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JLRonin
05-09-2013, 03:39 PM
I and a few other dedicated Aikidokas have been discussing the turns and twists that Aikido has taken through time. Aikido has become too commercialized and academic for our taste. For this reason I have decided to reach out. We would like to reach out to all Aikidokas that have been alienated, left without backup, representation, support and have the same mind set as we do.
I would like to know if there is anyone out there located in the vicinity of Aurora, Colorado that is willing out of the goodness of his/her heart to cede some space for the creation of and the continued growth of an Aikido Club dedicated to true free practice and study of Aikido.
The intent is to have a place to enjoy Aiki keiko without the stress to have to pay for something that was intended to be free for the enjoyment of everyone that would be interested in this God given art. Also, people that would like to contribute in any way.
Anyone living in the area/vicinity, visiting or passing through would be able to have a place to practice without the worry of having to pay those high tuitions or monthly fees.
For us, rank and grade is not of interest. Any fellow Yudansha (fukushidoin, Shidoin, Shihan) could come and impart there knowledge and teachings. It would be an honor.
Promotions if so desired would be through merit of time and dedication and knowledge. And would be done as established by Hombu. Through a Fukushidoin, Shidoin or Shihan.

Premises:
Free keiko
No monetary or financial gain
No politics
No fiscallizing or associations
True AIKI

comments and/or ideas are welcomed.

lbb
05-10-2013, 09:07 AM
Premises:
Free keiko
No monetary or financial gain
No politics
No fiscallizing or associations
True AIKI

Free lunch? Is there such a thing? Operating as a not-for-profit is fine and a respectable model, but there are still expenses that have to be paid by someone - a fact that not-for-profits generally acknowledge.

JLRonin
05-10-2013, 11:21 AM
Free lunch? Is there such a thing? Operating as a not-for-profit is fine and a respectable model, but there are still expenses that have to be paid by someone - a fact that not-for-profits generally acknowledge.

Like I said, also other people that would like to contribute. Can you cook?
I heard of an Aikido Ranch somewhere. I wonder how it's doing.
In the event of a large EVENT, I'm pretty sure arrangements can be made. let's hope for sponsors. :D

Krystal Locke
05-10-2013, 11:32 AM
How are you going to achieve your goals? They seem pretty much mutually exclusive and contradictory. How are you going to not be interested in rank while soliciting yudansha? How are you going to avoid politics while promoting (which you dont care about) through "Hombu"? Which Hombu and why? Why do you think aikido was/is intended to be free? What recommends your group over the fully functional, tremendously successful established schools that are so close to you?

JLRonin
05-10-2013, 01:03 PM
It's funny how people think and perceive.

Rob Watson
05-10-2013, 01:27 PM
Cede some space? Irimi ... take the space. Get thee to a local park or open public space. Problem solved.

I think it is funny how people don't think.

JLRonin
05-10-2013, 01:43 PM
yeah....have tried that. still funny how people think.

Mert Gambito
05-11-2013, 02:25 PM
Get thee to a local park or open public space. Problem solved.
Agree. Here's a photo of our dojo in Honolulu:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/935648_253877541418760_427751852_n.jpg

Janet Rosen
05-11-2013, 04:57 PM
How are you going to not be interested in rank while soliciting yudansha? How are you going to avoid politics while promoting (which you dont care about) through "Hombu"? Which Hombu and why?

Pretty much my thought: you are either part of the system or you are not. How can you have it both ways?
If you want a place for free and open practice, either via a public park for free or via folks pooling money to use space at a gym or dance studio that can be rented by the hour for set hours is an option.

JP3
05-11-2013, 06:20 PM
The concept noted above sounds very much like what Nick Lowry does in Oklahoma City at Windsong Dojo.

I wish you guys and gals the best of luck. It's a hard road and real estate rent is expensive.

Krystal Locke
05-12-2013, 10:10 AM
The concept noted above sounds very much like what Nick Lowry does in Oklahoma City at Windsong Dojo.

I wish you guys and gals the best of luck. It's a hard road and real estate rent is expensive.

Chris Li probably also has a good bit of stuff to say about running a dojo by donation.

JLRonin
05-12-2013, 02:37 PM
Thank you Mert San, If I were in Honolulu, I would be right there with you.;)

JLRonin
05-12-2013, 02:39 PM
Happy Mothers day to all you moms out there.

JLRonin
05-12-2013, 03:45 PM
Today I took time to go to "a park (open public space)" and do some misogi and meditation and reflect a bit more on this post and the few comments so far. I knew that it was going to be a bit touchy.
For all of you that are a bit mesmerized by this post, I think I should give more food for thought without implicating or offending anyone.

Imagine being a dedicated student for 3,4,5 +years and then something went wrong along the line and your thoughts and plans and ideas just didn't work out or went side ways. Or you were done wrong in one way or another. You say ok, now I don't want to go to another dojo because you just don't feel its the quality Aikido you were getting, or there is a bit of friction with the people there from prior incidents. and your stuck, no where to go. :confused:

You move to explore other dojos. You may not like atmosphere or may not want to convert to a new "system" or organization because you have already adapted to your Aikido.
Thank God I had the privilege to meet some wonderful, understanding and compassionate people in my path.

I was a regular deshi at a specific dojo where I felt really at home. God Bless that Dojo. I felt that I had no need for advancement in rank or grade. just the pure love of practice for personal advancement. Mentally, physically and spiritually. and the fees were very, very modest. and it was very close to my residence. too bad I decided to move. Sorry Sensei.

At one dojo I visited I felt like I didn't fit in and felt a bit of envy and repulse from some of the students. I was visiting and paying a mat fee every time. didn't want to join because of financial reasons and reasons aforementioned. Also the Sensei had made it clear that he has his "system " in place.
At another dojo I felt kind of OK but it was too expensive and the commute was not feasible.
At other dojos I felt like I was not getting anything out of it.
Another person tried to impose his "system" on me.
When you reach a certain age or plateau in life you start not caring for "status". just self development and/or improvement.

In my opinion, sticking to one organization is OK for advancement in rank or grade. it makes it easier for those who have that mind set. Other systems or dojos want to continue a monopoly.

"One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train
'. The Art of Peace. page 14.
I like to call it "The Martial Art of GOD" Julio L. Ruiz.

JLRonin
05-12-2013, 04:05 PM
The concept noted above sounds very much like what Nick Lowry does in Oklahoma City at Windsong Dojo.

It's a hard road and real estate rent is expensive.

Thank you JP3. I knew someone would catch my drift.

Janet Rosen
05-12-2013, 05:13 PM
Well I think the place you may have confused or lost many of us is that your OP appears to say that you WOULD use your group's yudansha in order to try to rank your members through some unspecified Hombu.
As opposed to saying that you would simply be unaffiliated and come up with your own criteria for rank, as so many independent dojos do.
The first option, which is what you say, even if it's not what you meant to say, is in contradiction to the things you say you want to do, which otherwise are not that unusual in going indep.

JLRonin
05-12-2013, 05:39 PM
Well I think the place you may have confused or lost many of us is that your OP appears to say that you WOULD use your group's yudansha in order to try to rank your members through some unspecified Hombu.
As opposed to saying that you would simply be unaffiliated and come up with your own criteria for rank, as so many independent dojos do.
The first option, which is what you say, even if it's not what you meant to say, is in contradiction to the things you say you want to do, which otherwise are not that unusual in going indep.

To my knowledge there is only one Hombu.

Mert Gambito
05-12-2013, 08:32 PM
Thank you Mert San, If I were in Honolulu, I would be right there with you.;)
Seems that Aurora also enjoys decent weather for a good part of the year (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora,_Colorado#Geography), including now; and like Hawaii, there's scenery worth integrating into your training experience.

If you have a network of like-minded aikidoka, and are willing to work as hard as Chris Li does to maintain routine communications to and among that network, you will likely succeed.

Other venues will follow in due course.

Janet Rosen
05-13-2013, 12:53 AM
To my knowledge there is only one Hombu.

Nope. Yoshinkan has its own, separate from Aikikai.
Which is not the main point I and others have made - which you seem to want to not address for some reason: how does one gain or award rank thru a politicized assoc such as the Aikikai without to some degree recognizing and participating in the politics (at very least by financially supporting via yudansha fees)? If the goal is avoiding commercialization and politics, why not simply remain unafilliated?

Keith Larman
05-13-2013, 08:21 AM
Hombu for those in Aikikai refers to a specific place, but it's (to some extent) like saying "headquarters" as other styles also can have a hombu dojo. By virtue of history and sheer size the Aikikai Hombu is the "commonly understood" one, but... It ain't alone. I've got a customer who travels to Japan frequently to train at the Hombu dojo of his style of martial arts that is decidedly not Aikido.

And fwiw, I wish you the best of luck and understand the motivation to some extent. However, I'd also point out that once you start awarding rank you invariably introduce the politics and all those things you say you're walking away from. Usually the real difference is that it isn't the politics as much as simply not agreeing with the current set and feel you can do it better yourself. That very well may be true, but saying you're getting away from he politics, etc. might be a bit naïve.

But that said, sincerely, best of luck. I echo the notion of finding a park or public area to train because the harsh reality is that someone has to pay for lights, supplies, insurance, or whatever incidentals come along. And I've known folk who have trained using a donation model only to find that sometimes that even "donations" come with some strings even if they're in terms of feelings of entitlement, expectation or even resentment. It's just rarely as simple as some would like, even when you try to cut away everything that seems to make things complicated.

JLRonin
05-13-2013, 11:07 AM
I'm appreciating all your comment and Ideas and letting it all sink in. Let me keep picking minds.
All Aikido so called "styles" and forms branched out of one source. What makes one persons Aikido better than another? Quarrels and differences have been around since the beginning of time.
I see the business mentalities in all of it.
I'm not business savy. I don't have a network of same or equal minded people here yet. May never have one. Who knows?
I did not say that I would award any grades or ranks etc.

Still....The twists and turns. Still....Funny how people think and perceive.:rolleyes:

JLRonin
05-13-2013, 11:16 AM
I like this thread:

dominance hierarchies and crossing the line

Lorien Lowe

Keith Larman
05-13-2013, 01:12 PM
I was responding to this section...

Promotions if so desired would be through merit of time and dedication and knowledge. And would be done as established by Hombu. Through a Fukushidoin, Shidoin or Shihan.

First off, that's quite a range of titles and secondly, those titles are titles conferred by some governing body or another. So either you do what *many* groups do -- no longer affiliate and just do what you do including your own promotions *or* you get rid of them entirely. I'm not exactly sure how one would *not* be a member of an organization yet think you could get ranked in that organization. Or maybe I'm just missing something. Frankly I've been training long enough now where I'm not terribly concerned with rank or affiliation for that matter. I train and teach in the group I'm with, but I have zero problem training with other folk.

I'm just a bit confused about some of the things you mentioned being in the same general paragraph. And in my experience most of those I know who complain the most about that stuff are often in fact more concerned about it than they let on which is why it seems to bug them so much. But that said, none of it matters in the slightest to me and I'll take it all on face value. So I wish you the best of luck in your training. I hope you find the vibe you're looking for.

Keith Larman
05-13-2013, 01:16 PM
Still....The twists and turns. Still....Funny how people think and perceive.:rolleyes:

Maybe some of those folk have experience with exactly what you're talking about and are trying to help out by sharing what they've experienced. And maybe they're also rolling their eyes back at you saying exactly the same thing.

JLRonin
05-13-2013, 02:07 PM
I see where the confusion is. Lets take out the last paragraph about the promotions.
Can I edit it?
Maybe if there were only one hombu ( governing body ), it would be less complicated.

JLRonin
05-13-2013, 05:43 PM
I and a few other dedicated Aikidokas have been discussing the turns and twists that Aikido has taken through time. Aikido has become too commercialized and academic for our taste. For this reason I have decided to reach out. We would like to reach out to all Aikidokas that have been alienated, left without backup, representation, support and have the same mind set as we do.
I would like to know if there is anyone out there located in the vicinity of Aurora, Colorado that is willing out of the goodness of his/her heart to cede some space for the creation of and the continued growth of an Aikido Club dedicated to true free practice and study of Aikido.
The intent is to have a place to enjoy Aiki keiko without the stress to have to pay for something that was intended to be free for the enjoyment of everyone that would be interested in this God given art. Also, people that would like to contribute in any way.
Anyone living in the area/vicinity, visiting or passing through would be able to have a place to practice without the worry of having to pay those high tuitions or monthly fees.
For us, rank and grade is not of interest. Any fellow Yudansha (fukushidoin, Shidoin, Shihan) could come and impart there knowledge and teachings. It would be an honor.

Premises:
Free keiko
No monetary or financial gain
No politics
No fiscallizing or associations
True AIKI

comments and/or ideas are welcomed.

There. hope we're all happy

JLRonin
05-13-2013, 06:08 PM
That's That. To each his/her own.

Rob Watson
05-13-2013, 06:30 PM
Maybe talk to these folks and see how they are doing?
http://culturesmith.com/Free_Aiki_Dojo

JLRonin
05-13-2013, 06:38 PM
Thank you Robert San. I will do my research.

Krystal Locke
05-14-2013, 03:17 PM
To my knowledge there is only one Hombu.

Really? Might be better to say that there is only one hombu in your opinion. Which would show a strong affiliation with one style, one system, one lineage, etc.... Kind of gets in the way of a non-political goal.

It is said that politics exist the moment there are two people in a room. I think that is not quite true. Politics exist the moment one person walks into that room.

JLRonin
05-14-2013, 05:25 PM
Really? Might be better to say that there is only one hombu in your opinion. Which would show a strong affiliation with one style, one system, one lineage, etc.... Kind of gets in the way of a non-political goal.

It is said that politics exist the moment there are two people in a room. I think that is not quite true. Politics exist the moment one person walks into that room.

The issue has been answered and reaserched.

Looks like we have a true critic in the room.
Can we imagine a room full of political critics?
Is that what we have here?

Travers Hughes
05-14-2013, 08:59 PM
Hi Julio,

I wish you all the best in your venture. I have a quick question for you:

What about beginners - will you also cater for these? If that's the case, how will you judge their progress? Don't want to speak for others, but in my mind this is where the politics come into play. Part of the human condition is to compare ourselves to others - I remember when I was beginning, I needed milestones to help me judge progress. These milestones were intially gradings. Now I'm graded, they are less important. That's the old catch-22 - once you have rank, it is no longer important. It is (or can be) important when you don't have it (if you wish to measure progress / gain credibility etc).

Best of luck,
Travers

JLRonin
05-14-2013, 09:43 PM
Hi Travers.
What are you looking for?
Beginners will be tought the basics like any other dojo or organization.
It sounds to me that what you meen by milestones are motivational factors ( ranking and grading ).
If they come in with that mind set then I would tell them that they are in the wrong spectrum or arena.
totally derailed from what we are trying to do. Am I derailed or in the wrong spectrum or arena?
If you are questioning my or my other counterparts credentials or history I would happlly give you a full repetua on a personal level of communication.
I would happily place it here if everyone else agrees to.
I think your answer is all over this site.

best.

Travers Hughes
05-15-2013, 12:17 AM
Hi Travers.
What are you looking for?
Beginners will be tought the basics like any other dojo or organization.
It sounds to me that what you meen by milestones are motivational factors ( ranking and grading ).
If they come in with that mind set then I would tell them that they are in the wrong spectrum or arena.
totally derailed from what we are trying to do. Am I derailed or in the wrong spectrum or arena?
If you are questioning my or my other counterparts credentials or history I would happlly give you a full repetua on a personal level of communication.
I would happily place it here if everyone else agrees to.
I think your answer is all over this site.

best.

Hi Julio,
I'm not looking for anything, just wanted to clarify. Thanks for answering.

Beginners will be tought the basics like any other dojo or organization.
It sounds to me that what you meen by milestones are motivational factors ( ranking and grading ).
If they come in with that mind set then I would tell them that they are in the wrong spectrum or arena.

This was my question - thanks for answering. I guess my question was about how would you handle the differences in motivations - you've done that.

Am I derailed or in the wrong spectrum or arena?
It's your arena so your call - based on your above answer, I'd say you know what you want. Best of luck to you (sincerely).

If you are questioning my or my other counterparts credentials or history I would happlly give you a full repetua on a personal level of communication.
I would happily place it here if everyone else agrees to.
I think your answer is all over this site.

Dude, I'm not questioning anything - no malice from me. Relax, my question was just a question, not an attack. Not sure why you perceived it as one, but apologies if you did.

Take care

Demetrio Cereijo
05-15-2013, 06:42 AM
If you are questioning my or my other counterparts credentials or history I would happlly give you a full repetua on a personal level of communication.
I would happily place it here if everyone else agrees to.


Surely it would be worth reading if you act as deffensively about a issue which has not been raised.

Regards.

JLRonin
05-15-2013, 07:55 AM
oh wow. man oh man. I thought I was so relaxed (at ease) answering and really in a non defensive way. just communicating.

Still funny how people think and percieve.
its funny to see something so simple get blown out of proportions.

I have a friend who is a nurse. we were discussing the ongoing issue about marihuana.
the curing properties etc.
He said "people can really screw up something that can be used for the common good".

Keith Larman
05-15-2013, 08:37 AM
Well, in reading this thread I can see why you need to find a place to practice...

JLRonin
05-15-2013, 08:56 AM
I am wasting too much time and putting too much effort.

to each.his/her own.

JLRonin
05-15-2013, 10:45 AM
For those whom may be interested, here are some links to some interesting articles on the matter.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/articles/ajArticles/Homma_anan.asp

http://www.communigate.co.uk/ne/cuaaikido/page7.phtm

with this I close for the time being

Aiki and Peace.

JLRonin
05-15-2013, 11:08 AM
For those whom may be interested, here are some links to some interesting articles on the matter.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/articles/ajArticles/Homma_anan.asp
Aikido Journal--> Articles--> Gaku Homma--> The Journey to the Aikido Humanitarian Active Network

http://www.communigate.co.uk /ne/cuaaikido/page7.phtm
A personal viewpoint by Arthur Crown

with this I close for the time being

Aiki and Peace.

edited.

Budogirl
05-22-2013, 02:53 AM
edited.

the links referred to by Mr. Ruiz are inaccurate. they do not lead to any articles.

Thanks!

Demetrio Cereijo
05-22-2013, 06:36 AM
the links referred to by Mr. Ruiz are inaccurate. they do not lead to any articles.

Thanks!

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=63

http://www.communigate.co.uk/ne/cuaaikido/page7.phtml

JLRonin
05-22-2013, 12:24 PM
Aikido
I and a few other dedicated and devoted Aikidokas have been discussing the turns and twists that Aikido has taken through time. Aikido has become too commercialized and academic for our taste. For this reason I have decided to reach out to all Aikidokas that have been left out of the mainstream, alienated, without support, backup, representation, errant and have the same mind set as we do. And to those who may have fallen with an illness or have an impediment which restricts them from practicing in the conventional way.
I would like to know if there is anyone out there located in the vicinity of Aurora, Colorado that is willing to cede some space for the creation of an Aikido Club dedicated to the practice, study and continued proliferation of this wonderful art. Also, people that would like to contribute in any way.
The intent is to have a place to enjoy Aiki keiko without the stress to have to pay for something that should be for the enjoyment and benefit of everyone that would be interested in this God given art.
Anyone living in the area/vicinity, visiting or passing through would be able to have a place to practice without the worry of having to pay those high tuitions, registration or monthly fees. In the event that space is acquired, We would ask for a donation...not imposed or an obligation, starting from as little as a penney for the upkeep and maintnance of such space. We do this for the discipline, continued knowledge and love of the Art ...not for any reward or money. Our reward comes from within...and this allows us to give and share freely.True AIKI.
For us, rank and grade is not of interest. However, any fellow Yudansha (black belt), Fukushidoin, Shidoin, Shihan could come and impart there knowledge and teachings. It would be an honor.

JLRonin
05-22-2013, 12:33 PM
the links referred to by Mr. Ruiz are inaccurate. they do not lead to any articles.

Thanks!

Go to Aikido Journal, click on articles, search for Goku Homma.

Go to www.communigate.co.uk, click on The North East, search for Arthur Crowne "A personal viewpoint" or CUA Aikido(cuaaikido).

JLRonin
05-22-2013, 12:35 PM
This is The North East | CommuniGate | CUA Aikido Union (North East England) Feedback

This is The North East - CommuniGate

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A personal viewpoint by Arthur Crown

A view of politics in Aikido : my experiences

Aikido, the way of spirit and harmony. what better martial way to further the advancement of the human spirit, both in terms of ethical and moralistic behaviour.

However ,human nature being what it is, someone always wants to be a big fish in a small pond and usually at the expense of others.remember,a big fish in a confined pond is unlikely to grow as fast as a fish in larger waters, you could run the risk of being stunted in your development. Also in times of drought your small pond is more likely to dry up rather not so with the safety of the river. You also have fewer places to escape to in times of trouble. The small fry have a greater chance of being consumed by the large fish,
I believe that in the long term everyone comes off worse assuming, of course, that the people involved wish to advance in Aikido. I have know many people who have left the Art due to the encroachment of politics on their practicing and subsequently their spirit.
All organisations require people to run it, be they elected-or self appointed. Sometimes they seem to have an over-inflated sense of righteousness, especially when their own organisation is seemingly attacked.

The main ways that an organisation can be attacked is usually in the form of a takeover, or a breakaway group is formed. As Aikidoka we are taught that the best way to defend ourselves from an attack is not to be in the position so that any launched attack is going to hit, that is we move (off the line) or out of harms way.
At a higher level we should try to always be in such a position the attack would never be tried in the first place. So coming back to the higher level dealing with an attack, prevention is always better the cure.
For an organisation to allow itself to be in the position whereby an attack is launched, then they have failed to use preventative measures or use these measures correctly. Then as so often happens they resort to tactics of force, in the Aikido world this means that a person, or group ,is banned from practice or meetings so as not to allow the “uncontaminated body” to become infected. Attempt then can be made to discredit so that any further “Contamination” can be limited.

Cure or cause

So who is the most ethical, the person who perceives a wrong and then tries to do something about it or the person who just will not accept that something MAY be wrong and thus tries to cure the root cause before drastic action has to be taken. Take for example the heavy smoker, as is commonly recognised smoking is not good for your health. If the smoker stops early enough, there may be little harm done. Later on, if still smoking, their health may worsen, minor aliments begin to build up. Even now, stopping would remove many of the problems. As you can plainly see, this progress into some fatal disease could have been prevented By self-monitoring and also addressing the root of the cause.
So if there is a little niggle from someone who is obviously concerned about something in the union, then it should be looked into.

Perhaps forethought could prevent demise hmmmm

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JLRonin
05-22-2013, 12:46 PM
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Aug

02

Journey to the Aikido Humanitarian Active Network by Gaku Homma

By Editor | Private

Leave a Comment

I have been practicing aikido for more than 40 years, and I am still pondering what it is that I have learned. I have seen the different ways aikido is portrayed and perceived externally, and the behind-the-scenes problems the major aikido organizations have faced.

JLRonin
05-22-2013, 12:49 PM
Proverbs 8:11-13 ;)

JLRonin
05-22-2013, 01:16 PM
Journey to the Aikido Humanitarian Active Network

Available Languages:
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by Gaku Homma

Source Unknown

I have been practicing aikido for more than 40 years, and I am still pondering what it is that I have learned. I have seen the different ways aikido is portrayed and perceived externally, and the behind-the-scenes problems the major aikido organizations have faced.

I wonder if we as a society of aikidoists are really practicing what the Founder taught us. It seems to me that we may be missing his message of humanity and love. I have watched instructors and students who seem to be self-absorbed and isolated in their practice. They seem to concentrate primarily on their own development and promotion. I am afraid that this is a very narrow and limiting understanding of what aikido can be and can give others the wrong impression about the true nature of aikido.

The world of aikido is not governed like other martial arts by tournaments that determine who are the most skilled or powerful. Therefore, anyone can claim to be an instructor and justify his or her own personal interpretations. I have watched amateur “aikido analysts” portray aikido with words instead of practice, whose primary format of aikido experience has been discussions on the Internet. (This is not in reference to Aikido Journal or other major professional on-line publications). Many instructors make wonderful speeches about aikido and the art of peace, but not many are active leaders, who lead by doing, not by what they say we are to do. To me, to retreat from the world and build an aikido commune and Aiki shrine deep in the mountains is more indicative of self-glorification than true understanding of aikido. Instructors who preach flowery concepts not based in reality, do not lead others to understand themselves or the world. Using the words of the Founder as a shroud to hide behind reveals a basic lack of understanding.

By simply practicing aikido in a dojo, are we changing or improving the world around us? Just one step outside the dojo, you can find homelessness, poverty, drugs, unemployment and crime. Merely practicing aikido by itself does not change this.

Every time we step outside, we are in contact with real life. We can’t forget that aikido is only a small part of a big world. I always make the point to my students that true understanding does not come from the practice of martial arts only. We need to widen our scope of study to truly understand the role martial arts play in human development.

Where do martial arts come from? Human beings make martial arts. Martial arts do not make human beings. This is a very basic point that needs to be understood. It is very important to study how history, political climates and ideologies have affected the development of martial arts. Without understanding these greater issues and their application, it is impossible to understand the purpose of the aikido we all practice.

We now live in a time of relative peace in the United States and Japan, therefore, we speak of aikido in terms of love and peace. However, throughout the history of Japan and other countries whose political realities have not been as stable, martial arts have been studied as a means to control others or as a means of survival. There is evidence of this in the history of all martial arts, including the history of aikido. In Korea and China especially, the role aikido has played in history has had its regrettable aspects.

There are more current examples of applications of aikido that are not based in “love and harmony.” In an era where the basis of aikido philosophy is one of peace, aikido is taught and used by the Myanmar (Burmese) military and government law enforcement to suppress democratic reform activities in that country. Myanmar activist Tsu Yan Chi, through Japanese support organizations, petitioned Hombu Doshu Ueshiba to stop sending Japanese aikido instructors to Myanmar. To date this situation still has not been remedied, and aikido is being taught as a means of suppression.

There are very interesting experiences in the life of Founder Morihei Ueshiba that need to be examined and understood to appreciate his ultimate accomplishments. Their importance is mainly historical, but it is essential to understand the Founder as a man, a man of many dreams, but also of many trials and tribulations.

In 1905, Japan had colonized Korea, and in 1906 invaded and colonized parts of what now lie in the northern Manchurian region of China. Mongolia lay north of these provinces between what is now China to the south and Russia to the north. Koulong (present day Ulaanbaatar), the capitol city of Mongolia, during this era, had more than 800 Tibetan Buddhist temples and monasteries with thousands of monks living in them. Tibetan Buddhism was flourishing, and the monks wielded political power in the region while maintaining their spiritual ties to the people of Mongolia.

To keep a strong hold in these territories, the Japanese needed to increase their military presence. They needed natural resources and strategic positioning, and they looked toward Mongolia. Russia, as well, had its eye on Mongolia and had begun to form ties with the Mongolian government. The Japanese were well aware that the Russians would not be kind to the Buddhist Monks if they gained control of Mongolia. This was an opening that the Japanese government thought it could use.

In the world’s political arena in the very early 1900s, the United States and Europe had condemned Japan for overt military actions in the region, so Japan resorted to more covert forms of maneuvering in these new territories.

At this time, China was not nationalized, and there were many power struggles between rival factions and clans. The Japanese Kanto Tokumukikan (covert branch of the Japanese government) supported Chinese revolutionary groups. One group in northern Manchuria was headed by a political leader named Cho, whose ultimate goal was to conquer all of China. In his service was a special agent named Ro who had experience in Mongolian affairs.

Covertly through the Japanese Kanto Tokumukikan, one strategy was to send Onisaburo Deguchi, the leader of the Omoto Kyo religion along with members of elite northern Chinese revolutionary groups to Mongolia to try to influence the religious leaders to join the Japanese. Strategically for the Japanese military, one way of taking control of the country was to take control of the Buddhist priests and the influence they held in Mongolia. In 1924, Founder Morihei Ueshiba left for Mongolia with Onisaburo Deguchi, the leader of the Omoto Kyo religion. The Founder had been teaching martial arts to members of the Omoto Kyo religion at the time. It was a time of unrest for the Omoto Kyo religion clan and they were faced with tremendous government persecution for their popular yet radical ideologies. One of Deguchi’s biographies says that he went to Mongolia after a divine inspiration to find and build a religious utopia. It is said that he left in the dark of night to escape religious persecution. Another possibility was that he knew of the military strategy at hand and had negotiated his release from probation.

It is written that Onisaburo Deguchi and his entourage, including Founder Ueshiba, set out for Mongolia in pursuit of a dream. One question is whose dream was it? Onisaburo Deguchi attempted to enter Mongolia under the guise of being the reincarnated Dalai Lama Suzun Khan. The Founder Ueshiba had also changed his name and identity. In their entourage were members of the Chinese revolutionaries supported by the Japanese Kanto Tokumukikan. Their mission was not successful however, and they never reached Mongolia. Had they been successful, would the Japanese military have been far behind? Countries, even continents, all over the world have been conquered first by religious missionaries followed by military rule. Throughout history, religion and politics have in many instances gone hand in hand.

This correlation is not mentioned in biographies on the Founder. This period in his history has simply been recorded as an “ordeal.” I have trouble believing that the Founder Ueshiba, then a man in his forties, truly believed he was looking for Utopia when he went to Mongolia. In an era of wartime ideology and political strategy he must have been aware of other reasons he could be sent to Mongolia. If he truly believed that he could build a utopian society in someone else’s country, this shows a bit of arrogance towards the peoples and cultures of the country he attempted to reach.

Fortunately for the development of aikido, the entourage was arrested by the Chinese (who had previously supported them), before they reached the Mongolian border. Out of fear of repercussions by the Japanese military, the Chinese led by Mr. Cho, spared Onisaburo Deguchi and his party and sent them back to Japan. Ironically, a few years later in 1928, Mr. Cho himself was killed by the Japanese military. After his return to Japan however, the Founders relationship with Manchuria was not over.

Tensions continued to mount in the region and in 1931 the Japanese military covertly through the Kanto Tokumukikan, executed one of their own Japanese high-ranking military officers and blamed the Chinese. This was an excuse for an outright invasion and with the help of Chinese Emperor Fugi of the Shin dynasty, the Japanese invaded and declared the country of Manchuria under Japanese rule. Setting up their own government in Manchuria, the Japanese began the task of converting Manchuria into a Japanese state. In 1939, Kenkoku University was built in Manchuria as a demonstration of the solidarity and strength of Japanese rule. At that time, aikido was taught as a major field at the Kenkoku University in Manchuria. The Founder, Morihei Ueshiba while remaining in Japan, was an advisory director to the Kenkoku University in Manchuria. In 1941, the Founder also became an advisory director of the Manchurian Shin Buden Martial Art Association. As part of the Japanese effort to maintain control in Manchuria, martial arts including aikido were presented as a show of domination; not as arts of peace and harmony. This image of cruelty of the Japanese military leaders during WWII has been a legacy that Japan still suffers from today in many parts of the world.

As the war continued, the Founder Ueshiba, being a very intelligent man and also being very involved with the Japanese military, could see the tide turning against Japan. He began to take actions to protect himself and those around him. In 1940, five years before the end of the war, the Founder established the Yagai dojo (an outside practice area) in the small country town of Iwama, east of Tokyo. Three years before the end of the war in 1943, the Founder, proclaiming enlightenment, left Tokyo headquarters and retreated to Iwama, where he built the Iwama dojo and Aiki shrine. It was then that he began to talk of aikido as the art of love and peace.

After the end of the war, during GHQ occupation of Japan, the military police could find little to complain about during a visit to Iwama. Deep in the countryside, surrounded by chestnut trees, suwariwaza (kneeling techniques) were practiced at the Iwama dojo. If anything, to the GHQ it looked like a strange local dance more than it did a martial art form. Secretly Ueshiba and his students practiced suburi (weapons training) using hoe handles for bokken and ladle handles for jo. Stored in the farming tool sheds, the handles did not look like anything used for the practice of a martial art. This practice became the origin of Iwama-style aikido. During this time at Iwama, the Founder’s open-hand aikido practice was always a silent practice. Usually the practice was held on wooden floors, which were too hard to hit or land hard on. Even if practicing on tatami, no kiai were allowed. For the rest of his life, the Founder continued practice at Iwama in this fashion.

It is at this point in history that we begin to see a split in styles between the aikido practiced at Tokyo Headquarters and the aikido practiced at Iwama. At Tokyo Headquarters after WWII and in my memory in 1967, bokken and jo were not used for public practice. The aikido style practiced at Hombu looked very mild to keep a peaceful image; it was not martial at all in appearance. This was an intentional deception to quiet any suspicions by GHQ, but in my opinion was also a deliberate act on the part of the Founder. Remembering that it is people that make martial arts, I believe the Founder at this point planted two seeds, each sprouting into two different styles of aikido. In diversification, there is strength.

Jumping forward in time to 1964, demonstrations at the Tokyo Olympics had made the practice of aikido famous, and its popularity was spreading quickly, especially in the United States and Europe. Bruce Lee was making his debut on the movie screen and had started a martial arts boom that would last for decades. In the 1970s while still enjoying a surge of growth, there was little organization, structure or standards for teaching aikido. Techniques were called by different names depending on where they were being taught, and everyone was teaching independently. In the United States the demand for Japanese instructors was high, and rank or qualification was not a major issue. Anyone who was Japanese could teach aikido in the United States. Obviously the quality of instruction went down.

The realization was made that a unifying structure was needed and an organization was created. Unfortunately, by the time this structure was put into place, instructors had already established territories on their own. Especially in the United States, when the new organizational body drew new territorial lines, infighting began over territory, money and students. The original goals of practicing aikido and trying to discover its meaning and application were lost in a fight over money and power.

I have said that human beings make aikido. aikido does not make human beings. The Founder Ueshiba’s contributed greatly to our world, but his life too had its twists and turns. His journey was filled with many travels, many trials and many tribulations, but it is through a life filled with hardship that one can find the most meaning. There is a famous story about a Zen Roshi who had spent years in the practice of meditation and dedication to others. One evening while taking a stroll in the temple garden he hit his shinbone on a rock. At that very instant he achieved enlightenment and retold his experience to the young monks at the temple. The next evening all of the young monks hurried to the garden and began hitting their shinbones on the rock.

For us to try to understand the Founder’s message without understanding his journey is like the young monks trying to find enlightenment by hitting their shinbones on a rock.

The Founder’s final message was that “Budo (Martial Arts) is Love”. In a way, he left a labeled package for us but never truly revealed its meaning or the contents of this package. He left many poems, and many have tried to interpret them, but these interpretations remind me of the young monks and the rock in the garden.

For example, I remember a photo that used to be popular entitled “Peace,” that showed a close-up view of two men, arms and hands outstretched towards one another about to engage in kokyudosa. Looking at it with a literal eye, I find the photo a little scary. If you think about it, one second after that photo was taken, the two wrestled each other until one had a dominant position over the other on the mat. I really don’t find that very peaceful. The focus of the photo is too narrow to fully understand the concept of “Peace” as the Founder saw it.

To truly understand the meaning of “Budo is Love,” I believe we need to look at these words in a wider context. To accept the words without further, wider reflection is to miss the meaning of these words. We need to study what might be inside the package and how we can apply it to our lives. This is the purpose of our practice. Reciting the “label” does not accomplish this.

In the package is another hint from the Founder about the origin of aikido: that aikido is derived from bokken and jo movements. He did not leave us clear relationships between these two forms or weapons kata for practice. The bokken and jo kata now practiced in Iwama-ryu were created from his memory of the Founder by Morihiro Saito Shihan, 9th dan.

As aikidoists, there are two subjects of study and discovery in the package the Founder left for us. One is philosophical, and the other is physical.

“Budo is Love” is a very large package. The fact that martial arts have been used to dominate others like the monks in Mongolia is not love. Or is it? It is the discrepancies that we need to investigate and think about. We must discover these for ourselves, not just accept slogans blindly. The photo of the two men practicing kokyudosa is nice, but it is important to look outside the lines of the image. Blind acceptance is not understanding.

Like a koan in the practice of Zen, it is important to question for yourself. This type of training and self-discovery may sound difficult, but is actually easier because you can do it yourself. For self-discovery you don’t always need other people.

There is a Zen story about a village looking for a lost cow. A cow wandered from the temple in the center of town and disappeared. Search parties were sent out, and they looked and looked for the cow. Every path they searched branched into more paths, which branched into more paths. Finally there were not enough villagers to search every path, and they all returned to the temple. Outside the temple, the priest looked down on the disheartened villagers and told them, “Don’t worry, the cow is not lost, it was never lost. The cow is here, and has always been here."

Applying this to the present day world of aikido, I see instructors struggling at times like the villagers searching for the cow. The cow in this case being the meaning of our aikido practice. Truly, you do not need to look farther than yourself. Collectively, if you can understand this as a dojo, the dojo will grow and become stronger, as will each individual inside the dojo.

The older I become, the more I think that what is in the package we need to discover for ourselves. Human beings make aikido, aikido does not make human beings. The Founder left us the “labeled package” but it is up to us to fill the package. The package is ourselves.

To fill the package, we first need to have a positive lifestyle and a positive self-image. We need to listen to ourselves continuously. This way the box will fill naturally. The Founder said that every day is misogi waza, which translates as “ridding oneself of jaki,” a concept that has passed down from ancient times in Japan. Jaki translates, as a negative mind that pursues material desires, the desire for fame resulting in hatred, jealousy etc. The Shinto phrase, “Masakatsu agatsu Katsu Hayabi” has a similar translation.

To fill the package, we start with the things we can do today. This is the first step. Yesterday and tomorrow are not as important as what you do today. For example, let’s say your goal is to become a marathon runner. This is a positive goal. You may not be ready to run a race, but today you can stretch and walk a short distance. This is the first step, and it is a positive step toward your goal.

In 1980, I found myself one Sunday standing in the kitchen at the Denver Rescue Mission. Being “Sensei,” I usually find myself teaching in front of students. But one day I asked myself, “Is it really right to be “Sensei” all of the time?” So I put myself in a different position and began volunteering to make meals for the homeless. This was my first “step.”

Today, I have been cooking at the Denver Rescue Mission for 11 years, and to date, we have served over 25,000 meals. It is much easier now. Many of my students help prepare and serve the dinners each month, and every year we hold a seminar to raise funds to support this project. Nippon Kan’s volunteer efforts have expanded to include volunteer service twice a year assisting the Denver Parks and Recreation Department. Over the past ten years, we have saved the City of Denver over $500,000 in labor costs and have received two Resolutions of Commendation from the Denver City Council. All of this began with a first step.

In Denver, Nippon Kan is not known only as a martial art dojo. Nippon Kan’s “package” has been filled with many other positive activities. The reward for participation in positive activities is a positive circulation of energy. Dojo members are proud of their accomplishments and contributions to the community. Their energy attracts new students with the same goals and ideals. The dojo grows, filling the “package” with positive ideas. As the “package” is filled with community exchange and communication, the size and scope of the “package” changes as well. It is for this reason that Nippon Kan began a new project this year, a worldwide project called AHAN. (Aikido Humanitarian Active Network).

In July of 2000, Nippon Kan began building a bridge that reached all the way around the globe to Mongolia. We built the foundation through cultural exchange with a friendship tour hosted by our new Mongolian friends. This year in July 2001, we expanded the scope of the project by searching for a more humanitarian application. Through our contacts in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia’s capital city), we were able to make contact with the National Association of Support for the Orphans of Mongolia, a government sponsored agency of the Mongolian Department of Labor and the General Intelligence Agency.

We were touched by what we saw when we visited the orphanage school and summer camp. We met 250 children who were living on 41 cents per day for food, clothing, shelter, medical supplies and education. We were able to donate children’s clothing, medical supplies and $1,500.00, which enabled the orphanage to buy a computer. Before we left, Nippon Kan and AHAN pledged to support this orphanage with $1,500 per month for the next five years, which amounts to $18,000 per year. We also pledged to continue clothing and medical supply donations. By increasing the budget for these children by even 50 cents a day will increase their quality of life dramatically. It will also allow the orphanage to bring more children in off the streets. This initial donation was derived from my book and other publication sales and private student donations.

Our goal now to honor our pledge and help our “package” grow around the world. Many of our students have made a pledge to support AHAN with a $10.00 monthly donation, or $120.00 per year. It is our hope that you will join us in this fund-raising effort.

http://www.nippon-kan.org/ahan_membership.html

Nippon Kan also has many fundraising plans ahead. This Labor Day, September 3, 2001, a taiko drumming concert will be held at Nippon Kan and Domo Restaurant and Gardens to promote cross-cultural exchange and to support our humanitarian efforts. This concert will feature the internationally renowned Kyo Gaku drummers from Matsukawa, Japan. The Kyo Gaku drummers were featured at the opening ceremony at the 1998 Winter Olympics held in Nagano, Japan. We are expecting over 300 people to attend.

Next year Nippon Kan has other exciting events on the horizon. We will be featuring another musical cross-cultural exchange event featuring a well-known and talented group of Mongolian Soyol folk singers from the National Music University in Ulaanbaatar.

Another tour is scheduled to Mongolia in July of 2002. The title for this tour is “The Great Mongolian Caravan Tour” and the focus of this tour is to continue the dream of the Founder Morihei Ueshiba with an Aikido Caravan of Practice. All aikidoists, beyond style or affiliation, around the world are invited and welcome to join us for this special event. This special journey will combine cross-cultural exchange, humanitarian efforts and aikido practice.

http://www.nippon-kan.org/ahan/ahan.html

I believe that the key for the success of any dojo is the active combination of aikido practice, cross-cultural exchange and humanitarian efforts. The benefit of this kind of individual effort cannot be realized by attending a hundred seminars with a thousand instructors.

From its beginning in the United States, Nippon Kan has been an independent dojo. I have had no Sensei or instructor to look to for guidance. It is through the individual efforts of myself and my students that have made Nippon Kan the organization it is today. One of the main purposes of training at Nippon Kan has been the research and development of the aikido of the Founder. To successfully understand this has been a process in reaching out and contributing to our surrounding community. This is truly aikido for life.

It is up to all of us to choose our path of training. Whether we stay locked inside or reach out to others is our decision to make. Locked inside we are like the light of a small single candle. If we reach out together, the light of one candle becomes the light of ten, then 100 until the light is bright enough that we can truly see what can be achieved through aikido. I invite all aikidoists from around the world to join together through AHAN to shine a light for a brighter world.

I hope you will be able to understand my philosophy and point of view on the aikido we practice.

Thank you, Gaku Homma
Nippon Kan Kancho

JLRonin
05-22-2013, 02:06 PM
Aikido
I and a few other dedicated and devoted Aikidokas have been discussing the turns and twists that Aikido has taken through time. Aikido has become too commercialized and academic for our taste. For this reason I have decided to reach out to all Aikidokas that have been left out of the mainstream, alienated, without support, backup, representation, errant and have the same mind set as we do. And to those who may have fallen with an illness or have an impediment which restricts them from practicing in the conventional way.
I would like to know if there is anyone out there located in the vicinity of Aurora, Colorado that is willing to cede some space for the creation of an Aikido Club dedicated to the practice, study and continued proliferation of this wonderful art. Also, people that would like to contribute in any way.
The intent is to have a place to enjoy Aiki keiko without the stress to have to pay for something that should be for the enjoyment and benefit of everyone that would be interested in this God given art.
Anyone living in the area/vicinity, visiting or passing through would be able to have a place to practice without the worry of having to pay those high tuitions, registration or monthly fees. In the event that space is acquired, We would ask for a donation...not imposed or an obligation, starting from as little as a penney for the upkeep and maintnance of such space. We do this for the discipline, continued knowledge and love of the Art ...not for any reward or money. Our reward comes from within...and this allows us to give and share freely.True AIKI.
For us, rank and grade is not of interest. However, any fellow Yudansha (black belt), Fukushidoin, Shidoin, Shihan could come and impart there knowledge and teachings. It would be an honor.

Aiki Peace

kewms
06-05-2013, 04:37 PM
Somehow this makes me think of the reigi thread.

Etiquette, and martial etiquette in particular, is fundamentally a way to keep armed hot heads from killing each other long enough to accomplish a common goal.

Politics, seen in the same light, is a way for a group of people to decide which goals to pursue, and for the proponents of those goals to gain access to the resources of the group. The larger the group, the more complex the alliances and political dynamics, but small groups have politics, too.

Your post, then, is a political act: an attempt to persuade the Aikido community at large to devote resources to the goals of your group.

And yet you seem remarkably reluctant to discuss your vision in any detail. Why is that?

Katherine

JLRonin
06-05-2013, 07:05 PM
Somehow this makes me think of the reigi thread.

Etiquette, and martial etiquette in particular, is fundamentally a way to keep armed hot heads from killing each other long enough to accomplish a common goal.

Politics, seen in the same light, is a way for a group of people to decide which goals to pursue, and for the proponents of those goals to gain access to the resources of the group. The larger the group, the more complex the alliances and political dynamics, but small groups have politics, too.

Your post, then, is a political act: an attempt to persuade the Aikido community at large to devote resources to the goals of your group.

And yet you seem remarkably reluctant to discuss your vision in any detail. Why is that?

Katherine

Still funny how people think and perceive.

Sorry you think that way.
My "vision" or idea/thought is depicted here. I can't be any clearer. I'm not trying to persuade anyone, including you. Or take any ones resources.
You can call it what ever you want. If you think there is some type of politics involved then that is your or any one else' perception. And by reading what you call a political act, Then everyone that has an organization or dojo is guilty. Do you have anything to say against culturesmith...The_Free_Dojo, Gaku Homma, Aiki Ranch, Arthur Crown or Christopher Li in Sandenkai in Hawaii? or Yoshimitsu Yamada? Those who know me, know who I am.
If I opened a club without announcing it like I did, would it be any different?
At least I'm not hiding. I'm trying to be as peaceful and suttle as possible.

Like I said, "To each his own".

cheers

lbb
06-05-2013, 09:14 PM
Still funny how people think and perceive.

Sorry you think that way.

You've said this, or words to this effect ("Oh, how funny how wrong you are, how you don't get it") to several people. Could it be that you need to work on your clarity of expression?

Either way, consider this: people may disagree with you because they misunderstand what you're saying. They may also understand you just fine, and still disagree. Don't rule out the latter.

Carsten Möllering
06-06-2013, 07:17 AM
Still funny how people think and perceive.
Interesting that people are different, isn't it?

Sorry you think that way.
And there are allways people who think on their own.

(And I think what Katherine says about politics is simply evident. At least to me, not being a native speaker, politics is the word that is used to describe how groups are structured and organize themself, how the mechanisms work to solve problems, etc.. To me all this is about politics. Even direct democrathy is a form of politics.)

My "vision" or idea/thought is depicted here. I can't be any clearer.
There are quite some contradictory aspects in your exposition.
There are some questions about the economic aspects of your idea.
There are quite some aspects that seem to not fit to the way aikidô is handed down and learned.

And most points you mention are not new. At least not to me in my context.
In Germany about 85% of aikido clubs/dojô ar non profit organization, i.e. "gemeinnützige Vereine".
A whole lot of dojô/clubs are not affiliated to regional or national organizations. But only to hombu through the shihan they follow.
And - even in my club - there are a lot of aikidô who don't care about grading.

So your ideas stay vague to me. (I think Mary is right asking, to work on your clarity.)

Finally: If you just want to open a club in your area, why do you announce this in a world wide forum? What is your point here?

Well, I don't think it's funny how people think. It's just how they think.

lbb
06-06-2013, 08:22 AM
Well, I don't think it's funny how people think. It's just how they think.

Carsten, I'd love to buy you a beer some day. I can't explain why, but I find your statement very comforting.

Rob Watson
06-06-2013, 10:38 AM
Those articles are basically cut and paste from aikidojournal ... copyright violation and similarly unethical actions are not typically a sign of a good martial artist or a considerate law abiding person. Please show us you have gotten permission to "borrow" from aikidojournal and are not an unethical person ... surely you do not encourage such cavalier attitudes in your students of fellow practitioners?

JLRonin
06-06-2013, 12:09 PM
Sorry for asking.

JLRonin
06-06-2013, 12:56 PM
En tu presencia Señor encuentro refugio y amor.

Solo Tú sanas las heridas de mi Corazón.

Solo Dios es el dulce refugio para todo aquel que en Él cree.

Dios siempre tiene sus brazos abiertos para refugiarte,

no importa las pruebas o dificultades que estés pasando.

Cuando te sientas solo, desorientado, lleno de angustia,

Enfermo, triste desesperado…

Recuerda que Jesucristo es nuestro refugio.

“Jehová de los ejércitos está con nosotros;

Nuestro refugio es el Dios de Jacob.” Salmo 46:7

Krystal Locke
06-06-2013, 04:09 PM
En tu presencia Señor encuentro refugio y amor.

Solo Tú sanas las heridas de mi Corazón.

Solo Dios es el dulce refugio para todo aquel que en Él cree.

Dios siempre tiene sus brazos abiertos para refugiarte,

no importa las pruebas o dificultades que estés pasando.

Cuando te sientas solo, desorientado, lleno de angustia,

Enfermo, triste desesperado…

Recuerda que Jesucristo es nuestro refugio.

"Jehová de los ejércitos está con nosotros;

Nuestro refugio es el Dios de Jacob." Salmo 46:7

And you're bringing religion into it as well?

kewms
06-06-2013, 09:23 PM
(And I think what Katherine says about politics is simply evident. At least to me, not being a native speaker, politics is the word that is used to describe how groups are structured and organize themself, how the mechanisms work to solve problems, etc.. To me all this is about politics. Even direct democrathy is a form of politics.)

That is exactly the sense in which I used the word. So my first point is that no organization is "free of politics."

But the more subtle point is that politics is itself a value-neutral word: it's just a mechanism by which things get done. When someone claims to have been repelled "by politics," they aren't really saying anything useful.

Often the process by which a group allocates resources is very messy -- the colloquial English expression is "how the sausage gets made" -- and involves tradeoffs that one or more members of the group may find distasteful. Sometimes, this causes people to leave the group.

But without more information, it is impossible to say exactly what is going on. The OP could be setting off on his own out of a strongly held conviction that his former organization behaved unethically. Or he could just be mad because he didn't get the promotion he thought he deserved. Or anywhere in between. It is, therefore, impossible to evaluate the merits of his proposal.

Responding to questions with long verbatim quotes from other people is not particularly helpful, either. If he were announcing himself as a student of or affiliated with a particular teacher, then it would be safe to assume that he takes that teacher's views as his own. But that's not what he's doing.

Katherine

mastermeindl
06-08-2013, 04:15 AM
I could be wrong. I often am. But I feel like there's a bit of hostility and criticism coming from all ends in this thread. And don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that hostility and criticism have no place in a forum. I mean, this is a forum, after all. That's kind of what it's all about, to a degree.

Still, I am left with desire to ask, "What would Julio (and everyone here) like to achieve? If it's not entirely clear, then can we work together to figure it out? And can Julio (and I, and all of us) maintain our humility, and perhaps accept that we might not have it all figured out? And can we work together to figure it out? (Yes, I realize I'm repeating myself.) And how can we help each other accomplish whatever it is we figure out we want to do?"

Of course, I could be completely misreading the vibe here. Maybe everybody is actually in a state of pure bliss and feels like their giving out nothing but verbal hugs to everyone. I'm neither condoning nor condemning verbal hugs, by the way.

And I'm certainly not proposing that this is the way this or any thread should proceed. I'm merely selfishly hoping that my ramblings will settle my own emotions after reading and being a little shaken up by this thread.

If I'm not misreading the vibe, then that's OK, too. I love a good fight. For example, I love UFC and all kinds of MMA fights. I go to local MMA fights all the time to watch people beat the crap out of each other. It's awesome.

So, if everybody involved has the desire to engage in a no-holds-barred verbal sparring match, that's awesome. I'll sit back and enjoy the show.

Alright, sorry to interrupt. Please continue.

lbb
06-10-2013, 07:48 AM
Of course, I could be completely misreading the vibe here. Maybe everybody is actually in a state of pure bliss and feels like their giving out nothing but verbal hugs to everyone. I'm neither condoning nor condemning verbal hugs, by the way.

Well, you know, Dave, attitudes don't just fall into one of two categories, "pure bliss" and "hostility". If you try to infer an attitude, and if to you it must be either bliss or hostility, then you'll no doubt perceive a lot of hostility in the world. In real life, and possibly in this thread, you'll find also indifference, confusion, annoyance (which is not the same as "hostility"), amusement, enthusiasm, and many others.

And I'm certainly not proposing that this is the way this or any thread should proceed. I'm merely selfishly hoping that my ramblings will settle my own emotions after reading and being a little shaken up by this thread.

If you read it all at once instead of over time, as it developed, I suppose it could have that effect. That's the danger in coming into a forum filled with threads that developed over some time: you jump in and to you, it's as if it happened all at once (hence we often get new Aikiweb members offering advice on problems that someone presented five years ago). Maybe it's best to just take a deep breath, don't try to suck it all down at once, and if it affects you that powerfully, just turn off the computer and walk away for a while.

If I'm not misreading the vibe, then that's OK, too. I love a good fight. For example, I love UFC and all kinds of MMA fights. I go to local MMA fights all the time to watch people beat the crap out of each other. It's awesome.

So, if everybody involved has the desire to engage in a no-holds-barred verbal sparring match, that's awesome. I'll sit back and enjoy the show.

I think you've misread both the "vibe" and the events. Another mistake that people often make with online forums is inferring some kind of mass mind or groupthink, which doesn't really exist. While it is true that a history of shared discussion can often produce consensus (or, more commonly, groupings around several points of view), you're dealing with individuals here. When you treat a group of people as if they have some kind of hive mind, aren't you insulting every individual in it?

And again, here, you're tending to see things in black and white: either the "vibe" is "bliss", or we're having "a no-holds-barred verbal sparring match". Really, Dave, are those the only choices you want to allow us? Believe me, there's more nuance in that, but if your optics are calibrated only for black and white, that's all you'll ever see.

JLRonin
06-10-2013, 12:05 PM
Hello Fellow Aikidokies
After a few days of reflection and after I had told myself that Aikiweb was a waste of time and had decided to let the thread go cold, out of curiosity, I took a quick peek. To my surprise I saw and read two elegantly and eloquently written clarifying posts from Kewms and Mastermeindl. Thank you. I had written to Aikiweb telling them the very same thing that Mastermeindl mentions and asking them to have my thread locked and to remove me from Aikiweb. Hmm...wait...I'm thinking... I don't know why Aikiweb did not honor my request. Maybe they felt that it needed some closure. The questions are, are we ready to continue, do we wish to continue, should we continue, can we continue in a harmonious manner?
I can go on having fun and can be tenacious at times. Like The Last Samurai. I like to fight a good battle and die for my beliefs. The vibes are picking up.

JLRonin
06-10-2013, 12:07 PM
Oh, I have nothing better to do at this time.

JLRonin
06-10-2013, 12:12 PM
Thank you Mary(Ibb). I'm just trying to think out of the box.

JLRonin
06-10-2013, 12:37 PM
I had the Idea for some time. It kind of returned to thought after reading the thread by JJF,
Now what?

JLRonin
06-10-2013, 12:39 PM
Sorry for posting in segments. At the same time I'm going through my emails.:)

JLRonin
06-10-2013, 01:12 PM
Just read the thread, Making Sense? by James Sawers. Awesome.

JLRonin
06-10-2013, 02:49 PM
Those two posts from Kewms and Mastermeindl are what compelled me to post again once more to the best of my abilities and level. I will not mention names unless it is pertinent. Will NOT quote and hopefully not draw any heat or antics. And forgive my grammer.

One contributor said that some people may not understand me and disagree entirely and some may understand but disagree and to not rule out the latter. Yes, that is true. However, I believe that there are also people that understand and agree with me or us, but prefer to stay and remain out of the spotlight. I felt the same way for so long but also felt that something should be done or at least addressed. Sometimes I think that it is better to keep to oneself what we learn and know. Somewhere I read that at one point, when you forget all you know, techniques etc., and then start picking it up again, and learning to let go of things, that is where you discover what Aikido really is. We can't really judge or criticize based on writings or letters. Like something I read on another thread...It has to be felt.

I'm not a scholar nor a writer or a business person and sometimes I feel that people... like myself, have no room to navigate because some of those types of individuals like to take advantage in this society and push us aside. Some of us are not as fortunate or gifted as others and don't have the appeal. I may be wrong, but I think, that is what has happened and is still happening with Aikido today and in so many aspects of life. I like the words of O'sensei in Sensei Saotome' book, Aikido and The Harmony of Nature, page 11. Where it starts with, In 1942 and ends with retreat, in the subsequent paragraph.

Apart from the practical side of Aikido, I have also studied some of the history as well. But I have really bad retention, so bear with me. Cudos to Christopher Li. He has done an awesome job. I have read throughout Aikiweb and other weblinks, sites and magazines, comments from other people saying something like, there are people out there using Aikido to make some extra bread on the side or as a source of income. And so many other remarks that you can write a book about it. I personally had someone state that he wants to make enough money to help pay the rent. And this is the same person that wanted to impose his system on me. So I ask myself, Is this true AIKI?

In one of the interviews that I read, one Shihan states that Aikido is a dying art. Mainly because MMA and other violent, sporty, competitive forms are gaining more interest from our youths. Those of us that love the art have to strive and work hard to save it and keep it alive. Perhaps some scholar out there can start working on the evolution or the transfer/ transferal/transferral of Aikido. Don't worry, I won't ask you for any royalties.

I also have read and heard about how people have moved up the ranks quickly by some type of means. I like the article made available by Christopher Li in the testing forum, ranks thread. If what Sensei Yamada says has merit and substance, then why is this continuing? Sadly, I think that we have been driven into a money dependent society. And this goes back to the Roman Empire or even back to the Egyptians. Perhaps our government can use a bit of AIKI.

To answer the question about why announce my idea in a ww forum? I hesitated at first, the same way I hesitaded to post this time. But then I just took a chance and didn't care...at this darn age. Thinking that there might be some like minded folks out there. I don't know about other states or areas, but here in Colorado it is very hard to find a place to share or rent not having to pay large amounts of money. Everybody wants your money. Other gyms or clubs just don't want to share unless your connected. Community centers are reluctant with Aikido and expect you to be registered and insured. That's another problem. My idea is to have a place for everyone to practice without attachments to any organizational structure or monetary commitments. This may not sit well with some. I know. We can all share, learn and benefit from each other unselfishly. A free open dojo. Not mine, Ours. I'm not dying for a place to practice. I have my own small tatami in my garage and do use a public open space from time to time. I just like to think of others and try to help. Some teachers like to take out their frustrations by showing off and throwing the uke all over. I always liked to serve as uke and be thrown. And drain my frustrations on the tatami in the form of sweat.

Like Mastermeindl suggests, I would like to see a mature contructive conversation (could it be possible?). Not the criticism, nagging or bickering and condescending attitudes. Because maybe within the reasoning of some...I may not be thinking right. If some of you keep insisting on focusing on politics, so be it. Lets go with the flow. However, I have been known to go against the flow and speak my mind. Call me a radical. Remember ya'll, the only dumb question is the one not asked. What politics does the tai-chi community use when they all gather harmoniously to do their exercises? Did or do the monks have a ranking or grading system? Remember what Bruce Lee said, belts are only good to hold up your pants? Like Sensei Yamada said, Everyone knows who's good and who's not. And if not so good then we can all help each other improve. If there is anyone that has anything positive to say or add and If there are people that agree and think it can be done and are willing to help and partake, OK, fine. If not, then, can we weigh out the differences or pros and cons? If not, then this thread has ended as far as I'm concerned. I also like to cut out a problem quick. This is just me thinking.

There is an old Native American saying (not exactly word for word, but to some effect),
[When other man found this land, Natives running it. No money, no taxes, no dept, plenty of resources, water etc. Native women did all home chores. Medicine free. Native men hunted and fished all day. spent evenings playing and talking with family and friends, enjoying and having sex. Only other man dumb enough to think they can change system like that.]

And a Cherokee proverb that says,
[There is a battle of two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, lies, inferiority and ego. The other is good. It is joy, love, peace, humility, kind, empathetic, truthful and full of hope. The Wolf that wins?...The one you feed the most.]

[why hate those who envy you? They themselves confirm that you are better than they are.]

[Failures are a part of life. If you don't fail, you don't learn. If you don't learn, you'll never CHANGE.]

Now it's time for me to sit back like Mastermeindl.

Carsten Möllering
06-12-2013, 04:30 AM
Thank you Julio for your detailed reply!

...sometimes I feel that people... like myself, have no room to navigate because some of those types of individuals like to take advantage in this society and push us aside. Some of us are not as fortunate or gifted as others and don't have the appeal.
When I read these words I understood that we see the world with different eyes. And it seems to me that your thread is more about "changing the world" and to mirror this change in the structure of a dôjô? Do I get this right?
If so, your statements now make sense to me.
Also talking about that in the worldwide space of this forum, is natural I think, because your intention is much broader then just opening a dôjô, isn't it?

I have to say I don't share your experiences and I don't think your analysis to be correct.
Especially to connect your above quoted thougths to aikidô and it's development does not meet the actual situation in general - at least as I experience it.

I may be wrong, but I think, that is what has happened and is still happening with Aikido today and in so many aspects of life.
Running an aikidô club myself and being connected with a lot of aikidôka not only in Gemany I clearly do not experience aikidô being "pushed aside" and "not having room to navigate".
But maybe I don't understand you correctly?

lbb
06-12-2013, 09:04 AM
I'm not a scholar nor a writer or a business person and sometimes I feel that people... like myself, have no room to navigate because some of those types of individuals like to take advantage in this society and push us aside. Some of us are not as fortunate or gifted as others and don't have the appeal. I may be wrong, but I think, that is what has happened and is still happening with Aikido today and in so many aspects of life.

Meaning that those with a skill for promoting their views and interests tend to get heard and followed more than those who lack this skill? Yes, this is true. It has always been true and always will be true. It's a result of human nature. It's also true that those whose message has value do tend to get heard eventually even if they're not great self-promoters -- but not widely, and not right away. I just finished (re)reading Housman's "A Shropshire Lad", some of the most well-known poetry in the English language. At the time it was written, the collection was universally rejected by publishers: Housman had to pay to get it published. Most good ideas don't get widespread acclaim or masses of people saying, "That's right! Where do I sign up?" There's no point in blaming the world for this.

Apart from the practical side of Aikido, I have also studied some of the history as well. But I have really bad retention, so bear with me. Cudos to Christopher Li. He has done an awesome job. I have read throughout Aikiweb and other weblinks, sites and magazines, comments from other people saying something like, there are people out there using Aikido to make some extra bread on the side or as a source of income. And so many other remarks that you can write a book about it. I personally had someone state that he wants to make enough money to help pay the rent. And this is the same person that wanted to impose his system on me. So I ask myself, Is this true AIKI?
...
I don't know about other states or areas, but here in Colorado it is very hard to find a place to share or rent not having to pay large amounts of money. Everybody wants your money. Other gyms or clubs just don't want to share unless your connected. Community centers are reluctant with Aikido and expect you to be registered and insured. That's another problem. My idea is to have a place for everyone to practice without attachments to any organizational structure or monetary commitments. This may not sit well with some. I know. We can all share, learn and benefit from each other unselfishly. A free open dojo. Not mine, Ours.

I think that the ideal dojo is a cooperative venture - but I also think you need to be a bit careful in your use of the word "free". Every space you can name - dojo, gym, dance studio or community center - cost someone something to build and maintain. They're not getting it free, and in most cases, they're not getting it without constraints on how the space can be used - they have to, by law, carry insurance to cover the activities that take place in the space. They have to pay for all of that. With enough money, you can create a space that's free to your members -- but only by absorbing their costs yourself. The same is true of any dojo, gym, dance studio or community center that you ask to give you space for free. You are asking them to pay your way, and in most cases, they can't do that and keep the doors open. You say "everybody wants your money" - the way I see it, everybody NEEDS your money if they are to provide you with a practice space.

Like Mastermeindl suggests, I would like to see a mature contructive conversation (could it be possible?). Not the criticism, nagging or bickering and condescending attitudes.

Suggestion: if you do want dialogue, be careful of how you frame the discussion. Starting off by accusing others of "criticism, nagging or bickering and condescending attitudes" is not the way to create the mature constructive conversation you say you want. Trying to control the dialogue by categorizing anything not to your liking as "not positive" is a sure route to failure.

There is an old Native American saying (not exactly word for word, but to some effect),
[When other man found this land, Natives running it. No money, no taxes, no dept, plenty of resources, water etc. Native women did all home chores. Medicine free. Native men hunted and fished all day. spent evenings playing and talking with family and friends, enjoying and having sex. Only other man dumb enough to think they can change system like that.]

Yes, it must have been awesome to be a native man in this story. Perhaps not so much to be a native woman, doing "all home chores". Tell me something, how many dojos did they have? If you lived in a world like this, how would you find your dojo? Who would build it for you?

JLRonin
06-15-2013, 10:22 AM
oh...yeah, let me add nit-pick to the list of verbs.

sakumeikan
06-15-2013, 07:45 PM
Agree. Here's a photo of our dojo in Honolulu:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/935648_253877541418760_427751852_n.jpg
Hi Mert,
Having visited Honolulu/Hilo/Lahaina etc I feel the climate is ok for out door practice.Where I live the rain would drench you and the cold air from the North Sea would freeze not only you hands and feet , but certain parts of the anatomy related to the procreative process.
Instead of a gi you would need a raincoat and a set of furry underpants.Not to mention Wellington boots.
Cheers, Joe

Michael Douglas
06-17-2013, 06:34 AM
... I would like to see a mature contructive conversation (could it be possible?). Not the criticism, nagging or bickering and condescending attitudes. ...
Good idea

so to that end, you must try to END your own condescending irritating dismissals, just for example ;
It's funny how people think and perceive.

Still....The twists and turns. Still....Funny how people think and perceive.:rolleyes:
You know?

It's ALWAYS a great idea to have a free Dojo, no subscriptions, no politics, no ... etc etc
I hope it works.
To help it work you must pretend to be less abrasive, less butthurt, less sensitive.
This IS an internet forum after all. :)

Krystal Locke
06-19-2013, 02:19 PM
Here's the deal.
I would not want to train in a dojo that had no liability insurance, no financial structure, no facilities, and no affiliation. I prefer that my dojo be a physical space that I am welcome and safe in because I share financial and physical responsibility for the space. Sweeping the mat is good training. Paying money and effort (and money is a proxy for effort) for what I receive from my dojo is perfectly reasonable. Aikido and my dojo owe me nothing. I owe aikido and my dojo an awful lot. I want my dojo to always be there for me, so I contribute to its continuation. Working for money to pay for dojo membership is good training. If I cant be motivated enough to have a job that covers my life and my training, then I shouldn't be training.

I do not want an unaffiliated dojo. I want to have confidence in my aikido, therefore I have to choose my dojo and sensei carefully. I choose based on the sensei's demonstrated skill, rank, and political affiliation. I prefer the skill set that association with and rank through the Aikikai helps ensure. I like having an easily portable belt. My dojo's affiliations give me confidence in my skills. My dojo's political position in the aikido world allows dojos I may visit to have confidence in me as a competent, safe-to-train-with guest who will not cause a disruption, or at least know what they're likely getting.

I asked a few questions early in this thread, and I asked them because I am interested in your answers. Why do you think aikido should be free? How are you actually going to avoid politics? How are you going to protect your dojo, your students, everyone's skills, and your reputation without both money and association? These are not rhetorical questions, they are real concerns that people who wish to start dojos contend with.

George S. Ledyard
06-19-2013, 04:17 PM
I'm just trying to figure out on what basis it was decided that the art was God given and meant to be free. O-Sensei paid a substantial amount for his training. The Deshi always paid for their training either via membership fees or by teaching at various company or school clubs (which in turn made donations to headquartets). I have certainly spent enough on my own training over the years to pay for at least one of my kid's college and no place I ever trained was "free". So, who decided it was meant to be free? You want to have a free dojo, go ahead... but the implication of saying it was meant to be free is that somehow everyone else is mercenary and greedy. Those Aikido professionals like myself who gave up good careers to pursue the art and have kept dojos open for multiple decades would, I think take issue with that... at least I would.

There's a reason that the various Hombu Dojos have professional training programs. It's to produce professional grade teachers. I am sure that there are folks out there who, out of the goodness of their hearst offer free classes, at a community center or in a park or soemsuch. But I have never met a practitioner who came out of such a program who was skilled or became a teacher without training at a regular dojo or going to Japan. Someone has to cover the costs... I just don't see where "meant to be free" comes in and don't believe that anyone actually stated that it should be "free".

lbb
06-20-2013, 07:13 AM
Krystal has a good point: money IS a proxy for effort. A few people are born with a silver spoon in their mouths, but for the rest of us, the money we have is earned, and to scorn the money is to scorn the effort behind it and the person who made that effort.

PaulF
06-20-2013, 10:01 AM
Hi Mert,
Having visited Honolulu/Hilo/Lahaina etc I feel the climate is ok for out door practice.Where I live the rain would drench you and the cold air from the North Sea would freeze not only you hands and feet , but certain parts of the anatomy related to the procreative process.
Instead of a gi you would need a raincoat and a set of furry underpants.Not to mention Wellington boots.
Cheers, Joe

That could be a good look Joe, but I don't entirely buy your argument, I've seen the way they dress round your way on a Saturday night, (much the same as in Cardiff as it goes) clearly they've all had their Ready brek. ;)