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Unregistered
06-21-2002, 01:33 PM
What are your feelings on smoking marijuana and doing Aikido? At a seminar a student came up to a group of us and asked if anyone wanted to go smoke a joint. One student agreed. They asked the sensei if he wanted to join them and he left with them. They all came back for the next class which the sensei taught.

All thoughts, help and ideas appreciated.

Unregistered
06-21-2002, 01:44 PM
Irresponsible and dangerous to you and the other students. This is a martial art with a suprisingly high injury rate considerng how gently it is often practised.

Students should get high AFTER class. Senseis should set a better exapmle.

Katie Jennings
06-21-2002, 02:26 PM
I think that he certainly shouldnt have taught. Whether he wanted to get high or not is up to him

Lyle Bogin
06-21-2002, 03:12 PM
Being high or drunk on the mat is dangerous and inconsiderate (and very common...I had one instructor who used to walk up to his stoned students and say "practicing sleeping style?").

If you want to train high or drunk, do so on your own time.

Unregistered
06-21-2002, 04:04 PM
Hmm. I am maybe biased but I think practicing drunk is worse that practicing stoned - more loss of motor and impulse control, also drunks smell bad. What about people who reek of cigarette smoke on the mat? - or does that go in the same category as BO?

Some people function adequately stoned, some don't function at all. I once watched a dance audition performed by a stoned dancer chick and she did well and got the part.

Teaching either way is not exactly admirable. So? you want me to look up to you as an example? I dont think so!

SeiserL
06-21-2002, 04:45 PM
Practicing Aikido in any state of altered consciousness is very dangerous and extremely inconsiderate of those you train with! I would refuse to train with you.

Until again (if you're clean and sober),

Lynn

Unregistered
06-21-2002, 04:47 PM
What happened during the lesson afterwards? Did you watch the class? Was the lesson degraded, did the teacher lose coherency? Was the rest of the seminar a waste? Were people injured? Did the students ruin the lesson for people who were on the mat? Were people aware of what happened who didn't witness the conversation?

what about going to class sick, or injured? what about angry or emotionally distraught? what about taking cough syrup, or methadone?
what about HIV in the dojo?

What happened concretely?

personally I think it's waste of pot to smoke pot and go train. Focus in practice will anull the high .. you get to a different space; one which anyone who practices regularly reaches without being stoned anyway. Practice without focus and you're wasting your training time.

Unregistered
06-21-2002, 05:14 PM
How about this:

Most folks on the mat are altered in some way or another -- pharmaceutically, "para"-pharmaceutically and otherwise. We aikido folks are all a bit whacky.

I'd say that stuff like the neophyte's fear, the inflated egos of way too many senior students, the parochialism and attendant crappy mental hygeine (not to mention crappy technique) in many dojo all pose similar dangers to those posed by a stoned student or instructor.

Janet Rosen
06-21-2002, 05:25 PM
There are people for whom smoking marijuana will make them stoned and they will be impaired and should not do aikido, drive a car, operate machinery, use a saw, etc...
There are people who smoke daily and have smoked daily for decades; they function very well in their careers and personal lives and you don't know it because you can't tell.
I cannot say what category these students and teacher fit into.
I can say that either way they were incredibly indiscreet and set a bad example though.

ChristianBoddum
06-21-2002, 05:54 PM
Hi there !
I have to say that i have been a smoker
and embarrassing moments have occured on the mat,I very much appreciate my fellow trainee's
and senseis for putting up with me and now
I realise how lucky I am.
As earlier mentioned strange but nice people
are in the aikido community ,and patience is a virtue that in my case has made me even more
caring because of the lack of judgement I've met.
Yours - Chr.B.:)

siwilson
06-21-2002, 06:34 PM
There is a name for anyone who walks on the mat high - Arse hole!!!!!

Unregistered
06-21-2002, 06:47 PM
In the part of the aikido world I come from pot-smoking is pretty common by both instructors and students. I was part of this number for a while, but have come to eschew drugs. I agree with Janet in that much of the time you can't tell if someone is loaded or not, especially if they are habitues. While lots of folks (NORML and so forth) would like the world to think that pot-smoking is a lifestyle choice, I tend to think that it is really an addiction or dependency...or develops that way. There is a certain autism or self-centeredness to being a pothead. There is already enough navel-gazing in aikido (I know, people just want to visualize their tandens more readily). For me it all proved to be insidously deceptive. Really, I'd rather smoke a bowl and watch Ren and Stimpy than smoke a bowl and practice.

Drinking is pretty common, too. I've been around -- as, no doubt a lot of other people senior instructors who've just reeked. I'd probably win the award for the most hungover on Saturday mornings award at a place where I used to practice. But then I don't practice there anymore and am no longer hungover on Saturday mornings. Connection? Hmmmm....

Let's start a new topic about the use of Red Bull and how it affects breakfalls.

guest1234
06-22-2002, 08:33 AM
This is how I would rate all that everyone has been mentioning, and my rationale: worst offense to least

intoxication of any form (drugs legal and not, etoh)--no matter how good you are and used to the effects, you ARE NOT. period. studies have been done of reaction times. you endanger yourself and others. irresponsible beyond belief.

HIV, Hep C---ONLY a problem if you get blood on someone. and if you do, you owe them a warning. otherwise not a factor. irresponsible only if you indisciminately bleed on others and don't warn them.

Tobacco smoke/perfume--these can trigger asthma attacks in some people...wash off the odor before you walk on the mat.

Other communicable diseases (cold, flu, etc)--stay off the mat, you'll make others sick---a lot more likely than spreading HIV, just not as deadly, but still not nice.

Long nails (toe or otherwise)---obvious reasons, along with jewelry.

Questionable hygiene--odors can distract others, outright dirt is almost as risky if not more as the known cold... here I'd also put the women who wear makeup that rubs off on my gi...

It is sad that people doing Aikido care so little for other in the dojo that they would put their own selfish pleasure or desires over the health and safety of others.

mike lee
06-22-2002, 11:12 AM
When I was a college student, a very long time ago, I dropped some acid with a classmate, and then, I guess, partly out of a sense of dedication and partly out of a sense of adventure, I went to aikido practice. My classmate went elsewhere.

About half way through the practice the drug began to take effect. Although I didn't want anyone to know what was going on, especially my teacher, I found myself becoming extra-ordinarilly careful with my uke. I was a brown belt at the time and among the highest ranking students in the class. I felt such an overwhelming sense of responsibility for the welfare of my partner that I almost became petrified with fear.

Although I learned something spiritually from the experience, I also vowed to never practice aikido in an altered state again, because to do so, I feel, would be very self centered.

If my partner were ever to become injured while I was on drugs or even medication, I think that the level of the sense of guilt would be very high.

I would also find it difficult to respect a teacher that used any kind of drug during class. I think that it would be an expression of self centeredness that indicates that the teacher is not giving the students the attention that they deserve. It demonstrates a lack of a sense of responsibility to him or her self, the students and the art.

There's a time and place for everything. I recommend habitually keeping the aikido dojo a place that remains basically pure.

Unregistered
06-23-2002, 12:02 PM
This is for Lynn S, whose post ran immediately after mine. I AM clean and sober! I don't drink, don't smoke, and don't do drugs.

My comments about pot being less obnoxious/dangerous than drinking are not a rationalization for my personal consumption but rather are based on observations of others' behavior. I was trying to make the same point as Janet - certain individuals (who are usually QUITE habituated to daily marijuana use) function pretty well stoned.

Or perhaps you were using the "you" in "I would refuse to train with you" to refer to the stoner described in the first post?

Unregistered
06-23-2002, 12:24 PM
Thanks for the replies so far.

This is only my second post. Hope if there was confusion this clears any of it up.

SeiserL
06-23-2002, 08:33 PM
Originally posted by Unregistered

Or perhaps you were using the "you" in "I would refuse to train with you" to refer to the stoner described in the first post?

Thanks for understanding. It was not a personal attack on "you", but a personal statement about myself. I do not train with people I do not trust. I cannot trust anyone in an altered state of consciousness to train with enough awareness to do it safely. I too live clean and sober.

Until again,

Lynn

JJF
06-27-2002, 03:46 AM
I know people who have been smoking a lot - also before practicing. I have never actually experience any of them harming anyone while under influence - however it IS illegal and I don't think it's up to each person to decide wether he or she can practice under the influence of drugs. Just don't do it!!! I very much second Colleen's mail.

Of course we all have flaws and strange habits (I myself CRAVE coffee in the morning ;)) and we should - to a certain extend - be lenient to each other while we are going through our individual development. However deliberately manipulating your senses before practicing seems to me to be too much of a risk taken on behalf of your class-mates.

As every one might have guessed by now I have no personal experience with getting high on any illegal substance. And the only thing that get me high on the mat is when the practice is going really well. Actually I would prefer that 'natural high' over any form of substance-produced high (yes - even over the buzz of a good single-malt whisky :D)

In my opinion Aikido practice is not 'an experience' but more like time and effort dedicated to progress. Therefore we should walk the path with firm steps and awareness and not try to fly down it while hovering on a cloud - no matter what color it might have.

Rigidly yours

Genex
07-04-2002, 08:06 AM
i've got to agree only get high AFTER class ;)
before is silly you'll try and concentrate and do stuff which undermines the point of getting high your meant to relax or play games see, not do aikido
besides where the hell do you keep your stash in your gi? ppl been sowing pockets in them or sommat?
pete

Jim ashby
07-04-2002, 10:45 AM
Just being on the mat is enough of a high for me. Our Thursday night class is a privilege, not a right and i smile every time I go on and leave.
Have fun.

jimvance
07-04-2002, 01:57 PM
This is a messy topic. Messy for so many reasons, one being that cannabis is illegal in most of the Western world, and admitting to usage effectively convicts you of committing a crime (which in the Western world still carries the stigma of "sin", or a breaking of a divine commandment). I greatly respected Ellis Amdur's autobiographical accounts of training with Terry Dobson, if for nothing else, the naive honesty conveyed within the story. I am also reminded of stories, like in the book "Crooked Cucumber" by David Chadwick, of (limited) drug use within Zen Buddhist circles in the 1960s and 1970s. The people interested in the usage coupled with "a practice" (if it is not just plain habit or addiction) are normally looking for greater spiritual insight, much akin to shamanistic practices. There is a social contract within budo, and to bring an unknown variable into the practice of budo does a dis-service to those you practice with. Whether or not you want to use cannabis or LSD is for you to decide, but if you want to train with someone while you are under its effects is irresponsible. Perhaps just telling them will be enough, perhaps abstaining only before class is not enough (they may refuse to train with you based on the information you give them). My own personal feelings on the matter are that if you want to use any substance, you should do it responsibly. Training in budo is an education (amongst other things) and being intoxicated lessens my capability for proper education. I also don't want to rely on external stimuli to break through internal barriers. These are recreational substances, unnecessary to everyday interaction and survival, and to me, budo is not playtime.

Jim Vance

Genex
07-05-2002, 07:13 AM
Actualy very coincidentaly whilst me and a friend were walking to class last night we walked past the Y.M.C.A and all we could smell was weed it was thick in the atmosphere, i swear you could almost see the smoke in the air the bong must have been two story's high because even when we went to the school where we practice we could still smell it thick in the air (school is over 100 yrds away from the Y.M.C.A) unfortunatly when we left it had dissapated, but there ya go
pete
;)

Leslie Parks
07-05-2002, 04:58 PM
Do you really want to put your body, no matter how good your ukemi, in someone's hands who has deliberately and knowingly compromised their own consciousness, reaction time and control??
It is challenging enough to maintain awareness and safety on the mat without introducing marijuana, alcohol, or others.

No thank you.

Pretoriano
07-05-2002, 06:24 PM
Oh men, I just can stop laughing a this funny post, I just want to see somebody entering the dojo to train in altered states, shit, that's what I CALL AN INMEDIATELY KICK ASS OUT of the dojo.

JPT
07-06-2002, 05:39 PM
At a seminar a student came up to a group of us and asked if anyone wanted to go smoke a joint. One student agreed. They asked the sensei if he wanted to join them and he left with them. They all came back for the next class which the sensei taught

What if this Sensei purposely went outside with the students, so that he could tell them off in private and not embarrass them infront of the rest of the class ?
:triangle: :circle: :square:

daedalus
07-06-2002, 06:42 PM
Last night I dropped a friend of mine off at home. She had been intoxicated for most of the night. As she was getting out, I asked if she was alright. She said she was perfectly fine....and then proceeded to crawl to her door because she couldn't stand up anymore. The "perfectly fine" you may feel when intoxicated may not be the "perfectly fine" you need during class. "Aikido decides life and death in a single strike, so students must carefully follow the instructor's teaching..." was one of O Sensei's rules for Aikido training. If you feel you don't need all of your mental capacities to train, you have to consider that you're missing something vital in your training. And if you can't wait to smoke up until after class, maybe you have some bigger problems to worry about than what people on the aikiweb board have to say about it. ;^)

I for one would be supremely pissed if my partner was trashed. I generally try and avoid injury, and if an injury was caused by something that could have easily been prevented, I'd have a very hard time allowing that person to manhandle me again.

Brian H
07-07-2002, 10:41 AM
If I were in complete command of all of my senses and skills I would not need to practice Aikido. I would just watch a Steven Seagal movie and I would be done. That not being the case I give practice full time and attention. Aikido is challenging enough as it is. The idea of coming to the dojo drunk/stoned floors me. Maybe it is because most of the dojos in my area have at least a few cops in them, because the only drinking is at after class parties and if there is any drug use it must be pretty discrete.

If anyone was in class with me and practicing impaired (or ill for that matter) I would be obligated to take them off the mat and have my Sensei make the final ruling.

The dangerousness of impaired practice has already been made, I would like to point out that I have never known a drunk who has vomited to be able to clean it up before the next afternoon.

Unregistered
07-14-2002, 10:43 PM
The person in question was my sensei. I've known him for many years. That he did drugs was common knowledge. That he did them on the mat was not. I was told, by him, that he'd stopped smoking. He claims to not hide his use but he never told me directly about it. Probably, if the students had not been so obvious no one would have known, suspected maybe, but not known. He's in the category of "can function" while high and he was high that day on the mat.

I initiated a conversation with the person and expressed my concerns. He intends to continue his practice. He compared marijuana to sacred medicine and called it an energy drug. In the world he lives in, Advil and caffeine are worse drugs. He said that he does not hide his use from those close to him. He doesn't understand that he does hide it and the issue is deeper than those closest to him. Anything less than putting it on flyers and annoucing prior to class is hiding his drug use and besides his closest students don't know when he's going to get high.

To keep a long story short, I left the school. My reasons for it follow:

1. It's illegal
2. If someone is injured it raises questions which can't be happily answered and everyone will pay the price.
3. A sensei should be fully present. If that's the best he had, I can do better, almost anywhere.
4. I could no longer recommend a person visit the dojo and how do you welcome a beginner in?
5. The practice had spread. If anyone can show up stoned then anyone will. I don't like those odds.
6. It's dangerous.
7. I see no way to change the behavior.
8. Staying implies support.

So, I said goodbye.

I appreciate the thoughts. I forwarded the link to the person.

Unregistered 9
07-15-2002, 04:17 AM
Good for you!

Personally, I feel there is little wrong with getting stoned or drinking for recreational purposes at home, but I feel it is very wrong (impolite and disrespectful) to be out of it when in a mentoring position (my how selfish people can be).

Your decision is admirable, and I imagine it was a difficult decision. I hope you find a decent dojo in your area quickly, and I hope your Sensi(well never mind...I don't want to be to un-pc on this forum). You and others deserve more respect.

Unregistered9

Unregistered
07-15-2002, 08:13 AM
what you will read it's obviously imho so don't flame me.
the last part of the post might be off topic so if there is a moderator feel freee to cut it but I would be thank full to you if you 'd start a new tread with that topic.
Also I woul like to previously excuse myself for the stile of writing and the typos but my keybord is throwing feets.
....although it is pretty funny to think about a bunch of guys 'n girls in hakama who just can't stand up or who act like drunken( admit it it's laughable to think about somebody falling flat on the mat in the attempt of grabbing one's arm)....well it's extremely DANGEROUS to practice in whatever altered state of mind, I have been a smoker and user of other drugs ( although I quit aikido for the all time I used to get trashed), now I don't use any drug beside alcool, and still I get buzzy ( not drunk) extremely rarely ( i'm Italian, stay away from my bottles of wine;-)) however i relized that drugs just lowers your defence skills, beware i'm not talking about phisical defence ( as said I never smoked and practiced) but i'm talking about mental skills....ever smoked and whatched tv? you feel like a baby, like subliminals messages are taking over you...I quit tv too, But that's just for I dislike the society of money-wealth-illusions-poverty(I just whatch movies as I enjoy the artistic form of those ones ).
I would like for you to remember what has happened to O-sensei once because he was hill and had to do a showing of his newborn techniques:

his two Uke knewed that he was hill and decided to attack him softer than usual( unaware of O-sensei warnings which were "Practice as usual!") the result? of the two uke one got his wrist broken and the other one could not continue by himself the showing....the moral of this story is :we are not o-sensei so even if your partner KNOWS you are high, akido (in his true strong powerfull and self-controled form) is not something you should do on drugs, of course if you just pretend to practice you can do what u want and rensemble a bunch of guys and girls in hakama who moves odds and slow like a family of elefants....but this is not what Aikido means to me .
Then just another sour bite....about teachers who get drunk or stoned before the class....they do not have a clue of what BUDO or JUTSU means , I'd like for them to have the great onor to be uchideshi in the daito-ryu hombu-dojo...there they would probably learn waking up at 6 in the morning and doing some really ass-kicking practice.
The TEACHER is RESPoNSABLE for EVERITHING that happens in the dojo, remember you are practicing a DO ( that last little word causes problems some people just make evERYthing out of it and some completely ignore it) not just a JUTSU, this means you (teachers) are there to give ethical messages too to the students;
this also relates to theachers which have to deal with a student that comes to practice stoned: don't be silly, understand , tell him not to take part at the class, talk to him in private and tell him the risks he was going to take ( get injured/injure somebody), and THEN WARN him that if he tries to do it back he will not be able to practice any more in your dojo, it is better that he understands the error he has done than just let him go immediately in a dojo where he could repeat the same error maybe under a teacher that smokes a joint with him befor class.
I would let a stoned student sit and watch the class ( it is still usefull) if the student is very young( 16 to 18 years old) I would just tell him to go back home, and come back next class, to avoid to him the shame of sitting aside and watch, which could be desruptive to a young's mind psychology.
In this case remember always to be polite but firm, no yellings no acceptance of something dangerous: you don't need people who handles gasoline when you play with fire.
If the student is TRASHED ( which means the elephant thing) meet him once is sober and advice him to get a hold of himself, without getting into his business too much( and I mean don't do the police officer, just tell him that he's probably abusing of the thing and that he will not practice stoned).
One other thing I do not teach Policemen, for several reasons, all over the world they looked like they are not capable to understand the ethic, and morals behind aikido, beating fast and good over protestants, Probably this comes from my experience ( of them tryng to beat the crap out of me and just fly away whith the all suite), but i've seen 15 years old kids with a huge (I say HUGE) injure throughout the face, because he threw a stone to mcdonalds, and they would not let him go to the ospital because he had to be "checked "by the police, stuff like this happened in america italy ( where a 20 years old kid was shot down from a policeman) and in gotemburg ( which i cannot recall where is it).

31n13
08-09-2002, 04:03 PM
I'd never do it =p, I mean come on, my reaction speed =p, get real =p

ChristianBoddum
08-09-2002, 04:45 PM
Unregistered !

So well spoken !!

yours - Chr.B.

cguzik
08-09-2002, 06:04 PM
http://www.aikikai.or.jp/Eng/Guide.htm

"Practice under the influence of alcohol should be avoided."

I think it's pretty clear that the intent of this statement extends to intoxication in general.

Chris

Unregistered
08-10-2002, 07:17 AM
What I don't get is why anybody would feel the need to combine any drug (pot, alcohol, etc) with aikido. As if it isn't enough fun already! I've tried at least 3/4 of the illegal substances out there (and all the legal ones), and none of them comes close to the euphoria of good aikido practice.

mike lee
08-10-2002, 07:39 AM
If you want to get blasted on something and then go to aikido -- why not? Just don't suit up. Sit on the fringe of the mat and be a spectator. You may enjoy it, and you may learn something by just sitting there and watching a class. You may also learn something about yourself. :freaky:

dissenter
08-13-2002, 12:36 PM
I'm put off by all the moralizers here. Let me tell you a secret: DRUGS are as diverse as everything else in this world. U take legal ones, some people take illegal ones. that's the distinction you're talking about eh?

smoking pot has a different effect on your body/mind than sniffing glue , which is also different from LSD, which is very different from Cocaine.. which is very very different from Alcohol, Cigarettes, Prozac, "Go pills", Valium, Cofee, Red Bull

All things are NOT equal, nor are their effects on different people.

Don't train if you can't safely execute/receive technique. This is a judgement call, and a decision for which you are responsible for the results.

If you drop Uke on his head it doesn't matter if you are fasting for moral purposes or just wasted on some form of mood changer. It's your responsibility for you made the decision to train in that condition.

As for your Uke .. as in any time practice time .. there's an act of faith involved , they must trust and offer trust for you never know the heart of your partner. how to get there is all about training.

Genex
08-14-2002, 08:08 AM
leslie parks wrote: Do you really want to put your body, no matter how good your ukemi, in someone's hands who has deliberately and knowingly compromised their own consciousness, reaction time and control??

Ok then what about speed? or something like that, for that matter what about Jolt Cola or Red bull? i.e. Caffine?

do you really want someone hyper on the matt?

"wow look at that shiho nage!"

"yeah shame his arm came off tho"

;)

can you imaging bokken training? too wired to hold the sword and ends up hitting you with the blades of his hands?

(although caffine is my best friend and worst enemy, i do try to stay clear of it at least a few hours before class)

pete

Unregistered
08-14-2002, 06:04 PM
I am also put off by the righteousness of this thread.

rachmass
08-14-2002, 08:13 PM
Training in martial arts while drunk is dangerous, plain and simple. The same would go for being on any mind altering drug. You are not only taking your own life into your hands, but the lives and well being of others. We have to act responsibly. I haven't been following the thread, but I am sure that is what people have been talking about.:circle: :square: :triangle:

Conrad Gus
08-14-2002, 08:27 PM
I once had a big ol' vietnamese ice coffee at lunch during a seminar. I was so wired on the mat that I was feeling a bit out of control.

Funny thing happened, after a dozen or so throws my energy moved down and I felt ok again.

wanderingwriath
08-14-2002, 08:33 PM
Question: What of those who smoke marijuana for it's medicinal purposes? Some of these people are known to participate in martial arts like Tai Chi and Aikido to help with the same problems that they smoke for. What's everyone's opinion on that?

Unregistered
08-14-2002, 08:55 PM
I'm anonymous here to protect the innocent. ;-)

I think medicinal use falls into the same category as a friend of mine. I trained with him for over a year before I found out that he has a 20 year pot habit and is pretty much high most of the day, including class.

Do you know what? I still like practicing with him. He's a great guy and I trust him completely as a nage, as should others whether they know this about him or not.

This kind of smoking (and medicinal smoking) is completely different than the 19 year old that smokes a huge bong before class and is all like "duuude . . . intense shihonage".

Aikido can be deadly and respect and caution are indeed warranted. However, I do believe that some of the opinions on this thread reflect more of the Protestant / New Age puritanism in our Western culture than they do the pure spirit of Aikido or the Japanese Budo culture. Not to generalize, but I know that even many Shinto priests like to have a good drink-up now and again, and most of the Japanese Shihans I have met smoke cigarettes, or at least used to.

As far as my own personal safety on the mat goes, if someone is being really reckless, there are usually protocols in the dojo for dealing with it, whatever their condition.

Judge not and ye shall not be judged.

Unregistered
08-15-2002, 02:33 AM
Most people posting are stating that it is unfair on Uke to train stoned. The important thing about Aikido is that Uke trusts Nage completely with his body. Compare this to a sparing art where if you turn up stoned you put your own body in danger.

Getting wasted is a normal part of warrior culture but people are posting not to do it during class. I don't think this is moralising, it's just safe, respectful, bloody good commonsense and good aiki.

virginia_kyu
08-16-2002, 11:15 PM
Whats wrong with moralising? I am sure you do on other issues.

Deb Fisher
08-17-2002, 08:16 PM
What's wrong with moralizing?

There's a big difference between making decisions about your life based on your own sense of morals, for example:

"I get too floppy and silly to train while stoned. I'd hurt someone and that isn't right."

Or even,

"I don't get stoned because I think doing drugs is wrong."

...and deciding that a behavior is wrong for everybody, and shutting out the possibility that not everyone shares the particulars of your moral code, as in:

"No person should ever do drugs and train".

What is a drug? What is an altered state? This is a subjective territory, and therefore I think moralizing about it is inappropriate. We can all agree that hurting uke is bad, but the fact is that there are lots of people who smoke enough dope, drink enough coffee, smoke enough cigarettes, take enough antidepressants, etc, etc... to feel really "normal" when they train, even though they're in a state that a lot of people would find "dangerous". Ultimately, we have to cede responsibility to each individual on the mat, who is the one who has to use this "altered" body.

These people may hurt themselves more than they help themselves with these mood-altering substances. They may be happier without being under the influence of drug X, etc. But do you think moralizing about Drug Use is going to do anything but blow up the bridge that connects you to that other human? And is it right to isolate and disrespect and separate that Drug User from you? What does it accomplish?

I think there's a lot wrong with moralizing. It's a disrespectful act, it's an act of telling other people what to do. I think it creates distance and I think distance makes the problem bigger, not smaller.

I know this sounds hokey, but moralizing is the opposite of listening.

Conrad Gus
08-18-2002, 01:03 AM
I think Deb has hit the nail on the head here.

Unregistered
08-18-2002, 10:28 AM
Moralize or don't!

It's irrelevant.

In the USA it is illegal.

You don't have to like it but that is how it is until the laws change.

If you drive a car and you hurt or kill someone under the influence then you will face serious penalties for your actions and possibly jail-time.

That should extend to the mat.

The problem with drug use is not the damage it does to the user(s) but to those around them which can be physical, psychological or even spiritual.

Their believed right to get high does not trample on my rights.

mike lee
08-18-2002, 10:53 AM
One way to get out of this moralizing/legal dilema is to try to understand the fundamental reasons for our training, which is to learn about the Tao (The Great Way :do: ). This word is found in the word aiki-do and in the word do-jo (the training hall, or the place for learning about the Tao.)

One of the most basic methods for learning about and entering into the Tao is through misogi (ritual purification).

There are many methods used in purification. In Ki-Aikido they use deep-breathing meditaion. O'Sensei practiced meditation under an ice cold waterfall.

The Catholics begin by going to confession. The Native Americans used the sweat lodge. In yoga, fasting is prefered.

In aikido, we can also use hard physical training in very hot and very cold conditions for long periods of time, days on end, to exhaustion and then beyond.

As far as I know, the use of drugs in aikido is in no way a part of the training. This is not a moral or legal arguement -- it's just a fact.

P.S. I find it to be truly astounding that a number of teachers claiming decades of experience still say that they have no knowledge of the spiritual aspects of aikido. The simple truth of the matter is that it's all spiritual. The physical action is merely the outward manifestation of that spirit. If this simple fact is not realized, aikido in America will soon become just another fighting form. There may still be some aiki, but no more Tao. This trend just shows that a "voice of experience" may very well be just another voice of ignorance.

Unregistered
08-19-2002, 12:20 PM
women voting was illegal

helping slaves escape was illegal too

drinking alcohol was illegal too

legality , so?

it's illegal to walk with your shoes untied in Portland, Maine. Laws are not immutable

how did this thread start, was it because the sensei injured the lives of people around him?

or because it offended the morality of someone

don't preach and quote what ifs

remit to reality

mr. lee has it right

Aikido misogi is training, not drug use

but that can be learned

and not by kicking people out

Aikido is harmony and unification of conflict

not exclusion and self aggrandizement

Unregistered
08-19-2002, 01:20 PM
From norml.org. Pertinent areas in bold.

Principles of Responsible Use

When marijuana is enjoyed responsibly, subjecting users to harsh criminal and civil penalties provides no public benefit and causes terrible injustices. For reasons of public safety, public health, economics and justice, the prohibition laws should be repealed to the extent that they criminalize responsible marijuana use.

By adoption of this statement, the NORML Board of Directors has attempted to define "responsible cannabis use."

I. Adults Only Cannabis consumption is for adults only. It is irresponsible to provide cannabis to children. Many things and activities are suitable for young people, but others absolutely are not. Children do not drive cars, enter into contracts, or marry, and they must not use drugs. As it is unrealistic to demand lifetime abstinence from cars, contracts and marriage, however, it is unrealistic to expect lifetime abstinence from all intoxicants, including alcohol. Rather, our expectation and hope for young people is that they grow up to be responsible adults. Our obligation to them is to demonstrate what that means.

II. No Driving The responsible cannabis consumer does not operate a motor vehicle or other dangerous machinery while impaired by cannabis, nor (like other responsible citizens) while impaired by any other substance or condition, including some medicines and fatigue. Although cannabis is said by most experts to be safer than alcohol and many prescription drugs with motorists, responsible cannabis consumers never operate motor vehicles in an impaired condition. Public safety demands not only that impaired drivers be taken off the road, but that objective measures of impairment be developed and used, rather than chemical testing.

III. Set and Setting The responsible cannabis user will carefully consider his/her set and setting, regulating use accordingly. "Set" refers to the consumer's values, attitudes, experience and personality, and "setting" means the consumer's physical and social circumstances. The responsible cannabis consumer will be vigilant as to conditions -- time, place, mood, etc. -- and does not hesitate to say "no" when those conditions are not conducive to a safe, pleasant and/or productive experience.

IV. Resist Abuse Use of cannabis, to the extent that it impairs health, personal development or achievement, is abuse, to be resisted by responsible cannabis users. Abuse means harm. Some cannabis use is harmful; most is not. That which is harmful should be discouraged; that which is not need not be. Wars have been waged in the name of eradicating "drug abuse", but instead of focusing on abuse, enforcement measures have been diluted by targeting all drug use, whether abusive or not. If marijuana abuse is to be targeted, it is essential that clear standards be developed to identify it.

V. Respect Rights of Others The responsible cannabis user does not violate the rights of others, observes accepted standards of courtesy and public propriety, and respects the preferences of those who wish to avoid cannabis entirely. No one may violate the rights of others, and no substance use excuses any such violation. Regardless of the legal status of cannabis, responsible users will adhere to emerging tobacco smoking protocols in public and private places.

Spin all you want. The act was not responsible, it puts others at risk and unless the sensei flew home, he did drive.

Unregistered
08-19-2002, 01:29 PM
The anonymous user in post #49 argues that illegality is not immutable, therefore legality cannot be used as a guide for our actions.

The premise of the argument is true: laws change. However, to live one's life by your own morals without regard to the laws that are in place at the time is irresponsible. Other people in society operate in a way that assumes everybody follows the same guidelines. By deciding that what you want is more important than the agreed-on guidelines, you declare your desires to be more important than harmony in society and the effects your actions have on others.

I don't believe there is anything inherently morally wrong with smoking pot, but there are times and places when it is irresponsible. When other people are trusting you to be clear-headed and keep them safe, I think that is one of those times. (BTW, that is the difference between moralizing and asking people to respect their training partners).

If you don't have enough respect for the law (or if you happen to live in a country where it's not against the law) then how about having some respect for the founder's rules. Intoxication on the mat is not aligned with the practice set forth by O Sensei, which is a practice of misogi as mentioned above.

Anybody who thinks smoking up before training is okay, do you feel the same way about your kids' school bus driver doing it before coming to work?

P.S. I used to smoke a lot -- every day, before work, all the time. I became very successful in what I do and smoking pot never interferred with my life, so I don't have any bias about it. However - I don't go into the dojo high, out of respect for my training partners.

Unregistered
08-19-2002, 01:48 PM
TO SMOKE OR NOT TO SMOKE IS A PERSONAL DECISION. AKIDO PRACTICIONERS ARE SEEKERS AS ARE SOME MARIJUANA USERS.

cguzik
08-19-2002, 04:16 PM
That is surely true. Everything you do is a choice, a personal decision. Those choices affect other people, most of the time. That is why responsible choices are important.

The question on the table is not "to smoke or not to smoke." It is whether it is irresponsible or disrespectful to your partners to train with them while you are high. Maybe the answer is to ask them. If you want to be high on the mat, perhaps that's okay as long as all your partners know that. If you're teaching, then your students should know. If they stay around, then cool at least they are making informed decisions.

Chris

Unregistered
08-20-2002, 02:28 PM
people who practice akido are searchers as are SOME people who use marijuana.

mike lee
08-22-2002, 04:07 AM
Search all you want! Submitting one's self to training appropriately under a qualified instructor is a great way to search. In my opinion, one of the best.

The culture of the dojo in that search should be kept simple and pure. This is in accordance with the :do: of aikido.

Genex
08-22-2002, 04:28 AM
personaly i find aikido is much more of a high then the old weed, yeah i'll smoke it at party's n sometimes when i'm out but not in aikido i think it would dull the sensations and i wouldnt get the same kind of high that you would normaly get.

btw am i the only one who feels awake after an aikido class or does everyone drop down exausted?

pete

Jim ashby
08-22-2002, 04:51 AM
Hi Peter. I drag myself to the Dojo for the thursday night class (Dan grades, first Kyu and second Kyu only)after a long day at work, practice for 1 1/2 hours and come off the mat buzzing with energy. Maybe I'm just weird!

Have fun.

virginia_kyu
08-22-2002, 12:34 PM
There is nothing wrong with moralizing, sorry. Anyone who says otherwise is a hypocrite.

wanderingwriath
08-22-2002, 12:52 PM
I'd still like to get an opinion on medicinal marijuana use. It's legal in some states and there are even some federally OK'd cases of medicinal marijuana. Will you deny these people the joy of Aikido just because they smoke?

Unregistered
08-22-2002, 03:24 PM
strange mr. neal. hypocrite:

a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion

so those who don't moralize are hypocrites?

you have stated your views on contemporary issues on which you moralize freely

but witness

http://gush-shalom.org/archives/kurdi_eng.html

so moralizers put me off

i state it and am no hypocrite

virginia_kyu
08-27-2002, 12:24 PM
everyone moralizes, the only difference between them is the issues they moralize on.

guest1234
08-27-2002, 01:02 PM
James,

The question is not whether it should be legal to smoke MJ, or if it is moral to smoke MJ. The question is, does it put your partners needlessly at risk (or even greater risk if the one who smokes is the sensei or a senior resposnsible for the overall safety of the class).

I would not deny the opportunity to practice to those who are prescribed Marinol, nor those who (where it is approved) used medical MJ. Nor would I want to deprive those who must take heavily sedating narcotic medications for pain. BUT...

for their own safety and that of the others on the mat, I would expect them to act responsibly and NOT get on the mat after using them. Wait until after. If unable to wait, then you are probably too ill to do more than watch right now, anyway. What are some medical indications for Marinol? Severe nausea due to chemotherapy; severe wasting due to AIDS. If your symptoms can be controlled with the drug without using it so often you need to use it before you get on the mat, fine. Otherwise, you are probably not good for training right now, due to the health reasons alone, let alone your inability to devote full concentration due to the medication effects. Not only do you put your partners at risk, but you with ill health to start with cannot afford to be foggy while training.

It is legal to drink alcohol. But who wants to ride in a car or a plane with the driver/pilot drunk.

ChristianBoddum
08-27-2002, 01:24 PM
Hi !

Just a note,you should never train with alchohol in the blood because your organs

will be strained much more while exercising

and be in real danger.

Train safely - Chr.B.

suebailey
09-08-2002, 05:20 AM
hi all

im dead against drugs unless prescribed mainly cos my bro died from them.

i think getting high before a class is very dangerous and iresponsible!

any sensi who is knowingly doing drugs before the class should struck off!

well thats my oppinion

sue

Ta Kung
09-08-2002, 07:23 AM
I can't believe that there's even a topic like this here. Does these things really occur?! Honestly, only a complete idiot would get high before aikido class!

Jim ashby
09-08-2002, 09:19 AM
Hi Patrik. There are a lot of complete idiots in the world, just look at the heads of state. Somebody voted them in!!:)

Unregistered
09-08-2002, 11:45 AM
I can't beleive that this is still a topic here. How many months has it been? It sorta indicates the pointlessness of discussing anything related to aikido. (yes, my postion is: "Shut up anD practice.")

If you wanna practice, well, then practice. If you don't trust your partner(s), well, then maybe you take the opportunity and learn something from it, i.e., use it to learn how to take care of yourself and, by extension, others. By all means, stop thinking that you're gonna somehow change other people, whether they smoke pot before class (I've never seen anyone actually "get high _on_ the mat")or whatever. Mind your own business. If you don't want leave your dojo and find somewhere else to practice, consider applying your experience to ukemi. Ukemi skills in the aikido world are lacking, so you'd be doing the art a tremendous service. If you can't take ukemi, you never going to apply genuine nage-waza.

So, stick this in your pipes and smoke it...and then continue to lamely mentally masturbate about aikido...if you want to...

AIKIBILDER
09-09-2002, 06:51 AM
MY GOD ITS FULL OF STARS.....

mike lee
09-09-2002, 07:26 AM
... lamely mentally masturbate about aikido ...

A bit HARD for me to picture, but look at this! Excerpts:

DPA, Glasgow

A study has established a link between drinking alcohol and perceptions of beauty. Scientists in Scotland found evidence of the so-called "beer goggles" effect in a study involving 80 students.

The researchers wanted to measure the infamous phenomenon by which members of the opposite sex become more attractive as one drinks more alcohol. They discovered that men and women who have drunk a moderate amount of alcohol find the faces of the opposite sex 25 percent more attractive than their sober counterparts.

And the study revealed that there was no difference in the beer goggles effect between men and women. The students at Glasgow University were shown colour photographs of 120 male and female St Andrews University students aged between 18 and 26.

Participants were asked to rate their aesthetic properties on a scale of between one - highly unattractive - to seven - highly attractive. Half of the students had drunk up to four units of alcohol, equivalent to a maximum of around two pints of lager or two-and-a-half glasses of wine. The 40 tipsy aesthetes rated the people in the photographs as broadly more attractive than their abstemious counterparts.

Professor Barry Jones, from Glasgow University's psychology department, and his fellow academic, Ben Jones, from St Andrews University, led the study. They said: "Everyone's heard of the beer goggles effect but we wanted to measure once and for all whether a moderate amount of alcohol increases the judgement of facial attractiveness. The increase in perceived attractiveness appeared to be the same for the ugly people as the pretty people. Attractiveness provides a very important signal of mate quality, it shows you have good genes and a healthy body."

The beer goggles phenomenon is caused by alcohol stimulating the part of the human brain which is used to determine facial attractiveness, the nucleus accumbens, they said.

P.S. Maybe we should all just get drunk and screw in the dojo. We can call it "Aiki-contemporary." :freaky:

Brian H
09-09-2002, 08:17 AM
Once beer goggles have set it, would it also mean that you were also that much less able when it is time for "technique" and "ukemi." (on and off the mat)

mike lee
09-09-2002, 08:22 AM
It depends on how attractive she appears to be at that particular moment.

rendaikidojo
07-20-2004, 02:44 AM
A few thoughts:

1. Martin Luther King once said - "it is a responsibility to obey just laws - and to disobey unjust laws."
2. Can't believe this is even a thread? Getting "high" or "intoxicated" does not equal smoking MJ - the two are distinct - getting high is a state of mind and not a substance, drugs may be used to achieve that state of mind but also for other (eg., medicinal) purposes.
3. Our society tends to moralise that "chemical" methods for achieving a "high" are more wrong than natural methods. This is not necessarily the case - an anorexic who gets high by not eating, for example does more damage to him/herself and others than someone who takes a prescribed antidepressant.
4. Oh, of course, we also moralise that if you are to use a chemical it is better to use a prescribed one. What matters is the state of mind you are in, and it is possible a prescribed chemical is more "intoxicating" than a leisure drug.
5. Again, the point is the state of mind and not how it was achieved. No I would have no problem with someone driving my kids to school having taken MJ - if they are not "high" it's safer than if they have got high through another method.
6. What matters is "intoxication that clouds judgement" - that can happen even by eating an orange (e.g., if you haven't eaten for a few days)! or other, "natural "methods.

illegal=wrong
MJ=high
chemical=bad
natural=good
These are what I would call cultural misassumptions.

intoxication= bad on (or off?) the mat (however achieved)
judging others = bad on or off the mat
These comments I think, are fair

We need to transcend culture a little here - did you know that the use of a verticality continuum to represent a bipolarity of mood (ie. high-low) only originated in the 18th Century?

:-)

Michael Neal
07-20-2004, 09:37 AM
I would love for one of you idiotic stoners to come practice Judo high.

guest379479
07-20-2004, 11:22 AM
Just an observation - the high and the substance are not the same thing - you can get high without taking MJ and you can take MJ without getting high. Let's keep the two separate - to do anything else is judgemental, especially in light of the fact that there is a lot of evidence to suggest that levels of intoxication are significantly affected by context and psychological factors.

I agree with the last post to the extent that it's better not to practice _any_ martial art while "high" - but in real life it is quite common for people to get into fights on the way out of the pub where there are a lot of intoxicated people, and the person being attacked may well be intoxicated themselves!

This doesn't mean anyone should _practice_ when high or intoxicated, but if a martial art cannot adapt to the level of intoxication (as the above post suggests is the case with Judo) then it has limited self-defence advantages... :-)

Classifying all MJ users as "stoners" does not distinguish between the drug and its usage or its effects on a particular individual (which may not be a "high").

I feel sympathy for the posting on Judo and stoners - but perhaps the point could have been made better another way?

markwalsh
07-20-2004, 11:23 AM
Stoners might love for idiot Judoka to come chill with them. :)

JOKE

markwalsh
07-20-2004, 11:26 AM
I try and stay away from both as they choke you man!

Humour disclaimer: Previous statements were written by an non intoxicated individual in a vain attempt to seem clever, please do not reply with anger as its kind of heavy dude!

guest35786
07-20-2004, 12:07 PM
Humour is great! Thanks for that :-)

guest57670
07-20-2004, 12:23 PM
Seriously though - I think this thread has been running for a long time as there are genuine confusions over the relationship between modern western lifestyles - MJ prozac etc and living life with "Ki Tao." I would be very interested to hear comments from someone who knows some of the answers!

Michael Neal
07-20-2004, 01:02 PM
Whats wrong with being judgemental? Everyone is judgemental about something. Why is it Ok for you to be judgemental and not other people?

I try and stay away from both as they choke you man!

Yea, I am pretty sure a Judo class would be a quick buzz kill.

guest486t9
07-20-2004, 02:12 PM
Being judgemental may be ok... if everyone does it - it doesn't make it righ - but then again that's a judgement in itself! So I reckon you are right! You win Neal!

Do you think people are confusing being judgemental (which is really ok) with being personal (which is really not)? Calling MJ use damaging to the Uke is judgemental - but calling an individual who takes MJ an idiot is _ personal_...

Views?

Michael Neal
07-20-2004, 02:31 PM
Hey I was an idiot once as well so don't be too offended :)

Lyle Laizure
07-20-2004, 03:02 PM
There are a lot of interesting thoughts here. My thought is I would not care to practice with someone that uses illegal drugs. I do not care to associate with a person that uses illegal drugs. This is all unimportant as it doesn't address the question at hand.

I would not like to practice with anyone "high" whether or not the "high" was induced by a legal or illegal drug. Saftey is an issue and being high, in my opinion, is being impaired. Impaired partners are a detriment to themselves as well as their partners.

suren
07-20-2004, 03:19 PM
Well, I don't know who is idiot in that situation, but I know what would my former karate teacher do. The guy would be working as a punching bag for the rest of the class. Even after many years we stopped practicing, when guys met him and were smoking cigarettes (not MJ) they momentarily dropped them. Those guys were already in their mid 20-th at that time.

I think the teacher should be so far from that and has so much authority that no student should even think of acting that way.
I believe my current aikido teacher is that type of person, otherwise I would not train with him.

If I were you I would change the dojo if that's possible. If there is no other (or better) aikido dojo in your area I would consider other martial arts.

stuartjvnorton
07-20-2004, 07:15 PM
I smile about the whole showing up drunk part.
At my first dojo, I only ever saw 2 relatively senior students turn up to a class drunk.
Sensei called on them as uke & proceeded to pound the stuffing out of them for the entire class.
A lesson well learnt by all... ;-)

rendshakir
07-21-2004, 05:13 PM
This is a very interesting thread! Would be interested to hear experience of someone who has used marijuana and practiced aikido? Does it take you further away from ki? They say ecstacy makes you love everyone and everything - a shortcut to ki?!!!

Rink
09-28-2005, 05:01 PM
Greetings,

I don't have the time at the moment to read every post, so I will make my comment short.
I read the first few post and saw that nobody had
also considered the fact that there is more then one
kind of Cannabis.
Cannabis Sativa is known as the
"Sacrament" or Sacred Herb. It is used in many different religions around the world to enhance meditative, spirituality,
and awareness experiences. Some of the most commonly heard about of these are the Coptic Church (christian), Ras Tafari (followers of Jah Haile Selassie) Cantheist religions also include religions of India and China including some forms of Buddhism (See http://www.cannabis.net/thc/ )
Not to mention almost all forms of Shamanic practices (Native American, European, African, South American etc.) use cannabis in one form or another, and if not; they almost always have a substitute.
Cannabis Sativa is the type of Marijuana that produces
the 'High' effect and provides alot more mental stimulation then Cannabis Indica. It is also the type that is used by alot of philosophical or spiritually driven people.
Cannabis Indica on the other hand produces the 'Stoned' effect which is alot more of a 'body high', the type where the stereotypical 'stoner' is fingered. Lazy, Couch potato etc. (Most cannabis users prefer Sativa, as it ensures a much more mentally charged time.) People who complain that marijuana "just puts them to sleep" smoked Indica, and missed out on an incredible experience, especially if it was going to be used in conjunction with meditation or some other such thing. I think that anyone who has the slightest bit of knowledge, and common sense knowns that Alcohol is incredibly more dangerous then Marijuana and it's intoxifying effects are far more unpleasent.
I personally am pro-marijuana/hemp/etc. However it is extremly important for me to note that I do not condone using it while practicing anything martial, nor do I think it is ok for anyone to drive while under the influence of marijuana or any other such thing. Smoking (with or without) students, friends, others is completly acceptable, but it should be off the mat, for the most part.
Well just the short version my opimion, Thanks for reading.
Edward Stapleton.

SeiserL
09-28-2005, 06:22 PM
However it is extremly important for me to note that I do not condone using it while practicing anything martial, nor do I think it is ok for anyone to drive while under the influence of marijuana or any other such thing.
IMHO, there is no explanation, rationalization, or justification for wanting or needing to live life in an altered state of consciousness.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I do live my life clean and sober.

aikido funky monkey
09-28-2005, 07:08 PM
:ki: :do: Practicing Aikido in any state of altered consciousness is very dangerous and extremely inconsiderate of those you train with! I would refuse to train with you.

Until again (if you're clean and sober),

Lynn
I agree with you Lynn. so far this is the closest anyone has got to sharing my opinion. Go Lynn :ai:

Qatana
09-28-2005, 07:19 PM
I am a medical marijuana patient. I cannot take sleep medications- they make me want to hurt people. I cannot take antidepressants- they make me want to hurt people. I do not want to hurt people, so I smoke pot and I train in aikido. And would not consider stepping on the mat within two hours of consuming, just like with food.
I once had a flashback in the middle of a seminar. I left the mat. period.
Everybody reacts differently. If my cousin hadn't been smoking pot every day in college, would she still have graduated Top of her Class at Cornell?

Rink
09-28-2005, 08:38 PM
IMHO, there is no explanation, rationalization, or justification for wanting or needing to live life in an altered state of consciousness.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I do live my life clean and sober.

I guess to clarify my point,
"What people do on their own time, is their own business"
and I do not feel that anyone, has the right to ever interefere
(with the exception of harm to another person) with what someone else is doing in private.

For those who think that just not drinking alcohol, or smoking marijuana, or other such substance is living life 'clean and sober'
there is a whole world of other intoxifying agents we ingest every day, thats makes you mistaken. Processed sugars, fat, caffeine, nicotine, oxygen bars, even the air we breath, practically every food group has some natural chemical in it that alters our minds in one way or another. If you ever cook with water from the tap, or drink bottled water (yes bottled water, the only truely pure water is water that you have filterd at least twice and has not been stored in plastic, aluminum or other such containers) People who have eaten nothing but meat all their lives, start eating a primarily vegetable diet, and 'feel unlike they have ever before' , same goes with people who have been eating supermarket foods their entire lives, and now eat organic.
All of these external resources preform some form of altered state wether you feel them or not. Now my question to you is,
If we know, and it is proven that all these external un-natural body-degrading 'phenomena' and are consumed on a regular basis, not necessarily by the person reading this, but just in general, why is it that the most natural and safe alternative for enjoyable recreation, spirituality, and other such means is so looked down upon? I think the fact that marijuana has never caused a death in recorded history(1) and that alcohol causes 85,000 + deaths a year(2)! in the United States alone combined with the knowledge that Alcohol is a factor in more then 3,000,000 violent crimes(3) in just the U.S. a year and that 40% of all cases of Rape and Sexual assult involve alcohol(3)
With all this proven information, I would think marijuana would be embraced instead of rejected so adimently. This is not to say that I think everyone should smoke marijuana or that people should be high all their lives this is to merely say that if you want to get down to it, the effects Cannabis has on the human body are less harmful and altering, then (pick your anything here) lets just say ........ smog for instance.

Now I havent even touched on the subjects of Medical Marijuana,
Hemp, and others for if I do, I wil be typing all day, and by that time you would have thrown your monitor out the window because I tend to rant, and nobody wants to read all that. And I apologize if I have done so already in this post. Although if anyone would like to further this conversation in a non-judgemental, productive, and pleasent way I would be more then happy to save the poor readers of this topic my opinions and take this to email. You can message me for the address.

Anyway Thanks for reading this, I hope you enjoyed!
Edward Stapleton

Supporting Evidence
1. American Medical Association
2. Institute of Medicine
3. U.S. Dept. of Justice

Please note this reply was in response to a multitude of previous posts I read, and was not directed at any one individual.

Ron Tisdale
09-29-2005, 08:16 AM
Thank you for your post, Edward. There is a thread in the open discussions forum you may want to check out. Your contributions would be most welcome (by me anyway) there.

My own opinion is that doing anything illegal involves too much risk to the quality of my life. I would not want to train with another person while high either. But I do wonder about all the fuss over this topic when I see posts like Edward's. At times it seems like a religious argument.

Best,
Ron

SeiserL
09-29-2005, 09:27 AM
I may be a bit rigid in my POV.

As a recovering addict, I am the only one from my using days still alive and I don't really remember those days.

As a counselor of 28 years, I have never seen where altered states of consciousness has lead to more intimacy or a productive life. I have seen its long-term destructive effects.

IMHO, this isn't about legality or religious injunction. This is about my own personal opinion based on years of personal and professional cause-and-effect experience and observation.

Okay, I admit it, I still drink coffee. I'll go for sainthood next time around.

LinSuHill
09-29-2005, 09:44 AM
Hey, Jo... Just as an off-topic aside, isn't your signature quotation from a Discworld book by Terry Pratchet? I'm groping for the title but can't recall...

Mark Gibbons
09-29-2005, 09:55 AM
Thief of Time. Now there is a group of martial artists.

Mark

Qatana
09-29-2005, 10:11 AM
In my dojo, its actually Bill, 76 year-old Fourth Dan. But yes, LuTze, fastest janitor in the monastery...

James Davis
09-29-2005, 10:57 AM
This is a very interesting thread! Would be interested to hear experience of someone who has used marijuana and practiced aikido? Does it take you further away from ki? They say ecstacy makes you love everyone and everything - a shortcut to ki?!!!
From what I've seen, X is a shortcut to dancing until your brain fries or just being couched out. It's also no fun when people come down and start crying because their brain is incapable of letting them be happy (no seratonin). Sure, it makes you love everybody - including people that you shouldn't hang around with. :(
The shortcut to "soft ki" is relaxation, not house music. :p

bogglefreak20
09-29-2005, 01:51 PM
I got this from aikidofaq.com:

Dojo Etiquette
Proper observance of etiquette is as much a part of your training as is learning techniques. Please take the following guidelines seriously.
1. When entering or leaving the dojo, it is proper to bow in the direction of O Sensei's picture, the kamiza, or the front of the dojo. You should also bow when entering or leaving the mat.
2. No shoes on the mat.
3. Be on time for class.If you do happen to arrive late, sit quietly in seiza on the edge of the mat until the instructor grants permission to join practice.
4. If you should have to leave the mat or dojo for any reason during class, approach the instructor and ask permission.
5. Avoid sitting on the mat with your back to the picture of O Sensei or the kamiza. Also, do not lean against the walls or sit with your legs stretched out. (Either sit in seiza or cross- legged.)
6. Remove watches, rings and other jewelry before practice.
7. Do not bring food, gum, or beverages with you into the dojo.
8. Please keep your finger and toe nails cut short.
9. Please keep talking during class to a minimum. What conversation there is should be restricted to one topic -- Aikido.
10. Carry out the directives of the instructor PROMPTLY. Do not keep the rest of the class waiting for you!
11. Do not engage in rough-housing or needless contests of strength during class.
12. Keep your training uniform clean, in good shape, and free of offensive odors.
13. Please pay your membership dues promptly. If, for any reason, you are unable to pay your dues on time, talk with the person in charge of dues collection. Sometimes special rates are available for those experiencing financial hardship.
14. Do not change your clothes on the mat.
15. Remember that you are here to learn, and not to gratify your ego. An attitude of receptivity and humility (though not obsequiousness) is therefore advised.
16. Preserve common-sense standards of decency and respect at all times.

To me the rules above speak of Respect & Discipline. Not all dojos share the same rules, but up to a point they are bound to have some sort of guidelines for current and future members to follow.

As I see it, every Aikidoka should pay respect to the art itself, to the Founder, to his/her Sensei and to fellow Aikidoka. Making a decision to show up at practice in any other state except sober is in my opinion a violation of this rule. Suppose I come to my partner in a dirty dogi/with 2inch nails/smell of alcohol/weed/old sweat/... - can I honestly expect anyone not to see me as offensive? I am entering into someone's personal space, into an intimate relationship and I fail to be even a tad considerate to that person. Can I expect to be greeted with a smile and a kind dispossition?

One's personal freedom is limited by the freedom of our fellow-men. So it's not OK to do whatever you want just because we're in a democracy. It's OK to do whatever you want, as long as you remain respectful of other people's freedom. Otherwise you're not a spokesman for democracy, you're just being selfish.

And as for discipline, the answer seems to be even easier. When you become a member of any kind of a social group, you willingly accept some sort of rules. It doesn't matter whether we speak of laws, religious commandments or rules of conduct in a public library. One's personal freedom is always limited, even in a democracy you are obliged to follow rules. I don't suppose any dojo speaks explicitly of drug use, but it's our responsibility to use common sense and respect the SENSE in which the rules were written.

As for those that use substances (any kind) for medical purposes I believe that even in such a situation one does not have to be "under the influence" 24hrs/day, 7days/week. If I'm mistaken, please enlighten me.

May I just say that I would seriously reconsider training in a dojo where there was little or no respect & discipline present.

emma.mason15
09-29-2005, 05:41 PM
Ive gotta comment here ....
dope does limit reaction times ... although the user does not feel the effect .... and I also have to say ... ive trained with a hangover .... and I was slow and sluggish ... dope is a drug ... and drugs in the dojo ... HUGE no no!!!
no matter what the curcumstances ...
Thats all folks!

Lorien Lowe
09-29-2005, 10:42 PM
I think practicing drunk is worse that practicing stoned - more loss of motor and impulse control, also drunks smell bad. What about people who reek of cigarette smoke on the mat? - or does that go in the same category as BO?

Stoners can smell pretty darn bad, too.

Rink
09-29-2005, 10:55 PM
Stoners can smell pretty darn bad, too.

All though an extremely stereotypical and incorrect statement,
I think some fairness, and a bit of understanding is in order.
It is not 'stoners' that smells it is the person, who happens to smoke marijuana. Let us remember that the majority of people who consume cannabis (in whatever form) are normal everyday people, with normal everyday jobs, who do normal everyday things.

Eddie

akiy
09-29-2005, 11:22 PM
Hi folks,

Let's stay on the subject which is regarding people getting onto the mat under the influence of drugs.

Thanks,

-- Jun

Lee Mulgrew
09-30-2005, 05:31 AM
There's a time and place for everything. I recommend habitually keeping the aikido dojo a place that remains basically pure.

This pretty much sums it up for me. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against anyone doing any thing that they wish to as long as it has no negative effect on the people around them. But... getting high to go to trainig is not only irresponsible and dangerous for the people you train with, it is also extremely disrespectful to the whole ethos of Aikido. There is a time and place for everything... I would no more get stoned or drunk or whatever and go to Aikido than I would attack people shomen uchi to get to the bar first! (however tempting that may be!) ;)

Paul D. Smith
09-30-2005, 08:56 AM
By one definition, inherent in recreational drug use is that drugs are:

"Substances that are capable of altering natural biological processes, with their manipulating nature used in medicine as a corrective measure against deviances from these normal biological processes..."

I don't know that most use cannabis or alcohol in order to restore a normal biological process. From my history with both, it was to achieve an altered state of some kind. In other words, to be some place else than here and now.

To me, training is an effort to achieve clarity, often under exigent circumstances. To see clearly. To be here, now, fully.

Therefore, to me, drugs and training are absolutely antithetical to the purpose of each other. And I would expect my training partner to be of like mind.

Paul

Chad Scott
10-02-2005, 08:16 AM
Considering marijuana is widely illegal, sensei should set a better example. Shame on that whole group.

rachmass
10-02-2005, 11:07 AM
Maybe I am completely naive, but in my 20 plus years of practicing aikido, I have never once seen anyone either high or drunk on the mat. I have seen hung over people on the mat, and their aikido was definitely somewhat less attentive than typical, but I haven't had the misfortune of practicing with someone in an altered state <touches wood, and hopes it never happens> :hypno:

I should find it offensive and dangerous to practice with someone who was altered that way, as we really do try to give our partners our full attention and commitment. Doing so in an altered state would be unfair to everyone, and could be very dangerous.

Pauliina Lievonen
10-02-2005, 12:54 PM
Maybe I am completely naive, but in my 20 plus years of practicing aikido, I have never once seen anyone either high or drunk on the mat.
In just six years of practice, I have, unfortunately.
I should find it offensive and dangerous to practice with someone who was altered that way, as we really do try to give our partners our full attention and commitment. Doing so in an altered state would be unfair to everyone, and could be very dangerous.
Absolutely agree.

kvaak
Pauliina

Lan Powers
10-02-2005, 02:19 PM
By one definition, inherent in recreational drug use is that drugs are:

"Substances that are capable of altering natural biological processes, with their manipulating nature used in medicine as a corrective measure against deviances from these normal biological processes..."

I don't know that most use cannabis or alcohol in order to restore a normal biological process. From my history with both, it was to achieve an altered state of some kind. In other words, to be some place else than here and now.

To me, training is an effort to achieve clarity, often under exigent circumstances. To see clearly. To be here, now, fully.

Therefore, to me, drugs and training are absolutely antithetical to the purpose of each other. And I would expect my training partner to be of like mind.

Paul

Very well put!
I Especially concur with this portion...
>To me, training is an effort to achieve clarity, often under exigent circumstances. To see clearly. To be here, now, fully.<

I loved to smoke. I smoked daily , often, and under all facets of my daily routine. Decided that I was devoting too much effort to Scoring, finding, trying not to get caught with...etc. So I quit.

I was one of the ones who could "cope" with it. If you didn't know me WELL you never would have known.

I wouldn't even CONSIDER getting on the mat loaded. You put folks at risk, it isn't fun, and laying back cruising along high did NOT equate well with focusing and pushing you and your friends/loved ones/dojo mates to your limits and then pushing those limits back.
Smoke if you want. Train if you want. Just don't cheat you or your partner on the mat from training by trying to combine the two.

I need more focus than that in my training...and I need more focus from you if we train together.

Just my thoughts on the matter.
Lan

Lorien Lowe
10-02-2005, 06:40 PM
All though an extremely stereotypical and incorrect statement,
I think some fairness, and a bit of understanding is in order.
It is not 'stoners' that smells it is the person, who happens to smoke marijuana. Let us remember that the majority of people who consume cannabis (in whatever form) are normal everyday people, with normal everyday jobs, who do normal everyday things.
Eddie

Dude, I live in Humboldt Co, California. Cannabis is our main cash crop. I'm speaking from experience, not stereotyping.
When someone does weed, it makes their body smell like weed - just like eating garlic makes your body smell like garlic or drinking coffee makes your body smell like coffee (I'm trying to wean myself from coffee for this reason).

Working on something like, for instance, iriminage tenkan with someone who reeks of anything can be a pretty unplesant experience. There's one person in particular who's unplesant to be in the same half of the dojo with.

-L

Qatana
10-02-2005, 07:51 PM
Nobody's Body smells like weed. Its their Clothing. You can say exactly the same thing about tobacco smokers, and I've been thrown by some pretty high ranked people who stank of smoke.

Rink
10-02-2005, 09:35 PM
Dude, I live in Humboldt Co, California. Cannabis is our main cash crop. I'm speaking from experience, not stereotyping.
When someone does weed, it makes their body smell like weed - just like eating garlic makes your body smell like garlic or drinking coffee makes your body smell like coffee (I'm trying to wean myself from coffee for this reason).

Working on something like, for instance, iriminage tenkan with someone who reeks of anything can be a pretty unplesant experience. There's one person in particular who's unplesant to be in the same half of the dojo with.

-L

Regardless of where you live, it does not change the fact the Tetrahydrocannabinol is not released through sweat glands, therefore it is physically impossible for you to be smelling 'them' (hence the stink). Unlike alcohol, and other such substances (which are released through the sweat glands)


Nobody's Body smells like weed. Its their Clothing. You can say exactly the same thing about tobacco smokers, and I've been thrown by some pretty high ranked people who stank of smoke.

Well put, Jo.

Eddie

Lorien Lowe
10-02-2005, 09:56 PM
Nobody's Body smells like weed. Its their Clothing. You can say exactly the same thing about tobacco smokers, and I've been thrown by some pretty high ranked people who stank of smoke.

Uhhh, so they've been lighting up in the dressing room, to make their gi stink (no, they don't always bring their gi from home)?
No - having had my face shoved into enough of these gis, I don't get the impression that the scent is in the cloth unless the cloth is pretty wet. Nor is it just their breath.

I suppose it could be on their skin from having handled it, as opposed to leaking out from within via sweat - but it's an unmistakable, unplesant odor, and it tends to show up more (surprise, surprise) on people who use than on people who don't.

-L

Lorien Lowe
10-02-2005, 11:24 PM
I don't mean to imply that everyone who uses pot can necessarily be smelled - I know at least a few people who smoke on an occasional basis on whom I have never smelled the evidence. However, some people clearly can be differentiated by nose, and it's not nice to train around when this is true.

-L

Edwin Neal
02-18-2006, 08:03 PM
how can you tell the state of someone else's 'consciousness'? my consciousness is definately altered by whether i have my very strong morning cups of coffee or not... should i practice if i have drank coffee... or if i have not had my coffee... which is the proper state of consciousness? do all people share a "normal conscious state" or does it vary by individual? if your conscious is affected by both using substances and by not using substances, which is the path to follow? is there an optimal formula that gives the proper state of consciousness for practice or any other activity?

Lan Powers
02-18-2006, 09:30 PM
how can you tell the state of someone else's 'consciousness'? my consciousness is definately altered by whether i have my very strong morning cups of coffee or not... should i practice if i have drank coffee... or if i have not had my coffee... which is the proper state of consciousness? do all people share a "normal conscious state" or does it vary by individual? if your conscious is affected by both using substances and by not using substances, which is the path to follow? is there an optimal formula that gives the proper state of consciousness for practice or any other activity?

your state of consciousness is your own business, but being impaired and risking others is more the issue.
At least that is my take on the question.
It could even be boiled down to the concept of keeping your personal life off the mat.
Focus, train, don't hurt anyone. (Or put others at unneeded risk)
Lan

James Smithe
02-18-2006, 09:33 PM
Why is this back from the dead?

Edwin Neal
02-18-2006, 09:40 PM
how then do you define 'impaired consciousness'? can you tell if someones consciousness is impaired? does it matter how or what is impairing your consciousness? if i have my coffee and i'm wired does that count as impaired and pose unneeded risk? what if i'm groggy from not having coffee? what if my personal life impairs me on the mat? what if i don't realize this? how would you realize this? how does one keep their personal life off the mat?

siwilson
02-19-2006, 03:55 AM
how then do you define 'impaired consciousness'? can you tell if someones consciousness is impaired? does it matter how or what is impairing your consciousness? if i have my coffee and i'm wired does that count as impaired and pose unneeded risk? what if i'm groggy from not having coffee? what if my personal life impairs me on the mat? what if i don't realize this? how would you realize this? how does one keep their personal life off the mat?

In the cases you sight, if they mean you cannot train responsibly and controlled, then stay off the mat until you can.

SMART2o
02-19-2006, 10:24 AM
I read something about O'Sensei waking people up early to train vigorously when students would be drinking the night before.

As for the first post, if you are going to do it, don't announce it.

I used to smoke pot every day and aikido days were no exception. I think one of the senior students could tell because he used to always add a lot of atemi when I worked with him. One thing I have learned since then is that on the days I felt good when I used to smoke are actually pretty crappy in comparison to the days when I feel good now.

SMART2o
02-19-2006, 10:33 AM
What I don't get is why anybody would feel the need to combine any drug (pot, alcohol, etc) with aikido. As if it isn't enough fun already! I've tried at least 3/4 of the illegal substances out there (and all the legal ones), and none of them comes close to the euphoria of good aikido practice.


Agreed. I credit aikido very much in my ability to stop smoking both weed and cigarettes. Running and weight training also contributed.

SMART2o
02-19-2006, 10:39 AM
Question: What of those who smoke marijuana for it's medicinal purposes? Some of these people are known to participate in martial arts like Tai Chi and Aikido to help with the same problems that they smoke for. What's everyone's opinion on that?


My opinion is to go for it. AIkido can be practiced slowly and safely. We all remember our first few classes I'm sure. Keep it slow and train like a beginner. As for Tai Chi, have you ever heard of anyone getting injured practicing Tai Chi?

Edwin Neal
02-19-2006, 10:46 AM
How can you, or anyone else judge if you are 'impaired'? accidents do happen... does this mean that the practitioner was impaired and thus should not have been training? Did they not realize it? Can you then be 'okay' to train and yet become impaired 'during' class? How would you tell? Could you tell this about someone else? Do the terms 'responsibly and controlled' differ from person to person or are they say a set absolute standard? Do you think everyone practices 'responsibly and controlled' whether they are 'impaired' in anyway or not? Can we cite examples of people who were not practicing 'responsibly and controlled' and if so were they 'impaired' in some way? Could someone be 'impaired' and yet still practice 'responsibly and controlled'?

siwilson
02-19-2006, 10:51 AM
How can you, or anyone else judge if you are 'impaired'? accidents do happen... does this mean that the practitioner was impaired and thus should not have been training? Did they not realize it? Can you then be 'okay' to train and yet become impaired 'during' class? How would you tell? Could you tell this about someone else? Do the terms 'responsibly and controlled' differ from person to person or are they say a set absolute standard? Do you think everyone practices 'responsibly and controlled' whether they are 'impaired' in anyway or not? Can we cite examples of people who were not practicing 'responsibly and controlled' and if so were they 'impaired' in some way? Could someone be 'impaired' and yet still practice 'responsibly and controlled'?

Jeez, you been smokin' somethin' there, boy?

:D

SMART2o
02-19-2006, 10:51 AM
I can't believe that there's even a topic like this here. Does these things really occur?! Honestly, only a complete idiot would get high before aikido class!

Yes, these things really occur and not just in aikido, but in pretty much everything you could think of. We live in a drug seeking culture.

Edwin Neal
02-19-2006, 10:54 AM
No Si, just trying to set out what the terms mean to folks... and how these things are measured/judged...

Lan Powers
02-19-2006, 11:17 AM
No Si, just trying to set out what the terms mean to folks... and how these things are measured/judged...


Hard to put a "definate" definition to the terms....
We've all seen folks with scattered attention....A D D and other things, there is a danger to working with ANYONE who is un-focused. Haven't you seen the (usually/newbie) who while he is cutting the uke over is already looking around, seeking approval from the Sensei, not concentrating, or just has his mind slip into idle for a sec.?
This is very dangerous to all who are within reach of him/her, obviously, and you have to take special care to keep your ukemi in your own control rather than relying on the unnattentive to keep you safe.
Stoners are unnattentive and/or uninvolved by definition.- (My opinion)
I want to focus on learning, not trying to not be hurt from someone being slack in commitment to training by coming to the mat high.
You may have a differant view. People do. :rolleyes:
Safe productive training to you then.....(DO be careful tho)
Lan

Edwin Neal
02-19-2006, 12:53 PM
thats just what i'm getting at Lan, if someone who for instance has ADD is practicing how do you tell if they are impaired or not... have taken their medicine or not... are 'controlled and responsible' or not... I have practiced with people who would not be considered impaired in any sense, yet were not controlled and responsible and did cause injuries... and i have worked out with people who took plenty of 'drugs' for a variety of conditions, yet they were in my opinion much safer... it is all very good to want to be safe in practice, but how is that measured/achieved? I place safety first, thats the Navy motto and i stick to it, but isn't it at least possible that one can be unsafe while not under the influence and vice versa? and if so how does one make these kind of judgements fairly/realistically?

Lan Powers
02-19-2006, 04:33 PM
Tough question....there are no hard-and-fast answers. Each faces the same question alone, I think.
My thought is that if you have a choice, I.E. taking drugs and being in that case impaired as opposed to a person who "can't help it".
Which is responsilble? Who is acting in good faith? Who is "trying" and who is not?......
Your intentions. That is the crux of the matter.
Regards
Lan

Edwin Neal
02-19-2006, 05:37 PM
i agree with your sentiments Lan, but i am looking for how say a person teaching or leading a class would make these kind of calls...

Lan Powers
02-19-2006, 11:48 PM
What, now I am an authority? :)
I am only able to picture a person leading a class seeing obvious behaviour...all the signs of drug use are pretty blatant in most cases. The users who don't show it as much are of course less of a outright danger on the face of it, but are still being irresponsible to their partners and (hopefully) friends in the dojo.
If a person has a physical issue ...you mentioned ADD then the teacher should be told up front. They will see it pretty soon anyway if it is bad enough to warrent concern.
Once again, a grey area....
My first thought is that if you can't see the problem, it isn't enough of a problem to matter. But that belies the issues of responsibility that each student on the mat should address for themselves FIRST.
Regards
Lan

Edwin Neal
02-19-2006, 11:59 PM
thanks for your thoughts Lan, i still feel a little iffy on this one... my experience is that it is not pretty blatant, not usually obvious at all... and what if i think a student with ADD or some condition that required medication is okay to practice, but others don't? it still all seems rather unclear...