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Mary Eastland
08-26-2012, 07:37 AM
Reading the thread about self defense made me think about Tom Crum's example of real communication in "The Magic of Conflict."

To paraphrase, he talks about 2 people wanting an orange. Being reasonable people they discuss it and come to the conclusion that they would cut the orange in 2 and each have half.

So they cut the orange in half and were sort of ok with the decision.

Then the first man peeled his orange and ate the fruit and the other man zested the skin and threw out the fruit.
With just a little more communication they both could have all of what they wanted.

When uke attacks with intention and commitment and nage responds with the same we can both have all that we want. It takes work and the willingness to be truthful but the results are good.

MM
08-26-2012, 09:33 AM
Reading the thread about self defense made me think about Tom Crum's example of real communication in "The Magic of Conflict."

To paraphrase, he talks about 2 people wanting an orange. Being reasonable people they discuss it and come to the conclusion that they would cut the orange in 2 and each have half.

So they cut the orange in half and were sort of ok with the decision.

Then the first man peeled his orange and ate the fruit and the other man zested the skin and threw out the fruit.
With just a little more communication they both could have all of what they wanted.

When uke attacks with intention and commitment and nage responds with the same we can both have all that we want. It takes work and the willingness to be truthful but the results are good.

How do you explain some of what Morihei Ueshiba is supposed to have said? For example, according to Admiral Takeshita's diary, Ueshiba supposedly said, "Aiki is a means of achieving harmony with another person so that you can make them do what you want." To me, if I apply that to your example, if one man used aiki, he would have the orange while the other man did not. How do you see Ueshiba's words in your example?

Mary Eastland
08-26-2012, 09:55 AM
That would lead to continued conflict.

I don't quote Ueshiba so you might be right in your reasoning and yet the other point is so interesting to me. Maybe you can do as Jun and Janet suggested, if you don't agree you could start another thread about this topic.

Fred Little
08-26-2012, 10:14 AM
How do you explain some of what Morihei Ueshiba is supposed to have said? For example, according to Admiral Takeshita's diary, Ueshiba supposedly said, "Aiki is a means of achieving harmony with another person so that you can make them do what you want." To me, if I apply that to your example, if one man used aiki, he would have the orange while the other man did not. How do you see Ueshiba's words in your example?

With all due respect, Mark, I would ask that you publicly answer the following questions prior to responding to Mary:

What is your current level of active engagement with Aikido practice?

Who were/are your direct Aikido instructors?

How much direct experience do you have with Aikido practice?

Are you still a global climate change denialist?

Are you now or have you ever been a bible-thumper?

Basia Halliop
08-26-2012, 11:13 AM
Cool analogy, Mary, I like it.

Gary David
08-26-2012, 11:19 AM
Fred
I am not Mark though I agree with him in part and call him friend. So I have answered some of your questions below from my perspective.....

With all due respect, Mark, I would ask that you publicly answer the following questions prior to responding to Mary:

What is your current level of active engagement with Aikido practice?

Currently I am involved with the dojo I started with back in 1974. The grandson of my original teacher is now dojo cho and I am there to support him. The dojo will celebrate 50 years of continuous existence in 2014

Who were/are your direct Aikido instructors?

I put a picture up of who I felt had major influences on my path...it is in the Sensei section of the image gallery. some you may know and some you will not. I took ukemi from all of them.

How much direct experience do you have with Aikido practice?

1974 to 2012....38 years

Are you still a global climate change denialist?

it is what it is....not sure what the point was with this one other than to paint Mark with the color of another set you don't agree with or like.

Are you now or have you ever been a bible-thumper?

Is this one to separate the bible-thumpers from the New Age spiritual folks? As for me I am neither.

As for this whole dialog about Aikido, Aiki, Aiki-do, and beyond.... Maybe it is all about context...maybe that is what you were trying to establish with your question to Mark.

As for the situation.....we have two ends of the spectrum here with folks that take a New Age approach to all of this feeling that Aiki is blending and timing driven by love and those who might be more appropriately as fundamentalist rather than Bible-Thumpers. To me, again to me, the new age approach works in a cooperative environment on a steady basis, depending on the individual it may work in other environments dependent upon a number of factors....including how skilled the attacker is, how many are involved...a bunch of elements. ............. this is or can be conversation that never ends......

I understand were love works and I also understand there are places were the time doesn't exist for love to work....so what do you use there? All that Mark has been getting at....and I agree....is there is training, years in the doing, that allows the body to remake itself in a way that supports movement that can fit any of the perspectives that have been put forward here. It is hard work and long running....it can't be given to you one day and be effective the next..... and that is the rub here.

In the end maybe is is best we just shut this discussion of who has or does have Aiki, what is effective and what is not, what is the best set of basic training skills, who has it and who doesn't, who does it and who doesn't.......and move on.

Each can be happy with the "where" they are.

As for me....I still see thinks I want to explore....and I have friends that can provide those avenues...Mark being one of those friends.

Gary

MM
08-26-2012, 11:43 AM
That would lead to continued conflict.

I don't quote Ueshiba so you might be right in your reasoning and yet the other point is so interesting to me. Maybe you can do as Jun and Janet suggested, if you don't agree you could start another thread about this topic.

So, let me get this straight ...

You want to talk about the world of aikido that you know.
I asked about the world of aikido that I know and want.

Your answer was to split the world in two and allow each of us to have half? Sort of like an orange?

The difference being that you want to split the orange, er world, and I asked questions trying to carry the conversation further ... into an area where perhaps we both could function. You won't know that until the conversation is had.

But, perhaps you're right, perhaps it is best to split the orange, er worlds, and each take a half. But, then I'm confused about your original post...

Chris Li
08-26-2012, 11:56 AM
That would lead to continued conflict.

I don't quote Ueshiba so you might be right in your reasoning and yet the other point is so interesting to me. Maybe you can do as Jun and Janet suggested, if you don't agree you could start another thread about this topic.

I don't recall either of them saying that all posters to a thread must agree, it was mostly about being on-topic (which Mark was) and civility (also, which Mark was).

Seems like he had a legitimate question to me...

Best,

Chris

Carsten Möllering
08-26-2012, 12:25 PM
... we can both have all that we want.
This, I think, is an illusion.

I think there are times, both can have what they want.
And there are times, only one can have what he wants. And the other can't.

Wisdom to me seems to learn to distinguish these situations.
Wisdom to me seems to learn to know, when it is poosible for me to give in and to give away.
Wisdom to me seems to understand, when I have to push through my interests and get what I want.

aikidō to me is a method to help me to push trough my interestes in a bodily conflict. Because it is made to make another person follow what I want to do him or her. This is what I learned all those years as the essence of aiki. And this I try to teach.
If I don't have to push throug my intentions, there is no need using - what I understand as - aikidō. Then I can just let go.

(18 years of practice, no one here will know my direct teacher [rokudan aikikai], but his teachers where Yamaguchi sensei and Sugino sensei [my teacher is german shibucho of the sugino dōjō. And are Endo and Tissier sensei. My level I don't want to judge myself. As a theologist I follow the hermeneutics of Klaus Berger. Does any of this informations in any way help to judge my answer?)

Basia Halliop
08-26-2012, 12:25 PM
To me it's a question of good training, not 'what happens in a real conflict', which is not the same.

At least from what I've seen, good training can and should mean that both training partners are benefiting and learning from the training - this is true regardless of how cooperatively they are training, it's true even if both are 'fighting to win'.

It's not just taking turns getting a chance to train (which some people seem to think sometimes in an uke/nage paradigm -- or in other paradigms sometimes), both sides ARE training.

So yeah, to me the orange analogy speaks rather nicely to that uke/nage relationship.

graham christian
08-26-2012, 12:36 PM
To me it's a question of good training, not 'what happens in a real conflict', which is not the same.

At least from what I've seen, good training can and should mean that both training partners are benefiting and learning from the training - this is true regardless of how cooperatively they are training, it's true even if both are 'fighting to win'. It's not just taking turns getting a chance to train (which some people seem to think sometimes in an uke/nage paradigm), both sides ARE training.

So yeah, to me the orange analogy speaks rather nicely to that uke/nage relationship.

Nicely put.

Communication consists of both halves too.

Peace.G.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
08-26-2012, 01:06 PM
Wow. From this point onward I understand Mary's feeling that there is a hostile group.

Hellis
08-26-2012, 01:07 PM
I am going to play it safe and let Mary have the whole orange.

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://aikido-mma.blogspot.com/

phitruong
08-26-2012, 02:13 PM
I am going to play it safe and let Mary have the whole orange.

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://aikido-mma.blogspot.com/

you don't like the peels? the orange peels could make a nice popuri. i liked the peels. if it was me, i'll ask if i can have the peels and peeling the fruit first, then after i peeled the fruit i would keep the peels, licked the whole fruit and gave it to the other person. :D

MM
08-26-2012, 02:28 PM
Wow. From this point onward I understand Mary's feeling that there is a hostile group.

Hello Nicholas,
There is no hostility from me. I am actually agreeing to Mary's initial post and as such trying to keep that communication going so that there is no need to split the orange, per se. Unfortunately Mary's reply was, IMO, to split the orange. Which, then, brings me back to her initial post, which I was agreeing with. For the idea to work, there must be an openness on both sides. I agree with Mary's example - I think the orange would work for both of us rather than splitting it. As the example given, one must extend the communication. Either Mary truly believes in that initial post's ideology in the greater scheme of things or she just wants to post about her very own topics with no interference from others -- in other words, cut the orange in half. Hence my confusion.

To me, it was an illustrative post to start bridging the gap ... opening conversation ... but perhaps not.

Perhaps only one side has been willing to extend the conversation between every single aikido group out there, between aikido and all other martial arts, between young and old, between varied practices of martial to just health only, between disparate levels of skill, between women and men, all laughing, talking, training, from joyous to intense training ... while the other side ... I don't know. I'm still waiting for the confusion to clear ... words are easy, living them is tough.

Hellis
08-26-2012, 03:02 PM
you don't like the peels? the orange peels could make a nice popuri. i liked the peels. if it was me, i'll ask if i can have the peels and peeling the fruit first, then after i peeled the fruit i would keep the peels, licked the whole fruit and gave it to the other person. :D

Now, that sounds more appeeeeling :)

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://aikido-mma.blogspot.com/

Janet Rosen
08-26-2012, 03:04 PM
I thought Mary's OP was interesting AND I thought Mark Murray's reply was 100% on topic in that it brought in a quote from OSensei.
To return to the OP: it shows that reasonable discussion is limited by what mutual assumptions each of two parties bring to the table and hence what questions one is even capable of thinking to ask (like, what exactly do you want to do with the orange?).
I'm going to take this out of aikido for a bit, because I see this conundrum a lot in health care conversations, where the doctor, nurse or social worker has a goal and a set of priorities and assumptions that prevent them from asking the patient questions that would reveal what the patient's actual wishes, goals, and priorities are. So nobody is happy.
And to tie it back to what Mark wrote about OSensei and imposing his will.
I might have my goal, or will, to be that my patient will take the right dose of insulin.
But I don't go in with a big sign over my head announcing that. My approach is to ask as many questions as I can to get a sense of why my patient isn't taking the right dose of insulin. So I explore attitudes to diabetes and health in general to find out what his values are. I check on pharmacy and benefits and economic issues. I make a visit early in the morning to watch him test his blood sugar and draw up and give his insulin, so I can find out if there is a vision or memory or some other problem that nobody thought of. I find out if he actually understands the relationship between insulin and food and blood sugar and agrees with the doctor's current approach and desired blood sugar level or not.
In short I try to in a low key way identify any and all barriers to him taking the insulin as directed. Then I can get him to want to take it as directed and help him do so.
So I'm "imposing my will" by getting him to move towards the outcome I desire.
I think that when I've nailed something in the dojo it's essentially the same: I'm not muscling through or imposing a technique that I decide I want to do, I'm listening to uke enough that we can get to the same place, one that I want.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
08-26-2012, 03:06 PM
...

Janet Rosen
08-26-2012, 03:07 PM
you don't like the peels? the orange peels could make a nice popuri. i liked the peels. if it was me, i'll ask if i can have the peels and peeling the fruit first, then after i peeled the fruit i would keep the peels, licked the whole fruit and gave it to the other person. :D

To talk about oranges, hell, I don't like orange juice and I don't like to eat them, but I do buy one now and then to add the zest to food and then I end up adding the juice to the recipe too just to not be wasteful. The rest just does in the compost....:)

Janet Rosen
08-26-2012, 03:08 PM
With all due respect, Mark, I would ask that you publicly answer the following questions prior to responding to Mary:

What is your current level of active engagement with Aikido practice?

Who were/are your direct Aikido instructors?

How much direct experience do you have with Aikido practice?

Are you still a global climate change denialist?

Are you now or have you ever been a bible-thumper?

This to me has nothing to do with the thread.

Basia Halliop
08-26-2012, 03:27 PM
Mark said: "For example, according to Admiral Takeshita's diary, Ueshiba supposedly said, "Aiki is a means of achieving harmony with another person so that you can make them do what you want." To me, if I apply that to your example, if one man used aiki, he would have the orange while the other man did not. How do you see Ueshiba's words in your example?"

Well, one way of looking at it, as I said earlier, is the difference between a training situation (which IMO should be mutually beneficial) and the eventual application of that training in an actual conflict (where there may be one who benefits and one who loses).

I like this way of looking at it, too, though.

Janet said: "So I'm "imposing my will" by getting him to move towards the outcome I desire.
I think that when I've nailed something in the dojo it's essentially the same: I'm not muscling through or imposing a technique that I decide I want to do, I'm listening to uke enough that we can get to the same place, one that I want."

'achieving harmony with another person so that you can make them do what you want' sounds a bit like leading someone into choosing what you wanted them to choose all along. E.g., you leave your opponent, maybe slightly bemused, standing there (or lying there :) ) holding part of the orange you wanted them to have, remembering reaching for it, and thinking it seemed to make sense to do so at the time.

Though to be sure, that may be stretching the idea of 'everyone getting all of what they want' more than a bit. Though maybe your opponent did fully want it for a moment.

Basia Halliop
08-26-2012, 03:35 PM
But my initial reaction to the OP was about training, not a 'real' physical conflict. Because the words uke and nage were used, and to me those are words used to describe a training and teaching paradigm, not a 'real' conflict. I'm not sure the concept of uke and nage really applies in the same way outside of a training environment?

Janet Rosen
08-26-2012, 03:58 PM
But my initial reaction to the OP was about training, not a 'real' physical conflict. Because the words uke and nage were used, and to me those are words used to describe a training and teaching paradigm, not a 'real' conflict. I'm not sure the concept of uke and nage really applies in the same way outside of a training environment?

It depends, I think, on WHAT outside of a training environment you are talking about.
Me and my patient is closer to uke/nage than it is to warfare.
Cooperative training is not combat, combat is not a street mugging, etc....however in terms of verbal exchanges involving differing goals and values I think the "uke/nage" paradigm often is helpful.

Gary David
08-26-2012, 04:24 PM
When uke attacks with intention and commitment and nage responds with the same we can both have all that we want. It takes work and the willingness to be truthful but the results are good.

I think there is a clear distinction between tools and approaches used to resolve conflicts prior to it actual coming to blows...becoming a physical altercation...and those used once it has become physical. Any number of folks have taken Aikido concepts, principles, approaches, interpretations and modeled them into set that cam be used in the office, in schools, other work places, with family....any number of sitting. What happens when the conflict goes past the point of talking, then it skipped past that point, when you step into a situation you talk your way out of.....when someone is coming on to you to take you apart. When these folks are skilled and will not throw themselves out of balance, will not step back unto you are down...and maybe not even then. When someone wants something you have and are not willing to share it and you can't get agreement to share..... Sometime the choices may only be you or him..... what do you do?

All of the conflict resolution approaches are good, useful, should be trained and carried in one's toolkit. They need to be used as first choice. You need other skills as well, maybe 'old' school stuff, a look back at the training that was in place when most conflicts were more visibility physical.

To paraphrase what one of the more highly though of Aikido teachers here said years ago...."a knife is for cutting vegetables or for cutting people...you need the skills at both to make the right choice of when to use either....."

It is the same with what we are "conflicting" over here..... I am not against one or the other side....just when one says that the other is not needed........ One side saying one faction saying that some aspect of the needed training are missing and the other side saying it is not needed or we already do that......

Not sure this will ever be resolved....

Gary

Janet Rosen
08-26-2012, 06:36 PM
I think there is a clear distinction between tools and approaches used to resolve conflicts prior to it actual coming to blows...becoming a physical altercation...and those used once it has become physical. ...
To paraphrase what one of the more highly though of Aikido teachers here said years ago...."a knife is for cutting vegetables or for cutting people...you need the skills at both to make the right choice of when to use either....."

Yep. That's also I think what Basia was getting at in her posts.

Basia Halliop
08-26-2012, 08:15 PM
"I think there is a clear distinction between tools and approaches used to resolve conflicts prior to it actual coming to blows...becoming a physical altercation...and those used once it has become physical."

For me I'm not sure if the distinction I'm thinking of is between physical vs non-physical, exactly. I can think of both non-physical and physical kinds of conflicts where either model applies (both being able to get what they want or need vs one getting what they want or need and the other losing).

Kevin Leavitt
08-26-2012, 09:48 PM
Janet Rosen wrote:

I n short I try to in a low key way identify any and all barriers to him taking the insulin as directed. Then I can get him to want to take it as directed and help him do so.
So I'm "imposing my will" by getting him to move towards the outcome I desire.
I think that when I've nailed something in the dojo it's essentially the same: I'm not muscling through or imposing a technique that I decide I want to do, I'm listening to uke enough that we can get to the same place, one that I want.

Great example. This thought comes to mind....

So do we accept the role of benevolent parent? That is, based on our skills, maturity, insights etc. Do we assess that the "other" might have less skill, knowledge, maturity, ability, responsibility...that in some cases they my be like a small child and we need to mentor and guide them to do the right things? In the case that they might cause harm to themselves or others do we step in and intervene with blunt and direct action, albeit with compassion to stop harm?

I think in many cases yes. I think that in many cases we may be in that role and need to consider that we might know what is best.

In other cases we could be dealing with an equal. That is we have a real need to try and reach common ground and find a way out that is mutual. I think these instances are probably rarer than most.

I think in some cases compromise that is completely equal is not possible and we must make a decision about what actions we are going to take.

I think that budo is about gaining the wisdom necessary to make tough choices in these situations and realize that sometimes there is no one right answer.

Fred Little
08-26-2012, 10:01 PM
This to me has nothing to do with the thread.

One could say that it has nothing to do with the original post.

It has something to do with Mark's habitual thread jacking, his exceedingly narrow, mechanistic, and reductionist approach that, however overtly civil, consistently takes an aggressive and hostile line toward any analogy or metaphor which isn't congruent with said approach, and his perpetual refusal to allow any conversation to develop along any lines that would seem troublesome to any one of several types of 'thinkers' referenced in my post, which distinguishes itself from his initial reply by the honesty of its aggressive tone and content, as distinct from the meretricious, disingenuous and destructively argumentative logorrhea which he inflicts on any original poster who begins from a set of premises distinct from his idee fixe.

In this sense it has to do with the original post -- on which I take no position -- precisely so as to allow for the discussion of others on that topic without the habitual interference of someone who always talks but rarely listens, and whose qualifications to do so are (Gary Welborn's post above notwithstanding) dubious.

Power moves objects. Metaphor moves history. This is not a matter which should be relegated to the sidebar because of a few individuals with a monomania, no matter how fruitful that monomania may be in some respects.

On which note I will say goodnight and STFU.

FL

Mary Eastland
08-26-2012, 10:04 PM
Maybe we let uke find their own way through suggestion and encouragement. Does imposing our will on another resolve anything? Going past compromise to something better would be my choice.

Basia Halliop
08-26-2012, 10:16 PM
Maybe we let uke find their own way through suggestion and encouragement.
Yes

Does imposing our will on another resolve anything?
I would have to say -- yes. I really think there are situations were it does resolve something. Those situations are very very rare and sometimes the resolution is of the 'least bad solution' type, but sometimes imposing our will on another keeps people from getting hurt.

Going past compromise to something better would be my choice.
Yes, when at all possible that is the preferred option. And it's also true, I'm sure, that some of the time when we think it isn't possible, it's because we haven't looked at the problem from the right angle yet, or understood the situation clearly enough.

Mary Eastland
08-26-2012, 10:23 PM
I agree. It is an ideal. I don't mean to imply it can always be achieved. It does make aikido so interesting and challenging.

Carsten Möllering
08-27-2012, 02:24 AM
Does imposing our will on another resolve anything?
This is what I tried to say:
Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. We have to learn to distinguish.
And we have to learn about our criteria and maybe change them.

Kevin Leavitt
08-27-2012, 03:32 AM
This is what I tried to say:
Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. We have to learn to distinguish.
And we have to learn about our criteria and maybe change them.

Agree, it may be short term and not sustainable, but sometimes it is necessary. Do no harm, Stop Harm comes to mind.

amoeba
08-27-2012, 06:32 AM
First of all, I am really, really confused about the whole discussion in this thread - Marks post sounded completely on topic, civil and reasonable to me and in my view had nothing at all to do with "thread hijacking". He postet his opinion (actually backed by O-Sensei's quote) on the OP and didn't even really contradict it, just brought a different angle into the discussion. I don't really see the point of a discussion if only people who agree with everything are allowed to post in a thread and the rest are supposed to "open their own thread"...

@topic: For me, there are two different ways of interpreting the analogy.

If I just look at the technique, I wouldn't agree. When I'm uke, my goal is to attack with all I have(and hit tori, if possible), then take my balance back, maybe attack again. Tori's goal is to unbalance me and do his technique.

But obviously I also enjoy being unbalanced, I enjoy being thrown, I enjoy being able to give everything I have and the technique still works on me. So in a more general way - yes, of course everyone can have what they want. I enjoy being uke at least as much as being nage, probably more. I guess in part *because* I don't get what I want in the technique. But that doesn't mean I don't get what I want from the training...

Understandable? I don't know, it's hard to put that stuff into words...

Janet Rosen
08-27-2012, 10:40 AM
So do we accept the role of benevolent parent? That is, based on our skills, maturity, insights etc. Do we assess that the "other" might have less skill, knowledge, maturity, ability, responsibility...
In other cases we could be dealing with an equal. That is we have a real need to try and reach common ground and find a way out that is mutual. I think these instances are probably rarer than most...
I think in some cases compromise that is completely equal is not possible and we must make a decision about what actions we are going to take.
I think that budo is about gaining the wisdom necessary to make tough choices in these situations and realize that sometimes there is no one right answer.

That's where quick assessment is so important - and I would say this holds in ANY situation, in the dojo, in a patient's home, on the street: adversary or not? (if so, risk level?) (clearly in most dojo or patient situations it is unusual but it's not unheard of!) - level of competence/equal or not? - dealing in "good faith" or not? etc.

In a situation where someone is at risk, one takes immediate necessary appropriate action, whether it is de-escalating the situation, leaving, calling Adult Protective Services or hitting somebody upside the head with a 2x4.

To return to the OP, which was talking more about dojo stuff, normally there is not an adversarial relationship, attack notwithstanding. There is a shared mutual goal of good training, a lack of desire to actually hurt one's partner, and hopefully also dealing with the other person in good faith.

Janet Rosen
08-27-2012, 10:41 AM
@topic: For me, there are two different ways of interpreting the analogy.
If I just look at the technique, I wouldn't agree. When I'm uke, my goal is to attack with all I have(and hit tori, if possible), then take my balance back, maybe attack again. Tori's goal is to unbalance me and do his technique.

Could you envision the shared goal being that each is doing her best to connect with the other person's center?

Keith Larman
08-27-2012, 11:17 AM
Maybe we let uke find their own way through suggestion and encouragement. Does imposing our will on another resolve anything? ...

Of course one always hopes to find ways to resolve things peacefully. And to kindly guide. But in terms of imposing will and resolution, it all depends on what the other person is intent upon doing. If it is something truly bad then I may in fact have to impose my will to stop them from doing that.

My wife and I have trained dogs (and competed in obedience competitions at a very high level) for, well, decades now. We train trainers. I am a firm believer in positive reinforcement and finding ways to guide the animal towards the behavior you desire. Corrections are a thing that should be rare and only given in context of an animal doing something *they* already know they shouldn't be doing. But I'd like to point out something else as well -- if you convince someone to come over to "your side" even through gentle persuasion, are you not still "imposing" your will? Of course it is not forceful nor through intimidation, but you are still imposing your will if you succeed.

I think the basic misunderstanding here is that in a conflict one is trying to impose their will from the start. The question is how they go about it. I sincerely believe that you always start from a point of gentle persuasion and guidance. But sometimes that's not good enough. And if the situation is such that harm may come to you or someone else, well, maybe you need to do enough to prevent that harm. And that can include very serious things assuming you're capable of doing them. And I worry that focusing too much on either extreme (only warm fuzzies vs. kill them all and let god sort out the rest) blinds one to the options.

Basia Halliop
08-27-2012, 11:28 AM
Keith said "I think the basic misunderstanding here is that in a conflict one is trying to impose their will from the start."

I think sometimes that's true, yes. But there are so many kinds of conflicts. Some kinds just need 'a' resolution, i.e., there may be many different ways of resolving that particular conflict, and some solutions may not be what you originally thought was necessary, or they may not require you to unilaterally decide what the solution needs to be and then make that solution happen.

E.g., sometimes (e.g. when someone is going to get hurt or sometimes when one is dealing with children or dogs) it's appropriate and necessary for one person to 'take charge' and make what needs to happen, happen (whether by force, guidance, persuasion, etc).

Other times it's far more appropriate and helpful to extend some respect to your opponent and for both people in a conflict to reach a mutual solution together.

Gary David
08-27-2012, 11:54 AM
I think the basic misunderstanding here is that in a conflict one is trying to impose their will from the start. The question is how they go about it. I sincerely believe that you always start from a point of gentle persuasion and guidance. But sometimes that's not good enough. And if the situation is such that harm may come to you or someone else, well, maybe you need to do enough to prevent that harm. And that can include very serious things assuming you're capable of doing them. And I worry that focusing too much on either extreme (only warm fuzzies vs. kill them all and let god sort out the rest) blinds one to the options.

All in all there are a number of concepts, precepts, approaches that cross mingle in all of these threads these days........

Anyways...trying to keep on task here. Years back several of us were down near UCI after class on campus and it was decided to stop by a local campus pub for a beer. As we walked into the place, I was like third in the group, I felt a really heavy dark intent coming from a guy sitting at the bar as I started to pass. My immediate thought was and it was very clear that he was going to ambush me as I passed......I looked him in the eye and said something like "hey how is it going?" His intent disappeared and I passed without issue. My comment to him made him aware that I was aware and that an ambush was not possible...he dropped it. I am sure he got back from me my willingness and intent to address the situation at whatever level he wanted to take it. This is a situation where I may have imposed my will on him, but without a physical altercation. If he had stepped off his stool and took a step toward me I would have dropped him on the spot.

The point I have always tried to make here is that you need all the tools to be effective in whatever approach you take. You seek our and train in areas of weakness and you explore to find what is out there that can be useful. Where you can you test your skills in a training environment set up specifically to help.

Gary

mathewjgano
08-27-2012, 03:49 PM
How do you explain some of what Morihei Ueshiba is supposed to have said? For example, according to Admiral Takeshita's diary, Ueshiba supposedly said, "Aiki is a means of achieving harmony with another person so that you can make them do what you want." To me, if I apply that to your example, if one man used aiki, he would have the orange while the other man did not. How do you see Ueshiba's words in your example?

Mary's analogy has to do with making sure people understand each other better before proceeding into an immutable situation where both sides lose out on something. I see this relating to what you described in that, if the people had been able to find common understanding of exactly what they wanted (found better terms for their semantics), they both could have caused the other to do what they wanted (i.e. give the aspect of the orange they actually wanted).
So O Sensei may have said, "I want that orange." The Admiral might have said, "I want that orange." O Sensei might then have said, "what are your plans for the orange?" The good Admiral might then have replied, "I want to use the rind." O Sensei perhaps would have said, "cool dude! Give me the meat of the fruit when you're done, please." And they would have both got what they wanted through the act of blending their actions to suit their respective goals.
The problem of course comes when people want the same thing but are unwilling to share, or when only one of those people is unwilling to share and exerts their will. Unless the one exerting their will can convince the other to go along with it, there will be conflict, even if only in terms of intent alone...which has a funny habit of lasting, even through multiple generations.
In my personal experience, which mostly smells of roses I must admit, acts of selfless magnamity tend to inspire a similar response. Acts which appear to serve some ulterior purpose do not, and tend to in turn cause behavior which is somewhat more self-serving. The "trick" is how to display authenticity when trying to be magnanimous. Because of this, to get the other person to do what I want, I usually try to do what they want first. I rarely ask anything of anyone because I find it makes people more likely to help me in the long run. This kind of behavior has its own pit-falls, but it is a kind of non-verbal communication which people tend to listen to better than any argument I might be able to present.
...So it seems to me, at any rate.
We can probably extrapolate this analogy to any number of other circumstances to suit any number of ethical dilemmas (or responses), but that's the problem/beauty with hypotheticals: they're a veritable playground for the "what-if" part of the mind.
Ultimately it takes a great effort on the part of the "talker" and the "listener" and I think suspending our beliefs, which arise quite naturally throughout any conversation, is usually key to arriving at an understanding and then moving on to reconcilliation of what might appear to be opposing intentions.

Chris Li
08-27-2012, 03:57 PM
In my personal experience, which mostly smells of roses I must admit, acts of selfless magnamity tend to inspire a similar response. Acts which appear to serve some ulterior purpose do not, and tend to in turn cause behavior which is somewhat more self-serving. The "trick" is how to display authenticity when trying to be magnanimous. Because of this, to get the other person to do what I want, I usually try to do what they want first. I rarely ask anything of anyone because I find it makes people more likely to help me in the long run. This kind of behavior has its own pit-falls, but it is a kind of non-verbal communication which people tend to listen to better than any argument I might be able to present.


Since we're talking about martial arts, a reasonable expectation of a situation is one in which one party wants everything - your money, for example. I wonder if a selfless act would be effective in this situation?

Best,

Chris

Basia Halliop
08-27-2012, 04:46 PM
Since we're talking about martial arts, a reasonable expectation of a situation is one in which one party wants everything - your money, for example. I wonder if a selfless act would be effective in this situation?

No, probably not. Unless maybe they would be likely to escalate the conflict much further and by giving them the money you avoid escalation and get away with no money but unharmed -- but clearly that would not be a best-case ending! Not really a success per se, more like harm mitigation. This is a relatively predatory kind of conflict.

However there are many other kinds of physical conflicts, e.g., involving loss of temper, loss of 'face', perceived threat, and so on. Hotter, more irrational kinds of conflicts, I guess you could say, rather than cold ones. I think there are definitely some conflicts, even very dangerous physical ones, that can sometimes be resolved by better communication such that each party can get what they want.

Chris Li
08-27-2012, 05:01 PM
No, probably not. Unless maybe they would be likely to escalate the conflict much further and by giving them the money you avoid escalation and get away with no money but unharmed -- but clearly that would not be a best-case ending! Not really a success per se, more like harm mitigation. This is a relatively predatory kind of conflict.

However there are many other kinds of physical conflicts, e.g., involving loss of temper, loss of 'face', perceived threat, and so on. Hotter, more irrational kinds of conflicts, I guess you could say, rather than cold ones. I think there are definitely some conflicts, even very dangerous physical ones, that can sometimes be resolved by better communication such that each party can get what they want.

Aboslutely - but I think that it would be dangerous to assume that better communication is always the best option.

Best,

Chris

mathewjgano
08-27-2012, 06:14 PM
Since we're talking about martial arts, a reasonable expectation of a situation is one in which one party wants everything - your money, for example. I wonder if a selfless act would be effective in this situation?

Best,

Chris

Well, the original analogy was much less martial than that, but in such a case, I would agree even the best communication has its limits, particularly when the other person is effectively deaf, willfully so or otherwise. Perhaps in a more martial setting, O Sensei would be the one making the Admiral shave the rind before then making the admiral plop orange wedges into his mouth...evileyes while smiling devilishly of course!:D

gregstec
08-27-2012, 06:28 PM
Then the first man peeled his orange and ate the fruit and the other man zested the skin and threw out the fruit.
With just a little more communication they both could have all of what they wanted.

.

I have heard the orange story before, and I agree with its point. "Talking and Listening" are the yin and yang of a verbal communications system; they cannot exist without each other and they both have responsibilities within the relationship - The Talker is responsible to ensure the Listener understands the message and the Listener is responsible to ensure the Talker knows they understand the message - this is accomplished via an 'echo' where the Listener repeats back the message to the Talker and the Talker responds with an acknowledgment - in military communications, this is crucial,

Unfortunately, language (verbal and written) is an extremely poor communications system due to the vast potential for misunderstanding from filtering, assumption, and culture influences; this entire Forum is full of examples of this. IMO, I think too many people are talking when they should be listening, and there is way not enough 'echoing' going on :) Some say mathematics is the universal communications language because it is what it is and there is no room for misunderstanding - so with that in mind, here is my best binary verse: 11100011101110110011001110111111100000111000111110001100000011111100101010011000 :D

Greg

Basia Halliop
08-27-2012, 10:27 PM
Aboslutely - but I think that it would be dangerous to assume that better communication is always the best option.

Best,

Chris

Well, I can see that it may sometimes be entirely insufficient, but I'm having trouble thinking of why it would be actually harmful or any reason for not using it? Understanding the conflict better doesn't, as far as I can see, preclude further action.

Or do you just mean that sometimes it's beneficial to trick someone or not let them know what you want? Or that communication sometimes takes time that's better spent?

Chris Li
08-27-2012, 10:32 PM
Well, I can see that it may sometimes be entirely insufficient, but I'm having trouble thinking of why it would be actually harmful or any reason for not using it? Understanding the conflict better doesn't, as far as I can see, preclude further action.

Or do you just mean that sometimes it's beneficial to trick someone or not let them know what you want? Or that communication sometimes takes time that's better spent?

Well, there are always going to be times when a particular strategy works better then others. In terms of martial arts - I can think of any number of situations where communicate first wouldn't be the best option.

Best,

Chris

Janet Rosen
08-27-2012, 10:58 PM
Well, there are always going to be times when a particular strategy works better then others. In terms of martial arts - I can think of any number of situations where communicate first wouldn't be the best option.

Best,

Chris

Chris, it depends on how you define communication. To me it does include either hissing or screaming, whichever is appropriate, "get the f*** away from me" - as well as an entire spectrum of non verbal communication from glares to postural changes to - as they say - smacking a donkey over the head with a 2x4 to get its attention. I do believe in de-escalating whenever possible but to me the essence of effective communication of ANY kind is clarity to minimize as much as possible the risk of misunderstanding.

Basia Halliop
08-27-2012, 11:03 PM
Yeah, what Janet just said.

Chris Li
08-28-2012, 01:22 AM
Chris, it depends on how you define communication. To me it does include either hissing or screaming, whichever is appropriate, "get the f*** away from me" - as well as an entire spectrum of non verbal communication from glares to postural changes to - as they say - smacking a donkey over the head with a 2x4 to get its attention. I do believe in de-escalating whenever possible but to me the essence of effective communication of ANY kind is clarity to minimize as much as possible the risk of misunderstanding.

True, but I think we're getting away from the kind of communication that was being discussed in the OP.

Best,

Chris

Janet Rosen
08-28-2012, 01:55 AM
True, but I think we're getting away from the kind of communication that was being discussed in the OP.

Best,

Chris

Are we? To me the essence of the Crum story as related by Mary is that clarity in communication (each person defining what they wanted the orange for) would have led to a better outcome.

Is that also the essence of what Mary followed with in her take on uke/nage? Not really. The essence as I read that paragraph is that training is best when uke and nage share the same traits (intent, commitment). This is different from the Crum story in which two parties' traits (goals, desires) are different but woukd have been solved by clear communication.

So I hadn't realized it until formulating my reply to Chris, but now it appears to me the OP is sort of a non sequiter in that the upper part does not logically connect to the lower part. And maybe that's contributing to some of the oddness of much of the ensuing discussion! :-)

Chris Li
08-28-2012, 01:59 AM
Are we? To me the essence of the Crum story as related by Mary is that clarity in communication (each person defining what they wanted the orange for) would have led to a better outcome.

Is that also the essence of what Mary followed with in her take on uke/nage? Not really. The essence as I read that paragraph is that training is best when uke and nage share the same traits (intent, commitment). This is different from the Crum story in which two parties' traits (goals, desires) are different but woukd have been solved by clear communication.

So I hadn't realized it until formulating my reply to Chris, but now it appears to me the OP is sort of a non sequiter in that the upper part does not logically connect to the lower part. And maybe that's contributing to some of the oddness of much of the ensuing discussion! :-)

Well, a smack in the face with no pre-amble is communication too - and very clear. I don't think, however, that it's the kind of communication that she had in mind...

I don't think it's that much of a non-sequitur, the communication in the Crum story would have been solved by clear communication - but, sadly, that isn't always the case.

Best,

Chris

Kevin Leavitt
08-28-2012, 06:08 AM
looking back at the OP after what Janet wrote above...yea I think Janet nailed the issue.

Mary E wrote:

When uke attacks with intention and commitment and nage responds with the same we can both have all that we want. It takes work and the willingness to be truthful but the results are good.

seeking to understand is always a trait that we can improve upon, especially when have room and time to do so. I think the orange story demonstrates this very well.

Translating this into budo I think is possible, but we have to consider much more than the clinical and neat/clean philosophical aspects of the situations we encounter many times.

Using the words "attack" in conjunction the orange story brings up different elements that I think complicate things. I think there is a big difference between conflict over an orange and conflict over the intent to actually attack someone.

I think it is more than the level of intent or the emotional investment too, although there is intent and emotion over an orange.

I think when we are discussing issues over true and physical harm it is very difficult to speak in terms of win/win...and we need to be pragmatic about it,

That said, as far as a model for conflict resolution and yes, I also agree that expanding our skills in order to create space and seeking to better understand allows us to make better choices and can go along way in creating win/win.

However, not every fairy tale has a happy ending. I think as budoka we need to study this and embrace it more so than focusing on the happy endings only as can be the case.

However, this should not take away from the message that Mary is conveying as I think it is a good example giving the context in which it was offered. Save removing the linkage to attack as I don't think it translates well or directly in this respect.

lbb
08-28-2012, 07:44 AM
True, but I think we're getting away from the kind of communication that was being discussed in the OP.


Oh, that happened some time ago. Ironically, it illustrates OP's point.

The story in the OP is about a situation in which two people's communication is stunted and constrained by their assumptions about what the other wants. That same assumption pervades most of the stunted communication on aikiweb, unfortunately. Worse still is the way we need to add an icing of judgment on top of the case: I'm going to make assumptions about what you want/are trying to do, slap my labels on it, and hold it up to ridicule. But I digress.

Keith Larman
08-28-2012, 08:30 AM
Well, honestly I think it is a lovely parable. And like all parables the lesson it teaches isn't intended to be some super deep universal truth that is always applicable to all situations. I think that's what finally set Fred off on his critique. I will admit I had a somewhat negative reaction to Mark's post given the history of posts here. The parable has a "truth" of sorts it is trying to communicate. And it is a lovely sentiment as others have commented upon already, expanding and looking at some of the subtle meanings of the story. Sure, once you then take that parable and start dissecting it from any number of particular perspectives "it ain't necessarily so" comes to mind. But that doesn't negate the value of the parable. My earlier comment about extremes talks to this sort of thing. Those who are seeing things through a very focused lens (meaning both very clear but also a very constrained view) will immediately see fault in various places. But again, that doesn't negate the value of parable in communicating meaning and ideas.

Sometimes you need to leave some thoughts at the door. As Dr. Goldsbury wrote elsewhere, there is a time and place for everything. There is value in parable as evidenced by many posts here. Or we can become completely engulfed in each of our own monomania and discussion will devolve. Metaphors allow people to make deeper connections in a very rich way. Nietzsche's writings today would likely never be as popular as they are today if he wasn't just so damned quotable. Enjoy metaphor and parable. Let them roll around in your head. Find meaning. And try not to shove them in to square holes. ;)

I like Mark. I frankly agree with much of what he's talking about too in terms of Aikido and ki and what not. But there's a lot more to talk about and sometimes, well, we can really overthink things. And going laser like to the same ideas over and over again can stifle an awful lot of very good discussions.

So... I have enjoyed a number of the discussions. The ideas about what it means to "impose one's will" evolved from the discussion, a very interesting philosophical point. Other interesting ideas evolved out as well. So my sincere suggestion for this forum is to focus on letting these things go sometimes. We don't always have to engage in a complete reduction to fundamental truths but should sometimes let the metaphors fly and see where they go. Lots of good can come from that.

FWIW my brother is an engineer. Love him dearly. But for a very long time it was *very* difficult to have philosophical discussions with him as he would almost always go in to rigid engineer mode almost instantly. So much richness missed. Nowadays as we're both older I've learned to be more relaxed about it and he's found that there's a lot more out there once you start looking up and beyond the details.

Interesting considering the title of the thread is "Talking and listening". Sometimes we need to listen more and talk less. Which I suppose means I should say... Carry on... :)

Keith Larman
08-28-2012, 08:54 AM
But I'll also say that Mark's question *is* a valid question. Just not the only thing to talk about. So I reminded myself that one way to keep these things going is to focus on the parts you are interested in and participate. I don't need to answer Mark's point because I think he is essentially right on that one aspect. All the other stuff is still there to talk about, however... :)

An interesting introduction to Aesop (http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/bl/bl_aesop_preface.htm), fwiw.

lbb
08-28-2012, 09:44 AM
Keith, thank you for your thoughts. You said it so much better than I could have.

I liked the original post very much. For me, it was a reminder that if I can set assumptions aside, I can sometimes give myself more options. Broadening your mind, reserving judgment, listening instead of talking, is for your benefit.

And as far as the limits of parable...yes, that. The OP was not a statement that every situation is a "you want the skin, I want the juicy parts" situation, just a reminder to be open to where such situations exist. I think one reason why parables are useful is that we human beings particularize, and parables have the power to break us out of that rut. But if you've really got that particularization habit ingrained, you're going to try to particularize the parable as well.

A good article relating to this whole dynamic is here (http://37signals.com/svn/posts/3124-give-it-five-minutes):

While he was making his points on stage, I was taking an inventory of the things I didn’t agree with. And when presented with an opportunity to speak with him, I quickly pushed back at some of his ideas. I must have seemed like such an asshole.

His response changed my life. It was a simple thing. He said “Man, give it five minutes.” I asked him what he meant by that? He said, it’s fine to disagree, it’s fine to push back, it’s great to have strong opinions and beliefs, but give my ideas some time to set in before you’re sure you want to argue against them. “Five minutes” represented “think”, not react. He was totally right.

Janet Rosen
08-28-2012, 10:18 AM
So... I have enjoyed a number of the discussions. The ideas about what it means to "impose one's will" evolved from the discussion, a very interesting philosophical point. Other interesting ideas evolved out as well. So my sincere suggestion for this forum is to focus on letting these things go sometimes. We don't always have to engage in a complete reduction to fundamental truths but should sometimes let the metaphors fly and see where they go. Lots of good can come from that.

Amen!

Gary David
08-28-2012, 10:50 AM
All the other stuff is still there to talk about, however... :)



Some thoughts here....perspectives in play.....some of the folks here, me included, see Aikido as fundamentally as a form of modern physical self-defense, limited in some ways, but still a form of self-defense in a physical setting. I don't see Aikido as a way to operate my daily life, it is not a way to world peace and it isn't universal love. Tools for conversation, for listening, for conflict resolution, for teaming, for getting along with others...all exist outside of Aikido and much of it before Aikido came into play. My use of distraction with my daughter when she was young didn't come out of Aikido...... Given that related principles exist here and could be touching behavior in ways I don't see......the fundamental approach I have taken to Aikido shapes the way I see the dialog.

As for imposing one's will on another....it may not always be that. As I think back about the situation I related to in the Campus Pub when it was clear to me that the intent of the individual seated at the bar was to take a swing at me and my saying something to him distracted him, wiggled him....maybe imposed an idea on him rather than imposing me on him. Had I dropped him on the spot that would have been imposing me on him.... Maybe we impose ideas on folks as a condition less than imposing ourselves on them. Just a thought.

Gary

Keith Larman
08-28-2012, 11:10 AM
Some thoughts here....perspectives in play.....some of the folks here, me included, see Aikido as fundamentally as a form of modern physical self-defense, limited in some ways, but still a form of self-defense in a physical setting. I don't see Aikido as a way to operate my daily life, it is not a way to world peace and it isn't universal love.

Actually I don't disagree personally. However, many who practice Aikido today do have a vastly larger perspective on the applicability of the art to many things. Aikido went a whole lot of directions... So while I may not participate much in the discussion about how the whole orange metaphor works in terms of Aikido, I do see the metaphor as a valuable one regardless. And clearly for some they do see much of that as relevant to their practice including universal love and world peace kinda stuff. As such much of that discussion is simply not one I need to participate in. Sure, now and then there will be the discussion as to whether this is *really* what Aikido is all about or *really* what O-sensei intended, but... It is clear that it evolved that way for a whole lot of folk (hence the way many distinguish between what they see as Ueshiba's Aikido vs. modern Aikido vs. whatever). So of course now and again there will be the discussion as to what Aikido *really* is, but it doesn't have to be in *every* conversation and sometimes those with that other view of how things work like to have their own discussions. Like it or not, the world of Aikido is huge, diverse, and quite a mess of ideas. And my solid foundation is someone else's misguided mess.

I see little point in defending or asserting particular views in every conversation among those who do have a different worldview on the topic. Then again I don't think one needs to wail against it either when someone does. They should just carry on, have their conversation, and ignore the other discussion if it isn't what they want to talk about.

Keith Larman
08-28-2012, 11:16 AM
And on imposing...

My only point is that any time there is anything done, even if it is avoidance, you are shaping the situation. You are trying to change how things are going to go which in turn is taking control yourself. Even the person who tries all sorts of warm, fuzzy, even sweet talking approach to calm someone down is trying to assert some sort of control over the other person. We tend to use the word "imposing" to carry connotations of "taking over" in a sort of negative way. And often people like to say that this is a "bad" thing to do, it is about power, violence and control, etc. However, some of the most insidious examples of power grabs and controlling behavior I've seen has been by people who act like the noble person just trying to rise above the fray. Passive aggressive people who wear the garb of the peaceful, enlightened warrior who in the end are little more than potential cult figures. For them it is still about control. Imposing their will.

Whether this has anything to do with Aikido is another issue entirely. I just thought it was an interesting issue as people tend to use the terms with subtly different meanings depending on what they want to show.

morph4me
08-28-2012, 11:18 AM
Some thoughts here....perspectives in play.....some of the folks here, me included, see Aikido as fundamentally as a form of modern physical self-defense, limited in some ways, but still a form of self-defense in a physical setting. I don't see Aikido as a way to operate my daily life, it is not a way to world peace and it isn't universal love. Tools for conversation, for listening, for conflict resolution, for teaming, for getting along with others...all exist outside of Aikido and much of it before Aikido came into play. My use of distraction with my daughter when she was young didn't come out of Aikido...... Given that related principles exist here and could be touching behavior in ways I don't see......the fundamental approach I have taken to Aikido shapes the way I see the dialog.

As for imposing one's will on another....it may not always be that. As I think back about the situation I related to in the Campus Pub when it was clear to me that the intent of the individual seated at the bar was to take a swing at me and my saying something to him distracted him, wiggled him....maybe imposed an idea on him rather than imposing me on him. Had I dropped him on the spot that would have been imposing me on him.... Maybe we impose ideas on folks as a condition less than imposing ourselves on them. Just a thought.

Gary

Amen

Basia Halliop
08-28-2012, 11:34 AM
Is that also the essence of what Mary followed with in her take on uke/nage? Not really. The essence as I read that paragraph is that training is best when uke and nage share the same traits (intent, commitment). This is different from the Crum story in which two parties' traits (goals, desires) are different but woukd have been solved by clear communication.

Hmmm, I didn't read it this way. I was thinking of uke being fully intent and committed to the role and goals of uke, and nage being fully intent and committed to the role and goals of nage, but of those roles and goals being different. Which resulted in each focusing on a different aspect of their training but in such a way that their goals, though different, helped the other concentrate on their own goals. Though in hindsight maybe that's because I was having a couple of conversations very similar to that recently and it was in my head because someone was teaching about something kind of similar (without any orange involved) :).

E.g. I was thinking of uke practicing things like how to attack, feeling clearly what nage is doing, how to keep oneself safer when at a disadvantage, perhaps how to set up a counter or at least how to be in good positions for a counter, and nage practicing how to react to attacks, and so on... Or to be more general, each practicing different aspects of feeling and blending appropriately with the other's energy and movements.

Or however you see the roles of uke and nage, but considering how differing practice goals can in fact be complementary to each other and allow both to gain more from the practice.

Gary David
08-28-2012, 11:44 AM
And on imposing...

........... shaping the situation. ...........



Keith
Maybe this is a better framing word than imposing one's will...shaping may have the same effect/affect as imposing. all things considered shaping has a better sound.....

Gary

MM
08-28-2012, 01:49 PM
Imposing one's will ...

If we look to Ueshiba, he said something along the lines that if one becomes the Universe, how can anyone fight that? And then we look at Ueshiba stating "Aiki is a means of achieving harmony with another person so that you can make them do what you want."

But, if we look to the latter statement, it's from Takeshita. Could Ueshiba have been restating Takeda's views on aiki? It could have been from a time frame when Takeda was a large influence on Ueshiba. And yet, Takeda, Ueshiba, etc viewed their art as defensive, so even if you look at that statement, it doesn't fit with aggressive attacking. Now, martially, it's hard to view the example of the orange in this. For example, when the swordsman attacked Ueshiba, to him, the orange meant actually hitting Ueshiba. For Ueshiba, the orange actually meant not getting hit. There can be no sharing the orange. And martially, if one is uke attacking someone with aiki, you are not getting the orange just like the swordsman also did not hit Ueshiba. The orange was fully Ueshiba's and uke did what Ueshiba wanted.

But, if we look at this spiritually, we see that Ueshiba was the Universe so that uke came to a mental/spiritual change. Uke became the Universe and as such came to understand that it was not the orange that was important after all. In aiki, this is manifest in the physical by uke being handled as if he/she was a rag doll/child. When uke can do nothing to upset nage/aiki, there is a mental change from an overwhelming sense of being outclassed, outmatched, and an unfathomable mystery on what is happening. (Normal martial arts do not create this) In this manner, the orange no longer becomes an issue at all. So, I think this is where Mary's example goes further than each person finding that they wanted different parts of the orange. I think it transcends that such that each person finds a greater truth than the orange between them.

Martially, it works only one way. An attacker wants to hurt you. You do not want to be hurt. There can be no splitting nor sharing of the orange. It must remain intact and unharmed.

Spiritually, though, aiki transcends the orange. The situation of sharing or even splitting is never created. It does not exist. One cannot fight the Universe but only accept becoming part of it.

If we overlay all that upon Aikiweb, we find that aiki is big enough to encompass those who train for just health, for just spirituality, for just martial, and for all the above. People from all walks of life have proven this and the situation where the orange must be shared or split was never created. As Ueshiba stated, aiki makes things better. There is no spoon, er orange. :D

Mark

graham christian
08-29-2012, 06:46 PM
Maybe we let uke find their own way through suggestion and encouragement. Does imposing our will on another resolve anything? Going past compromise to something better would be my choice.

I like this.

Once 'imposing will' is transcended then eyes become open.

Peace.G.

graham christian
08-29-2012, 07:06 PM
Just to add to what I wrote above I would like to refer back to the o/p.

I would say it implies oneness. I would also say that Aikido is the art of the whole orange and all else therefor cannot be Aikido.

In oneness at that precise moment both have a whole orange.

Peace.G.