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Dave Gallagher
10-17-2012, 04:48 PM
" I had lunch with an old Karate training buddy. Our conversation mostly about the "good old days" of karate training and how today's young students could not handle what we went through drifted to other arts. When I said that I had done Aikido he laughed and said "it figures that an old hippie like you would get into Aikido, the Hippie martial art".
I have never given this any thought but he said that over the years he has heard this about Aikido.
Now I'm thinking about it.

Anyone have thoughts on this ? I have not heard this before.

aiki-jujutsuka
10-17-2012, 05:10 PM
Aikido has a strong philosophical foundation and thus appeals to people looking for an MA that satisfies them ethically/philosophically as well as physically. For someone looking for a more physically 'robust' art regardless of ethical considerations then Aikido may appear hippyish. Krav Maga springs to mind, it seems to be the MA of choice for true 'street effectiveness' by many people because its techniques are brutal. However, while brutality may strengthen confidence in one's ability to protect themselves, sometimes it goes beyond lawful reasonable force and doesn't take into consideration the ethical ramifications of using such excessive force. As martial artists we have a duty to use our art and skills responsibly and wherever possible, humanely.

Mary Eastland
10-17-2012, 05:23 PM
Aikido was listed in the last Whole Earth catalogue.

James Sawers
10-17-2012, 06:06 PM
Possibly more "New Age"....Can't see a hippie doing aikido.....

sakumeikan
10-17-2012, 06:17 PM
Aikido has a strong philosophical foundation and thus appeals to people looking for an MA that satisfies them ethically/philosophically as well as physically. For someone looking for a more physically 'robust' art regardless of ethical considerations then Aikido may appear hippyish. Krav Maga springs to mind, it seems to be the MA of choice for true 'street effectiveness' by many people because its techniques are brutal. However, while brutality may strengthen confidence in one's ability to protect themselves, sometimes it goes beyond lawful reasonable force and doesn't take into consideration the ethical ramifications of using such excessive force. As martial artists we have a duty to use our art and skills responsibly and wherever possible, humanely.

Dear Ewen,
Looking for a physically robust martial art are we? Having sampled at first hand the waza of some senior uchi deshi of O Sensei I can state categorically my body ached from head to toe.Some of the longer serving guys in the U.K. also know what I mean about robust practice. Cheers, Joe.

Rob Watson
10-17-2012, 07:26 PM
Possibly more "New Age"....Can't see a hippie doing aikido.....

Did the hippies actually do anything?

Andrew Macdonald
10-17-2012, 09:54 PM
i think it is true that much of aikido has that reputation, i donlt really like the word 'hippie' but to keep everyone on th same page, if it is seen as a hippy martial art then hippies join then what does it become, a self fulfilling prophecy. equally krav maga is seen as a more 'robust' MA well thats ok your going ot attract more robust people but agian there is a spectrum within that group as well.

as for the old uchi deshi, i don; tthink we can look to them to give us the indication of how the art i studied/ seen today

there are alot of pople out there doing good solid strong aikido, and also people doing flowers and daisy chain aikido, unfortunalry i think that latter are a little more vocal about what they are doing because they think they are bringing some sort of spirtual teaching ot the world.

on reasonable force, it is not the techniques that make unreasonable force (except in a few extreme example) it is the teaching behind the techniques, doing a hard irimi nage to someone on concrete, or infact any throw on some one who doesn;t know how ot land could do very serious damage. dependingon the country you live in this might or might not be considered reasonable force, if you threw them on the concrete then started stamping on them then i imagine most places would see that as a little OTT

Dave Gallagher
10-17-2012, 10:20 PM
Quote From Ewen Ebsworth:
"For someone looking for a more physically 'robust' art regardless of ethical considerations then Aikido may appear hippyish"

......I don't know where you have trained but my training in Aikido was as "physically Robust" as any Karate or Kendo class I have ever been in.

James Sawers
10-17-2012, 10:21 PM
Did the hippies actually do anything?

Well, yeah, maybe, could be.........later man........

Janet Rosen
10-17-2012, 11:16 PM
Possibly more "New Age"....Can't see a hippie doing aikido.....

I have never considered myself "new age" having no patience with self absorbed "seekers," metaphysical bs, playing with crystals or listening to awful noodling music...but dang it I'm an old hippie and last time I checked I was "doing aikido." :)

James Sawers
10-18-2012, 12:51 AM
I have never considered myself "new age" having no patience with self absorbed "seekers," metaphysical bs, playing with crystals or listening to awful noodling music...but dang it I'm an old hippie and last time I checked I was "doing aikido." :)

Dang, wrong again.....must be all those (medicinal) drugs (or age....no drugs....no.....eh..!) affecting my perceptions......

oisin bourke
10-18-2012, 12:57 AM
I have never considered myself "new age" having no patience with self absorbed "seekers," metaphysical bs, playing with crystals or listening to awful noodling music...but dang it I'm an old hippie and last time I checked I was "doing aikido." :)

Janet, you're obviously koryu, and not gendai :D

The founder was a hippy, at least when he got older IMO. And what's so bad about being a hippy anyway? It"s not like they started wars or anything. And is hippy spelled with a "y" or an "ie"?

James Sawers
10-18-2012, 01:27 AM
Janet, you're obviously koryu, and not gendai :D

The founder was a hippy, at least when he got older IMO. And what's so bad about being a hippy anyway? It"s not like they started wars or anything. And is hippy spelled with a "y" or an "ie"?

As you get older, it is spelled with a "y"......

aiki-jujutsuka
10-18-2012, 01:40 AM
I was using the term robust euphemistically, which is why I put it in caption marks 'robust'. I wasn't criticising Aikido, I was referring to people who think martial arts have to be brutal or ultra violent to be effective, which is why I used the example of Krav Maga. Please don't take offence.

Carsten Möllering
10-18-2012, 05:41 AM
aikidō came to France in the beginning fifties.
aikidō came to Germany around the 68th (Is this understandable in the US? 1968 marks the beginning of a deep change of society in Germany.) And it flourished in the seventies.
aikidō in France was very different from aikidō in Germany!

It's my understanding since long time that different ways of understanding aikidō refer to different social or better historical contexts. I remember that years ago aikidō very often was mentioned in esoteric journals here. Often it was taught to be kind of spiritual dance of connecting energies of two persons.
Interesting enough: The people brought aikidō to Germany were judōka and police men. After only few years the people who took up aikidō were mostly what could be called "hippies".

phitruong
10-18-2012, 07:33 AM
didn't know that i am a hippie. ok, so i am full of hips or hips full or fuller hips or ... well you know what i meant. i guess because we like to get in-touch with people vs out of touch. look at this way, with aikido, you can travel around the world, meet other nice aikido folks, then koshi them into the floor, then afterward go out partying. :)

lbb
10-18-2012, 08:10 AM
Anyone have thoughts on this ?

Sure. When people's understanding of a subject is at best superficial, many of them reach for a handy, simplistic and generally inaccurate label to describe it. That's all.

Dave Gallagher
10-18-2012, 09:33 AM
As I said in my original post I am an old Hippie. Dropped out, Tuned in and turned on in about 1967.Did not start karate until the mid 1970's so I was a hippie first. Found Aikido in the early 1990's if I remember correctly. For me Aikido was a better fit than the other arts. In this case my friend was right. It's just that I never thought of it as being good for people with the old hippie mentality, which I no longer have. Well perhaps a bit of it remains.
ps- by that hippie mentality part I mean the concepts of Peace and Love. That does remind me of O'Sensei.

Janet Rosen
10-18-2012, 10:30 AM
Janet, you're obviously koryu, and not gendai :D

The founder was a hippy, at least when he got older IMO. And what's so bad about being a hippy anyway? It"s not like they started wars or anything. And is hippy spelled with a "y" or an "ie"?

I've been hippy since I was a teenager. Of course I have also been a hippie since then... :)

jonreading
10-18-2012, 01:20 PM
Anyone have thoughts on this ?
Yes, I hear this quite a bit.
1. Aikido is one of few martial arts that actually has a mission statement-like goal to bring about world peace, etc.
2. Aikido has promoted to a counter-culture market more than other markets.

Call it what you will, but Aikido made a decision to become socially-politically engaged (I believe there was a thread earlier discussed the relevance of aikido in this regard). Then we promote predominantly to the counter culture that will take up our banner and wave it. We reap what we sow.

Sure. When people's understanding of a subject is at best superficial, many of them reach for a handy, simplistic and generally inaccurate label to describe it. That's all.

I think Hippie is the perfect term to describe the counter-culture movement. I think many aikido people believe Aikido is a component to a larger social solution. I think the label is accurate. The books I've read imply that the real Hippies who sought to bring progressive social change were anything but simple. I think you can't read 10 posts on Aikiweb without someone throwing out "peace", "harmony", "love" or some other term used to forward a Utopia-state ideology. How about a silver bridge to the middle-weight UFC championship? Nope. World peace; peace between nations. A path to the Olympics? Nah, just a path to enlightenment.

So what do we do. We stick up our nose at our sister arts. We don't care what they think. Except they are our peers. They are fellow experts in the field. Their opinion should matter and we should be saying, "what do you think he means, 'hippie's art'"?

Let me confirm that I do not think it bad that we have Hippies. As a warning though, we need to seal the art and set of a vapor bomb to take care of them because where you find a few hippies, you're soon to have more.
http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/154832/cartmans-plea

Diana Frese
10-18-2012, 08:13 PM
Not sure if I was, or am, a hippie (sure that I'm hippy, now that the Chief Budo Babe has confessed the same)

But I am a Trekkie. This sounds like The Trouble with Tribbles. Can't remember what Captain Kirk did about them, give them their own planet?

Actually, I read with interest tales of the Hut Dojo in Britain, and the ki no nagare styles too. Coming from an age when Aikido was not well known, I am very happy that it has spread far and wide.

As Matthew Gano always says, Gambatte!

Dazzler
10-19-2012, 09:06 AM
Not sure if I was, or am, a hippie (sure that I'm hippy, now that the Chief Budo Babe has confessed the same)

But I am a Trekkie. This sounds like The Trouble with Tribbles. Can't remember what Captain Kirk did about them, give them their own planet?

Actually, I read with interest tales of the Hut Dojo in Britain, and the ki no nagare styles too. Coming from an age when Aikido was not well known, I am very happy that it has spread far and wide.

As Matthew Gano always says, Gambatte!

I think he did give them their own planet ....like guinea pigs crossed with snooker balls wern't they. I'm sure they were behind the original idea for gremlins! ....yuk....breeding everywhere.

Zoom...back in the 60's and 70's just for a second there. ;-)

Dazzler
10-19-2012, 09:10 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trouble_With_Tribbles

I was 5 or 6....and I remember it. Scarey !

lbb
10-19-2012, 09:20 AM
I think Hippie is the perfect term to describe the counter-culture movement.

I don't think there's one discrete "counter-culture movement", and I don't think it's a useful label.

I think you can't read 10 posts on Aikiweb without someone throwing out "peace", "harmony", "love" or some other term used to forward a Utopia-state ideology. How about a silver bridge to the middle-weight UFC championship? Nope. World peace; peace between nations. A path to the Olympics? Nah, just a path to enlightenment.

I'm not going to argue about what's going on inside other people's heads; that's their property, not mine. I'm not one to burden aikido by making it the vehicle for all things good or whatever. But consider this: the words "peace", "harmony" and "love" have degrees of meaning and are used in all those degrees, not just in promotion/pursuit of a "Utopia-state ideology". Ever hear the phrase "peace and quiet"? Peace, harmony and love have very quotidian meanings; who's to say that that's not the sense in which they're most commonly used by the aikidoka who use them in connection with their practice?

So what do we do. We stick up our nose at our sister arts. We don't care what they think.

Got a mouse in your pocket?

Except they are our peers. They are fellow experts in the field. Their opinion should matter and we should be saying, "what do you think he means, 'hippie's art'"?

I already asked myself that. My conclusion is that it's most likely a case of dismissive labeling. Beyond that, I don't feel the need to analyze it, and certainly not navel-gaze about it. Dismissive labels are not based on true knowledge and thoughtful analysis, and they don't shine any light on any subject. Devoting brain cycles to tossoff remarks as if they were thoughtful, meaningful insight strikes me as a waste of time.

Andrew Macdonald
10-19-2012, 09:34 AM
of course the phrases non-voilent martial art and other such oxymorons that are attributed to aikido will attrat people who want o learn how to throw people around with little apparent effort.

crbateman
10-19-2012, 09:39 AM
I think he did give them their own planet ....like guinea pigs crossed with snooker balls wern't they. I'm sure they were behind the original idea for gremlins! ....yuk....breeding everywhere.

Zoom...back in the 60's and 70's just for a second there. ;-)

Scotty beamed them over to the Klingon ship, "where they'll be no tribble at all..."

Everyone please forget that I knew this... :o

Dazzler
10-19-2012, 09:43 AM
Scotty beamed them over to the Klingon ship, "where they'll be no tribble at all..."

Everyone please forget that I knew this... :o

I thought that was something Joe Curran said :D

Ha ha....actually very pleased that I'm not the only one harking back to younger days on this fine friday.:)

phitruong
10-19-2012, 09:43 AM
Scotty beamed them over to the Klingon ship, "where they'll be no tribble at all..."

Everyone please forget that I knew this... :o

i knew that, but didn't want to mention it because it would make me feel really old. :)

phitruong
10-19-2012, 09:56 AM
Got a mouse in your pocket?


it's a sock. i saw it. scar me for life. :)

jonreading
10-19-2012, 12:33 PM
Got a mouse in your pocket?

I already asked myself that. My conclusion is that it's most likely a case of dismissive labeling. Beyond that, I don't feel the need to analyze it, and certainly not navel-gaze about it. Dismissive labels are not based on true knowledge and thoughtful analysis, and they don't shine any light on any subject. Devoting brain cycles to tossoff remarks as if they were thoughtful, meaningful insight strikes me as a waste of time.

I am taking "Got a mouse in your pocket?" to mean "is there something more you'd like to say?"

I think aikido has friends in other arts. Friends who see value in aikido, but are genuinely confused by the lack of...competency in the martial application of technique and the population that has come to accept that fact. I think these friends start communications with humor and needling, but are actually saying, "no, seriously, why do you guys let your own student demean your art?" I think we have the opportunity to open that dialogue and explain the "misconceptions" about aikido; or, we can just dismiss their inquiry.

We are ever bit as prejudiced against other martial arts as they are against us. Heaven forbid we should devoid brain cycles to trying to understand other people.

lbb
10-20-2012, 08:27 AM
Hi Jon,

I guess I just have different experiences. I can't say that I ever much thought about aikido when I was practicing karate -- I knew that it existed, I had friends that trained, I knew that I didn't know much of anything about it, and I didn't spend a lot of brain cycles on it. I also know that in discussions with my fellow karateka, the subject of aikido never came up -- literally, not once in years of training. We'd talk about karate, beer, movies, sushi, beer, karate, sports, karate and beer. Maybe we were just very boring people!

But I think it's entirely possible for intelligent people with inquiring minds to let a subject rest, so to speak: there are only so many hours in a day, and "I know that I don't know" is a sensible resting place, if you know what I mean. Of course, a lot of people don't get to this point, and if you seek out a martial arts discussion forum that is not devoted to a single art, of course you're going to run into a lot of comparative discussions, because of self-selection bias: those who are attracted to these kind of discussions will be disproportionately represented in these forums. And I'm here to tell you, the "my style is the best" thing is absolutely not an aikido thing, nor even a martial arts thing -- it's a human thing. For "style" substitute "religion" or "political party" or "dietary habits" or "exercise regimen", and it seems clear that most humans reassure themselves about their choices by affirming the superiority of those choices over all other ways. Perhaps this comes from a belief that there is a "best" choice, and the fear that choosing anything but the "best" puts one at a life-scarring disadvantage. In the US, we see this often among middle- and upper-class parents, so many of whom seem to have this pervasive anxiety that they must make the "best" choice in everything for their child (schools, clothes, activities), and that failure to do so will cripple their child's chances in life.

It's a kind of arms race mentality, this endless search for the "best". It consumes so much energy and resources, and the hell of it is, it's all based on false premises (at least I think so). For one thing, it's often a case of two paths up the mountain, both with different features (this one has a great view, that one goes by a fantastic waterfall), both getting to the goal, neither having a decided advantage. Choosing one means forgoing the benefits of the other; it doesn't mean there is a "best". And even in a situation where a real quality difference exists, most people (of any age), when presented with the "best", are not able to fully take advantage of it. Give me Cadell Evans' bicycle, and I'm still not going to climb Alpe d'Huez; serve me Chateau Margaux, and I might not notice any difference between that and a mid-range Bordeaux.

This need to have the "best" and to be the "best" is generally presented in a favorable light here in the US. We (see, that's me and the mouse in MY pocket talking) say that this inspires us to seek excellence, but frankly, I think it's a corrosive mental disease that we'd be better off without. It makes a virtue of greed and self-centeredness, and leads to a life utterly out of balance.

But I digress. This need to be the "best" didn't seem to inspire my fellow karateka back in the day -- they were doing what they wanted to do, not because they thought it was the "best", but because it had value for them personally. They didn't spend time obsessing about what those weird aikido people were doing -- didn't, for that matter, think of aikido as "weird", as near as I can tell. It was different, we didn't understand it, and we didn't expect to understand it because -- wait for it -- we hadn't ever studied it. It doesn't seem to me to be such a huge leap of logic to think that outside the self-selected denizens of martial arts forums, most martial artists don't have this kind of attitude towards other styles, rather than an insatiable nagging obsession with the martial validity of styles of which they have only superficial knowledge.

Krystal Locke
10-20-2012, 11:19 AM
I find myself watching a lot of youtube martial arts videos. The comments sections are almost always my art is better than your art bitchfests, especially when aikido is the topic of the video.

I notice that when an aikido person does the technique we commonly call kotegaeshi, it sucks balls (according to the commenters) but when any other style's practitioner does kotegaeshi with no flow, no kuzushi, no zanshin, etc., all of a sudden the commenters are blown away by the awesome wrist lock, so simple and so powerful....

Dave de Vos
10-20-2012, 02:45 PM
I find myself watching a lot of youtube martial arts videos. The comments sections are almost always my art is better than your art bitchfests, especially when aikido is the topic of the video.

I notice that when an aikido person does the technique we commonly call kotegaeshi, it sucks balls (according to the commenters) but when any other style's practitioner does kotegaeshi with no flow, no kuzushi, no zanshin, etc., all of a sudden the commenters are blown away by the awesome wrist lock, so simple and so powerful....

I find myself watching youtube martial arts videos too, but usually I end up in "that weird part of YouTube" fairly quickly. Could be me though...

KEM
10-22-2012, 12:06 AM
I suppose we can define a 'hippie' as someone who keeps their greying pony tail long after the pate is fully visible wearing a tie dye shirt, Birkenstocks and sporting a 'meat is murder' sticker on a bio-diesel or hybrid car with a well used bike rack. I live in a community of these 'uber hippies' (a.k.a 'peace-nicks, pinko's, protesters) who worship at the crystal encrusted altar of universal consciousness. And much of the Aikido of O'Sensei fits with these beliefs--if it is EFFECTIVE Aikido. They want to learn budo and they want their grandchildren to learn it too. They do like that AIkido teaches harmony and non-retaliation. The 'hippie' beliefs are not weaknesses anymore than Aikido is weakness though there are those who practice 'dance aikido' and still call it a martial art. I think Miles Kessler Sensei described Aikido perfectly with: “Aikido is unique among martial arts in that it teaches:
Calmness and creativity in the midst of aggression.
Compassion and non-violence responses towards violence.
Resolution of conflict without harming another.”
If these principles of O Sensei so well put by Kessler Sensei are also 'hippie' values...great! I rather like my 'hippie' community of academics and balding pony tail wearing crystal keepers.