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akiy
03-28-2015, 11:48 AM
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Here is an Aikido video of Christophe Depaus presenting aikido as an "alternative education system for humanity" at the TEDx UBI Wiltz conference.

Depaus is a 5th dan aikido practitioner/teacher in Brussels, Belgium who has studied with Seiichi Sugano, Christian Tissier, Tsuruzo Miyamoto, Shoji Seki, and others. More on him can be found here (http://renshinkandojo.com/content/dojo-cho-professeur-principal).

What are your thoughts on this video?

-- Jun

sakumeikan
03-29-2015, 06:29 AM
EqVuGHlDZ-k

Here is an Aikido video of Christophe Depaus presenting aikido as an "alternative education system for humanity" at the TEDx UBI Wiltz conference.

Depaus is a 5th dan aikido practitioner/teacher in Brussels, Belgium who has studied with Seiichi Sugano, Christian Tissier, Tsuruzo Miyamoto, Shoji Seki, and others. More on him can be found here (http://renshinkandojo.com/content/dojo-cho-professeur-principal).

What are your thoughts on this video?

-- Jun

Dear Jun,
Some of Depaus Sensei views were food for thought.As far as his aikido is concerned I rather liked how he used the limited space. His movements were quite clear and clean. Thanks for posting, Cheers, Joe

dps
03-29-2015, 11:26 AM
I am not impressed with his usage of Aikido as a vehicle to express his lofty philosophical ideas about improving humanity.

dps

sakumeikan
03-29-2015, 06:01 PM
I am not impressed with his usage of Aikido as a vehicle to express his lofty philosophical ideas about improving humanity.

dps

Dear David,
Perhaps if people would try and live up to the man's 'lofty ' philosophical ideals the world would be a better place.At least the sensei tries to make a case for the benefits of aikido.You may not be impressed but others might. What if any] are your own lofty philosophical ideas by the way??Have you any, if so please feel free to let the Forum know. Cheers, Joe

MRoh
03-30-2015, 03:03 AM
There is always a mismatch in what people talk about and what they perform.
It is not credible when someone talks about love peace, and in the same moment shows techniques to destroy joints and to smash people to the ground.
The process that leads to peace in the sense how Ueshiba meant it, can hardly be made comprehensible by perfoming martial techniques that can cause serious injury.

dps
03-30-2015, 07:30 AM
Dear David,
Perhaps if people would try and live up to the man's 'lofty ' philosophical ideals the world would be a better place.At least the sensei tries to make a case for the benefits of aikido.You may not be impressed but others might. What if any] are your own lofty philosophical ideas by the way??Have you any, if so please feel free to let the Forum know. Cheers, Joe

I have no problem with him having lofty philosophical ideals. It is use of a martial art to promote his ideals that I find hypocritical.
Making weapons of mass destruction ( nuclear bombs) would be an "alternative education system for humanity".

Not my lofty philosophical ideal but one a Buddhist Priest told me over 25 years ago that I agree with. You want a better world to live in, take a broom go out and sweep the sidewalk and street in front of your house everyday.

dps

tlk52
03-30-2015, 08:49 AM
"The process that leads to peace in the sense how Ueshiba meant it, "
--what do you think O'Sensei meant? K. Ueshiba was clear that O'Sensei was not a pacifist in the western sense.

GMaroda
03-30-2015, 11:20 AM
I am not impressed with his usage of Aikido as a vehicle to express his lofty philosophical ideas about improving humanity.

dps

It's TED talk. It's all about lofty philosphical ideas about improving humanity in order to make rich people feel better about themselves.

phitruong
03-30-2015, 12:29 PM
I am not impressed with his usage of Aikido as a vehicle to express his lofty philosophical ideas about improving humanity.

dps

i thought any idea about improving humanity is lofty.

I remembered listening to google manager talked about google's goal, which is "increase the IQ of the world". if you heard that, like most folks, you will put that goal in the same category as "world pease", "world hunger", and so on. kinda extremely lofty. so, how often folks google for information of sort, on a daily basis? folks who change the world, just do, then worry about whether they could or could not afterward.

Cliff Judge
03-30-2015, 01:08 PM
I have no problem with him having lofty philosophical ideals. It is use of a martial art to promote his ideals that I find hypocritical.
Making weapons of mass destruction ( nuclear bombs) would be an "alternative education system for humanity".

Not my lofty philosophical ideal but one a Buddhist Priest told me over 25 years ago that I agree with. You want a better world to live in, take a broom go out and sweep the sidewalk and street in front of your house everyday.

dps

It seems like, if you are willing to look at sweeping the sidewalk as a metaphor for a mental / spiritual process that leads one to being more centered, calm, and stable in times of stress and contention, then just about any traditional martial art I can think of can aid in creating a better world.

That's pretty much what gets people in the door these days - this lofty philosophical goal. There is not a martial art out there that is more upfront about this.

oisin bourke
03-30-2015, 03:12 PM
It seems like, if you are willing to look at sweeping the sidewalk as a metaphor for a mental / spiritual process that leads one to being more centered, calm, and stable in times of stress and contention, then just about any traditional martial art I can think of can aid in creating a better world.

That's pretty much what gets people in the door these days - this lofty philosophical goal. There is not a martial art out there that is more upfront about this.

Indeed. it's a marketing gimmick, and in the case of aikido, a pretty successful one.

PeterR
03-30-2015, 03:38 PM
i thought any idea about improving humanity is lofty.

I remembered listening to google manager talked about google's goal, which is "increase the IQ of the world". if you heard that, like most folks, you will put that goal in the same category as "world pease", "world hunger", and so on. kinda extremely lofty. so, how often folks google for information of sort, on a daily basis? folks who change the world, just do, then worry about whether they could or could not afterward.

Of course it is impossible to increase the IQ of the world. The average IQ will always be 100.

sakumeikan
03-30-2015, 05:58 PM
Of course it is impossible to increase the IQ of the world. The average IQ will always be 100.

Dear Peter,
If as you say the average IQ is 100,maybe we should spend more cash on education than making armaments?Of course there are financial rewards for some folks who sell arms/bullets, tanks and other types of sh-t.Not forgetting the funeral trade/army uniform trade etc.
If we educate the people to think for themselves maybe some institutions, Congress, house of commons would start to get a bit worried.
Who knows my own iq could well be increased beyond its present capacity?Cheers, Joe.

dps
03-30-2015, 07:19 PM
It seems like, if you are willing to look at sweeping the sidewalk as a metaphor for a mental / spiritual process that leads one to being more centered, calm, and stable in times of stress and contention, then just about any traditional martial art I can think of can aid in creating a better world.

That's pretty much what gets people in the door these days - this lofty philosophical goal. There is not a martial art out there that is more upfront about this.

Nope no metaphor. Just get your ass out and sweep the sidewalk and street. That will make a better world.

dps

kewms
03-30-2015, 11:43 PM
Dear Peter,
If as you say the average IQ is 100,maybe we should spend more cash on education than making armaments?

The average IQ is always 100 because that's how IQ is defined. IQ scores are not an absolute measure of anything, they are a measure of relative position within a distribution centered at 100.

Some argue that IQ is useless for exactly this reason.

Katherine

Cliff Judge
03-31-2015, 06:33 AM
Nope no metaphor. Just get your ass out and sweep the sidewalk and street. That will make a better world.

dps

Ah, okay. So what if there is no sidewalk on your street, and maybe its paved with gravel? How do you make the world a better place then? Improve yourself maybe?

Carsten Möllering
03-31-2015, 06:55 AM
So what if there is no sidewalk on your street... ?Be present and do whatever there is to be done. Just that. Live will show you ...

lbb
03-31-2015, 07:28 AM
Ah, okay. So what if there is no sidewalk on your street, and maybe its paved with gravel? How do you make the world a better place then? Improve yourself maybe?

What does "improve yourself" even mean? If all you ever do is go around improving your own stuff, which is only ever used for your own personal gratification, how does that "improvement" ever "make the world a better place"?

If there's a single characteristic shared by those who actually do make the world a better place, it would have to be a good solid grasp of "it's not all about me". If your goal in aikido OR sweeping the sidewalk is, at the end of the day, to make yourself better, does that help the world? Sure, if by "make yourself better" you mean to make yourself less messed-up, less reactive, less selfish, etc. Past a certain point, if you just keep polishing your mirror the better to preen in it, then no.

Mary Eastland
03-31-2015, 07:32 AM
When Aikido is practiced there are opportunities for feelings to develop that can lead to compassion and understanding of others.

I have learned from reading on Aikiweb that aikido is not the same for everyone.

For me, it is the difference between external and internal training:

External : change others. control circumstances

Internal: change one's self, accept what is and go with the flow.

For me: the internal training has changed me and how I look at my life.

jonreading
03-31-2015, 07:48 AM
I once saw a accounting seminar taught while doing yoga. What does yoga have to do with accounting? Nothing. Why do yoga and accounting? Because the seminar presenter was trying to think outside the box. Was that a reflection of good yoga? No. Was it a reflection of good accounting? No; although, one could argue the need for a hook like yoga implies the material was less than enjoyable... :)

Good for sensei to know someone who got him a spot, I don't know if that is necessarily a reflection of his aikido skill. I think given the forum for what he demonstrated the aikido was fine. I am somewhat confused by the role the physical demonstration played in his verbal presentation.

Personally, I am not a fan of using aikido within a political context or as footing for extrapolated ideology. Religion and politics... I think aikido is bigger than either but the presentation clearly uses aikido to support an ideological perspective. Even the forum for the presentation is notoriously political.

Joe brought up a point that troubles me most... to someone, the ideology in this presentation is a reflection of what is aikido. It's difficult to separate what the presenter says as being his personal perspective and what he says is aikido. Cliff mentioned that this is a problem in martial arts as everyone jockeys for a piece of the pie and I agree with that generalization. I don't think it is right and I don't think that we should get a pass because karate does it.

lbb
03-31-2015, 10:09 AM
I don't think it is right and I don't think that we should get a pass because karate does it.

"because karate does it"? In my experience in both styles, aikido is much, much more guilty of this than karate.

kewms
03-31-2015, 10:55 AM
"The world is where you are standing, and that is the place to train." Didn't O Sensei say that, or something like it?

A lot of harm has been done by people who tried to change the world from a place of personal brokenness. A lot of good has been done by people who didn't worry about the world, just themselves and the people around them.

The "lessons" of aikido (or any martial art) are no different from the lessons of the world's great religions. If your personal practice of aikido (or meditation, or iaido, or flower arranging, or...) makes you a better person, that's great! I'm glad you've found your path! But that doesn't mean it is the best or only path for the rest of us.

Katherine

kewms
03-31-2015, 11:19 AM
If there's a single characteristic shared by those who actually do make the world a better place, it would have to be a good solid grasp of "it's not all about me". If your goal in aikido OR sweeping the sidewalk is, at the end of the day, to make yourself better, does that help the world? Sure, if by "make yourself better" you mean to make yourself less messed-up, less reactive, less selfish, etc. Past a certain point, if you just keep polishing your mirror the better to preen in it, then no.

Unless you've achieved a Buddha-like degree of enlightenment, there's always plenty of your own stuff to work on.

With that said, I think the cleaner your mirror is, the more you are able to see the other parts of the world reflected in it. If the sidewalk in front of your home is clean, but your neighbor's is not, eventually the contrast will become obvious. So maybe you inspire your neighbor to clean his sidewalk, too, or maybe you organize a neighborhood sidewalk-cleaning committee. Or maybe you go ahead and clean your neighbor's sidewalk, too, because he's elderly and not really able to do it himself.

If you use that mirror for preening, I think maybe it isn't actually as clean as you'd like to think.

Katherine

lbb
03-31-2015, 03:35 PM
Unless you've achieved a Buddha-like degree of enlightenment, there's always plenty of your own stuff to work on.

Only if the goal is personal perfection. And whom does that serve other than yourself? You know the phrase, "The perfect is the enemy of the good"?

With that said, I think the cleaner your mirror is, the more you are able to see the other parts of the world reflected in it.

Or your own awesome, dear, narcissistic face?

If the sidewalk in front of your home is clean, but your neighbor's is not, eventually the contrast will become obvious. So maybe you inspire your neighbor to clean his sidewalk, too, or maybe you organize a neighborhood sidewalk-cleaning committee. Or maybe you go ahead and clean your neighbor's sidewalk, too, because he's elderly and not really able to do it himself.

As soon as you look at the sidewalk, you're no longer polishing the mirror.

dps
03-31-2015, 04:55 PM
Unless you've achieved a Buddha-like degree of enlightenment, there's always plenty of your own stuff to work on.

With that said, I think the cleaner your mirror is, the more you are able to see the other parts of the world reflected in it. If the sidewalk in front of your home is clean, but your neighbor's is not, eventually the contrast will become obvious. So maybe you inspire your neighbor to clean his sidewalk, too, or maybe you organize a neighborhood sidewalk-cleaning committee. Or maybe you go ahead and clean your neighbor's sidewalk, too, because he's elderly and not really able to do it himself.

If you use that mirror for preening, I think maybe it isn't actually as clean as you'd like to think.

Katherine

My widowed mom lives by herself in her own little house. The next door neighbor has never been nice to her and lets the weeds and small trees overgrow the link fence into her yard. She has complained to city officials and got nothing done. A few years ago she had the person mowing her lawn mow next to the fence on his side to get rid of the overgrowth. She even paid for his trees to be pruned so they would not overhang her side of the fence. She never said a bad word to him or treated him anything but nice. This past winter we had an enormous amount of snow. One day she saw him shoveling her sidewalks and driveway. When she asked him why he said she had trimmed his trees and mowed part of his lawn and it was about time he did something for her.

Is the world a better place because of this. In a small way yes.

dps

jonreading
04-01-2015, 07:44 AM
"because karate does it"? In my experience in both styles, aikido is much, much more guilty of this than karate.

To clarify, my comment was directed at the observation that many martial arts have prioritized a philosophical hook, often based in peace, wellness and confidence, to soft sell what is generally considered an education about fighting. I think if you have seen an ad that says one (or more) of these hooks, you have seen a dojo that has elected to use this marketing tool. Aikido has a bad reputation for this particular sell, but Billy Blanks is just as guilty. Personally, I don't like the conflating ideology and training because at best you're teaching ideology and at worst you're lying.

Sometimes we throw out terrible cliches to steal ethos from others. "Polishing the mirror," can just as easily be said with a wink and a smile and mean a variety of others things. Why does it have any meaning in aikido? Because the man said it. Of the things I can appreciate about this video, one of them is the door to open dialog to challenge what we say and why we say it.

kewms
04-01-2015, 01:41 PM
Is the world a better place because of this. In a small way yes.

Yep. -- Katherine

kewms
04-02-2015, 01:59 AM
Only if the goal is personal perfection. And whom does that serve other than yourself? You know the phrase, "The perfect is the enemy of the good"?

I would argue that a person who serves only themselves has a long way to go before achieving anything resembling perfection.

Katherine

MRoh
04-02-2015, 06:50 AM
"The process that leads to peace in the sense how Ueshiba meant it, "
--what do you think O'Sensei meant? K. Ueshiba was clear that O'Sensei was not a pacifist in the western sense.

The process is spiritual development, not moral education.

Wheather Ueshiba was a pacifist in the sense of western peace movement, is not the question I think.
He changed his training method in a way that his art became an instrument for implementing universal principles and spiritual development, he even "stopped focusing on the physical techniques of aiki", like he sayed by himself.
Talking about peace in a moral sense and underpinning it with a performance of ikkyo or shiho nage doesn't seem to be what Ueshiba meant with takemusu aiki.

Cliff Judge
04-02-2015, 11:14 AM
To clarify, my comment was directed at the observation that many martial arts have prioritized a philosophical hook, often based in peace, wellness and confidence, to soft sell what is generally considered an education about fighting. I think if you have seen an ad that says one (or more) of these hooks, you have seen a dojo that has elected to use this marketing tool. Aikido has a bad reputation for this particular sell, but Billy Blanks is just as guilty. Personally, I don't like the conflating ideology and training because at best you're teaching ideology and at worst you're lying..

Why do you say that Aikido has a bad rep for this "soft sell?"

I think what you are saying is that pugilistic systems such as karate sometimes sell themselves as fostering a peaceful mind, wellness, and confidence, by providing a good physical conditioning workout and training that "provides tools which can be used to harm or not harm" and that the "freedom of choice" of breaking someone's back vs knocking them out vs something less damaging is what gives one the peaceful mindset.

Hey that's a great idea. Obviously on the global scale, when one nation becomes clearly dominant in terms of military might they never use their might to force their will on the rest of the world in wars of adventure and the suchlike!

I don't think Aikido is really supposed to be that way. Obviously there are plenty of folks around here who think that Aikido was originally a devastating martial art meant to empower people to kill and damage others. I am not even sure if Daito ryu - or any koryu! - was exactly that.

What if Osensei ultimately wanted his art to not have anything to do with harming people at all? I know that sounds ridiculous - we are supposed to seriously train in a "martial art" that is meant to not be effective at harming another person - but the whole "kill them or maybe spare them" concept was certainly not an innovation.

kewms
04-02-2015, 12:53 PM
I think it's pretty clear that WW II was a deeply traumatic experience for O Sensei, the lesson of which might be "budo virtues won't save you if the other guy has nukes." (Especially if you're a resource-poor island nation facing resource-rich continental powers.) And therefore that relying on martial superiority alone is ultimately a losing strategy.

So what is aikido "for," then?

I don't pretend to have a definitive answer, but I think the idea of non-contention -- with an attacker, and with the world generally -- is worth pondering.

Katherine

nikyu62
04-02-2015, 03:35 PM
As stated above, WW2 was a watershed moment for O-Sensei. His main students have noted this. What aikido is "for" then…..to win the battle within oneself, to become one with the universe, to connect with others, to set an example, to deter aggression by extending ki, as shugyo and misogi…..just my thoughts.

jonreading
04-03-2015, 08:35 AM
Why do you say that Aikido has a bad rep for this "soft sell?"

I think what you are saying is that pugilistic systems such as karate sometimes sell themselves as fostering a peaceful mind, wellness, and confidence, by providing a good physical conditioning workout and training that "provides tools which can be used to harm or not harm" and that the "freedom of choice" of breaking someone's back vs knocking them out vs something less damaging is what gives one the peaceful mindset.

Hey that's a great idea. Obviously on the global scale, when one nation becomes clearly dominant in terms of military might they never use their might to force their will on the rest of the world in wars of adventure and the suchlike!

I don't think Aikido is really supposed to be that way. Obviously there are plenty of folks around here who think that Aikido was originally a devastating martial art meant to empower people to kill and damage others. I am not even sure if Daito ryu - or any koryu! - was exactly that.

What if Osensei ultimately wanted his art to not have anything to do with harming people at all? I know that sounds ridiculous - we are supposed to seriously train in a "martial art" that is meant to not be effective at harming another person - but the whole "kill them or maybe spare them" concept was certainly not an innovation.

I don't necessarily have a problem with soft-selling martial arts, but I think there needs to be something that has to been softened... My main problem is that there is a lot of aikido that doesn't have a sharp edge that can be softened.

Right now, I am of the mind that aikido was a place O Sensei created for people who were [too] dangerous to remain in their training. I think this was part of early dojo model and the training consisted not only of how to use you body in a way that restrained your body but also that you could learn how to protect your body from extreme distress. The fact was that these people did know how to do devastating things and I think that is the main correlation for those who believe aikido has damaging components.

I think it is also a serious consideration to first ask whether you can take a life before debating the morals whether you can give it back. I think most of us generally lack the first ability, making the discussion of the second ability mute. O Sensei did not speak from the perspective most of us hold and we should consider that when we debate whether we theoretically would kill the 220 lb. drunk wife-beater, or simply immobilize him with a crisp nikkyo.