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Alec Corper
08-19-2003, 07:46 AM
Often when I'm reading posts I find myself wondering, how much experience has this person, what grade do they hold, what other arts have they practised and so on? I check profiles, including my own, and there is no way to know whether they understand what they are saying, other than engaging in a long and sometimes tedious exchange, only to find out someone has trained for 3 years twice a week. No disrespect intended, but in some cases I wouldn't respond, or I would respond very differently. Unlike on the mat where you can feel embodied understanding, on the net some folk sound very impressive but they don't actually know much. Any thoughts about this issue?
regards, Alec

08-19-2003, 08:12 AM
I don't think you have enough experience to merit a reply from me ;)

If you ignore posters based on their Aikido experience, it's a bit like a Maths professor ignoring his students until they get their degree. People only learn by asking questions and making mistakes, it's a good way forward, but would suffer badly if no one was there to answer them. Personally, I think there is merit to all opinions regardless of the posters experience. I choose to answer based on their post, not their mat time.

But that's just my opinion.

Alec Corper
08-19-2003, 08:18 AM
Thanks Bryan, for bothering to reply in spite of my lack of experience. However you haven't answered the question, you have merely reprimanded me for stating what many lurkers already do, based on what they have read. My question is: does anybody think it would be valuable, lead to different qualities of exchange if we knew more about who is out there before we respond (or don't)Have I touched a nerve with some people?

08-19-2003, 08:43 AM
Alec, I think Bryan did answer your query - he doesn't care. I also agree with him! The only time I've ignored posts is when greater emphasis has been placed on "what I've done" rather than "what I'm saying". Experience can count, but how do you propose to prevent people claiming great experience on web-postings? Signed letter from their mum? :D .

All in all, I'd prefer to be gullible and at least pretend others opion are as valid as my own (a base canard if ever there was one). If all else fails and you feel you're being taken for a ride, just ask them.

The only person I occasionally feel sorry for is Jun, if I was him I'd have an alter ego... (OT - Jun, who has set you on their ignore list? Rather surreal I thought)

Alec Corper
08-19-2003, 09:15 AM
Okay, Thanks Ian,

I hear you, but please don't get stuck on the word ignore. I also said respond differently. I agree it's impossible to check others' backgrounds (or at least very difficult) and I am not suggesting elitism ( although there is a Voices of Experience forum!), and I'm not saying that other's opinions are not valid, yet you yourself state that you have ignored posts based on your assessment of that persons character. In other words you have interpreted the tone of their resonse and decided there was no point in replying. Is this not the same as questioning their background?

08-19-2003, 09:27 AM
Hi Alec,

Ian and Bryan both make very valid points, but I do think I understand what you are saying, namely that you would put more weight on someone like Mr. Goldsbury's responses versus a newbie to the web/aikido. After reading peoples responses over time though, don't you get a general feeling of their level of knowledge? It isn't necessarily experience or knowledge on the mat, but experience in life. Someone who is new to aikido might have some very excellent ideas and the ability to express these ideas, whereas someone with 30 plus years of aikido might not be very lucid when it comes to expressing their ideas and feelings. Anyway, I don't see how you could regulate this, other than something like what your name, rank and years training is (which seems rather silly to me). I like to listen to what everyone has to say, regardless of how long/or short they have been practicing.



08-19-2003, 09:40 AM
Alec, I agree with Bryan's position, and I'll try to add some useful ramblings, no promises. :)

The web offers (or used to anyway) an anonymous place for people to hang out and chat, share info, etc etc. Some people can only get their interaction online because they might be too shy or have a physical disorder that makes people uncomfortable, and so on.

I've never asked myself "How long has who-and-who been doing this?" Yamamoto said about this, has someone been practicing for ten years, or one year ten-times-over. I fully agree.

Here we get a chance to edit ourselves and attempt to express things after we think about it; I know I benefit from this approach. I like hearing how people think when given the chance, I think it does offer more insight into their ideas/beliefs. I don't want to chance discriminating based on what "I think of the person" typing; I'm as susceptible to this as everyone else here.

We can spin this one until we drill into the ground. I think it's a helpful question, I just happen to disagree with the implications. :)


Alec Corper
08-19-2003, 10:18 AM
Thanks all for the posts,

I'm not trying to create the "Forum" police and I also appreciate the dangers of discrimination. I too subscribe to the difference between 10 years of experience or 1 year ten times, however I cannot fail to give more weight to the struggle of someone who trains for 10 years, however "poorly!", as opposed to a newbie who happens to have good coordination and learns bio-mechanical actvity easily.Maybe I'm simply questioning the value of this Forum for me, and I've done it aloud, and the problem only exists in my head.

Thanks anyway!

08-19-2003, 10:38 AM
My question is: does anybody think it would be valuable, lead to different qualities of exchange if we knew more about who is out there before we respond (or don't)
I believe this sort of "information" comes out in the interaction that you have with people -- not with just some part of one's "profile" wherein one states when they started training in aikido or their rank therein. Such "indicators," from my experience, do not necessarily provide much information about that person's level of understanding, expertise, nor ability to express lucidly the nuances of the art.

There are folks here with 50 years of aikido experience. There are also folks with pretty much no experience in aikido. However, some of the people in the second group have a lot of experience in other arts. And so on.

So, personally at least, I think it's more prudent to gauge someone's "experience" through my interactions with them rather than from knowing the number of years or their kyu/dan ranking in the art.

-- Jun

08-19-2003, 11:07 AM
The tipical criteria is that aikido is better suited for old people, time when the art is suposed to be displayed properly.

On other fields like sports and other martial arts doesnt need that enormous ammount of ones time to achieve great expertise, the learning curve have been improved exponentially, aikido people still trains in old way, that one when people have all day only for to train and farm, to add to this that there is no way to measure productivity because aikido trainees doesnt test themselves.

When I give guitar classes to beginners and intermediates I just have to conclude that this people are BEATING THE LEARNING CURVE NOT ONE BUT SEVERAL TIMES, kind of: Hey! do you know how hard was and how much took me to learn this or that?

Moreover due to the fact I can still circunscibe their playing, it is my responsability to give a push UP or to dismiss them, restrainning their development.

On deciding about experience or talent, I go for talent, better and faster results with less effort and time.

Martial arts die because they become improductive, rigid, uncapable of better changes and leaded by same people who establish the hierarchy linking the chain for their own wealth and advantage.


C. Emerson
08-19-2003, 11:15 AM
I have almost no experience in Japanese arts. Most of my training is in Korean arts. Many Korean arts parallel Japanese arts. Many K- arts came from J- arts. Korea's history is muddied because of the Japanese occupation through out history. So I am finding that sharing experiences with people in Japanese arts, their arts that have some of the same principles as the Korean art that I practise. I find it very interesting. Because the history of Japanese arts are also the history of many Korean arts. So many people on this board are helping me piece together the information on history that I'm looking for.

I understand that I irritate some people on this board with the questions that I pose. I'm sorry but that's what the board is here for. I hope that on other posts I will be able to contribute. I'm here trying to share and LEARN.


C. Emerson
08-19-2003, 11:23 AM
And to answer the question, I have become calloused to Rank and experience. In this day and age there are so many sharlatans and fakes. So if I can't verify there rank I don't put too much validity into those things anyways. I have always felt that the best indicator was just training or talking to the individual. I have always been able to get a pretty good read on some one just by talking to them. Usually in the first few minutes I feel like I have got a pretty good Idea of if they know what their talking about.

And who am I to verify rank. Or to question. So I would rather talk to someone, and come to my own conclusions.


Lyle Bogin
08-19-2003, 02:51 PM
haha, shi yan ming always used to say "i've been training for 100 years!" (he was 32)

08-20-2003, 09:56 AM
Thanks Bryan, for bothering to reply in spite of my lack of experience. However you haven't answered the question, you have merely reprimanded me for stating what many lurkers already do, based on what they have read. My question is: does anybody think it would be valuable, lead to different qualities of exchange if we knew more about who is out there before we respond (or don't)Have I touched a nerve with some people?
Hi Alec,

My post did answer your question, it wasn't meant to come across as a reprimand, and the comment on lack of experience was intended as a joke (hence the ;)):). I think that this highlights other posts that followed, you can only really guage through interaction with the people, it will soon become obvious whether they have anything meaningfull to say.

Personally, I do lurk more than post these days, I tend to read nearly everything that is posted here, but I only respond if I think I have something to contribute, and even then its debateable :D

Alec Corper
08-21-2003, 04:09 AM
Hi Bryan,

I know it was meant as a joke, but with an element of seriousness! I personally find it far more difficult than most other people, apparently, to gauge real experience simply by reading. I have seen enough very emphatic posts from people who would be better served by less certainty, and posts with much humility from those who could be more definitive. Yes, eventually if I follow enough threads a picture begins to emerge, and, of course, its a personal choice to invest that amount of time or not. For me, this cuts to the heart of the value, for me, of any exchange of mind and heart. Is it a social interaction, to be valued, like freedom of speech, simply because everyone has a right to his or her own opinion, no matter how inane or unfounded, or should human dialogue focus upon the issue itself, which some are more qualified than others to have input upon.(By the way this is a question, not a pre-judgement) Rank was only one of the criteria I mentioned, I also brought up years, regularity of training, background in other arts, and the list was not meant to be complete, simply an idea for improving the quality of dialogue. It is clear that for the majority, this is not valid, indeed some consider it offensive to even suggest such a thing, mea culpa.