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Jermaine Alley
09-29-2002, 11:00 AM
Is "Loving Protection of All" practical for todays street encounters?
I think that we budoka are merely practing theories. We are practicing a particular "theory" of cleverly designed techniques/systems that deal with a serious of different attacks (physical or mental).
Can we afford to think that "loving & protecting" this "attacker" is going to guarantee my safe passage all of the time in every situation?
Are some systems of Aikido incorporating a "false sense of security" for todays' situations? Are we being TOO DAMN NICE?

A Quick reply to my own question..No i don't think that i have a false sense of security at all, but I can't allow "loving protection" to enter my mind when i have to defend myself until after a confrontation is over....tryin to keep it short....more to this after some of your responses...
jermaine

mike lee
09-29-2002, 11:10 AM
"Loving protection" continues right up until the moment he makes his move -- then things should shift into survival mode. :freaky: When he has a change of heart, it's back to "loving protection."

That's the best I can do at my current skill level. If someone can do better, I bow to them.

But for the long run, I don't fill my brain with a lot of "what if" scenarios. I barely have enough brain cells to cope with the day-to-day problems at hand. :rolleyes:

Generally, I think people that walk around with a "loving-protection" attitude come off as being false. They often end up being the first ones to lose their cool when the chips are down and tensions get high.

For me, if I can just be straight-forward and sincere, that's good enough. I always respect a guy who's straight and trustworthy. Plus, a guy like that is ususally very clear and hard to fool.

mike lee
09-29-2002, 11:30 AM
"Loving protection" continues right up until the moment he makes his move -- then things should shift into survival mode. :freaky: When he has a change of heart, it's back to "loving protection."

That's the best I can do at my current skill level. If someone can do better, I bow to them.

But for the long run, I don't fill my brain with a lot of "what if" scenarios. I barely have enough brain cells left to cope with the day-to-day problems at hand. :rolleyes:

Generally, I think that people who walk around with a "loving-protection" attitude come off as being false. They often end up being the first ones to lose their cool when the chips are down and tensions get high.

For me, if I can just be straight-forward and sincere, that's good enough. I always respect a guy who's straight and trustworthy. Plus, a guy like that is ususally very clear and hard to fool.

I've got this one student who's very talented, but recently he's acting like he cares too much when he does waza. It's killing his technique because he always stops the flow, because he thinks that shows he's being careful. It's a big mistake. He won't be able to progress much further until he overcomes this illusion. One can care — but being overly careful can end up creating more probelms than it solves.

Jermaine Alley
09-29-2002, 11:39 AM
Mike,

good point.

At I often get kind of miffed when some people in my class forget about "survival". Everyone ponders about what will happen in a street situation, but have never been in the first confrontation to know. To experience that adrenaline that just takes off as soon as a "threat" presents itself.

I have been in a few fights before being a cop and after being a cop. I have lost a few, and come out of a few on top to a certain extent.

When i teach a class, I stress that "loving protection" is part of the history of our system, but that needs to be put aside when you think about your own lively hood.

"Coming home alive" is the most important phrase that exists among folks that put themselves in harms way as a job. Sometimes I think the phrase needs to be right next to "loving protection".

thanks for the reply...

mike lee
09-29-2002, 11:51 AM
I don't think it's really very practical to be going around thinking about philosophy. It clouds awareness.

For me, the No. 1 rule in the dojo, and the street, and in most other places (even when I'm sound asleep) is awareness. For me, this is the cardnal rule of survival.

daedalus
09-29-2002, 02:00 PM
Loving protection is wonderful, but I'm no where near the level where I can physcially pull it off in a real situation. The most I can hope for is for everyone to survive, but my survival takes precedence over whoever happens to be attacking.

There is also something to be said about disabling and physically harming an attacker as being loving protection. Follow me on this: what is more damaging, a broken wrist and concussion or life in prison for killing someone? Drunken groups of college guys (something common by me) like to go around and pick fights. It wouldn't be much of a stretch for one group to go too far and kill someone out of drunken rage and stupidity. I personally feel that in a situation such as that, some bruises and broken bones would be a gift to the attackers when imprisonment would be the other option, thus making their injuries loving protection. Let's hear it for the moral high ground of causing injury! ;^)

aikigreg
09-30-2002, 10:48 AM
Don't forget loving protection means protection of self as well. I try very hard to keep this attitude. This is how I felt before I ever knew what Aikido was, which meant that when the fight was over I didn't kill the guy lying helpless on the ground.

What that means now I'm not sure - I'll write that page when I come to it. I don't believe it means giving up the innate sense of self-preservation or to welcome death so that your attacker may live.

Bruce Baker
09-30-2002, 03:12 PM
There is a duality of Loving protection, something like I love and protect my children, but if they get out of line they are punished, and if you touch them I will rip out your heart and jam it up you @$$! You get the idea.

Remaining calm, with the clear mind that is not angry, not seeking to hurt anyone ... well ... it gives you the advantage to inflict pain for the sake of need and not for the sake of anger, vengence, or a whole host of emotions that eat away at you.

No attutude, loving protection, and the ability to let act without emotions that will cloud your judgement when restaining or protecting yourself or others.

I wouldn't put "Loving Protection" into the category of not doing what is needed to be done, but being able to see more clearly when enough is enough.

Or, when my partner cranks too hard, I ask for a little less loving ... please.

mike lee
10-01-2002, 03:47 AM
To everything, there is a time, and a place, and a season.

A time to laugh and a time to cry.

A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.

A time for peace and a time for war.

:do:

Paula Lydon
10-01-2002, 09:01 AM
~~I think loving protection is akin to compassion, and I make a distinction between what I term 'realistic' compassion--seeing and dealing with the reality of a person/situation compassionately--and the present day sugary, fluffly crap that passes for compassion.

~~Let's say there are two people coming down a street, yourself and another behind you. A man attacks you and you only break his arm (you could have done much worse), thus sending him on his way home or to hospital. So what's my point? The person behind you, who would have been attacked next, had a gun...

~~Who is to know? We cannot judge by circumstances. Do the least violence, without anger or fear, but if you happen to break an arm maybe it's just what's needed in that moment by a 'loving protection' greater than your own. ;)

opherdonchin
10-01-2002, 11:33 AM
Can we afford to think that "loving & protecting" this "attacker" is going to guarantee my safe passage all of the time in every situation?
I haven't been in a fight since my teens, but I can give you my thoughts on the matter.

At the simplest level, I think of 'loving protection' as being similar to relaxation and not using force: it's a good idea because it's effective. I have seen regularly and often that the more compassion and caring I can bring to a situation without losing my own center and balance (in the dojo or outside of it), the more effective I will be. This has been especially true for AiKiDo techniques, but once I started noticing it there, I started noticing it other places as well. Think about the beginner on their first day who feels like they need to muscle an irimi-nage in order to make a person fall, and you will see how I think of the places where I fail to find the feeling of 'loving protection.' It's just an example of me getting in my own way and preventing myself from being effective.

Of course, like with the relaxation and the no force, the actual message goes deeper than questions of effectiveness. The ultimate message has something to do with an awareness of my own tendency to perceive things as conflicts and my own failures to to be appropriately harmonized with a situation ahead of time. I'm not going to go around beating myself up about those failures (well, yes I am, but you know what I mean), but by seeing how effective relaxation, no force, or loving protection can be, I think I'm given an opportunity to question my habitual attitudes of forcing things and feeling threatened and feeling a need to overcome others or protect myself. That doesn't mean I'm going to have all the answers; it just means that I've got a few more questions.

kung fu hamster
10-01-2002, 01:25 PM
Loving protection is what we aim for but it can be argued that sometimes it’s for the greater good of the majority that one ‘uses the sword’. Paraphrasing a program on snipers who trained at Thunder Ridge, one reporter asked a law enforcement sniper “You intensely train for years to aim from a great distance at a small target the size of a football (man’s head/brain area), and you’ve been called to duty many times to use your skill in situations such as hostage taking where the victim is displayed with a weapon to their head, does it ever cross your mind as you squeeze the trigger that you are taking a life and does that disturb you?” The sniper replied simply, “No, I don’t think of it as taking a life, I think of it as saving a life.” Yes, the aiki thing to do is keep ‘loving protection’ in mind when confronted by a situation fraught with conflict potential, sometimes it’s all you can do is keep from being sucked into the violence of the other someone else’s vortex.

Pretoriano
10-19-2002, 08:29 PM
"What?, compassion? that is gonna take you to the grave... exactly thats how talks someone who ignore what Loving Protection for all Is"

SK.

Loving Protection for all is when you realized by Direct Experience that isolation is not posible, Every thing is interconected and in direct or indirect relation, of course LP is an step further than compassion.

ChristianBoddum
10-19-2002, 09:13 PM
Hi there !

This thread is a little disturbing,

it seems like you want the techniques but not

not to bring the love into your beings.

What I meen is that love is not a fickle feeling,is is a force to be reckoned with,

a force so strong and determining that O'sensei changed the classic techniques to

enter it's ultimate form - an expression of love. We work so hard to learn to extend because all extension protects us more - when our natural body tells us to contract and in reality be unprotected.

So what O'sensei discovered,developed and passed on should be taken more seriously from my point of wiew,or else I can't see the future of aikido as passed on to us by O'sensei.

I had to say this,please try get me right.

yours - Chr.B.

shihonage
10-20-2002, 04:11 AM
"Loving protection" is something reserved for a drunk uncle who's got out of hand at a party.

And even then, MAYBE.

I suspect that those who post lengthy paragraphs about "loving protection", are the people who's never been attacked in their life.

I still don't understand how such people still exist in this day and age, but apparently they do.

mike lee
10-20-2002, 08:26 AM
The road to hell is wide. :blush:

But,

The Way of Aiki is one of the divine techniques

To which only a narrow gate does lead. :confused:

:do:

opherdonchin
10-20-2002, 05:28 PM
I suspect that those who post lengthy paragraphs about "loving protection", are the people who's never been attacked in their life.Yup. Guilty as charged. At least I haven't been attacked physically with an earnest intent to harm or kill me since elementary school. I like to chalk that up to my credit, actually.

Knowing how not to get attacked seems like one of the principle skills a person can learn in life. Honest love for others (without any notion of self-sacrifice implied) is, in my view one of the best ways of doing this.

Ali B
10-21-2002, 02:43 AM
I am a person who has been attacked and also protected others whilst they were being attacked but I have to agree that we have to practice with love in our hearts and not only in the dojo.

I was was taught that a real master is someone who takes the negative in the universe and makes it positive. Loving protection can save your life. It is a much more realistic approach that anger, vengence, hatred, which is where the attacker is coming from.

I don´t live in a violent society, my ideals probably reflect that. If I lived in a place where I felt my life was under threat walking home at night, then maybe things would be different but isn´t aikido the Way of Harmony? or, The Way of Peace?

Love and Light

Ali

Bruce Baker
10-21-2002, 06:39 AM
The fact that we have people who have never been attacked is a testament to either rooting out the bad elements of our society, or the structual protection of certain segments of our society due to education, income, population, and structual law enforcement in particular communities.

The protection of the innocent by those who are not so innocent.

Maybe having half of your acquaintences go through AA, go to jail, or become the same low income social failures that their parents were, barely staying off of welfare, is enough to awaken the mind to the fact that the innocent geeks have begun to rule the world, gain the better income, and although some of them failed, most of them have a pretty good life.

Violent society?

Depends how many guardian angels lurk in the crowd.

Long replys by those who never been attacked?

Sorry, I have been attacked enough times to know what it is like, and stood between harms way enough to know what it is like.

The best way to measure the way of peace is to measure the length of happiness a family enjoys over hundreds of years, and if each generation was able to cope with the problems of the day?

As complicated as that may be, that is the measured way to define each generations 'Way of Harmony', or find the 'Way of Peace' for what is today.

As a sidebar ... Maybe wisdom does come with age, and that is why when someone is declared to be a "shihan" before age sixty there is always a hollow validity to being called shihan.

Being a teacher of teachers may not be applicable to this post, but then again we all try to balance the positive and negative energy that drives our emotions, and we are all human, aren't we?

SeiserL
10-21-2002, 09:04 AM
The fact that loving isn't pratical or normal in our society gives greater emphasis to us training and expressing it.

Until again,

Lynn

BTW: Yep, been there and done that and expressed all my loving protection to those I was protecting.

shihonage
10-21-2002, 12:32 PM
BTW: Yep, been there and done that and expressed all my loving protection to those I was protecting.

Would you care to elaborate ?

I'd really like to know what lies behind that bold statement.

SeiserL
10-21-2002, 09:46 PM
Would you care to elaborate? I'd really like to know what lies behind that bold statement.
U.S. Army Recon/Foward Observer/Military Intelligence 1972-1974

shihonage
10-22-2002, 01:29 AM
U.S. Army Recon/Foward Observer/Military Intelligence 1972-1974
Please describe a situation where you were attacked by something more serious than a drunk uncle, and you used the "loving protection" .

I'm very curious.

ian
10-22-2002, 05:37 AM
I can't believe you fellas!

Surely those of you with military experience would agree that violence is always a short term solution. An instructor recently said something to me which sounds quite simple, but is quite profound (though not entirely true); "you can't change anyone".

I think his point was, try to use force and people only resent you for it. You may beat them down, but they'll spend the rest of their time plotting revenge.

I have been in several real fights, one involving a knife, and at no point was my objective to damage or kill the aggressor. Yes, I did strike several of the aggressors, but not to severely injure them. In all cases both myself and the aggressor only came away with scratches and bruises. There are times when more extreme measures need to be taken, but training in aikido increasingly reduces these occurances. When Ueshiba challenged a navy officer to attack him with a sword, he didn't break his arm, in fact he didn't even do a technique; he just avoided getting hit.

I feel that if we focus too much on trying to attack someone we'll get pulled into confrontations because we don't give ourselves the option of escape. To me aikido is a physical expression of showing the futility of aggression - this cannot be achieved by breaking limbs or killing people.

Ian

ian
10-22-2002, 05:41 AM
I'd hate to get political, but I do hate this attitude of protecting 'loved ones'. Are all your actions based around making sure that you're O.K. regardless of how everyone else is? Is there no understanding of Ueshibas phrase 'I am the universe'?

Ian

ian
10-22-2002, 05:42 AM
For those of you that have ever been in a real situation, or even in a war, you would know that it isn't the physical damage thats the hardest thing to bear, it's your own hatred.

Ian

opherdonchin
10-22-2002, 11:40 AM
Please describe a situation where you were attacked by something more serious than a drunk uncle, and you used the "loving protection" .I'm starting to think, Aleksey, that you mean something very different by this phrase than I do. I also sort of suspect that you can understand a lot of what the other people on the thread are saying by imagining that they have a very, very broad definition of what counts as a drunk uncle.

Jim ashby
10-22-2002, 03:43 PM
I have no problem with protecting my loved ones over ANYONE else. If you really want to know the full extent of rage, and I mean RAGE, just see a mother when her baby is threatened (or a father for that matter). Loving protection for all is a great concept, except when you are fighting for your life. Before you ask, yes, I have been there and I have the scars to show for it.

Have fun.

shihonage
10-22-2002, 03:59 PM
I'm starting to think, Aleksey, that you mean something very different by this phrase than I do. I also sort of suspect that you can understand a lot of what the other people on the thread are saying by imagining that they have a very, very broad definition of what counts as a drunk uncle.
And I get this feeling that some people in this thread agree with one another without realizing it.

All in all, this has become a very confusing thread :eek:

opherdonchin
10-23-2002, 08:38 AM
Loving protection for all is a great concept, except when you are fighting for your life.There is probably a lot of truth to this. I guess the way I look at that issue is that I think of 'loving protection' as an aspiration or even a strategy that can be partially fulfilled or partially adopted. Just like I wouldn't ever say that I perform my techniques with 'real' relaxation, I would also say that I never quite manage to perform my techniques with 'real' loving protection. I'm better now than I was 5 years ago, but that can be small comfort sometimes.

So I think of the way anger and rage get in the way of loving protection the same way I think of how stress and fear get in the way of relaxation. Clearly in any real life situation I will be less relaxed and less loving and less centered than I am in the dojo. I suppose this means I will be less effective. That is one of the reasons I work to train these things in the dojo: so I will be able to reap the maximum benefit in any situations of conflict I may face.

Jappzz
10-23-2002, 10:38 AM
Hiya'll!

Personally i think that you could protect both yourself and your loved ones without making it into an exertion of egocentricity. Most people seem to think that their frail egos (mine included) are so important to protect that they end upp hurting both themselves and averyone else.

I don't think that anyone in their right mind would REALLY like to exert more violence than the situation called for.

Personaly i hope that my MA-training will give me the focus and mental stability that allows someone to MAKE "that call" and hurt everyone involved to a minimum extent or preferably not at all.

As for if we should re-evaluate the pacifistic content of O-senseis teaching i think that the answer is pretty obvious:

We could disect his teachings and pick only what we wanted, but then we couldn't claim that it had the original loving motive of Aikido now could we?

Love can be fostring and firm but a truly loving and compassionate brother/sister or mother/father would not inflict damage or retaliate on a strayed member of their family. In the end it's all about how large a group you feel obligated towards yourself. Family, neighbours, countrymen or humanity... you set your own mental limitations. Or break them...

Just think that Aikido is a splendid means of doing the latter and would like to keep it that way...

Peace/Jesper

mike lee
10-24-2002, 04:14 AM
All in all, this has become a very confusing thread

Where is the confusion coming from? :freaky:

Jermaine Alley
10-30-2002, 12:57 PM
I am loving these comments.

I don't think that we should pick apart O'sensei's teachings at all. I just wanted to know if we had any participants that thought that some times we are being taught to be too "Nice".

Are we being conditioned to be "too Nice" or expecting our Uke/attacker to be "cooperative". Is this type of conditioning instilling a "false sense of security"?

Is our study of Aikido, its principles and techniques instilling a false sense of security in reference to the "real world"? That might be a new thread,....

VegasJody
11-13-2002, 08:22 PM
Here is my think on the subject:

When a baby cries, you don't punch it. When a child becomes angry or violent, you don't break it's arm.

Why?

This is to say that when you have superior physical ability over another, you don't fully bring it to bear on them. You utilize only as much as is nessesary to resolve the problem, and no more.

It's a difficult viewpoint to put into action in a self defense situation .... but nobody said life was easy.

Kevin Leavitt
11-13-2002, 09:02 PM
Ian, I am in the military, and yes, I agree that violence is always a short term solution. War never ends with the cease fire and a signed treaty...it is followed by many, many years of hard work and healing.

mike lee
11-14-2002, 06:15 AM
I don't think that we should pick apart O'sensei's teachings at all. I just wanted to know if we had any participants that thought that some times we are being taught to be too "Nice".

I think that if O'Sensei were still alive he would say something like, "Train your heart out, but don't compete with one another — and if you must fight, WIN!"

Jeff Tibbetts
12-01-2002, 01:19 AM
after reading through most of these posts, much of what I hear is familiar. Again, in a situation like this, when one attacks and you simply use Aikido to attack them back with "their own force", you devalue what lies at the heart of Aikido. This is only my opinion, but allow me to explain.

This all goes back to the old argument over loving protection. Why is it that some people are so scared of the term "loving protection", is it because our western sensibilities have told us that love is for your wife, children, and those close to you only? Why is it that we fail to realise that we are truly all the same. The guy attacking has his own story, and it surely is just as important to him as yours is to you. If people see Aikido as just another form of self defense than it truly is nothing more than Karate or Tae Kwon Do or anything else. As I've said before, some of those arts are better at getting an attacker to realise he's doing something dumb with a broken arm or worse, so why don't you all take that art and not get into this argument? I still believe that Aikido is about more than that, about trying to find ways to alleviate the suffering and the pain, and finding ways to make the situation better. If you don't see a problem with "teaching someone a lesson" than why try to talk them down at all? This country (the U.S.) has become a fairly wicked place to live, and certainly breaking someone's arm isn't going to change a damn thing. If someone honestly went to mug another for his money, and ended up with a hot meal and no broken bones than something good just happened, wether you want to give up your "hard earned moneyy" or not is another question. I'm not making the claim that we should all go out and feed some bums (or transients, if you want to be PC) but I am saying that I'd rather give up $10 dollars than break another person's arm. Wishful thinking, I know. All I'm wondering, if Aikido is truly just as violent in intention than why take it, as I've said there are other more violent arts that are faster to learn and everything. Why go through all the added training and "sit through" all the philosophy if you can simply abandon the whole concept of love long enough to win a fight and reinforce your western sense of ego and justice? Why take this art if you aren't serious about the alternative approach to violence.

If a person is inexpierienced and acting violently to defend oneself is the best they can do, than no-one can really look down on them for it. The problem comes when people are so quick to switch over into the violence mode when the time comes, not even trying to spread any sort of love. I just ask "why bother"

Kevin Leavitt
12-01-2002, 07:26 PM
Alot of what you are writing seems to personify aikido, that is talking about it as if it is really alive or something. Aikido can be a philosophy. It can be an art, and it can also be a "way" or path. What is cannot be is a alive in the sense that a person is alive.

What I am getting at is aikido is defined by each and every person as different who studies it. I believe at it's base level it is simply trying to unify the yin/yang of harmony. it is niether good nor bad, violent nor passive.

To say that Aikido is better than Karate, Tae Kwon Do, or any other art is to judge another art superficially. People make up the art, and people that study aikido can be violent or immoral as any one else. We should judge people by there actions, not by the art they identify with.

Aikido can be used violently in the right situation, but I submit that since it is a principle based art, that you cannot define any action taken to resolve conflict purely with in the confines of "Aikido".

As an Army Ranger, I studied ad nausem army tactics that are used to destroy the enemy. If you look closely at the underlying doctrine and principles, they are aikido. Yin/Yang using anothers force and momentum against them. I don't believe though that anyone would identify U.S Army Ranger tactics as "Aikido" though.

Why? because it is the person not the art that defines an aikidoka.

As an Army Ranger, it is possible to also be an aikidoka in combat and apply those principles in your daily life, even in combat.

I think someone already said it, hatred, anger, and ego are the things that define something as "not Aikido". by using compassion, love, and respect....you can use the same "technique" and apply aikido.

There simply is not an easy answer.

Theoretically, we should love all persons in the world equally. It is our ego and emotions that cause us to love the people closer to us than those strangers we do not know. While it is common sense to protect life and limb in a situation, we really should not choose to "overprotect" those things that our ego tells us are more important.

IwamaRyuCole
12-09-2002, 10:10 PM
I think that the uniquness(sp) of aikido's 'loving protection' is that, unlike shotokan or other striking heavy arts, is that aikido can be used to an extent that necessary for the situation. You could subdue a drunken buddy with it, and with the same techniques you could break an arm of someone threatening your life. I that in itself is 'loving protection', protecting you first, and than the attacker. And on the false sense of security issue... i think that some folks who practice aikido may get a false sense of security if they train soft all the time AND IF THEY FORGET ATEMI, in a real life situation you wont just be able to whip out with an ikkyo without a sufficient atemi, now of course i've heard of dojo's not teaching atemi (glad the one i go to isnt one of those), but dont forget...70%atemi,30%technique. there has been one occurence where i had to actualy use aikido...atemi is your friend, and if you know how to use it than a false sense of security shouldent arise (at least in my opinion):D ...

Jappzz
12-11-2002, 05:04 AM
And so...

the discussion turns into the familiar debate of individual preservation vs. empathy.

I think that mr. Tibbets post hit right on the spot.

That's why i get all the more frustrated when i see that what he says is immediately dismissed.

Non or -minimal violence IS idealistic NOT pragmatic.

Sure Aikido is adaptive but the concept of pacifism is not. Either you use Aikido too resolve a situation minimizing harm on all parties OR you dismiss the supreme value of such a outcome. If you compromize the motives of this "active pacifism" called aikido it has no longer anything to do with love for your fellow man, only defense of our ego, physical and mental.

Love is unconditional or it's not love.

Wether Aikido is the budo with the best tools for minimizing damage can be discussed (i personally think it is) but the means of defence is subordinated to the MOTIVE wich is the more pacifistic among budo.

You can kill someone with a teddybear (read aikido) but that doesn't mean that it was created with that vial intent. Dont blame "toys'r'us"(read O-sensei)

Summary:

Anyone can use tools from the Aikido repertoire too cause harm or death but they can not convince anyone that this was O-senseis intent for them to do so. He was very explicitit about the fact it was a path of love, the minimal amount of force that would still protect all parties. To exeed the limits would be an unneccesary and immoral act of revenge.

opherdonchin
12-11-2002, 07:33 AM
Either you use Aikido too resolve a situation minimizing harm on all parties OR you dismiss the supreme value of such a outcome. If you compromize the motives of this "active pacifism" called aikido it has no longer anything to do with love for your fellow man, only defense of our ego, physical and mental.
I think this is a little bit too harsh. It's like saying 'either my techniques use no muscle or I'm a bad aikidoka.' In fact, I constantly discover new ways to think about being gentle and being accepting and none of them have ever been simple 'either I do it or I don't' sorts of ideas.

For instance, loving acceptance of all things includes acceptance of myself and my limitations and especially the limitations of my good will and charitable instincts. It is only by accepting these limitations (I've found) that I learn to become more charitable to others.

Jappzz
12-12-2002, 05:08 AM
Hi again!

I would just like to say to mr. Donchin that me using muscle or not was not what i meant. I would think it MORE irresponible to execute a tecnique WITHOUT the strength and stamina to asure a beneficial outcome.

I mean let's be honest. You KNOW with training exactly when you've crossed the line of minimal justified force in a given situation.

I do Iwama wich by some is considered harsh but that doesn't mean that i don't have the OPTION to adapt MY INTENT to a lower level threat. I might have to use more atemi and muscle as the situation progresses but then that would again be adapting to the situation when it ARISES.

I will not boast with having aikido-abilities i don't posses but my intent stands firm...

love... unconditionally

Jesper Arenskogh

mike lee
12-12-2002, 06:08 AM
In a street altercation where there are numerous unknowns, I immediately use maximum force. If he becomes apologetic, I give him loving protection.

opherdonchin
12-12-2002, 11:21 AM
Wow. What a beautiful statement of the two extremes back to back.

I don't know what I 'do' in street altercations, because I haven't had any. I know that I often fall short of the ideal of 'loving protection' in all sorts of other situations. I try to forgive myself for this for two reasons. First, because I feel I deserve the same acceptance and loving protection as everyone else, despite my flaws. Second because I think that forgiving myself is the surest path towards becoming more effective and more gentle.

Mr. Arenskogh (you can call me Opher), I was using the idea of not using strength as an analogy: wanting to be loving is like wanting to use no strength in techniques. They are both aspirations that I understand I will never 'achieve.' Sometimes I look back and I see how much more loving (and less forceful) I've become while gaining effectiveness. Other times I look forward and see how much further I still have to go.

Bruce Baker
12-14-2002, 05:07 PM
Almost all the answers were a resounding "No" on one level or another to the queston.

I guess the answer is "Loving protection of Some, not All."

Thalib
12-14-2002, 06:45 PM
"Loving protection of all" is never practical. If it's practical, everybody would be doing it already, and there will be no wars, no fights.

It is more practical and easier to hate, discriminate, prejudice, defeat, and destroy.

I want to be a human being, not an animal that is ruled by instinct. I wan't to be able to be in control of my emotions, not the other way around.

opherdonchin
12-14-2002, 07:26 PM
I want to be a human being, not an animal that is ruled by instinct. I wan't to be able to be in control of my emotions, not the other way around.
And I want to recognize and accept my animal nature and my connection to and participation in the 'animal kingdom.' I want to recognize my uniqueness as an individual and as a representative of a unique species (although each individual and each species is unique). I want to learn to ride my emotions and play with them the way surfers ride the waves and the way nage and uke ride each other.

Jeff Tibbetts
12-16-2002, 01:54 AM
I have a bad feeling about something, but I'm not sure yet what it is. I think that a lot of the problems in our daily lives, and in the way that we react to others (even on a sociological or national-political level) are clearly caused by feverishly overgrown egos. Now, just having said that I think alot of people will be offended, and I think that says alot about who we are. In American society, one is taught from day one that we are all individuals with our own set of wants/needs and goals and... you get the picture. At the same time we are all told that there are these other people all around us, and that we have to learn to get along with them. When I was yound I had a bit of a problem trying to understand this seeming paradox, only a little maturity and mental exercise brought me the answers to a lot of my questions. It seems that not too many other people see this duality as a problem, because they're not talking about it. No-one told me that you have to balance your goals with your loved ones, and that you can have your own desires so long as they're what other people want you to desire. There are a lot of egos out there who don't (or weren't socialized to) understand that they are truly not the center of the world. Your eyes are a window to the world around you, and the room does not cease to exist when you leave it. There are countless other egos at work to influence your life and those of others, and they don't always have the same goals. I think that this is at the root of why people have a problem with loving protection. I think that we are oftentimes so wrapped up in where we're going that when another path crosses ours it's either a barrier or a tool to exploit. I know that this makes it sound like the whole world is filled with jerks, but I think that our society teaches us "instrumentality", not the "blending" that we find in things like Aikido and some belief systems, like Shinto. We are all products of our environment, and we can choose to an extent how much we let that be conscious and how much we try to cast off. I guess it's just a hard pill to swallow, and don't think that I don't have a problem with it, too. For me, Aikido is a way to try to train myself to be more sympathetic to others, and to open my mind. I think that we all need to examine why we're involved with something as different and special as Aikido. Look at one of the few portraits of O-Sensei where he looks at the camera, look at his eyes and tell me that this is not a man filled with "something" that you just can't figure out yet. There's something going on in Aikido, and I can't yet see where it's headed. You are yourself, but you're also a piece of the puzzle of humanity, and you must decide where you'll fit in. Are you one of those kids who would try to jam a puzzle piece into a spot where it just barely didn't fit? I'm no conformist, but I do think that 9 out of 10 conflicts are caused by an overinflated ego on one or both ends. What can we do but work on that for ourselves. How selfless do you have to be to not only walk away from a pointless fight, but then explain to all your friends that you take a martial art that could have easily "defeated" the other person, and that it wasn't just out of fear but a genuine belief that conflict SHOULD be avoided. I don't know, it's hard to not show off sometimes, but I think it's important to maintain that humility. I think I'm really rambling here, what do you all think about this?

Thalib
12-16-2002, 02:17 AM
Well, Tibbetts-san, I could say that I'm not at all offended with your post, and agree 99%. The only part that I don't agree is Aikido trains one to be sympathetic. Sympathy is useless. Only feeling sorry for someone else doesn't do that person or yourself any good.

Aikido actually trains one to be empathic. Feel what the others are feeling. Think about all the way the techniques are done. The way to harmonize with the attacking partner is know the partner's intentions, the partner's will and feelings, the partner's mind and spirit.

When one is empathic to another, one will do one's best to help one another.

I am naturally a selfish person. Everytime, I realize this it makes me sad, sometimes even teary eyed. What even makes me more sad is, I'm really not making an effort to change. Although I'm better now than I was in the past. Aikido helped me with that.

Jeff Tibbetts
12-17-2002, 10:48 AM
Thalib, okay, you got me on that one... I always get those two mixed together in my mind, but I really meant to say EMPATHIC. sorry about that :) Thanks for catching it, though. In many ways, I think it's natural to be selfish, it's the human condition. The thing about that is, though, is that it is oftentimes a better thing to not be, even if it's hard to explain. I think we all struggle to not be selfish, sometimes you do and sometimes not. What you need to remember is that you notice you're selfish after you do something that either hurts someone else you care about or something you did comes back to haunt you. What you don't often remember are all the times that you weren't selfish, as the positive effects are far more subtle, and usually go unnoticed by everyone, yourslef included. When someone else does realise you're doing something good for others, there's a good chance that you're doing it in a way that makes it too obvious, and there's a danger that you're doing it only to make yourself look better, which is actually selfish. I guess all I really mean is that selfishness is a sticky and magnetic force, and that you have to really try hard not to fall into it, wether you're even conscious of it or not is another matter sometimes.

Bruce Baker
12-18-2002, 11:19 AM
Whether you came to practice Aikido for the exercise, the martial arts, or just to be in a social situation .... trying to understand the driving forces within Aikido is the ability to come to terms with your own mind/life as well as get a handle on what goes on around you.

I have had a couple of years off to sit, to write, to think .... not everyone gets that chance, or knows what to do themselves given that opportunity.

What we have here is a failure to communicate ...

The information is coming into the brain, and we are discussing using our physical practice of bringing about harmony by using the interaction of physical force ... some interaction beyond what is needed driven by our own emotional engine?

Well, there are a variety of techniques for clearing the mind, finding balance, and understanding you must do what your true heart tells you while are accepting the consequences. Problem is .... working your job to make a living, practicing Aikido as a hobby, and trying to make sense out of the world using Aikido as a tool is not the only one way to get this balance.

I see we have veered from "Protection of Some", or "protection of all" into the wild regions of selfconsciousness, and understanding the human condition ... nearly bordering upon the spiritual?

Technique for handling the situation?

Interaction with your friends, family, even some strangers, and evaluate the information. Apply it. Sort out the problems in your mind, problems in your life ... in short ... get a grip, and move on.

Simple technique ..... dealing with one problem at a time, don't make more problems, and you did the best you could with what little brains you have, so move on.

'course the favorite saying of anyone that serves in the armed forces is "...kill 'em all and let God sort'em out" might apply to calming the immediate turmoil, but we are just kidding in the real sense of what to do ... we are kidding ... guys ... aren't we?

Oops?

I was kidding. They weren't.

AikiRooster
01-15-2003, 01:11 AM
This question is definitely the kind worthy of sitting on the porcilien for.

In my humble opinion, I would say it means to neautralize a threat and make it come back into harmony with the least amount of force as is neccessary, and if during that time an injury occurs, it would be the aiki students responsibility to ensure the injured get medical treatment if need be. Yes, I think it is very appropriate for today's society. I also think it's probably easier on us in today's society to follow that path. Always, always always treat other's as you wish and i don't think you can go wrong.

For example, if you had a bad day and an 80 yr old lady had to give you noogies for bein a butthead, wouldn't you appreciate it if she took care of you afterwards?