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Mikemac
07-04-2010, 12:11 PM
I've had something on my mind lately that disturbs me and I wanted a forum on this subject. The question is: Why would anyone WANT to hurt or kill another person? I should explain......

Something happened yesterday that made me take pause. There was a new student in our Aikido class who mostly takes Krav Maga at the same dojo. While we were paired up, we practiced kotegaeshi, and when his turn came up, he did the move, but added a rather rough end pin where he lifted me back up with a painful arm bend, which was not how we were supposed to execute. That didn't bother me much, but while he had me he said "If you want to kill someone, then do this." which was a mock hit to the thorax.

This left an impression on me all day. Now, what has been on my mind is a deep reflection on two words. Though Webster's Dictionary might not concur, I've always understood a clear distinction between "WANT" and "NEED". To me, needing to kill or harm is something necessary to preserve one's life, the life of loved ones, or property in the face of an immediate threat that cannot be quelled by reason. In times of war, needing to kill the enemy is understood. On the other side, wanting to do harm or kill another person seems to me sinister, or at least lacking in any morality that respects human life.

So then I turn my mind towards MMA and UFC fighting. I know there are members here who take part in this, so what benefit does it serve humanity to make one's living or recreation by beating the crap out of another human being? I mean, dog fighting is illegal, so what's the difference, other than it not being to the death? You CHOOSE to be there; no one is forcing you to enter the ring. Over the past fifteen years, I've watched as the blood sport has gained popularity and followers, and I can't help but feel disturbed that this is going to be the norm, where showing how brutal one can be is a demarcation of one's self worth in society.

I knew this kid many years ago who got into cage fighting. We asked him why he risked his life like that and he said "The women they give you are fine!" Really? Is that what it takes to earn the physical affections of beautiful women? Great........so one is willing to throw their humanity away for a piece of ass? Stop the car, I'm getting out here!

I live in Los Angeles. I know it is rough, and there are times when defending myself is a need. I train in Aikido not WANTING to do harm, but do so to prepare for the nut job that may drift my way in the future. Whatever the situation, I train with the goal to do as little harm to another human being in order to subdue him.

If that really is the point, then the thirteenth commandment should be changed from "Thou shalt not kill" to "Thou shalt not WANT to kill", that way more people could obey it.

Any other thoughts or perspectives would be greatly appreciated.

dps
07-04-2010, 02:49 PM
I live in Los Angeles. I know it is rough, and there are times when defending myself is a need. I train in Aikido not WANTING to do harm, but do so to prepare for the nut job that may drift my way in the future. Whatever the situation, I train with the goal to do as little harm to another human being in order to subdue him.

I would hope that your primary goal if a nut job drifts your way is to survive the encounter. Putting the nut job's well being above your own may sound noble but could get you hurt or worse.

In a recent thread there was a discussion about " Madman with a Gun". Would you have the same feelings of doing as little harm to the "Madman" in order to subdue him if he entered a restaurant and shot your wife and kids?

David

jss
07-04-2010, 02:57 PM
So then I turn my mind towards MMA and UFC fighting. I know there are members here who take part in this, so what benefit does it serve humanity to make one's living or recreation by beating the crap out of another human being? I mean, dog fighting is illegal, so what's the difference, other than it not being to the death?
You gave the asnwer yourself:
You CHOOSE to be there; no one is forcing you to enter the ring.
The dogs don't get to decide. Why shouldn't two consenting adults be allowed to beat the crap out of each other? They're allowed to smoke as well. ;) And at any point in the fight, they are allowed to give up and the fight is over.

I can't help but feel disturbed that this is going to be the norm, where showing how brutal one can be is a demarcation of one's self worth in society.
Sportsmanship within blood sport is still appreciated. If one fighter taps out and the other guy demonstrates his brutality by breaking the arm anyhow, does he get respect or contempt?

so one is willing to throw their humanity away for a piece of ass?
Violence is human too, so I wouldn't say MMA fighting means throwing your humanity away.

Mikemac
07-04-2010, 03:05 PM
Your counter is very weak. Yes...If I truly embrace the teachings of Aikido, I would try to subdue a madman with a gun without inflicting overkill. I've seen Aikido techniques that disable an armed gunman that turn the tables on him without extreme measures.

I am paraphrasing Alan Watts, but this whole universe depends on each and every individual. It depends on every gnat, and every vibration of every gnat's wings. If one can cherish even the smallest of creatures, then isn't it also important to respect human life to one's own capability?

Mikemac
07-04-2010, 03:16 PM
Sportsmanship within blood sport is still appreciated. If one fighter taps out and the other guy demonstrates his brutality by breaking the arm anyhow, does he get respect or contempt?


If that's your thrust, then why not wrestling?...remember that sport? It doesn't require drawing blood, does it? Your defense is nothing more than a fig leaf on your testosterone. You're trying to rationalize brutality. We should seek to be better than that. Brutality is, by my view, even lower than the animal kingdom. They don't kill for pleasure; they kill for necessity.

dps
07-04-2010, 03:26 PM
I am paraphrasing Alan Watts, but this whole universe depends on each and every individual. It depends on every gnat, and every vibration of every gnat's wings. If one can cherish even the smallest of creatures, then isn't it also important to respect human life to one's own capability?

I have a large capability, as long as the gnats leave me alone. If they do then I won't swat them dead and the gnats and I will live in peace and harmony.

David

RED
07-04-2010, 04:16 PM
should be changed from "Thou shalt not kill" to "Thou shalt not WANT to kill", that way more people could obey it.[/B]


I have a theology degree, and worked with foreign missions before and during early college.
If you are talking theology, "Thou shall not kill" is the same as "Thou should not feel the urge to kill". If you want to get technical, to hate another person is considered the exact same sin as to murder, in the eyes of Hebrew law and the eyes of God, under this commandment.

I respect Krav Maga technically though.
I get what it's inventor was trying to do and why.

Mikemac
07-04-2010, 04:26 PM
If you want to get technical, to hate another person is considered the exact same sin as to murder, in the eyes of Hebrew law and the eyes of God, under this commandment.

I respect Krav Maga technically though.
I get what it's inventor was trying to do and why.

Most of the guys at Krav are real stand up people, but some are in it for the wrong reasons.

jss
07-05-2010, 12:57 AM
If that's your thrust, then why not wrestling?...remember that sport? It doesn't require drawing blood, does it?
MMA does not require drawing blood either, although it does happen.
An why not wrestling? That's like asking a rugby player to switch to American football: whole different ball game.

Brutality is, by my view, even lower than the animal kingdom. They don't kill for pleasure; they kill for necessity.
Animals do play fight, just like humans. You should see my cat play with one of his toys: it sinks its teeth and front claws in it and then kicks it with its hind claws. Quite brutal.

Abasan
07-05-2010, 04:10 AM
A friend of mine who counsels in a local prison once asked a guy what did he do that caused him his prison time. He said he was a snatch thief. Long story short, my friend found out the whole story.

This guy saw a pregnant lady getting some money from an atm. He then saw her ride her motorcycle and followed her on his. At the traffic light, he sped past her and grabbed her hand bag. She fell and injured herself.

In fact the lady went into a coma. Her husband worked outstation as a labourer and she had 10bucks in her handbag that her husband just deposited for her. The couple were actually poor people. The criminal watched her story on the news that night as he ate at a shop using her money.

When my friend asked him how did he feel about doing such a thing to a pregnant woman (whom later died with the baby). He said he didn't feel anything at all.

Now. Why do people hurt each other? Decent and normal human beings don't. Abnormal people do.

Amir Krause
07-05-2010, 05:27 AM
I've had something on my mind lately that disturbs me and I wanted a forum on this subject. The question is: Why would anyone WANT to hurt or kill another person? I should explain......

Something happened yesterday that made me take pause. There was a new student in our Aikido class who mostly takes Krav Maga at the same dojo. While we were paired up, we practiced kotegaeshi, and when his turn came up, he did the move, but added a rather rough end pin where he lifted me back up with a painful arm bend, which was not how we were supposed to execute. That didn't bother me much, but while he had me he said "If you want to kill someone, then do this." which was a mock hit to the thorax.

This left an impression on me all day. Now, what has been on my mind is a deep reflection on two words. Though Webster's Dictionary might not concur, I've always understood a clear distinction between "WANT" and "NEED". To me, needing to kill or harm is something necessary to preserve one's life, the life of loved ones, or property in the face of an immediate threat that cannot be quelled by reason. In times of war, needing to kill the enemy is understood. On the other side, wanting to do harm or kill another person seems to me sinister, or at least lacking in any morality that respects human life.

So then I turn my mind towards MMA and UFC fighting. I know there are members here who take part in this, so what benefit does it serve humanity to make one's living or recreation by beating the crap out of another human being? I mean, dog fighting is illegal, so what's the difference, other than it not being to the death? You CHOOSE to be there; no one is forcing you to enter the ring. Over the past fifteen years, I've watched as the blood sport has gained popularity and followers, and I can't help but feel disturbed that this is going to be the norm, where showing how brutal one can be is a demarcation of one's self worth in society.

I knew this kid many years ago who got into cage fighting. We asked him why he risked his life like that and he said "The women they give you are fine!" Really? Is that what it takes to earn the physical affections of beautiful women? Great........so one is willing to throw their humanity away for a piece of ass? Stop the car, I'm getting out here!

I live in Los Angeles. I know it is rough, and there are times when defending myself is a need. I train in Aikido not WANTING to do harm, but do so to prepare for the nut job that may drift my way in the future. Whatever the situation, I train with the goal to do as little harm to another human being in order to subdue him.

If that really is the point, then the thirteenth commandment should be changed from "Thou shalt not kill" to "Thou shalt not WANT to kill", that way more people could obey it.

Any other thoughts or perspectives would be greatly appreciated.

My main question is quite simple: did this student understand the distinction between "need" and "want"?

His "want" may be the same as your "need". He may "want" to harm another due to subjective understanding that if he will not, the other will get back at him\his loved ones immediately. This is the same as your "need" but under the understanding, that "need" is also subjective and not objective, hence, if you want to save ... and are thus willing to harm another, you actually want to harm tat person.
Is it possible that his causing you pain, has colored your understanding of his actual intention?

The other option to answer would talk of Sadistic people, and other insanities :(

I would hope that your primary goal if a nut job drifts your way is to survive the encounter. Putting the nut job's well being above your own may sound noble but could get you hurt or worse.

In a recent thread there was a discussion about " Madman with a Gun". Would you have the same feelings of doing as little harm to the "Madman" in order to subdue him if he entered a restaurant and shot your wife and kids?

David

Are you not giving specific examples to situations in which you "need" to harm another?
If you are, where is the argument?
Michael did indicate harming another because of need is acceptable. He discussed a person wanting to harm another, not harming him because one believes this is the solution to prevent harm to self or loved ones.

Amir

lbb
07-05-2010, 05:29 AM
Something happened yesterday that made me take pause. There was a new student in our Aikido class who mostly takes Krav Maga at the same dojo. While we were paired up, we practiced kotegaeshi, and when his turn came up, he did the move, but added a rather rough end pin where he lifted me back up with a painful arm bend, which was not how we were supposed to execute. That didn't bother me much, but while he had me he said "If you want to kill someone, then do this." which was a mock hit to the thorax.

I'm going to go way, way out on a limb and venture a guess that this new student thought that physically and verbally demonstrating his pre-existing knowledge would gain him respect. What do you think? Safe bet?

It's an extremely common thing for adult beginners -- at anything -- to try to demonstrate that they're not really a beginner (although they are), or if they can't even begin to do that, to establish that they're skilled/important/experienced at something else that people should respect (e.g., they'll trot out their professional credentials, or start talking about how widely they've traveled, or begin lecturing you about philosophy). It's silly and obnoxious behavior, but almost all of us do it to some degree.

Marc Abrams
07-05-2010, 07:18 AM
Michael:

Unfortunately, we do not live in some fantasy world in which peaceful people rule the planet.... There is a Japanese expression: "katsujinken" that can be translated to mean "The sword that gives life." It is a concept that you should spend some serious time contemplating. Let me create this image for you: You and your child are walking down the street in the way to a little league game. Your child lags a couple of steps behind. You turn around to see a person running at your child with a knife. You have a bat in your hand. If you do not take out this person, this person will kill your child. What would you do?

Harmonizing with deadly intent can easily result in death. It is not some macho fantasy of toughness and it is not an issue of need or want. Need/want require some serious thought. Real life, deadly encounters rarely if ever allow for time to engage in serious thought. The sad, cold fact is that sometimes a person must kill to preserve life.

Our training should be shugyo. We should work hard at making peace with our sense of inadequacy and vulnerability (existential reality for all of us). If our spirit is clear, it is not a question of need/want. If the situation dictates that a person will die, I want to be the person wielding the sword that gives life. At the end of the day, I want to return home to my family. I have no personal problems with exploring adaptations of techniques and finishing moves that can kill a person. I would rather have useful tools if a situation ever dictates that I use them, rather than my last thoughts being sadness over not learning them because I tried to gain some higher, philosophical moral ground that the attacker conveniently was not interested in exploring.

Marc Abrams

Mikemac
07-05-2010, 08:19 AM
Michael:

Unfortunately, we do not live in some fantasy world in which peaceful people rule the planet.... There is a Japanese expression: "katsujinken" that can be translated to mean "The sword that gives life." It is a concept that you should spend some serious time contemplating. Let me create this image for you: You and your child are walking down the street in the way to a little league game. Your child lags a couple of steps behind. You turn around to see a person running at your child with a knife. You have a bat in your hand. If you do not take out this person, this person will kill your child. What would you do?

Harmonizing with deadly intent can easily result in death. It is not some macho fantasy of toughness and it is not an issue of need or want. Need/want require some serious thought. Real life, deadly encounters rarely if ever allow for time to engage in serious thought. The sad, cold fact is that sometimes a person must kill to preserve life.

Our training should be shugyo. We should work hard at making peace with our sense of inadequacy and vulnerability (existential reality for all of us). If our spirit is clear, it is not a question of need/want. If the situation dictates that a person will die, I want to be the person wielding the sword that gives life. At the end of the day, I want to return home to my family. I have no personal problems with exploring adaptations of techniques and finishing moves that can kill a person. I would rather have useful tools if a situation ever dictates that I use them, rather than my last thoughts being sadness over not learning them because I tried to gain some higher, philosophical moral ground that the attacker conveniently was not interested in exploring.

Marc Abrams

"The sword that kills the man is the sword that saves the man." Yes.....I'm very familiar with that concept.

I think this is a good subject to bring up because all of us benefit by being mindful of intent in our practice. I'm not only questioning the intent of those outside this circle, but also with within. For me, it is necessary that I keep the questions "What do I want by training?" and "What do I need from this training?" in my head so I keep a sense of perspective. This just reminded me of that story.............

A soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin, and asked: "Is there really a paradise and a hell?"

"Who are you?" inquired Hakuin.

"I am a samurai," the warrior replied.

"You, a soldier!" exclaimed Hakuin. "What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar."

Nobushige became so angry that he began to draw his sword, but Hakuin continued: "So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably much too dull to cut off my head."

As Nobushige drew his sword Hakuin remarked: "Here open the gates of hell!"

At these words the samurai, perceiving the master's discipline, sheathed his sword and bowed.

"Here open the gates of paradise," said Hakuin.

Keith Larman
07-05-2010, 08:48 AM
Something happened yesterday that made me take pause. There was a new student in our Aikido class who mostly takes Krav Maga at the same dojo. While we were paired up, we practiced kotegaeshi, and when his turn came up, he did the move, but added a rather rough end pin where he lifted me back up with a painful arm bend, which was not how we were supposed to execute. That didn't bother me much, but while he had me he said "If you want to kill someone, then do this." which was a mock hit to the thorax.

And maybe he just misspoke and should have said "need". I mean, really, where did all the techniques we do come from after all? Do you practice with a bokken? Do you think a sword is about *not* killing them? There are ideals then there is the messy, gray, difficult to predict "real world" (patent pending). Frankly I find myself dabbling in other arts for the express purpose of understanding the variety of techniques out there to better understand the evolution of techniques. You watch empty hand throws in some styles that end with what looks like a strike to the chest. In reality in some styles that isn't a strike -- what you don't "see" is the consistency of training in teaching someone that at that point you pull out your tanto from your obi and sink it into their neck. The "strike" at the end is a vestige of a larger context of training where students were taught consistent actions throughout a more comprehensive training that included more weapons. So that "strike" ain't really a love-tap, now is it... Nor is it a strike really. It would be a killing blow.

Obviously someone "wanting" to kill in the sense of being excited about the possibility of actually doing it raises troublesome questions about someone's mental state. But if we recognize that there are dangerous situations and if we are training with the intent of doing something more than attaining a blissful oneness with the universe you might "want" to know *how* to kill. That does not mean you have a *desire* to kill, just that you have a desire for the knowledge and ability should the situation arise where it becomes necessary.

Marc Abrams
07-05-2010, 08:58 AM
"The sword that kills the man is the sword that saves the man." Yes.....I'm very familiar with that concept.

I think this is a good subject to bring up because all of us benefit by being mindful of intent in our practice. I'm not only questioning the intent of those outside this circle, but also with within. For me, it is necessary that I keep the questions "What do I want by training?" and "What do I need from this training?" in my head so I keep a sense of perspective. This just reminded me of that story.............

A soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin, and asked: "Is there really a paradise and a hell?"

"Who are you?" inquired Hakuin.

"I am a samurai," the warrior replied.

"You, a soldier!" exclaimed Hakuin. "What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar."

Nobushige became so angry that he began to draw his sword, but Hakuin continued: "So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably much too dull to cut off my head."

As Nobushige drew his sword Hakuin remarked: "Here open the gates of hell!"

At these words the samurai, perceiving the master's discipline, sheathed his sword and bowed.

"Here open the gates of paradise," said Hakuin.

Michael:

The story that you mention talks about the necessity of training as shugyo. The samurai displayed unnecessary anger and this did not make him more capable but less capable and vulnerable.

My training has made me a more peaceful, calm person. That has always been my aim. That being said, it is not my choice as the philosophical approach of an attacker. I need to remain centered and act decisively. Those are lofty goals that require a lot of mindful training. At the end of the day, I like being a son, father, and grandfather for another day :) ! That is a gift that I seek to enjoy each and every day.

I have often told my students that Aikido helps us to enjoy a "Chinese menu" when confronted with conflict. Instead of only having one mode of response, it allows us to be open to a multitude of possibilities. Being centered, connected to the attacker and in the moment should allow the natural "menu" choice to emerge.

Marc Abrams

Mikemac
07-05-2010, 09:04 AM
And maybe he just misspoke and should have said "need". I mean, really, where did all the techniques we do come from after all? Do you practice with a bokken? Do you think a sword is about *not* killing them? There are ideals then there is the messy, gray, difficult to predict "real world" (patent pending). Frankly I find myself dabbling in other arts for the express purpose of understanding the variety of techniques out there to better understand the evolution of techniques. You watch empty hand throws in some styles that end with what looks like a strike to the chest. In reality in some styles that isn't a strike -- what you don't "see" is the consistency of training in teaching someone that at that point you pull out your tanto from your obi and sink it into their neck. The "strike" at the end is a vestige of a larger context of training where students were taught consistent actions throughout a more comprehensive training that included more weapons. So that "strike" ain't really a love-tap, now is it... Nor is it a strike really. It would be a killing blow.

Obviously someone "wanting" to kill in the sense of being excited about the possibility of actually doing it raises troublesome questions about someone's mental state. But if we recognize that there are dangerous situations and if we are training with the intent of doing something more than attaining a blissful oneness with the universe you might "want" to know *how* to kill. That does not mean you have a *desire* to kill, just that you have a desire for the knowledge and ability should the situation arise where it becomes necessary.

You certainly have no argument from me on your points. They are very clear indeed, and there are dangerous situations to prepare for. I have no allusions about this. "Blissful oneness with the universe" may be pushing it a bit, but religion and O-Sensei seemed to hold it in high regard.

I would write off the student's actions as a mix up of words, but then there was that rough arm hold at the end that made me feel quite uncomfortable. It was if I could feel his deepest intent by trying to "dog me down" you might say.

I'm going to go way, way out on a limb and venture a guess that this new student thought that physically and verbally demonstrating his pre-existing knowledge would gain him respect. What do you think? Safe bet?

I completely agree. I still fail to see a NEED for this, but you are on the mark.

Mikemac
07-05-2010, 09:49 AM
Michael:

The story that you mention talks about the necessity of training as shugyo. The samurai displayed unnecessary anger and this did not make him more capable but less capable and vulnerable.

My training has made me a more peaceful, calm person. That has always been my aim. That being said, it is not my choice as the philosophical approach of an attacker. I need to remain centered and act decisively. Those are lofty goals that require a lot of mindful training. At the end of the day, I like being a son, father, and grandfather for another day :) ! That is a gift that I seek to enjoy each and every day.

I have often told my students that Aikido helps us to enjoy a "Chinese menu" when confronted with conflict. Instead of only having one mode of response, it allows us to be open to a multitude of possibilities. Being centered, connected to the attacker and in the moment should allow the natural "menu" choice to emerge.

Marc Abrams

Great! I'll have the paper wrapped chicken, orange peel beef, and the house special fried rice. Can you do that to go?

Seriously though, I too have found some surprising illuminations from training again. I suppose I'm striving for the optimum, that way, if I fall short, I can still achieve something better.

I quote Elvis Costello...."What's so funny bout peace, love and understanding?"

Gorgeous George
07-05-2010, 10:15 AM
If one can cherish even the smallest of creatures, then isn't it also important to respect human life to one's own capability?

...hence why i'm a vegan.

Mikemac
07-05-2010, 10:42 AM
...hence why i'm a vegan.

Sorry man....I'm Italian...We treat our meat better in death than they were treated in life......Lots of love......

mickeygelum
07-05-2010, 11:26 AM
It's an extremely common thing for adult beginners -- at anything -- to try to demonstrate that they're not really a beginner (although they are), or if they can't even begin to do that, to establish that they're skilled/important/experienced at something else that people should respect (e.g., they'll trot out their professional credentials, or start talking about how widely they've traveled, or begin lecturing you about philosophy). It's silly and obnoxious behavior, but almost all of us do it to some degree.

An absolutely true statement....thanx...;)

Train well,

Mickey

mickeygelum
07-05-2010, 11:37 AM
Sorry man....I'm Italian...We treat our meat better in death than they were treated in life....

Stimiamo i nostri animali ed il nostro alimento...:D

esercitazione sinceramente,

Michael

Kevin Leavitt
07-05-2010, 11:57 AM
What Marc said...and Keith! lol!

Oh, btw, I'm a hard core Vegetarian boarding on Vegan.

I also have no issue with dealing with folks that need to go away permanently.

Unfortunately, there are some very bad people in the world.

WANT vs NEED

well it could be semantics. I definitely don't WANT to kill anyone that doesn't need killing. However, some people NEED to be killed as they are very bad, and I really WANT to do that if they NEED it.

How does that impact my Kharma? Well, it does, but I sleep well at night. I try and make sure to live a good life that is balanced and I try to live right and compassionately.

I think the world Needs people that are willing to stick up for the oppressed, weak, and seemingly helpless and show them that there is hope.

Unfortunately, in this day and age not everyone cares that we want to be peaceful and compassionate.

I hope that one day we can have a world in which everyone can get along and there is no need for violence, harm, or killing.

I think/hope that Aikido represents a meaningful way in order to teach us to be strong, have courage, and to look deeper into understanding the hard/tough issues. I also hope it gives us courage to resolve to act in the right manner when this needs to occur. We need people that are able to do this in the world.

I think that philosophically one day, that the world will not need aikido anymore once we have transcended conflict. Budo/AIkido is a bridge.

Unfortunately, I also think that alot of folks misinterpret and develop revisionistic visions of what it means to resolve conflict and begin to think that all conflict can be resolved peacefully.

A noble thought, but not realistic in today's world.

The life giving sword is much more complex I think, than most want to believe...it requires much more than simply a presence. It requires a WILLINGNESS to do Harm in order to STOP harm.

Marc Abrams
07-05-2010, 12:01 PM
Great! I'll have the paper wrapped chicken, orange peel beef, and the house special fried rice. Can you do that to go?

Seriously though, I too have found some surprising illuminations from training again. I suppose I'm striving for the optimum, that way, if I fall short, I can still achieve something better.

I quote Elvis Costello...."What's so funny bout peace, love and understanding?"

Michael:

As a father and grandfather, there is nothing more important to me than trying to leave this world as a safer, more peaceful place for my children and their children to live in. I am profoundly disturbed by the state of the world today. My using Aikido as my vehicle to help achieve my stated goals might have nothing to do with having to address world problems in which peace, love and understanding unfortunately don't fit. I may love peace and I may seek understanding where ignorance exists, however, if a person is attacking me, all of that goes out the window until I can insure that my safety is secured.

Marc Abrams

ps- Do you want soup or egg roll with that order?

Mikemac
07-05-2010, 12:22 PM
Michael:

As a father and grandfather, there is nothing more important to me than trying to leave this world as a safer, more peaceful place for my children and their children to live in. I am profoundly disturbed by the state of the world today. My using Aikido as my vehicle to help achieve my stated goals might have nothing to do with having to address world problems in which peace, love and understanding unfortunately don't fit. I may love peace and I may seek understanding where ignorance exists, however, if a person is attacking me, all of that goes out the window until I can insure that my safety is secured.

Marc Abrams

ps- Do you want soup or egg roll with that order?

Wow.....Brilliant......Thank you

It's still a bit chilly here, so I'll take the soup please........

Gorgeous George
07-05-2010, 02:09 PM
Sorry man....I'm Italian...We treat our meat better in death than they were treated in life......Lots of love......

It's fine by me; it negates everything you've said about compassion for others etc. though.

Gorgeous George
07-05-2010, 02:10 PM
Oh, btw, I'm a hard core Vegetarian boarding on Vegan.
.

I had wondered if there were any other ethical vegans on here, actually...
Why are you a vegetarian - if you don't mind my asking?

Keith Larman
07-05-2010, 04:11 PM
I've always wondered with these sorts of questions. If someone had attacked o-sensei with the intent to kill him do you think the attacker would have left the confrontation still breathing? Or without injury?

How is "order" restored to the universe in the event of an attack? Does it mean talking him out of it? It might mean calming him down. It might mean being pinned until he calms down. It might mean a busted arm. It might mean a concussion from the impact with the ground. Or taking his bat away and taking out a kneecap? Or it might mean his knife ends up in his ribs instead. Attackers don't always give you choices. And each person's level of ability to "resolve" conflict (not to mention situation specific issues) don't always leave one with an infinite number of options. Or to put it another way, maybe the safest place for the attacker's gun to be pointed is back at the attacker's center mass. Such that if it goes off, at least his body will stop the bullet instead of hitting some innocent bystander. Philosophy is a great thing -- a guide, a means of understanding one's goals. But... When the rubber hits the road sometimes you find that the domain of possible actions becomes severely constrained. Then what do you do? Sometimes restoring order might mean that other guy *will* be severely injured. Or killed.

There was a famous story (which I'm not sure is true) about the late Ed Parker. Apparently he had a confrontation with a group of young "toughs" on the side of the road at night. Parker picked the closest guy wearing a white shirt who happened to be well lit by the headlights of his car. He shattered his nose in the blink of an eye leaving him with blood gushing down his shirt. That was enough to take the desire to fight out of the rest of his friends. So an act of "pre-emptive" violence prevented further violence. Right? Wrong? Order restored? I would hate to even consider what kind of damage Parker would have brought to those kids. He was the fastest guy I'd ever seen.

In the movie "History of Violence" there was a horrifically violent scene where the main character stops two homicidal maniacs in his diner. Frankly I was glad it was so graphic because the director wanted to show the absolute horror of something like that. And the fact that there was little else that could have happened to prevent violence. Sometimes the only question is *who* is going to get hurt or die. So maybe the only choice is to choose whether it is the innocent or the not so innocent. Yes, it is ugly. But life isn't always cookies and sunshine.

So... Shrug. Of course some of my friends like to call me "Anakin" for my approach to Aikido. So consider the source. :)

Janet Rosen
07-05-2010, 04:42 PM
I consider myself the only person who has the right to take my life. Therefore while I will try to do no or minimal harm to the sloppy drunk or mentally ill person who is merely an aggressive nuisance, if I perceive somebody to be attacking me with genuine malicious intent, all bets are off.

Kevin Leavitt
07-05-2010, 10:17 PM
I had wondered if there were any other ethical vegans on here, actually...
Why are you a vegetarian - if you don't mind my asking?

It is a personal thing for me. I think that there is too much killing and too much suffering in the world. Animals bear a significant part of this suffering in the name of efficiency and profit, all so we can eat them.

One day I woke up and read an article about the meat industry and I just felt it was not for me any longer. That was about 12 years ago.

There is no need to eat animals, so I don't. It is really that simple for me.

I have no issue with those that hunt, or animals that are killed compassionately. With no natural predators, for example, we need to control deer populations etc. I think there are humane practices that are commpassionate and justifiable.

I think that if we are going to evolve as human beings as a species, it needs to start with how we treat our planet and how we treat other life forms on the planet.

Harm is harm IMO, and I don't see a difference between harming people and harming animals unnecessarily.

I think there is much merit to what Ghandi said, be the change you want to see in the world.

All that said, I don't preach to others or look down on them etc because they eat meat etc. Again it is a personal choice for me.

Mikemac
07-05-2010, 10:41 PM
Sorry...had to do it...

http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/252/flirtingbywoxys.jpg

Kinda puts things into perspective.....

lbb
07-06-2010, 06:32 AM
I completely agree. I still fail to see a NEED for this, but you are on the mark.

If by "I still fail to see a NEED for this", you mean "I don't feel this need myself", well...maybe. Maybe you've never been a newbie at anything, or you've always been enormously capable at everything you tried right from the start (or at least, you thought you were). Maybe you've never felt the need to seek for security when you felt shaky ground underfoot. It's pretty normal to feel this way, though, and also normal to behave in ways to try and feel more comfortable. Feeling and doing otherwise is something that people have to work towards, not something they're born with.

Mikemac
07-06-2010, 07:16 AM
If by "I still fail to see a NEED for this", you mean "I don't feel this need myself", well...maybe. Maybe you've never been a newbie at anything, or you've always been enormously capable at everything you tried right from the start (or at least, you thought you were). Maybe you've never felt the need to seek for security when you felt shaky ground underfoot. It's pretty normal to feel this way, though, and also normal to behave in ways to try and feel more comfortable. Feeling and doing otherwise is something that people have to work towards, not something they're born with.

Actually, I think it's something that developed with me when I got older. The WANTS sort of dissolved over time.

Carsten Möllering
07-06-2010, 07:40 AM
Really no one here, who knows it can by joy to hurt someone?
The joy of demonstrating ones power, ones might.
Or joy dominating someone and being able to ...

So if you don't know feelings like this, why do you practice a martial art?
Why do you practic techniques which will hurt, maybe badly your opponent? (hiji kime osae, irimi nage, atemi nage ...)

Do you really feel no joy when controlling uke?

Carsten

Kevin Leavitt
07-06-2010, 10:34 AM
To be honest, Carsten, not in the sense that you mention anymore. I used to be like "cool" look what I can do!

Today, for me it is much more about the process and methodology, mastering it so I can do the things I need to do.

It is about the bigger picture for me. I get just as much enjoyment out of failing as I do winning these days!

Gorgeous George
07-06-2010, 10:45 AM
There is no need to eat animals, so I don't. It is really that simple for me.

I totally agree: it's that simple for me too - why kill when you don't have to?

I'd probably disagree about killing deer to 'control the population': the biggest population control 'we' have is that of the human population, but to control that in such a manner would be - largely - seen as abhorrent...then there's the 'population' of captive animals raised for food - those billions are the ones really harming the planet/human race, and the human race has deliberately, unrepentantly brought about that population.
I mean, the 'meat industry' can be argued against solely on the grounds that these people are a threat to my life and my 'race': i.e., I wonder what the next 'flu' variety will be...

But I digress...
I'm just of the mentality where I cannot square going to aikido training, where I am learning to care for the most harmful people - those who try to take my life, theoretically - with going and eating a steak (or whatever piece of carcass) afterwards: i've just spent hours learning to care for others, and preaching the futility and abhorrence of killing, only to go and eat a corpse for a bit of fun/convenience.
It seems entirely counter-productive to me, and aikido - like everything that I do - has some meaning to me.

Anyway: go vegan, man - you'll save more animals!

Gorgeous George
07-06-2010, 10:52 AM
Really no one here, who knows it can by joy to hurt someone?
The joy of demonstrating ones power, ones might.
Or joy dominating someone and being able to ...

So if you don't know feelings like this, why do you practice a martial art?
Why do you practic techniques which will hurt, maybe badly your opponent? (hiji kime osae, irimi nage, atemi nage ...)

Do you really feel no joy when controlling uke?

Carsten

But then, half of aikido is being controlled...but then: I thought - from my lofty position as 5th kyu - that both partners in aikido are practising aikido - you both yield, and are in harmony, and both avoid destruction/harm: you are both in control, and the point of ukemi is to safely avoid harm - uke stays 'live'/alive....?

I mean, I don't get how anyone can choose aikido for the purpose you describe: I know that there are those who saw o'sensei as an incredible martial artist, but they're gone, and now people tend to see the most effective MA as one in which there are strikes, and competition, etc.

The fact that aikido, prima facie, is purely defensive, surely sees that those looking to gain joy from dominating and having power over others, like a serial killer, choose something more aggressive, more amoral as their martial art...?
The point of aikido techniques is that you don't badly damage your 'opponent' - there isn't even an opponent, in fact: you are meant to yield to the other person, which necessitates having compassion for them.

Brett Charvat
07-06-2010, 10:58 AM
"It's fine by me; it negates everything you've said about compassion for others etc. though."

--So, it's impossible for someone who eats meat to be genuinely compassionate toward others? Fascinating. I always get a bit amused by folks with these attitudes, who seem to think that the plants they sustain themselves on didn't have to die in order for them to live. All life is sustained at the expense and execution of other life.

Sorry for the thread drift.

Janet Rosen
07-06-2010, 11:05 AM
Really no one here, who knows it can by joy to hurt someone?
The joy of demonstrating ones power, ones might.
Or joy dominating someone and being able to ...
So if you don't know feelings like this, why do you practice a martial art?
Why do you practic techniques which will hurt, maybe badly your opponent? (hiji kime osae, irimi nage, atemi nage ...)
Do you really feel no joy when controlling uke?


My joy, whether as nage or uke, is in the challenge of finding and maintaining connection. We join together, it is both our energy making it happen. Frankly my greatest joy, what makes me laugh out loud, is when as uke I find myself on the ground w/ no idea how it happened.

I also want to point out that domination and the power dynamic of domination and submission does not necessarily have anything to do with hurting the other. :)

akiy
07-06-2010, 11:09 AM
Hi folks,

Let's try to keep the topic pertinent to aikido here in this thread. Please start another thread in the Open Discussions forum if you want to continue the discussion on being vegetarian/vegan.

Thanks,

-- Jun

jonreading
07-06-2010, 11:42 AM
What the heck...

To me, WANT and NEED demonstrate a condition, not an action. NEED defines a necessity, WANT defines a desire. Both conditions require an action is order to accomplish the condition. Without the knowledge and capability to act on the condition, you cannot fulfill either a necessity or desire. I WANT to be a millionaire, and I NEED the money; however, I do not possess the ability to become a millionaire (i.e. there exists no action I can undertake to acquire one million dollars). That's why I buy a lottery ticket...

I randomly WANT to commit a violent act at least three times a day (usually while sitting in traffic, but I have occassionally wanted to destroy my office desk after whacking the back of my head...). I also NEED to eat food, drink water, and perform other functions throughout the day. Each day I have many choices to act on my wants and needs; I am defined by those choices. Aikido is about learning how to make better choices.

In my decisions to act I am constrained by my knowledge and capabilities specific to that action. I have the necessary skills and ability to accomplish the action I INTEND to undertake.

To address the original post, I believe that:
1. Budo provides a knowledge base to empower use to use force (intent) and make good choices (action). The longer we train aikido, the greater knowledge base we have on which to draw well-planned intentions, and act on those intentions.
2. A WANT is symbolic of a desire. Someone [who in seriousness] WANTS to harm another is expressing a disturbing desire.
3. A NEED is symbolic of a necessity. Someone [who in seriousness] NEEDS to harm another is expressing survival.

Aikido is about learning both to control your own decisions and present solutions (controled by you) to your partner. There will be occassions where the decisions you face in life will be difficult to make; aikido is also about learning to make those decisions with dignity and courage.

Now, for some personal observations that disturbed me in the original post:
1. Fighting sports like boxing and MMA are spectator sports. The purpose they service in society in entertainment. This purpose is not unlike Hollywood, athletic sports, recreational literature, or a myriad of other facets of culture. Who is to say they serve a purpose more our less beneficial than another occupation?
2. Try killing someone barefisted. Its hard. I've only done it 6 times (I'm lying). Seriously, wanting to kill and killing are completely different and outside of the realm of possibility for most civilians. Lots of things that I want happen in my mind that do not translate to reality. Put me in a car and I am very capable of killing another... Thou shalt not kill more functionally represents what most of humanity can observe.

Chuck Clark
07-06-2010, 01:14 PM
What Marc said...and Keith! lol!

Oh, btw, I'm a hard core Vegetarian boarding on Vegan.

I also have no issue with dealing with folks that need to go away permanently.

Unfortunately, there are some very bad people in the world.

WANT vs NEED

well it could be semantics. I definitely don't WANT to kill anyone that doesn't need killing. However, some people NEED to be killed as they are very bad, and I really WANT to do that if they NEED it.

How does that impact my Kharma? Well, it does, but I sleep well at night. I try and make sure to live a good life that is balanced and I try to live right and compassionately.

I think the world Needs people that are willing to stick up for the oppressed, weak, and seemingly helpless and show them that there is hope.

Unfortunately, in this day and age not everyone cares that we want to be peaceful and compassionate.

I hope that one day we can have a world in which everyone can get along and there is no need for violence, harm, or killing.

I think/hope that Aikido represents a meaningful way in order to teach us to be strong, have courage, and to look deeper into understanding the hard/tough issues. I also hope it gives us courage to resolve to act in the right manner when this needs to occur. We need people that are able to do this in the world.

I think that philosophically one day, that the world will not need aikido anymore once we have transcended conflict. Budo/AIkido is a bridge.

Unfortunately, I also think that alot of folks misinterpret and develop revisionistic visions of what it means to resolve conflict and begin to think that all conflict can be resolved peacefully.

A noble thought, but not realistic in today's world.

The life giving sword is much more complex I think, than most want to believe...it requires much more than simply a presence. It requires a WILLINGNESS to do Harm in order to STOP harm.

Great post Kevin. Worth putting the whole thing here again! Thanks.

Regards,

Kevin Leavitt
07-07-2010, 10:32 AM
Graham Jenkins wrote:

The point of aikido techniques is that you don't badly damage your 'opponent' - there isn't even an opponent, in fact: you are meant to yield to the other person, which necessitates having compassion for them.


Hey Graham. I disagree with this actually.

I don't think Aikido is pre-deposed to yeilding or not yeilding either way. It simply is what it is and covers both spectrums.

Of course, much in our practice is designed I think to show us the SPECTRUM of possibilities. Which is what I really think the practice is all about...a complete education....or at least IMO it should be.

I think that showing compassion does not always mean yielding or avoiding conflict or violence.

Spent alot of my time pondering on this and reading. Even the Dali Lama states that compassion is a very complex, deep, and personal issue that is not so black and white.

Gorgeous George
07-07-2010, 07:23 PM
Graham Jenkins wrote:

Hey Graham. I disagree with this actually.

I don't think Aikido is pre-deposed to yeilding or not yeilding either way.

How do you mean?

Kevin Leavitt
07-08-2010, 10:50 AM
Unless I misunderstand what you wrote...yielding to me as you wrote it implies that there exist a imperative that you always must "give" or "allow" your opponent to have ground.

It could be that this is a good strategy at times..that is, to give up some ground, yield, or allow space in order to gain a greater good.

I do not think though, that this is alway required, nor the smart/right/just...or necessarily the most compassionate choice or solution set.

It maybe be better to enter immediately, to stop before it starts, keep him off balance, never let him launch an attack, or to attack yourself in a decisive manner.

again, I think that Aikido, or better yet the techniques we see in aikido, many times get translated into some ethical solution set that allows us to resolve conflict in a prescribed manner.

Technique is technique. There is a spectrum of violence, escalation of force..etc.

Our job/goal/mission/ethical concern...is to explore that spectrum, understand it, and to make ourselves and competent as possible so we can make the best decision possible when we need to.

Of course, we should always strive for minimal force necessary.

THat though does not necessarily translate into yielding or giving up ground.

Gorgeous George
07-08-2010, 11:08 AM
Unless I misunderstand what you wrote...yielding to me as you wrote it implies that there exist a imperative that you always must "give" or "allow" your opponent to have ground.

It could be that this is a good strategy at times..that is, to give up some ground, yield, or allow space in order to gain a greater good.

I do not think though, that this is alway required, nor the smart/right/just...or necessarily the most compassionate choice or solution set.

It maybe be better to enter immediately, to stop before it starts, keep him off balance, never let him launch an attack, or to attack yourself in a decisive manner.

again, I think that Aikido, or better yet the techniques we see in aikido, many times get translated into some ethical solution set that allows us to resolve conflict in a prescribed manner.

Technique is technique. There is a spectrum of violence, escalation of force..etc.

Our job/goal/mission/ethical concern...is to explore that spectrum, understand it, and to make ourselves and competent as possible so we can make the best decision possible when we need to.

Of course, we should always strive for minimal force necessary.

THat though does not necessarily translate into yielding or giving up ground.

I guess the way I meant it, was that you have no thought of 'I will do this technique, or that technique' - you yield in the sense that you do not resist the other, but your action is dictated by them. Hence you abandon an ego, or a will/desire - which is where philosophy really enters into the picture - for me, anyway.
This is based on something I read from Gozo Shioda, and how I understand it, anyway (as a 5th kyu!).

I certainly don't see yielding as a weak thing - for instance, in gyaku-hanmi tenkan, I see that (presuming uke pushes/goes towards you) as an example of somebody holding you, and in response, the philosophy is kind of 'Alright: what dose this person want to do? I'll help them' - hence you yield to their desire, and then lead them. I guess if you enter immediately, like you say, then it's yielding in a kind of 'expand/contract' type thing: your will is determined by theirs...or something.

All of this might be absolute bullshit: i'm a 5th kyu, after all, with a philosophy degree, and perhaps an over-active imagination or what have you...

Kevin Leavitt
07-08-2010, 02:49 PM
Thanks for the clarification Graham. It is indeed hard to discuss this and deal with the different semantics that occur in trying to commuicate digitally without visual or kinesthetic examples to help explain things!

I think to a degree, yes, "no mind" or "no emotion" is the right mindset. That is, you don't become invested in a particular response too, too early, or develop a solution that may ignore other inputs to the situation.

I think as we gain experience we expand our ability to read inputs and situations, verbally, auditory, and kinesthetically.

The study of Aikido is heavily based on the concept of ma ai.

We can learn to take action at the appropriate time with an appropriate response. I think that is what we are striving for.

I just caution not to take that to mean that you must "wait" for the physical attack to occur before you can respond.

I see this alot, and of course, with beginners it happens as most do not have the experience to be able to "enter" or take action without a physical input from uke or an opponent.

I think ultimately if we are successful, there is no need to even go to the physical means of resolution as uke/attacker sees an attack as futile.

Unfortunately, in my experiences, there are alot of people in the world, that fail to recognize this and will attack anyway....AND they may be willing to sacrifice themselves for a 2nd or 3rd order effect for the "greater good".

That rationale on a personal level is hard for most of us to comprehend as we are "sane" individuals that would not take to such levels of risk or sacrifice!

I think dealing with such circumstances, it requires us to take a different approach to dealing with them, one that is completely ethical, yet also does not require us to "give" or expose ourselves to additional risk or danger.

To me this is a very complex topic that is not so black and white and one that takes a great deal of introspect, thought and just plain experiences to understand...AND in the end we still may not get it right!

Kevin Leavitt
07-08-2010, 02:54 PM
I guess the way I meant it, was that you have no thought of 'I will do this technique, or that technique' - you yield in the sense that you do not resist the other, but your action is dictated by them. Hence you abandon an ego, or a will/desire - which is where philosophy really enters into the picture - for me, anyway.
This is based on something I read from Gozo Shioda, and how I understand it, anyway (as a 5th kyu!).

I certainly don't see yielding as a weak thing - for instance, in gyaku-hanmi tenkan, I see that (presuming uke pushes/goes towards you) as an example of somebody holding you, and in response, the philosophy is kind of 'Alright: what dose this person want to do? I'll help them' - hence you yield to their desire, and then lead them. I guess if you enter immediately, like you say, then it's yielding in a kind of 'expand/contract' type thing: your will is determined by theirs...or something.

All of this might be absolute bullshit: i'm a 5th kyu, after all, with a philosophy degree, and perhaps an over-active imagination or what have you...

I don't think it is bulshit at all. It may just be a little too literal in approach. Being a 5th Kyu though, certainly you are thinking about things on the right level though.

Michael Varin
07-09-2010, 03:37 AM
This thread raises some interesting questions.

he said "If you want to kill someone, then do this." which was a mock hit to the thorax.

Why would anyone think hitting someone in the thorax would kill them? I thought those Krav Maga guys were trained to be more precise than that.

In the movie "History of Violence" …

Why would anyone ever use A History of Violence to illustrate any point other than how bad a movie can be?

On a more serious note:

I definitely don't WANT to kill anyone that doesn't need killing. However, some people NEED to be killed as they are very bad, and I really WANT to do that if they NEED it.

Who decides which people need to be killed? What is it that makes them very bad? What makes you want to kill them?

Is this a pre-existing, identifiable need to be exterminated thing? Or more of an at the moment their badness manifests sort of thing?

Keith Larman
07-09-2010, 07:56 AM
Who decides which people need to be killed? What is it that makes them very bad? What makes you want to kill them?

Is this a pre-existing, identifiable need to be exterminated thing? Or more of an at the moment their badness manifests sort of thing?

You're not seriously asking that, are you?

Okay.

In the larger scheme of things society does this through the justice system. That's what laws, courts, police, etc. are for in that larger context. Each society has its own answer to the extent it will go in this area. And it is of considerable debate.

In the context of war it is generally fairly straightforward -- the soldiers of the other side. It can get very messy, of course, but that is a discussion for a different forum.

In the context of someone breaking into my house and actively approaching my family armed with a large kitchen knife, well, the person who decides this issue would be, well, me in my hypothetical. I would be deciding to protect myself, my family, or in other scenarios someone else for that matter from a person actively trying to do harm. Certainly not an easy decision to make and I've never had to make it. And I don't know how I'd act under that kind of stress. However, I do train with some awareness that should something like that happen I hope to be able to act decisively. And likely then fall apart later like a little schoolgirl.

Did you have some other scenario in mind? Or is this conversation going to change from the OP's original question to the larger question of "who decides" as some sort of philosophical issue? Frankly I wasn't considering any scenario other than the last one -- the horrible situation where there is a life threatening event occurring. And I have a hard time believing that most people here were talking about anything beyond that a la a Dexter sociopath/psychopath or vigilante justice.

t_jordan22
07-09-2010, 09:39 AM
you fail to look at the bigger picture. For some yes it is about beating eachother up for girls and cash but there are some MMA fighters who do it, to test there skills. When you train in a dicipline your whole life eventually many of them want to see how well they could do against an opponent. Lyoto Machida for instance is a true martial artist who has trained his whole life. All he wants is to be the champion and prove he has pushed himself to be the best he can be. One thing that should be promoted which isint is competition in aikido. I have done my homework and I know what Aikido is about. I understand the reason there is no competition, but competition helps you to promote your skills. Aslong and you dont get too competitive and keep your heart pure, why not square off against someone. MMA fighters are some of the most respectful atheletes on the planet. Look at the NHL hockey players, These players have absolutely no dicipline. Now... I am a big hockey fan as I am Canadian, but I will not stop defending MMA untill hockey is adressed. MMA fighters come into the octagon trained and prepared to fight... it is what they came to do. NHL players come to the ice to play hockey and somewhere imbetween they decide they have to punch everyone in the face drop there gloves and start a fight. Now who is more professional and controlled. An MMA fighter who listens to the Ref and does what he was trained to do.. or a hockey player who scores some goals then decides to grab another player for no reason and start punching him in the face. Second off these players are on ice, wearing blades, improper equiptment, with otherpeople on the ice, and sticks. An MMA fight is in a controlled octagon, that is made for fighting. We do not hold an aikido class on ice.

In conclusion... two main points... like you said the MMA fighters choose to enter the octagon to prove themselves and test themselves to see how good they really are, which is what O sensei promoted. "Train your heart out everyday". MMA fighters just strive to be the best, some for money some for girls, but some for enlightenment and to push themselves forward in their careers and life. Second I will not allow anyone to call it a blood sport untill you look at the facts. More people have been injuried and even died while participating in pro boxing, hockey and football. MMA is quite controlled and safe, and as you may be unaware many people involved in MMA are submission specialists in which they do not even defeat the opponent by striking, he taps out. The fact of the matter is MMA is a great proving ground for martial artists. If you dont like it stick to aikido. Personally I do MMA triaing in brazillian jujitsu and kickboxing, and keep aikido as my meditation discipline to help me relax and calm myself. They are to different things. Look at steven seagal he is an aikido master and is fairly brutal in his movies. Make Aikido whatever you want. If you dont like MMA dont watch, if you dont liek the way that student was speaking ignore him or counsell him. But fighting and violence is also our biology. Also remember the Samurai were killers, but the killed for what you belive in. So do whatever you belive is right, but dont tell others how to live there lives. This kid may hurt someone one day and he will get a wakeup call. All you can do is practice aikido for peace and teach that to others, people will do what people do, follow your own heart, and you will surely walk the path O'sensei intended.

Kevin Leavitt
07-09-2010, 10:46 AM
Michael Varin wrote:

Who decides which people need to be killed? What is it that makes them very bad? What makes you want to kill them?

Is this a pre-existing, identifiable need to be exterminated thing? Or more of an at the moment their badness manifests sort of thing?

What Keith said.

AND to add....

I think each individual needs to make up his own mind about what criteria the deem is the "trigger point". I think it is a greatly personal thing and it may even transcend societies norms/values/laws in reality.

However, you may also pay the price if the greater society feels that you are wrong in your actions.

This is why it is important to "know yourself, and know your enemy".

On the other hand, society and governments have also allowed for criteria in which it is acceptable to kill or harm.

I think it is also necessary to understand that criteria and how you personally feel about it, mentally, ethically, and spiritually as well.

Was it morally right to execute Saddam Hussein? How about the Dealth Penalty on civil prisoners in the U.S in some states?

Self defense, law of armed conflict, geneva conventions?

Alot of people probably never think about it, ignore it, or are glad that they don't need to make the decisions, or pray that they may never have to!

Some people, who also do not really necessarily find joy in having to face making these decisions, do so because they feel that they need to stand up for a greater cause than themselves or the people they most kill. They are willing to live with the risk, sacrifice, and kharma that comes along with that for what they consider to be a "right" thing to do.

Again, I think it is a personal decision that must be made.

The tragic thing is when we avoid dealing with it, then we are faced to make a decision, and then regret the action that we took.

jonreading
07-09-2010, 11:20 AM
I think the issue is very simple for...I want to control my body and my life. I feel aggitated when there exists a condition that causes a stimulus to which I must respond. I feel fear when that stimulus jeopardizes my body. I feel pain when that stimulus damages my body. I feel panic when I cannot protectively respond to that stimulus. Now expand this mentatility to my larger social interaction: my family, my property, my neighborhood, my city, and my country. These are my spheres of interaction. The risk of losing control of a sphere increases as it move farther from my person. I am motivated to learn how better to control my spheres of interaction, and minimize risk to those spheres. Aikido is about empowerment to exercise better control and judgement over your spheres.

Killing is simply one of many risks I assume in my social spheres. It is a philosophical hot topic, so we fixate on it for lofty discussion. Want to reduce the risk of every having to decide to kill someone? Move to middle-of-nowhere Montana. The chances you'll ever be involved in a decision to take another's life will be minimal to that of living in NY City.

I think some of the false logic we hear about in this type of decision is [because of] the righteous indignation that someone would want to hurt us and the fact that largely we could not protect ourselves from someone who wanted to hurts us. The simple fact is most of us cannot adequately protect ourselves in response to a random act of violence. So we marginalize randomness because we are not prepared to respond to randomness. We seek meaning and purpose and murder often carries neither. We even have different words for the act to connotate meaning: killing is justifiable, murder is not.

I think when we say, that murder is bad we are really saying "do not attempt to kill me because I would not be able to defend myself." What if instead we said, "trying to harm me will result in your personal injury." Murder is an issue in society because most citizens cannot defend themselves from attack. Advocate non-violence, but practice self-protection. I think you'll find that eventually the two twine together...

Kevin Leavitt
07-09-2010, 12:54 PM
Nice post Jon. I agree.

mathewjgano
07-09-2010, 04:53 PM
I think when we say, that murder is bad we are really saying "do not attempt to kill me because I would not be able to defend myself." What if instead we said, "trying to harm me will result in your personal injury." Murder is an issue in society because most citizens cannot defend themselves from attack. Advocate non-violence, but practice self-protection. I think you'll find that eventually the two twine together...

I agree! Nice post, Jon! That's very similar to how I look at it. My morality begins with the idea of personal autonomy. Attacking me violates my personal rights which invites some kind of "fair" response. What fair is varies on any number of factors, for example, attacking me with my child around is cause for a more severe response as I am far less willing to allow for accidents to involve him. So it's easy for a lot of folks to make sweeping assertions I think, but really, whatever the appropriate response might be is dictated differently from situation to situation.
Another way to frame some of this might be in a thought I had studying folks like Ghandi, who I admire perhaps as much as anyone I can think of: sacrifice is a great way to get something accomplished, but you still have to stick around a while to make sure something meaningful comes from it. Simply giving yourself up for an idea, no matter how noble, can still leave a vaccume of influence. Nature abhoring a vaccume as it does will fill it with whatever is closest, not with whatever is nicest or best.

Michael Varin
07-09-2010, 10:43 PM
You're not seriously asking that, are you?
I honestly don't know where you're coming from asking that.

As evidenced by your response it is not such a cut and dried issue, and is a question worth considering.

I assumed that most people, and probably Kevin when he made the statement, were imagining a self-defense/defense of others scenario like the last that you described.

But it remains that the statement was a general one, and I wanted clarification. I don't think all of my questions were answered, by the way.

Kevin Leavitt
07-11-2010, 09:13 AM
I think for most people, the issue certainly surrounds self defense.

However, as a mental or philosophical exercise. I don't believe that we should constrain our thinking to what is normally considered "self defense" in the strictest sense of the concept.

Obviously when we get into big issues such as war, we are dealing with a much more complex system..one that deals alot with second and third order effects.

Even then for most, it comes down to a personal harm scenario, though and the threat must be immediate and killing does something to stop further harm in an acute situation.

good discussion.

Keith Larman
07-11-2010, 03:15 PM
I honestly don't know where you're coming from asking that.

Sorry, been away from the computer a few days.

Reading back I think it comes from having a philosophy degree... ;) Seriously, the OP was talking about a rather constrained example. And I *thought* we were talking about a particular context. But if we're to "throw the doors open" to a vastly wider discussion about killing, I'm going to bow out of the conversation. We train in these arts for a hugely varied set of reasons and few share exactly the same balance of motivations. If we are talking about learning how a particular move within an art being studied is to kill, fine, that's part of the art, part of the domain which we are studying. If we couch it in terms of needing to learn these things for reasons such as self-defense and the like, well again I see a valuable conversation on a board such as this. Heck, I can even see expanding the conversation into discussions of wartime, although I think that's starting to stray from the original point.

But if we're going to get into the larger philosophical discussion of murder, justice, individual rights vs. social authority, well, that's something way beyond the scope of this particular forum IMHO.

Having degrees in philosophy (and religious studies and Political science) I've got zero problem with *having* that discussion. But it's a *really* big can of worms. And what we had been talking about, I think, is a really tiny can of worms in comparison. And when we start opening the big cans, well, that's my cue to exit stage left.

So I hope that gives context to my comment. It's not that I think those questions have been answered, it's just that the conversation I thought we were having is a lot narrower than the bigger ones.

But then again it might just be me reading more into it or misreading it. Lord knows that happens a lot.

Best.

jonreading
07-12-2010, 11:54 AM
Even then for most, it comes down to a personal harm scenario, though and the threat must be immediate and killing does something to stop further harm in an acute situation.

Absolutely. I think this is also the focus Keith is trying to maintain. The larger context of how society determines whether killing is socially acceptable is a larger scope of discussion. We need to accept the fact that there are situational responses where killing is a valid response and socially acceptable.

We also need to personally prepare to committ to necessary action and accept personal responsibility for that action. I think another false statement we see in this discussion lies in the fact that most people don't want the personal responsibility of the decision to end another's life. We'd rather pass the buck and that's hard to do because the horror of killing is not just who is to blame...

As an example, I [humorously] argue that the best way to reduce meat consumption in the US is to require consumers to either slaughter their own meat, or participate in the the slaughter process. This is the underlying theme behind many slaughterhouse documentaries - and it is successful. People don't want to think about walking onto a farm and picking out a sheep rubbing on their leg...

Likewise, the general population does not possess the personal committment to carry out and accept responsibility for that kind of action. In fact (I can't say it enough), The Gift of Fear points out that most people submit to social pressure and rely upon the notion that violence is socially acceptable as their shield of protection. When an individual chooses to ignore that social contraint these people are left without defense.

We have a reponsibility to protect ourselves, and a responsibility to uphold the social norms of society. We need to rely on more than just our hope everyone also upholds the social norms. I tell my self-defense people..."you can either apologize to a stranger for being rude, or that stranger can apologize to your family at the sentencing."

graham christian
10-25-2010, 08:44 PM
Hi. I find when I look spiritually that want and need are both of the ego and thus selfish whereas desire is of the spirit as is require. For me Aikido is a spiritual discipline and true spirit cannot harm so the discipline is to see through the ego of the opponent to their true spirit and true nature and via the vehicle of Aikido take them on a journey and show them a better way. G.

Mark Tyner
10-27-2010, 06:43 PM
I think the issue is very simple for...I want to control my body and my life. I feel aggitated when there exists a condition that causes a stimulus to which I must respond. I feel fear when that stimulus jeopardizes my body. I feel pain when that stimulus damages my body. I feel panic when I cannot protectively respond to that stimulus. Now expand this mentatility to my larger social interaction: my family, my property, my neighborhood, my city, and my country. These are my spheres of interaction. The risk of losing control of a sphere increases as it move farther from my person. I am motivated to learn how better to control my spheres of interaction, and minimize risk to those spheres. Aikido is about empowerment to exercise better control and judgement over your spheres.

Killing is simply one of many risks I assume in my social spheres. It is a philosophical hot topic, so we fixate on it for lofty discussion. Want to reduce the risk of every having to decide to kill someone? Move to middle-of-nowhere Montana. The chances you'll ever be involved in a decision to take another's life will be minimal to that of living in NY City.

I think some of the false logic we hear about in this type of decision is [because of] the righteous indignation that someone would want to hurt us and the fact that largely we could not protect ourselves from someone who wanted to hurts us. The simple fact is most of us cannot adequately protect ourselves in response to a random act of violence. So we marginalize randomness because we are not prepared to respond to randomness. We seek meaning and purpose and murder often carries neither. We even have different words for the act to connotate meaning: killing is justifiable, murder is not.

I think when we say, that murder is bad we are really saying "do not attempt to kill me because I would not be able to defend myself." What if instead we said, "trying to harm me will result in your personal injury." Murder is an issue in society because most citizens cannot defend themselves from attack. Advocate non-violence, but practice self-protection. I think you'll find that eventually the two twine together...

Thank you for these words Jon, I agree with you completely.

graham christian
10-28-2010, 10:33 AM
Aikido is a path to the discipline of HARMONY. There is no HARM in HARMONY.

Whereas one might see an opponent a true master only sees a lost friend. No matter what state that person is in he is asking to be returned to harmony, to be restored.

There is no AGAINST in true Aikido there is only the cultivation of the spirit of loving protection and the spirit of harmlessness.

Do not confuse this with sympathy.

PEACE! G.

Keith Larman
10-28-2010, 11:54 AM
Aikido is a path to the discipline of HARMONY. There is no HARM in HARMONY.

Sure there is. First four letters, right there... See? :)

Actually O-Sensei never used the word "harmony". He used a lot of really esoteric Japanese words and often used them in curious ways. "Harmony" *is* one common way to translate "ai" but it is incomplete and the word "harmony" carries a lot of connotations that he might or might not have agreed with in his usage of the term.

Sounds nicely philosophical, however.

Alas, Japanese is not my forte. So I'll bow out now.

Marc Abrams
10-28-2010, 12:43 PM
Sure there is. First four letters, right there... See? :)

Actually O-Sensei never used the word "harmony". He used a lot of really esoteric Japanese words and often used them in curious ways. "Harmony" *is* one common way to translate "ai" but it is incomplete and the word "harmony" carries a lot of connotations that he might or might not have agreed with in his usage of the term.

Sounds nicely philosophical, however.

Alas, Japanese is not my forte. So I'll bow out now.

I have to support Keith on this one. In Aikido, there is harm in harmony. If you execute an Aikido technique on an attacker who does not know a thing about ukemi on a hard surface and harm does result. When injuries happen in an Aikido class, that is another example of harm coming as a direct result of Aikido.

I frankly would restate things that if there is not the potential for harm in the harmony (ai) then there is no Aikido.

Marc Abrams

graham christian
10-28-2010, 01:36 PM
I have to support Keith on this one. In Aikido, there is harm in harmony. If you execute an Aikido technique on an attacker who does not know a thing about ukemi on a hard surface and harm does result. When injuries happen in an Aikido class, that is another example of harm coming as a direct result of Aikido.

I frankly would restate things that if there is not the potential for harm in the harmony (ai) then there is no Aikido.

Marc Abrams

Thank you keith and Marc. let me put it this way:
If you execute an AIKIDO technique on a bed of nails and the result is harmful then you were not in harmony and thus it wasn't true AIKIDO.

The responsibility is to look back at self to see the outness and thus learn rather than to justify the result. That is the way of Ego not Spirit.

Technique is seen as important and yet technique is not a BASIC, it is not a PRINCIPLE, it is not a truth. When a person comes to see and practice and KNOW the principles in AIKIDO he or she will find there is no harm and there is no opponent.

For example; The truth of ma-ai. Seen as keeping space or keeping distance and studied in this way a person can learn the and understand the concept of entering and angles and motion etc until he or she starts realizing the truth of it which is spiritual. You see spiritually MA-AI is also keeping distance but that does not mean keeping away from it actually means staying with.

When you are sitting listening to someone with a problem you could react and and tell them blah blah blah in an arrogant manner
and call that Aikido. You could also sympathise with them and call that Aikido. To me nether are Aikido as the first was an attack, an interference, a breaking of Ma-ai and the second was sympathy the result of which is the sympathiser BECOMING the effect and thus losing ma-ai.

Luckily there is a third way which no doubt you have done and that is you just BE WITH the person and listen, you remain with until they have gotten through their angst and come through the other side thankful relieved and feeling better. Now that is just one example of the power of a principle in action resulting in harmony and that is the message to learn in Aikido.

Thank you. G.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-28-2010, 01:54 PM
Graham, I'm wondering if the "Golden Center Aikido" in your profile is this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_6jZgzQJ74

Is it or is only a coincidence?

Marc Abrams
10-28-2010, 02:22 PM
Thank you keith and Marc. let me put it this way:
If you execute an AIKIDO technique on a bed of nails and the result is harmful then you were not in harmony and thus it wasn't true AIKIDO.

The responsibility is to look back at self to see the outness and thus learn rather than to justify the result. That is the way of Ego not Spirit.

Technique is seen as important and yet technique is not a BASIC, it is not a PRINCIPLE, it is not a truth. When a person comes to see and practice and KNOW the principles in AIKIDO he or she will find there is no harm and there is no opponent.

For example; The truth of ma-ai. Seen as keeping space or keeping distance and studied in this way a person can learn the and understand the concept of entering and angles and motion etc until he or she starts realizing the truth of it which is spiritual. You see spiritually MA-AI is also keeping distance but that does not mean keeping away from it actually means staying with.

When you are sitting listening to someone with a problem you could react and and tell them blah blah blah in an arrogant manner
and call that Aikido. You could also sympathise with them and call that Aikido. To me nether are Aikido as the first was an attack, an interference, a breaking of Ma-ai and the second was sympathy the result of which is the sympathiser BECOMING the effect and thus losing ma-ai.

Luckily there is a third way which no doubt you have done and that is you just BE WITH the person and listen, you remain with until they have gotten through their angst and come through the other side thankful relieved and feeling better. Now that is just one example of the power of a principle in action resulting in harmony and that is the message to learn in Aikido.

Thank you. G.

Graham:

What flavor of Kool-aid do you have to drink to begin to live in such an ideal, philosophical world? When O'Sensei's ukes got hurt, was O'Sensei not practicing true Aikido?

It is awfully nice to wax poetically about what true Aikido is. Did O'Sensei whisper these sweet nothings in your ear? I'll tell you what, why don't we arrange a little demonstration. I will find a deranged person and provide them with a nice, sharp dagger. I will tell this person that you are responsible for that person's misery and that by killing you, he can rid himself of his demons. This person will then run at you, genuinely trying to kill you. I would like to see how your true Aikido results in no harm.

Your wonderful words belong in the sweet, idyllic space of philosophical wonderment. My teacher was a direct student of O'Sensei. From many of his accounts, O'Sensei's execution of technique had more than enough healthy supply of harm within "Ai." For your sake, I hope that the real world does not violently collide with your philosophical fantasies about what you believe "true Aikido" to be.

Marc Abrams

graham christian
10-28-2010, 03:38 PM
Graham, I'm wondering if the "Golden Center Aikido" in your profile is this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_6jZgzQJ74

Is it or is only a coincidence?

Hi demetrio, yes that is one of my clips, they all come under the name humblegee.

jonreading
10-29-2010, 11:23 AM
Luckily there is a third way which no doubt you have done and that is you just BE WITH the person and listen, you remain with until they have gotten through their angst and come through the other side thankful relieved and feeling better.
I heard a joke open with "my parents always called be lazy because I never did anything with my life. Turns out I was Buddhist."

In my experience aikido is about two things: 1. taking out your own trash; 2. allowing your partner to take out her trash.

Somewhere along the line, it became popular in aikido to think that your actions control another's action. Or worse, that you should tailor your action to another's action.
Technique is seen as important and yet technique is not a BASIC, it is not a PRINCIPLE, it is not a truth. When a person comes to see and practice and KNOW the principles in AIKIDO he or she will find there is no harm and there is no opponent.

In this sense, I have an opponent as long as my opponent thinks she is my opponent. I agree with what Marc is saying - you do not control another human being, you can only control yourself. The aikido I train is not contingent upon the enlightenment or charity of my partner.

graham christian
10-29-2010, 12:28 PM
I heard a joke open with "my parents always called be lazy because I never did anything with my life. Turns out I was Buddhist."

In my experience aikido is about two things: 1. taking out your own trash; 2. allowing your partner to take out her trash.

Somewhere along the line, it became popular in aikido to think that your actions control another's action. Or worse, that you should tailor your action to another's action.

In this sense, I have an opponent as long as my opponent thinks she is my opponent. I agree with what Marc is saying - you do not control another human being, you can only control yourself. The aikido I train is not contingent upon the enlightenment or charity of my partner.

Such is the way of your Aikido my friend. Enjoy!

Brian Gillaspie
10-29-2010, 04:36 PM
The question is: Why would anyone WANT to hurt or kill another person?

I am not going to try to persuade anyone about whether or not it is ok to hurt or kill someone. Based on the oringially posted question I can say that I do not WANT to hurt or killl another person. However, I WOULD hurt or kill another person if necessary.

DonMagee
11-01-2010, 08:28 AM
If that's your thrust, then why not wrestling?...remember that sport? It doesn't require drawing blood, does it? Your defense is nothing more than a fig leaf on your testosterone. You're trying to rationalize brutality. We should seek to be better than that. Brutality is, by my view, even lower than the animal kingdom. They don't kill for pleasure; they kill for necessity.

Cat's kill for sport. I have a lot of cats, I can tell you they kill things without any intent of eating. It dies and they walk away saddened that their toy is dead.

Dolphins kill for sport. They have been seen killing turtles as a pod playing a game. It is believed they do this out of sexual frustration.

Coyotes have also been known to kill for sport. Going though a herd of animals killing them all but taking none.

Foxes kill for sport, they will frequently only take the heads of their pray and leave the bodies to rot.

I've seen dogs kill for sport. Chasing down rabbits and flinging them in the air over and over. Frustrated when they die and off hunting for a new toy.

Even apes and monkeys are known to kill for sport.

Humans are just animals, however, some of us aspire to be better than animals. No matter what though we are at our core animals. The goal of all animals is to live and reproduce. Anyone trying to take that away from me will be met with animalistic force.

Martial arts to me are not about that. MMA/BJJ/Judo/Boxing to me is not about that. While I used to train in martial arts for defense. I now train as a powerful form of self insight. To see what I can overcome, what I can accomplish, and what I can create. This is the core of the fight to me. The creation of order from chaos. I do not seek to hurt my opponent in a sparing match, that is simply a side effect of our pursuit of order from chaos.

I've learned far more about spirituality, myself, and wisdom by being punched in the face in a sparing match then I have ever learned from any sensei.

Randall Lim
11-03-2010, 02:11 AM
One thing that should be promoted which isnt is competition in aikido. I have done my homework and I know what Aikido is about. I understand the reason there is no competition, but competition helps you to promote your skills. Aslong and you dont get too competitive and keep your heart pure, why not square off against someone.

This is exactly what the Judo world is facing. Judo competitions have made Judo into merely a sport with almost no more "Ju" evident in it at all. "Ju" means "soft", "gentle", "yield", etc.

Judo trainings have narrowed down to only what really matters in competition. Competition rules have become Judo's guiding principles. Competition rules are put in place for safety reasons. However, the Essence of Judo is totally lost. Bad martial habits are accepted & ignored in competitions as long as the match can be won. The traditional Judoka sees no "Ju" in any of these.

Even in kata training, no "Ju" is experienced either.

There is a current out-cry from traditional Judokas for Judo to move away from too much emphasis on competitions.

Let us, as Aikidokas, learn from our Judo counterparts, to stay away from anything that might rob us of the true essence of the path we all love so much, Aikido.

Randall Lim
11-03-2010, 07:29 AM
I've had something on my mind lately that disturbs me and I wanted a forum on this subject. The question is: Why would anyone WANT to hurt or kill another person? I should explain......

Something happened yesterday that made me take pause. There was a new student in our Aikido class who mostly takes Krav Maga at the same dojo. While we were paired up, we practiced kotegaeshi, and when his turn came up, he did the move, but added a rather rough end pin where he lifted me back up with a painful arm bend, which was not how we were supposed to execute. That didn't bother me much, but while he had me he said "If you want to kill someone, then do this." which was a mock hit to the thorax.

This left an impression on me all day. Now, what has been on my mind is a deep reflection on two words. Though Webster's Dictionary might not concur, I've always understood a clear distinction between "WANT" and "NEED". To me, needing to kill or harm is something necessary to preserve one's life, the life of loved ones, or property in the face of an immediate threat that cannot be quelled by reason. In times of war, needing to kill the enemy is understood. On the other side, wanting to do harm or kill another person seems to me sinister, or at least lacking in any morality that respects human life.

So then I turn my mind towards MMA and UFC fighting. I know there are members here who take part in this, so what benefit does it serve humanity to make one's living or recreation by beating the crap out of another human being? I mean, dog fighting is illegal, so what's the difference, other than it not being to the death? You CHOOSE to be there; no one is forcing you to enter the ring. Over the past fifteen years, I've watched as the blood sport has gained popularity and followers, and I can't help but feel disturbed that this is going to be the norm, where showing how brutal one can be is a demarcation of one's self worth in society.

I knew this kid many years ago who got into cage fighting. We asked him why he risked his life like that and he said "The women they give you are fine!" Really? Is that what it takes to earn the physical affections of beautiful women? Great........so one is willing to throw their humanity away for a piece of ass? Stop the car, I'm getting out here!

I live in Los Angeles. I know it is rough, and there are times when defending myself is a need. I train in Aikido not WANTING to do harm, but do so to prepare for the nut job that may drift my way in the future. Whatever the situation, I train with the goal to do as little harm to another human being in order to subdue him.

If that really is the point, then the thirteenth commandment should be changed from "Thou shalt not kill" to "Thou shalt not WANT to kill", that way more people could obey it.

Any other thoughts or perspectives would be greatly appreciated.

Aikido's philosophy, or any other true Budo, is to protect your enemy or leave him unharmed even while defending from his attacks.

This is of a very high calling, thus extremely difficult to achieve unless one has reached spiritual enlightenment.

According to the book "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" by A. Westbrook & O. Ratti, on page 33 under the section entitled "The Ethics of Defence in Combat", it states that there are four levels of Ethics of defence in combat:

The lowest level of Ethics is Level 1:
Level 1: Unprovoked Tori initiates attack & kills innocent Uke.

Level 2: Unprovoked Tori provokes innocent Uke who initiates attack. Tori defends & seriously injures Uke.

Level 3: Innocent Tori receives unprovoked Uke's initiated attack.
Tori defends & seriously injures Uke.

Level 4: Innocent Tori receives unprovoked Uke's initiated attack.
Tori defends but does NOT injure Uke (through controlled technique).

"Not injure Uke" means ensuring that any pain felt by Uke only lasts for as long as the pressure remains. No more pain should be felt by Uke once the pressure is removed.

Level 4 is the highest.

Marc Abrams
11-03-2010, 09:44 AM
Aikido's philosophy, or any other true Budo, is to protect your enemy or leave him unharmed even while defending from his attacks.

This is of a very high calling, thus extremely difficult to achieve unless one has reached spiritual enlightenment.

According to the book "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" by A. Westbrook & O. Ratti, on page 33 under the section entitled "The Ethics of Defence in Combat", it states that there are four levels of Ethics of defence in combat:

The lowest level of Ethics is Level 1:
Level 1: Unprovoked Tori initiates attack & kills innocent Uke.

Level 2: Unprovoked Tori provokes innocent Uke who initiates attack. Tori defends & seriously injures Uke.

Level 3: Innocent Tori receives unprovoked Uke's initiated attack.
Tori defends & seriously injures Uke.

Level 4: Innocent Tori receives unprovoked Uke's initiated attack.
Tori defends but does NOT injure Uke (through controlled technique).

"Not injure Uke" means ensuring that any pain felt by Uke only lasts for as long as the pressure remains. No more pain should be felt by Uke once the pressure is removed.

Level 4 is the highest.

Randall:

There is major difference between reality and philosophy. Spiritual enlightenment is useless in absence on peerless martial abilities.

Marc Abrams

George S. Ledyard
11-03-2010, 10:43 AM
Your counter is very weak. Yes...If I truly embrace the teachings of Aikido, I would try to subdue a madman with a gun without inflicting overkill. I've seen Aikido techniques that disable an armed gunman that turn the tables on him without extreme measures.

I am paraphrasing Alan Watts, but this whole universe depends on each and every individual. It depends on every gnat, and every vibration of every gnat's wings. If one can cherish even the smallest of creatures, then isn't it also important to respect human life to one's own capability?

Michael,
I think this fundamentally a flawed and unrealistic interpretation of O-Sensei's message and intention.

Yes, Aikido techniques can be used to prevail without serious injury over an attacker if ones skills exceed, by a fair amount I think, the skills of that attacker.

But it is a myth without foundation that this is what happens i Aikido, as a martial art. A martial art, as opposed to some system of self defense, is about an encounter with an opponent who is trained. At least that was always the assumption when the term "martial arts" was coined.

O-Sensei made a couple of statements on this subject. One was that, if you wrote the character for life and the character for death on two sides of a sheet of paper, that was how much separated the outcome in a real martial encounter. In other words, one or the other combatants is dead.

The other statement is along the same lines... He said that the reason that there is no competition in Aikido is because there is no way to do it safely. If there is real contention, there will be injury. He was opposed to sportification, meaning the introduction of rules to allow competition, because he felt that Aikido was a practice that was about being in accord with the natural forces and environment around one, in which there is no real separation between you and anything else, including the attacker. Artificial "rules" have nothing to do with that.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-03-2010, 10:51 AM
He said that the reason that there is no competition in Aikido is because there is no way to do it safely.
Did he?

MM
11-03-2010, 11:13 AM
Did he?

We're paraphrasing here and I'm going by what I remember of my research, but, yes, George is correct. Most people just remember Ueshiba saying that there is no competition because there should be no opponent or that competition was not a good spiritual goal.

Off topic a bit, but there are different definitions for "competition". Ueshiba mostly talked about sport-type competition. But he wasn't referring to the type of "competition" that occurs between students trying to be better than each other, or the competition of being tested (for example, push tests).

Demetrio Cereijo
11-03-2010, 11:24 AM
It seems I should rephrase my question:

Did Ueshiba said "there is no competition in Aikido because there is no way to do it safely"

If so, could you provide the citation (via PM if you feel we shouldn't hijack this thread with pointless historical issues)?. Thanks in advance.

jonreading
11-03-2010, 11:27 AM
I said this before, but I think we are giving ourselves a LOT of credit for actually being able to defend ourselves from attack, let alone protect our attackers.

Unless by using subdue in "subdue a madman with a gun without inflicting overkill" you mean tense up, maybe pee yourself, and give the man your wallet and hope he doesn't get nervous and squeeze the trigger. If that's the case, I think many of us are all about subduing madmen...

Randall Lim
11-04-2010, 01:05 AM
Hi. I find when I look spiritually that want and need are both of the ego and thus selfish whereas desire is of the spirit as is require. For me Aikido is a spiritual discipline and true spirit cannot harm so the discipline is to see through the ego of the opponent to their true spirit and true nature and via the vehicle of Aikido take them on a journey and show them a better way. G.

Spot on! Bingo!! :p

Randall Lim
11-04-2010, 01:15 AM
Sure there is. First four letters, right there... See? :)

Actually O-Sensei never used the word "harmony". He used a lot of really esoteric Japanese words and often used them in curious ways. "Harmony" *is* one common way to translate "ai" but it is incomplete and the word "harmony" carries a lot of connotations that he might or might not have agreed with in his usage of the term.

Sounds nicely philosophical, however.

Alas, Japanese is not my forte. So I'll bow out now.

:ai: in Japanese or Chinese means "to blend", "to combine", "to mix". :ai: in Japanese has the same pronunciation as "Love" in Japanese.

Chris Evans
11-04-2010, 11:33 AM
use "violence" only to stop the violence, the felony-in-progress.
if in stopping that mind initiating the 'evil" violence also happens to die then at least we will know that felon, who had already proven willingness to harm an innocent, can no longer threaten another precious spirit. Dead proven bad people can longer do bad and that would be a very nice unintended consequence.

Now, what that particular Krav man was saying sounds like plain murder, a felony.

George S. Ledyard
11-04-2010, 12:29 PM
It seems I should rephrase my question:

Did Ueshiba said "there is no competition in Aikido because there is no way to do it safely"

If so, could you provide the citation (via PM if you feel we shouldn't hijack this thread with pointless historical issues)?. Thanks in advance.

It's somewhere in Kissomaru Ueshiba's biography of his father... I looked briefly but couldn't locate it quickly. It was after a gentleman had challenged the Founder to a match. The fellow as a swordsman and attacked O-Sensei, not with the 90% intention that would have been the polite way to test the Founder's skill, but with full intention, a killing blow. O-Sensei entered and the guy smashed into O-Sensei so hard that he bounced off, smashed into the wall (dojos were very small), and was very seriously injured. It ended his martial arts career. So the Founder stopped accepting challenges because he felt bad about the possibility of injuring someone.

That didn't mean that he didn't allow people to try to throw him or some such, but a real challenge match, not after that episode. That was in the late 1920's if I remember correctly.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-04-2010, 02:45 PM
George, do you remember the first post Peter Goldsbury made in aikiweb (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=10426&postcount=15)?

graham christian
11-04-2010, 04:54 PM
Spot on! Bingo!! :p

Thank you Randall. In my Aikido I have a Golden rule which states: There is no against in Aikido.

This is hard for the ego to understand and yet so easy for spirit. Sometimes I conclude that there are indeed 2 forms of Aikido. One is called AIKIDO and one is called AIKEGO.

However back to the subject at hand and my statement that there is no harm in true aikido. Ego can only think in terms of competition, outsmarting, overpowering, harming.......etc.etc.etc. and cannot see or understand the power of love or active non-resistance or even humility and thus has to translate these things as weak or say the person who said it meant something else.

If you intend to harm another in a violent situation then chances are you have just made it more likely that you will be harmed and if both parties intend to harm each other then it is almost a certainty so it is a matter of taking responsibility for your true nature and and ending the situation without any intention to harm.

Now people may call this a philosophy but I call it a responsibility.

George gave an incident of O'Sensei earlier where he is said to have defeated a challenger who was trying to kill him. Well one of the responsibilities of true Aikido is that the intention to harmonize and act with the principles which extant in love and non-resistance ie: center, immovable mind, koshi etc, are so powerful that the attacker with harmful intent IS liable to damage theirself severely.

On realizing this I say O'Sensei decided as he did to do with competition for the sake of others.

Selflessness has true universal power whilst domination, force and harmful intention is the way of selfishness and ego.

Peace.

Anthony Loeppert
11-04-2010, 08:51 PM
George gave an incident of O'Sensei earlier where he is said to have defeated a challenger who was trying to kill him. Well one of the responsibilities of true Aikido is that the intention to harmonize and act with the principles which extant in love and non-resistance ie: center, immovable mind, koshi etc, are so powerful that the attacker with harmful intent IS liable to damage theirself severely.

On realizing this I say O'Sensei decided as he did to do with competition for the sake of others.


Lets say all of this is true... without debate (I don't know the history). Nevertheless, in agreeing to the 'facts' there is still a contradiction in your interpretation - IMO

Again, assuming factual correctness of the above quote, WTF does abstention from 'competition' (in the sense of any contest less than life/death) have to do with not f-ing up some one trying to destroy you?

You do not see in the story, the founder of aikido DID f-up someone trying to KILL him. This was in the context of being formally challenged (and accepting - if I understand the story correctly) not being ambushed in the street, jungle, space station, etc. So, he made a logical decision to not accept challenges, rather than to continue to do so. However, I don't make the logical jump from this, to 'never hurt anyone trying to hurt you otherwise you fail' nor do I see even a remotely persuasive reason to do so.

George S. Ledyard
11-04-2010, 09:42 PM
George, do you remember the first post Peter Goldsbury made in aikiweb (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=10426&postcount=15)?

Yes, I remember. When the thread came up, I was thinking of real competition rather than sport competition. However, my point stands. In order to have competition safely you have to have rules. Tomiki Aikido competition is in no way shape or form a "no holds barred" type of fight. It is quite formalized in order that it be done safely. It is my understanding from Saotome Sensei that this is what O-Sensei did not like about the idea of competition, the need to give it form in order to keep it safe. He didn't oppose competition because it wasn't "spiritual". At least that's not the way it was presented to me. I don't even know if this is written down anywhere. It was told to us by Saotome Sensei, but it may be recounted in one of his books somewhere.

Janet Rosen
11-04-2010, 11:28 PM
For me there are three different moral imperatives:
1. I have an obligation to not harm my training partners.
2. I have a responsibility to do my best not to hurt a client/patient/impaired person who may need to be restrained to prevent them from harming me, themself, or a third party.
3. I have a moral right to do whatever is needed to protect myself from someone who is trying to harm or kill me or my family.

From what I have read/understood of OSensei's teachings - and I do not read Japanese or have any formal study - he conceives of an attack as a disturbance in the harmony of the universe, and "aiki" as restoring the harmony. I don't see anything there about the initiator of the disturbance walking away whistling dixie...

Michael Hackett
11-05-2010, 12:30 AM
But, Janet I CAN see you tilting up the brim of your sun hat, dusting off your hands and humming "Another One Bites The Dust".

Janet Rosen
11-05-2010, 01:30 PM
But, Janet I CAN see you tilting up the brim of your sun hat, dusting off your hands and humming "Another One Bites The Dust".

"I'm just an old lady. I wouldn't hurt a fly.":D

Michael Hackett
11-05-2010, 04:12 PM
Ah, but you're a nurse and they really know how to hurt. Wasn't Lady McBeth an old lady too?

Janet Rosen
11-05-2010, 05:43 PM
Ah, but you're a nurse and they really know how to hurt. Wasn't Lady McBeth an old lady too?

Lady McBeth - along with Mme. Defarge: one of my favorite women in fiction (but NOT role models... I really am quite inoffensive)

Stormcrow34
11-05-2010, 06:29 PM
I could never quite understand the disavowal of competition in martial arts because it is "modified for safety" and therefore not a real martial art, but deemed instead as a sport. What martial art (regardless of the inclusion of competition) isn't modified for safety? Whether you are competing or not, aren't there are always rules?