is intended to say, or how it relates to aikido.

FWIW

cdh

lbb
11-30-2009, 01:26 PM
I think Mary clearly has a good point about getting the premises for a discussion clear at the outset, which the OP didn't really do. Still, it seems there are a few candidates out on the table from other posters -- the "life-giving sword," or the "reconciliation of violence through budo" -- which, if not "paradoxes" in a strict sense, at least show an apparent conceptual tension (how does a sword "give life"?).

Yup, off the top of my head I counted (I think) four different ones that different people articulated, and Buck hasn't spoken up to endorse any of them. Mind you, I don't know that this discussion has to be restricted to any of them -- it seems to be going along quite well -- but I think that various people saying, "Here's the paradox that I see (and what I think about it" has helped immeasurably, and that various good sub-discussions are now proceeding re: those various defined paradoxes.

Let's suppose one or more of these is what the OP intended to evoke -- I still have a problem with the "archer's paradox" and "the flexible spine" as having much to do with the resolution of this conceptual tension. I dont' really understand what this is intended to say, or how it relates to aikido.

FWIW

cdh[/QUOTE]

chillzATL
11-30-2009, 02:35 PM
Yup, off the top of my head I counted (I think) four different ones that different people articulated, and Buck hasn't spoken up to endorse any of them. Mind you, I don't know that this discussion has to be restricted to any of them -- it seems to be going along quite well -- but I think that various people saying, "Here's the paradox that I see (and what I think about it" has helped immeasurably, and that various good sub-discussions are now proceeding re: those various defined paradoxes.

Let's suppose one or more of these is what the OP intended to evoke -- I still have a problem with the "archer's paradox" and "the flexible spine" as having much to do with the resolution of this conceptual tension. I dont' really understand what this is intended to say, or how it relates to aikido.

FWIW

cdh[/QUOTE]

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=246598&postcount=7

He expanded on his initial post here, the 7th in the thread.

Keith Larman
11-30-2009, 03:29 PM
Okay, how about this, Buck. Please just tell me how the paradox you see of violence/non-violence (whatever that apparent paradox is to you) relates to the referenced Archer's Paradox. I mean other than you consider them both paradoxes that is. Or is that your point that you view violence/non-violence in aikido to be somehow paradoxical on one level but not on another (which is often the point of certain types of paradoxes)?

So are you saying it's not really a paradox and that's the connection to the Archer's paradox (which is explainable without paradox hence only an apparent paradox)?

I guess I'm missing the connection between whatever it is you see as the paradox in Aikido and the Archer thing. What's the connection/similarity/congruence? Or is it that you consider them both paradoxes and we could replace the archer's paradox with any old paradox? In which case I don't see why we're discussing that at all...

All those years of expensive liberal arts education were apparently wasted on me...

C. David Henderson
11-30-2009, 05:11 PM
For example:

Suppose, referring to another archery story, I wanted to make an analogy between Zeno's paradox of motion and the form/formlessness "paradox" of Aikido. I would note that in Zeno's paradox, the arrow never reaches its target, it only becomes progressively closer as the time interval becomes infinitesimal. Similarly, practice of form cannot logically lead to formlessness.

Honestly, that comparison doesn't really do all that much for me, but its about as apt for me as the other archer's tale.

YMM(certainly)V

cdh

Keith Larman
11-30-2009, 06:39 PM
Suppose, referring to another archery story, I wanted to make an analogy between Zeno's paradox of motion and the form/formlessness "paradox" of Aikido...

Hey, it doesn't do much for me either as a deep thought, but at least I can see some relationship in yours... Buck's, on the other hand...

I must be getting slow...

Buck
11-30-2009, 08:55 PM
Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus wrote:
Si vis pacem, para bellum

If you wish for peace, prepare for war.


It seems that O'Sensei was not such a genius after all. People allready knew this paradox many, many centuries before him. I think our founder was just a copycat who brought the message in a more exotic flaviour.



In O'Sensei's defense, for what I know he was a bookworm, and I don't know what idea at this point in time isn't built, borrowed, or copied from another. People in his time where not as well read as say other countries, the Japanese where not too far out from their feudal period and where in the process of turning swords into plowshears. In a few short years at a blinding speed caught up with the 20th century. Education by western standards wasn't afforded widely to the people. It was O'Sensei 's first generation students (not all) I believe that were college educated. Meaning they were educated of what you point out, but not their parents.

You can see O'Sensei as a copycat or an educator, I prefer the latter. :)

Buck
11-30-2009, 09:33 PM
Dieter Haffner

I realize and I am guessing English is not your first language, in my reply to you, I might have sounded put-off and being less that respectful, and that isn't my intention. I want to let you know that the word you used as "copycat" can have a negative connotation. I didn't assume that you where implying such a connotation when I read your reply or when I replied to you. I say this because my last sentence in my post to you may have sounded I was put off by what you said, I wasn't.

:)

Carsten Möllering
12-01-2009, 06:57 AM
ok.

Aikido, per the founders own words is a Budo, a martial way. Not a sport, not a dance, but a fighting art.

Aikido, also per the founders words, is a peaceful, loving art designed not to destroy, but to embrace the world in harmony and love.

Thus you have the common paradox of Aikido.

Hm, didn't the founder consider peace and love and harmony to be the true purpose not only of aikido but of budo in total?
If "budo" means "to stop the spear" does it mean to lay down one's own weapon or does on the contrary mean to use it?

Didn't the founder speak of love and harmony in times when his art still was called aiki jujutsu or aiki budo and not yet aikido?
So if he spoke of budo being love in times when his technique still showed a final strike, is it likely that he meant the term the way we use it?

Is there a difference between the meanings or understanding of "love" or "harmony" in the US/Germany 2009 or in Japan 1925?
or:
Is there to state a difference in the understanding of "love" and "harmony" in a christian context or a shintoistic/duddhistic context?
i.e. did the founder speak about feelings between individuals or even between two people or did he speak of cosmological principles? And if so, could we then use his terms directly by interpreting them with our own understanding?

pointed remark:

Does

a universe which is the expression of god's own free will and the free will of the individuals
= love/harmony describing the relation between individuals

and

a universe which is the expression of the principles of yin and yang
= love and harmony as the balance between yin and yangs which is needed and must be preserverd to prevent the universe from collapsing

fit together?

No paradox, just a different understanding of terms and phrases.
Constructing a paradoxon only means to flatten these differences.

Greetings,
Carsten

Keith Larman
12-01-2009, 08:02 AM
Well, I was out yesterday and saw a t-shirt that reminded me of this thread. It said...

"Non Sequiturs are like Bicycles. They don't bathe."

Seems relevant. And funny. But I'm a geek that way.

Violence/non-violence doesn't strike me as all that paradoxical. None of these things discussed in this thread seem all that paradoxical either.

And regardless, a comparison of any of these things with the so-called Archer's Paradox just doesn't follow unless I'm missing some super subtle, nuanced connection.

Or maybe I'm the dense one.

lbb
12-01-2009, 10:36 AM
If you think of the world in terms of Venn diagrams, then violence and non-violence are exactly mutually exclusive, as "non-violence" would seem to be "all that which is not violence". I don't think, though, that that's really what we mean in human terms when we talk about "non-violence".

jonreading
12-01-2009, 11:15 AM
I believe the premise of the duality of Aikido is based upon the use of violence to achieve harmony. I don't think that duality qualifies as a paradox because it is contigent upon a couple of facts:
1. The practitioner instills into aikido a negative morality associated with the use of violence.
2. The practitioner creates a paradox of good v. bad. Good is the idea of non-violence (or more appropriately harmoy) and bad is the idea of violence.

Blenders are violent too, yet we do not discuss the paradox of a tasty smoothie created from the violent obliteration of innocent strawberries and bananas.The paradox in this discussion is a philosophical convention created by the declaration of morality (good v. bad). We are giving morality to an inanimate oject.

I think the "aikido paradox" relies upon philosophy that is fallible - Take out the leather couch discussion and you have a weak statement. I actually view the relationship of violence and harmony as a causal relationship more than a contrasted relationship. The perception of violence (real or imagined) is a causational factor in establishing harmony.

I agree with a couple of other posts. Aikido achieves harmony through violence, but that is part of nature. The morality of aikido is established by the practitioner, not the technique. You may argue that an immoral person could use aikido malevolently, which is paradoxical to the founder's declared wish that aikido be used to improve the world. However, I do not think you may argue aikido is or is not negative based on the role of violence in the application of technique.

Dieter Haffner
12-01-2009, 12:49 PM
I realize and I am guessing English is not your first language, in my reply to you, I might have sounded put-off and being less that respectful, and that isn't my intention. [...]I say this because my last sentence in my post to you may have sounded I was put off by what you said, I wasn't.As my lack of understanding the nuances within the English language made you write a reply that might be taken as being disrespectful by me. I will use that same lack of understanding those little nuances to be not offended by what you wrote.

And because the nonverbal communication is so much more important in getting a message across, here is an emoticon to say it all: ;)

jxa127
12-01-2009, 12:59 PM
<pendant mode>
Folks, most of what is being discussed are paradoxes. The major definition of a paradox is a seeming contradiction, that is not actually a contradiction. (The other major definition of a paradox is a statement that seems true but actually is a contradiction).

So to say, "such and such seem contradictory, but actually isn't" is to prove that it's a paradox.
</pendant mode>

In other words, "we achieve peace (or harmony) through the application of (ostensibly) violent techniques" is a paradoxical statement.

:)

Keith Larman
12-02-2009, 07:48 AM
<pendant mode>
Folks, most of what is being discussed are paradoxes. The major definition of a paradox is a seeming contradiction, that is not actually a contradiction. (The other major definition of a paradox is a statement that seems true but actually is a contradiction).

So to say, "such and such seem contradictory, but actually isn't" is to prove that it's a paradox.
</pendant mode>

In other words, "we achieve peace (or harmony) through the application of (ostensibly) violent techniques" is a paradoxical statement.

:)

Sure, but trivial and shallow. Paradoxes used to flesh out more complex things tend to have some substance to them, some "meat on their bones" so to speak. Zeno's paradox. Einstein's twin paradox. Both illustrate much deeper principles or a fault with our understanding of reality. Years ago I was visiting my wife's family in Hawaii and there was a group of guys on the beach who were stunned by the fact it was raining but the sun was out. As they sat there picking the pot resin out from under their fingernails they discussed the deep paradox of rain falling from the sky while the sun that was "just over there!" was still shining. "Whooooaaaaaaa!" Stoner thoughts. Apparently without smoking what they were smoking I wasn't able to see the deeply profound implications of a cloud *here* dropping rain while the clear sky *there* let the sun through... So maybe I'm the shallow one.

But all that said I really don't care how one defines a paradox or whether someone thinks violence/non-violence is a paradox in Aikido. The larger point for me is that I'm *totally* confused as to how the referenced Archer's Paradox related. It was discussed as if there was some tremendous insight gained by considering that particular paradox. I can see the Archer's paradox as a decent paradox. And while I personally think the whole notion of violence/non-violence as a paradox in Aikido is rather, well, trite, even if you decide it is a paradox I just don't see the connection.

I like logic stuff. I usually enjoy these conversations -- at least I get to use that extensive liberal arts edumacation for somethin!. I'm just baffled by this one.

Not that it matters. The entire point seems trite. I just keep thinking I'm missing something obvious. Maybe I do need to smoke what those kids were smoking... Lord knows there appears to be "medical pot" places popping up everywhere near me lately, maybe it is time I tried alternate medication for my sore back. Shrug.

mickeygelum
12-02-2009, 07:56 AM
Hmmm...(ponders)..:rolleyes: ...what would peanut butter be without the jelly?

Keith Larman
12-02-2009, 07:59 AM
:) My daughter asked me one a few days ago. "Why do you call it a "tuna fish" sandwich, daddy? Tuna *is* a fish..."

Hmmmm..... Good question, Grasshopper...

David Board
12-02-2009, 08:46 AM
Sure, but trivial and shallow. Paradoxes used to flesh out more complex things tend to have some substance to them, some "meat on their bones" so to speak. Zeno's paradox. Einstein's twin paradox. Both illustrate much deeper principles or a fault with our understanding of reality. Years ago I was visiting my wife's family in Hawaii and there was a group of guys on the beach who were stunned by the fact it was raining but the sun was out. As they sat there picking the pot resin out from under their fingernails they discussed the deep paradox of rain falling from the sky while the sun that was "just over there!" was still shining. "Whooooaaaaaaa!" Stoner thoughts. Apparently without smoking what they were smoking I wasn't able to see the deeply profound implications of a cloud *here* dropping rain while the clear sky *there* let the sun through... So maybe I'm the shallow one.

But all that said I really don't care how one defines a paradox or whether someone thinks violence/non-violence is a paradox in Aikido. The larger point for me is that I'm *totally* confused as to how the referenced Archer's Paradox related. It was discussed as if there was some tremendous insight gained by considering that particular paradox. I can see the Archer's paradox as a decent paradox. And while I personally think the whole notion of violence/non-violence as a paradox in Aikido is rather, well, trite, even if you decide it is a paradox I just don't see the connection.

I like logic stuff. I usually enjoy these conversations -- at least I get to use that extensive liberal arts edumacation for somethin!. I'm just baffled by this one.

Not that it matters. The entire point seems trite. I just keep thinking I'm missing something obvious. Maybe I do need to smoke what those kids were smoking... Lord knows there appears to be "medical pot" places popping up everywhere near me lately, maybe it is time I tried alternate medication for my sore back. Shrug.

He tries here:

Now to focus on the Aikido Paradox of being non-violent, yet preforming violence via technique. We understand that like the arrow's compressing and flexing forces work together to achieve flight of the arrow on a forward path and not (to take a golfing term) slicing off to the right or left. The arrow situation parallels the ideas of violence and non-violence forces working together to achieve the goal of not injuring or killing an opponent, but rather controlling the opponent's spirit (will and intent) to continue to be violent. Of course this would mean when being attacked the the spirit is to stop the violence being paramount to success of Aikido.

Therefore, this doesn't mean individual becomes completely passive when attacked. The attacked individual tempers their violence allowing it to compress and flex- having adjustable degree of spine. The purpose is to be like the oscillating arrow. Rather then being the opposite of having a solid mind set of having an determinant unwavering spirit. A mind set that is focused on one goal, and that is of attacking without the bothersome and fretted thoughts of consequence. That of which is seen in ancient Japanese warriors and warrior culture. This isn't to say there is no validity in such a mind set and should be discarded that it too can be part of the Aikido Paradox .

And that is the point of the Aikido Paradox moving/oscillating withing the range of polar opposites. Not discarding one thing for the other, but instead using each to achieve the desired goal. Often we do that, we discard things when things don't seem to logically fit. But, in this case we can see things that don't seemingly fit can and do. They do fit, because these forces can share and occupy the same space; the Aikido Paradox.


From all that, the most apt connection to Aikido is that an Aikidoist should like an archer focus on the goal/ target and not worry about the fact that the arrow itself points off to the right. The arrow will flex and oscillate and if the archers aim is true will hit the target. But I'm projecting my own thoughts onto Buck.

Personally, I think the analogy is a bit forced. Perhaps this is because I see the archer's paradox being more analogous to a different Aikido paradox (and you thought there was only one). This other paradox would be based on the contradictory statements O'sensei made about techniques in Aikido. Without having my books at hand and being too lazy to google them I will paraphrase them and as such I may misrepresent them. But if I recall, O'sensei said that Aikido has no techniques and from every attack springs a new technique. On the other hand we practice technique over and over. We begin with static techniques that are very set, move to a more flowing style of those same techniques and then perhaps go onto a freestyle. In this case, the arrow/technique may seem rigid to a beginner or outside observer but for these techniques to work and hit their target they must flex and change. In this way an Aikidoist often begin aimed at their goal of free flowing formless but begin and repetitively train the set forms.

For me, the philosophical lesson of the archer's paradox is two fold. One, the arrow is not pointed at the target but still hits the target. Two, the arrow appears ridged but on closer inspection flexes. Anything that contains at least one and preferably both characteristics can be seen as analogous to the archer's paradox. One caution or additional point about the archer's paradox is that for the arrow to fly true it's flex (what was the technical word. span?) must match the bows. And to draw an analogy to far...

Keith Larman
12-02-2009, 09:03 AM
Well, okay, just seems like quite a stretch (so to speak). ;) But, hey, whatever works...

C. David Henderson
12-02-2009, 09:09 AM
Hi David,

That was a good effort. (I tried substituting "flexing" for "redirecting" and it didn't really seem to work).

Still, and this is where I stumbled in my effort too, what is the metaphorical "spine" in Aikido waza that, in "flexing" reaches it's target?

Regards,

cdh

Mark Peckett
12-02-2009, 09:48 AM
I try not to get involved on these convoluted threads, but as far as O'Sensei being a copycat - I think it's fair to say he was an interpreter of existing belief, attempting to make it available to a wider range of people. It's not uncommon: Jesus Christ and the Prophet Mohammed both re-interpreted existing Semitic belief as Gautama Buddha did with Hinduism.

Ron Tisdale
12-02-2009, 08:05 PM
All those years of expensive liberal arts education were apparently wasted on me...

Ah, no...they may have been wasted on someone else...but certaiinly not you! ;)
B,
R

Buck
12-02-2009, 08:08 PM
He tries here:

From all that, the most apt connection to Aikido is that an Aikidoist should like an archer focus on the goal/ target and not worry about the fact that the arrow itself points off to the right. The arrow will flex and oscillate and if the archers aim is true will hit the target. But I'm projecting my own thoughts onto Buck.

Personally, I think the analogy is a bit forced. Perhaps this is because I see the archer's paradox being more analogous to a different Aikido paradox (and you thought there was only one). This other paradox would be based on the contradictory statements O'sensei made about techniques in Aikido. Without having my books at hand and being too lazy to google them I will paraphrase them and as such I may misrepresent them. But if I recall, O'sensei said that Aikido has no techniques and from every attack springs a new technique. On the other hand we practice technique over and over. We begin with static techniques that are very set, move to a more flowing style of those same techniques and then perhaps go onto a freestyle. In this case, the arrow/technique may seem rigid to a beginner or outside observer but for these techniques to work and hit their target they must flex and change. In this way an Aikidoist often begin aimed at their goal of free flowing formless but begin and repetitively train the set forms.

For me, the philosophical lesson of the archer's paradox is two fold. One, the arrow is not pointed at the target but still hits the target. Two, the arrow appears ridged but on closer inspection flexes. Anything that contains at least one and preferably both characteristics can be seen as analogous to the archer's paradox. One caution or additional point about the archer's paradox is that for the arrow to fly true it's flex (what was the technical word. span?) must match the bows. And to draw an analogy to far...

That is a bullseye! Yes, it was forced a bit, to contrast the result there is other or a greater Aikido Paradox. That is something I mentioned early on in the thread that people will have their own revelations and stuff. People will come to their own truth. I mean every gets something out it, that is there own. Or can expound in areas of it that others have. Or see it their own way. Who am I to dictate what people should get out of it, is my philosophy. That is why by posts are so loosely put, and I can see why some have issue with them. I realize I also rush them and are not well edited at times, there are other reasons for that, like am at work and stuff.

I want to thank everyone for their input, insight, opinions, thoughts, and perspectives on this. I have enjoyed reading them personally so far. And as a result, of the posts of others, I have new insight and new ways of seeing paradoxes and Aikido. I have new things to think about and consider that I didn’t before. To me that is the beauty of this forum that I have come to appreciate. I hope to read more posts in the future if this thread continues.
:)

Buck
12-02-2009, 08:32 PM
Hi David,

That was a good effort. (I tried substituting "flexing" for "redirecting" and it didn't really seem to work).

Still, and this is where I stumbled in my effort too, what is the metaphorical "spine" in Aikido waza that, in "flexing" reaches it's target?

Regards,

cdh
Though not directed to me,
I as I said before I didn't want to define things to precisely, I didn't want box it in. I want to leave room for individual interpretation, give it some breadth for the purpose of getting others thoughts and stuff. The results of that have been excellent

In reference to spine and compression refer to but not limited to being polar opposites, or the physics of the arrow resulting in the archer's paradox, as a parallel, in Aikido. That the dynamics of the arrow that is involved can apply similarily to a violent situation.

Sure anyone can argue it true or not. But the purpose is not to strictly argue such things. Instead its purpose is to explore, expand and share ideas. You can spend a lifetime arguing stuff, back and forth and let it degrade to personal attacks, which gets nowhere. I don't have the time to get lock into that "I am right you are wrong," and the insultive stuff that goes with it sometimes. I would rather spend my time differently. I read many posts here that have made me think, and point to different perspectives on paradoxes and stuff. That is good. I am grateful and appreciative of their time and effort.
:)

David Board
12-02-2009, 08:43 PM
Hi David,

That was a good effort. (I tried substituting "flexing" for "redirecting" and it didn't really seem to work).

Still, and this is where I stumbled in my effort too, what is the metaphorical "spine" in Aikido waza that, in "flexing" reaches it's target?

Regards,

cdh

To be honest the analogy is a bit strained after all if technique is analogous to the arrow and "ultimately, you must forget technique, The further you progress, the fewer teachings there are. The Great Path is really No Path" (I have my books again. can you tell); then in the end you should be trying to be an archer without an arrow. Hmmm.

But if I don't try to take things all the way to the end but instead focus on where I am at (you may be much farther ahead than me) I can find my techniques flex or move with the force of the bow and alter their form to adapt to the particular bow. For example today we finished class Suwariwaza kokyoho (pretty standard practice) and while demonstating Sensei noted that if your Uke has "soft" hands you might have to connect with the bones of the forearm while if the have "hard" hands you can feel the connection directly through their hands. He then commented that you need to adapt your technique to the situation/uke.

Where I see the spine is the subtle, often unseen, modifications to a technique that allows a technique to travel to it's goal.

The overall problem is that the two key aspect of the Archer's paradox, the arrow being aimed slightly off target and the flex of the arrow apply to different aspects of waza. One to the penultimate goal (hard technique to reach Ki or at least flowing technique) and flex (altering the technique to match the situation but still in the end doing a technique). Maybe this disconnect is only due to my inexperience and current focus on understanding the just basic techniques. However, to be honest I think it is mostly forcing the analogy to work. Ah well. Either way, I thought a little deeper about technique. Now if I can only stay centered while attempting tenchinage. I keep leaning...

Buck
12-02-2009, 09:11 PM
General comment, not connected to any other posts. I see paradoxes within paradoxes in Aikido, personally. For example, the paradoxes now being discussed, and other paradoxes like the writings of O'Sensei refer allot to the concept of polar opposites; popularly known as Yin and Yang. This is done metaphorically and not. Sometimes just different labels that are more familiar to the Japanese. And it is sometimes (my observation) the points of extremes in O'Sensei's personality and life, also point to a paradox that may or may not have transgressed into Aikido. All of that points more possible paradoxes in Aikido or one big one. It all depends on how you look at it. The point of paradoxes could lead some to greater understanding of the complexities of Aikido.

I do like the Archery's Paradox because it deals with physics and science, and can be used metaphorically as well in areas of Aikido. Both of which can be applied to Aikido. Whether accurately or not depends strictly on each individual’s perspective, and background.

I think the Aikido Paradox (openly and loosely presented) is an enjoyable idea to explore, to throw ideas around the room and discuss them. To discuss to get different views and perspectives is always a good thing. :)

aikishrine
12-02-2009, 10:39 PM
The truth can't be taught, it must be caught!

jxa127
12-03-2009, 06:31 AM
Sure, but trivial and shallow. Paradoxes used to flesh out more complex things tend to have some substance to them, some "meat on their bones" so to speak.

Good points, Keith. I never claimed that my example was deep, just that it was a paradox. I went into pendant mode because people kept saying that there's no paradox here.

In fact, I think there are some deep paradoxes in the whole peaceful study of violence that many of us who are not soldiers or police (or otherwise go into harm's way) participate in anyway. I mean, I've never even seen a bar fight, much less been attacked by thugs "on the street." Yet I spend years learning how to deal with various attacks with my bare hands, cut with a sword, and shoot well with rifles and pistols.

Beyond being a seeming waste of a lot of time, there's a seeming contradiction in there that may illuminate some deeper truths about the human condition. At the very least there's been a lot of book and millions of bytes of computer text spent on the topic. :)

But all that said I really don't care how one defines a paradox or whether someone thinks violence/non-violence is a paradox in Aikido. The larger point for me is that I'm *totally* confused as to how the referenced Archer's Paradox related.

Ah well, I can't help much there. I was confused too. :D

Regards,

lbb
12-03-2009, 06:41 AM
General comment, not connected to any other posts. I see paradoxes within paradoxes in Aikido, personally. For example, the paradoxes now being discussed, and other paradoxes like the writings of O'Sensei refer allot to the concept of polar opposites; popularly known as Yin and Yang.

I think you just like using the word "paradox".

jxa127
12-03-2009, 07:23 AM
I think you just like using the word "paradox".

That's two doxes, right?

Keith Larman
12-03-2009, 07:39 AM
Man, it's like reading a Jack Handey (http://www.deepthoughtsbyjackhandey.com/index.html) book...

Keith Larman
12-03-2009, 07:43 AM
Yet I spend years learning how to deal with various attacks with my bare hands, cut with a sword, and shoot well with rifles and pistols.

Paradox: I wonder why I enjoy spending time on a cement court hitting my fuzzy balls with a tennis racket yet also train *not* to get kicked in the same in the dojo...

What does it mean?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Sorry, back to my cave now...

jxa127
12-03-2009, 08:50 AM
Keith,

I'm a bit concerned that you're hitting your fuzzy balls with a tennis racket. Self-injury is never a good idea.

Just remember: never fall in love with a tennis player because to her, love means nothing.

Warm regards,

Buck
12-03-2009, 06:57 PM
The Archer's Paradox can be another model to explain Aikido abstracts. Things like having a positive attitude toward life, to think positively, but be ready for action with a calm and flexible mind without submitting to excessive physical strength. This is one principle to unify the mind and body- Seidokan webpagehttp://www.seidokan.org/unifymindbody.htm all can relate to the Archer's paradox where contradiction may be noted. That what doesn't seem to be is and it simply it works.

I found the Seidokan webpage to have some good things in it, and if you haven't seen it, give it a looksee.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=246962 All through, there is no mention of fuzzy tennis balls. But that situation does sound like quite the personal dilemma. Personally, it was a bit too much fuzzy information for me. :D Seriously, I thought it was fuzzy, I mean funny, the tennis balls, and all... :)

Per http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=246956
I like to say the word paradox, but you can't hear it on the net. That is why I type it. ;)

And a big warm fuzzy to you both for those comments, I appreciated it, got a good chuckle... :)

Keith Larman
12-03-2009, 07:13 PM
Hey, Buck, many styles have slightly different takes on even basic concepts. Where do you study/train/teach? That might help the more dense like me understand where you're coming from.

Buck
12-03-2009, 08:00 PM
Hey, Buck, many styles have slightly different takes on even basic concepts. Where do you study/train/teach? That might help the more dense like me understand where you're coming from.

Keith your not dense at all, I don't know why you would say that. I find your posts to be articulate and you be intelligent. What more is there to discuss?


Here is one of your post here.

Okay, how about this, Buck. Please just tell me how the paradox you see of violence/non-violence (whatever that apparent paradox is to you) relates to the referenced Archer's Paradox. I mean other than you consider them both paradoxes that is. Or is that your point that you view violence/non-violence in aikido to be somehow paradoxical on one level but not on another (which is often the point of certain types of paradoxes)?

So are you saying it's not really a paradox and that's the connection to the Archer's paradox (which is explainable without paradox hence only an apparent paradox)?

I guess I'm missing the connection between whatever it is you see as the paradox in Aikido and the Archer thing. What's the connection/similarity/congruence? Or is it that you consider them both paradoxes and we could replace the archer's paradox with any old paradox? In which case I don't see why we're discussing that at all...

All those years of expensive liberal arts education were apparently wasted on me...

Buck
12-03-2009, 08:16 PM
In order to claim that a paradox exists, you must first state what the paradox is and then explain how it is a paradox: that is, how its parts are mutually exclusive. The confusion you're getting is that you didn't explicitly state the paradox: the closest you came was in the post above in which you said:

The paradox, according to you, is that aikido is "non-violent", yet violence is committed when aikido techniques are performed. I think that either of those statements can be refuted fairly easily. If any part of the statement of a paradox is not true or complete, the paradox fails. I think that may be what some posters are getting at.


Yea, I see that. And thank you for pointing that out. It is appreciated.

Mary, this is quote by you, and it is worth the read, and repeating here. Btw, you got a little fame having it out there, Kudos. ;)

An unwillingness to deal forcibly with violence does not equate to moral rectitude.-- Mary Malmros
http://www.mvkarate.com/library/insights/martial_arts_quotes_collection.htm

Buck
12-03-2009, 08:26 PM
The Art of Peace is medicine for a sick world. There is evil and disorder in the world, because people have forgotten that all things emanate from one source. Return to that source and leave behind all self-centered thoughts, petty desires, and anger. Those who are possessed by nothing possess everything.
-- Morihei Ueshiba (O'Sensei)

One of my favorites. And once in a while I need to remind myself of that. Thank you to everyone, and I hope we all can share and appreciate those sincere words of O'Sensei. If we are not doing that than we are not doing Aikido.

A good New Year to everyone.

Buck
12-03-2009, 08:38 PM
Keith your not dense at all, I don't know why you would say that. I find your posts to be articulate and you be intelligent. What more is there to discuss?

Here is one of your post here.




Here is another. This one I just read, and I tell you, you got talent. You are a real comodian. get..it...comode...comodian....:D It's a cheesy joke, I know.


Just remember that in my extensive training as a martial artist only true masters know they must aim to the side of the bowl to hit the center drain. The Tidybowl Paradox.

mickeygelum
12-03-2009, 10:15 PM
Where do you study/train/teach?

Why do you not answer the question?

Is it because you do not train, OR, are the twin brother of the other Walter Mitty that frequents here?

Keith Larman
12-04-2009, 07:46 AM
This is one principle to unify the mind and body- Seidokan webpagehttp://www.seidokan.org/unifymindbody.htm all can relate to the Archer's paradox where contradiction may be noted. That what doesn't seem to be is and it simply it works.

Well, there's the rub, Buck. Trust me, I'm familiar with Seidokan's take on things -- I'm a student (and instructor) at the headquarters dojo. And I would say your statement above is simply, well, wrong. But that's not a criticism of you per se as what you've read on our website is it best a simple summary and isn't intended to do more than give an introduction to our practice and theory. Like anything of relative substance in Aikido ideas like this must be "fleshed out" in classes, discussion, and hands-on practice in the dojo. These are ideas that need context as well as a larger "web" of ideas to hold everything together. Everything interrelates and it's not something you just read and get. So all that said, I am familiar with the particular ideas and more importantly perspective on aikido concepts as taught within Seidokan on a much more intimate level since it is where I study and, in turn, also teach. That molds me, my ideas, and my understanding. It gives context to my ideas. It is the framework within which those things can be discussed intelligent and deeply. Without that we might as well not have a discussion...

I have also had the pleasure of training elsewhere as well and have found that different groups tend to have subtly different takes on things ranging from principles to the performance of technique. Context. Ki Society (and offshoots) tend to have a lot of different things going on as compared with a Tomiki group. Or Yoshinkan. Not to mention so-called mainstream "Aikikai" groups. And there the richness of discussion can still exist but it can really help to know where someone is coming from.

It's no big deal, Buck, I don't need to understand you. I'm just trying to get a handle on where you're coming from because there seems to be a disconnect somewhere. And it isn't just this thread but really more about all the threads you post. Taken in combination I don't see any sort of common underlying framework like I see in most others' posts.

Like I said before, maybe it is just me. Shrug.

Keith Larman
12-04-2009, 07:53 AM
Oh, for others who might be reading this I'll also add that I don't think you need to be training in Aikido to be interesting in Aikido and want to discuss it. That's just another context within which to understand where you're coming from. To me it is kind of like discussing psychology with someone. Put a psychologist, a psychiatrist, sociologist, a social worker, a priest doing counseling and a layman in a room and they can have a really interesting conversation about the human condition. But the background does tend to inform and affect each person's particular perspective. I'm just trying to figure out where you're coming from, Buck. But like I said, no big deal.

Ketsan
12-04-2009, 08:59 AM
The Aikido Paradox is that Aikido can be non-violent and be violent as seen in the techniques.

There are no techniques. There are provisional forms for teaching Aikido but these forms are not in fact Aikido any more than a cup is water. So while the provisional forms may be violent and while any physical manifestation of Aikido is violent Aikido is not in and of itself violent, it merely reflects the violence of our attackers who we are in harmony with. Aikido is that harmony, the form it takes though varies just like water varies with its container. You wouldn't say "This water is a mug, while this water is a bucket" in the same way you can't say "Aikido is violent" or "Aikido is peaceful" Aikido just is.

Marc Abrams
12-04-2009, 09:44 AM
Well, there's the rub, Buck. Trust me, I'm familiar with Seidokan's take on things -- I'm a student (and instructor) at the headquarters dojo. And I would say your statement above is simply, well, wrong. But that's not a criticism of you per se as what you've read on our website is it best a simple summary and isn't intended to do more than give an introduction to our practice and theory. Like anything of relative substance in Aikido ideas like this must be "fleshed out" in classes, discussion, and hands-on practice in the dojo. These are ideas that need context as well as a larger "web" of ideas to hold everything together. Everything interrelates and it's not something you just read and get. So all that said, I am familiar with the particular ideas and more importantly perspective on aikido concepts as taught within Seidokan on a much more intimate level since it is where I study and, in turn, also teach. That molds me, my ideas, and my understanding. It gives context to my ideas. It is the framework within which those things can be discussed intelligent and deeply. Without that we might as well not have a discussion...

I have also had the pleasure of training elsewhere as well and have found that different groups tend to have subtly different takes on things ranging from principles to the performance of technique. Context. Ki Society (and offshoots) tend to have a lot of different things going on as compared with a Tomiki group. Or Yoshinkan. Not to mention so-called mainstream "Aikikai" groups. And there the richness of discussion can still exist but it can really help to know where someone is coming from.

It's no big deal, Buck, I don't need to understand you. I'm just trying to get a handle on where you're coming from because there seems to be a disconnect somewhere. And it isn't just this thread but really more about all the threads you post. Taken in combination I don't see any sort of common underlying framework like I see in most others' posts.

Like I said before, maybe it is just me. Shrug.

Keith:

PLEASE do not hold your breath waiting for Buck to directly answer your questions. Many people have posted similar questions to him, both public and private. When he has responded, his responses to them are pathetically comical at best and devoid of any real honesty/integrity. He is kind of like the Everready Bunny... He keeps going and going and going. Of course the going is kind of meaningless and useless.

Marc Abrams

Keith Larman
12-04-2009, 10:07 AM
Keith:

PLEASE do not hold your breath waiting for Buck to directly answer your questions. Many people have posted similar questions to him, both public and private. When he has responded, his responses to them are pathetically comical at best and devoid of any real honesty/integrity. He is kind of like the Everready Bunny... He keeps going and going and going. Of course the going is kind of meaningless and useless.

Marc Abrams

Well, part of me would really like to understand where Buck is coming from. I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt figuring it might just be me not keying in on some world view I'm just not getting. Absent that, however, his posts seem superficial and naive at best. As a result the other part of me keeps telling me that he hasn't given any reason whatsoever to think he actually has anything more than a cursory understanding of things. And his avoidance of saying what style he studies is odd to me at best -- to me it's like refusing to say what color socks you wear. It's an aikido forum -- surely saying what you study (or don't for that matter) isn't exactly irrelevant. And since I think it might help understand where he's coming from it would be nice to know.

So it takes me back to the guys on the beach picking the pot residue out from under their nails -- I can accept that what they think is seriously deep for them is in fact seriously deep *for them*. Just not for me. And since I don't smoke the stuff there is little reason to bother joining in the discussion as it would simply be a waste of time all around. Just looking for some context to hopefully put some form or structure around Buck's posted thoughts. Otherwise it seems much more consistent with the stoners' thoughts than the thoughts of someone who studies Aikido.

Shrug. Seems really odd to me to not say what lineage you're in. It's not exactly a personal, private thing. But whatever...

C. David Henderson
12-04-2009, 10:14 AM
Down through the years in my Aikido experience, I have heard and read on pulp allot of stuff ....

Hint?

experience = heard & read?

:confused:

Keith Larman
12-05-2009, 08:56 AM
I'll guess I'll the sound of crickets chirping as a "no"...

Marc Abrams
12-05-2009, 10:39 AM
Well, part of me would really like to understand where Buck is coming from. I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt figuring it might just be me not keying in on some world view I'm just not getting. Absent that, however, his posts seem superficial and naive at best. As a result the other part of me keeps telling me that he hasn't given any reason whatsoever to think he actually has anything more than a cursory understanding of things. And his avoidance of saying what style he studies is odd to me at best -- to me it's like refusing to say what color socks you wear. It's an aikido forum -- surely saying what you study (or don't for that matter) isn't exactly irrelevant. And since I think it might help understand where he's coming from it would be nice to know.

So it takes me back to the guys on the beach picking the pot residue out from under their nails -- I can accept that what they think is seriously deep for them is in fact seriously deep *for them*. Just not for me. And since I don't smoke the stuff there is little reason to bother joining in the discussion as it would simply be a waste of time all around. Just looking for some context to hopefully put some form or structure around Buck's posted thoughts. Otherwise it seems much more consistent with the stoners' thoughts than the thoughts of someone who studies Aikido.

Shrug. Seems really odd to me to not say what lineage you're in. It's not exactly a personal, private thing. But whatever...

Keith:

To the credit of people on this forum, nobody has initially dismissed the poster. It has only been through the experience that people have had with him over his posts that many people have simply dismissed this person as at best, a keyboard warrior with significant psychological issues. He has been given repeated opportunities to provide some foundations for his thoughts/postings, including the direct and honest answer as to real martial arts experience. He, unfortunately, is still acting like the Everready Bunny. The opportunities that have been presented him to use this forum as a place to change in a positive direction seem to allude him. That is genuinely unfortunate.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

lbb
12-05-2009, 05:49 PM
It's the Energizer Bunny.

Not that that really has anything to do with our point, but AFAIK, Eveready does not have a bunny. They have a cat and a number 9.

Marc Abrams
12-05-2009, 09:26 PM
It's the Energizer Bunny.

Not that that really has anything to do with our point, but AFAIK, Eveready does not have a bunny. They have a cat and a number 9.

Mary:

Cleary points out that I am truly a TV idiot. Do not spend much time allowing watching the vapid stuff called tv. Sorry about that one! Thanks for the correction :) .

Marc Abrams

Kevin Leavitt
12-06-2009, 09:09 AM
Marc, here ya go..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fILdYrxnrf8

Dan O'Day
12-06-2009, 02:10 PM
A few posts back someone asked Buck where he trained. I respect a non-answer of that query. I don't advertise ( info in my profile ) where I train.

I don't know what Buck's motivations are for doing the same and they are not my business.

I don't advertise it simply because I do not wish my comments to be associated with the dojo I train at. If I headed a dojo I may feel differently, but I do not nor will I probably ever in this lifetime.

Viewpoints which I express on this forum may run philosophically counter, in some manner, to the concepts of aikido as put forth in the dojo I train at. Since I am not a spokesperson for that dojo - and have immense repsect for the chief instructor and the community - I would never want anything I say to possibly reflect poorly upon it or in any manner create any controversy.

Case in point: I do not believe the term "leader", and all it implies, is conducive to achieving a more peaceful world. This term is used, however, by both chief instructors at the the two dojos I have trained at. It is not my place to directly or indirectly assert my thoughts on the philosophy of aikido with regard to the way in which it is put forth at dojos I've trained at.

If I had my dojo information listed under my name and made such a comment it would be easy for one to infer a conflict on my part with my dojo and/or the chief instructor's teachings. This would be an incorrect inference. I have no conflict nor do I wish to ever convey the remote possibilty of a conflict. My place as a student is to respect what is taught at my dojo.

This does not mean I cannot think for myself. It simply means I, in no way, wish for those thoughts, if and when controversial, to be associated with a specific dojo.

Anyway, that's my take on Buck not having yet answered the question of where he trains. Of course it is also possible he simply hasn't been on the forum to see the post, or missed it or who knows? But again, that's simply not my business.

Kevin Leavitt
12-06-2009, 02:39 PM
No problem Dan. Understand your point of view.

However, do you see that how if you do not establish background etc, that it might impact your credibility?

When a poster uses words like "In my Experiences", and "Aikido is......" I think it is natural and justifiable for folks to ask those questions in order to understand what your background might be.

Failure to do so certainly is something to raise an eyebrow at and wonder why.

I hold all my instructor's and organization in high regard. I most certainly do not share all the same views that they do on every single aspect of aikido, philosophy, and training methodology.

I have also never had an issue with this as well.

My views are my views and it is very clear when I post them here.

I never espouse to represent my organization of my instructors view points.

But, okay, I can see how you might want to take the approach of confidentially that you want to take, and I respect that.

However, again, once you start going down the road making declarative statements about what things are and are not, I believe you have to make your credentials public if you expect anyone to take you serious on the subject, especially ones that may be contrary or slightly askew from the norm.

As this is a lightly moderated forum, it is pretty much open for anyone to say anything they want and I respect that and I think that is also a good thing, especially to prevent group think and have one certain view point control the content and direction of the content.

However, along this same vein...it gets old and tiresome having to sort through or have people that come here looking for quality information have to wade a deep pile of unqualified dribble that does not get held accountable.

So, I also respect the guys like Keith Larman that will stand up and ask the tough questions in this thread.

The amount of respect and seriousness given to the topic is typically reciprocal here I have found.

The only thing that is consistently asked of Buck when he post about his "Experience" is that he qualify it, which he repeatedly has not. As such, I think it is appropriate to assume that he is a Keyboard Warrior until proven otherwise. A number of us have tried to work with Buck in this area as Marc Abrams has stated, so this is not a simple issue of heckling or bullying.

Hence why I have chosen to refrain from responding over the past week to this thread as I really have nothing good, positive, or productive to add.

So you have to make a very frustrating choice. Ignore the post all together in hopes that failure to provide any "energy" back to the post positive or negative might help resolve the issue. Or you meet it head on and respond with an attempt to hold it accountable.

Of late I have taken the choice of ignoring it.

C. David Henderson
12-06-2009, 02:46 PM
Dan,

I respect your reasons, and have similar feelings. If you look at Buck's "biography," which he chose to add to his user profile, you'll see he states he has practiced with different teachers and is unaffiliated. As with many of his posts, however, there is a decided vagueness in detail that could be taken in a number of ways -- silence being pretty ambiguous.

The point being, for me, that he's already got a built-in protection against the concern you raise.

Honestly, I really don't know the extent of his training, and I agree with Keith that one needn't have trained to be interested in discussing. Nonetheless, not only does the text of his "biography" come across as coy, it resonates with the way he's responded in a number of instances when someone wants to clarify what he's talking about or his basis for saying something.

Sadly, while I think he has made efforts to be less confrontational in his posts, and to denude his writing by inserting the word "stuff" as a verbal tic to soften his words, the reception you see in this thread is one that has built up over time, thread by thread, poster by poster.

2 sad cents.

Ron Tisdale
12-06-2009, 03:03 PM
I understand Dan's perspective, and agree with Kevin's. Less impetus, less thread.

B,
R

Dan O'Day
12-06-2009, 04:16 PM
Kevin and David, I understand the views you share. I have not ever posted here with a frequency which might allow me to "get to know" someone ( as much as one ever can in the cyber world ).

Thus my position was based on that alone. I have been a member of other online communities ( one for 12 years ) and I do understand how it may become frustrating to converse with one who does not supply well..."credentials", when making declarative statements.

One way I have found out of that, often times, obstruction in communication between fellows is to speak solely from personal perspective. That's why I like to say "I" alot. It's hard to get sidetracked when discussing viewpoints if everyone party to the discussion is aware of the subjectivity of the viewpoints shared.

With regard to this particular thread discussion, I am not familiar with "Archer's Paradox" and, when initially commenting, chose to not even explore it since it is "paradox" alone which interests me.

In other words, I don't need no steenkin' Archer.

I do realize much of the discussion thus far on this thread has had to do with the specifics of "Archer's" paradox and how it may or may not relate to the paradoxes most commonly found in aikido.

I guess I didn't have much to say on that and instead commented on paradox minus the Archer. Hmmm...it could be that none of this is moot to my real point - which I think I've forgotten- and that in fact all I am doing now is practicing my typing.

So on that note, I wish you all well as I must go and prepare for Sunday evening class at my dojo of mystery.

Kevin Leavitt
12-06-2009, 05:05 PM
Thanks Dan. Understanding the paradox of violence and peace is very important I think. It is of utmost importance to understand I believe if we are to have any hope for long term sustainable peace in the world.

In that respect I am all ears when someone wants to share their experiences, discoveries, and joys on the subject of paradoxes.

I agree that one need not even practice one day of aikido to participate and share in the conversation or the experience of that as long as they are being genuine, upfront, and sincere with the subject at hand.

What I can tell you is that my personal understanding of the topic of the paradox of the so called "art of peace" has changed over time and I expect that it will continue to evolve and change.

My ideas used to be somewhat simplistic and idealistic. Today, however, I find the paradox to be much more complex and not so clear cut in some respects. In others, I think it is much simpler. (that in itself is a paradox!!)

Sometimes there is no hidden meaning or no paradox at all and that is the irony of the very paradox.

Sometimes staring down the glide path of a punch is simply what it is. It is the ability to recognize that this thing is coming for your nose and is going to hit you square between the eyes is what is important and what it is all about at that moment.

No hidden meaning, no paradox what-so-ever. Simply understanding that bad things happen sometimes and that you need to be prepared for them and if you survive, picking up the pieces, learning the lessons that are there to be learned and driving on so that it doesn't happen again is all that is really there.

No paradox at all. Second and Third order effects? yes. Taking the time to distill what caused this "point in time" to occur, understanding all the events that led to this happening is what we are here to study mostly I believe.

If we can learn those things, much of what lay in our selves as a factor of causation, then we can stop them from occurring maybe in the future again.

Sometimes they are not our fault...and we need to identify those things and let ourselves off the hook for those things too!

If there is ANY paradox to be learnt in Aikido, I think THIS is where the paradox lay.

Not in some transference or allegory of Archers or Flowers, Poems or any other thing we like to impose on budo.

The more I learn and study in Budo, the more convinced that the real lessons in budo come from simply practicing in the dojo, blood, sweat, and sometimes tears. Good hard work.

Though, for many I think, it is an exercise in mental allegories, allusions, possibilities, and wishes.

Hey, I suppose if it makes you happy...drive on....to each, his own!

Keith Larman
12-07-2009, 10:13 AM
There is a certain sort of uncomfortable feeling with these sorts of threads. And I understand that. But I came from a research background and discussion means discussion. It means trying to clarify and flesh out ideas. And sometimes it means challenging someone to do more than simply declare something to be the case. In Aikido we tend to "go with the flow" a bit too much sometimes, at least IMHO. Things that are blatantly false or nonsensical are just that -- false and nonsense. If something isn't particularly well fleshed out or clear then I think it is perfectly reasonable to ask the poster to explain things a bit more clearly. They are under no obligation to do so, of course, but if we consider a discussion forum like this to be a place where all levels may gather then there is a certain responsibility that we try to be clear and coherent.

With respect to asking about someone's background I tried to be quite clear about why I was asking. I was hoping that maybe some of my inability to understand Buck's posts (and as others have noted this observation goes to many posts, not just this particular thread) was due to me not being clued in to a style specific "Aikido worldview" that Buck is posting from. He went on to make yet another reference to a "violence paradox" and compared it to a link on the site for the style I study. I'd like to think I know a little about that as a long time student of the style and his post was again, to me at least, well, just wrong. And it makes the point that he clearly doesn't know how we use the phrase he was discussing, but of course that is understandable as he isn't to the best of my knowledge a student in our style. Which circles back to why I asked in the first place...

Obviously no one has to qualify themselves. And being private is just fine. I was hoping Buck would share some of that because for the life of me I can't make heads or tails out of most of his posts -- they read to me as simplistic, naive generalizations. I would like to think that the disconnect is me, but apparently I'm not alone. I was hoping having some understanding of where he is coming from might help me understand.

But the other side of the coin is that there is no reason why I should need to understand Buck. I've tried, but I'll admit that he is either so incredibly brilliant that it is beyond my reach or he is so far in left field he's in the bleachers...

No one needs my validation. And I'll repeat that I think all levels of experience from zero to a lifetime should post their thoughts. It is just sometimes helpful to know what that experience is so one can better understand the context of their posts.

Keith Larman
12-07-2009, 10:15 AM
And another thought after I hit post...

I also worry that some "declarations" on forums like this if left unchallenged will end up being read and accepted by those who come along who are new to it all. Silence is all too often taken as tacit acceptance. This is not the case, of course, but sometimes someone has to stand up and say "Hey, wait a minute..." just to make sure *someone* says it.

lbb
12-07-2009, 10:24 AM
I'm reminded of a passage in one of my favorite books, "Imajica" by Clive Barker. Two travelers are being hassled by some border cops or the like, and being told to state their business. They reply that they're traveling to see all the famous sites, including (one says) the Merrow Ti' Ti'. "Ah yes, the Merrow Ti' Ti'!" the other one exclaims, playing along, "We couldn't pass through without seeing the Merrow Ti' Ti'!" They get past the border cops, but then hijinks ensue, and they end up departing the land at a high rate of speed. As they're leaving, the second traveler expresses sorrow that they never got to see the Merrow Ti' Ti'. "We couldn't have done that, because there's no such thing -- I just made it up," said the first traveler.

As a very junior student of aikido, I happily claim for myself the privilege of saying at every opportunity, "The Merrow Ti' Ti'? What's that?" I don't have to stroke my chin and say, "Ah yes, the Merrow Ti' Ti'" -- or the Aikido Paradox, if you prefer. I don't expect other people to feed me information that I should be able to obtain for myself, but when someone trots out an ambiguous phrase like "the Aikido Paradox" -- one on which there no clear consensus definition -- I think it's perfectly sensible to request a definition of terms. If the request is not honored, I think that says more about the person who proposed the term than it does about me.

C. David Henderson
12-07-2009, 12:56 PM
I was cleaning my bookshelf last night and dusted off my copy of Imajica; couldn't bring myself to put it in the goodwill pile. It's a book I'm likely to reread....maybe more than once.